Tag Archives: Parenting

The Nag or the Friend?

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Since becoming the Home School Mom (of the Year…not) of my Aspie’s life, we’ve had a few ups and downs. I’ve been the teacher extraordinaire, the grumpy teacher, the balanced teacher…the good mom, the evil twin sister mom, the huggy mom…it’s been a mixture of good and the not-so-excellent. Overall, I think we’ve made some progress. I can’t always be the Mom they remember. Teacher Mom gets in there and makes them work. Other times, Fibro Mom lays in bed for a day and tells them to do a few things here and there. I mark their stuff in bed and life goes on.

Lately, I am thinking because of the general state of pubescence, I seem more of a nag to him than usual. Or he’s losing some brain cells to the hormonal surges and I need to remind him more often. All he says he hears me say are things he has to do. He says he cringes when he hears his name because it will never be something fun or positive.

It hurts my heart a little that he perceives our lives like that. Me the Drill sergeant, never the soft mom who listens to his problems/happy talk all the time. He sees me as definitely someone who sucks joy out of his life. I call him back to what he is supposed to do in his life and school and little else. I have to say, I feel the same. I feel we’ve lost a bit of our rapport. It used to be great. I think it’s NORMAL for an almost-teen boy and his mom to not be as close but I still want to have a good relationship with him. How do I change this? How do I make it less him against me?

I should probably read a few books about it. There is probably some very good books on the topic.

A few ideas I’ve prayed about are:

*Taking more time to play with him. I need to play those Wii games I dislike. We always have fun doing it.

*I need to listen more. It’s been easy to gloss over what he’s saying and not really listen. We’ve had great conversations in the past but the kid can talk and there are only so many mine craft convos until I start staring into space. I need to be more aware of what he wants to talk about.

* We need to get out more. Or maybe he needs to. He needs more stimulation than ever. He likes to move, play ball, be with friends. It’s a normal part of his development when friends become important and parents aren’t. I get it. Just who do you trust with your son. We’ve had some interesting things happen to us in this community with “friends” so we are wanting to let him spread his wings, however we still need to be watchful and vigilant in whom he hangs with. I am praying about this one so very much. I want my child to have some really good friends and ones he and we can trust. It’s complicated when he’s an Aspie. He has the ability to make friends (yay) but not the ability to make good judgments when his friends are asking to do something he knows is wrong. Anyways…it’s a tough one.

* We do our best to give as many opportunities as we can to cater to our children’s interests and to keep them just busy enough but not too busy for family. When we home school two and public school two the dynamics of what that means gets complicated. We need him to have more positive interactions. This year he has found basketball difficult but has worked through it tremendously. Still, he thinks he has to do basketball because he has to and I’m praying he can start enjoying it. There are many people on his team with which he could enjoy it with.

* He wants to figure out what his passions are, what his purpose is so that he can plan for the future…what do I want to do with the rest of my life? I pray we can help him see what he is good at because there are so many things.

My sweet, kind, goofy, spirited boy…how I do love him. I pray that we can find a balance in it all as he grows . He was born for a purpose and I know he will find it.

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Special Abilities

super hero
super hero (Photo credit: demandaj)

Leaping out of tall buildings, shielding the pedestrian from an oncoming bus, elasto-arms that grab babies out of incoming trouble, x-ray vision. Those are some very awesome superpowers to have if we could have them.

As a mom, I believe I have some God-given gifts that allow me to predict when someone will have a meltdown, so I prevent it. I can see behind my head to the trouble  brewing behind (which is me peering to the window to see the reflected image of my daughter about to punch her brother in the face), I can produce a meal before I even hear the “I’m hungry”…also, I have the sudden appearance of fairy wings which allow me to become the Tooth Fairy and flit around their pillows before I deposit that coin. Oh, I have so many special powers. Mommy powers, I call them.

I was invited to a luncheon where I learned more about how a certain organization has helped Albertan parents dream big dreams for their kids with “special abilities” (instead of disabilities) and I liked the term very much. So much so, that I am going to spend the rest of my time telling you what my child’s special abilities include. As a caveat, I think my children, whether they are the ones with challenges or whether they are neurotypical, have some special abilities written into their make up.

J-man has the special ability to make people laugh at a fart joke. Don’t tell him that or he’ll be telling fart jokes all over the place and it will make the special ability not as special. He also has the ability to flap his hands and make strange noises that get him straight outside to do some “heavy work” like jumping on the trampoline. He can also use those abilities to get extra jobs done for mommy as I have him cart heavy baskets of laundry up and down the stairs.

He has another special ability that I like to watch. He collects bugs, cares for them and loves them like family members. Only, bugs don’t have a terribly long life span so this ability can last all summer as he replaces the bugs at an alarming rate.

His other, more amazing ability is the ability to state the obvious. This can come in handy when another sibling is doing something mischievous and he comes in to state the obvious to me because I have glazed over eyes (another of my super powers) and haven’t seen the mischief myself. We can be found with slightly red faces with embarrassment when he states loudly “Why don’t they throw their garbage in the trash where it should go?” He is truly curious why other people don’t follow the rules and says it loud enough that they do.

I love thinking about my children having special abilities. It puts the “having challenges” thing in a different light. The issues are still the same, but we can, as parents look at our “little heroes ” as having qualities that bring light and laughter into our world. Often, these children are the ones that press on in adversity and teach us a few lessons. Lessons on life, and lessons on lightening up when situations seem bleak.

Do you have kids with “special abilities?” I would like to hear about them and celebrate their awesomeness.

Life without the Personal Space Bubble

Bent over the white paper of his assignment booklet he grasps his pencil as if his life depended on it. Furrowed brow, mouth hanging open he concentrates on the words he writes, erasing the occasional misspelled word. At school, one of the major issues he faced was with focusing in the classroom setting. At home, he concentrates like a champ in our structured times.

Then, there are the unstructured times. Following me every step of my day is a boy who has no real sense of boundaries and social graces when he is just looking for a friend. During the school day that friend would be, no one else but….me. I am his teacher in those teacher moments, I am his buddy in those non-school moments and I am his mother all those times and the times in between. Being the only child in our Home School of One is a lonely gig, when he’s used to children being everywhere, whether he’s at school or at home. This whole transition of being at home alone all day has been an “interesting” experiment for us both.

I like personal space and boundaries. If there were personal space bubbles that could bounce people out of my personal space when they get too close, I would buy a lifetime’s supply of them. I, without being aware of it, gave up my bubble for the closeness of two children who don’t seem to care that I need a buffer zone. My other two children love affection but they don’t follow me around the house the way the other two do. My oldest and youngest (the ones with challenges) follow me around closer than a shadow. I have to watch that I don’t turn around too fast or I may swing my arm and elbow into them. If I don’t look as I turn, I may trip over them or full-on body check them. Backing up can be tricky, depending on how many are standing in my personal space behind me without me knowing.

personal space
personal space (Photo credit: frankh)

Hugging, touching and wrestling with my children are activities which I look forward to. I love to have them close…for a time. Then, I like them to step back into their personal bubbles and have some time to themselves. Or, at the very least, follow me from a  two foot radius around me.

You can find me snuggling any number of children on my lap or beside me during the day. I’ll play with my girls’ hair or rub another child’s back if they are sitting near me. I don’t mind them being close at all, most of the time.

There was a time last week when I was shopping and I was trying to compare prices and products. It’s one of those situations where I may have to change my direction with my body unpredictably as I move back and forth from product to product or aisle to aisle. I became aware of J-man’s penchant for shadowing me in situations like this. I would tell him “Please, just stay by the cart” but there would be something he HAD to tell me that required him coming inches in front of me while I was trying to read a box and he could not wait for one more second to tell me his important news, such as “Mom, did you see that guy over there? He was wearing a green shirt.” Important stuff here. Glad you told me son. Now, I have to reread the box’s tiny list of ingredients so I can find if any offensive artificial coloring is in it. At which point he is desperate to talk to me about a thing that happened last week when one of his siblings said something or other to him. Speaking to me right in the face is how he makes sure I am paying attention. Not a bad strategy, though it gets rather tiresome for me when he has something to say every 10 seconds.

It started to drive me a bit batty. Especially since he’s been shadowing me at home too. I didn’t notice it when he was in school. But now that he’s home all day, it seems that I need a personal space bubble for me so that he can figure out that he just can’t come up behind me and start talking. It could give his poor momma a heart attack!

I miss my little personal time, as limited as it was. Oh did I ever have any? Really?

He’s not the only one that pops that imaginary bubble of personal space. My little gal does it too.  “Mom, UP!” My five-yr-old cries. Yes, she’s five. Yes, she still requires a lot of Momma’s time and a bucketfull of cuddles everyday.  My sweet child is as big as an 8 yr old giant. Snuggling includes sitting down with her, and not carrying her around like you can do with a small 5 yr old. She also has no awareness of personal boundaries and has been known to hug and kiss her friends at school. Yee haw!  Teachers probably wonder at what I do to make these kids so free of personal space rules.

Since homeschooling J-man I have come to value “me” time. Value? Heck, if I could grab some I would pay a pretty penny for it.

I’m not sure if any other momma’s to special needs kids feel the same way but I need a Personal Space Bubble. If anyone is selling, I’ll buy.

A bubble.
A bubble. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)