Driving Me Insane & Breaking My Heart

As much as I’ve wanted to write up something new every day to share on RRRIOTmama, there are only so many posts you can write about “oh, ya, more progress!”.. Not only does it take away from the excitement, but unless it’s your kid it’s happening to.. It’s obviously not all that exciting to keep hearing about. And then the past two days happened.

I think I’ve mentioned this before – I obviously never forget that Riot is autistic, BUT where he is considered “high functioning autistic” and made so much progress over this past year, we don’t experience nearly as many symptoms as a lot of autism families do. Because of that, when out of nowhere there are two consecutive incredibly difficult days with Riot, it has me feeling so emotionally and physically drained.

I feel horrible saying this (and I’m sure other autism mums can relate), but he drove me insane the past few days. As soon as he went to his dad’s this evening I instantly missed him, but at the same time felt like “oh, thank god!” But these two consecutive days were polar opposites. Yesterday he was up my ass and needed constant sensory input. Not only was he being a typical toddler wanting me to play with him every second of the day, but he was SO clingy, wanted me to squeeze him, wrestle with him, touch touch touch! There was NO personal space. He came into the bathroom and sat on my lap while I was peeing. He bit me 5 times and then instantly said sorry and kissed where he bit because he knows that’s absolutely not cool and that it hurts me.. But in that very moment it was something that he needed to do for whatever reason for him to self-regulate. I was short and snappy with him all day and then at the same time felt so bad because I knew he was just having a day where he was feeling more of his autism symptoms than he normally does.

And then there was today. Today was so draining. At all times I was constantly feeling annoyed, frustrated, heartbroken, sad, defeated, then frustrated all over again. Today was nothing like yesterday. He absolutely did not want to be touched. There were many things that he wanted, but couldn’t tell me what they were. He was hungry, but shot down all of his favorites. I finally got him to eat a popscicle.. But then he decided to touch it with his finger and when the tip of his finger then had purple popsicle he lost his shit and wanted nothing to do with it anymore.

How dare that popsicle?! So rude!

Then he unwrapped his second One Week Until Christmas Countdown book. He loved it! (mom win!) Mickey Mouse’s Clubhouse Christmas. But then I did something out of line and offered to read it to him. All hell broke loose.

Uhhhh sorry for trying to be an okay’ish mom by asking you if you’d like me to read you a Christmas story? A simple “no” would’ve been just fine, but instead you would’ve thought I took the book away, told him I gave all of his Christmas presents away and threw out all of the toys he owns. And that I was never going to feed him again. And he had to sleep on the tile floor from now on. And he was never allowed to use the iPad or watch TV again.
He looked at me so offended and then instantaneous hysterical crying combined with dramatically running away from me into our bedroom. But then also running back out periodically to make sure I was still the asshole mom that offered to read a new book to her son. Yup. I still existed. So he’d burst into tears again and run off, closing the door behind him. This went on for just over an hour and then it was silence. I walked to the bedroom to find him in bed, lights off, watching something on YouTube. I hated that I needed to interrupt this peaceful moment, but his dad was en route to pick him up and we needed to get him ready.

It’s not abnormal for Riot to fight me on changing his diaper. It’s actually hit or miss.. He will either lay down on the floor for me to change it with no questions or it’s like chasing/capturing a rabid animal. Sounds like an exciting gamble, huh? But, like everything today, this particular diaper change and needing to get dressed war was amplified by 12. Like a bandit, I got the dirty off fairly quickly. Then he transformed into a crazy, hysterical, naked, screaming toddler running away from me whenever I got within 5 ft of him. He was sobbing. Normally reminding him that he’s getting ready to go out or telling him it’s because daddy is on his way to get him is enough to to reel him back into being as rational as a toddler can be so he can be okay with the diaper change/picking out a shirt/getting dressed/shoes/socks/jacket/hat.

At one point he darted away from me and I found him “hiding” from me in the farthest corner of the pitch black bedroom while he continued to sob. This was a first. It broke my heart. As downright infuriating as it can be dealing with a defiant, angry toddler, it brings me to tears not knowing or being able to figure out what my boy needs when he’s this kind of distressed all day. Just one meltdown after another. It makes me feel so defeated. Ugh. Damn. I know there’s not much more I can do other than give him his space so he can figure out what he needs to do in order to calm down, but there’s nothing worse as a mom than seeing your kid bawling their eyes out, trying to catch their breath, and not being able to give them a hug or even kneel down next to him without making the situation way worse.

The end of that story is when dad arrived he had to come inside for backup. Riot never stopped crying, but daddy was able to get him dressed and out. When I closed the door behind them I heard Riot continue to cry and say “mummy.. mummy.. mummy” even though he had just spent the past hour not allowing me to be near him. Then I cried for a few minutes, obviously.


WOW. Okay. Let’s wrap this post up on a happier note! For 3 Christmas seasons now we’ve instilled the tradition that each night the week leading up to Christmas Riot get’s to unwrap one new book. Yesterday was the first day this year for him to unwrap a One Week Until Christmas Countdown book and he got Elmo’s 12 Days Of Christmas. Huge hit. He thought it was dying laughing at me as I was tripping all over the words by the last page. Today he got Mickey Mouse’s Clubhouse Christmas. He was loving flipping through it and pointing out all of the characters. (Obviously we still haven’t read it yet.)

©2016 RRRIOTmama

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[good]Morning Meltdown

I woke Riot up at 10:45. Riot’s teacher got here at 11. Riot has been… violently rioting since 11. 1 hour 31 minutes and going strong. He is certainly persistent. He certainly is reminding me a lot of his father and I.

His teacher and I have gone through all the motions; we’ve tried everything. 

I hate seeing my baby boy so inconsolable. 

Unfortunately for him, even though K leaves at 12:45, E is here until 6:15 with only a few short breaks in between. Today is going to be a long one.

Is it Friday yet?
Is it Friday yet?


I’m tired, you guys. Or exhausted. I’m not entirely sure which one, but I do know that Riot and I are wimps. It has only been seven days since the beginning of our ABA journey and, man, it has f’d our whole house up.

Rise and shine, dude! It's 12pm!
Rise and shine, dude! It’s 12pm!

I’ve always felt really bad whenever people ask how my son sleeps because my response always makes me sound like a bitch. During his first few weeks, when we were still just getting to know each other, he was cluster feeding around the clock, but once he was finally full 5 weeks later he started sleeping 6ish hours a night. It only got better and better from there (aside from the obvious times.. teething, being sick, etc). From 10 months until last week Riot insisted on showing off his biggest quality (and possibly only.. blonde hair? wtf?) that he inherited from me: his absolute love of sleep. Every night like clockwork Riot would stop whatever he was doing, go into his room and bring me his Owl (bff/partner in crime) and his blankie. That was his way of telling me that if I didn’t follow suit and proceed with his bedtime routine, then I was about to miss the boat because he was going to bed with or without it. We’d walk into the kitchen together where as quickly as humanly possibly I’d prepare him a bottle of almond milk.

Let me address this now before going any further. Yes, we still have bedtime bubbas even though he’s 21 months old. And on occasion we also have nap time bubbas. Plenty of women are still breastfeeding at 21 months, and if I were able to I would be too. It’s a bottle of milk, not rat poison. It’s our routine. It works for us. For 10 minutes a day he lays on my lap and has his bubba and I feel like he’s still my little baby. If anyone at all tries to make a negative comment about our “extended” bottle feeding, I will not even entertain it because I will drown you in facts and mom-knowledge.

Ahem, back to the routine: As soon as his bottle was ready we’d both run into his bedroom where I sit on his rocking chair, he has me wrap him up in his blankie with Owl and chugs a bottle. He lays in his crib, TV set for one hour of Mickey, and then we don’t hear from him again until 9 or 10am. Sometimes 11. It’s amazing. 

I was aware that starting the 13 hour ABA schedule last week would throw us off and it’d be something to get used to.. In FIRST FULL WEEK OF ABA: KILLED IT I mentioned how it messed up his nap times so there were a couple of nights where he woke up during the night.. Happy. Wanting to play. That I can handle.  But then there was Friday night. Something unknown had disturbed his inner demon beast. That was the first time I had encountered The Beast. Everything was going according to our normal routine: pajanimals was on, he brought me Owl and blankie. Fast forward: he sits on my lap in the rocking chair, smiles, starts drinking his miOH MY GOD HE’S SCREAMING AND FLAILING AND MY GLASSES JUST WENT FLYING ACROSS THE ROOM WTF IS GOING ON.. I was quickly going through all the normal troubleshooting trying to calm him, but nothing worked. He no longer wanted the bottle, didn’t want his pacifier, didn’t want me to touch him, Owl had been written off as a traitor. He laid on his floor in front of me loosing his mind and all I could think was, “wow, this is awkward because we’ve never done this soooo I don’t really know what to do..is it me? do I smell? is he mad because he saw me try to sneak checking Facebook?” I was dumbfounded. This went on for at least 45 minutes. Nothing worked. Eventually I put him in his crib, put Mickey on and said goodnight. He continued to scream for a few minutes and then I think he passed out from exhaustion. It. Was. Insane. 

This exact same scenario happened again Saturday afternoon, Saturday evening and Sunday evening. Last night and Saturday had me feeling really upset that I still couldn’t figure out what was going on. We had such great days and then suddenly it all went to shit right before bed. I don’t like seeing my little boy so sad right before bed or knowing he was crying until he fell asleep. 

This morning he slept until the very last possible minute at noon when I saw his teacher, E, getting out of her car. He was in a great mood and greeted her at our front door. He’s now very aware that these are *his* friends that are coming over the house and not mine. It’s adorable. When E asked how our weekend went I told her about The Bedtime Beast. I’m glad I told her because she talked to me for a bit about it and explained knowing the difference between a tantrum vs. an autism meltdown.meltdownBecause Riot still doesn’t talk, I have no clue what exactly set him off, but I know what happened met all the criteria for an autism meltdown. And that sucks because it made me feel helpless.  So, fuck you, autism. 





PS.. We’re up to $460!! Keep it climbing! The flyer links right to the donation page<3