Owen woke before midnight. I hadn’t even gone to bed yet. I was still sitting on the couch when I heard him get out of bed. I waiting for the screams after the day he had. They didn’t come. He snuggled up beside me and then moved into my arms. It wasn’t long and he was out again. It also wasn’t long before I figured out I would be sleeping on the couch. It happens a lot. I’ve learned to embrace it and I’ve learned that the couch that was the perfect size a few months ago is way too small for the both of us to be sleeping on now. It’s a sectional but a very small one and I think even if it was the king-size version of sectionals it would probably still be too small but maybe I at least wouldn’t feel like I’m falling off of it. He is in constant need of input even during sleep so he pushes himself into the corners of the couch or bed. He also will drill his head into my head. He hardly ever does it when he’s awake but for some reason, during sleep, he will find a way to put his head on mine and push really hard into me. I’ve tried to create a cave-like effect in his bed so he would be cocooned by pillows and blankets but that still doesn’t bring the comfort he seeks. I breathe. I tell myself all the time that I can’t fix everything and I can’t possibly understand everything he is going through but I still want to try. I have to let go and encourage myself to keep moving forward. He woke this morning in a much calmer mood. He was happy and ready to go to school. He was also anxious that he wasn’t going to get to go to school but I told him the weather was fine. He still can’t get past the weather delays from the week before. I keep telling myself the tides will turn and we will get back to doing all the activities he loved and his routine will be set in stone again. For today I’m encouraged for tomorrow and the tomorrows yet to come. Never give up. The impossible becomes the possible when you believe. Smiles to all and donut daze!
Some days I want to hang the “gone fishing” sign and be done with it. How many emotions can both Owen and I struggle within one day crossed my mind more than once. It was a hard day, a doubly hard day, an indubitably hard day. It seemed like everything was overwhelming to Owen as the night went on. He repeated, “ABC you have to go” wanting me to say, “you have to go to YouTube”. This went on for over an hour. He couldn’t let it go. No matter what I said or didn’t say he was in my face repeating it. I tried rocking him, worked on his breathing techniques, had him count, sang songs to him, for him, with him, and nothing helped. My heart aches when I can’t help move him forward. His feet beat the floor with every passing moment he couldn’t find comfort in our interactions. This video has been gone from an app he liked for probably two years now. I’ve lost track of time but he hasn’t. It’s gone and that’s all that matters to him. He’s stuck on the fact that he can’t open the app and look at the song right there. The tears that couldn’t flow earlier are now soaking my shirt from running down my cheeks. This one video, one video, has caused my sweet baby O so much distress over the last few years. How can something that seems so minuscule in the grand scheme of life be something that is bigger than life to my son. He doesn’t forget a second in time, not one second. This keeps me constantly on edge, guessing when the next emotional outburst will start due to something that happened days, weeks, months, even years ago. I have a hard time remembering yesterday and he holds on to every memory possible. He couldn’t move past the bathroom door either tonight. He needed it to be in a certain spot so he could see his reflection in the knob. This makes it extremely hard to go to the bathroom because the toilet is behind the door. He had to reset the door into its correct space every time I walked into the bathroom. All I can do is breathe. I know his anxiousness is high because his routine has been nothing but routine. Oh to live in a bubble. Tomorrow I’m going to hope he wakes with a calm heart and able to move forward. I want to see his smile bright again tomorrow. Find your motivation and keep moving forward, one day at a time. Smiles to all and donut daze!
Owen slept better last night than he had in a while. Me, not so much. I try to pack so much in those hours after he goes to sleep, the me time. But that means most of the time I stay up past midnight and then he wakes me by five every day practically. I should start saving this me time for every other Thursday and when he sleeps. If only I knew when that was going to be. I can see his anxiousness moving through him when he does certain tasks. He has to repeat steps and those steps dictate how he needs me to respond and his own rules of what is supposed to happen. I wish I knew how to help him with this process. He purposely selects to open and close screens or pop-up boxes so he can ask for help. As I talk him through it he keeps yelling for help. Once he finally closes the box or app he will then cover his eyes with his arm and lifts his head up and down. I’ve always assumed he does this to see the reflections and shadows as they move through his vision. Maybe one day he will be able to tell me. If I don’t answer correctly to his cries for help or his need to repeat his day’s events it continues until his needs are met by either me saying the right words or him finishing the process he started. My words and actions can be the difference between an exhausting meltdown that can last for hours or him moving forward quickly. The pressure is on me to get it right. I’m not sure why he started talking about diapers tonight but he wanted me to know there would be “no diapers today”. He hasn’t worn them now in about two years so I’m not sure what brought this on. Maybe this was a process he needed to get through or was finally able to communicate his emotions. Either way, he was right and he has come so far. The language train is in full steam ahead. I can ask him to say something in another language and after saying “no” he quickly goes into saying the phrase I have requested. He knows phrases in at least eleven languages that I have counted and the sky is the limit for my sweet baby O. The hope is in tomorrow and my shining star is doing amazing. Never give up on the hope for tomorrow for it shines bright in our hearts. Smiles to all and donut daze!
Once upon a time, there was a lot of time. My mom has always said this to me. Right now it feels like it’s hurry up and wait for everything. I fell asleep with Owen last night. I woke up several times with a foot near my head or his hand across my face but I was too exhausted to get out of his bed, the bed he still calls “mommy’s bed”. For a while, he slept better in my old bedroom so I changed my house around and gave him my room. It was darker than his room and sleeping in mommy’s bed was the answer, until it wasn’t. Now it’s back to every night is up in the air. But the sleep I did get last night was needed. Some days my emotions get the best of me. I have been working on what time means with Owen, hoping that it will help with his anxiety about when he is supposed to do something. I tried to explain the digital clock to him this morning. I’ve gone over it before with the same results. He isn’t quite there yet. He sees numbers as a math problem and not as time. He wanted to add the numbers and not read them for me. All it was doing was upsetting him so I moved forward. His words are becoming more fluid and also he is truly interchanging English with all the languages. He asked Siri for “hickory dickory donkey in Portuguese”, quickly following it up with “dashing through the snow in French”. The phrases kept flowing and the requests came in every language she translates into. He moved on to watching shows on the television so that he could hear more languages. He listens in one language and then he has the captions in another. He moves through all the languages as well. As we were eating lunch he said, “I am happy today happy for grapes”. He keeps me guessing. He was full of emotions, wanting school and the request to me for “I’ll get you some more church”. Yes, my sweet baby O I’ll get you some more school and church. I’m thankful he loves to go to both. The week ahead seems like the weather should be better and hopefully, he’ll get to go to school every day. He also has therapy appointments so it will be a busy week. He felt connected today and his smile was bright. I’m thankful for the journey ahead. Be bold, be beautiful, be you. Smiles to all and donut daze!
Three o’clock in the morning is awfully early when one o’clock in the morning is considerably late. I fell asleep early with Owen, for about thirty minutes waiting for him to fall asleep. And then I woke up with a start. I’m really not even sure what woke me. I got up and then didn’t fall asleep until after one. Somewhere in the three o’clock range, Owen was an inch from my nose talking about the weather, who he wanted to see, and where his tablet was. I was still in the processing phase. I told him it was still night time and he was not having it. He was ready for the day and that was the end of it. I told him to look outside, that it was still dark and he could have his tablet if he went back to “mommy’s bed”. I wonder if he will ever call it his bed. He wouldn’t stay in his room and he wouldn’t let me sleep. I sat on the couch in a daze for a bit, then I started the first of many pots of coffee for the day. The day was a mix of where’s my routine, screaming at me for one thing or another, and a very happy and content Owen. The listening skills were debatable but I always wonder if that is age, comprehension level, or him knowing how to push my buttons. I could feel his anxiousness every time I went to the bathroom. The door was on his shortlist to watch. He had to have the angle perfectly and everything lined up. I try to keep him moving forward with this but I also know it has to be in the right spot for him to deal with it. So a perfect door it is. He was quite the speller today. He wanted to spell the words into the YouTube search engine instead of me saying the words. Some words were spelled without me ever telling him, others he typed in the whole phrase as I said each letter. I celebrated the progress. Now as night approaches he wants nothing with the thought of bed and keeps telling me “two minutes”. I think I’m twenty-two hours past the two minutes ready for sleep. He came to kiss me on my forehead as I kiss him and I knew that everything would be fine. Celebrate our victories, celebrate yours, and know that tomorrow is a brand new day. Smiles to all and donut daze!
Well, it happened. Nope, nada, no school. I get it, I totally and completely get it. But that doesn’t mean I don’t want to cry the biggest river I can when there is no school. The weather strikes again. I had just told Owen he was still going to school and then I heard the sound of an email. I didn’t look. I knew in my heart what it was going to say and I wanted to cry but I waited until the phone rang and the words “school board” flashed across the screen. The time gave it away but there it was the words. No, no, no I wanted to scream but still knew and understood why. Owen once again did well throughout the day, only checking to make sure he was to “be with mommy” and “no school today” but it’s the nighttime that all the behavioral moments surface. He doesn’t want to fall asleep until he defines what happened for the day, what is happening the next day, and all the days forever and ever amen. It makes me anxious thinking about what will happen tomorrow and the tomorrows yet to come. His vocabulary and comprehension skills do not necessarily match and that makes it even harder for him. I’m sure on one level he gets it but still, the tears, the screams, the heartbreak he shows when his routine is gone puts a quiver on my lip and a tear rolling down my cheek as I write this. And more sadness from me because all I want him to do is go to sleep so his sadness is lessened. I’m going to focus on the fun, funny side of my sweet baby O. I tell him all the time how he makes my day and that I love him with all my heart. We got a grocery delivery and when they knocked on the door he said, “hotdog we got a visitor”. I’m thinking this had to have come from the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse or some other show. As we sat eating our dinner, Owen sang “single bells single bells single all the way”, his year-round Christmas song, and then proceeded to throw a couple of pieces of his remaining chicken into the area and then picking up one of the pieces and eating it. After that little adventure took place he shook his milk cup around, spewing little droplets of chocolate milk everywhere. Thankfully, luckily, and oh my word why child, why there was nothing left in the cup but it still made a mess. “Need to go potty”, he exclaimed eating the last bite of chicken, and off he ran. His fascination for the toilet and my complete and utter wanna run away from it feelings meet no where in the middle. Why my child has to love water so much, I want to know. He is much faster than me and I’m glad the water party doesn’t happen every single time he goes to the bathroom. Through challenges and victories, we made it together through our day. Never give up on the hope of tomorrow. Remember you are amazing and can accomplish anything you set your mind to. Smiles to all and donut daze!
Blanket, Owen yelled sitting on top of the blanket. I tried to cover him and he yelled it louder. “Blanket”, one more time he cried out. I said, “you have blanket”. He finally let me pull it out from underneath him to cover him up. Another day of no school means another day without his beloved routine. He did really well in general throughout the day but as day turns into night I can feel his anxiety increasing. School is already on a two-hour delay tomorrow. I can feel my anxiety increasing as I hope and pray it doesn’t turn into another day off for him. I further my anxiousness thinking about summer. I don’t want to even think about it but it sneaks in there as the days go by. Any and every break are hard on him and summer is anything but routine. I have to save that thought for a different rainy and snowy day. The language train was slow to leave the station today but it’s another thing that has increased as the day has moved on. I constantly wonder how many languages he comprehends. Since he was little he’s been fascinated by them but only recently has he started talking in them. He switches between languages easily. He asked me to blow bubbles for him and he counted the times in English. I asked him if he could count in Italian. He said, no but quickly started counting to ten. As soon as he finished I asked if he could count to ten in Spanish and he did. I asked for German and he walked away. He was done with my game. The bottomless pit continues to eat more than me. Two breakfasts, two lunches, tons of snacks, and a good size dinner for him to the point of asking for more food. My response, absolutely. I’m excited that he requested shrimp for lunch and fish for dinner. And I’m probably more excited that he ate all of it. It’s years in the making getting him to eat a wide variety of food and here we are. I’m hoping that I can convince him it’s bedtime and we fall asleep quickly because this momma needs the rest. His smile was definitely brighter than mine but his shining smile definitely made my day brighter. Never give up on the promise of tomorrow. Smiles to all and donut daze!
Owen got to go to his beloved school today. He however is not getting to go tomorrow. The school board already called the day off. We are supposed to get a lot of snow overnight and so many people are without power already from the ice storm we had. My heart breaks for my baby even though I completely understand that they had to close school. He made up this little chant song saying his teacher’s name. I tell him all the time he’s my little songwriter. He comes up with these tunes that he sings to other songs or makes them up completely. Occasionally he will even play his guitar or drum with it. I’m always impressed with his musical talent. As the night wore on he kept getting more agitated about seeing her. He kept saying her name and then “be with mommy”. He couldn’t settle. He wanted to talk about her, more like scream about her, and no matter which way I said he would scream louder. I tried to not let on that he wasn’t going to school tomorrow but he can read me like a book so he probably could feel my emotions. I’m sure he knew right away when the phone call came in. He could sense the change in me because I wanted to cry. I told him we were getting ready for bed. He goes through the countdown. He first said, “two more minutes” then it changed to “five minutes”. After I told him we were going to take a bath he said, “no more minutes”. I kinda chuckled as he quickly realized what he said and immediately changed it to five more minutes. When he wakes and realizes there is no school he will ride the rollercoaster of emotions once again. I’m sure he’ll have a good day, most days are relatively calm for him and he will work on his learning apps but as the night wears on it will be wondering what his Friday holds and it will start all over again. All I can do is pray. I see growth in him. His language skills both in English and all the other languages are increasing daily and this makes this momma happy. My joy is watching him smile, hearing his laugh, and knowing that tomorrow is a brand new day. Find your inspiration and motivation and watch your world grow. Smiles to all and donut daze!
Owen hasn’t screamed in at least a week about the drawers being open in the kitchen. What conditions changed I wondered off and on throughout the day and I still feel anxious when I open a drawer knowing he might scream at me. He was relatively calm today even though he had to “be with mommy” instead of being at school. He processed it by repeatedly asking Siri how to say “be with mommy” in all the different languages. After a while, he moved on to asking Siri how to say, “Humpty Dumpty sat on them all in French”. This nursery rhyme phrase ranks right up there at the top of my list with his Christmas tune “single bells single bells single all the day”. I know partly this is because of how he says some of his letters but it will always have that special place in my heart. I have been trying to prepare him for a power outage or our internet being off. Both of these would be highly unacceptable to Owen and the same with not going to school. Any and all breaks from routine are beyond hard for him to understand. Earlier he walked right up to me when I had to sneeze, wanting me to help him with the voice-activated option on YouTube. I put my finger up to show him one second, knowing he wouldn’t understand but still trying. I moved my head and he kept saying what he wanted. The sneeze was coming. I moved my finger closer hoping he would stop. He moved an inch from my nose and my sneeze was swallowed. He has no general understanding of bodily functions. He’s learning but this is still hard for him and he didn’t understand I needed to sneeze. As I laid in bed with him I cried and I rejoiced. He started asking to go to bed so he could “go to sleep and get on the bus” by dinner time. He took his bath and was in bed before eight. Two hours later my emotions were drained. My sweet baby O spit on me. I couldn’t believe he did it. This used to be common and here he was doing it again. In the two hour span so many actions and reactions he had for being out of his routine. My heart aches for him and I pray he gets to go to school tomorrow. To calm him I said, “a is for apple” because I knew he would finish it. In today’s version H was for hamburger and he spelled it. To say I was shocked is an understatement but then he started singing the alphabet in French. My sweet baby O is amazing and I knew that tomorrow would be a brand new day. Rejoice in your victories, celebrating each and every one, no matter how big or small celebrate them all. Smiles to all and donut daze!
Sometimes the loneliness is met like a brick wall when the screaming begins. I tried to stay busy because the more activities I wanted to do with Owen the more he screamed at me, except when it came to the language train. The excitement in my dude’s eyes when he starts asking Siri to say everything he can think of in every real language and things that he thinks are languages is amazing. “I want chocolate milk and cuckoo clock in boy”, he says, laughing as he does it. He immediately follows up with his next request, “I want cuckoo clock and chocolate milk and potato and gorilla please in jer-min”. How Siri understands that when he says “spinach” he really means Spanish but he says “jer-min” and she asks him to repeat it baffles me. I have tried working on how he says the word German but he quickly gets frustrated and instead starts talking to Siri in German. Food was also that fifty-fifty shot of what I was doing incorrectly. I scored big points for my waffle and shrimp fixings but my meatloaf was met with “no more meat wash ya hands throw it in de trash you through”. When he is done with dinner I make him wash his hands and help me clear the dishes. He generally likes meatloaf but with the variety he does eat and the new things that he tries I don’t like to push it when he won’t eat something. I always make him take a bite and move on. However, after he went through his entire speech he started screaming at me. I stopped him from running away and I took his tablet. I talked to him about respecting each other and not screaming if something doesn’t go according to plan. We went through our calming techniques and I told him I loved and respected him. I explained to him I understand about emotions but screaming solves nothing. He screamed at me. We started over with our breathing and then he said, “sorry mommy”. Together we grow and together we will be stronger. Never lose hope of what tomorrow with bring. Smiles to all and donut daze!
I'm Lynn Browder. Owen's Mommy. The best moments in time are when I get to see the smile on his face and that giggle come from his heart.