Saturday, February 05, 2011

The Answer Was Right in Front of Us...We're Just Crappy Parents

It is WHISPER quiet in the house right now, a Saturday afternoon. Tranquil. Peaceful. Like something out of a beautiful photo.

It's downright CREEPY.

It's almost 2:00 PM as I start clacking away at this. It's been a very uneventful day. No screaming or yelling. No hitting. No biting. No outbursts. Everybody having a pleasant day doing the things they need to do/want to do/enjoy doing.

Today is the second day that we have a new Home Health Aide giving us a hand with Bennett.

So that was it?

We just suck as parents?

Hmmm...had I known the answer was so simple I'd have stopped trying to figure out what the problem was a few weeks ago.

I'm yanking my own chain a little, of course, but there is a SMALL kernel of truth in there, and that is this...the more Bennett is occupied and entertained and stimulated, something that we often fail to do, the better off he is. We don't fail to do it because we suck. I get that. We fail to do it because we're human beings, we both lead full-time lives, we both have a second child, and Bennett is a spitfire.

It always made sense when I would ask his ABA Program Director at school about Bennett's behavior and Dr. Yowzah would tell me that he rarely sees that aggression in Bennett, that Bennett is one of the school's FAVORITE KIDS. Everybody loves to be around Bennett and work with Bennett, he's loads of fun there.

Cause he requires that constant stimulation. He always needs to keep moving. Like a shark.

Or Jack Bauer.

Which, frankly, he had not been getting from us. ESPECIALLY lately, from me, when he was home sick for a week with me. I still had to try to get stuff done during the day.

Anyway...bottom line is this...what a WORLD of difference it is with someone actually giving him attention all day long. We are still having interaction. So is his Mom. But we are also getting OTHER things done again, and he is also getting play interaction and verbal stimulation and some ABA Therapy Homework and so everybody wins.

Hope this one lasts. Like glory, Home Health Aides are fleeting.

But the blissful Peace of today?

I'll take it.



  1. I don't know about Bennett, but KC always does well with someone new. The stimulation of having someone different in the picture, helps him tons. Therapists, school teachers, the occational babysitte, etc. always are amazed at how good KC is... at first. Plus, even typical kids, as I am sure you know, are always better for other people than parents!
    Enjoy the peace and quiet :)

  2. You know, this comes up all the time at my house. My husband feels bad for not "stimulating" Charlie enough. Fact is, most parents don't spend their whole day stimulating their children. It's even worse when your child has significant physical limitations, which limits your options. Charlie has a great time at school and gets a ton of stimulation, which I think is great--those people are also paid to be there and don't have other things to do like earn a living. I'm comfortable in that fact that Charlie takes a village and I'm grateful one is available.

  3. My college roomate's father threw her out of the house at 16 because he'd gotten remarried and wanted to start a new family. Another of my friends ran away from home because her father had sold her and her sister to a buddy for "entertainment purposes" so he could feed an addiction problem with the cash he got for them. Please don't ever, EVER describe you and Jen as crappy parents, even in jest or hyperbole. Every child I ever taught over the course of 12 years or so (from toddlers to teens) behaved better with me than with their family. And none of them had special needs.

    There's already too much parental blame going around. Other cultures don't do that. Why do we?

  4. Mark Twain once said, 'My mother had a great deal of trouble with me, but I think she enjoyed it.' Now, I KNOW I have a great deal of trouble with my son.... and I do enjoy it... when it's quiet... like while he's asleep. All the rest of the time I'm trying to balance what I have to do with what he needs me to do.... always unsatisfying. I'm certain that you understand this perfectly.

  5. I am glad that you've lifted the veil of illusion and realized the truth.


    In all seriousness, you all need a break from one another. It's just too damn much to do it all, all the time and have the emotional overlay as well. That's why they call it respite, and I'm glad you're getting some.

  6. I'm such a sucker for a happy ending...

    And here's hoping it'll be more than fleeting.


  7. I've got to say that I really have to work in order not to feel the same way about myself in dealing with my daughter.
    I think the "behaving better for others" thing may be also about Josephine feeling safe enough with us to act like a total crazy person. I think she may have just enough control to keep the raging storm of mixed-up brain activity wrapped up around people that she doesn't know as well...
    When she is getting what she needs from others and therefore is more managable at home, I just do my very best to enjoy her in that moment.

  8. Great to hear!

    And Ha Ha to Single Dad!



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