Sometimes all we need as parents of special needs kids, or as parents in general, is to take a step back and look differently at things. I know that I get so caught up in behaviors that drive me bonkers that they just send me over the edge. As soon as I typed that sentence Dustin started doing his newest annoying behavior. He opens his mouth stretching out his cheeks and then taps his cheeks to make a hollow sound come out his mouth. Drives me right over the edge . . . normally.
Today I had to take Dustin to his psychiatrist appointment. That is normally Robert's job, but since Robert is immobile right now, it was all me. He is typically horrible for me at appointments. I decided I would not allow it to happen today. I decided I was the problem. I needed a fresh way of dealing with the situation. I decided he would not push me over the edge today.
I went to pick him up at school and was thwarted. What the heck is with school secretaries? Are they hired for their irritated looks and their crappy attitudes? Is it a pre-requisite? It must be. She was irritated that she had to call my son's room and have him sent to the office. Holy crow! But I decided I would not let this woman ruin my plans. I was going to have a good day with my son. He finally came to office crying that he had to leave school. Seriously?
Anyway, we got to the doctor and I told him in the elevator that I would take him to lunch after the appointment. Just him and I. I told him that he got to choose. I decided I would not say my normal, "if you behave we'll have lunch" because I was not going to set him or myself up for failure. He waited so very patiently for the 40 minutes in the waiting room and was great in the office waiting for he doctor. We told jokes, we laughed and we talked like REAL people. The doctor was pleased with how calm he was and how pleasant he looked. And the difference was, I was not stressed. I was not feeding the negativity. When we went to get in the elevator I told him I would meet him downstairs and I let the elevator doors shut. I ran down the 3 flights of stairs and was standing at the elevator door when it opened. He laughed and laughed. It was a good sound.
He actually picked a nice restaurant and not a crappy fast food place. We had an awesome lunch. He had nice manners and was very pleasant to talk to. We laughed and giggled and ate until we about puked. I decided we would go visit my friend Angie's bookstore to pick up some stuff and he was pretty darn good there even with all the destractions. I was so pleased.
I went back to work for the afternoon and he spent some time with Robert. Our wireless router took a leap into the abyss of electronic death tonight after dinner and I had to run to Best Buy. Usually I have to force him to run errands with me to give Robert a break. When I said I was going to go, he WANTED to go with me. I almost cried. He wanted to be with me because I wasn't a crazy, grouchy, stressed-out, no-fun mom.
My grumpy, stressed out boy that does far better with his dad, was good for me! I suppose the better statement would be . . . I was good for him! We worked well together. It was a good day. It is so hard for me to remember how far we've come with Dustin and his various issues. It's hard for me to get past the behaviors and see the child every moment. Today I focused only on the kid, not the crappy stuff he sometimes does. I am not saying I don't ever do this, but I do it far too little. I need to step away from myself and enjoy this child who only wants to please. Who has been so very traumatized in the womb and out that he can't help but make crazy noises with his mouth and smart off to his parents.
Today was a good day.
I hope we get many more.
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