Saturday, February 18, 2012

Live from the Bathroom Floor

If you don't want a good, life sized picture of life with Autism in the bathroom, don't read this.  Pop on over to  Pinterest, maybe even close the lid and do something that doesn't involve a screen.

We're having another poop war.  All out, I'm not going and you can't make me, poop war.  It started last night. He never went.  We had to let him to go bed.  He couldn't take it any more and we couldn't either.

Today, we're back at it.  He completely messed his underwear, and to spare you the details, we know he needs to go.  He's done this before.  The question looming over this time is the reason.  Usually it's due to a change in routine.  I don't think there have been any.  I've tried to figure out a reason.  Believe me, I've had time to sit on the bathroom floor and think.

Why the bathroom floor, you ask?

The last time I let him sit on the potty when he was poop-warring, I found poop smeared on the walls.  A new low for us, personally.  I don't think that it's art to him, or necessarily fun... or maybe that's just my desperate attempt to make things okay.  I think it's more "eeew, this is on my fingers... oh look, a wall" and not an attempt at decoration.  But in yet another fit of normality, this morning when this started, I decided I'd be able to work around the corner while he did his thing.  Silly mommy.

So I sit here at the very tippy-tip of my rope, after several failed attempts at bribing my son to just please let it out already, let it out and you can have iPad, vSmile, blahblahblah... and I'd love to say it's all figured out.  But it's not.  I thought surely he'd go before his Daddy left for solo and ensemble contest this morning.  Nope.  I guess I figured typing was better than looking at the mess I have to clean up when he does finally go.  At least Maelynn's asleep and Richie's playing nicely.

When he did this the other night, the only thing that worked was telling him he had to go or he couldn't go to school. If he didn't go to school, he couldn't see B, his therapist after school.  He went.  But not before I completely broke down, tears spilling over and bribes coming through sobs.  I listened to Eric getting the littles ready for bed, the happy sounds of reading stories, and I was struck by the difference.  The difference finally crushed me.  Eventually he went, his daddy gave him a shower.  He even hugged me good night and said, "thank you, mommy."  Then I really lost it.

It's sensory.  It's all somewhere between his sensory-junkie nature and control, and I can't tell when it's coming.  He's been doing so great playing iPad, and now, apparently, he will have to back to small amounts of time, very supervised.  Meaning even less time to spend doing other things... anything... else, including housework, cooking, all the stuff mommies are "supposed to" do.

I'm furious, heartbroken, frustrated, miserable, confused, and exhausted.

I'm having a little bit of a hard time accepting that I'll now be cleaning poop off my walls.

I'm not happy that last night's time with Eric turned to begging and bribing.

I'm mad that today has turned into begging and bribing.

I'm sad that I can tie his shoes, I can help him dress, I can comb his hair, but I cannot make him eat or eliminate.  I can't help with that.  I'm tired of feeling helpless to help him.

I'm hurt for all the other kids and parents that go through this.

I'm tempted to snap and scream at the next person who says, "Oh, that's every kid.  He's just fine."

It's not every kid.

It's one in between 80 and 240, according to the CDC.

Mine is one of them.  Although I'm tempted to tell you to be thankful it's not yours, I won't.  That sounds too much like an insult to my son.  He's precious.  He's smart.  He's funny.  He's loving.  He's a beautiful little guy.  Yes, he has challenges, but he's as God made him.   And I wouldn't insult him or cut him down for the world.

Instead of telling you to be thankful that your child doesn't share Ryan's challenges, if I had to tell you something to be thankful for, I'd tell you the one thing that works for me.

And we know that for those who love God, all things work together for good for those who are called according to his purpose.  ~Romans 8:28

For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans to prosper and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.  ~Jeremiah 29:11

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised us is faithful. ~Hebrews 10:23

This is the truth.  Doesn't take away problems.  Doesn't act as a magic genie to give us what we want and give us all the answers.  And if I told you I smile and shout, "Thank you JESUS!" every time I find poop smeared on the walls, I'd be lying.  But these promises are what I hold onto.  The knowledge that everything works for the good, whether it looks good or not, and his plans for our family are to prosper us and not to harm us, and that he is faithful to keep those promises comforts me.  I'm not in charge, and that is often the only thing that makes this all doable.

Five hours later, the deed is done, the bathroom and the kid are both clean.  We lived through it.  But it's not over.  It's not the last time, and it's likely not the worst either.  He's now happily playing iPad, munching on cheerios with his sister.  I still am not sure how to avoid this, or if anything I do to avoid it will help.  All I know is that it didn't shock God off the throne, and that, in fact, I am not in charge, and boy, am I glad.

Thanks be to God, the maker of heaven and earth, and the calmer of my soul!

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