When I attended a writer's conference in June, the one class I took encouraged us, as authors, to be personally transparent. I try to write that way when I write this blog, but I am not always as transparent as I should be if I want to encourage other parents. So today, I am going to give you a glimpse of my out-of-control words when I am extremely angry. Some of you will be appalled, some will think it is normal and some, if you have seen me in this mode, will recognize me, unfortunately.
It all started last Wednesday morning when Kalisha's recreational therapist showed up to pick her up for her bi-weekly volunteer job at the zoo.
Our new RULE for anyone knocking on our door is: First put the dog on his leash or put him outside, because he wants to lick people to death and gets so excited about a new person to say hello to, that he invariably pees on them. Not a stream, but dribbles. THEN you can tell them to come in.
I was in the kitchen, therapist knocked, Kalisha setting in a chair, yells, "Come in!" Iggy immediately wraps himself around ther. leg and pisses all over her foot and flip-flop. I am grabbing dog, trying to get wet and dry towels for thera. and yelling at Kalisha all at the same time. I wasn't exactly yelling with words, but the looks I was giving her were 'yelling' if you know what I mean. I reminded her of our rule about the dog, but she really didn't care, I guess.
Kalisha hates it when I am angry at her and ruminates over it for a while. I was totally over it until I picked her up from the zoo. Her therapist came to the car with her and I knew this wasn't a good sign. She informed me of Kalisha's attitude and actions for the last 2 hours at the zoo. I kept nodding and saying I would take care of it, but I was becoming 'furiouser and furiouser'
First of all, I have never liked being in the position of hearing things my kid(s) did wrong. I don't live in the hallucinatory world of some parents who think their child never misbehaves, but it is still uncomfortable to listen to it. Kalisha was apparently in a funk over the fact that I had been upset with her about the dog. This led to her not cooperating, not doing her duties correctly, being rude to zoo guests, etc. etc. etc.
Well, let me tell you that if she thought she was in trouble over the dog, she hadn't seen anything yet! It's a good thing we only live about a mile from the zoo, so my diatribe was fairly short-lived. I was furious with her! I made it perfectly clear how I felt about this behavior and it wasn't with nice words. I told her she was not going to use autism for an excuse to act like a b----, and how did she think those little kids in the goat yard and their parents felt about her rudeness? I continued with responsibilities, losing her job, unacceptable behavior, making it difficult for any other special needs person to volunteer there, etc. etc. I can say a lot in a short time when I am on a roll!
Then as a consequence, I took her phone away for 24 hours. That just about killed her, y'know. Then I told her to go to her room until dinner.
After I had calmed down and tried to decide if I was so angry because of her actions (yes) but also because her actions said something about me as a parent. Both, I guess.
I asked for her forgiveness; not for being angry with her, but for the way I handled it. Then we had a rational discussion about all of the things I had been screaming about on the way home.
Kalisha is very forgiving and very honest. Yesterday, there was a quarterly meeting at our house with 4 of her providers. She was telling them about how she had behaved badly and what she learned from it AND of course, she finished up with, "And my mom called me a b-----."
I guess if I don't want people to know that, I shouldn't have said it, huh?
Fortunately for us, they are all very understanding people who deal with these things every day. That doesn't excuse it or justify it, though.