I knew there was a potential snow day looming last night. As a teacher, I was cautiously optimistic and careful not to jinx it by thinking about it too much. Sure enough, the radio announced that the kids and I did not have to battle through 40 cms of snow today. For some that might mean sleeping in a little. For us, this is not the case. Alex was up at the crack of dawn to snow blow the driveway so he could get to work (no snow days for engineers) and I made the girls pancakes (I only burned most of them). I could have technically sent the girls to daycare as it did not close today but I like to take the opportunity to stay home with them whenever I can. Working mom of a special needs child guilt and all that crap.
Today, in hindsight, the children might have been better off a daycare. Before 10 am Kate was gluing my good paintbrushes to the carpet and Grace had already received a swinging punch to her eye courtesy of her little sister. If you know Grace, you know she did not react because she does not like to rock the boat or upset her sister. We are trying to help her stand up to Kate but she is passive right now. She is such an awesome kid and we are working hard to help her stand up for herself. Anyway, It has been one of those days that usually follows a night like we had last night.
On the weekend, Alex and I left the kids with Gramma and went away for the night. It was rest we both really needed but we knew that disrupting Kate's routine would probably lead to some issues. We actually leave our kids with either set of grandparents pretty regularly. We were careful to make sure that our kids would be comfortable staying with family from early on. Kate is quick to wave good-bye when we drop her off and is usually only upset when she is separated from her sister. Still though, it does take some adjustment for Kate to get back into her own routine. So, when we arrived home, Kate had a record meltdown when I tried to change her diaper and then, when it was bedtime, well just forget about it. It was rough, it was violent and it was heart-breaking. These nights are relatively rare but they knock us down when they happen. Kate tries so hard to communicate what she is feeling when she is mid-meltdown (see awesome description of a meltdown vs. a tantrum above, borrowed from Autism Daddy) and she gets so frustrated that all the phrases she knows come out all wrong and she spirals to a point where she cannot calm herself. She screams, 'be ight back, no, go, no, no, no, mama, seep no seep daddy, mama no, I take, I take, be ight back, is ok, is ok." And on and on. When the words do not get her message across she resorts to screaming. On this night, autism sucked. On this night, it was so clearly a disability and not a 'difference' to be celebrated that I was willing to take on the neurodiversity crowd with a vengeance. Once I broke the cardinal rule and cuddled with Kate until she calmed down and fell asleep, I headed for bed myself. After a restless sleep, we all got up and started our day.
So, while I type this Kate is squishing her banana into the couch and I am seriously considering getting up and doing something about it. I should be using this time to work on Kate's therapy or help Grace work on one of her art projects. Instead, I put on "Hotel Transylvania" and took ten minutes to update the blog readers. I might even take a few minutes to have another coffee and then I am going to suck it up and get back to work/play. It might be exactly what I need.
Grace and Kate's mom. (Shanell)