Autism, Motherhood

Quarantine Diaries

Day 13

Incessant stress headaches. I attempted to hydrate and avoid Advil, but quickly gave in again. It’s too loud to let a headache linger.

Meltdowns abound. During the second meltdown, I decided that I needed to let out some of my anger too. I kicked the floor with my feet and banged the ottoman. It felt good. I said, “it’s ok to be angry. I’m angry too! This is really hard! I know you miss your friends and your teachers. I know you’re sad they couldn’t see you or hear you today” (something was wrong with our technology today for their daily class meeting). We have to let our feelings out. They need to go somewhere. I wish I could say this catharsis turned the entire day around, but helped at least. We’re still working out technology kinks and figuring out online lessons. Today we worked for 2.5 hours and Mommy and kiddos were done. I decided it’s ok to stop for the day. We’ll catch up tomorrow.

Kindergartener has a lot of trouble entertaining himself. He is stuck to us at all times. I offer to play a game, read a book, talk…but he can’t think of anything he wants to do. I make more suggestions and he exhales loudly, he doesn’t know. Yesterday I just started reading “The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe” out loud. They weren’t interested. He stays listless and on edge…but nearby. Always nearby, moving his body constantly. He can’t contain the need to move at all times. It’s like his arms, legs, and head are independent entities and won’t obey. He seems afraid to be alone.

It is SO LOUD. Everything is so loud. I tried wearing ear plugs, but that just made the ringing in my ears louder.

By 2pm, I was under the covers in our bed, noisemakers on, door shut, trying to get my racing heart to slow down. They followed me. Flopping their bodies around on the bed, messing with the dog, kicking each other. I tried farting to see if the stench would get them to leave, but I should’ve known they wouldn’t care about that.

I’ve eaten a lot of gummy bears. I’ve already done all our puzzles. I’m moving onto adult coloring books. I’m listening to a book, reading a memoir, and a fiction novel. I’m cooking much more, and picking up after everyone constantly. So many dishes. Having a somewhat clean house helps.  I think I’ll start playing soothing music softly. I wonder if that will be calming to us all. I also think we need to pray before we start the day. That should help, too. For now, my prayers are sentence fragments because formulating coherent thoughts is difficult. “Help. Please. Healthcare workers. Scientists. Our country. Healing. Answers. Help.” Is about as good as I’ve managed most days.

For now, the kids are watching a movie. I will open a bottle of wine soon. We have so many movies and shows at our disposal, it’s the space in between schoolwork and screens that needs divine intervention. Maybe this is a time of detoxification, and we are all just going through withdrawals. We are so used to being entertained. To constantly moving. It’s time to get still, to feel our feelings, and think our thoughts. To discover ourselves. To listen to ourselves. To God. Maybe the kids will find their imaginations, coping skills, and confidence. Mason has already learned how to ride a bike without training wheels. Caleb helped fold most of his clothes the other day. I will keep trying, keep hoping. Now for that wine…

What are you doing and hoping during this time? Please share!



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