Maybe I don’t have the same mental capacity as the average parent and maybe Juli requires a bit more patience than a non-ASD child, but after going out for a couple hours this afternoon I’m totally burned out…..
I try and plan to do only one or two stops each time we go on a trip out as Juli has a pretty hard time getting in and out of the car multiple times in one outing.
After the first time she gets out she is very reluctant to do it again. She wants to go home and play or she wants to drive and go outside. She could honestly live outside lol…
I can sometimes with a bit of difficulty get her to go to a second place once we finish the first, but not always. Often it takes a lot of mental energy that I just don’t have….
I am trying to be the best parent that I can to Juli, which is why I identified that I have issues and I am getting help for them from my psychologist. I still feel guilty though when I don’t have the mental energy to handle things that I think other parents can :(…
Today I had three to four places to go and I decide to try and venture out to do them. And yep, regret it lol.
I missed my exit as Juli was talking too much to me so I couldn’t focus. This meant I then ended up stuck in an extra 20 minutes of traffic that I had to go through just to get back to the way I should have taken.
She also remembered that we get a bag of popcorn when we go to the gas station to get gas a few times. We passed by that type of gas station (Shell) – Juli knows them as orange gas :), and asked me if we could find the place and buy popcorn. She asked me this right when I was trying to find my way.
When I didn’t answer she repeated that she would like to “find the place where we can buy popcorn”, I tried to focus and didn’t answer. I just wasn’t capable of listening to her at that moment. I couldn’t process that as well as the traffic. I was trying to balance a 70km road containing 3-4 lanes of traffic…
She just wanted me to acknowledge her, but I really couldn’t focus on her and drive at the same time and I ended up snapping at her.
When I stopped at a traffic light I finally tried to understand what she was talking about and she managed to convey to me what she wanted. I finally understood, and told her “maybe we could look for the popcorn, depending on how much time we had”. I know that maybe is a bad word for autistic kids, but it just came out of my mouth – and I would regret it later…
We finally got to our first destination and then it was a challenge to take her through the store. She knew we were there to buy a present for her friend and she was so eager to help.What she didn’t understand though is that her friend likes different things than she does.
So she was taking everything off the shelf and giving it to me all excited that she was going to get to give it to her friend. I kept on telling her that her friend doesn’t like that and she just couldn’t understand this….
When I showed her something that her friend would like, she really didn’t want to give that to her and said she wouldn’t like that. Try and get Juli to understand that different people like different things. Yep – not easy!
Managed to get the gift in the cart and had to go through the exact same ordeal with the gift bag and the card :(…
By the time we left the store I was exhausted. And I still had two more stops including the dry cleaners and she still wanted to see if we could find her popcorn which meant another stop to the gas station.
I decided to skip my second stop as I just didn’t have the emotional energy.
We went to the dry cleaners and the whole time getting there and parking the car was my daughter the “rcmp officer”. See my post from the other day with that same title lol :).
We brought the duvet into the dry cleaners and then came the next meltdown. She couldn’t understand why we were leaving it there. And I couldn’t understand at first why she was balling her eyes out. I handed the duvet in and then proceeded to leave the store and walk out to the car, next thing I knew Juli started to say something to me and then started balling.
I just wanted to get us safely to the car and not end up standing in the middle of a parking lot with cars driving by.
When I got to the car I tried to compose and gather my brain so I focus on what she was trying to tell me through her tears.
“Mommy, we can’t leave the blanket there! They are supposed to clean it for us!”
So that was what she didn’t understand. I tried to explain to her that it takes time to clean the blanket and they are going to do it for us. When it is ready in a few days I’ll go back and get it. She told me that she was “so worried about the blanket” and I told her it would be fine. She calmed down a bit – enough to get in the car.
By this time, it was time to go home as her dad was home with our take out supper treat and it was getting cold waiting for us.
I told her we were all done and could go home and see daddy. In any other case that would be music to her ears, today we hadn’t gotten her popcorn yet.
She emotionally reminded me of this.
I tried to get it at another gas station that was on the way home, but they didn’t carry the brand that she knew. So I tried to explain to her that we would go home and see daddy and then we would all go out together after supper and shop for it when we had more time. I told her that supper was getting cold.
I should have told her “no” to the popcorn earlier, but I didn’t have the mental energy to deal with that explanation then, as in her mind she understands that we are buying something for her friend so in her mind she should be allowed something too.
I had told her maybe instead, which only prolongs the discussion. I was actually hoping she would forget lol…
After explaining it to her for about 10 minutes, I got her to understand that we are going home to see daddy and then after we have eaten we can all go out again and look for her popcorn if she likes. Explaining things may take a lot of time and energy, but I’m learning it’s the best way to handle situations. She needs to be explained things and help her understand….
At least then when we went out he would be with us on the outing and that often goes easier :).
All of this is why I usually try and only do one place each time lol. For now.
Man, I am emotionally drained…
But I know as I work on myself with the psychologist things will get better and I hope to become capable of handling more in the future :).
Have to be positive right?….