When I first started this blog, I wrestled with the question of how honest to be. Well, today I am going to make an all out confession. A couple of confessions actually.
Confession No. 1: I am doing an absolutely SHITE job as a parent.
The evidence for this comes from Confessions Number 2 & 3.
Confession No. 2: Sometimes I hate having a child with a disability.
Confession No. 3: I had more tantrums today than my children - and that is saying something! Today should have been renamed 'Interntaional Day of the Tantrum (IDOTT)' - everyone in our house had a turn, and another turn, and another...you get the picture.
So, obviously the most shocking of my confessions is number 2. Now don't worry, you don't need to go out and call DOCS, I love Ashlea and 99% of the time I love her just as she is and don't want to change her. But other days, that other 1% of the time...man she tests my patience.
Today we went to the park after preschool. I have been trying to make a bit more time for fun with the children lately. I feel that we have fallen into a rut of just staying home because it is easier and because we are tired from all our other running around. So I have decided that once a week after preschool we will either go to the park or out for afternoon tea, and because it was a beautiful day today (25 degrees and sunny in the middle of winter - yay for the return of El Nino) I decided we would spend some time outside. We walked to our closest park and Emma and Audrey got straight into playing and having a great time.
What did Miss Ashlea do you ask?
Sit in her pram and chat or sing a song?
Sit in her pram and whinge after awhile because she got bored?
Sit in her pram and scream blue murder from the minute we got there? YES, that would be the one.
SO FRUSTRATING! This is the part about disability that drives me crazy - the sensory issues. Any strange noise, place, smell - anything unfamiliar - can set her off screaming. And there is no reasoning with her. At least with the others I could resort to threats or bribery but none of that works with her. I either have to hold her the entire time or we have to leave. Today I decided that we were NOT leaving. I tried holidng her but that didn't work - she still screamed and it prevented me from playing with Emma and Audrey. In the end I let her scream it out in the pram while we played for awhile. I feel a bit guilty (well I feel like I should feel guilty), but I am sick of having to leave places early because she freaks out.
So there we were at the park - Emma very hesitantly trying out the equipment (she has inherited my anxiety to do with anything more than a foot off the ground), kamikaze Audrey climbing up every piece of equipment with absolutely no fear, and Ashlea...screaming... Fortunately there was no one else at the park so I didn't have to deal with other parents stares or comments about why we just carried on and ignored her.
This is why we don't often go out as a family - not because of the logistics of a child with a disability (although that is an issue) - rather because we can pretty much be guaranteed of an Ashlea meltdown. If anyone has any ideas on how to deal with this PLEASE leave a comment! She is getting too big to be carried around all the time when she freaks out - I need a strategy that will work as she gets bigger. Any advice gratefully accepted!
Hopefully a good night's sleep will mean less tantrums tomorrow - from all of us. All the kids are in bed. I'm going to have a cup of tea and chill on the couch. And tomorrow as Scarlet O'Hara says, is another day...