This is Ranger and Baby
You can't see Baby?
That's because she's under the blanket.
She does this a lot. It always makes it a bit interesting when I don't know where she is and I'm looking under blankets throughout the house wondering which one she might be under.
It's kinda bad when she's on the floor like this though because sometimes I think it's just a blanket and she gets stepped on... when the blanket wails I know I've misplaced my Baby.
So we're 10 days into this new year and I still haven't made a real blog goal for this year.
I have a few ideas, but I might just let it all be a surprise and let you guys figure it out as you read along this year. (That, or I just don't want to commit to following through on doing what I tell you I'll do...)
As always, of course, I'm gonna be honest.
That's always my goal.
I try to give you the real and you can take or leave it how you want. I always hope that you feel my blogging is an honest writing of a Christian mom of special needs children, wife of a sexy-handsome husband, and a Fragile X Advocate.
So, to start right off being honest... I got nothin'
I'm kinda numb lately.
I think I have been trying to function without feeling because I really think I might break down completely if I allow myself to feel too much.
Don't worry. Life isn't horrible, nothing tragic, just sometimes life hits me like a wall and it takes a while for me to get off the sidelines and back on track.
So I guess I'm just hanging out on the shoulder of the freeway of life waiting to cool down and be ready to run the rat-race again.
Sister is always a good place to start to explain why I get overwhelmed, but still laugh about it.
It's frustrating enough alone, but you add all the ADHD, Autism, Anxieties and Overstimulation and you have a 10-year-old bundle of frazzled nerves trying to stay contained enough to function and does quite well until the water hits the circuits.
And there she goes!
I wish, bless her heart, that she was able to remember where she places everything. This is probably one of the biggest issues that leads to the biggest melt-downs. She hoards all kinds of things and "organizes" them in her special way and then she shifts gears or something and she, all of a sudden, forgets where she organized the placement of a certain needed item.
It may not seem like much of a problem so I will try to compare it to two different things... one for parents who have a baby that relies on a pacifier to fall asleep or calm down and they are at the peak exhaustion, but the pacifier is nowhere to be found. You and your baby are overstimulated after 45 minutes of incessant screaming because their "need" is nowhere to be found, but the need for what that items brings is a necessity. The baby may eventually fall asleep out of pure exhaustion only to wake up and realize that their pacifier is still aloof... tragedy for both the parent and the child.
OR, if you are sans children: it's like losing your smart phone and trying to use your flip phone again... tragic.
Anyway, a few mornings ago Sister decided that she could not find her snow boots.
I and her morning helper, Kalene, searched the entire house not leaving one blanket unturned. All this searching was accompanied by a frantic, stomping, screaming Sister tirading back and forth from her room to the front room.
We can't frantically search or that would raise her arousal mode even higher so we have to act completely and totally calm, like we're at the beach, while we try to find her boots and the clock is ticking closer to her school bus arrival.
We can't find them.
Kalene asks if she left them at school.
She escalates to name-calling, insults and a repeated high-pitched "I need my boots!!!!"
She won't stop screaming no matter what we do.
"I need my boots!"
Her screams are getting louder, more intense, higher pitched, more gurgled with tears and red faced death stares.
I finally have to utilize the behavior strategy, "I am sorry that I can't find your boots, but I have tried and I don't want to be yelled at anymore so I am going ignore you now." This sounds fairly easy to do, but is tough because I never know how awful her breakdown will be when she realizes I will now be ignoring her until she can calm down enough to resemble a human child.
I walked away from the screaming and it subsided as she was able to get her thoughts together and calm her nerves enough to remember that she had left her boots on the bus the day before.
Then, like a light switch, she had gone back to her sweet self and all Kalene and I could do was laugh after she got on her bus and let all the tension escape through each giggle. I started singing a sing-song tune with the words, "I need my boots" being the bulk of the song. Once you hear a string of words over and over and over and over and over again it's hard not to go crazy without seeing the funny side.
But there's also the side that can break your heart.
I had just gotten one of my cameras back that I had taken in for repair and I was testing it out when Sister came in yelling at me because she didn't want her picture taken which got me a bit riled because I wasn't expecting to get screamed at and it ensued into a petty argument between a frustrated mother and a child with the inability to regulate her emotions. It wasn't pretty. Nothing awful. Just not nice.
Baby is VERY sensitive and starts to blubber at the hint of contention.
When I got my frustration back to calm mode and was able to diffuse Sister's anger I, still holding my camera, noticed Baby starting to melt. I took a picture because it's so tender. I want to remember those moments that she is sensitive to feelings because Sister was once like that and now I mostly see the overstimulation of anger when she is upset.
So I took a picture.
It makes me want to cry with her, seeing all that emotion in her face, in her hands. I want to remember that my children do feel things even though they don't show them in the way we are used to reading them.
Does that make sense?
Anxiety or hyper-arousal hides so much of what they are truly feeling that it becomes so tough to decipher what their feelings really are.
As I start to calmly talk to Baby and let her know that everything is OK, she continues to allow me to photograph her.
So much expression and emotion.
And then when Sister sees that I am taking photos of Baby she decides me and my camera aren't so bad and she wants a chance.
That's a real smile right there. Not a posed cheeser, but a real life, "I'm so happy I just have to show it," smile.
That's the other thing that is common in Our Life is getting used to the immediate and/or opposite emotions within moments of each other.
I'm telling you there are some days that I need by own boots to be able to wade through the crap I do sometimes...
Then I have times when I want my wings because I feel like I can fly, like when Brother comes to me today after church after he has been issued a challenge that is terrifying to him and he has the capability to walk into me, hug me, and tell me that he is scared and lets his tears flow to my shoulder.
You see, emotions are a beautiful thing. They become even more treasured when you rarely get to see them expressed in their true form so that you can actually console, comfort, confront or contain what your child is feeling.
There were days that I thought Brother would never be able to freely express his fears or sadnesses and here I was today holding him while he cried.
It was tender.
It was treasured.
It felt I could fly for a moment.
Our Life just has to rely more on those "flying" moments and not so much the mucky moments that require boots.
I'll remind myself of that often.