Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A Meltdown Washed Away

The first day of school and the kids are off and I am surprised that 35 minutes have elapsed and I am only now first looking at the clock.

Who knew that an issue with a logo could distract me so easily this morning?

Maybe it was merely wishful thinking…

Of course, Ashley is still sleeping.  I could always go back to bed…

But now I am fully aware, wondering and worrying…  Where are they now?  What is Sean doing?  Should I have given him some quarters for his pockets?

What did I miss?

What did I not plan for?

What is that phone call – and you know there’s always a phone call coming – what is that phone call going to be about?

It’s awful, really.  The pressure is overwhelming.

It is so much so, in fact, that I had a meltdown yesterday.

I could, of course, keep it to myself and continue pretending that I’m this even-keeled super mom.

But I’m not.  And I pride myself on being real and honest in this blog.

Thus, my friends, I had a meltdown.  And a grand one it was indeed.

I screamed.  I swore.  I stomped my feet. 

I cried.

I just couldn’t do it anymore.

I didn’t want to do it anymore.

And it was all due to hand washing… stupid, friggin’ hand washing.

In my head, I know he can survive without liquid soap.  I know I have to choose my battles.

I know that some day, some how, things will either click and he’ll use liquid soap or else we’ll come up with a real-world, workable solution.

Carrying a box around with a bar of soap is not an option.  He’s not in the same classroom all day anymore.  And if you saw the mess in the box that he came home with at the end of the last school term, you’d know that something else must be done.

I can’t get him to use liquid soap. 

But he uses shampoo.

He uses liquid body soap.

What’s the big deal?

Why is it so hard? 


Just do it…

I tried going the job route and telling him about all the rules of washing your hands before going back to work.

I tried the illness route.  He won’t get himself sick but he’ll get others sick.

I even tried the microscopic fecal matter and now you’ve just put your fingers in your mouth to play with your braces route…


Nothing works.

And because Sean can go to the computer and find out that only 82% of people wash their hands, he can completely justify his behaviour.

And I worry, amongst a million other things to worry about now that he is in a mainstream setting, that he will be made fun of once the kids begin to notice.

Sean claims the liquid soap doesn’t bother him.  He simply doesn’t want to wash his hands.

And I simply don’t want to deal with it anymore.

And, and, and… a thousand more and’s…

So where do I go from here?

I don’t know.

Back in June, I did a speech for an Autism Speaks fundraiser.  I talked about the day that Sean was diagnosed.

Unlike preparing for birth and reading all of the baby books so you can know what to do (and seriously, you really don’t but at least you can pretend)… When Sean was diagnosed, I walked out that door and said to myself – or was it out loud – what do I do now?

What do I do now?

I asked that of the crowd that night.

And then I answered.

I told them that you do the one thing that is guaranteed to work.

You love them.

You… love… them.

And then you go on.

So my friends, with my meltdown behind me, I will begin anew.

I will do the only thing I can do today.

I will love my kids.

I will love my Sean.

And go on from there.

1 comment:

  1. So after all that worrying about Sean making through the end of the school year without a meltdown, it was, in fact, YOU who didn't even make it through Summer Vacation. Hmmmm....