Thursday, 20 September 2012

I have failed.

Monkey's therapy provider cancelled his therapy yesterday without any real explanation. I assumed someone was sick or otherwise unable to make it, and didn't think too much about it, other than reorganizing my day around other activities.

My son's therapy provider called this morning and asked if I was available for a visit this morning. I am home all morning, so I said yes, and tried to tidy up to get ready.
The program coordinator and the family worker came to the house today to meet with me. They talked about setting up services and respite care and whatnot. All very polite and kind. Then the PC told me what I gather was the main reason for coming to see me today, at short notice.

 Apparently, his therapists had complained that the floor and carpet in our living area were not clean, and because they work mostly on the floor, they were getting crumbs and cat hair and "stuff" on their clothes. They noticed the smell in Monkey's room, where he has been indulging in fecal smearing of late, and the carpet in there isn't very clean either. They talked about the mess from having pets and possible issues with cat boxes and contact.

The FW made some offers of pamphlets and contacts, and then some pointed remarks about how if I got some respite care for Monkey, perhaps I could take the time to take care of the hygiene problems they had pointed out. She mentioned that they wanted to help me get the situation under control before it became a crisis. That they wouldn't want to involve child protection services. Unless absolutely necessary.

The PC then asked if I was okay with all this, as she knew I was feeling overwhelmed before they told me this. She assured me that they didn't want me to feel threatened or upset, that they had to make sure their people were in a safe working environment. That she wouldn't send anybody out today either, but that they were sure I could  get the place up to standard and ready to go for Monday, when she would be dropping by to see if all was done.

I managed to stay in control while I told them that I would get it done. That I was fine with it. That I would take care of things.

I can't seem to stop crying. I am a failure as a housekeeper, and I know I suck at it. I knew that before. I have tried really hard to get the place clean and comfortable so that his therapists could work with him here. I guess I am just not good enough. I have failed. I have failed so badly that my ability to provide a safe environment for my kids is in doubt. My in-laws are right. I am a lousy housekeeper, a lazy, unmotivated, incompetent person, I don't care enough about my kids to make more of an effort.

I want to shrivel up and die. I want to give up, even more than before. I haven't lost it completely yet. I met Monkey's bus, got Kitten cleaned up and fed them both lunch. For their sake, I am going through the motions of being a useful person. But I feel like I have already lost the game. Once again, I am judged and found wanting. This time by people who I need to please. I am a failure.

*Update* Thank you to everyone who posted in the comments with your support. I am doing better this morning, and dealing with what needs to be done. I am so glad to be a part of this community of bloggers. My husband reminded me of something: none of Monkey's therapists or workers have kids, let alone kids with special needs. While they work with these kids, most of them are fairly young, and they really don't get it. I got my feelings hurt because they don't seem to see the challenges, or that I am doing my damnedest to keep everyone happy, healthy and safe. Hopefully, this will pass. Worst case scenario is that we will be looking for a new service provider. I would rather stay with the one that Monkey knows, but we will do what we need to. For me, the worst fallout from all this is that my boy lost two days of his therapy because they didn't approve of my housekeeping. Whatever my hurt feelings are, that is a tangible loss from what is at the root a service that we pay for. So, I take a deep breath and move on. I am going to take the cleaning advice and see how it goes, maybe get back on the FlyLady wagon, and enlist my household to give me more of a hand. Thanks again to you all. It really is good to have people I can vent to who really get it.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Liebster Award Winner! Yay me!

   So, Tree the Snake has honoured me with the prestigious and exclusive (I am assured) Liebster Award! This means I have to post some stuff. Thankfully, there is a protocol established here, so lets line it up.

  1. Thank the Liebster Award presenter(s) on your blog.
  2. Link back to the blogger who presented it to you
  3. Copy and paste the award on your blog.  
  4. Present the award to 5 or 11 blogs that deserve to be noticed.
  5. Let them know they've been presented with the Liebster Award.
  6. Answer 11 questions posed by the presenter. 
  7. Eat some dark chocolate.  It has anti-oxidants in it.  It will cure what ails you.  Unless you are allergic to chocolate.  Then skip 7. 
Number one: Thank you to for presenting me with this incredible honour and a kickstart to getting a blog post written.
Number two: I am pretty sure I did that. I hope. Twice. 
Number three: see number two.
Number four: Lemme see, who am I gonna pick?
Bacon and Juice Boxes
Parenting with Asperger's Syndrome 
Holdin' Holden 
Confessions of an Aspergers Mom 
My Life With my "Au"some Son
I will admit, I partly chose so as not to copy Tree the Snake's list, but all of these blogs are awesome and well worth reading, written by awesome people who deserve the recognition.
Number five: Okay, working on it.
Number six: Hm, I believe this is an add on question, but what the heck.
  1.  What, if anything, is completely off limits as far as blog topics for you?
  2.  What is your favorite sound?
  3.  If you could go back and talk to your 15 year old self, what one piece of information/advice would you share?
  4. How did you end up doing what you do today? (If you're a SAHM, what made you choose that vs. going back to work? If you work a paying job, how did you end up in the field you are in?)
  5. What is your guilty pleasure?
  6.  What's your favorite candy?
  7.  What prompted you to start your blog?
  8.  Do you have a favorite food? If so, what?
  9.  If you had to pick 1 thing to change about yourself, what would it be?
  10.   What physical attribute do you like most about yourself?
  11.  Do you still live where you grew up? If not, how far away are you from your hometown?
 1. I try not to get involved in politics, and I try not to get caught up in the controversies of Autism treatments. That said, I wouldn't call it off limits. There are topics I don't bother with, because I don't think it would be interesting or useful to me to blog about them. I try not to over censor myself, but I rarely use curse words in my writing. I do enough of that in real life.
2. Wind chimes. Almost any wind chimes.
3. Tough one. I was suicidal and isolated during my teen years. I would love to tell myself that the high school years would be the worst of my life, not the best. That there are tough times to come, but there are wonderful things too. It gets better.
4. Well, you see, when a man and a woman love each other very much, they might decide to have a baby... Child care is just too bloody expensive, and I worked mostly assorted menial retail wage slave type positions. I am fortunate to have a husband who makes enough to support us without the second income, and housemates who share the rent with us. I have a little jewelry making business on the side, but I wouldn't call it an income, per se.  At least, not yet.
5. Watching Hoarders. 
6. Reeses Peanut Butter Cups
7. When my son was diagnosed with autism, I started looking for online support and advice, and found the ASD and SN parent blogger community. Homestyle Mama  and Parenting With Asperger's Syndrome were and still are my inspiration and heroes.
8. Is ice cream a food?
9. I would like to like myself. 
10. Is it bad to say my boobs?
11. I have moved way too many times. I was born in Regina, Saskatchewan,  and lived in several cities in my early childhood. From age seven to twenty I lived in Calgary, Alberta. I spent fourteen years in the Lower Mainland, mainly in Vancouver, BC. This was followed by a nightmare of moves for school, my husband's work, and family.  I live in Calgary again now. And I am hoping to only move again when we can afford to buy a place of our own.

So, the challenge and awards are passed on...

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Singing in the rain, or something

So, it's raining today. My little Kitten decided that 4:30 am was a great time to wake up. I left the boys in bed (the Monkey evidently joined us at some point last night) and got up to turn on the TV to Treehouse and deposit Kitten in her accustomed place with juice and some Cheerios. I did the dishes, made the coffee and waited for the sun to rise, feeling cranky and tired, wishing I could sleep all day.
Then I went to the living room to join my daughter, and she gave me an enormous smile and pointed to the TV, saying "doa doa, bapa!" (For those of you who don't speak toddler, this is "Dora, Dora, Backpack!") Her smile was irresistible. I went in for a cuddle and she said, "Ticka ticka!" so I tickled her and made us both giggle. The sky lightened and my mood began to improve.
Then Monkey came out, cranky and wanting to go back to bed. He got a cuddle and a tickle too, and settled down with a Pop-tart after rejecting the peanut butter sandwich I had ready for him. Par for the course, at least he ate something, never a sure thing in the morning.
My hubby emerged from the bedroom, ready for work, with clothes for Monkey. I got our boy dressed, then looked at the clock. 7:25. I begged my Hubby to let me get a shower, and he graciously gave me 5 minutes. He doesn't have the one to two hour commute anymore, having switched to school about fifteen minutes away, although still teaching the same category of students. It is so much easier in the mornings this way. So I got my shower (bliss, even hurried) and felt almost human by the time I was dressed and brushed and moisturized.
Monkey was already at the door, champing at the bit, dressed in his Thomas the Tank Engine boots, and his shiny yellow slicker that his Gramma got for him. He was so excited about going out in the rain that I found myself smiling again. He loves the rain, puddle jumping, mud pies, the sound the rain makes on his hood. The bus came a little late, but he didn't mind.
So here's the thing: I hate mornings. I hate getting up early, I can not stand the groggy feeling and lack of cognition that plagues me, having to function when I just want to sit and stare at the wall until my brain wakes up, having to act cheery (for the children! phbbbbbt), make conversation with Hubby. And I hate rain, the darkness and gloom, the wet, the mess.
 But today, I stepped into my kids' worlds.
My daughter, the morning baby, the early, happy riser.
My son, delighting in the prospect of rain, school, and the bus ride.
I am not by nature an optimist, although I do try. Today, though, today I feel like the world might be a good place to be after all. If my darling girl can greet the day with enthusiasm, if my awesome little man can love the rain, maybe I can be a part of it, can learn to see it through the eyes of these crazy little monsters that I adore so much.
Today, depression and the dark side of autism will be overcome for a while.
Today, I will sing along with Dora and Kitten.
Today, I will go jump in puddles with Monkey.