We definitely have our own brand of crazy in my household. Never in my wildest dreams did I envision dealing with some of the nonsense I deal with as a wife and mother. There are no groups, books, discussions or amounts of liquor that can prepare you for the journey. You just have to go all in and hope you don’t lose all your marbles in the process!
You know what time of day I dread the most? Dinner time. For as long as I can remember, it’s been a cluster fuck and it’s very stress inducing. Most kids with autism (at least the ones I know) have some sort of food issue. When you have three kids with autism in one house with different food issues…it’s awful. Luckily, I work about 4 nights a week so those nights it’s my husbands problem. However, a chef he is not, so they typically eat the easy stuff they like when I’m at work. Breakfast, pizza, hot dogs. Sounds simple right?
Let’s take breakfast. Oldest likes eggs, only if they are over medium. He doesn’t like any other breakfast food except toast and bacon or sausage. Middle likes pretty much all breakfast food, except eggs. And he will only eat toast if there is peanut butter on it. If he had his way, he would eat bacon and pancakes for every meal. The littlest little hates all breakfast food except for cereal. He practically lives off of cereal, but only dry. All three of my kids actually refuse to put milk in their cereal. Oh and none of them like the same cereal of course. #clusterfuckery
The only meal I make that Oldest and Middle both really like is spaghetti. I make my sauce in the crockpot and it’s damn delicious, if I do say so myself. However it’s a big pain in the ass and we get sick of eating it after awhile so I try to do it maybe once a month. God forbid I make some sort of vegetable or pasta or chicken or pork or fish or potatoes because at least one of them will bitch and moan and cry and sit at the table for hours on end. The littlest little has a very small group of foods that he eats. I know that I break every parenting rule imaginable by giving him what he likes but honestly, with a severely autistic child, you pick your battles.
We started a ritual where we set a timer at the start of dinner. If they are not finished by the time the timer goes off, they lose tv privileges. It eliminates my husband and I constantly nagging and getting irritated and sets a clear message that this is what needs to be done. It’s works well for Oldest…not so much for Middle. Should it take longer than 40 minutes for him to eat a half of a small chicken breast and a small scoop of salad? Not at all. But it does!
And this my friends, is why wine exists. The gods decided that someday there would be parents that needed and deserved a good wind down each night after going to battle with their children every night at the dinner table.
And I thank them for the foresight. 😉🍷