Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Are You My Mother?

Sometimes I feel bad for Oliver because I think he really got the wrong Mommy. Honestly, I don't think I'm cut out for this line of work. I have no patience. None. Zero. Zilch.

Sometimes, when I'm having an especially bad day, Oliver looks up at me with a kind of questioning look as if to say: "Are you my Mother?" and just like in the book I want to reply to him: "No. I am the Dog." Or, "No. I am the mommy that you got. But you were really meant to have a much more patient, understanding mommy. Your real mommy wouldn't mind sitting with you while you are on the potty for the millionth time today only to clean up an accident 5 minutes after we get up. And your real mommy wouldn't be impatient with you when you absolutely object to wearing THAT shirt for no apparent reason. Or when you insist on always playing with Percy the train in just that way.

I mull this kind of thing over when I go into the kitchen at night after my dear, wonderful, amazing husband has just cleaned up from dinner and I put away random items where they really belong because there are just certain ways that things are done because that is the way it has always been and the way it always should be. He doesn't know this because he is a man. I think this to myself as I carry the laundry that he has done to the top of the stairs and un-fold, then re-fold properly all of the towels because that is the way they should be stored in the closet. Then, before climbing into bed I straighten the sheet and put the comforter on the right way: with the dark green border at the top. I sleep better if the sheets aren't all wrinkled up and the border just goes at the top. Aesthetically, I mean. It's better that way.

I used to try to explain these things to dear husband. He would always listen patiently to me explain why something should be done a certain way and then go ahead and continue doing it his way thereafter. I stopped explaining and now just concentrate on being happy to have a true domestic partner.

Lucky for me, Oliver has exactly the right Poppi.


  1. Too funny. I struggle with SD (Super Daddy) being so laisser Faire about things such as putting his clothes on the floor next to the laundry basket and wiping the placemats after dinner. He remembers sometimes. When he does, he smiles at me and says "See" pointing to his accomplishment. Ahhh...hmmmmm. (rolling my eyes) What's interesting, is when I was doing trials with Gabe, matching pictures to pictures, I put one card on the table upside down without realizing it. Gabe looked at me with a "how could you put a card down "that way", turned it right side up and smiled to himself. I wonder where he gets that from?

    Take care,

  2. Oh, you too?
    I have never been diagnosed, but I am convinced I have OCD. Why?
    The roll of toilet paper has to be facing a certain direction.
    The towels have to be folded...just so and then rolled up and put in a basket.
    My coats, boots, shoes, bags and sunglasses ALL have to be color coordinated...all the time.
    There is a method to every madness in my life. My husband couldn't deal with it...ex now. My new love can't get it together, but i just let it go or try to ignore how he doesn't do anything right hehehe....

  3. Christine,

    I think you are just stressed from trying to be the best parent to Oliver while also trying to help him overcome autism. I know I feel as you do all the time. The path we have chosen (remediation) is very difficult. Most parents don't do what we are doing. However, I can tell you from my experience with my son that it is paying off. Keep in mind that when there is a Ying, there is a Yang if you know what I mean.

  4. Dear Alexander's Daddy,

    I was just trying to poke a little fun at myself. I am not so different from my son. And although my dear husband displays an almost total lack of understanding about my need to have the towels folded just so, he constantly teaches me lessons about acceptance, patience, and most of all, the importance of being flexible.

  5. I tried having the teenager help with the laundry but then I just totally freaked out at the thought of her washing cold water things in warm water, or not spray-n-wash-ing the pizza stains on her brother's shirts, and I just demanded that I be the only person to EVER do laundry at my house.

    (From this confession, you'd suspect that I'm really-uptight-clean lady. But my house is actually not that clean- it's just the laundry thing that I perseverate on.)

    Anyway, funny how these moms who do everything right ended up with kids who are the same way :-)

  6. Hi Christine, I've been reading your blog and want to know about Oliver's progress...I am struggling with reforming Adam's program a bit now, so we're starting the New Year off a little differently...btw, Are You My Mother is Adam's favourite book. In fact, Dr. Seuss might just be his favourite author.