Every parent needs a lot of patience but a parent of a child with special needs needs an extra dose of patience. She needs patience for the board of ed, doctors and other well meaning people who complicate her life. Most importantly, though, she needs more patience for her child, the one who lacks impulse control and at 4.5 still acts much younger. She would be me. The child would be Y. And G'd must have a good sense of humor because I am sorely lacking in the patience department.
Yesterday was a challenging day. I am a bit slow but after almost 5 years of being a parent I am starting to learn that when it is too quiet in the house it means there is big trouble brewing. While I was drinking my coffee yesterday morning and enjoying the quiet, I soon realized that I had no clue where Y was.
Bad news. So I checked the usual mischief places- the fridge, the bathroom, his room but he was not there. I checked his next favorite place, my bedroom, and found him thoroughly enjoying himself. He was redecorating the room- with my mascara. It was everywhere- on all the walls, on the sheets, on the floor, on the door. You cannot even imagine. So I did what any good civilized mother would do- I yelled. Then I felt guilty, because it' s not his fault. He doesn't understand. Even though I desperately just want him to understand why this is not okay, he just doesn't get it.
Fast forward to bedtime, 10 hours later when Y wandered off while I was reading the kids a book. Again, too quiet. Again a huge mess- this time half a bottle of grape juice all over my kitchen floor. Like I said, I'm slow. I forgot to lock the fridge.
I blew my cool and yelled. And Y was crying because he was just trying to pour grape juice into a cup and make havdalah like his Abba. I felt guilty and resentful all at once. Guilty because I know I am the adult and I need to stay calm. Resentful because my reality is such that I need to lock my fridge, hide my pens, my toiletries, my laptop AND my wallet and cannot sit for five minutes without wondering what my kid is up to.
So the lessons we learn from this is:
1) Quiet means trouble
2) I need a lot of work on my patience. Suggestions welcome.
Edited to add- although I sometimes sound exasperated on this blog, I really do love my children. Really :)