Today I had a lady ask me if I practiced attachment parenting. I am not even sure what that is. Then I felt incredibly inadequate because I didn’t even realize people actually parent using a “method”, unless of course survival mode is a method. Then I’m all over it. I just kind of wing it. I guess I’m the ring leader. Not in the sense that I lead the chaos. More that I try to corral the wild animals. I don’t always do that well. I try. Really, I do. But the truth is, I feel frustrated most of the time. I yell at my kids more than I should. I don’t always play Minecraft with my biggest even if what I am doing isn’t that important. I let my boys jump on the bed because the occupational therapist said he needed a large trampoline to jump on every day. We just moved from Texas, y’all. It’s hot outside. I sometimes tell my baby I can’t hold him because I am folding the laundry. I am pretty sure they ate potato chips for dinner one night last week. I am tired. I am exhausted, actually. The kind of exhaustion that sleep can not fix. I am weary. I feel ill-equipped for this whole mothering thing. I wake up every morning thinking this is the day I will not let the frustration get the best of me. But then homeschool happens and it takes 20 minutes to answer one question because my biggest cant focus. 20 minutes. Sometimes he says he feels out of control and writhes on the floor laughing, literally moving every part of his body. Ya’ll those days, we are just not ready for public. Or at least public is not ready for us. So out the door they go. Run and be loud outside because we are all a little stir crazy. This basically means, my neighbor hates us. We share a fence which means they have front row seats to my crazy. I would love to meet her and share recipes or whatever good moms do. But here’s the thing, they have already seen us at our worst. Here is an open letter to Hannah (I have no idea what her name is).
Hi Hannah! I’m your new neighbor:) Yes, that neighbor. As you already know, I have two boys. They are both great kids. My biggest little is funny and creative and spontaneous and brilliant and loves to do. He loves to ‘do’ anything, as long as he’s moving. My littlest little is sweet and loving and has the vocabulary of a college professor. He goes with the flow and is content and easy to please. I tell you this because you haven’t gotten the chance to see that side of them. I know you’ve heard some strange shenanigans going on and I would love to explain. A couple of weeks ago when you heard me yelling at my son to get out of the pool and it was 50 degrees outside (who knows how cold the water was)? Well, he has sensory issues and doesn’t feel the same things that we do. He has always been the kid that refuses coats, no matter how cold. On that particular cold day, he ran outside in his underwear. I told him to go back in but sometimes he is in his own world and doesn’t seem to hear anything. I saw the wild eyed look and knew what he was thinking. My calm mom voice didn’t work and I was’t close enough to him, hence the yelling. He jumped right in like it was a warm, 95 degree, sunny day and swam without missing a beat. I thought for sure I would have to actually get in to physically pull him out. Did I mention he was spontaneous? I guess impulsive would be a better word. He is a sensory seeker, mixed with impulsivity which means there isn’t a puddle he hasn’t jumped or laid in or wet paint he hasn’t put (at the very least)his hand in. He touches everything, really. He might even throw it. Just today he threw a cherry slush in my car. He loves a switch to flip, or something to be pulled down or pushed over or (his favorite) something that can sustain his weight so he can climb on it. He drove a locked car through a busy, restaurant parking lot when he was 3. Jesus for real took the wheel that day;)Around that age, he pulled the water hose into our living room and turned it on full blast. But I want you to know my son is not bad, he has autism. He has a problem with cause and effect. He is still learning the consequences of his actions. Aren’t we all. And you’ve become acquainted with my 4 year old and his scream. I was hoping he would leave that blood curdler in Texas but no such luck. You hear it several times a day, I’m sure. One example might be that he is being repeatedly steam rolled by his brother. My big needs pressure on his body. He likes to be squished and begs for us to put couch cushions on him and put all of our weight on them (pretty sure I might have lost you on that one). He begs his bother to roll on him. He loves it and doesn’t understand why his brother does not. You’ve witnessed (well, heard) my son’s melt downs that are alarming to say the least. You might have even witnessed some of mine. I know it sounds like WWIII over here and to that, I would have to agree. It kind of looks like it too. But if somehow you could look past that, we are a super fun family. My boys are adorable and will quickly win you over. I would love for us to be able to talk, although I wouldn’t be able to offer quiet morning coffee on the porch. But if ever you are up for a rowdy, family game night and a killer lasagna, I’m your girl.
Your New Neighbor
P.S. Sorry about the grass. Our lawn mower is broken, both of them. I promise we are working on it;)