Playground Life Lessons

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Growing up is so hard.

My middle son, my neurotypical child, is a lot like a first-born child to me.  Or rather, we go through many “firsts” that my oldest child has not gone through yet and some, as an ASD child, that he may never go through at all.  Mr. A comes running  up to me on the playground sad and nearly in tears that there was a small group of children “talking” about him and his friends and threatening to put something on FB about them.  You know, he has mentioned this problem and even this particular group of children before and I just didn’t take it seriously because 1) Generally younger children don’t have smart phones with internet access and FB accounts and 2) younger children are prone to more “outlandish” threats and finally 3) I just hadn’t seen it happen.  Well I saw it that day on the playground as I was watching the children play and chatting with a friend of mine.  After Mr. A came to tell me what happened a boy drove his bike over to where we were and again made the threat to my son… in front of me.  How bold is that?  Then he biked over to his small group of friends.  I had so much information hit my brain at once I felt like I was on one of those Bugs Bunny cartoons where I had steam coming out of my ears from an overload.  These children were older.  “Big kids” from the middle school.  They did have smart phones with internet access.  After realizing this I walked over and addressed them, trying to use my best parental voice and sound emotionally-even and mature instead of freaking out that my babies had been threatened.  It was difficult.  Afterwards we left the playground and went to another nearby play area.

Later on I tried to explain to my son that people only talk about you when you’re important.  They talk because you have something they want, or they want to be like you.  Possibly, they may even want to be your friend, but they may not know how to express that.  He was still a little blue, and we’re working on it.  My oldest son, my autistic child, has the gift of irrelevancy.  If something is not immediately important, especially in a social scenario, he is not concerned and may not even remember that it happened.  If he does happen to remember, he is so unconcerned with it, it might as well have happened to someone else.  DH and I are often curious about what it must feel like to be him.  In some ways, it must be pretty awesome to not have to carry all your emotional baggage with you!  Talk about taking a load off!  In other ways, he may be so bogged down with other racing thoughts he just may not have the brain space for all of the social nuances in every day life.  Who knows?  Maybe one day he’ll tell us.

Be Fierce.  #DiscussIdeas

#IamAFierceMom

Kelly

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Quiet!! I’m trying to have a moment over here!!

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Its cold.  They predicted 8 inches of snow.  We got 18.  We’ve all got cabin fever.  DH can’t get on the road to travel for work, the mons-ners can’t get to school.  We’ve ALL had our fill of screen-time.

 “We’re all mad here…”, comes to mind.

 It occurred to me yesterday as I was looking at myself in the mirror that I could not believe my age, I could not believe my children’s ages, without slowing down, it was going to be gone in a flash.  I don’t wish for my children to be younger again or for just “one more” baby, or to relive those moments.  I did it.  Three times, and I loved it.  I love love love babies.  I also love watching my daughter play with her pony action figures and the fact that I no longer have a diaper genie in my home.  In any case, I was purposefully trying to relax while cooking breakfast, so I turned on some music.  As I’m standing there bleary-eyed over the stove stirring oatmeal, I began to try to will myself to be thankful. This is very hard for me to do when faced with frustration.  I read several “mom blogs” and they make it all seem so easy to be thankful for things we take for granted every day.  I, on the other hand, have to work at it.  Its not that I’m not thankful, I think I just forget temporarily.  I consider myself hyper-emotional.  You can imagine how this brightly clashes with an autistic child.  So, I’m stirring the oatmeal and listening to the music and I begin to think, “make this a moment”.  I stir in craisins trying to ignore the sugar content and begin breaking up the walnuts, again, “make this a moment”.  Soon breakfast is on the table and DH has come in from shoveling mountains of snow and the kids are bouncy and itchy to go somewhere and we eat breakfast.  Its not idyllic, we’re all a bit grouchy, M, my spectrum child, is just dying for more screen time.  After breakfast DH has put down the “law” that there is no more screen time.  The table is cleared and the legos come out.  The janga blocks come out (my kids use these for building blocks, almost never actual janga).  The My Little Ponies and tiny doll action figures come out and imagination begins.  Make this a moment.  And it is a moment. Soon though attention spans begin to wander and it is time for a new activity.  We pull out a science experiment box, one of those Magic School Bus activity sets.  Unfortunately, this only takes about 10 minutes and then it has to sit for 3 days.  Oy.  Next activity.  Spectrum child has already turned on two electronic devices before being reprimanded.  Keep calm, keep calm, keep calm, make this a moment.  As soon as I’ve almost gotten upset my daughter has pulled out her Duplo Legos and the next activity has begun.  Three minutes in and they’re now playing with M’s school project which is due on Wednesday.  “NOOOO!!!!”, I silently scream in my head.  I urge the mons-ners away from our weekend-long work on the project and onto other building activities.  And….. a deep breath.  Everyone is building blocks and playing legos and enjoying themselves for now. This is a moment.  I just need a few seconds to drink in the sounds and sights to really remember what it looks and feels and sounds like so that in a few years when legos are no longer played with and blocks have fallen by the wayside, I can remember this moment and enjoy the next moment.

#BeFierce  #MakeThisAMoment

#IamAFierceMom

Kelly