Monday, April 23, 2012

Help a mommy out...

Okay. Here is some real talk for all of you parents out there.

I need help. Big time.

I feel like my kids (and my life) is out of control. Let me set the stage for you by describing my afternoon.

In the 15 minutes before my kids got off the bus today I pumped myself up by saying things like, "I am a good mother" to myself. I prayed. I thought of some things we could do this afternoon since I knew playing outside was out of the question on this cold and rainy day. I went to get them off the bus, and they jumped off the bus making farting noises on the back of their hands, blowing spit everywhere and then laughing hysterically. I told them they needed to be done with that before they came inside. They laughed hysterically...not sure if that was at me. They raced into the house, dropping backpacks and jackets on the floor, shoes left exactly where they were kicked off their feet. Then I notice the answering machine blinking.

It was the principal calling to let me know Ryan has lunch detention tomorrow because of out of control behavior at lunch today.

Out of control behavior, you say? What??? My child???

During the course of the afternoon, after many promises from Ryan and Noah that they would be good, they got increasingly more "crazy" as we call it. I mean, they were having a great time, but they were just out of control! At one point Ryan grabbed Noah's head and proceeded to fart on it. Real talk...right here.

By the time Kel got home they had each been sent to their room two times each, and I was frustrated beyond belief. Clearly something is not working..

I realize that part of the problem, if you want to call it that, is that Ryan, who has Aspergers Syndrome, doesn't really have any sort of cognitive understanding of when something goes from being enjoyable and fun to over the top, out of control craziness. He just knows that if someone is laughing at him, for that moment he is being accepted, so he wants it to continue. In many ways this breaks my heart because it is so evident to me that for the most part, he is not accepted by his peers. They laugh and he thinks it's great, keeps on doing it and then gets in trouble.

At home it is the same pattern, only now he has the captive audience of Noah, who loves his big brother and wants to do everything he does...especially if it involves any sort of replication of a bodily function. Seriously. I would say 5 nights out of 7 end up with both of our kids bouncing off the walls, laughing hysterically, yelling, screaming, running around the house like wild animals and me screaming and yelling and crying like another wild animal. I AM NOT EXAGGERATING!

I want my kids to have fun. How do I teach them to have fun but not let things get out of control? Help me!


  1. I know that I don't fit the criteria of being a parent, but I can let you know of one thing that my parents did for us growing up: Teaching us that there is a time and a place for such behavior, and what the line of "too far" is. I don't know how, exactly, they managed. But I can tell you that it helped our behavior go from the over-the-top "Animal House" style incidents to a bit more controllable. I don't know if you can, say, teach where that line is for these guys. But it's a place to start, I suppose.

  2. I'm not a parent so can't offer you any help there but I'm sure you are doing a great job to raise two awesome kids. I did want to share a touching video that a local high school student with Aspbergers shared on YouTube of a speech that he did at school to explain to others how he is different.

  3. Kelly...I hope you can feel me reaching out to give you a great big hug and a super secret crazy mommy handshake. I am SOOOO with you, sister! As much as I know myself to be a good, caring mom, there are times (and, no...not once in a while, many MANY times daily) where I wonder how this friggin' mess can possibly be a life I have created. Look, I don't even know you THAT well, but to know you even a little bit is to understand what an amazing person and mom you are. Sometimes, even though we always LOVE our children, we may not like them very much (and, BTW, I am quite certain in my case the feeling is completely mutual). Today, after my first day back teaching a bunch of wild middle schoolers, I had to take my kids to the dentist for their cleanings and THEN had the unenviable task of going to the geocery store....with both of my kids....something I typically try to avoid at ALL costs. But, hell, I wanted to go shopping and get a pedicure yesterday and Lord knows that alone time does NOT come free. So, in the span of two hours, my son LOUDLY threw me under the bus to his hygienist. "We do TRY to get him to use fluoride rinse...."You do NOT, Mommy" (I swear to God I was wishing I was in some place where corporal punishment is the social norm. Then I had to muster all of my resolve to not be "that crazy lady" who I once overheard telling her approximately 5 year old at Target, "You are ALREADY getting on my fucking nerves." as we made our way laboriously through the supermarket. The worst part was....I GET that lady. Not all kids are compliant and docile. I myself have somehow produced two who are much more of the screaming banshee type. I wish I had an answer....maybe it lies somewhere between firm boundaries and a stiff drink for Mommy, but the truth of the matter is we may just be in it for the long haul. Knowing you aren't alone will hopefully give you SOME peace. Hang in there, chica, and keep soldiering on. Xoxo (p.s. got a call from the principal when Colin was in kindergarten that he had SPIT on a fifth grader on the bus. So I SO get it!). Jill jackson

  4. I will not offer you advice on parenting because as we both know, I don't have kids (and as my sister once told me : when you're a parent you can tell me what to do with my kids, until then shut up!). I do tend to think about coping a lot these days though, so maybe I can help you with that. Here's a link to a blog post I read a while back which I really liked. I hope it helps!

  5. oMG Kelly... my best advice.. GRAB the reigns girl it's gonna be a wild ride. We can only control what we can control. I hear you 100%. You've got two boys... it's gonna be this way, BUT you can teach them that there is a time and a place. I'm trying very hard not to become just another animal in my home. I have to say that for whatever reason since the RAA I've had a much easier time of being calm with my kids and telling them a certain behavior won't be tolerated w/o losing it myself. Consistency... consistent consequences.... and trying to take the 'personal' out of it. I know it gets me fired up when my kids act that way.... it's almost like i feel like they are doing it to irritate me.. when I know they aren't... calm voice and to their rooms w/ no emotion what so ever... eventually they will figure out that you mean business... if sending them to their rooms doesn't work... find what does....

    and be strong.. knowing you are NOT a bad mom. WE ALL struggle with this exact same thing. You are not alone.... big huge momma hug to you .... I'll be thinking about you!!!

  6. That is quite a tough one. I've got girls, and it's stories like that which makes me grateful to have girls.

    Maybe try giving them a "play hard" space? like a padded room that it's ok to bounce off the walls in? maybe then they would come to understand that some behaviors are only appropriate inside of the safe space. I don't know. wish I could be more helpful.

  7. I wrote you a really long comment, but it was too long to publish, so I sent it to you as a FB message.

    Wow. I wonder if you'll have time to read it. Ha!

  8. So glad for your post today! It makes Brian feel almost like our house isn't the ONLY crazy, out of control household! It is so crazy here that at his Dr. appt he is going to ask for an increase in his meds.! Brian is absolutely positive that as a child he didn't act like this and if so his Mother should have given him away. You and Kel should come to our house and we'll have one crazy house instead of two!!! Call me when you need a starbucks break, I know I can use one. PS hang in there, Brian's assured us that it'll get better. Just not sure when!

    1. Tracy, Ruth, John, Laura, Annie, jill, Whitney and Ryan....thank you, thank you, thank you! These are all such encouragement to me and I so appreciate you taking the time to write these words. My energy is renewed!

  9. I know that for my crew (4 children, 3 boys and 1 girl), I find that their misbehaviour and craziness is sometimes a cry for attention. Kids don't seem to be able to say "I need some more attention mommy." So instead they do things that they know will get my attention which is often bad behaviour. Take this for what it is worth, it may not apply to you at all.

    Also I have discovered that it is also just boys being boys. We have lots of bodily funcions happening over here as well.

    I hope that things smooth out for you soon.

    By the way, I am a want to be triathlete (doing my second and possibly third tri this summer) and I enjoy reading your blog.


  10. I don't know much, if anything, about you. Just happened on your blog and this post by chance. However, I am a teacher and mom of 2 boys about 20 months apart and not saints.

    boys are boys. farting and thinking it is funny is a part of it.

    limits are limits. they are reached and consequences are held. time and time again no matter how inconvenient for you. so my advice, when possible set one limit and stick to it. if it is put your shoes away, than darnit, make that your mission that they learn to put their shoes away. if they don't they can't go to a friend's house because how embarassing a kid that doesn't put his shoes away. or whatever the scenario works for you. a consequence (not a PUNISHMENT) that is related to the limit you are setting, has worked the best for me. and even the best ... at times ... cries in the middle of a farting contest! good luck.


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