Oh the things we’ve done to our kids or had done to us by our kids.
I mean, are you really even a parent unless you’ve hit your kid’s head on the car getting them in and out of the carseat? We’ve all been there. I’m sure our parents and grandparents find these misadventures of ours even more hysterical because they are remembering all the ways that as children we embarrassed them.
So, shall we stroll down my Memory Lane of Parenthood?
Nothing says, “Welcome to parenthood!” like three months in the NICU with a baby who could was small enough to fit in your husband’s hand. Add together first-time mom, teeny tiny baby, and a fear of throwing up when changing poop diapers, and you’ve got me balking at the nurse the first time I was allowed to change Cameron’s diaper.
He was so tiny that he had no butt at all; it was just all flat from his back on down. About halfway through our NICU stay, I startled one of the nurses when doing a diaper change one day and exclaiming loudly, “Oh my God, he’s got a crack!” I laugh as I write this, but I scared the nurse. To me, it was simply amazing that he had finally gained enough weight to have actual little butt cheeks and a distinguishable crack between them. I was excited!
Adventures In Poop
Even before I knew we had an autistic child, we were having misadventures in the Wade household. Once they got older, the adventures with poop only seemed to get worse.
I don’t know what the obsession is for a toddler to play in their diaper, but I’ve noticed other parents of children with autism say they’ve had their share of nasty clean-ups.
Imagine you’re on the phone with your mom while cooking in the kitchen, and you turn to in horror as you see the trail left across the kitchen tile, the living room carpet, and down your child’s thigh as he continues crawling like Speedy Gonzales down the hallway to his room. “OMG there’s $h!+ everywhere Mama! I’ve gotta go!” You hang up the phone to peals of laughter coming from 1,300 miles away as you take off after the kid leaving streaks all the way through the house.
Then comes the playing in it on purpose…the horrors! We used masking tape on my oldest to keep him in his diapers after I walked into his room and across a poop diaper. Who doesn’t love scrubbing poop out of the floor? The middle kid graduated us to duct tape since he could get through masking tape after a while.
Kid #3 liked to strip naked, paint with it, and then dance naked in his bedroom window for everyone coming down our street to see. I’m honestly surprised our youngest hasn’t been a Facebook meme on our base housing page with a blurred spot across his middle while dancing in the windows. I scared our first teenage sitter a while back when I told her about taping the diaper at bedtime. He definitely wasn’t getting out on her watch.
I truly should have bought stock in Lysol wipes, Magic Erasers, and the carpet shampoo companies. Parenthood sometimes just stinks.
My Literal Child
Some children with autism have trouble with social cues, understanding sarcasm, joking, and of course, my favorite, idioms.
Our oldest has a hard time expressing himself and will often have to pause and think about the words he’s trying to say to ask his questions or express himself. I learned when he was about three and a half years old. He had just started talking again not long before and he understood what I said quite literally.
At a loss for what he was trying to ask for one day, clearly losing his patience, and on the verge of having a meltdown, I told him to “just spit it out already.” Yeah, you can imagine how this went. I wish we had been outside but nope, standing on carpet. He looked at me funny and then did as I said; he spit on the floor. Eleven years later, and he’s still very literal.
Imagine the looks from other parents when you have your child look at you blankly when you tell them to introduce themself.
“Can you tell them your name?” Child looks at me confused and doesn’t answer. “His name is Cameron, he still doesn’t talk much yet.”
Abruptly this child jerks his hand out of mine and starts screaming crying “My name is THOMAS!”
All the stories of people who change a child’s name when they kidnap them or are on the run spin through my head. These people I just met are going to think he’s not mine, the cops are going to be called, I’m gonna go to jail… “I’m Thomas the Train!”
Thanks for clearing that up kid.
Blast From My Past Meets My Present…
I vaguely remember Grandma and PawPaw Carter taking me to a Christmas party with a bunch of their friends. One couple jokingly offered to have me come spend the night at their house, with the enticement of sliding down the banister of their staircase. I turned them down because the stairs I knew of had finials on the ends. “No thank you, that might hurt my cootie”. I have no clue how old I was at the time, but Grandma still turns slightly red when she brings up my embarrassing moments.
Just recently Carter, our middle son and PawPaw’s namesake, went down a new slide on his stomach feet first with his therapist. When his therapist asked him if he wanted to slide on his stomach again, his reply was, “Not like that, that way hurt my nuts”.
When his therapist relayed the story, I had flashes of Grandma and knew how she must have felt (Grandma, I am so sorry!!!). Pretty sure Carter got his bluntness and way with words from me. Go figure, history really does repeat itself!
Our kids definitely keep me on my toes and thankfully, I no longer gag at poop (throw up is another story). Parenthood definitely has its pitfalls, but no one said it had to be without some comedy.