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.)
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