Cradle Song

Sleep, sleep, beauty bright,
Dreaming in the joys of night;
Sleep, sleep; in thy sleep
Little sorrows sit and weep.

Sweet babe, in thy face
Soft desires I can trace,
Secret joys and secret smiles,
Little pretty infant wiles.

As thy softest limbs I feel,
Smiles as of the morning steal
O'er thy cheek, and o'er thy breast
Where thy little heart doth rest.

O the cunning wiles that creep
In thy little heart asleep!
When thy little heart doth wake,
Then the dreadful night shall break.

William Blake

2 Resigning Myself....

Monday, 28 February 2011
So it seems each time I resign myself to something, I then get proved wrong.

Like I had resigned myself to Taz staying non-verbal for the foreseeable future and he all of a sudden started reciting the names of the Thomas the Tank Engine and Mr.Men characters (as well as learning how to ask for biscuits and ice cream for each and every meal!)

I'd resigned myself to never being able to engage him in play or have any eye-contact with him, but then he started meeting my gaze pulling me towards his puzzles/trains/drawer full of arts and crafts.

After getting constantly handed off

 Photo: GETTY IMAGES

I resign myself to never getting any kisses or cuddles, but then every once in a while he throws himself on me (nearly giving me a black eye in the process) and smothers me with hugs and kisses.

I'd resigned myself to never getting any sleep, but then, just after his second birthday he started sleeping. I'd resigned myself to the same thing again after this last week of hellish sleep deprivation, but then last night he slept through the entire night!!!

Now do we think this could work with his potty training? We've been trying for over a year now, getting nowhere fast. Maybe if I resigned myself to a lifetime of wiping his butt?....

0 Sleep Aversion..

Sunday, 27 February 2011
What is it with this sleep aversion? WHY WON'T MY KIDS SLEEP?!?

**repeatedly bangs head on table**

Taz has always had sleep issues. He never slept as a baby, at his worst he was waking every 45 minutes and Hubster had to sleep in the next room so he could actually function at work and not get fired. 18 months passed and I was still getting asked "why won't that child sleep through the night?" and that I should "just leave him to cry it out!". I got The No-Cry Sleep Solution, read it from cover to cover and eventually, just after his second birthday, Tas was only waking once or twice a night. We celebrated. We got pregnant. And I thanked God every night after that for letting my family enjoy restful nights.

Betty, on the other hand, never had sleep issues. She was ridiculously easy as a newborn. Her eyes would start closing, I'd lay her down, leave her and within seconds she'd be snoring soundly waking up maybe once or twice. As a newborn. Her birth had unfortunately been difficult, forceps were used and I soon noticed that her head was a very bizarre shape. Not plagiocephalic per say, but definitely very lumpy and asymmetrical. One side of her forehead was *a lot* more promient than the other and it was something that really concerned me.

I asked for advice at a special clinic dealing with these matters, said that I suspected the forceps had been to blame and they told me not to worry. They had seen many cases like mine and though she was still too young to use a reshaping helmet, they offered me some advice on head positioning, directed me to some special pillows created just for this purpose and said we could re-evaluate the situation when she became old enough for treatment. So we went on our way, got the pillow and tried the repositioning.

The problem was Betty didn't like any of this. She hated her pillow, I kept having to disturb her sleep to make sure she stayed on it, wasn't sleeping on the wrong side and eventually resorted to using a pacifier to help her stay asleep while all this was going on. After a few months her head evened out (sort of), so we managed to avoid the expensive treatment, but her sleep habits were completely shot. She could only fall asleep with a pacifier, started waking up each time it fell out and has been waking up more and more through the nights. Even during naptimes it takes her a good few hours of top-of-her-lungs screaming before she settles for a measly hour. But at least Taz was sleeping, right?...

Hopefully this is not a new thing - a new ritual that has been incorporated into his routine - but for the last week he has been waking... And waking and waking. And now I think I might just lose my mind and become a wandering, vagrant loon dribbling idiocies to the trees and the stars. Taz (who's been sleeping in his own room since he was about 22 months) wakes up screaming, then Betty does the same and even IF Taz gets settled back for the rest of the night, Little Miss I'm Alergic To Closing My Eyes just keeps it up for the both of them... I'm no barrel of laughs at the best of times (Hubs likes to say I'm the female version of Harvey Pekar) but sleep deprivation just turns me into a psychotic bunny boiler...

Lois & Clark: Be afraid... Be very afraid


Oh well, I guess it should help prepare me for when I start a new job (no more full time mommy for me :( ) and take the night shift to avoid paying for childcare (which would just end up costing me my entire paycheck defeating the purpose of getting a job in the first place).

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

4 There's some tough acts to follow!!

Saturday, 26 February 2011
So browsing through the blogosphere, I've been struck by how many informative, interesting and witty writers are out there. So much humour and sass to brighten a girl's day!! I feel quite spoiled, and also rather daunted by the prospect of starting a blog all of my very own...

But this experience is also liberating. After years (ok, 2.5, lets not make it sound like more than it is) of gradually becoming more and more withdrawn and preoccupied, not understanding what was wrong with my son, not knowing how his future would look or how we would all cope as a family, not knowing how to answer people's annoying questions or fend off their crushing expectations; I finally feel like I'm in a place where I can say, you know what? I couldn't give a rat's ass what anyone thinks about my son or our family and anyone who wants to start criticizing him or how "lenient" or "too accommodating" we are with him can kiss my overweight behind.

I've finally developed thicker skin for all those times they tut about his sleep or eating habits, stare disapprovingly when he has a full on melt down about seemingly nothing or gawk at the way he'll suddenly start flapping and laughing, opening and closing his mouth and fists in excitement for no discernible reason. He's perfect just the way he is: he's beautiful, funny, captivating, caring, smart, oh so affectionate when he wants to be and the best big brother a little girl could wish for. Honestly, I wouldn't change a hair on his curly little head. And though I don't have an answer ready for every stupid question like "why don't you just tell him "no"?", "surely he'll understand that...", or golden little nuggets of advice about what they would do in my place or what they did with their little ones, I won't let those types of comments affect me anymore or make me feel disheartened by the terrible parent I obviously am.

Living with an autistic child isn't all springtime and roses, but at the end of the day I'm blessed with a handsome, vivacious, inquisitive and loving little boy who has so much to teach others around him; a husband who loves and supports me despite my many foibles, and an adorable little girl who, let's face it, may or may not be on the spectrum herself. She never answers to her name, zones out a lot and often avoids my gaze, but at the same time she's a huge flirt, relishes attention from those around her, and while she's a lot fussier than my son was when he was a baby, she's a ray of sunshine in our lives and the apple of my son's eye.

So I guess that's us.

The Clod and the Pebble

"Love seeketh not itself to please,
Nor for itself hath any care,
But for another gives its ease,
And builds a heaven in hell's despair."

So sung a little Clod of Clay,
Trodden with the cattle's feet,
But a Pebble of the brook
Warbled out these metres meet:

"Love seeketh only Self to please,
To bind another to its delight,
Joys in another's loss of ease,
And builds a hell in heaven's despite."

William Blake
 
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