He was unplanned but a really beautiful surprise. He was an incredibly good baby and an absolutely treasure. I admit that I was nervous carrying him for several reasons but mostly because I was genuinely scared to have another boy.
You see, Harley was an absolutely impossible baby with more issues than you could poke a stick at and still at almost 9 yrs old doesn’t sleep through the night. Or cry any less, or eat any more or behave any better than when he was a toddler.
I remember the day clearly. I was at my 20 week ultrasound. And when the sonograper told me that I was carrying a boy, I burst into tears, NOT because I was disappointed and NOT because I didn’t want him but simply because I just didn’t think that I could possibly go through all of that drama again. The very thought of dealing with 2 completely out-of-control little boys just scared the pants off of me! (Harley was still undiagnosed at the time).
I have always said that out of the 2 boys, Lucas is the easy-going and unflappable one and Harley (although an absolute treasure and blessing himself) has been the almighty handful.
I’ve written MANY times that despite both of the boys sharing a diagnosis of Aspergers Disorder, they couldn’t be more different. Lucas has flourished and shone from very early on and Harley has struggled with extreme anxiety issues, massive sensory issues and is way more aggressive by nature.
But that has started to change lately.
These days – Harley is getting up in the mornings, making his own breakfast, eating it and getting dressed in record time. He has finally worked out that once everything is done – he has more time to do the things he enjoys before school. It’s been an absolute joy to see him so compliant and has given me hope for the future after all the years of heartache that he has provided.
And just when I started to count my chickens…. I found plenty more just waiting to hatch.
Because nowadays, Lucas has taken up the baton and has picked up where Harley left off.
We are running the same frustrating marathon that we ran with Harley at the same age and I gotta tell you – it absolutely sucks.
Lucas is now the one lying thrashing on the floor screaming, kicking and flailing his arms every morning. He is refusing to eat breakfast, making his body like a dead weight so he can’t be picked up to be dressed and hiding underneath his bed and refusing to comply with anything. Cleaning his teeth needs 2 adults . One to hold him down and prise his mouth open and the other to block their ears with their spare hand and shoulder to drown out the screaming and try to wrangle a toothbrush into the tightly clamped shut jaw.
Mornings have become quite a drama and it’s taking me almost and hour and a half to get them out of the house these days. He is crying more than I’ve ever seen him cry and is coming home in the afternoons like a bear with a sore head.
It’s like he has had a complete personality change.
I went and spoke to his lovely teacher last week and asked her if she’s noticed anything different in the classroom. And predictably she said that he is doing really well. ( I expected that *sigh*)
In fact, she said that he is on a reading level that is a lot higher than most kids his age and that he excels at reading and writing. I stood there with my mouth hanging open and was shocked to say the least since I’ve watched Harley struggle with every.single.aspect of school since day dot.
I’m not used to hearing things like that. Usually teachers tell me that “I know he’s trying but…..” or “He needs to work on….”.
So to be told that your child is excelling should feel really good right?
Well maybe if we weren’t copping the brunt of his exhaustion and frustration at home.
I think he does actually love school but it is absolutely draining him. I think that it is a case of the typical aspie habit of keeping it together at school and losing the plot in a big way once he’s safe at home again. I’ve seen this all before.
But whatever it is, I want it to stop. For his sake as well as ours. I want him to not only cope but to thrive and flourish. I’m thrilled in the progress we’ve made with Harley but wishing that I could enjoy it more without this hanging over my head.
I’m too tired to do this all over again for God only knows how long. I feel like I’ve done my time, and I’m stamping my foot and pouting. It’s just not fair.
Lucas used to be my placid side kick. He was my take anywhere child. He was a reminder to me that I wasn’t a crappy parent and that Aspergers was more than out-of-control behaviour and aggression.
But then I sent him to school and he came home all changed.
Someone broke my baby.