About Me

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A slightly insane mother to three girls ages 11,11, and 5. I live/love to find the humor in being a parent.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

My "Other" Child

Yesterday Hannah told me she sometimes wonders what it is like to be someone else. I was super excited to hear this because it means one of the big lessons I am trying to teach my children is starting to sink in, empathy.  I always try talking to them about "the other persons view", it is important that they learn to think about others besides themselves.  Rachel has a more difficult time with this concept, as someone on the autistic spectrum it is a big leap to jump into another persons shoes when half the time she is still searching for her own pair. My little one, Shayna, is still in preschool.  She is still blissfully enjoying the fact, at least in her mind, the world revolves around her.  So when Hannah shared with us her thoughts on how important it is to think about others, I beamed with pride.

The odd thing is that though she is compassionate and gentle towards other peoples circumstances, I find the exact opposite in the home. I think I have Dr. Jekyll and Ms. Hyde living under my roof!  Maybe it is a "tween" thing, but when we are out she is the poster child of good manners and compassion yet when we enter the privacy of our own home she begins to contort and writhe thus being transformed into what can only be described as "scary"!

Jekyll Hannah is fantastic, she helps with her sisters when we are out, she gets raves from all her teachers, and often is lauded on how well she speaks to adults.  I could not be more proud of Jekyll Hannah. However, when Hyde Hannah comes out, beware. She will antagonize her sisters, and demand immediate tasks from mom and dad. The other day she wanted me to paint her nails, It was seven in the morning and I hadn't even finished my cup of coffee. When I agreed to do it later the Hyde Hannah came out in full force. I am pretty sure there were physical formations, she became more hunched over with eyes bugging out. If it were not for her braces I think her teeth would have gone crooked as well!

I have been sorely tempted to record Hyde Hannah one day to show to Jekyll Hannah, but I am afraid this might actually encourage Hyde Hannah to make her presence known. So, until her two personalities morph into one ( hopefully Jekyll will win this battle) I am constantly on guard for the "transformation".  The first sign of a "change" appears in the eyes (think Incredible Hulk), then she will begin to huff and puff ( it must be hard on the body), and finally there is a full on crazed mode. At this point she is often sent to her room, I don't usually get to witness the change back to Jekyll Hannah. 

Is this a phenomenon among tweens? Do other Tween Jekyll and Hydes exist? We really cannot know how many walk amongst  us.  I propose a support group,  H.E.L.L. (Hyde Epidemic Let Loose).

Saturday, April 21, 2012

That's "Mrs" to You!

 The other day I had to run an errand. It was right after I picked up the kids from school and I was rushing to get to the hardware store. I had forgotten to pick up a sprinkler pump for our sprinkler system and our repairman was already waiting for me at the house.  I was way behind schedule, so I sucked it up and dragged all three girls along with me.

To make it faster I squeezed my 4.5 year old into the child seat of a shopping cart thus making my supervisory role much easier and our trek down the aisles much faster. She was thankfully happy not to have to walk, unlike her sisters who whined the whole way through the store.

Upon locating the plumbing section, I found everything having to do with sprinklers except the pump itself which ironically was located in a different section.  More groans from the unwilling participants ensued.  I was getting frustrated and ended up asking for help from the nice young man who worked at the store. He saw my motley crew and very graciously told me what a blessing my children were. I must have really looked like I needed convincing because he really kept hammering the point about my beautiful children.  It was nice of him to say, but I really just wanted the darn sprinkler pump.

He continued to be very attentive to us and even helped lift the extremely heavy pump into the cart. At this point Shayna, my four year old, must have picked up on how attentive and nice he was being to me ( really he was just doing his job and doing it well) because the next words out of her mouth were "MY MOMMY IS MARRIED!" as she grabbed my arm and yanked it towards her in what could only be interpreted as possessive.

Thankfully the hardware man continued to be very nice and gracious as his reply was, " I am sure your mommy and daddy love each other very much". This prompted lots of "uh huhs" and a rapid affirmative shaking of her head.  She went on to tell him that we go on dates and kiss.  I was trying my best not to loose it it with nervous laughter and slight embarrassment over this odd discussion my four year old was having with the hardware clerk. 

I told my husband later that evening not to ever worry when I am out with the kids, because apparently, I have my very own chaperone!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

I Am Her Mother

An open letter to to the lady at the mall ( you know who you are).

Dear ignoramus a.k.a dumb lady,

I heard you loud and clear. I heard you above the screaming of my child ( she was quite loud) in the noisy food court. If you happen across this blog, you know who you are. You are the person who said to her friend " If that were my daughter..."  You might remember me because I actually stopped for a second at your table looked you in the eye and proudly stated " That is my daughter and she is autistic."

I really should have said more, but I was hurrying to get to her and help calm her down.  My husband was there trying to calm her and deal with the other two, and frankly, my family is much more important than you. but now I have the time, and the words to say what I wanted to say at that moment.

Thank God, she is not your child! Thank God she is my child! I hate to think how awful her life would be with a woman like you as her parent.  Throughout my time as her mother I have heard people tell me how fortunate Rachel is because I "get it", because I was an special education teacher long before I was a mother and am equipped to be her parent.  I have often doubted this insight because parenting is tough, and nothing can really prepare you for being a mother. However, you have helped me to really see that Rachel is better off with me as her mom. Not because I have a degree in special education, but because I am able to see past people like you who judge. I can look you in the eye and proudly state , "I am her mother, and I am a damn good one too!"

I can now take the time to tell you how stupid you looked to other people in that food court who understood what was really happening. They saw how I was able to calm her down in seconds by giving her a bear hug and helping her cover her eyes and ears to the sensory chaos that she was experiencing.  They saw my four year old sitting patiently while I tended to Rachel's needs. They saw you fussing and fretting over something that lasted all of 30 seconds.

Twenty minutes later, as my family was finishing up at the table, an extremely nice women and her teenage son came over to tell us what a beautiful family we had and how crazy you were.  Can you believe that? My 10 year old daughter screams at a mall, and you are the one who ends up looking awful.

Thank God you are not her mother.

her mother