Saying we've been going through a rough patch is an understatement. Both kids have been fighting a bad cold. Jack, however, is worse and he frequently wakes up at night in a fit of frustration, anger, and confusion because he doesn't feel well. Livie winds up waking up because she and Jack share a room and she can't help but be awakened by his screaming. Needless to say, none of us have been getting adequate rest, which makes for a very cranky household.
I'm hoping that this bug is running out of them so that our nights can become somewhat normal again, whatever normal was, I can't even remember anymore. On the bright side, Jack is taking medicine for his cold like a big boy. He doesn't fight it and takes his cough/decongestant medicine like a champ. He's even taking the Tylenol chewable tablets, too. He blows his nose whenever he needs to do it and he does it very well. That, alone, is a HUGE step for him.
I've tried going to bed right after the kids do, so that I can at least get some
sleep before the chaos begins. It's never enough, though. And it's not easy trying to grow twins in the process. I can't even begin to explain it to you. Unless you're the parent of a four-year-old with SPD who doesn't understand why he's feeling so shitty; unless you're also the parent of a three-year-old who can't figure out why her brother is waking up disoriented every night for the last ten days and unable to go back to sleep for hours
; unless you're a full-time working Mom who's pregnant with twins and sleep deprived already; unless you have a husband who's working very late hours due to inventory; yeah, you just wouldn't understand.
Imagine you are four years old and you have SPD. Now, imagine you're sick with a bad cold, coughing and sneezing. Imagine not being able to understand why you're congested and you're a boogery mess. Imagine not being able to go back to sleep because you can't breathe out of your nose and you still can't sleep without a nummy. Now, imagine that you think merely putting a Band-Aid on your nose will make it better and you can't understand why I won't give it to you. Now, imagine yourself a blubbering mess because you can't say what you mean at 3am. And everyone is mad at you.
That's my son. And I get
it. I get him
. And I get his disorder
. But even though I understand all of it, that doesn't mean that I like hours of total confusion and chaos at 3am. It doesn't mean that I'm a bad parent because I resent having to deal with it from 3am-5am, when he can finally go back to sleep. Why? Because I get up at 5:30am and I've been running on fumes for days. Days
. I am only human. We're all only human and everyone has their breaking point. Jack has reached his ten times over and I feel bad for the little guy.
Hubby is upset because "this is not normal." Having a kid with SPD means nothing in life will ever be normal
, whatever that
is. And that's okay. It's not that there's something wrong
with Jack. Jack is who he is. He's Jack and we love him. We just have to do things a little differently with him when it comes to...well,...everything
. His wiring is different from Liv's and to ever compare the two is foolish. There are days, however, when you'd never even know Jack has Sensory Processing Disorder. And then there are days when you just know he's different.
I do not believe, nor will I ever believe, that Jack is autistic. No professional therapist he's had has ever thought that about Jack. Jack has SPD and he has trouble making sense out of his environment, especially when he's sick. His doctor barely ever sees him and wouldn't know him on a crowded train. He sees him for his yearly check-up and that's about it. I don't even think he believes in SPD. Sometimes I think people feel that doctors are gods. I, for one, do not believe that at all. I think doctors make guesses, which is why they call what they do, "practice." SPD is something Jack will need to cope with for the rest of his life. He's still learning strategies to deal with the things that upset him. And if you don't have SPD, you just don't understand.
My job in life may be to bring awareness of SPD to those who have any contact with my son. His SPD has been referred to as mild by his four former therapists. I can only imagine what parents go through when their kid has severe SPD. And there isn't a single book I haven't read about it because it is my job to understand my son. I do what I can, but I'm only human. And it's not easy to deal with the demons of SPD in the middle of the night. You see, SPD doesn't just exist in the daytime. And neither does motherhood.
Sleep deprivation: that's the last ten days or so in a nutshell. So, if I'm cranky, you know why. I'm trying really hard not to fall apart and it keeps getting harder and harder. I love my boy. It's just not always easy to fight the SPD battle.