Some Highly Questionable Parenting Advice For Parents Who Just Need To Phone It In This Week #Netflix #StreamTeam
Is this week just kicking your ass? Yeah, me too. Here’s how we’re going to cope:
Is your child refusing to participate in the sport/activity/music lesson you paid good money for, an activity they actually begged to join in the first place?
Hey, it’s okay. Your child is probably mediocre at best and this activity won’t be leading to any major scholarships or career choices. Let that shit go. Simply lean in and tell your child in a hushed voice that you are going to sell their violin/hockey skates/tennis racquet. Tell them that’ll you use the money for their college fund but then go and buy wine.
Is your child refusing to eat a meal you prepared, again?
Don’t get mad. You need to save your energy to stay up after they go to bed to get through a whole episode of House of Cards on Netflix. Remove the meal from in front of the child and swear under your breath. Keep the smile on your face, and hand the child a packet of goldfish. Trust me, they’ll be pleased. As you scrape the meal into a tupperware and slide it into the back of the fridge to be discovered some day next Fall, remember that there is booze in the cupboard and bedtime will be here soon.
Is homework a problem? Do they whine and moan about it making you crazy?
Write a note to their teacher. It should say something like this:
Dear Mr. C
We’ve decided as a family we will no longer be participating in homework of any kind. There is currently little evidence to support any benefit to homework for elementary aged children, and furthermore, it makes us argue at the dinner table. If we’re going to spend the evening arguing we’d rather do it over something more meaningful, like which superhero would win in a fight, or if cats can get married.
Is your child refusing to participate in a bedtime routine you have devised after many years of researching what works best for your very particular, moody and self-absorbed son or daughter?
Fret not. Hand that child an iPad and tell them to fall asleep to their favorite show tonight. When they look at you with surprise and confusion say: “You better go now, before I change my mind.” Your child is sure to get ready for bed quickly and you likely won’t hear from them until morning.
Is your child refusing to get out of bed in the morning? Did they stay up way too late watching Paw Patrol?
Offer them a new fidget spinner or the equivalent (about $5) to get up and get ready for school. You’re likely tired from your House of Cards binge and you don’t need this shit right now.
Is that little Maverick pulling the old “I can’t find my shoes” when it’s time to get in the van and head to school?
Send them to school shoeless. Tell them you didn’t have any shoes growing up and you walked to school in frigid temperatures. (I know you had Jordans and Chuck Taylors but you’ll want to set this one up) Trust me, this will hurt them more than it will hurt you. At recess time when they have to run around and play on the crushed gravel in sock feet, they’ll instantly remember where their shoes are and never forget them again.
Now, because you’re going to pay for this….big time. You better enjoy these little breaks while they last. Through extensive research, I’ve come to the conclusion you can do this about once every six weeks with little damage to your routines. Choose your times wisely.
Be safe out there.
I've made it to the office of the gynocologists, (I just let spell check take care of that one)
I hate it here. It's not the people, they are lovely. I think. I'm not much for talking to them. "So, what are you in for?"
Seems weird somehow.
I'm too worked-up about the impending pain and humiliation. Call me crazy.
Today though, today the receptionist is making me angry
She won't stop clicking her mouse.
That Maddening click of the mouse is making me twitch a little.
Are you filling out a fucking survey?
Can't you see I'm upset?
Type something or better yet take a personal call, just please Stop clicking that mouse.
Why did I sit so close to her desk when I knew I was at the height of my anxiety.
I'll Try and distract myself with a magazine.
The first thing I see is Oprah and her smug face smiling like no one has ever removed a section of her Goddamn uterus. Her uterus is probably made of solid fucking gold
God, I love Oprah. What is wrong with me? Why have I turned on Oprah?
Phil Collins on the radio now: 'take a look at me now' Dude can wail, though, but I still need him to stop it right now!
My feet are dirty.
Shit, she'll see that when they are in the soul-destroying stirrups.
I'll say I was gardening just before I came. How the hell did my feel get so dirty? Yes, gardening is a good excuse. That'll make me sound good.
Jesus, what if they stink?
I surreptitiously lean over to my crossed legs and smell my blackened Feet. Christ it looks like I walked through the fire to get here.
Metaphorically, maybe I did. How's that for melodrama?
Click, click, click with that demon mouse. I imagine ripping the mouse from her manicured hand and throwing it to the floor.
You won't like that, at all, will you...Margaret.
I'm guessing that's her name.
Feet smell okay, I think.
Fuck, I hate this. Is this a phobia? All these other women looking calm AF. Are they not about to have a speculum inserted into their vaginas? Do they not fear such a thing?
Am I wrong?
Moved into the office now. The second waiting room really because I know I'll be staring at these walls for awhile
I decide to check out the art.
My heart is beating. I'm sweating. I glimpse a diagram and take it in. I fucking hate this poster. It's a detailed drawing of the female reproductive system. Would a poster of Chris Hemsworth not be a tad more calming than the extreme close-up of the vagina and anus?
Christ, what the hell is on that tray in the corner of the room. I won't look.
The liquor store is across the street. If I make it through without tears I shall reward myself with a bottle of the good wine, like $20 stuff.
Is that really what an anus looks like up close? I can't stop staring up at that anus in the diagram. I finally get that balloon-knot reference . Ha!
It's so fucking bright in here. The light doesn't have a dimmer. Why is it so bright??
I suppose the doctors isn't looking forward to this either.
I wonder if they moved me into this room because I was making the other patients nervous with my shifty eyes and shaking legs.
I don't think the Ativan is working. I borrowed some from a co-worker just before I drove here.
I birthed two babies. I birthed to babies. I birthed two babies.
Madonna now. "Crazy for you". Doesn't seem appropriate. I think Ozzy or Metalica would be better. Something dark, something sinister.
God, I am so damn Dramatic.
Just picture yourself driving home. Yes, imagine that. In less than an hour this will be over and you'll be driving home. Or straight to the liquor store.
What do men have to do?
Will someone speculum their anus' at some point? God, I hope so.
It's only fair.
Someone's at the door
Fuck, I can't do this.
What if I left? I'm a grown ass woman. I do what I want, right? I could get in my car and drive to the grocery store and fill the next hour with gourmet chocolate and
Good wine instead of a uterine biopsy.
No, that's bad. Bad idea. Gotta be responsible.
The easy listening station is making me homocidal. Bryan Adams now and I despise it. Not that I normally have a problem with the fellow cannuck but his melodies are just not the soundtrack for this ridiculous situation.
What do I do when it's done? Do I say thank you?
No, that would be weird.
What will I say? Maybe, I could say: "that was awful. I hope we never cross paths again?"
Nah, too dramatic and she's a lovely Doctor.
I think I'll just say nothing.
How sad is this? Women do this everyday and make no big deal of it.
Those women are amazing
Those women are tough as nails
Those women have access to better drugs than I do.
I'm going to tell her she has 60 seconds to do what's she gotta do in there and the I'm out.
These walls are too thin in these offices. I can hear someone getting 'done' and I am nauseated. She is chatting with the doc about her periods.
I expect to be gritting my teeth and hiding my eyes. I'll certainly have nothing to say during the procedure.
"So, doc, did you catch the Celtics game last night? That Isiah Thomas is some baller, eh?"
17 minutes late now.
News radio now. Good. Talk about murder or something and distract me.
What if she forgot about me in here? Maybe I'll just be really quiet and she'll head home for the night.
OMG they are talking about weather now.
A nurse just came in and asked me about some pills I was supposed to shove up inside me last night and I cried like a maniac at the thought and she hugged me.
She must think I'm some piece of work.
What pills? Was I supposed to get pills? I probably swallowed them.
Yep, that's me
So, I remember taking my anti anxiety pill this morning (shocker, I know) and then I think I took my Blood Pressure medicine (also not a surprise, right?!)
Nope, I definitely didn't swallow my vagina pills.
I just didn't get any.
The doctors kind face peeks in. She says gently: " Hey, awe Shanell what's going on?"
I cry harder.
She sits beside me and takes my hand.
I manage to tell her I'm afraid to have the biopsy.
She tells me that since I didn't follow the instructions and take the pills we probably should not do it today.
We will reschedule.
What the hell do those pills do?
I settle a little at the thought of escaping today. But quickly remember I'm just putting off the inevitable.
She reaches for my arm and apologizes for wasting my time.
What? This sweet doctor whose been faced with an unstable 40 year old women crying in her office is apologizing to me? Surely, I have wasted her time.
What a mess I've made.
The pills. The up your vagina pills were in a prescription she gave me for an IUD. I chickened out regarding the IUD (another surprise) and didn't fill the prescription. If you don't know what an IUD is, you'll have to google that.
I apologize between sniffs for confusing things and she kindly nods and reminds me it is no problem at all. She says she will be right back with a new appointment time and a brochure on another procedure that might work for me. She says she sent her receptionist home early because it is such a beautiful day.
So she's that kind of person and I've just sat and cried to her like she was considering taking my first born.
She's ushers me out with my new appointment time now.
She might be afraid to be alone with me at this point.
I can't blame her.
I'll make my way to the van.
I'll try and block this out and gear up for the next one.
Sure, I cried, blubbered even, but, I think I'll grab that wine in any case.
I can do this, right?!
There she is, all decked out for picture day in leopard ears, of course, with her best pal and service dog extraordinaire, Oakley by her side. I know you love her. Her antics have been funny and silly and even a little heartbreaking, at times. We love her, too, obviously.
So, when I take you down this road I want you to remember that as frustrated as I get with her difficulty making transitions, I am never frustrated with her. She is, as usual, navigating a system meant to confuse her and she's doing the very best she can. Having said that, let's explore shall we, the issues of transitions and why they are so goddamn hard.
If you're new to us, and I doubt that very much as our following has been a loyal group, you may not know what I mean when I say 'transitions'. Don't fret, this isn't one of those you'll have dig out the ol' Merriam Webster for, this word simple means, changing from one activity to another. Here are few examples:
Leaving your beloved dog to have a bath
Leaving your beloved bath to brush your teeth
Leaving your beloved bathroom mirror to read a book
Leaving your beloved book for the prospect of sleep
Leaving your beloved bed for the prospect of anything
Do you see what I mean?
Change is hard. So, Very, Hard. Argh!
Which make asking her to change, So, Very, Hard. Argh!
There are times that preferred activities make it easier, but for the most part. Kate, and many like her, do not like to make changes, period.
If you suggest this is a 'behavior' that can be extinguished via therapy, social story, threat or worst of all a fucking sticker chart, you'd be wrong and also, say it to my face.
If, like me, you are mostly lost for ways to make transitions easier, you're probably in the right place. Not because I am going to tell you how to make them easier, but because I will always have a glass of wine with you and I will sometimes even listen.
Now, back to Transitions and their shittyness.
Here's what I think I Know: (notice my language here? I've been on the business end of far too many harshly-worded emails and comments about how very little I actually do know, to make any declarations)
Transitions are hard because:
Shifting Attention is Difficult:
It can be very challenging to shift the attention of a deeply focused person on the spectrum. This could be considered a good thing in many cases, (see pro-athletes) but when you're trying to get out the door to school, it's less useful.
De-engaging and Re-engaging are Problematic:
The fact remains that autistic brains are forever attempting to make sense of strange world, and once they have engaged, they can feel a sense of peace or calm in a brain that is often very busy (or so I am told by persons on the spectrum). Leaving the peaceful, calming activity and trying to re-enter 'that zone' so to speak, at a later date with new stimulus attached can be futile and sometimes painful.
Making Predictions is Nearly Impossible:
Just because the bath routine has been the same each evening for past eleventy bazillion days, that does not mean that it will be today and certainly may not feel the same. Other stimulus may have entered the brain making it difficult understand or enjoy the bath routine. It may seem unpredictable which is very frightening, at times. Moreover, if the day was particular busy they may simply not have enough tokens left after a long day of 'spending them socially'* to participate in a bath.
So, as usually, I've offered little in the form of helpful advice but at least we chatted, right? And I am serious about that glass of wine.
*We refer to Kate's energy for a given day as tokens. We may have stolen this directly from someone, but we can't remember, so for the sake of this post let's just say we made it up. On a regular day, Kate may have about twenty tokens to spend before she enters into meltdown. Most days, this is just fine, but throw in a birthday party, a holiday or even an unpredictable event and she begins to use more tokens than usual leaving her without tokens to finish her day. These days blow.
Happy Mail to:
27 Wellington Row
Saint John, NB
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Grace and Kate's mom. (Shanell)