Faith has been making amazing progress since we started Autism therapy and class last week. The Autism specialist gave us therapy goals that were right on point and tools to meet those goals that have really resonated with her in ways that I never thought were possible.
Of course, these tools come with a level of frustration; however, that being said, in spite of the meltdowns we have while we're working with her, we feel like we know a little bit more about how to handle her meltdowns and have had some of her "tells" pointed out...you know, the physical cues she gives that tell us she is about to have a meltdown...
Its been tough,though. For every success we've had this week, and every baby step forward, it seems like there is a melt down to match it. Needless to say, yesterday, I was counting the minutes until daddy was home. Faith was NOT responsive to the tools, she was whining, kicking, biting, pushing her sister down... of course, there were small successes yesterday. Successes that made me hopeful to wake up and try it all again today...
However... a new day in my house is always filled with frustrations I never even imagined. (I'm sure most people's houses are this way, but considering the day I had yesterday, the new frustrations today have been MAGNIFIED)
It really started out as on okay day. Faith was (and is) being very clingy to daddy. In a way, daddy has become her "comfort item". This worries me, because it adds extra struggles when he is out of town and isn't home for a few days at a time. Mom literally is chopped liver when she is melting down. She wants the safety and security of her daddy. She craves it. We were dealing with the clingy nature that she was displaying, and I think Jeff was enjoying it. He misses the girls when he's gone and its been kind of a revelation, in a sense, for him to have Faith be so responsive to him and want to be around him.
However, the cousins came today. I agreed to watch my brother and sister in law's kids while they attended a memorial service for a family member. Faith went from calm to escape mode in literally seconds. She was doing everything she could to stay on the outside corners of the room, and if the opportunity presented itself, to escape to another room. She pretty much shut down. There was no response to anyone trying to interact with her, even daddy. She wanted to be somewhere quiet, somewhere alone...somewhere where her cousins weren't trying to convince her to share toys... definitely something we need to work on, but it will take time.
Finally, after some semi melt downs, I convinced her cousins to wait until she was done with toys if they wanted them and to leave her alone. Once that happened, Faith settled down for a few moments to watch a movie.
I thought we were over the big hurdle for the day...but Faith always surprises me.
Then came naptime.
I put Faith down, she rolled over and snuggled up under her blanket, and I imagined that she was just going to go to sleep (usually when she does that, she does)
Then...came the weird noises. Banging noises I wasn't familiar with. I knew someone was up, and I knew they were into something they shouldn't be into.
I went into the bedroom and was shocked and HORRIFIED by what I found.
Somehow, Faith had managed to crawl on top of their dressers and was rocking one of them back and forth like a swing...I quickly rushed in and pulled her off the top.
Now...before you get too worked up, these aren't heavy wooden dressers. These are the plastic Sterilite tupperware dressers, the kind where the drawers pull out and become bins for storage... a cheap fix for needing dressers for the girls and they are EXTREMELY light. Even if she'd managed to knock it over as she rocked it back and forth, it wouldn't have landed on her, but I think there would have been a good chance of a broken arm or leg from the 3-4 foot fall.
I have NO CLUE how she got up on top of them. They are far too tall and weak for her to have been able to pull herself up..the only thing I can think of is that she somehow managed to figure out how to turn it into a ladder of sorts...
Long story short- I'm spent. I'm done...and I told my husband this.
I know that I can't be done...or spent...I don't have that option...
but its definitely frustrating when you think you have the house "baby proofed" and safe, and your Autistic 2 year old finds a way to make things you thought were safe incredibly unsafe... Not only does our house need to be "baby proofed", it needs to be "Faith proofed" and that is the hardest part...she is smart, she works puzzles out quickly and easily, and she finds new ways to use items that I didn't think were possible...Its times like this that I WISH communication was possible with her so I could learn a little more how her mind works.
I guess, in the end, I just need to chalk it off to trial and error and be thankful to God that I caught her before she did manage to hurt herself horribly...but it makes me feel even more exhausted when I'm already spent from the day before...I feel like I can't even leave her alone for a minute...not even so she can have a nap...because she will inevitably find a way to get herself into danger...and it seems like she has no danger register at all. Most little kids I know would get up on top of the dresser, realize how high it is, and start crying...but not her...she decides to rock back and forth and turn it into a swing...
I know that someday I will be grateful for her no fear attitude, but today, right now, is not the time that I'm grateful for that...today I wish more than anything that I could impress upon her how dangerous of a situation she'd gotten herself into... but those words (like most ) just don't compute.
Onward and upward. Every day is a new day. All I can do is pray that tomorrow will be a little better, a little easier, with a few more baby steps forward.
I have faith it will be better. At least I have one more day with Jeff before he has to take off for work (he goes to Texas next week) and one more day to try to rest and gear up for everything that must be done.
More therapy for Faith, doctor's appointment for me to see how gummy bear is doing, and 3-5 days of holding down the fort.
I've done these things before. I will continue to do them... but today, as I'm feeling spent... I just want to curl up, cry, and hide from the world for a few hours.
Tomorrow will be better. Tomorrow is another day.
Let's count blessings for today, shall we? (It always helps... plus, I don't want to end on a Debbie Downer note. Its just too depressing, and I don't like to be depressed. I'd rather accentuate the positive and work through the negative as it comes.)
1. Before naptime, Phillie crawled into my lap, gave me a hug and asked me "How are you?" with the biggest, cheesiest grin you've ever seen. I replied, "I'm doing okay. How are you?" She sighed, smiled and said, "Good." and proceeded to give me the biggest, longest hug ever. I am so grateful for her. She always seems to say the funniest things, or the most thoughtful things right when I need to hear her. She is seriously the silliest, sweetest baby girl I know.
2. I was trying to get the girls to say thanks to Jeff for making us breakfast and Faith, out of the corner of the room parroted back the vowel sounds and cadence. She didn't look up or stop what she was doing, and didn't give any recollection that she really knew what she was saying or what it meant, but at least its a sign that the therapy I've been working on with her this week is helping immensely to at least teach her the value of responding when I say something.
3. Jeff didn't make me make lunch for all the kidlets we had in our house today. He sweetly went and picked up Little Caesar's hot and ready pizzas...bless him.
4. I got to watch Shrek the Musical on Netflix(it always puts me in a good mood.)
5. Diet Dr. Pepper...enough said.
6. I saved my daughter from a potentially dangerous situation and the only fall out was my heart being in my throat. Hooray for being observant and knowing to listen for sounds that aren't normally heard in our house.
7. I have gained a new appreciation for how excited I will be to be in the new house in the next few months. We NEED more space...it will be nice to have a "playhouse" area for the girls so that they aren't creating an obstacle course by the front door EVERY time they play. Hooray for new houses, for sale by owner situations, answers to prayers to find the right place, first time homebuyer initiatives, finding a loan that will cover all the closing costs, and sellers that were willing to accept the terms. With any luck, we will be closing before the day we set and moved in on March 1 (at least that is what I'm praying for.)
8. I got to "talk shop" with an old college friend of mine and we're putting together a recital for the spring/early summer that will be a benefit for Autism Speaks. I'm pretty excited about it, and I already have the closing number picked (because I'm schmultzy like that.)
Dangerous scenarios and melt downs aside...today has been a pretty decent day.
Now, when the kids wake up, we get to go purchase diapers, milk, and other household necessities (possibly a new food processor since we decided this morning that we really need one while Jeff was making breakfast.) Hooray for semi-stable finances, a job that provides for our needs, and my sweet husband who works so hard for us so that I can stay home and handle the rest...I don't know how we would work all of the necessary time into our schedule for therapy for Faith and doctor's appointments for me if I was trying to hold down a job on TOP of everything else. God is good. He always provides. We are blessed.
Hugs and Loves until next time, darlings.