Sometimes I sit listening to the noises all around me. I never feel like it’s ever quiet. I hear Owen’s voice on top of mine constantly. As soon as he woke this morning the commands started once again. The hardest part for me is trying to not react to every single thing he says or does. If he wants me to help him with something he wants instant gratification. It doesn’t matter what I’m doing he will be right in my face trying to get me to help him. And if I don’t do it right away the demands escalate and his frustration quickly turns into him being very upset or a meltdown. The emotional train for me is emotional and I find myself being part of the repetitive behaviors. I answer him before I can even think to not answer him. I feel like sometimes it perpetuates his emotions when I answer exactly as he wants me to and other times I feel like if I don’t say every single word he wants it will go on for hours and it has. And then I breathe. “It is not a potato”, he said to me. I asked him what it was. He was pointing to a building on a video he was watching. He went on but his foot started beating the ground. I asked him why he was getting upset. I want him to understand his emotions. I try to explain to him that his feelings are valid but he can’t beat his foot on the ground and hurt himself over something he is saying incorrectly on purpose. I see such progress in him and so do his teacher and therapists but it is still hard to move him forward some days. He will constantly say the wrong words to see how I react and I think it is part of his processing. The door to our bathroom has to be angled exactly the right way. If I go to the bathroom and he is sitting in the other room he will stop what he is doing, come to the bathroom, and fix the door. But I think back to years ago when he would sit outside the bathroom door and scream, kicking, and hitting the door but he was the one that would close the door and he could also open the door and come in. I think about those moments and I know how far we’ve come. One day at a time I remind myself. Tomorrow is their Halloween party at school. Owen is going to be a farmer, maybe. I am trying not to cry about it. My expectations for Halloween are way different than the realities of what he wants for Halloween. And what he wants is to be dressed the same as any other day. So when he gets ready for school he may or may not let me put the flannel shirt and overalls on him and I have to remember it’s his day, he gets to choose. My victory for the day is knowing my baby can march, he can march. He was jumping in the bathroom after his bath and I reminded him we don’t jump in the bathroom so I asked him if he could march to the bedroom and he did. My little miracle is amazing. Every step forward is your victory. Keep moving forward. 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.