Sunday, September 10, 2017

There is a stranger in my house

I have a stranger in my home. 

Well, not right now, it is 9:30 am on a Sunday morning... however this stranger shows up about three times a week.

I know her first name, her car, that she is a student, and where she has lived in the past. I know that she looks young (however, that part is just me getting older)

That's it.

Weird, huh? 

I wonder what she know's about me. At the very least she knows...

Where I live.

The time that I come home.

That Mr. M has a sister.

The chaos ensues every day, with the transition from home services to family time.

The type of car I drive.

The possessions inside my home, and most importantly where the skittles are located.

I wonder...

What else the team has told her about us?

Does she know about Mr. M's history?

How fast will she pick up his behavior support plan?

Does she know I blog?

Does she thinks this situation is awkward as well?

Is she comfortable in our home?

How long will she be around until she transitions off of Mr. M's team, finds new employment, moves, or gets promoted?

And most importantly, does she know how important her job is?

So dear stranger,

Please read his behavioral support plan.

Now read that BSP again.

And once you think you have it nailed down, read it once more.

Ask questions.

Take feedback.

Put the toys away.

Hold him accountable, even if I'm in the room.

Look at him and see him not his diagnosis.

And whatever you do don't fall for his charm.

Also, dear stranger, I have one more thing to ask of you...

When the timing is right, stay a little bit after your shift. Talk to me.

Tell me.... 

Your last name.

About your family.

Where you live.

What brought you into this line of work.

What you want to know that hasn't been answered.

And let's move from strangers to teammates. 

xoxo - The Chaos Manager 

Monday, August 28, 2017

Quaint Chalkboard Signs

Tomorrow is your first day of school. You will be entering the first grade.

Before you were born I used to spend countless hours scrolling through Pinterest pinning different ideas to make your childhood the best it could be. Everything from making a solar powered oven to roast smores to those quaint chalkboard signs that show the grade and teacher for each school year.

Oh, how I love first day of school photos. 

For me, back to school pictures are one of the most treasured memories of childhood. The moments that you pull up years later and look back and say things like, "Look at the missing tooth" or "Mom, why did you put me in that". The moments that you show your significant other before you get married, and they look at you with googly eyes and say "Wow, I get to marry that babe".

Moments, that I still care deeply about, however, the thief that lives with us often takes away.

Did you know, last year I didn't take a picture of your first day of school?

I said I was too busy. I said, that it was just one of the moments lost to being a working mom. I lied.

Last year I didn't want the picture.

I didn't want the memory. I didn't want another reminder of how vastly different your childhood is. Instead of having two first day of kindergarten pictures I chose not to document it.

Tomorrow for your first day of 1st grade, I'm not sure what I am going to do.

See, I desperately want that picture.

I want it so bad, I would pull out all my teeth for it. 

Sometimes, I think your thief know's that, so he makes sure to cheat us from these special days.

I know the because of wiring in your brain and fact that you are a seven-year-old boy, that tomorrows picture with that quaint chalkboard sign might not happen. It is quite possible that tomorrow you won't look into that camera,  that you will refuse to hold the sign, or even go onto the front steps themselves.

I don't know if I can take that rejection again.

See, tomorrow is one of my least favorite days to be on social media. For tomorrow my feed will be filled with nothing but kids holding those quaint little signs. A subtle reminder of what a normal childhood looks like.

And since I'm already on a highly emotional charged roll, and have already thrown out some other confessions, I might as well go all in and make one last confession, tomorrow I will be insanely jealous of my friends.

I don't like that feeling. Actually I hate it. If you are a friend of mine I bet you didn't even know I harbored these feelings. I try to keep it bottled up and hidden far away because at the end of the day being jealous of a picture is pretty petty. But it's true.

Back to tomorrow, I know what I am going to do.

Late tonight while you are sleeping with a mix of anxiety and excitement, I am going to make you your first day of school sign.

Tomorrow, I will feed you breakfast, brush your teeth, and put you in the perfect first day of school outfit. I will ask you to hold the sign and with bated breath, I will try to take your first day of school picture.

Maybe it will happen or maybe it won't.

But if it does I want to make sure that this moment is documented.

Because, if there is ONE thing I have learned from raising you, is that you never know what is possible.

And I want you to have that picture, just in case one day you bring home a significant other with googly eyes.

First day of Pre-K sign and a cameo of an amazing member of Andrew's entourage : ) 


Friday, August 4, 2017

The Process

This summer has been so good.  So good, filled with moments I never thought would happen for Mr. M. Moments I used to weep about in the shower because I was convinced after Mr. M received his diagnosis that they were never going to happen.

Things like...

A week long trip to Spain.

Fun filled conversations.

New foods (celery with peanut butter say what!).

A handful of weeds picked just of me.

The past few months have been so smooth, and then the hubby said, "I think this has been Mr. M's best summer ever." and Autism said, "Hold my juice box".

and Boom, here we are in the not so smooth part.

Here's the thing, I know what to do. I know that the past four months we have had the cloud covered mountain. The view where the mountain is still present but that we can't fully see it.

I know that the clouds have parted, and now we have the beautiful, sheer, jagged, unbridled, smack you right in your face, view.

I know what to do this view, and this is the monologue currently running through my head.

There is always growth after moments like this.

Think about all the progress.

You have great friends to lean on.

Don't worry about what the future is going to bring.

We have a professional entourage.


This script has been running in my head for the last week. Get out of this funk, think about all the good. Come on, you are stronger than this, put your big girl panties on.

The truth is, this process never ends.

Before Mr. M was diagnosed I didn't know ...

That toddler are supposed to play with their cars and not just spin the wheels of the car.

They are supposed to respond to their name.

They should bring over objects to you.

They are supposed to point at what they want.

I simply didn't know the developmental milestones of a toddler. Some days I wonder how vastly things would have been different if the order of my two children were reversed.

I think about how I would have picked up on things faster, and I think about how Mr. M could have received services sooner. To this day I still feel guilty that I didn't have any concerns with Mr. M's early development.

How did I miss this?

I also think about that time when we didn't know. How carefree it was. How I was so blissfully unaware of things like a social shift, stimming, and rigidity.

Because I didn't know I never worried about Mr. M's lack of skills. Now, I am in the middle of the autism community. Now I know how kids are supposed to develop. Now I know what that unbridled mountain can bring.

With his early intervention, wrap around support, and squeaky wheel of a mom, I really thought that some of the more intense behaviors wouldn't be part of his journey.

This past week, I had to accept even more of the beautiful, sheer, jagged, unbridled, smack you right in your face, view of the mountain.

Part of this my process has been to moving from fighting to accepting.

I had to accept that ...

There is no cure.

The GFCF diet would not save him.

He would grow out of it.

And now I need to accept that as he grows older and continues growing, his behaviors are going to grow as well.

So right now the put your big girl panties speech isn't going to get me out of this funk.

However, I know what will,


I have stood at the bottom of that mountain, time and time again. Wanting it to shrink, wanting it to look less jagged, and wanting it fell less overwhelming. Each time looking up wondering how in the world I am going to get to the top ...

However, some way, some how, every time we make it.

xoxo - the chaos manager