Friday, August 29, 2008

So Big

I screw up this special needs parenting thing a lot. Probably every day at least once. But I know for sure I am not a total failure. At least, I know my son feels my love sometimes, that something of it gets through, that he feels much more than just anger toward me. Here's how:

One night months ago, the rooster got sick late at night. He threw up. I got him clean and stripped his bed and gathered the things he needed, then we went to our leather sofa together. I propped him on top of my body so he could sleep almost sitting up, and I put a trash can and several bags on the nearby floor. Every time he felt sick, I helped him, held him, hugged him, whispered reassurances. "It's okay, rooster, it's okay. I'm here, I can help. You'll feel better soon. I love you. It's going to be all okay soon. Don't worry, baby, I've got you." We'd sleep an hour, then repeat, all night.

Lately, the rooster is disregulated much of the time. He contorts his face into hostile expressions and juts his neck toward us and snarls, "I'm ANGRY!" For a while he will be fine, especially if he's listening to a book, watching TV, building, or playing outside. But even then he can change his mood unexpectedly. He hits, pushes, pulls hair, pinches, spits, sometimes with no explanation, sometimes just after smiling and playing.

I admit sometimes I overreact, sometimes I cry, sometimes I get upset. This does NOT help, of course.

But after an episode, if the rooster seems to feel how much his rage shook me, he sometimes climbs on my lap to talk. No, he can't explain what just happened, and he doesn't apologize. He doesn't particularly want to talk about it. I can't always figure out what he wants to tell me. But sometimes it is in these moments that I know he feels my love, that some things are getting through. Sometimes what he says is this: "Remember I throwed up? Remember, mommy? Remember us on the sofa?" I say, "Yes, Roo, I remember." And sometimes he says, "You helped me throwed up, mommy. You did that." And I say yes, "Yes, Roo." And he puts his head on my chest.

We have this little routine we do, when the Rooster feels amenable. Peaches does it too. I say, "How much does mommy love you?" And the kids' line is: "So big!" Then I ask, "For how long?" They say, "Forever!" Finally, I ask, "Who loves you more than mommy does?" Every time they shout, "NOBODY!" it makes me smile.

1 comment:

Niksmom said...

Yes, it gets through; he knows you love him so big, forever and more than anybody. Definitely. xo