Well, something has been building up. I had a post about something entirely different planned for tonight or tomorrow, but I've decided to write about our weekend and how it has felt. In our last post, everything was wonderful, but I can't lie and say that it is always that way.
The day after I wrote that blog post there was a different feeling in our house. Something on edge, something uneasy. Something building up. On the 1st and 2nd, Henry was just acting differently. I can't even pinpoint what it was. Maybe it was just mama instinct. He was a little more whiney than normal, but some of it was his new faux-crying (which I need to get on camera for you guys because it's awesome). Then on the morning of the 3rd, he was very upset. Everything bothered him, even the normal things that made him happy. We had his little sister's birthday party planned for the evening, but we hadn't begun to prepare yet so I don't think it had anything to do with it. Around 9am or a little after, my husband left to go pick up some inflatable bounce castles and things erupted.
I was cleaning up from breakfast and heard my smallest scream. This wasn't a normal "Bubby's bothering me" scream, this was loud. I looked over the bar and Henry had her in the floor pulling her hair. Normal brother behavior, yes. But he wouldn't stop. He kept going straight for her every time I let him go. He really had it in his mind that he was going to hurt her. It wasn't my boy. His eyes weren't the same. I took him into his room and tried to calm him down, but he kept trying to get out and get to his sister again. This all turned into the first time I have ever had to hold my baby down. It took 20-30 minutes of wrangling him before he finally wore himself out enough for me to let go. I would try to hold his legs down and he would scratch at his face and sit up with no effort at all in order to get to my face. So I had to hold his entire body to keep him from hurting his sister, myself, or himself. It was the hardest thing that I have ever had to do. The longest half hour of my life. He finally fell asleep for a couple of hours and all seemed to return to normal. He even did great at the party that night! Maybe he just needed some rest.
This morning was right back to the same though. He was fighting his sister and us. We went to church and I just had a gut feeling that I needed to stay with him and keep my eyes on him. Sure enough, he tried to hurt a kiddo there. He's smart about this and I don't know where he got it or if it's an instinct thing. He grabs these kids from behind and tries to pull them to the ground. It's awful and I'm left feeling like a bad guy over the entire situation.
The looks from other parents are so hurtful. The blank stares when you apologize and drag your son off to hold him down again are downright heartbreaking. The whispers that you catch the tail end of when you turn back around would bring tears if I weren't a strong mama.
We had another birthday party to attend today. I really wanted to go because the birthday girl has some pretty awesome parents and a few of the other guests are just as awesome. :) My intention was to enjoy the party and keep an eye on Henry. I did enjoy the party and what little small talk I could get in. I just forgot how much work it is to actually "keep up" with Henry. Sometimes I forget that he never stops, ever. He runs in his sleep! Maybe I had a momentary lapse in judgement. He only tried to get to one kiddo there and I was able to grab him up before there was even an issue. That's why I stay RIGHT with him. Not in the other room, not across the room. Right there. No one wants to have "that kid", the one who beats up all of the others. Nope, not even us mothers of special little guys want that. I won't let autism be an excuse as to why he hurt someone else. My goal is to just not let it happen in the first place. I was just apparently slow a few times today. Luckily, no one at the party batted an eye at Henry or at the mother who wouldn't just let her kid play. No one even seemed to notice when he jumped into the pool with his clothes on...yes, that was another slow mommy moment. I really enjoyed it, but it has been an exhausting few days. I feel guilty for sometimes thinking "I wish things were just normal for us." because I know that this is our "normal" and that I need to embrace it more and learn to love it, good and bad.
Henry starts preschool the day after tomorrow so I'm trying to relish these last few days and not wish that bedtime would come. I have a lot of fears about the coming days, but I'm sure that my sweet boy will prove my mind wrong once again and everything will go as smoothly as it can. At least I'll hope that's how it goes.