Monday, January 07, 2008

Where did I go in all of this?!

So all weekend has been about the bathroom exploits of one little girl named Alexandra. Many victories have been achieved with just one disappointment. She would not poop no matter what I tried. As I sat on the floor of the bathroom for what seemed like the 14th hour in a row, I suddenly realised how much my life has changed and a feeling of somewhat panic overcame me. Nothing too much but definitely an awakening of how I lost myself in the process of raising my children. I started to look around at blogs and stumbled across some wonderful examples of what I thought I would be when I grew up. I always imagined that if (and it was a big if) I had children, they would somehow just become mini versions of me. Well that is not exactly true. Both my daughter and my son are hip, cool children who are always well dressed and look as put together as can be. What changed was me. I was once a hip cool well dressed put together woman. Now I look down at the grey t-shirt with some athletic team emblazoned across the chest, and the rather frumpy jeans and I wonder what the hell? My face has not seen make up in god knows how long. My hair was last cut by my good self in a fit or rage at its complete inability to look fabulous on demand. How did this happen? How did I let myself go? And how did I let myself go this far? It cannot simply be having children. I see so many women with children looking just wonderful. So maybe it is having an autistic child that did it. But I don't think this can be the case either. Maybe I just hide behind that but it cannot be the reason. I see many mothers at the therapy waiting room who look as though more that 5 minutes has been put into themselves that day. So it is me. Great, something else to work on!

So I must lock away the "well I spend so much time taking Alex to her therapies" or the "Alex is very destructive and cleaning up the devastation takes so much of my time" or the always popular "I spend so much time chasing her around and making sure she is safe that I have no time for putting an effort into me". All these are true but they are just excuses. So I need to get busy and start looking after me a little. Maybe a nice haircut to begin - ooh what is in fashion these days? Should I go for the Jennifer Aniston look or is that already passe?! Oh, I guess some current cultural and style references may be in order!

Friday, January 04, 2008

Oh there is a God!

Well I made my resolution that this was the time to potty train my sweet little Alexandra. After writing it last night, I woke up feeling that it had to be now or never - my inner Elvis came a shinin' through! So after her morning at school, she came home full of smiles and joy. I had removed all diaper temptation from the house, lest I weaken and just opt for the quiet life. Her immediate request was for a diaper but I calmly told her that there were no more diapers and she would have to use the toilet from now on. This did not seem to bother her at first but as the afternoon progressed and her bladder ballooned, she became more agitated. She would go to the toilet, sit for a moment and then simply get up and leave. Still no actual elimination of bladder matter! After 6 hours of this, she became very mad and I almost buckled but I held firm and (look away faint of heart) I locked the bathroom door and left her to it. She was mad for about 5 minutes, but then I heard nothing for a while and I managed to look under the little space beneath the door (what do you do on a Friday evening?) and saw that the floor was soaked and so was she. She had finally peed! Granted it was all over the floor, but it was in the bathroom and I took that as my victory for the day. But there was more to come. After giving her enough positive reinforcement to sink a ship, she was given all kinds of love and the ice cream that she had been begging for all day. An hour later, it happened. She simply got up from the couch, went into the bathroom, put her little stool next to the toilet, put her seat on the toilet seat, climbed up and peed into the toilet - no muss, no fuss. I cannot explain how gut wrenchingly, overwhelmingly, unbelievably proud of her I was at that moment but it just made me feel awash in love and hope and all of those good things that make us warm and fuzzy inside. Yes today was a great day. Tomorrow? Who knows. Today - they cannot take it away!

one of our alps of autism has been climbed!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

A new Year and lets make it a good one!

It is January 4th, the start of a new year and a chance to take stock and make changes! Or not! Tomorrow is the first day back to school for Miss Alexandra after her Christmas holiday. She has not regressed nearly as much as normal and I take this as a great sign. Of course, I cannot shout this too loud as I am trying to get her into a program that has more hours, more one on one and more intense therapies. If the school district even gets a whiff of progress from Alexandra, they will use it to take away the last argument they have to not pay for the better program. So I get to dress her pretty and send her on her way in the morning. It is odd how much pleasure I derive from putting her outfit together, getting her backpack all set and then sending her out to the bus. What still amazes me is that I do not rest until that bus drops her off at my door again. I do chores, run errands, take the boy to the library or park, but she is always dancing around in the back of my mind. My little mind only rests when she is back safely in my line of vision.

So I have decided that in the spirit of the new year, my resolution will be that my daughter finally becomes toilet trained. She is going to be 5 in just 2 weeks and enough is enough. I have tried so many of the methods researched on the internet, or shared with me in a therapy waiting room, but nothing has worked so far. I must just soldier on and find the combination that will work for her. Resolution - to be resolute, to be determined. I can, I will, I must.

Well enough of the rambling. My pillow calls me and I must answer the call. Morning comes soon!