Day #316 – Certificate Is In The Mail

My ‘Mother-of-the-year’ certificate is in the mail.  I’m sure of it.

Actually….not at all.

Today, I failed as a parent.  It isn’t the first time and it definitely will not be the last.

As many of you know I constantly struggle with my guilt in providing Estelle enough attention.  These posts describe some of that struggle.

Today was her day.

She has a playhouse that has been WAY overdue for carpet installation, decorating, and filling full of her good stuff.  We’ve transformed the space into her own escape – an art studio and reading nook.  It really is fantastic.

It doesn’t sound like I failed today, does it?

But I did.

I asked Tucker to help bring things to her playhouse and he did.  Then he disappeared.  I found him and gave him more direction.  He did what I asked.  Then he disappeared.  Once again I provided some more clear direction.  He complied.  Then disappeared.

That was the moment.  The moment I decided I wasn’t fighting it anymore.  She needed to be my focus.  She deserved to be my focus.  Every time I turned around I was providing instructions and reminders to him instead of really focusing on her.

How did I fail?

6 hours.

Tucker had at least 6 hours of screen time today.  It could have been more – I actually just don’t want to count beyond 6 hours.

6 hours in front of a screen…

Watching YouTube
Playing XBox
Watching television
Playing on the computer

6 hours.

In that 6 hours I paid full attention to Estelle.  She got all of me and it was fantastic. Dare I say, phenomenal.  We played, we laughed, we sweat a lot (laying carpet in a non-air conditioned playhouse when it’s 85 causes ‘hot mess’ issues).

6 hours.

Want to know why my certificate is NOT in the mail? Because I don’t feel guilty.  I don’t feel bad.  I don’t have any shame.  None. Why?  Because that was also six hours that I did nothing but pay attention to this blonde curly cutie.

6 hours well spent.

6 hours with the neurotypical sibling…until it came to having her potatoes for supper.  These are her potatoes. She chose the seeds, planted them, and dug two hills of them yesterday.

While eating she says, “I love the taste – but I really hate the noise that is made when you open your mouth and chew the mushiness.”

I just laughed and she asked, “That’s a sensory problem, isn’t it?”  I nodded.  Then she giggled and said, “We just can’t get away from Tucker can we?”

We laughed together…what a wonderful six hours it was.



3 thoughts on “Day #316 – Certificate Is In The Mail

  1. Pingback: Day #327 – Indexing | 366 Days of Autism

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