Last week I found myself in a bit of a twilight zone moment. My 12-year-old son, Tom, was not acting like himself. He was acting, dare I say… like me.
“Tom, can you please help your sister with her seat belt?”
We were running around as usual, and I have come to depend on the hand that Tom can give me with his younger brother and sister.
“Lizzy, do your seat belt, and, I don’t want to hear the itty-bitty voice.”
I was surprised by the “tough love” approach he was taking with his sister. Tom is always so sweet and protective of her. He has always been under Lizzy’s spell. This was a new tone for him to take with her.
“Tom, what is the itty-bitty voice?” I asked, very amused.
“Mom, you know when Lizzy acts like she can’t do something and she just starts saying nonsense words and acting like she is helpless. That is the itty-bitty voice. I know she can do her own seat belt.”
“I know you can do it yourself,” he called back to his sister.
“OK Tom… I did it,” Lizzy said, very pleased with herself.
Then Tom turned to my 6 year old Peter.
“You can do your own seat belt, too. You don’t need me or mommy to do it.”
My, my, I was so impressed. He was right, too. I know Peter can do his own seat belt. And, I have no problem being tough with all my children and insisting that they do things that they think they can’t.
But, sometimes it is just easier to do it for them. Especially with Lizzy. She can be so entrenched in her own world that the effort to penetrate it for something minor doesn’t always seem worth it.
But Tom was handling them both beautifully. As only a big brother can, he let them know that they no longer needed that kind of help.
Living in a special needs household can really be a trip!
Since I am dyslexic and have never been able to tell my right from my left, I have never believed in hiding the fact that we all have something that makes the world a little challenging for us.
I have been on top of my children’s issues from the beginning of time. Each child was only a baby when we were lucky enough to discover their differences. Speech, ooccupational, and physical therapists have been a normal part of our lives since Tom was 18 months old.
“We are who we are” is a frequent phrase in our house. Living with people who, like me, all have some challenge can be frustrating at times. It can also be really funny.
My husband and I still laugh about the time we were having lunch on Christmas Eve about four years ago. Anytime we all go out can be stressful. It’s not unusual for me to use phrases such as, “use your words… Take a breath… Car 54 where are you?”
This particular day, each child really pulled out the stops.
Christmas can be especially touchy for us because of the dreaded holiday music. Tom has overcome almost all of his sensory issues. All, except his fear of high pitched sounds. Particularly a note that Josh Groban hits in “O Holy Night.”
We are probably the only people on the planet who threaten a child with playing a Josh Groban song to deter misbehavior.
Peter was only a toddler at the time and unbeknownst to us had an ear infection. And Lizzy, whose special needs are the most extensive of the three, was very far into her own world. She was sitting in her chair talking to herself in her own “Lizzy language.”
We were just wrapping up the meal when wouldn’t you know it Josh Groban comes on the radio. Tom, who thankfully no longer screamed when he heard the offending “noise” put his hands over his ears.
As I was calming Tom down, (Take a deep breath, it’s okay, get over it.) Peter started to get fussy so I reached over to pick him up from the high chair. He then proceeded to throw up all over me.
At that moment, we were the ideal American family. One kid holding his hands over their ears saying, “Mommy make it stop”; a second child completely in her own world; and the third covered in vomit.
My husband and I did what we always do in a tough spot, we hysterically laughed. Then, leaving the waitress a very big tip, otherwise known as “combat pay,” hightailed it out of there.
I don’t think we could even pretend to look like a typical family. And, that is OK with me.
I am used to being tough on my kids when I need to be and understanding their challenges when that’s called for. I have certainly made my share of mistakes and can keep myself up at nights counting them. But since this is my story, I’m not going into them here.
I will let my kids tell there own tales of horror and list all the things I have done to mess them up. I actually look forward to it.
I can just imagine Tom being interviewed about his own Mommy Dearest book. A best seller for sure. I will sit proudly watching him on the TV in the nursing home saying, see, they said he would never write and there he his with own book!
Listening to Tom talk to his brother and sister that day I heard how I sound to him. And I watched his brother and sister listen and do what he knew they could do. In that minute I knew I had done something right with my kids.
Best Mother’s Day present I could ever get.
Grumpy Grateful Mom says
You are a great mom with your hands full! You must be doing lots of thing right to have a boy who is so good with his brother and sister.
I think YOU should write a book. I love your posts and your restaurant story is classic! I also think it would be better to get your version of things before your kids come out with a tell all. 🙂 I look forward to reading more soon!
Mel~ @ Lifestwistedstitches.com says
Beautiful Kathy, Just Bequtiful! So glad to have read this this eve love! I can soooooo relate! I do hope you have had a wonderful Mother’s Day. 🙂
Happy Mother’s Day!
You guys make me feel great! Thank you all so much!
You definitely did something right!!!
They are amazing!!! 🙂
By the way, I put you in my blogroll…I hope it’s ok with you! 🙂
Samantha Sotto-Yambao says
Beautiful! That was certainly the best gift a mom could get. 🙂
Wonderful post! I always looks forward to reading your blogs!
Tired Mom says
Loved it! My son is starting to act like me too, and it’s weirding me out! lol http://speakingonthespectrum.blogspot.com/
Lexie Lane says
What a great post. Children… There are just no words! This reminds me of this quote I read, “Children are great imitators. So give them something great to imitate.”
Thanks for sharing!
Following you here from Bloggy Moms.
Please come visit us at voiceBoks – The Voice of Motherhood and find out what
everyone’s saying, doing, etc. There, you’ll also meet a really great group of wonderful women who love to connect and meet new people.
Hope you had a great Mother’s Day! Have a lovely week!
P.S. Please come and join our year long Hop with Hopper Strategized when you have a chance!
An Irish Italian Blessing says
You are SUCH A BEAUTIFUL person! I LOVE reading about your family and your trials and tribulations of being a mom. Seriously, you’re incredible. I LOVE that you “threaten” to play Josh Groban, that’s really cute and Tom sounds like he’s really growing up. So sweet to read about him being such a good big brother, you should be really proud of him!
Adorable ! I have three children my self and I understand the sanity you have to keep in order to make it through the day !
Love your blog, I found you on VB! I hope I get to know you better .. I am now following you. Please stop by my page when you get a chance and say Hi ..
Hey my new friend! I love this because it takes me back to growing up and always thinking that family next to ours always had it so together. No they did not they just hid it better! I know that I will have ups and downs with my son and my family as it grows and I know I will screw my kids up but I can’t wait to see the moments where they show me that I make a difference that they hear me and not just listen. Oh how wonderful your family is. And go Tom! I guarantee I will never listen to Josh Grobin Oh Holy Night again without thinking of this story and I will smile and know that it is all worth it!
Susie B. Homemaker says
Another great post! You are definitely doing something right with your kiddos… good job Mama! 🙂
It always amuses me to listen to my 6 yr. old talk to her younger sisters. Of course when I hear her saying a lot of ‘No, don’t do that’, I realize somedays I need to tone it down. But when her or my 3 yr. old say ‘Here honey’ or ‘Let me help you sweetie’ to the youngest it brings a big smile to my face.
And I can totally relate to your restaurant story and leaving ‘combat pay’ for the waitress! HAHA 😀
This is so sweet
Glad you had a great mother’s Day
Following you from Bloggy Moms
Rachel Joy says
The best thing in the world when we see our parenting being mirrored by our children…and it actually working on the younger siblings! Awesome post…will continue to stay tuned to your very blessed and interesting moments…
Coupons Make Cents says
Modeling for our children can sometimes be SO HARD. It seems that at least for this moment, you have done well! I say for at least this moment because if you are anything like me, you will do something stellar followed by something completely, ridiculously stupid. 🙂 I sure hope they don’t model those behaviours! I’m finding you through Voice Boks and I hope you’ll stop by my blog, Coupons Make Cents. Click over to the contact page when you click the link — it’ll take you there. 🙂
Coupons Make Cents says
Oh, and I love your title. It reminds me of what my pastor says: “We called our oven Nazareth, because nothing good comes from Nazareth”. LOL! Of course he meant that the prevailing thought of the day was that Jesus could not possibly be who he said he was because he came from Nazareth. Anyhow, the possessed dishwasher and Nazareth would make one heck of a kitchen ensemble. LOL!
Five Foot Mama says
It sounds like you are raising some great kids! What a responsible guy your Tom sounds like! I hope and pray that someday when I have more kids, they can get along and help each other as well as your kids sound like they do!
pamela r says
stopping in from the voiceboks blog hop…..LOVE the post—Really LOVE the blog name!!!! =)
Hi! Found you off of Voiceboks. So far, I love the site- I’m sure you will too! I hope you’ll stop by my page sometime- check out my ‘Bloggy Buddies’ section in my header to find some more great blogs to follow.
I hope you’re having a great day! I’ll talk to you soon!
I’m tempted to go back and read all your previous entries since you sound a lot like me -and, well, I love me, lol. I kid(somewhat)! Thanks for stopping by my blog and for the compliment! I look forward to reading more of your stuff- my favorite part of this entry was “use your words… Take a breath…” Its said DAILY in our house, too, lol. So many more things I could say, but then I’d be typing forever. So, I’ll end it here.
I’ll talk to you soon!
Thank you all so much for your great and thoughtul comments. The support I get here is so amazing and I really appreciate it!
For anyone who is new to my site from VB or any of the other great groups I’m in thanks for dropping by! Feel free to get possessed any time!
Mommy LaDy Club says
What a treat your blog is! Such great reading. Thank you so much for coming by Mommy LaDy Club and for your thoughtful comment. I really appreciate that. It sounds like you are doing a fabulous job with your kids, and I seriously doubt they will have some provocative tell all book about their upbringings. They won’t have any reason to;) I have 4 raised adult step-daughters who amaze me with their accomplishments, and I like to think I had something to do with that, and sometimes they even tell me that I did! So keep it up…hard parenting work does pay off! Cheers for now, and I look forward to the next post!
hehehe wonderful! He’s like Charlie from Charlie and Lola! hehe
RJ, the Hope Coach says
I SO enjoyed reading how your son is growing to be like you! What a fantastic affirmation that you are worth following – and there cannot be a better warm-fuzzy-mommy moment than that!
Hey! Just wanted to let you know that I nominated you for a Versatile Blogger award. Please check out my blog for more info and pass it on to other bloggers: http://confessionsfromboystown.blogspot.com/2011/05/versatile-blogger-award.html
Talk to you soon!
Alicia Stucky says
This is a treat my husband often gets right now instead of me. Our little boy is a spitting image of his dad and already picks up on just about everything that he does. He’s only 3, and everytime it happens, my husband like literally, physically puffs up with pride. *eye roll* lol
Seriously, though, that is a milestone, for sure. And one to be proud of. Definitely a great Mother’s Day present! 🙂 Happy Momma Day!
Romina Garcia says
In all honesty, it’s all credit to you for being a great mother!
Hope you had an awesome Mother’s Day x
I found you on Bloggy Mom … you caught my eye when you said “special needs” lol.. I have 4 kids and all of them have their own little issues, but the middle two have more severe medical issues. I can totally relate.. ha ha…
PS……. I love your blog title too ..
I think Tom should come over here and teach my kids a thing or too. Thanks for your honesty.
I look forward to following you.
You’ve got a great bunch of kiddos 🙂 Love the term Combat Pay for tips! So true!
There are ceratinly days when I would gladly ship Tom out to anyone who would like him!!! But, I am very lucky, he is a good kid!
Thank you all so much for the great comments! You guys always make me feel so good!
Your children are beautiful and amazing!!! I love the term “Combat Pay” I am definitely going to have to borrow that!!!
I love your style of writing! It is so fun and honest! I am following you now! Great blog!
And thanks for the visit to NN!!
I think that is such an awesome story! You are so incredible. I love to hear stories of mothers that are doing it so right, (even though at times you may question it.)
I also wanted to thank you for checking out my kid’s blogs. You know what that means to a parent. 🙂