I received this video when my son was in California visiting my family. I thought I'd fall out of my chair...
I don't really need to write anything else after this. The images say it all. This is my son who hasn't had a well balanced meal in...I can't remember how long. If he did have one here at home, it came along with a serious battle. Here he is eating, enthusiastically no less, alongside his cousin at my nephew's house.
The cook was my nephew who is a big guy, probably around 6 foot 2, with a deep, intimidating voice. He's really as sweet as a teddy bear. He is an excellent father and more like an uncle to my kids than a cousin, probably because he's in his thirties. He has always taken time and interest in my boys, every since they were babies. He's not the kind of guy who's going to knock you upside the head if you don't eat your vegetables, but my son probably isn't so sure about that.
The truth is, my son manages to behave well with any member of the family, who doesn't live in this house. He used to behave well for my mother, before she moved in with us. All she had to do was call and tell him, "Get in the shower and stop giving your mother a hard time." He was in the shower before I could hang up the phone. Now, he covers his ears when she admonishes him.
The images on this video made me suddenly feel inadequate as a mother. (What else is new?) Of course it's all my fault that he doesn't eat healthily hear at home. It's because I let him get away with it. It's because I give him a choice. It's because there's too much junk food here in the house. Oh and the best one of all...it's because I hate cooking!
If I must say so myself, I am a pretty good cook. I still like to cook and entertain my friends, that is when I'm not to exhausted. The art of cooking and eating well, runs in my family. My mom, my dad, my brother and my sister, are all excellent cooks. In fact, we compete over who makes the best macaroni and cheese, the best chili, and the best caramel cake.
Most of the time however, cooking feels like just another chore on my long list. It's not particularly enjoyable when your children do not appreciate it. It's a lot of freaking work to cook only to have people look at you like you're serving poop on a plate.
I cook a good meal, and even my husband turns his nose up at leftovers. He loves my cooking, but I guess only the first time I serve it. He calls me from work and if leftovers are on the menu I get, "I'll stop and pick something up." (He will totally deny it when and if he reads this.)
So getting Red -my 15 year-old, Aspergers boy to eat healthy is just one of the many battles that give me combat fatigue. Blue is a little more flexible in the eating department. He drinks vegetable/fruit juice daily, and will eat a few bites of veggies if they are put on his plate. He won't be happy about it...but he'll do it.
After I picked my bottom lip off of the floor, and finished beating myself up...I came back to reality and realized that most children behave better for other people than they do for their parents. The contrast in our particular situation is just so vast. I find that with Aspergers, most things are to the extreme and come along with a good deal of drama.
I am his mother...he feels no need to impress me. He doesn't have to put on the pretense of being the nice boy who everyone loves and will want to have around. At least he has the ability to pull his crap together when he needs to, right? He knows, that I love him unconditionally. He believes that I have no choice but to put up with his shenanigans. I have no choice but to have him live in our home.
Or do I?
A special shout out of THANKS to all of my family who loved, entertained and spent time with my special boy. I can't tell you how much I appreciated the much needed reprieve. Auntie Sheila, Uncle Damon and little Damon, Uncle Ward, Auntie Sandy, Cousin Erin, Uncle Kevin and cousin Karsen, Grandfather and Mary.
p.s. When can he come back??? :-)