Usually, I do my best to be super cheery on this blog — because we certainly have a lot to celebrate in our lives. But over the past few weeks (in my silence, sorry!), I’ve been quite overwhelmed on many fronts. I have discovered that change is not only difficult for Nate — it has become difficult for me. Our lives need to have a set structure in order for Nate to blossom and thrive and I’ve become used to that schedule, too. When that balance tips, it throws me and Nate out of whack.
None of the things that are overwhelming me are bad. In fact, they’re things that everyone wants. My astute husband did some super sleuthing, determined our car was worth way more than we owed, and traded it in for a new one before its warranty ran out. We picked it up on Thursday but yesterday it was in the shop getting some things installed, so we had to warm Nate up to the idea of riding to school in Dad’s truck, which he wasn’t so keen on. We’re getting our house painted – but the painters have pushed the start date back twice and, when they did show up, it was on a holiday so Nate was home (and the babysitter was sick) and he kept getting surprised by strange men showing up outside of a second story window. We bought our first real don’t-have-to-assemble-it-on-your-own piece of furniture (a bed and nightstands) ever – but the delivery got really messed up and it took a lot of phone calls and appointments to get straightened out.
When these things are layered on top of specialist appointments for Nate, early release days and holidays from Kindergarten, team meetings, grant deadlines, and Chad’s wonky work schedule, which has him leaving anywhere between 5:30 to 8:00am each day, it’s too much. This week and next, there’s at least one thing that is out of the ordinary that’s happening. It’s a lot to remember, a lot to balance, and ungraceful when an appointment gets cancelled (after you’re already in the car) or when a vendor shows up late.
This past weekend, we went to Maine to see Chad’s family. It was a planned trip that Nate was prepared for but no one realized until the day we left that we’d be driving a brand new car. The car confused Nate a bit. It also didn’t help that this was Nate’s first car trip post-potty training. Nate still can’t tell us when he needs to go — not if we ask him or by signing or by iPad — so we just kept stopping and trying to see if we could get a win.
Nate had an awesome time playing with his cousins, and he was willing to parallel play while drawing, jumping on the trampoline, and playing on a jungle gym swing set. The eight-hour car ride to get to Mam’s house, however, had a bit of a damaging effect. Every time we tried to get into the car, whether it was to drive to a cousin’s house or drive to a store, Nate wouldn’t do it. I’m not sure if it was the new car, the uncertainty of the length of drive, or both, but it took anywhere between twenty to forty-five minutes to wrestle Nate into his car seat.
Chad and I have also been frustrated with Nate’s progression with potty training. He’s been out of diapers and pretty much accident free since February but, at home, he will only use the little “potty chair.” In Hawaii, Nate happily and ably used the regular toilet, which made everyone’s life easier. After we came home from the Aloha State, we moved the potty chair from the living room to the bathroom, inching it ever so closer to the right spot. But, still, Nate wouldn’t use the real toilet at home.
At our last team meeting, we discussed this issue and we decided, as a team, that the potty chair would magically disappear after we got back from Maine. While at Mam’s house, Nate had no problem using the real toilet. Nate’s BCBA warned us that there might be a few accidents when we got home but Chad and I were buoyed by Nate’s success up north.
Oh were we ever wrong. We got home on Sunday night. It’s Wednesday. We’ve had six accidents so far, enough to tax our supply of bleach wipes and laundry detergent. Damn the BCBAs for always being right.
So, dear friends, while we have joy and cause for celebration in our lives, always, we sometimes are quite exhausted, too. I promise to get back to sharing the adventures of Nate (and there are some good ones!) but right now, I just need a nap or two…