Exasperation. For a Change, His, Not Mine

Martin’s gaining independence delights me for my own sake as much as his. When he could finally be trusted not to leave the house alone or endanger himself climbing the outside of the staircase railing, I could finally shower even when he and I were home alone. When he learned to swim, I could let him play on the swingset without constant fear of the pool 10 yards away. And when Martin finally started getting himself into our SUV—climbing into his booster chair, putting his drink into the cup holder, buckling his seatbelt—that meant no more straining my back to lift him aboard, no more standing in rain or snow waiting for him to arrange himself so I could push his seatbelt across, no more bypassing coffee shops that didn’t have a drive-thru because getting him in and out was such a PITA. Now he even precedes me into the garage, so that when I finally come out, coffee in hand, he’s already settled.

Last month Martin and I were twenty minutes into a car trip when, stopped at a red light, I turned around to speak to him and realized his seatbelt wasn’t buckled. “Martin!” I said. “What’s going on with your seatbelt? Why aren’t you buckled?”

“I forgot!” Martin sounded alarmed as he seized the seatbelt and buckled himself. “Oh, I forgot to put in on.”

“Be careful, buddy. We’re about to get on the highway. That would have really dangerous.”

I’m pretty sure that was a one-time occurrence. Still, since then, I’ve taken to confirming before we leave home, or asking once we’re underway, whether he’s wearing his seatbelt. I rarely remember to confirm before we leave home, which means I’m doing a lot of asking once we’re underway. “Martin, are you buckled?” “Yes.” “Martin, are you buckled?” “Yes.”

Monday I got a different answer. “Martin, are you buckled?” “Yaaaaaa-esssss!”

Exasperation! Martin, the king of repetition and perseveration, was exasperated with my question. As a bonus, his exasperated, “Yaaaaaa-esssss!” had a determinately snippy tone, almost like a pre-teen might utter.

That’s not the place I’ve heard exasperation. We’re on an airplane, and Martin just asked me whether he could order an orange juice. I said no, because he had a juice box earlier today at BareBurger. When Martin was younger, his response to that disappointment would have been a meltdown. His more common response, these days, is a burst of nonsense: “I’m never going to have juice again, ever! Throw all of the juice away! Mommy, we’re going to give the juice to another family!” His response just now was one that’s emerged within the last week or so: “Awwwww!”, that whining protest that children use when they feel they’ve been unjustly denied a privilege. I also got an “Awwwww!” when he wasn’t allowed to watch television at breakfast and when he couldn’t watch Wheel of Fortune because I had the Rangers game on.

I’m not sure I’m ready for all this neurotypicality.

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4 thoughts on “Exasperation. For a Change, His, Not Mine

  1. Great to hear such progress and your dedication to biomed paying off. Biomed made such a difference in our journey. In our case when the ‘neurotypicality’ started coming the gains were then exponential. We still have supports in place (speech,OT, touch typing and academic help at home to support the work done at school), though the need is lessening. Earlier this week there was a half hour negotiation that these are all ‘extra work’ and deserve a reward – 5$ per week was his suggestion, we compromised at $4. It was an absolute NO when he tried to push for an additional 1$ for each weekly track and field session and swimming lesson (mischievious grin on his face). Buckle up, you have a clever one on your hands.

    Your past post on homeopathy inspired me to revisit the topic and I am So So grateful. I had looked into
    homeopathy several years back but it didn’t work for us at the time (caused regression). This time around I decide on classical homeopathy rather than isopathic. I went with Pierre Fontaine in NY city. All I can say is WOW. We have been fortunate as Pierre seems to have found the right remedy after the first session (3 hours, very emotional session, deeply describing weaknesses, pregnancy, emotions). I think all our biomed work in the past gave me the ability (and motivation) to communicate my deep understanding of my son is what made it possible. By nature I am a very logical, scientific thinker — biomed made scientific sense to me, it was methodical to execute. But the biomed journey also forced me up to consider the more ethereal approach of homeopathy (anything ‘natural’ is worth trying before resorting to medication right …). Its like we are a testimonial right out of Pierre Fontaine’s book… — so glad that I read that post of yours…

    • That is great regarding your re-visit to homeopathy! We don’t use Pierre Fontaine, but I know families who do, and they report great experiences. It sounds like you son is just about “there,” or getting very close. Congratulations!

  2. I truly enjoy reading your blog. It is great that he is having such progress but I am sure also very scary. It sounds like you are doing a wonderful job with him and has a bright future in front of him.

    • Thank you. You hit the nail on the head. Every new step is scary. I’d like to say something like “the good kind of scary,” but I’m not sure there’s any such thing, for a parent.

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