For most parents, holiday parties at school are a wonderful, fun thing that brings excitement and joy to children.
For me, it is hell. Sam was worked up before we even left the house today. He kept saying we were going to a Valentine's party, which we were, but it was at his school. His school party. He didn't understand, so he was mad about it, thrashing and screaming, refusing to get dressed, etc. He cried as I drug him into school with his treats and valentines, and hit me one last time before his para whooshed him away to get busy on something.
I'm told that he had a very good day at school, and was happy and singing and lovely. I know this much about my son: if kids around him are excited and rambunctious, he has learned to internalize his anxiety and stress.
Well, take a guess as to when that anxiety and stress comes out.....at home. Ever since he arrived home today, Sam has been a hot mess. He is disagreeable, angry, whiny, and awful. Today, I got the kids a heart shaped pizza from Papa Murphy's. Things were going OK until he spilled his milk. Keep in mind that we spill our milk about every day at my house, so it really isn't a big deal...oops, clean it up, back to usual. Well today Sam was distraught. He threw his pizza, threw his still-half-full cup of milk at me, and charged his sister. All because of milk.
I do not like to reward bad behavior, and so his milk and pizza were taken away. Sam has to be disciplined differently than Sloane. I will not tolerate him harming his sister, and though I am a bit grateful that he usually seeks me out to hit instead of a peer, I am also growing tired of being charged at.
I guess what I am saying is, something so happy and fun as a small holiday party at school can mean chaos for the rest of our day. I really love all things celebratory, but one thing in his schedule is interrupted, and the rest of the day goes to hell in a hand basket. I know he's still learning to deal with things, and hopefully one day we can enjoy these little parties and activities in our life. It's another check off the list of "things I was really looking forward to doing with my son, but didn't work out."
For now, Sloane and I put on our riot gear and wait out the storm. It's not fair to her, it isn't fair to any of us. But this is the life of a family dealing with autism.
And now, I am off to find myself a xanax. Happy Valentine's Day everyone.