Friday, May 7, 2010

A Potty in the Bush is Worth 2 Giant Grins

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I violated a critical Mommy Standard today.  G squirmed and jumped as we waited for his school bus, his joyful eyes watching his brand-new SpongeBob umbrella as he twirled it overhead.  I made an executive decision to keep that joy intact.  His telltale signs pointed to Potty Emergency.  I did not panic!  Instead, I told him that he could go pee on a bush if he needed to, pointing.  So off he went, thrilled to be a boy and "go" outside - because he could.  A porta-potty novelty in his own front yard, sneaking behind a bush in view of passers-by should they care to look.  As he skipped back, I checked my pockets for my ever-handy-hand-sanitizer.  Not finding any, I told him to wipe his hands on the wet grass to clean them.  GASP!  Where was my sense of dignity?  My germ-o-phobia?  Instead I laughed out loud.  So did G, but I'm not sure he got the full irony.  Or maybe he did...

You see, just a few days ago, I turned a corner.  G has been resisting the potty for a couple of months, not going until he's frantic.  He dances around, he grabs his front, his behind, but he always makes it.  His dance ritual has become a form of stimming.  No accidents, but I worry about UTI's and his misery.  I'm not sure why this new aversion came about after 9 months of potty perfection.  I've over-thought this as much as every other little crisis in our lives.  It's always been a rule to go potty before we leave the house.  G is resisting this more frequently with bigger, louder, kickier tantrums.  With kid's baseball season upon us, this becomes more critical than ever, to avoid those stinky Johnny-on-the-Spot germ factories at the ball fields.  Yuck!

Just a few days ago, I completely lost my composure after 35 minutes of prepping G to go potty before leaving to go to N's ball practice.  I sobbed all the way to practice, imagining the entire neighborhood heard our LOUD scuffle.  Each of us screaming, crying, slamming.  I shuddered to think how out of control we sounded, because we were!   Even N and M were freaked out as they waited in the car, and they've seen this potty tantrum countless times.  But they rarely see me react in kind (or shall I say unkind).  G screeching, me yelling.  I even stomped my a 2 year old.  Sigh.  We were late.  I gave in.  I was embarrassed and ashamed to lose it over a 4 year old and potty.  I try so hard to be patient, to encourage, to head off disaster and tantrums before they start.  I'd just been a rotten role model for my kids and half the city. 

I've decided that for now I'll give up on this one and let G work it out himself.  He hasn't had any accidents and doesn't have UTI's or constipation issues,so I can give it up to the Goddess of Special Potty Needs (I pray to her daily).  I haven't had an epiphany yet, but it could happen.  This is G's hot button of the moment, but that doesn't mean it has to become mine.  I'd rather have the neighbors see my little guy peeing behind a bush than hear us screaming.  Is that so wrong?

Shout-Out to Rockstar Moms of Special Needs Kids

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22 Reasons Mothers of Special Needs Children ROCK!

1) Because we never thought that "doing it all" would mean doing this much. But we do do it all -- and then some.

2) Because we've discovered patience we never knew we had.

3) Because we are willing to do something 10 times, 100 times or 1,000 times if that's what it takes for our kids to learn something new.

4) Because we have heard doctors tell us the worst, and we've refused to believe them. Take THAT, naysaying doctors of the world!

5) Because we have bad days and breakdowns and bawl-fests, and then we pick ourselves up and keep right on going.

6) Because we gracefully handle the stares, the comments, the rude remarks. (Well, mostly gracefully.)

7) Because we manage to get ourselves together and get out the door looking pretty damn good. Heck, we even make sweatpants look good!

8) Because we are strong. Man, are we strong. Who knew we could be this strong?

9) Because we aren't just moms, wives, cooks, cleaners, chauffeurs and women who work. We are moms, wives, cooks, cleaners, chauffeurs, women who work, physical therapists, speech therapists, occupational therapists, teachers, researchers, nurses, coaches and cheerleaders. Whew!

10) Because we work overtime every single day.

11) Because we also worry overtime, but we work it through. Or we eat chocolate or Pirate's Booty or gourmet cheese (which aren't reimbursable by insurance as mental-health necessities, but should be).

12) Because we are more selfless than other moms. Our kids need us more.

13) Because we give our kids with special needs endless love, and then we still have so much love left for our other kids, our husbands, our families. And our hairstylists, of course.

14) Because we inspire one another in this crazy blogosphere every single day.

15) Because we understand our kids better than anyone else -- even if they can't talk; even if they can't gesture; even if they can't look us in the eye. We know. We just know.

16) Because we never stop pushing for our kids.

17) Because we never stop hoping for them, either.

18) Because just when it seems like things are going OK, they're suddenly not OK, but we deal. Somehow, we always deal -- even when it seems like our heads or hearts might explode.

19) Because when we look at our kids, we just see great kids -- not kids with cerebral palsy/autism/Down syndrome/developmental delays/whatever.

20) Because ... well, you tell me.

21) Because pride is ever-present when your kids have to try so hard to achieve what others see as a given... and are so happy doing it.  (KT)

22) Because we handle it when our children go from calm to tantrum in the blink of an eye, and have the bruises to show for it. Sometimes we get our daily workouts before 7 am, without stepping on a treadmill.  (Me)

Original Post:  20 Ellen S,