Friday, July 30, 2010

Spilled Milk

Yesterday was just so much fun...I'm beside myself.  We started off with a major meltdown over MILK! It wasn't exactly spilled.  In fact, it wasn't even poured...just touched and not even really the milk, just the carton.  Little Boy Blue went out to Walgreens a few days ago to buy his very own milk because he was sick and tired of his older brother "wasting too much milk, and eating too much cereal!" Does Blue usually buy this milk and cereal? No.  Is it any of his business how much his brother eats? Absolutely not.  Does that matter? No.

'14' wanders down the stairs and stumbles towards the refrigerator.  He absentmindedly reaches into the refrigerator and picks up the first carton of milk he sees.  Blue went ballistic! "YOU TOUCHED MY MILK! YOU bleep di bleep, di bleep!" Not actual curse words but very unattractive, inappropriate words coming out of the mouth of an 11 year old with his 70 year old grandmother present.  I couldn't hear the specifics....I just heard yelling like someone was being maimed and killed. 

I dash down the stairs, snatch up Blue and make him march up the stairs. He's now in full meltdown stage.  Yelling and screaming things that don't make any sense.  He hates the entire world! He wants to get out of this house! "I want to go live in a foster home! I can't stand being in this family! Nobody loves me!" You name it.  There was nothing that I could say to defuse the situation.  Everything I said was misinterpreted. Therefore, I opt to say nothing.  He screams, "Why aren't you doing anything to help me? What kind of mother are you?!" Wow! Un-freakin-believable! He is visibly trembling, his fist are balled up, his breaths are shallow, the tears are flowing.  I urge him to take deep breaths.  He is not to be able to do it.  I coax him into lying on the bed and allow me to rub his back so that he can relax and take deep breaths.  Finally, he does.  He is actually calm for a few moments.

I leave him lying on the bed...still seething, but a little more relaxed.  Somehow he starts talking and the next thing I know he's crying again, inconsolably. I see the pain.  I feel it running through my veins as it runs through his.  I ache with him and for him.  I hug him tightly and apply deep pressure to his body.  Finally he calms.  I put on a movie to take his mind off of his worries and go down to fix him a bite to eat.  He had not eaten anything at all that day.  I knew that was part of the problem.

During his meltdown -he told me that I don't love him.  I know that during these moments he says things that he doesn't mean.  It doesn't mean it doesn't hurt.  I obviously love him.  I spend my entire life taking care of him.  But in that moment, he is blind.  I tell him, if I didn't love him, I wouldn't try to understand him.  When he goes off like that, the ordinary parent who has no training or is in denial of their child's diagnosis, would try to spank him in to compliance.  The mere threat of a spanking scares the crap out of him!  In desperation at times I use that threat.  In fact, I used it yesterday when he tried to leave the room while melting down.  He immediately returned -not happy, but he didn't leave the room.

After he came back to reality, we talked and we came to the realization that he is feeling left out by his brother.  That is why he has been lashing out.  He wants some of his cousins time, without interference by his brother.  He also admitted that he needed some fresh air and some sunshine.  Once he got these two things, he was good to least for the day.

And all of this was before noon...

Little Boy Blue...

Well the truce is over...the gloves are off! Let the fighting begin!

For the past week and a half, the boys have been getting along great.  After I had a talk with "14" about Aspergers and how it shows itself differently in both himself and his brother, he actually seemed to get it.  Where '14' has an extremely sensitive sight, '11' is extremely sensitive to sound.  I explained that while he sees things so well that other people don't even notice, his brother hears things a 100 times louder than most people do.  Therefore, the sound of nail biting while it may be ignored by others, grinds on your brother's eardrums.  This is why he totally freaks out when there is a thunderstorm.  It's like someone is shooting fireworks at close range...indoors! Where as your most people may not pay much attention to your singing, your brother hears every crack in your not so well trained voice.  (I didn't actually tell him his voice needs work.  I didn't want to spoil his fantasy).  I'm usually just so happy to hear him singing.  You can't be sad while rocking out to Linkin Park at the same time. It's scientifically impossible.

Some of their stuff is just plain and simple sibling fighting, but it's exacerbated by their idiosyncrasies and over-the-top reactions.  The two of them had a talk and decided that they would try their best to be good brothers, as they call it.  It's been wonderful.  However there must always be some kind of war going on in the house, so the reserved negative energy was directed towards me by "14".   Hence, the reason I felt the need to get out of dodge last weekend.

Little Boy Blue was fairly content and agreeable.  He was actually having a really good two weeks or so.  I attribute that to the fact that his irritating sibling was spending a great deal of time out of the house going to camp and swim practice. In our house, there is seldom peace and tranquility. If there is wonder when will the next bomb go off.

This week's explosion belongs to Little Boy Blue...

We have a visitor in the house.  Their cousin is here from Baltimore, Maryland. Man is he an awesome kid! I'm like...hey brother-in-law, can I trade? Anyway -At first my little Blue child was so happy to have him here, he could hardly contain himself.  Of course, he wants to have total control over the agenda and really would like to not have his brother involved -at all. He has been ready to fight at the slightest infraction.

To top it off -we've had rain, threat of rain and thunderstorms for the past two days.  Forget about it...he's miserable.  He hasn't wanted to leave the house.  He is a nervous, anxious wreck.  He is making the thunderstorm anxiety bigger and bigger with each passing storm.  He hides in the bathroom with the fan on, music playing and earplugs in his ears.  We have even found him with complete camp set up in the middle of  the night sleeping in the bathroom! Pillow, blankets, sleeping bag, etc.  I implore him to stay in his bed. I try my best to distract him and keep him focused on other things.  But once the lights are off and everyone is in bed, if he hears the slightest sound in the middle of the night, he's out of that bed and in the bathroom with the door locked!

The big boys went to Six Flags today with big, big brother "22".  Blue gladly sent them on their way for a day of roller coaster riding.  I tried to get him to go out to lunch, which ordinarily is something he loves to do. After much discussion he agreed to go. As he was getting dressed he heard thunder.  All bets were off.  I even offered to take him to the Apple Store, which is his very favorite place on earth, -he even turned that down.

He is stir crazy, anxious, ready to fight, and just plain old blue.  What is a mother to do? Be Blue too...

Monday, July 26, 2010

Why Blog?

So there are those who don't agree with putting yourself out there on the internet.  Facebook, Twitter, blogging, it's all so public, intrusive, a total loss of privacy and control.  Well...I would love to be a published author.  I would love to be paid for doing what I love, which is writing.  So far, this is as close as it gets and I love it! Writing is an opportunity to vent, to purge to share, to educate. Via this blog, I have met others who walk in similar shoes, who have these difficult children.  We understand and sympathize with each other.   

I have two children with Aspergers.  Many people have no idea of what that means.  O.K. so they have autism, social anxiety, they think a little differently, behave rather terribly at times, or is it all just an excuse for bad behavior? 

Until the world is able to see Aspergers for what it really is, they will never understand it, much less have any idea of what it's like to parent someone with it.  This blog is an opportunity to see the reality that I live.  Some people may be offended by it.  For that, I am sorry...well sort of.  They say, write what you know.  My life is what I know for sure.  I definitely don't have all of the answers.  I am definitely not the perfect parent.  I am constantly searching, educating myself, reading everything that I can get my hands on, joining autism blogs, meetup groups, the Autism Society, Autism Speaks, seeking the advice of therapists, doctors, counselors, in order to help my children and to help myself. 

People can judge and say...well, I would just do this, or that. I would just beat the s*#/ out of them! They want to apply the "old school" tactics to a child who basically lives in their very own foreign land and doesn't think in the "old school" manner.  Every therapist I've met, and every book I've read, has said, it doesn't work.  How can you apply rational thought when a child is being totally irrational? What does the average person they really know about the human mind and how the mind of a child with autism works?  What do they know about what it is to live with it from day to day? What is it like to parent a child with autism up close and personally?  Well keep reading my will find out!

I'll put it this way -before my mother moved here to live with me, I spoke to her every single day.  I usually filled her in with antidotes of what is going on with her grandchildren, with school, their challenges, etc.  SHE HAD NO IDEA of what I have to deal with on a daily basis until she actually saw it for herself.  And she is in AWE of me -of what I do, the amount of patience that I have, and that I have maintained relative sanity.  That's not to say, that she agrees with everything that I do, and the way that I parent, but she knows that she has not read what I've read, or gone to all of their therapy appointments, sat down with school administrators, psychologists and teachers, read assessments, books and web sites on autism. 

I am the person who deals with my children the majority of the time.  I love and appreciate their father and he is pretty freakin awesome! However, he travels and works very hard so that I can be there for them when he can not be.  I love it when he is here.  He is often the voice of reason, the better disciplinarian, the male influence that they so desperately need.  At the end of the day, a lot of the not so fun parts fall deftly across my shoulders.  I am a pre-menopausal, imperfect, 45 year old woman.  If anyone would like to take over and walk in my shoes...I wear a size 8.  Step right in them and see how they fit.

Runaway Mom

I pick up my laptop to check out Facebook, email and my blog comments.  Many days this is my only connection to the outside world.  The world beyond children that I once was very intimate with.  You know, friends...adults,  people to laugh with, laugh at, share, commiserate, communicate on an adult level.  Just as I pick it up "14" comes in and announces that I need to help him make the business cards for his video editing  business.  I say, "I'll help you, but not right this minute. Did you not just see me pick up my laptop to do something? " Well, of course all that matters is what he wants from me in the given moment.  E-mail, talking to your Facebook friends, what is that? Who cares? Don't you know that I'm the most important thing in your life?

He's standing over me and refuses to leave the room.  He starts getting louder and louder because I continue to focus on what I am doing. I leave the room.  I go to my bedroom where my husband is sleeping.  I close and lock the door.  He is on my heels.  He knocks.  I say, "You need to step away from the door. Your dad is sleeping."  He doesn't move until my husband speaks up.  He goes into his room and starts a chat with me on Facebook.  I tell him that I don't appreciate the way he is treating me.  He is being disrespectful and I will not help him under those circumstances.  We go back and forth for a while, I hope that maybe seeing in print what he is actually doing will help him get it.  He doesn't.  He turns it back around on me and gets so frustrated that soon he is back at the door.  This time refusing to leave and starting to scream, "It's NOT FAIR!"  He screams like a heavy metal rocker.

He clearly wants us to feed into the hysteria.  I decide to completely remove myself from the situation so that he can regain his composure.  He tries to follow me to the car.  "NO...MOM Don't LEAVE!" I drive away into the night wandering around aimlessly for a bit.  I want to go have a drink.  I don't really want to call a girlfriend.  I don't really want to walk into a restaurant alone either.  I option for the latter.  I go to my favorite place, where all the waitresses know my name, favorite drink and appetizer of choice.  They ask, "Is your husband joining you?" He is not.  I just needed to get out for a bit.

After what I've been through the past two weeks.  I just can't take anymore.  I think about the fact that in a few days, I will also have an additional child in the house, their cousin.  I will be in full-time mother, auntie, entertainment mode.  I NEED A BREAK! "14's" antics have been relentless.  Yes...I know it's the autism, but I appear to be it's target and before I get either A) become violent or B) have my own meltdown...I need to take a breather.  (By the way...the violent part wouldn't really work for me.  He's much bigger and stronger than I am.)

I pack my bag and announce that I am leaving the following morning after I drop "14" at camp.  I make this announcement to everyone but him. I tell him, just as he gets out of the car at camp.  "NO! Don't leave! Can I come with you?" Hell NO! I think, but do not say.

I am so exhausted from not sleeping the night before and from pure anxiety, I don't know how I will make the drive to Houston.  I actually pull into the Central Market parking lot, park the car underneath a tree and fall asleep for an hour.  I know...this is nuts, but I'm desperate.  I wake up rejuvenated, go buy myself and iced coffee, a kolache, turn on my Ipod and hit the road!  I jam The Police, and hip hop music all the way there to keep myself awake.

My best friend welcomes me into her home and suggests that I have a day at the spa and just rest.  I sleep like a baby in her daughters comfy bed.  In fact, I sleep until 11 a.m. the first day, and after a night of partying, I sleep until 12:45 p.m. the second day.  I keep my phone on silent and refuse to answer the barrage of phone calls from "14".  "11" calls me with words of comfort, "Mom, I hope you're getting rest and enjoying yourself." (By the way, he went out with Dad and bought my favorite flowers and had them waiting for me when I came home.)

"14" actually had the nerve to put disparaging remarks on my Facebook Page.  He didn't appreciate me telling my friends that I was enjoying the peace and quiet.  He posts..."MOM! Come back!!!! Stop Hiding like a little girl!"  Totally inappropriate and disrespectful...and you wonder why I'm gone? I am embarrassed that my friends can see this, but at least now they know I'm not exaggerating!  They can easily see exactly why I ran away.

I send a note to his friend's mom asking her to please pick him up for church, pray with him, pray for him! She did.  That day, he wrote me a note and apologized.  He also removed his negative comments from Facebook.  He said he prayed for God to help him with his behavior and that he would do his best when I came home.  At this point, I tend to believe that not all the medication or therapy in the world can help him.  It's going to take a miracle...we definitely need God for that.

 Me and my best friend Patricia having girls night after my day at the Spa. Do I look relaxed?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

A Moment of Pain

If you've never wanted to cause your child a moment of're not the mother of a teen with Aspergers.  Upon my doctor's recommendation I signed the kid up for numerous activities and camps this summer. One -so that they would not be bored and two -so that I wouldn't have to be with them all the time, and three -so that I wouldn't end up in prison for child endangerment because I 'accidentally' wrung somebodies neck!

The best thing I signed up for was the sleep away Christian camp for the 14 year old.  He loved it! He was accepted and made friends.  He wasn't able to bug the sh_t out of me by calling home every five-minutes.  In fact he didn't call at all.  It was great! Except for the fact that I couldn't call him either, and I worried continually.  I did resist the urge and reminded myself  to simply enjoy the peace.  Art camp was great for the 11 year old.  He enjoyed it immensely.  Art has a calming zen-like effect over him, not to mention he is very gifted and continues to improve the more lessons he gets. 

As for the teenager -we are going on week two of swimming and movie camp.  He vehemently complains when it is time to go.  Aspergers makes transitions difficult, sleep to wake, from computer to getting your ass into the next gear. "I DON'T WANT TO GO!"  I hear this tune daily, at maximum volume.

So yesterday, it's time for swimming and I pull out a little ABA (applied behavior analysis) trick.  If you cooperate I will buy you Skittles after class.  A relatively simple, inexpensive reward.  He agrees to cooperate.  When it's time to go, I call him and he says, "O.K." I end up calling him 10 more times before he comes down the stairs.  We are late because of his delay.  He gets down the stairs finally, and then he decides he wants a Pop Tart!  A FREAKIN POP TART! Class starts in 10 minutes. "If you had come down 15 minutes ago, you would have had time for a Pop Tart! Now you don't! Let's go!"  I literally have to block him from the cabinet and insist that he get in the car. He is 5' 9", 200+ pounds, I am 5' nothing, (I won't tell you how many pounds.) By the time we get in the car, my head is throbbing.  I swear I thought about stopping the car suddenly so he would bump his head on the dashboard! I know...that's really bad, but this is called "Confessions" and at least I didn't do it! This time!

This morning, he did not want to get up for Movie Camp.  Why? Well, one -because he's completely ungrateful! Two -because he stayed up too late last night.  Did I want to get up this morning? NO! Did I do so anyway? Of course. Did I do this so that I will open up my world and expose myself to something that will help me in my future career? Absolutely not!  It takes me 30 plus minutes to get him out of bed. We try the old cold water towel trick. I felt like getting a Super-Soaker Uzi! By the time I dropped him off I had that anxious feeling in my chest -like I wanted to burst wide open.

So much for signing him up for a bunch of crap to make it a more peaceful summer.  Next year I will try to find a camp where I can send him for a month! I don't care how much it costs.  I will get a job just to pay for it!

I know...he has Aspergers.  These behaviors are to be expected  (to a degree).  It doesn't mean I have to like it.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Vacation "Where are you?"

So it's the end of July practically and there is no vacation in sight.  I mention this to my husband last night over cocktails and appetizers.  He reminds me, "Well, at least we have the backyard landscaped, and we have a new refrigerator.  You can entertain whenever you like." Excuse me...I don't mean to complain, but how does that help me get through the long days of children, complaining, screaming, fighting and wanting to be entertained.  Not only have their been no flights booked or plans made to get out the hell we call Texas, but I have been given an additional job duty.  We are adding a 13 year old cousin to the mix for a week.

O.k., so this could be a good thing.  The boys will be so excited to have him here.  That helps with the whole "entertainment" part.  They usually get along well with this cousin, however, most of the time they've spent with him has been on his turfWith my just never know.  What's supposed to be fun isn't always fun because anything out of  the ordinary, or unexpected, could cause a negative reaction.  For example,  I take "11" to the pool the other day, (not because I wanted to). He spent the first hour counting the bugs in the pool instead of swimming.  I'm sitting there in the heat after paying an $8.00 entrance fee when we could have gone swimming in our neighborhood or at the Y for FREE, and he's complaining! I refused to leave because didn't want to waste the lousy $8.00.  It's the principal of the thing.  I could have been at home reading my book in the air conditioning instead of sitting the steamy Texas heat.  But that's o.k., that will be the last visit to the $8.00 pool this summer.

I would love to go somewhere and just chill for a couple of weeks -rent a beach house, just relax, read and  go which ever way the wind takes us. Unfortunately, in my world -there is no such thing as go with the flow.

The good news is the boys have decided to get along this week.  They're not yelling at each other, no knock down drag out fights to the death.  I guess that's sort of a quasi vacation.  For now it's as good as it gets.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Swim Team Part Deaux (2)

Yesterday's swim practice was slightly better.  One thing for sure is that he is getting a good workout!  Aren't work outs supposed to be good for your mood? NOT! He bitches and moans when I say it's time to get ready to go.  This is a normal...he bitches and moans whenever I ask him to do anything!  He will do it, but you have to hear the moaning first.  I just plan for it.

When coaxing him to get out of his bed to go to practice I say, "You know Kendal if you keep working out like this, by the time school starts the girls will be like, Wow! Who is that good looking guy with the muscles?"
To which he replies, "I don't care! Girls should like me for who I am and because I believe in God!" I have to admit...good answer!  Too bad the majority of teenage girls don't think like that.  Not that he is ready in any way, shape or form for a girlfriend!

As he's moaning about getting out of bed I lucky is this kid that he has a mom who will sign him up for sleep away camp, movie camp and swim team all in the same month.  (Yes...she is trying to keep him busy so he won't bug the shit out of her -but still!) What does he do?  "I DON'T WANT TO GO! I'm tired! Stop spending all this money on this stuff! Why can't you just buy me a new HD video camera? (To the tune of $550.00).  Why? "Because the list of things that you want is never ending and you're never satisfied.  We buy one thing and a week later, you want something else."  I didn't mention that the video camera will not keep you busy enough and away from me for at least part of the day!

People with Aspergers tend to get fixated on things, and when they do they can be relentless in talking about them.  Kendal is fixated on expensive computer programs and video equipment.  We bought him a camera for Christmas which is now 'not good enough'.  We got tired of the constant asking and told him that he had to earn and save money for the things that he wants.  So he started a video editing business making home movies and DVD slide presentations for friends, family, teachers, and anyone who would listen to his pitch!  Then he became fixated on ways to find new business.  That's not a bad thing, however, somehow that became our responsibility and problem too!  He made and saved enough money to buy a few things, but since his list is ceaseless, his business slowed down before his list of wants did.  So he's back to begging...DAILY, HOURLY, RELENTLESSLY!

Back to swimming -once I got him to the pool, he did much better.  The coach actually got in the water to physically show him, instead of just telling him. I was so grateful to see that!  I thought, 'Wow this guy must have gone home and did some research.'  I actually saw, pride and accomplishment on Kendal's face during the session.  Of course, immediately following his session he comes over to me, with that same painful expression and says, "Mom...I really need that video camera!"

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Swim Team

So watching Red's first day @ swim team I have to confess was a bit painful.  He's starting a week late because he went to camp last week. That puts him ever so slightly behind the rest of the team.  Now this is just a summer "team" workout.  It's supposed to be fun, help you work on your strokes and your speed, etc.  The facility is indoors, yet the 'garage like' doors were open to let in the sweltering heat and humidity.  For a parent sitting on the side lines, it was like sitting in a steam room.  I was sweating bullets! Watching him only added to the heat in my body.

He has this totally athletic-looking body, standing at about five foot nine and two-hundred pounds. When coaches look at him they see potential.  Not to mention that he is black, living in a primarily white suburb.  He is strong, but not exactly well coordinated, although, he is basically a good swimmer.  On this first day he looked like a deer in the headlights.  'Which way do I run? Huh? What?' The entire group starts heading down the lane and he's just there...not moving.  Like -'what am I supposed to do again?'  Logically you think, 'Well o.k. I didn't really here what the instructor said.  I wasn't paying attention.  Maybe I should just do what everybody else is doing.' No he just there holding up the wall.  I'm on the sidelines, (luckily far enough away that he can't here what I'm thinking) sending out into the universe, 'Move! Why are you not moving!?'

Finally he gets going, but he's definitely not getting what it is they want him to do.  Slowly he starts easing his way into it.  It's a great workout, but he is physically out of shape, which is painfully obvious by the way he starts out with power but runs out of gas about three quarters of the way down the lane.  As they move into the breast stroke, I see how much energy this really takes and I am impressed.  I am so glad to see his body actually moving instead of sitting in front of the computer or at the table gobbling down an oversize bowl of cereal.  Wow! If he keeps this up, even if he's not the best, or the fastest, at least he will slim down and loose some of the pounds that the medicine and his horrible diet have put on him this past year.

Afterwards, he complains about how tired he is.  He's hot and his stomach hurts.  I rave to him about how well he did for his first day, how proud I am and what a good workout he had! I entice him further by saying that if he keeps it up, he will slim down and have incredible muscles and "get all the girls!"  Of course he'd have to start smiling and not looking like he's mad at the world all of the time.  I leave that part out.

As he is drying off, I catch the coach who worked with him, who had never met Red before this day.  I thank him for taking the extra time to work with him.  The coach got more of a workout than he bargained for, walking back and forth down the lane constantly to explain to him what to do next.  Red seemed to only process one step at time.  Instead of breast-stroking down, turning around and back-stroking back.  He would breast-stroke down and stop, holding on to the wall, like he didn't know what to do next.  I'm sure the coach was thinking, 'Hello...don't you see what the other dozen kids are all doing?' 

"Red has Aspergers and he processes information rather slowly.  He also has a little anxiety with today being his first day and all." I said.  The coach sighed in relief, "Thanks for telling me that. What should I do?"  "It means you may have to repeat yourself a lot, which is a little frustrating.  Also make sure he's looking at you when you're giving instruction."  "Oh, o.k. great! Thank you for sharing that with me.  I had no idea!"

Red had told him that he'd been there last month.  Which I'm sure made the coach think, 'You've been through a month of training and you still don't get it!?"  I explained to him, that he was here last month for an "evaluation" not for actual practice or training.  Another light bulb went off.  'That explains a lot!'

This gave me an idea to write a brief introduction to Red and Aspergers to hand out to the adults who will be working with him in a teaching or coaching capacity.  You look at him, you listen to him talk and you think totally normal kid.  Then you see him in action and you wonder, 'What the hell?'

Monday, July 12, 2010

Summer Camp

I showed up in my doctors office last summer, looking like I was on the brink between crazy and insane.  She could see that I was about ready to choke somebody! I love my doctor because she asks questions and gives no non-sense practical answers.  She doesn't just treat your symptoms, she treats the whole body, mind and spirit.  My spirit was drained and it was obvious.  She made me vow to get the boys heavily scheduled with time away from me this summer.  Otherwise she'd have to give me massive drugs to keep from killing them or myself!

So far Kendal has taken a short trip to Georgia with his father, Cole has taken two weeks of art lessons and last week Kendal went to a sleep away Christian camp for a week! (Thank you God!) He went with his best friend, who also has special needs.  His friend had some issues and went home after the 3rd day.  After that I worried constantly and waited anxiously for the phone to ring, with the the camp leader telling me to come and pick him up.  It never happened.  He Made it! He stayed all week long without the comforts of home, mom, boxed sugary cereal, Mc Donald's, computer, Facebook, YouTube, IPod...nada! Cold showers with spiders crawling near by, cabins with 10 other boys, and no air conditioning. He made new friends instead of negatively focusing on the one he came to hang out with, who was no longer there. He learned about being a Christian and wants to be baptized.  He said he wants to change his life and be a better person.  He wants to learn how to forgive and not seek revenge when girls say and to things that are hurtful to him.

I stood 10 feet tall with pride! At the same time, I was in shock.  I've only spent his entire life trying to teach him these principles. How is it that he seemed to have learned within a weeks time?  Of course, he's only touched the surface of what trying to be "christ-like" is really about.  Baptism is a symbol of wanting to be better.  It is not a miracle that will change you.  YOU still have to do the work...constantly.  You will still be human, you will still have Aspergers and difficulty with anger at times.  But dear lord, it's a good start!

Cut to 5 minutes after being home.  He and his brother come to blows because he told him, "You have way too many sins! You need to get baptized!"  

Summer's Gonna Kill Me

They've only been out of school a few weeks and I'm already freakin exhausted! Sent the 14 year old to Atlanta with his dad for 5 days to see his cousins, uncles, and grandparents.  Of course the whole time he behaved like an angel.  No screaming rants about absolutely nothing important.  He saves all of that for me his loving mother. 
It was a nice reprieve, however it meant trying to entertain his younger brother- more than usual.  The two of them being a few states apart meant my youngest didn't have his brother to fight with.  All of that negative energy has to be directed somewhere so of course, he decided to fight with me and Nana.  About what you ask? About eggs, the weather, it doesn't really matter.  There just has to be an argument.  There has to be anger and it has to be directed somewhere.  Since I am usually a stones throw away, I am the lucky recipient.

Big brother is back now....young brother is in Art Camp, for 3 hours a day.  While he is there, I go to the coffee house to enjoy the quiet and to avoid the teenager at home. Yes -I am afraid to go home. I don't want to deal with the nonsense. Some days, I run errands afterward to avoid him a little longer. He is relentless with the questions and the repetition of his wants and needs.  He is 14 years old and needier than the average toddler.  I swear he calls my name at least 100 times a day.

Right now he is focused on his video editing business.  We got tired of buying him all of the expensive equipment and software programs he wants because the list is never ending and everything cost a minimum of one-hundred dollars.  It doesn't stop him from talking about wanting a Blu-Ray, hard-drive with playback software so that he can watch Blu-ray movies on the brand new wide screen monitor we just helped him buy a month ago! 

When we are all home together, the fighting is constant.  Chaos is palpable, peace is non existent. Keeping them busy -and separate is the only answer.  Why can't just do nothing and be normal? I would like nothing more than to rent a beach house somewhere and just chill for a week or two.  I girl can dream...