Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Mama

Something amazing happened late Monday night, Marty lay still in my bed fast asleep after being given a dose of Children’s Nyquil to treat his cold. Surprisingly, he wasn’t tossing and turning or easily awakened by the slightest noise. Marty was in a deep sleep. It was lovely… to watch my little baby sleep peacefully. I didn’t want to move him from my bed, but I had to move him from the center of the bed in order to fit my own tired body in the tiny communal space. As I gently moved Marty, he said something that he has only said once before, “Mama.”

Yes, he calls me mom, mommy, and sometimes even, “Mother.” [Like I’m some sort of Stepford Wife, cringe] When he addressed me verbally for the first time, it was to call me, “Mom.” It sounded so rehearsed it seemed almost scripted; nonetheless; still, I rejoiced to hear my then 2 year old Marty call me by my title for the first time ever. I don’t think he said the word dad until he was well over 2 ½. So to hear my baby call me, “Mama,” made my little heart sing. Something about that REM sleep and inhibition freed my ‘pedantic’ little boy so that he could say the word that I have longed to hear him say. Incidentally [prepare for my Aspie interesting fact moment], “Mama,” or dada is usually a baby’s first word. And it’s a universal phenomenon that happens in many countries around the world because the baby’s vocalizing the aaahh sound…daah daah, baah baah, maah maah.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

After Thomas

After Thomas is a movie about a couple dealing with the challenges of having a child with Autism. It is a BBC movie based on a real life story of a british family that discovered useful interventions for their son using their son's fascination with Thomas the train and their dog named Thomas.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Recently, I started working for an agency that provides mental health services to disadvantaged youth. The work is demanding, stressful, and it provides little compensation for one’s hard work. I noticed that my own moods have become more unpredictable and my carpel tunnel has been flaring up causing me pain and procrastination. Well, little Marty hasn’t taken my newfound career aspirations with the enthusiasm that I would like. In fact, it is really messing with his morning ritual and daily routines. Dealing my little guy lately has been difficult. The stress has made me bitchy at times; I am ready to throw in the towel.
Marty: I don’t know why you’re doing this but you need to stop!
Me: Stop what?
Marty: Yelling at me.
Marty, you win. I will make it my duty to stop and think when I am triggered to yell. In return, can I please get a break on the morning ritual that makes us late, or the Thomas the train obsession that takes over the second floor of the house? Perhaps you can lighten up on the persistent questioning? Or, the insistence that I use formal words like, “Yes.” instead of slang? Yeah?
Marty won’t be changing anytime soon. I’ve grown to love his quirks and differences even when they 'pop up' during the worst possible times. He’s my baby, and I love him and Thomas and whatever else he will someday obsess over. The featured picture is of the track that Marty brought in my room against my will. He's either really stressed out [and the arrangement of the train soothes him in some way], or he thought that I would actually enjoy stepping over a dozen smiling toy trains on my way to the bathroom at 3 a.m.