Today was a bad day.
Today was a day I wish I didn’t have to write about or be honest about. But I am going to anyway, I started this project and I intend to go through with it, I will write about the good days, the bad days, the average days and the extraordinary days, I will write so that you can read.
So today we had no plans, just a day at home. No structure, no routine to follow, just chilling and playing at home with the kids. To a lot of people this may sound good, it wasn’t!
So we started the day as usual curtains shut, lights dimmed. The morning’s of this school holiday have become increasingly relaxed, this hasn’t helped. Hubby went off to work and I got asked ‘where are we going today?’ No where I told them, we can play at home today.
Already sat watching ‘cars’ I knew they’d be ok until it finished. Once it did the day went downhill from there.
The trouble I had was simply this. Elena, the youngest at 14 months, is going through a clingy stage, not really sleeping well and generally wanting to be stuck to me all day. This is getting me a little frazzled now. I’m not sure if its caused by or is exasperated by the fact that the boy is going through a stage of hurting his baby sister at every chance he can get, and I mean EVERY CHANCE. If I put her down and turn my back for a second he will leave what he’s doing and fly across the room to attack her! It is driving me nuts. So this kinda sets the scene for my day, I cannot get anything done, I can’t even go for a wee without one of them screaming.
Piper unfortunately doesn’t seem to play with toys, or if she does its very rarely and for a short amount of time. I can’t really explain it but she just doesn’t seem to be able to entertain herself, even for a short period of time. I’m not sure if this is Autism related or Piper related, but it can be difficult. Without being set a structured activity or place to go she is lost.
Films helps, well the same film over and over again. But I worry about her watching the tv all day. She also asks questions all the way through the film, once every few minutes or so. The same questions every time she watches it, and I am expected to give exactly the same answers or I am met with screaming. To an outsider this may seem like spoiled behaviour or the child playing up. But I can assure you she is not. In her world this is part of watching the film, she asked these questions when she first watched it and I gave answers, this is like a ritual to her and part of her enjoyment of the film. Its good for her too as a lot of her questions are about the characters and their relationships to each other or about social rules that we understand and take for granted, These are the things she doesn’t understand and they confuse her, she needs to make sense of them.
So today with me being frazzled and piper being unstructured and unhappy, we fought and argued all day.
I hate days like this as I seem to loose my understanding and tolerance towards her and I know this is unfair. I became what I call a shouty mama today, and I am not proud. This lead to lots of upset as she desperately tried to take control of situations to bring some structure into her world, Everything I did was wrong, drinks in the wrong cup, wrong coloured pants, didn’t answer her questions (that she asks me everyday) with the correct scripted answers.
Today was a bad day. Not because her Autism was any ‘worse’ that it normally is or that she was badly behaved. But because external factors and lack of structure made her world difficult to understand for both of us. Days like this really highlight to me the importance of Autism awareness.
Had I have set a structured routine of activities today maybe she would have been able to cope with my lack of attention due to the other children needing me more. Maybe if I’d counted to 3 and not shouted at her for asking annoying questions or sitting in my personal space, she’d have had a happier day.
But I didn’t. I wasn’t very autism aware today. I was tired. I have apologised. She has actually gone to bed really well bless her, in fact they all have.
Tomorrow we have structure. Tomorrow is a new day. Tomorrow we sit the 3di diagnostic test with the consultant!
See you tomorrow……