Heads Up

Grammy took The Boy to a doctor’s appointment today. She does that for me in the summer so I don’t have to take time off work. And I don’t really need to be there unless I know something big (like shots) are happening. If all we’re doing is weighing and measuring and asking if everything is going well, Grammy can handle that.

Except when they don’t tell you in advance that shots are necessary.

doctor-medical-medicine-health-42273Three shots, to be precise. When Grammy texted me, I thought, “Maybe he can be coaxed into it, but my guess will be no.” I was right. She took him to lunch, and I called to reschedule.

It’s the preventable stuff that just kills me. Because it doesn’t have to be this way. I get that your office is busy. I know medical receptionists have a lot to do. But is it possible, just maybe, that with your patients on the spectrum, you could give them a heads up, so we don’t have to waste all this time and unnecessary anxiety?

I know what I ask seems outrageous, but in this day and age of “patient portals” (ours currently doesn’t work), and texts to remind us of appointments, maybe it’s an overlooked possibility. I’m just sayin’…

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Not Easier, Just Different

Mom & The BoyThe other day, I pulled out all of the scrapbooks and went through them, remarking at how little The Boy was, and reminiscing. I think some people look through old photos and are wistful for easier times…

I don’t know about other parents with kiddos on the spectrum, but I don’t miss those times. They certainly weren’t easier.

Back then, I had to deal with diapers, until the age of five.  Now I have to deal with the toilet clogging on a regular basis (Thank you, Intestinal Surgery!)

Back then, I had to deal with The Boy wandering and getting lost in department stores.  Now I have to deal with getting him to get some fresh air and come out of his room.

Back then, he was obsessed with Wubbzy and Mat Man.  Now he is obsessed with Sonic the Hedgehog, and the dome lights of cars.

Of course, our history isn’t entirely one of struggle. Luckily, the blessings of that little Boy continue to make him my joy today.  He is still (even at thirteen!) affectionate, at least at home. He still has a wonderful sense of humor, and is a lot of fun to be around. He is still able and willing to participate in the world around him (as soon as he finishes his game).

Nope, I don’t miss those days — OK, maybe I miss the smell of a baby, the giggle of a toddler, and the ability to pick him up and carry him out if he started fussing. But I don’t miss not having a single clue about autism, or a single person to talk to about it. I don’t miss the what-ifs and constant worry that is only lessened with experience and time.

I’m not saying it’s easier now.  It’s just different.  And now, even if I don’t have all the answers, at least I have a clue. 😉

I’m Struggling with Time

The Boy and I have been here for almost two years – I can’t believe it.  It seems like only yesterday we were packing up the rental truck, and tossing the huge TV to the curb in preparation for our big move.  And I’ve been at my job almost a year and half, too.  That I can believe, but that’s a post for another day…

I’m still adjusting.  And the biggest adjustment in all of our life changes has been time.  I have a constant feeling like I do not have enough time to get anything done that I need or want to get done.  Something is always slipping through the cracks.  It is true that I simply work longer hours.  But this is misleading.  Of course my school day was shorter than my current work day, but I was often in after school meetings, doing concerts, grading homework, and doing other school-related things well into the evening. I don’t often have evening obligations now. So while I technically work longer hours, I don’t think this is a big part of the issue.

Another part of it is having a husband to spend time with.  Before we moved down, I spent time with The Boy, but I had alone time, too.  I don’t get as much of that now, and nor would I want to be alone that much now that I am married. I enjoy spending time with my hubby!  That does mean less time for solitary activities, though. And if I have a choice to spend time with The Man or do things like the laundry, The Man wins every time – that’s a no-brainer.  But when it comes to reading or writing… well, it gets a little tougher.

I think the final piece of the puzzle is drive time.  It takes forever to drive five miles, and most destinations are a half hour away.  I leave work at 5, and pick up The Boy at Grammy’s, but we are often not home before 6. Most of that is wait time for The Boy who needs multiple timers to get him to leave, but it is also drivers who like to go 10-20 miles under the speed limit, and a default speed limit of 35 on two lane roads.  The grocery store takes 20-30 minutes to get to on a Monday evening… and so on.  Up north, when I picked The Boy up at 5, we could often get to the grocery store, do all of our shopping and still be home before 6.  It’s a big change.

I miss my idle hours

I miss my idle hours

During the summer I go to work earlier, and therefore leave earlier, so I think it’s a little easier to budget my time during the day. It is our busiest, most stressful season at work, but I also get a little down time to myself before the evening begins.  Everything is a balancing act, and although slight changes may make things easier, time will always be a struggle. At least spring is here, which means more sunshine and warm weather – they make everything a little easier. 🙂

Resolutions

Never really make ’em.  Mostly because by their very definition they are doomed to fail, right?  I mean it has been pretty rare for me to make a change mid-school year and have it stick.

However, it is a good time to remind oneself of the things one had hoped to do the previous year.  The things one hoped to do and didn’t quite.  Not failures, per se, but the oh-yeah-i-ran-out-of-time-to-do-that kind of things.  The challenge is to re-evaluate, decide on priority, and either make the time, or let them go.

Yes.  Some of them need to be let go.  Ladies, Fellow Teachers, Perfectionists, some goals need to fall by the wayside.  We are constantly changing people – I know I am not the same person I was last January.  Priorities change, needs change, and even wants change.  Our goals need to change with them.

Among those things on which I will continue to work? Spending less time being sedentary, more time being active.  Engaging with my son more.  Eating homemade food more.  Keeping better track of my nutrition.

HNY

New goals? Try not to spend too much time getting sucked into wedding ideas and propaganda.  (Think small, and then divide that by 10 – that’ll be us.  Very little to plan means very little to get worked up about, which also means very little stress.  That’s my ideal!) Try not to procrastinate about important move details, and get ducks in a row as early as possible.  Try not to be too sad while The Man and I are apart – the end of the LD in our LDR is near!

What are you thinking about for 2013?

 

Forethought

Merriam-Webster defines forethought as: “1 : a thinking or planning out in advance 2 : consideration for the future”.

One of my favorite things to do is plan.  Ask my boyfriend, Mr. We-don’t-need-a-reservation.  I plan events at work, thinking through every detail about traffic flow, announcements, seating arrangements, and clean-up.  And I love to plan vacations, although I now have to reign it in a bit, coming up with “possibilities” for us to do (and calendaring them all, just so we know where and when we could do them.  If we wanted…).

It doesn’t ALWAYS work out so well, though.  I’ve tried that plan for housecleaning, (you know the one) that entails doing a different chore everyday for a month.  I like it in principal, but in my house, with one person doing all the cleaning… Let’s just say it got as far as the calendar, and then it was toast.

And what happens when the plan doesn’t work, or you just can’t get to it ahead of time?  Consider being on the other end.  How many times have I been in a staff meeting, or watched some new program being implemented, and thought, “Well, that could have gone better with a little forethought!”  I’ve also been able to look back after a major meltdown and realize that it was ALL MY FAULT, because I didn’t think about what would happen if I forgot the wipes, if the ex bailed on his kid again, or if I got stuck at work .

I’m pointing my finger at myself as I write this:  MAYBE, if I don’t have time to put forethought into it, MAYBE I shouldn’t do it.  Maybe I need to create some time in my schedule to think about stuff before it happens, so I can envision all outcomes, and be better prepared.  And if I can’t find time to do that, maybe I’m too busy, and some things on my agenda need to be delegated, shelved, or deleted.

I know I need to do this more.  I know that my son and I can preempt some meltdowns this way.

How about you?