I love getting comments. I don’t blog to get comments. I’d write even if no-one ever read it, but I love getting comments. The other day I got a comment from someone named Katie. It was the 1st time she had commented on my blog but I was floored by what she said. Katie found my blog because her son – who is a couple years younger than Jay – is delayed in some ways and she’s concerned that he’s on the autism spectrum. She actually went back and read all my posts. Two years worth of posts. OMG!!! I couldn’t believe that. I mean … I’ve done it to other moms … but to think that someone read all my crap was just mind boggling. In a good way.
Sooooo, because of Katie, I got to thinking about our journey so far. I thought about where my boys were at developmentally when I 1st started blogging.
Back then, (in 2011), getting out the door for school/work in the morning was more often than not, a huge fight. It was stressful and tiring for all involved. Now, it’s damn near easy. Ace dresses himself, the kids both brush their own teeth and pack their lunch boxes in their own bags. Everyone quietly and calmly walks to the car. The kids get themselves into their car seats and buckled in. In fact, I can’t remember the last time there was a morning tantrum. Now the biggest problem we have is repeating back to him, the words that Jay likes to yell out as we drive by his landmarks. It’s a great problem to have.
Back then, Jay was non-verbal. He didn’t say any words at all. He grumbled and he gestured and he cried. My God, there was so much crying. That was how he communicated. Now he asks for what he wants and he’s stubborn about it. We spend a lot of time trying to teach him that sometimes he needs to wait for things. That lesson is not going smoothly at all. He also will answer yes or no questions and he will even negotiate with us. Just last night, he wanted cheese doodles for dinner and when I said no he retorted with “noodles, then cheese doodles.” The arguing/negotiating is a good problem to have.
In 2011, Jay couldn’t have cared any less about Christmas or Halloween or Easter or Birthdays or presents. All things that I care about. Now, he shows excitement for each of these events. He enjoys them. This past Saturday, we saw friends we haven’t seen in a few months. I was finally able to give them their Christmas presents. Jay, upon seeing them opening gifts, quickly got into the spirit and tried to open one for them. I tried telling him that it was not his and he didn’t like that one bit. He wanted to open one. Having to peel him off my friend who was in the midst of opening her gift … A good problem to have.
Not that long ago Jay was still in diapers and I was OK with him being in them for a long time to come. I was choosing to focus on other things. Then one day, my son displayed a readiness for potty training and in what seems like an abundance of luck, he took about 3 days to master using a toilet. Now, I (or CC) wipe pee off bathroom walls and I (or CC)need to clean the base of the toilet everyday because sometimes Jays aim isn’t so great. Most of the time the aim isn’t great because he’s too busy holding onto toys to also hold onto himself but … cleaning some stray pee off a toilet is a WAY better problem than dealing with diapers on an ever growing child.
CC and I don’t get much time away from the kids. We don’t get regular date nights and have never been on a vacation together without the kids. It used to be that we had 2 main problems. One was the lack of people available to help watching the kids and the other, bigger one, was that I was scared to leave Jay with anyone. He was so fragile in the sense that he was so easily triggered into a melt down. It always felt to me like I was walking a tight rope and any tilt to one side or the other would send us crashing down. There was no way I could put that kind of work on someone else. No matter how well meaning they were. No matter how much they thought they could handle it. They didn’t know. There was no way I could relax and enjoy myself knowing that at any minute, Jay would be making someones life miserable. I’d be on alert the entire time waiting for the phone call to come and get him. I no longer feel that way. It’s not such a delicate balance anymore. Just ask the 15 year old girl who baby sat him and 3 other boys this weekend. Easy! Now the only problem with CC and I going out is finding someone with the time to babysit. The worry about Jay’s behaviour is gone. Just having one road block to our “couple time” is an awesome problem to have.
The bottom line is this … Thanks Katie for sending me on this walk down memory lane and for reminding me that sometimes, even though the problems we have now seem bad in the moment, in the grand scheme of things, I am so glad to have them.
All the best to you and your son.