For the most part, it hasn’t been terrible. Sure, having four of us together 24/7 in a small home with very little to do got to be a challenge at times. This is the last year I have one child in elementary school and one in middle school, so the kids are NOT used to so much…. TOGETHERNESS. There have been a few arguments, most of which were very quickly resolved when they got The Look from Mom and they both quickly disappeared into their rooms.
I told my husband to throw our daughter into the snow the other day but then we both decided that there just wasn’t enough snow piled up to justify all the whining and squealing that was sure to follow. And Cody… well, he’s just being Cody. Hyper, constantly in motion, easily distracted, emotional, autistic and LOUD.
Having the kids home in the middle of winter (in the middle of a snowstorm) has completely wreaked havoc on my routine as a work-at-home mom, however. Â Don’t get me wrong. I love my kids, but when you’re used to them being gone for 8 hours a day while you work at home ALONE in PEACE and QUIET…. three weeks cooped up in the house with screaming little maniacs is enough to make me want to either drink heavily, pull my hair out, or hide in a corner. It’s very difficult to concentrate on getting what I need to do done when I am getting “Hey Mom?” LITERALLY every TWO minutes. (I actually watched the clock the other day and it was every two minutes.)
I kiddingly posted on my Facebook wall yesterday that if they had a snow day today, someone was going to find me in a corner sucking my thumb, sobbing hysterically and rocking back and forth. I love my friends. Their comments made my day. They know I don’t mean a word of it and that my coping mechanism is my very warped sense of humor.
But the absolutely shining moment of the entire three weeks of craziness happened last night right before bedtime. We had watched the Packers play the Cowboys to see who was moving on in the Playoffs. (Go Pack Go!) Both kids were decked out in their Packers gear. Chrissy had on her Packers shirt, hat, earrings, necklace and PJ bottoms. Cody had on his Aaron Rodgers jersey, his foam Packers finger, and his Cheesehead. Yes, we are Packers fans!
After the game, we ate dinner and watched the Colts and the Broncos. I could tell Cody was getting tired, because he was getting quiet and not flitting around the house at 100 mph like usual. Cody’s bedtime routine goes like this: PJs and bathroom at 7:30. Bathroom again at 7:40. Bathroom for the last time at 7:50. We had issues with bedwetting and this is the only way we have found to combat that. Normally, Ben and I have to call out the time to him to get him moving. Not last night. At 7:30 and 7:40, he went and did what he was supposed to do with no prompting from anyone.
When he came out of the bathroom the second time, we both just looked at him. He asked “What?” Ben and I looked at each other and said in unison “Who are you and what did you do with Cody?” He just shrugged his shoulders and said “I didn’t feel like getting into trouble.” Wow…… Now to put this into perspective, Cody is an amazing kid. He’s smart, funny, and just an absolute blessing. But along with ADHD and autism, he also deals with Oppositional Defiance Disorder. So even though he doesn’t WANT to get into trouble, he just can’t help it. For him to do what he did last night, this was HUGE.
Ben and Cody have a weird relationship. Ben is Cody’s stepdad, but in reality, he’s the best thing to ever happen to Cody, Chrissy and me. Ben would do anything for the kids and me. I know they love each other very much, but Cody has been traumatized in the past by his birth father, which makes it hard for him to trust any man. Like many autism parents, Ben just wants to throw his hands up in the air in frustration a lot. Keep in mind, he never had children until he and I started dating. So he walked into this ready-made, completely whacked family. And he stayed! He didn’t run, even though he had many chances. LOL
So you can imagine how I felt when Cody walked over to Ben last night and without a word, just crawled onto his lap and just sat there and hugged him. I just melted. THIS is my son. This is the little boy that I know is in there. He’s not the little screaming wild man who gets mad because he’s not first in line or doesn’t win a game. He’s not the kid who throws things and hits people out of frustration. He’s the sweet little boy who curled up on his Daddy’s lap for a snuggle and started to fall asleep. It’s moments like these that give me hope for him and his future and for our future as a family. And for a few moments, all is right in the world.