Friday, April 27, 2012

Worst Parenting EVER

I went to Joey's IEP meeting on Wednesday and he got to participate for the first time. He was very full of himself that he got to come to a meeting of grownups to talk about himself. It was really cute until he lost interest 5 minutes in and stopped responding to questions and starting to slide down his chair. Well, I guess that was cute too, because it was so normal.

When Joey was diagnosed with autism back in 2005, I never thought we would get to the point where he is getting perfect scores on his standardized testing and straight A's in seventh grade and taking honors math. His teachers all love him. Of my three children, he is the most motivated to succeed and he has decided he wants to be either an historian or a video game designer. I have no idea why he would want to be an historian (because he's never shown an interest in history until civics this year), but I could actually see him as a video game designer. He's mastered every Mario game in existence for the Wii or the DSi and I can easily imagine him working on video games to make them better. Or just make them up himself because he knows what makes a good video game and he wants to share that knowledge, especially if it means he can kick ass when he plays the neighbor's kids.

I wrote before about the neighbors' kids and how they are creating a pain in my ass by ringing our doorbell early in the morning and right at dinnertime and every ten minutes in between. Because Justin works from home, Joey is not allowed to have anyone inside during the week, so if they are allowed to come in to play, it's an event.

Last Saturday, Joey went out fairly early. It was a beautiful day - sunny and about 70 degrees. He was out for maybe 30 minutes and then all of a sudden he was in the door, barely holding the dog back from escape, with his little friends saying they needed to come in. "Mom, we're dying from the heat." "No, you're not." "Yes, we are. We're dying from the heat!"

Justin was standing at the door and said, "Joey, you guys need to play outside. It's a beautiful day."

Joey: But we're dying from the heat, Dad!

Me: OUT!!!!

About 45 minutes later, Joey came in and sat down in the recliner and I could see he was crying.

Me: What's wrong, Joey?

Joey: Can I come in now?

Me: Of course you can come in.

Joey: I thought you meant that I couldn't come inside.


Oh God. My son thought he wasn't welcome in his own house! He thought he wasn't allowed in.

Of course, I reassured him that he was always allowed in his own house. It was just that we didn't want the entire neighborhood coming in.

And then I followed him around the house and hugged him incessantly until he begged me to leave him alone. And then I hugged him some more. I was still hugging him when it was time for bed.

He cried. I cried. It was a fabulous moment of bonding that I wish had never happened.

I keep thinking I've been a bad parent and then I go right ahead and top myself.

Autistic kids are literal. They take what you say as an absolute. When I shouted "OUT!!!!" Joey believed that I meant he couldn't come in.

For my next trick, I will beat him with the cat. That way I can get parental cruelty and animal cruelty all in one blow.

Is there a gadget for bad parenting I can stick on this blog? I should come with a warning label.

I think I'll beat myself with the cat. He deserves it - he eats way too much and I don't like the way he looks at me.




  1. Your not a bad parent ive made mistakes like that with my autistic son many times i remember once when he couldnt find his shoe i said 'oh well dont worry we will just have to chop a foot off' it took about an hour to calm him down and let me near him ((((big hugs))))

    1. Emma, wow, it's so hard when we set our own kids off, isn't it? They are so seriously literal.


  2. Bless your heart - on his level, he knows how much you love him, mama. Hang in there...

  3. It must be hard when Joey takes everything so literally, but you're a great parent and he knows you are too. We all say things we regret later occasionally.(I know I have!)


I'd love to hear from you. Feel free to tag back to your blog in the body of your message. Comments are my favorite!