Continued from yesterday…the other problem with 366 days is that it breaks the rules.
It’s wrong. At least most of the time – it’s wrong.
Being the parent of a child on the spectrum means that rules and routines are CRAZY important. It allows these children to make sense of their world. Most of them DO NOT like the unexpected. If their world is predictable, their world is safe. I’ve already commented on how any changes in routine must be covered, re-covered, and covered again – often a week ahead of time.
Rules are concrete.
If I say something I have to stick to it.
Sure, that seems awesome – right? A child who likes rules? A child who follows rules? A child who thrives on rules?
Yeah…it’s awesome…sigh. Honestly, sometimes it makes me a bit nuts.
If I say something, then it is so – it is so for the rest of life.
“This cereal is the best.” (Translation: No other cereal, EVER, will be better)
If it is a great song, then it is so – it is so for the rest of life.
“I love this new Taylor Swift song.” (Translation: EVERY time we get in the car we HAVE to listen to Shake It Off. Sorry sweet Tay but your song makes me want to vomit now.)
If there is a funny story, then it is so – it is so for the rest of life.
“I can’t find my keys.” (Translation: Now the ‘mom loses her keys story’ gets told ALL THE TIME…and it’s not even that funny.)
If there is something scary, then it is so – it is so for the rest of life.
“I am NOT watching that movie.” (Translation: One time you tried to get me to watch Men in Black and it was terrifying, therefore anything with Will Smith MUST be terrifying).
If there is something that tastes bad, then it is so – it is so for the rest of life.
“I hate provolone cheese.” (Translation: Once you tried a piece of smoked provolone, but now think because the word ‘provolone’ is in the name that it must taste awful)
See the pattern there? On the flip side–
This morning I told him he cannot play with the iPad until his teeth are brushed. Now, his teeth will get brushed every morning.
I once told him that sleeping and eating right is what made him so tall. I don’t EVER have to argue with him about bed or making healthy choices.
What a conundrum – it’s one of the things about raising a child on the spectrum that I have discovered. Every idiosyncrasy is as irritating as it is wonderful. So, I decided long ago it’s about how you perceive each characteristic. I choose to look on the bright side, an eternal optimist. I choose to think about all of his ‘stuff’ as pretty incredible. My sister-in-law said to me yesterday (after reading the blog) “After today, I want to be more like Tucker!! So wise, going against the curve – so proud [of him].”
Yep…we could choose to only talk about the struggles. While most blogs begin with the struggle my goal is that they end with uplifting words. Words that emphasize how unique and wonderful and funny he is. Words about how we are blessed to have him.
I’ll follow his rules – because he makes us all better people.