My son is an only child. He attends Pre-K and daycare but doesn’t have neighborhood friends to hang out with. I have friends with kids his age but we don’t get invited to the weekend get togethers or get aways. It makes me sad for him…and me. We try so very hard to stick to our routine but sometimes I wonder if I’m making the right decisions for him. Changes to his routine and schedule make him unbearable and just lead to less invitations down the road. But people don’t seem to get it, or us and we are finding ourselves being loners.
He and I took a road trip over Spring Break to visit friends who live out-of-town. We both had a wonderful time. I kept him on his schedule during that trip as much as possible. Bed at 8:30, melatonin, fairly decent diet. We were invited back this summer. Once we were there, I almost immediately started regretting my decision. Diet was out the window – literally eating a yellow food dye popsicle before I even unpacked the car. Sleep wasn’t happening – no naps, 10:00pm was early. By the end of the second day the kids weren’t wanting to play with him. I had run out of clothes because he wasn’t focusing on using the bathroom and was peeing and pooping in his pants. He wasn’t listening and I was at my wit’s end. There was birthday party for a neighbors child, they made slime…which for my guy was a disaster. I spent an hour cleaning it up off the porch. The cake – the food dye…let’s just say I fucking hate artificial food dye!
By the end of the party I was in tears. I was regretting making the trip. I was tired of washing laundry and finding my kid playing alone. I was tired of peeling him out of trees and ending up covered in poop. I was tired of everyone telling me he was fine, when he wasn’t. All the progress I had made had been unmade in less than 48 hours and I was a mess. All I could think about was that I didn’t have the strength and the courage to do all of this again…I felt alone. I sat on the couch in a room full of people with a mimosa and felt 100% alone.
Someone noticed that I’d been crying and asked if I was ok and I lost it. I wasn’t ok. I was sick and tired and I was tired of being tired. I was tired of people (adults and kids) not getting it…thinking my kid is like other kids and not getting why I watch him the way I do. I was tired of hearing it’s ok. Let him have just one, or he’s fine, let him play.
School starts tomorrow and for that I’m thankful. The past two weeks I’ve tried to get back on schedule with wake up, diet and bedtime. It has been rough. Potty training is for the most part back on track. Pre K 4 is 1/2 days in the afternoon so that means no nap – which is not a good thing. He really hasn’t napped in 3 weeks so I’m not worried about him falling to sleep at school, I’m worried about him being an asshole. This kid can be a bear when he doesn’t have enough sleep. I decided to move up bedtime by 30 minutes and spend that time winding down with books. We’ll see how that goes.
Oh, and we’re back on melatonin until he’s back on track and settled in to this school year. As for out-of-town trips. We will continue to visit friends, but we will stay in a rental house or hotel so that we can have more control on food and sleep. Many lessons learned this summer.