Saturday, March 12, 2011


~"We grow neither better nor worse as we get old, but more like ourselves.":~ May Lamberton

   I was cooking dinner ..well, putting a frozen pizza into the oven the other night when Oscar walked in and said to me (in a very bad Italian accent) "I don'ta eat mushrooms...mushrooms gonna give me the poo poo's"..Which of course made me burst out laughing. "What?" "Mushrooms! They give me the poo poo's!"  "Oscar.....You've never eaten mushrooms in your life!  What are you talking about?"  "I'm talking about the mushrooms and the poo-poo's.HAHAHAHAHA!!!!" and off he went..Leaving me a bit confused until I found him on YouTube..watching a Mario episode..."Mario Farts". *sigh*.....Mushroom mystery solved.

   He's at that age..where everything toilet related is a riot..which is a change from the stage when everything "nipple" related just cracked him up. I find this this is so much more  preferable to the time when he wouldn't even use the toilet-so I'm not going to complain ..too much. Because I know, that just like "Farmers Nipples" this too shall pass. It's funny-I don't always notice when my kids go through some growing-until they take a "next" step. Then all of a sudden I think "Holy crap! when did that happen?"

   I really haven't spoken much about the early years with my kids. Sometimes I wonder if I am doing them a disservice. I like writing about our lives now-but I need to remember what our lives were like back then-especially when I worry about what the future holds. They have come so far and worked so  hard. Sometimes I kind of forget that.. Sometimes it is good to to revisit the past..shake up the dust..visit the ghosts...take stock.

  Oscar was my toughest most challenging toddler..and, he is my most joyful boy.  When did that happen?  More importantly-how?!  I look back to the time when  he never slept,( well hardly ever if you want to count two hour naps between thirty six hours of awake time) when he didn't speak..when all it seemed he could do was scream..When I say scream-it feels like an understatement. He would scream until he passed out from exhaustion..and then wake up and start all over again. Sometimes banging his head..smashing his face into the glass windows..throwing pictures or any other thing hanging up or on display in our house...or taking it out on me.  Did I mention he screamed?   As for autism... we didn't  have a diagnosis until he was four and a half. I know it sounds crazy-but there you go. We were told it was a phase..maybe ADHD..that he would outgrow it...He just needed more attention. The professionals we took him to weren't concerned because "he made eye contact".... So, for a long time-I thought I was just awful at parenting. That we were concentrating too much on Sam and not enough on Oscar. So, diagnosis(-when we finally got one) was to us- a godsend. Yes, we suspected-we had been working with Sam..But Oscar was so different than his brother...he was more present-certainly more demanding..definitely louder. I remember feeling as though I didn't know how to listen.

  Sammy  tells me that he stopped talking and responding (when he was little) because the world was too busy, and that words sounded jumbled and didn't make sense. He says that he felt better when he was in his head.  Oscar does not have the words to tell me why things were so hard for him-yet.  I hope that one day he does. Right now when I ask him "Oscar..  do you remember why you used to scream so much?" He'll tell  me "I used to scream."  "Yes, but do you know why?"  "No, why?"  "I don't know, I was hoping you could tell me." "Tell me what?" ....I stop myself before it turns into an Abbot and Costello parody of "who's on first?"..he just isn't ready for this conversation-yet. That's o.k.-we have plenty of others-they are just poop related.

  I think that the hardest part of being a parent(to any child) is the worry. I know that I can wind myself up into a gigantic stress ball just thinking about the "what ifs" and "whens"..I have to remind myself to look back dredge up the ghosts-if only to recognize how far we have all come from those dark days.  The past is important to remember when the present time doesn't seem to be enough. And right kids..all of them, are more than enough-even better.

    Right now, I am listening to Oscar squealing at the computer and yelling( again with the bad Italian accent) "Don't put a the farts in the fire!! HAHAHAHAHAHA!" *sigh*  He can still be so very loud....but at least in this moment, it is joyful. I'll have to work with him on the accent though...


Life in the House That Asperger Built said...

Love this! :-)

It is important to remember how far we've come. Thanks for reminding me to look back.

Kim Wombles said...

Seems odd to say lovely about a post that involves Mario and farts. :) But, nonetheless, it is. All our kids make progress, surprise us, amaze us, and maybe we'll learn to let go of some of the worry? hee, okay never mind.

Lizbeth said...

I love it! Not the screaming, head banging and all that, but the progress! I can remember looking back with Alex thinking "how can this be so hard, what am I doing wrong?" When we finally were told Autism, I had a thought of "thank God, I'm not crazy..." It seems like light years ago. I love to look back, take stock and see how far he's come. Don't get me wrong I look ahead and worry too, but looking back I think gives me the strenght to move forward.

Thanks for the reminder.

Angela said...

I love hearing how far the kiddos have come! Amazing family you are.

Big Daddy Autism said...

He he. Farmers Nipples. Still love that one.

Floortime Lite Mama said...

i love your post like I love everything you write
But something jusrt took my breath away
That one day R may be able to tell me why he stopped talking for a while

I recently passed by a vey panicky
OMG-how-muchbetter-off-R-would -be-with-abetter-mother
so I totally know what u mean

Diane said...

I really liked this post. I just love reading about progress in other families' journeys. Being able to appreciate how far we've come lets us access gratitude and hope, which helps us to be able to keep going forward. Oh, and the Mario stuff made me giggle. :)

kathleen said...

@life in the house-Thanks..:) yup-it really is, even when it is hard.

@Kwombles-HA! I LIVE to worry. :)

@Lizbeth-Yes! progress-I think diagnosis is a relief to many parents. Looking back does indeed give you strength-especially if the present moment is tough. I know it helps me..:)

@Angela-awww...thanks..:) ((()))

@Big Daddy-of COURSE YOU do..heehee just struck me one day to simply ask. Sammy has told me so very much. It has helped me to understand "why"..which helped me to help him..

@Diane-yes-it is appreciation..and it helps in moving forward. I never want to take how hard they work for granted. yeah...heehee..the Mario stuff really cracks me up. ;0

Stephanie said...

The bad Italian accent is totally not Oscar's fault. Blame it on Mario (who does not sound like any real Italian I've ever heard).

It's definitely good to look back and see how far y'all have come. Even with Alex, there's so much progress, and I too need that reminder.

And I'm totally with you on the loudness. One of the autistic traits that I have is aural sensitivities, and all three of my kids are LOUD (and I'm not the only one who thinks so). Sometimes I just have to go away (usually in the basement) to be away from the loudness. Of course, that is dependent on the actually being able to be away--which doesn't always happen. There are times when I think maybe I should get a set of those noise-dampening head phones, but then there are those times where one of my kids slips off somewhere they shouldn't and my "super-sensitive hearing" as Willy calls it is the only warning I get. *sigh* Can't win for losing.

kathleen said...

@Stephanie-Ha! I know on the accent! It really is awful :) Yes, I try and remember to look back-especially when we are having a rough month..I need to remember that we have often taken 20 steps forward and 17 steps back..but we always move ahead..

I have hearing problems-and they are STILL sometimes way too loud! And yet...for the most part I can hear them-when they wish I didn't..:)