Susan's Blog

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Smack That

We took Nat and Ben to the movies, to see A Night at the Museum. As soon as we sat down, as predicted, Nat started to say, “Take off coat, take off coat.” I said, “I am, I am!” And unbuttoned right away. Ned did not; he noticed that Nat did not have a straw for his soda and he stood up to quickly get one — wearing his coat.

As soon as he started down the steps Nat turned to me and smacked me in the head, hard. “Nat, stop!” I said quietly, and he hit me again. I jumped back and overturned his soda, onto my lap, my seat, and my shearling coat. Nat hit me again. I grabbed his hands, quietly saying, “Stop.” He said, “Yes. Coat off.” About Ned, who wasn’t even there. I was spitting nails, I was so furious. I sat there holding down Nat’s hands. I must be pretty strong, or else he was letting me do it.

Ned returned and I said through my clenched teeth, “Take off your Goddamned coat.” Ned said, “Sue, just a minute!” But then he did. I said, “He kept hitting me. The Sprite spilled all over my coat. Excuse me.” I got up and ran out to see what I could do. My whole right leg was wet and sticky. I shook the coat and drops of soda sprayed outwards. This better not be ruined, I thought. I also thought something else that I am not going to put into writing.

I called my friend Sheila, who has a kid on the spectrum, not quite as far “down” the spectrum as Nat. I have known Sheila for about fourteen years. We have been through it all: bolting, children getting lost, children getting taken out of the park, children being ostracized in the park, children being expelled from schools that claim they are helping special needs kids. or ALL children as my school system is into saying, children who try to beat up their mothers and fathers, children who break their siblings’ toys, children who smear, children who yell obscenities that they don’t understand. Sure, all kids do that stuff. But ours have done it a lot more.

Sheila laughed sympathetically, and said, “We’re going through it too, you know.” We talked for a little and she let me vent my rage, all the while I was shaking out and wiping my coat off. But I was afraid to leave Ned alone to deal with Nat, who might have gotten upset by my walking out. So I went back in.

The movie started up and I started to cry. And this was a comedy, too. Ned saw, of course, and said, “Nat, give Mommy a kiss.”

I thought, “Oh, Jeez, like that’s going to help.” Nat leaned over and kissed me gently.

Well, it helped a little, I guess.

1 comment

This post really hit home. Sometimes you take a risk and do something a bit out of your child’s comfort zone and are rewarded, other times, it’s a slap in the face (sometimes literally) and you slink home berating yourself for daring to think your child could cope. I could feel your anger, despair and sadness so clearly in this post and yet we all know that there will be a next time that Nat handles it all beautifully and it will help compensate for this one.

— added by Sam's mom on Monday, January 15, 2007 at 10:48 am

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