Friday, March 10, 2006

The Long Work of Winter

I'm having trouble framing things. I'm having trouble keeping my perspective. Just when I thought I had a handle on things I'm back to crying just about everyday. I'm back to feeling that
it all seems too terribly hard and I'm sure I'm just not up to it. There are so many times when I think to myself that Oliver deserves a better mother and I can't even begin to listen to my own exhortations to then just BE a better mother. Normally, you see, I can talk myself out of these things. Or write myself out of it. But these days, to use Oliver-speak, I seem to be stuck.

Oliver is his usual wonderful self but has been a bundle of behaviors lately. Is it the changing of the seasons? The fact that his Poppi has been out of town on a business trip? Is he responding to his mother's out-of-whack emotions? Or is it something else that I haven't yet identified? (Will there ever be a time when I feel like I know what I'm doing??) At any rate, some of Oliver's more difficult to deal with behaviors had all but disappeared over the last several months and now seem to be reappearing. It feels like two steps forward and one step back.

I guess I am in strong need of spring. I need to see things blossom and grow. I need to feel that the long hard work of winter is over and to be reminded that life is full of cycles that must be completed in order for there to be change and growth.

So, c'mon Mother Nature! Bring on the sunshine that will feed these tender green shoots of mine.


  1. I could have wrote this post last week. With the weather we are having today (60 degreees) though, I am feeling a little bit more happy. I have to say that I still "get stuck" and have my periods of crying and frustration. I begin questioning myself and if we are doing enough for Andrew. I worry about the future too often. I have to remind myself agian and again to take it "one day at a time".

    More and more I am convinced though that the change of season affects us all, not just our kids. Even Brian has been a little off the past few days.

  2. I feel for you...because I have those days (weeks) when things just don't feel right and I can't figure out why I'm so blue. They pass but I expect them to come again. I've finally convinced my husband that my periods of "blue" are not about him.

    Honestly, the fact that you're worried about your mothering abilities is enough to tell me that you probably ARE a great mother. And the little I've read of your blog (I just found it) tells me as much. I think all of our kids have those peaks and valleys in their development. Just keep on keepin' on...he'll get there.

  3. Noah has been having the same trouble lately. I don't know quite what is up with him, but maybe it is a seasonal thing as you suggested.

    Remember, just take deep breaths and do today. Tomorrow isn't even here yet, so don't worry about it.

  4. Charlie has always had a period of struggling in February and March---one thing that really gets to him is being stuck inside so much. (Though we do go out for walks everyday.)

    For Charlie, there is something in his learning pattern in which he'll make progress and then, as I retrospectively note, start slipping. Old behaviors will reappear with a seeming vengeance and be harder to tackle, while his learning plateaus. You are doing all the right things (yes, you are "autism super mom"--you are!) and his dad being gone and the seasons and your own emotions must all be affecting Oliver. Perhaps it's time for a major reaccessment in the reinforcement for his program? For rearranging the set-up of his room? (I know that sounds very minor, but that's helped a bit sometimes.) If he's taking supplements, maybe the dosages need to be changed?

    I still have to have those cries. I try to do it when Charlie is asleep because it upsets him---and that in of itself is sweet progress of how he is so connected, and how (as it sounds) that Oliver is in tune with his loving mom.

  5. A better mother than you??????

    Where in the world would Oliver find one of those???

    It sounds like the worry monkey hasn't been doing his job. I'm sorry that you're feeling blue, and wish there was something I could do to help you get un-stuck.

    The crocuses (crocii?) are coming up in front of our house- spring is on its way, I promise.

  6. Alexander is having the same type of regressive behavior. Last year we started to track these regressive times at the suggestion of one of his therapists. She has allergies and when she has a flare up, it's at the same time as Alexander regressess. The change of seasons is also the time when pollen comes out. Right now its Elm, Camilla, Daffodils and a few others in our area. Last time he had one of these regressions was in August. We put him on Claritin and he was like a different kid for about 10 days, then he regressed again. Tonight we are going to start giving him Zyrtec to see if that helps. If it is allergies, that would explain some of this because allergies are an autoimmune response which is suspected in our children.

  7. Thanks Eileen, I know the seasons affect me. Actually, I see a lot of myself in Oliver (go figure, huh?) it's just that his behaviors are mine to the nth degree. On balance though life is good -- but these melancholy times suck!

  8. Hi Wendy, thanks for saying that about my mothering abilities but I think I have just enough self-awareness to know that there is room for improvement but not enough to always know how to go about it. Anyway, I checked out your blog and it seems that you have a good handle on this stuff. It helps to have good role models!

    Debbie: I'm breathing in and out as you read this. Thanks for the words of wisdom.

    Kristina: You are always have a good way of looking at things. Constructive. Positive. The thing about this latest bit of goings on is that I'm pretty sure Oliver and I are stuck in a cycle: his behaviors causing me to react causing more behaviors. ... And I have also been frustrated for exactly the reason you mentioned -- behaviors coupled with learning plateaus. But perhaps you are right that it is time for some changes. I have to think about this some more. You always give me something to think about!

  9. Gretchen: Ha! You're right. I'm paying that worry monkey too much! I need to have a heart to heart with him. And yes, Spring is almost here and I can't wait!

    Alexander's Daddy: That's an interesting connection between seasonal allergies and behaviors. I will start keeping a "behavior" journal to see if I can see a trend.

  10. Get out and do something for yourself, Now is the time! Buy a bunch of flowers so summer/spring is around you, go tanning, buy a some new summer clothes, watch a movie that takes place somewhere warm. I have totally been where you say you are today and what works for me is doing something for ME ONLY. You have drained yourself being a great mommy 24/7. Now is the time when you need to replenish the YOU so then you can be great mommy again. Good luck and go forth :o)
    (I hope I didn't sound too pushy)


  11. Anonymous2:15 AM

    I've never read your blog before.
    Just had to say
    "My, what absolutely GORGEOUS children you have!"
    God Bless them and you.

  12. Kristen: you are exactly the right kind of pushy! I should make doing things for myself more of a practice. I think that is a common mom-pitfall!

    Anonymous: Thank you! I think they are rather marvelous myself!