I did not have a good start to my day, which began at the bewitching hour of 3:00 AM. I have been waking up WAY before my alarm, which is currently set at 5:30 AM. I put my alarm back a half hour, as I wasn’t using my time properly. (i.e. spending too much time on the internet uninterrupted instead of making lunches, preparing clothes, etc.)
I wake up to use the bathroom (sorry!), then I try to go back to sleep. My brain fired up and said, “Hey! It’s time to think about STUFF! You know, that STUFF! All that STUFF that is bouncing around in your brain! YAY! Amy’s awake! Yay!”
I tried to relax, but it wasn’t happening. I tossed in my fleece cocoon for about an hour. Somewhere between 4 and 5:30, I fell asleep. My alarm did go off, (I think). I hit the button, as is my habit, giving myself another 9 blissful minutes.
I woke up 90 minutes later at 7:03. I slapped my forehead with frustration and let my palm slip down my face in utter defeat. “Damn it!” I muttered.
It went downhill from there. Nathan didn’t want to get up, he didn’t want to get to the table. My stress was being maintained, but had the potential to go nuclear. I told him he had to have a shower, which I KNEW would add to the chaos of the day. But he was so dirty….My desire to have a clean child lead to my downfall.
First he didn’t want to get out of his pajamas. Then he wanted to get back in pajamas. Then he said he was water was too cold, then too hot. There was a brief laugh track inserted when he looked at his hand under the shower spray and said, “My hand is peeing!” He had left over sticky adhesive from his nasal strip (he’s had a stuffy nose the past two days), which was horribly difficult to remove. Add to that Nathan’s sensory issues about his face, he squirmed and yelled at me because me cleaning his face was too rough.
Getting him dressed was a chore. He needs to have skin cream after a shower or bath as he has seasonal eczema. He’s shivering and whining because he’s cold, bucking like a bronco away from the chilly gel. This behavior makes me grind my teeth because…I did this. I didn’t have to do this, but I did it and damn it, I was going to see it to the end.
He’s dressed and I tell him to brush his teeth. I try to find some clothes to put on, as, well, it’s 7:45. No time for a shower. Again. Second time this week I’ve had to drop him at school without a shower, which I can’t stand. It makes me feel so incredibly gross. I throw on something clean (I think) and go outside to warm up the car.
He’s watching “The Incredibles”, which I told him not to watch. He gets too invested and it’s hard to get him to transition. I tell him it’s time to go and he yells, “That’s not fair!” I try to get his boots on and he fumbles with them, intentionally, so that I have to do it. I attempt to get him to take his cough medicine (expectorant only, I checked with his ped to make sure there were no reactions to his other meds), and he hates the flavor of the longer lasting kind so he THROWS it on the floor.
My Pandora’s box spontaneously opens and the furies come out. I yelled. I shreiked. I complained. I try to fabricate a lesson out of my verbal assault, but I’m so frustrated and mad, it sounds like noisy mud.
He said, “I’m going to kill myself.” Before you panic, he has said this before, and I have checked with his therapist. When he says this, it is his way of punishing himself for something he thinks he has done wrong. I asked her if he really meant it and she said, “If he did, he would have made an attempt already. This is his way of expressing his frustration by saying the worst possible thing he could do.” We always ask Nathan to rephrase and tell me what he is really feeling. Which I did. He said he felt sad that I was angry at him. I collect him to me and he gives me a hug. I kiss his head and smell his clean hair. I apologize to him and tell him that sometimes Mom gets upset and it’s a little difficult for me to keep calm. And like him, I have to “use my words” and say what I am feeling. I asked him if he could forgive me and he said yes. He said, “Mom, I get mad, too. It’s okay. We all get mad. I love you.”
I told him I loved him, too, and squeezed him a little tighter than usual. He playfully shrugged me off and asked if we could watch “The Incredibles” when he got home. I said, “You bet.”
I feel so frustrated when I can’t control my emotions around my child. I don’t want to be an automaton but I also don’t want to be an old school weeping Oh Woe Is Me Disney Princess. For the most part, I am able to keep things on an even keel and the boat sails. If we hit a snag, or if we’ve lost our way, I can usually find a solution. But sometimes, the star charts are wrong, the spy glass is broken or the Kraken shows up. It just throws OFF my whole plan in addition to plan A and plan B. So, Mom gets a little frustrated, kicks a mop bucket and barks some orders at the crew. But, in the end, I know I have done wrong. I switches gears and thank my crew mate, tell him I love him dearly and get him off to school.