Thursday, September 22, 2005

Dear Noah

You break my heart. You had a great time at occupational therapy but were extremely emotional many times later that day. I have decided to really push you as far as wiping your bottom after bowel movements. This is something I HAVE to do as your mommy or I will still be wiping your butt at age 40! As a matter of often tell me you won't be ready to wipe your own butt till age 40! I tell you that you will be a lot younger than that when you start wiping your own bottom!

SO...I pushed you over the edge last night. You have not quite made it into the bathroom a few times actual bowel movement in your underwear BUT a big stain to say the least. Usually with some residue on it that I have to clean up. We even made a sign about this to help you remember that you need to stop whatever you are doing and take time to make time to get to the bathroom on time! However, if you are not right in front of that sign you don't always remember to go to the bathroom. Hard for us out here to imagine not remembering to go to the bathroom when you need to...but...that is you!

SO had another mess last night. You now warn me by saying "Mommy now don't yell at me...but I forgot my sign again!". SO last night I told you that you had to start wiping your own bottom at least ONE time before I would come in and wipe you at all. This upset you so much as you had a mess all over your bottom and you did not want to get your hands possibly messy. I explained to you that IF your hands got messy you could WASH them right after you got off the toilet. I KNOW these are all sensory issues for you but you have to learn to work through them. You cannot just be told to do something like this and then do it like other kids. I understand that. Telling you that you could wash your hands right away however did not pacify you much. I finally had to raise my voice and tell you that you would have to sit on the toilet until you wiped at least ONE time from now on. I told you once you wiped one time to call me and let me know and I would finish helping you clean up. This took forever. I felt so bad but I could not give in. I had to try to work you through this.

I then proceeded to tell you that Jesus I was sure wiped his own bottom by age 6 and that he did not have his mommy or daddy wipe his bottom after having a bowel movement. (you are infatuated with Jesus so I used him for an example). You seemed genuinely interested in hearing this but kept telling me you couldn't do it and that you were too messy...etc. You asked me to bring you your CALM DOWN book so you could calm down. You asked that I hold you out in the room to make you feel HAPPY again and to help you calm down. I told you that you had to wipe your bottom first. I brought you your CALM DOWN book and your worked through it. You took deep breaths and calmed down. You wiped your eyes. You have NO idea how hard this is for mommmy....having to stand there and be so firm and watch you cry and get this upset and I can't really do anything to help you!

I was adamant. You FINALLY wiped while I was in there talking to you and trying to get you to calm down. I do hope and pray our neighbors can't hear us! You were all red faced and bawling your eyes out but FINALLY wiped. I praised you to no end...and helped clean you up. AND then sent you on a find and seek mission.

With all that finally over you wanted me to hold you. SO off to the sofa we went and I held you. Which brought on another entirely different episode of crying. You said you were sad about the bathroom incident over and over and over. I finally told you that you needed to get over it as that was all part of life. That if you wanted to grow up and be a man someday you needed to learn all kinds of things that you could do yourself one day. Wiping your bottom was part of it. You said you would have a baby by the time you were 40. I asked you "well who do you think will wipe that baby's bottom?" You said you did not know. I told you "YOU will be the one wiping that baby's bottom if they make a mess so you need to learn how to do it NOW!" I also informed you that one day when your baby was 4, 5, 6 or whatever age that you would be doing the same thing I was and that was teaching them how to wipe their own bottom.

You then proceeded to tell me that you wanted to wear clothes like daddy does. I said that would be great as daddy always dresses nice and has nice clothes. You then told me that you wanted and NEEDED a job to go to. I said you had plenty of time to worry about working somewhere but that you could one day. I asked you what you wanted to do when you grew up. You did not know. Then you said maybe one day you would be a teacher.

WHICH OF COURSE stirred up another pot altogether. You then go on and on about needing friends or returning to a regular school. I explained to you that if you were in first grade in a public school that it means staying there ALL DAY. It means you have to be able to wipe your own bottom when you have a bowel movement. It means staying for 6-7 hours. It means so many things that you just cannot do or handle yet. It means you cannot always go to the bathroom when you want to (which for you is excessive). It means eating foods you don't eat or packing a lunch that would not be much of a lunch as you are too picky about certain foods. You said you needed more kids then here at your home school. I understand this but also reminded you of how you sometimes act around other kids. How you sometimes don't want to share anyone with them or share things with them or cannot handle too much around you. At other times you do great. It is learning to be consistent!

You then told me how one day Miss Samantha (your former para)forgot you were in the bathroom and left you and went on to the classroom and you were all you flushed all the toilets in the bathroom. You cried and cried. I told you that was another reason you were being homeschooled. As the teacher helpers and your aides did not always watch you like mommy and daddy do. (this was a time when Noah was in public kindergarten and apparently one day he came up missing. Of course Noah was the one who got into trouble for this incident and was accused of not following the group, etc...when it was his paraprofessional's responsibility to make sure he got to his class...etc.). Apparently this extremely upset you and I know it did me when we finally found out about it later that day when we picked you up from school. This of course was only the firsts of you trying to run away from the classroom or schoolgrounds completely and another reason why we decided to homeschool you.

I said one day maybe you could handle going to a regular school. BUT for now it was best you be homeschooled. I asked if you liked going to school here at home and you said yes. I told you that we could have a more flexible schedule. You could go to the bathroom whenever you wanted. You could stand up and do your schoolwork if needed. You could make sounds while doing your homework. You could take a break and do something physical the entire time we do school whenever needed. We could do more field trips. We could learn more in a few hours than you other kids did in an entire day.

I know the thing missing is "other kids". This breaks my heart. Cause I know you so desperately need interaction with other kids...but at the same time you just cannot always handle it. I often wonder "isn't there like a part-time school for kids like you out there?" A place kids can go and take a few classes together or do something together just to be together and experience that? I guess that is where your social skills classes will come in handy. I need to push that issue next week with your occupational therapist and ask about it again. I know you do well around your cousins Alex and Audrey. If we lived closer to them I would let you go and play with them more often...especially Audrey as you two seem to get along so well together and enjoy playing together. Maybe that would change over time though as she is a girl. I don't know. BUT you could be around more people for sure than you are out here. That is the only big downside to living here in Colorado. We have no family we really do anything with.

So you cried and cried. I felt so bad. My heart was being ripped in two. AND yet I know if we plopped you into another regular classroom, how it would more likely end up being handled. It is not fair for you to put you through that again. Not yet. Maybe when you are more ready one day. While the public school was supposed to allow you special things to make it easier for you to handle the classroom that never really ever happened. They isolated you, which is worse than what you experience even now. They did not allow you time to stand and do work or go to the bathroom if needed or to take breaks. They were truly trying to conform you to the rest of the GENERAL POPULATION of kids.

Personally I like you just as you are and don't want you to be just like everybody else. Trying to find that perfect mix of just enough social interaction and not too much is extremely difficult right now.

SO I am going to see about setting up some playdates at the park with another woman and her autistic son and see how that goes. I think you need a friend right now and not a mommy friend. You need another kid to play with! Someone more your age.

You did do well playing with another little girl at Burger King's play area the other day. I know you can do it. Maybe we will try some story times at the library too or the book store and see how that goes. There was a time when you would never have been able to sit and listen to a story. I think you could do it now...or at least we would find out if you could. I have often wondered how you would do for half days in school. But the biggest issue with even that is the fact that the teachers (even paras) are not allowed to help you wipe your bottom if needed. AND you are mortified about the possibility of having to wear pull ups or something again!

No wonder you are pulling your hair out again. Just being around you I can sense the anxiety and stress. I feel it! My heart cries out for you Noah but I have to be your mommy and do what is best for you no matter if you don't always understand it. SO for now...we will continue on. I will try to get you involved in other things and see about some classes in a school even part time or something if I can. SOMETHING. I think piano lessons would be good for you too. Don't worry. We will work it all out. Well...GOD will help us work it all out. I know you believe this and so do I.

I will love you forever my little man!


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