Well, today included the good, the bad, and the ugly. The ugly is still currently in progress. Carter is throwing a MAJOR fit that is really, really, really testing my patience right now. It’s almost as if I’m in a fog. I hear him and see him screaming and I feel his nails clawing at me, yet I’m really trying to focus on other things in order to keep my cool and not totally freak out on him and make things worse. I have no idea what his problem is. A few hours ago things were good. We sang happy birthday to him again today, he had his ice cream cake, and he was happy. It was so cute to see him try to blow his candles out. I think he almost has it down. Just a little more practice. At least he didn’t spit all over the cake!
Now, it’s a 360 degree turn. For the worse. Once we got home it was time for Carter to take his bath. At the time, he was “reading” his two books. I immediately knew it was going to turn ugly because I wasn’t going to let him bring the books in the bathtub (he’s done this before with the iPad). I took off his shoes, socks, diaper, and shorts. He was still gripping those books when it was time to take his shirt off. I asked him to put the books down so he could take his shirt off. He didn’t. So I gently tugged at the books and showed him where to put them down while he took a bath. Well, he got really upset and started jumping up and down and crying (insert giant sigh here). I would have given up on his bath right then and there if he hadn’t been full of sand, dirt, sweat, cake and ice cream!
After asking him several times (nicely, I might add) to put his books down, I finally had enough and pried them from his holding on for dear life grip. That’s when he lost it. Let’s just say he turned into a certain green character who’s shirt rips when he gets angry. Now, imagine trying to bathe this unusually strong, squirming, exorcist-like child. I’m not kidding. Carter was jumping, screaming, twisting his body around, swinging his head all over, and gripping the edge of the tub with his feet to try to pull himself out. I had to jump in the tub just to keep him in. I am obviously stronger than him (not by much it seems), but if I exert too much strength then he could get hurt. Flinging his head everywhere could also get him hurt. I just imagined him busting his head or face on the bathtub or the walls. I had to try to keep a strong enough grip on him to keep him from hurting himself, but not too strong where I could end up hurting him. Bathing him while doing this wasn’t so easy. I had to hold him with one hand and bathe him with the other. Keeping the grip with the soap making him slippery was no easy task. I wasn’t even angry, frustrated, or upset the whole time. It was like I was in a fog. I just had to concentrate on keeping him safe and being patient. Oh, and I had to move quick to get us both out of there!
Needless to say, my clothes were soaked and so was my bathroom floor. Carter flung himself around some more in a fit of anger and ran to his room with his books. This is one of those times when I’m just overwhelmed. Autism, you really suck. Carter doesn’t understand that his books can’t go in the tub with him. He doesn’t understand that they are right by him ready for him after his bath. I can’t tell him that he’ll get his books right after he’s finished his bath. This is the bad.
The ugly is when Carter and I have both had enough and I have to walk away in order to keep myself from losing it. I have that luxury to walk away and put my emotions in check. Carter doesn’t. I told Carter it was time for him to go to bed. He had to go to bed early as punishment. I did, however, turn his tv on just to give him a little something before bedtime. There’s a part on that show that he doesn’t seem to like very much and I’m not sure why. So, I made what I thought was a smart choice and I fast-forwarded that part. Well, apparently it was the dumbest idea ever. Carter totally lost it again. I turned the tv off figuring that was what he wanted. Nope. He got angrier. Here goes the guessing game. Process of elimination. Who wants to play? I didn’t so I went back to my room in a fit of my own anger. I tried ignoring Carter’s seemingly unsolvable fit, but I finally decided to play the game.
I turned the tv back on and kept moving past some parts until he finally calmed down and seemed to be okay. I sang some stupid Barney song to him and he smiled. Of course it’s always something that makes me look stupid that makes him smile. Go figure.
Hopefully he falls asleep soon. I’m now exhausted from these past couple of hours. This daily dose of autism was a tough dose to get down.