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Posts Tagged ‘special needs phobia’

Patience and Foortitude, Part 6: Through The Looking Glass (A Bird’s-Eye View)

January 26, 2012 1 comment

It’s been a really rough, long night. But in “special needs land” rough doesn’t always mean fighting, tantrums, illness or accidents. I often get to the end of one of these doozies and think to myself, how on earth could I ever explain to anyone why tonight was so utterly exhausting? How could I even explain tonight, period? So instead of regaling you with the half a dozen ways this evening was difficult (look at me not  exaggerating numbers – go new year’s resolutions!) I am going to just share one story in particular to better describe the rabbit hole I find myself in from time to time.

Tonight I baked cookies with the kids for our bedtime treat – it’s a fun, less rowdy activity to get everyone geared down for the evening. We were all feasting on cookies and milk at the table when I noticed that James had suddenly and quietly begun weeping into his hands.

“James, what on earth is wrong?” I asked. No answer. “James? Are you okay?” Nothing. “Okay, James you have to tell me what is going on.”

“Just a sad video,” he mumbled. “What?” I asked. I had no idea what he could be referring to since we had not been “plugged in” for at least 30 minutes.

“There was a really sad video,” he said again. He continued to cry in earnest as his two younger siblings devoured their cookies, oblivious (or just used to?) the meltdown James was having.

I started to get a bad feeling because he had been watching youtube on his ipod earlier in the evening – occasionally he has stumbled onto weird, not-so-great things (searching for trains, gets a train crash). We’ve tried to filter/block what we can and are vigilant about checking his ipod, but with the busy evening had I missed something?

“What was the sad video?” I asked nonchalantly.

“It’s about a parrot,” James sobbed. “It was really sad.”

So I got his ipod and looked up the video and my heart sank – the last title was “Kill Senegal Parrot – Christmas Parrot.” What the hell kind of sick stuff had he stumbled onto?

“James, what have you been watching?! We’ve talked about youtube!”

“It’s so sad mom,” he cried into his hands.

I turn back with a sick pit in my stomach, to force myself to watch the video that has so horribly upset James. And then I did a double take.

Kili Senegal Parrot – Christmas Parrot. Not Kill. Kili…?

I clicked on the link and watched the minute and a half tearjerker unfold before my eyes. I encourage you to watch the video as well by going to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2lBiurZe9QU, so you can fully appreciate why James was so distraught this evening.

I hope you enjoyed watching this video half as much as I did (though giddy with relief, I mercifully kept all smirks to myself around James). How will I ever be able to properly filter my son’s videos? Is there a G+ rating for “includes dramatic music?”

Has anyone else experienced this “phobia of emotional music” before? It seems to be intensifying in James – tonight he cried about this video for several hours, even as I made fake retching sounds while reading Garfield comic strips to him as part of his bedtime reading (I was that desperate). He asked me if his glass of water “would make him feel less sad” and as I left his room told me to see if I could find happier videos on his ipod for the morning.

But let me ask you, what is happier than watching Kili eat nuts from a Christmas stocking?

Another Day, Another Milestone

So I have fallen behind on my posts this week. It’s week 2,374 in MK time (Multiple Kid time) that my husband is working late every night and things have been especially busy with the end of the school year approaching. You know how sometimes when there is just so much to get done and so little time to do it in you just don’t do anything at all? It’s like the deer-in-headlights indecision – “What the hell do I do now? Right, just stand here staring at the headlights blankly!” That’s kind of where I’ve been the last couple of days. That, and making dinners for James’s teachers, baking bread and pastries for the rest of the school staff, and traipsing all over Coney Island with my dad and three kids.

I don’t even have my packing list done for our vacation next week – now you can appreciate just how serious the situation is. But, I did want to take a moment to tell you about my trip to Coney Island because something amazing happened there that deserves recognition. I’ve been too wrapped up in the “now” to reflect on an “achievement of the decade” that James made yesterday.

We arrived at the Brooklyn Cyclones stadium to sing the national anthem with DMF after coming down early to visit the Coney Island boardwalk. “James went on the Wonder Wheel,” I said excitedly to the first DMF member I ran into. “It’s the first time he has ever stepped foot on a ferris wheel, and not for lack of trying.” “That’s great!” said the woman with a friendly smile. I repeated this announcement to no less than five people that evening, and everyone professed congratulations with the same polite enthusiasm. Nobody gasped in shock or exclaimed “that’s amazing!” or even gave James a huge high five.

It was an amazing milestone, achieved after 10 years of begging, bribing, cajoling, explaining, pleading, threatening and even tricking James did not work to get him in line for the ferris wheel. We couldn’t even buy tickets without him totally freaking out in a loud and public way, which drew stares and halted our passage to what I considered the epitome of a family ride. Last year I offered him any Wii game in the entire store if he would stand in line with me for the ferris wheel in the Times Square Toys R Us. He flat out refused. I upped it to any toy in the entire store. Still nothing.

So yesterday my dad bought tickets to the Wonder Wheel. I almost stopped him because I hated to think he was wasting the money. We all walked over to the enormous wheel (my 2 yr old practically floated over) and James said, “Can I play some arcade games after this?” Though I had an anxious pit in my stomach, I forced myself to be casual. “Yeah, I guess this ride is worth 2 arcade games, but only 2 because it is so slow.”

We stepped into a stationary car (versus the swinging option they have on the Wonder Wheel), my dad and James in the front and me and the babies in the back. We stepped into the car! Hooray! James asked, “Is the car going to drop? Is the ride going to go fast? Will the ride be slow? It’s just slow? Is it over? Can I play 2 games after this? Can we be done yet? Are we done after this time around?” and other such variations on a theme. It didn’t matter. He was riding the freaking ferris wheel. Amazing.

Let me clarify – I’m not being critical that nobody else, including James, was as excited as I was about this amazing, huge, terrific success. Seriously. How could anyone possibly feel what I was feeling as I experienced something for the first time that most families completely take for granted? The ferris wheel is not a big deal by any standard. In fact, some people (including my husband) don’t relish handing over $30 to send their family into rotation two puny times. But I do feel that 10 years of effort, tears, frustration, anxiety and full-blown hysteria coming to an end is at least worth a post.

I told James that since he “learned how to ride the ferris wheel” he’d be able to go on it again when we went to the beach and boardwalk for vacation next week. No big deal, right?