Everytime I take my kids by myself somewhere, I have to plan ahead. Willflop down in the middle of the and refuse to walk? If I’m alone with her I can pick her up. But if is with us he can not simply hold my hand and walk nicely while I carry his 45 pound sister. When she pulls this, he immediately bites me. EVERY time. It’s impossible to hold his hand while he bites me. I no longer have a double stroller which fits in my tiny car. I have a great double stroller to use for around the neighborhood, but for car trips I typically depend on going places where we quickly walk through a parking lot, go in, and the kids get absorbed in whatever is inside (toys in the doctor’s office, books and toys at the library, the fun at daycamp). I did recently get a larger size single stroller for Wilma for trips to the hospital where there is lots of walking (we recently did an , an , the neurologist, and other fun stuff at the main campus of our hospital which is not friendly to a hypotonic 4 year old on the spectrum), or for the mall if I EVER venture to try that with the kids by myself again (not bloodly likely). I CAN take the kids to target, walmart, and the — they LOVE to ride in the cart. But at 40 and 45 pounds, once I have the kids in the cart I have no room for groceries. But that’s ok because with the kids in the car seats in the back, and a mountain of stuff in the trunk I haven’t had time to clear out (more in another post on why I have no time), there’s no room in the car for STUFF anyway. When I take the kids to walmart or target it’s to get a couple of items (usually diapers– more on the evil topic of potty training in a future post), but mainly to get OUT of the house. Staying home with both of them all day is a challenge to say the least of the matter. But going anywhere with them that isn’t target, walmart, or the grocery store is also a severe challenge. I’d given up on the mall, and I’m about to give up on the library too. More on the playground in a future post….
You know how you sometimes see a mom with neurotypical kids walking through a parking lot and her two, three, or even five or six kids are just walking next to her or holding her hand and the act of getting from point A to point B just seems to be no big deal? I get that every now and then and today, TWICE, I did— I was thrilled. But then there are days like yesterday. I took them by myself to orientation for a camp program they’ll be starting on Thursday (their main special needs daycamp program will be ending, and they’ll be doing a seven day program specifically for kids with autism). So I get to a large parking lot in front of a large building and I’m not sure exactly which door to go into—- I’m sensing trouble— the last time this happen I ended up with six welts on my arm and I was covered in sweat within three minutes. By the, both kids happily walked holding my hands from the car into the building! And when I asked someone where to go, they happily followed me! WOW! This might be a great experience! They enjoyed the orientation, playing with the toys, meeting their teachers, etc etc and then…. it was time to leave. I had such a great experience walking IN with them that it just didn’t occur to me to worry about leaving. It’s always when I’m on a high and NOT expecting trouble……
Wilma refuses to leave. She flops down on the ground, kicks her feet, flails her arms and I calmly ask her to get up approximately 17 times because I know I can’t carry her to the parking lot because Fred will then bite me. While I’m calmly asking her to get up, he bites me anyway. I calm him down while she runs off. I gather her and she actually starts walking. We pass an entire class of kids their age– neurotypical kids all lined up nicely at the door waiting for their parents to pick them up (there is a “regular” camp group that meets in the building). I’ve got sweat dripping down my face but no hands to wipe it because if I let go of her for a second, she’ll run. If she runs, he’ll bite me. The teachers are watching me. We get out the door. She flops down again. Again, I tug at her arm, gently enough so it doesn’t leave it’s socket, but firmly enough that she gets that I will NOT be carrying her and I will NOT be letting go of her hand. He bites me again. I calm him down again. Now my entire face is covered in sweat. THIS is when a friend of mine comes towards the building— her daughter is in the camp group we just passed, and she’s there to pick her up. Her kids (all 87 of them—- ok, I think 6) are neurotypical. One of her kids is my kids age and has been toilet trained now for approximately thirty seven years (I have a few insecurities about the fact that I CANNOT toilet train my children- more in a future post!). In her mind, she’s thinking— oh, it’s nice to see you– your kids are getting so big– have a great day! In MY insecure mind, she’s thinking—- oh wow, one kid screaming and flopping, one kid, what is going ON with her ? Meanwhile I’ve taken a lot of parenting classes and have read a lot of parent books and am amazed that my twins’ behavior continues to stump me so much. God has blessed me with these children to teach me lessons about patience and behavior management.
Hoping for more than two days in a row when I can make it through a parking lot without being covered in sweat and bite marks.