Saturday, September 29, 2012

Weak Parents of Neurotypical Kids

I have decided that I am not cut out to do daycare these days. The amount of spoiled children I see screaming in stores and trying to convince their parents that they absolutely need this toy (who then break down if....IF they hear the word "no"), guarantees that I will have one of these monsters in my home, tormenting my child and raising my stress level.

It surely is not what it was when I was a nanny. I cared for indulged children, but they understood the concepts of rules and obedience. These days children have no fear of repercussion from their parents, and it shows.

For about a month I watched a neighbor's child. He showed up bawling every single day. He never spoke, refused to eat, and I had to make him go to the bathroom. But the parents swore up and down that he'd talk, he'd tell me when he had to go potty, and he was a generally happy guy. I never saw any of that. This kid felt it was okay to play with my son's toys, but would not share the ones his parents brought each morning to pacify him. Had this been a real daycare, he would not have been allowed to bring those toys, and if he didn't participate with the other children, he would have sat out. My son would try to hug him to ease his crying, and he would push my son away. And the kid's biggest gripe? I made him eat the food his parents left for him every day.

His parents came down last night and told me that his mother was now working nights with her job. As a hotel housekeeper? Yeah. Okay. But you know what, their lie saved me from having to tell one, because I was getting rid of that kid.

Children these days are pampered left and right. I understand wanting to give your kids a better life, but to me that means two doting parents, chances to go out and play, and a place where one need not feel fear. NOT tons of toys, giving in at the slightest whine, and definitely not skimping on the food issue. The child I was watching had poo that was white. That's a nutritional deficiency! You're so weak a parent that you can't manage to get your kid to eat? You need to lose them.

Parents of neurotypical kids these days really irritate me. My son is developmentally delayed and behaves better than these kids who at his age are talking a mile a minute, potty trained and able to deal with simple reasoning. Instead they are using their reasoning skills to con mom and dad into buying the latest thing they see, playing with all their gadgets, and falling out in the store. And what does mom and dad do? Nothing!

Please stop saying that the government won't allow you to discipline your kids. It is not against the law to discipline your kids. Stop saying you're afraid of CPS, let me give you a heads up. I had them called on me for a bogus reason. The worker saw that it was a bogus reason, and closed the case. Fear of CPS is not an excuse for letting your brat run wild.

My son has what seems to be unlimited energy. My body constantly aches, and I have no energy. Yet I keep up with him....every day, as he gets up at dawn. I'm constantly in pain, but I lug him and tons of groceries and other sundries around ON THE BUS, while parents of these screamers have minivans to load all their crap in. My son thinks that my every movement initiates a game of chase, and just trying to get to him to change his diaper is an event. I manage to get fruits and vegetables into a child with serious food anxiety due to his autism. What is your excuse, mom? Make a damn milkshake and take those gerber or beechnut pureed fruit veggie thingines and mix them. Serve cold to your brat.

Please be parents, not pussies! Seriously! If you have given up on trying to get your kid to eat, wear something decent to school, do chores, listen to you, and all you keep doing is buying things, then the problem is you. STOP it with all the purchases, find a creative way to involve your kid in the day to day workings of the home and stop making excuses. I read where one lady said it was tough to be a kid today. WHAT? She went on to say that it was easier to just not have them do chores because the effort you had to put into it would wear you out. Lady, maybe you need to just block out yours and your kids' "busy schedules" (they don't need to be in lacrosse, ballet, volleyball, tae kwon do and tennis all at once), and spend several evenings and weekends working on their chores. They bumble it? They fix it. They don't want to move, you fire up that butt, and they will move. Make them understand that YOU are the parent, and stop being so concerned with whether or not they like you. I don't care if my son likes me, he loves me. That's what's important.

My son does not like me when I make him try a new food. He does not like me when I take him in from the park out back because it's time for me to start dinner. He does not like me when I am sluggish when he wakes up at dawn every freaking morning, and I make him lay back down for 30+ minutes. Of course he doesn't like me. So what? I discipline my son when needed, and I do my best to keep up with him. I hold him down to get his medication, and I communicate daily with his teachers. My son hugs and kisses me, and it's not because I give him all these material things. Stop trying to buy your kids' love and approval.

I'm glad the little mongrel is gone. And the ones before him, who peed on my floor, dropped food on my floor that they didn't want to eat, fought like animals, apparently never bathed (because they hated, so? DEAL WITH IT, JEEZ) and loved to have "who can eat the loudest and nastiest" contests.

I think I will stick to my kid. The parents of kids like the ones I watched do not have any real challenges. Stop using income as an excuse. Stop using single parenting as an excuse. You're a parent, you're supposed to be tired. And if you're cash poor, stop buying brand name, stop buying every little toy. When we get our son a toy, he is enamored of it for a very long time, and comes back to it regularly. That's because we're not shopping every weekend. When we do get him something, we tell him it's because he's been a good boy. And we only do it then. We do not reward falling out in the floor, throwing food, pooping in the tub (sensory issue), or general refusal to listen.

Why is it that we have a disabled child who behaves better than most neurotypical kids his age? Why? Steven hardly ever screams in the store. I can count one or two times in his almost four years of life. But each time I go somewhere, someone's brat is screaming bloody murder in aisle three.

Um, take that kid to the car and get an understanding between you. And at home, stop giving in! You subject these kids on the general population and it's because of YOU that so many people want kids banned from public places.

BE A PARENT, NOT A PUSSY. This has been a public service announcement, courtesy of Sam.

Monday, September 10, 2012

My son only wants to play with you...

Interactions with other children have been strained as of late. I honestly don't know what to think, because Steven does just fine at school, and he did fine in daycare. He is the only autistic kid that went to his daycare, yet his class is nothing but kids on the spectrum. My little boy is not a bully (except to his parents), he isn't territorial or mean. He just wants to play.

But Steven is in his second situation where he is dealing with neurotypical kids his age who freak out when he comes near them. Steven is the master of the bear hug. He likes to tackle. But even if he doesn't, it seems like these kids just want to break down and cry and run from him.

Don't do that to my child.

I fully understand that some kids are just used to being at home and around relatives. My son was the same way. And he hated daycare at first. I hated going back to work, but it needed to be done. Still, Steven has developed into a very kind and social child in spite of his difficulties. I feel like some kids don't even give him a chance. That breaks my heart, and makes me fear for when he's mainstreamed. I'd love to play it safe and keep him in special ed classes, but what will that do for his development? I can't ask that he stay there just so he won't be bullied. Especially when I see him growing and learning every day. Steven has autism, he's not a vegetable.

Still, it's hard to have that discussion with other parents. One parent just made a bunch of excuses and cited "shared play space" as the reason why her sons could practically run over mine with their bikes. The other, I don't think that her English is advanced enough to understand it yet. I sometimes feel like some of the parents I come across are just telling their kids to brace themselves and deal with my son until he goes away.

And all he wants to do is be your friend.

I have been rejected all my life. I'm used to it now. That doesn't mean that it doesn't hurt, but I don't fight the inevitable now. The path to accepting the fact that I'm different is quite muddy with tears, not to mention stony with the rocks thrown by people who seem to hate anything different from what they are.

I don't want my son to know that pain. And while I cannot protect him from every hurt in life, I can grieve with him when they come, and hopefully shield him sometimes.

I just wish there were more people out there who were actively making their kids aware that there are scores of folks out there who aren't like them...and that this is not a threat. All my son wants is to love and be loved, and thank goodness he many. But I don't want him to be bullied like I was growing up, I don't want him to hate himself like I did, for just being different. I want him to keep preening in the mirror like he does now. I want him to grow up to be whatever it is that he's meant to be, and not be stifled by the judgment of the world. I hope that I can have some influence in that area.

But for today, Steven just wants to be happy. He just wants to love and be loved. He just wants to play. So you can't understand much of what he says. If you asked me what that was, I'd tell you it was apraxia. And I'd tell you what that meant. Yes, he likes to play with toys in different ways, but he also likes cars, trucks and planes like any little boy. He has the same sharing issues as other kids his age. In some cases a little less, if the kids next door are any indication. So he flaps his arms and gives bear hugs. You mean to tell me you've never made a nervous gesture or given someone you love a bear hug?

It is a blessing that children several years older than Steven (for now) seem to understand that he's different and wish to interact with him. The joy on his face when they play with him is truly divine. I just want to protect my child, and right now I don't know how. I don't want that day to come when he realizes that he's truly being rejected by someone who should know better. 25 years later I still remember when "that day" came for me.

I just want to protect my child. My son only wants to play with you.