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12:40 p.m. - 2010-12-17
Is this an Aspie I see before me?

"Well it just goes to show you, it's always something, you either got a toenail in your hamburger or toilet paper clinging to your shoe."- Roseanne Roseannadanna

Either you have a head cold that's kicking your ass or your kid IS an ass.

The head cold finally went away.

The kid I'm stuck with.

Sigh…

So yeah, I've been here at Casa Sage dealing with my messy life. Too upset to even whine. Well no, I'm whining now, but I'll spare everyone all the gruesome details. Suffice it to say neither the ER nor police are involved. Feh, this child. I'm too fucking old to be a teenager's mother. Especially an Aspie teenager. I'm squeezed out like a toothpaste tube. Seriously depleted. I do not know how I'm going to get through the next five years.

I often find comfort in statistics. When a situation gets overwhelming I like to add things up, show myself the balance sheet and prove that while it seems dark now the majority of the time life's been okay. However sometimes what the numbers show me is far from a happy surprise.

Take for instance the little matter of Wolf's behavior on school mornings. Including pre-school (which he was expelled from for repeatedly pulling the fire alarm) Wolf has been going to school for 9 years. He goes year round so that's roughly 210 days a year. Multiplied by 9 is 1890. Mick took over doing the morning hell for a while so subtract 150 days. This leaves 1740. Of those 1740 days let's be generous and say that on 200 of those days Wolf didn't lollygag, dither, mope and otherwise do his best to miss the bus. Yes, for those sweet precious 200 days my son actually cooperated and DIDN'T make me scream, beg, and cry. He didn't make me gag with frustration. He didn't get me wound up and furious with his deliberate sullen bullshit.

Which, of course, means that on 1540 mornings he did.

Think about that please. One Thousand Five Hundred Forty days when my morning was a hell. When my son's wretched uncooperative behavior hurt, saddened, and angered me to the point of yelling and/or tears.

But, LA, surely it's your choice to get upset. Why go there? Why not simply let Wolf take the consequences of his poor behavior?

Because, my friends, the consequence of letting Wolf's procrastinate means he misses the bus. Which is exactly what he wants. Then either I have to dress and mostly likely physically drag him to the car, drive him to the school and spend 15 minutes checking him in. There's no dropping him at the door, I have to go inside, hand over my ID, sign in, wait for my name tag to be printed, sign Wolf in, escort him to the office, sign him in again, trek back through the building, sign out, retrieve my ID and hand back my name tag and then go back home. Or he is a perpetual truant and I'm in family court explaining to the judge why my son has missed 45 days of school out of the last 46.

Well, LA, seems you just haven't found the correct way to motivate him.

Right. Listen, when it comes to the morning bullshit I have done and tried EVERYTHING.

There have been lists, punishments, practice runs, and during 5th and 6th grades discussing the expected routine and timeframe in explicit detail every night before bed. Punishments have included removal of all electronics and toys for months, onerous chores, going to bed directly after dinner (again, for months), no snack food, grounding, lectures, sessions with his counselors, revoking of recess time at school (his teacher was a sweetheart and tried on her end too), bribery, begging, and the threat of beatings. I've tried getting him up a full two hours before the bus is due. (Which, you understand, means I was having to get up at 5:15am to begin the ordeal.) I have resorted to physically putting him into his clothing. Ever try to dress an uncooperative 11 year old?

I am consistent as concrete, as unbudge-able as iron. Wolf will get up, get washed, get dressed, take his meds and vitamins, eat breakfast and Get. On. The. Bus. On time. Every day. No ifs, ands, or buts.

How many times do you think parents of non-Aspie kids go through a hassle like this? For a real challenge of a kid perhaps 30, maybe even 50 times, but eventually the kid gives in and does what he's told. With the occasional relapse. So over the course of a kid's school career the parents of a regular kid might have 70 days when their morning sucked. When their kid was uncooperative and a stinker.

One Thousand Five Hundred Forty here…and counting. He's still got the rest of 8th grade and all of high school to go yet.

Aspies do not learn, they do not change their minds, they fear no punishment because doing it their way is the ONLY thing that matters to them. And Wolf has so far refused to accept that he must get ready for school in a timely manner. And it's not like he hates school, he's not overwhelmed with joy to be there but he's content enough, even enjoys some parts of it. Dread of the school day isn't the cause of his bullshit in the morning, it's his sick pleasure in getting his own way. Even if it means he's punished, even though it makes me cry, even though it makes Mick rage, even though his after school life is reduced to sitting in his stripped down bedroom with nothing but his school books to keep him company. He'll ruin his own life and he's happy to ruin mine because he's won, you see. He didn't get ready on time. He pushed it to the breaking point again and oh what a lovely thing that is to him.

I've watched his father walk off that same cliff over and over. I was hostage to his jackass Aspie crap. Mike was delighted to let us be homeless, hungry, broke, embarrassed, and even hated because he took it into his head that he would or wouldn't do a particular thing. Consequence, shmonsequence, the ONLY thing Mike saw was he was getting his own way. He won.

I suffered through Alex doing this same exact shit. Blind refusal to see what he was doing, who he was hurting, how badly he was screwing himself over. Didn't matter.

Now Wolf. If the morning thing were the only thing I could deal, hey, I'm a seasoned veteran of the Aspie Wars. But he, like his father and brother, is like this about pretty much everything. Fuckery, bullshit, tromping around smashing everything in his path.

And who pays? I do.

I am so weary and broken from these people. I'm so sick of being made to clean up the mess. To be the responsible one who straightens things out with the authorities. Who coughs up the money. Who soothes the hurt feelings. Who tries my best every single day to keep them safe, to help them learn something, hell, anything.

I am so tired. Tired of biting back the grinding envy of mothers whose kids build snowmen, who go to Scouts, who they can take to a park or a play. Kids who take their baths without it being a war. Kids who eat their dinners and sit still for bedtime stories. Kids who grow and change and fucking learn. Learn from their mistakes. Learn to behave.

Goddamn I'm tired.


Thanks for listening. ~LA

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