Early Home Life!

The Zor’s early home life was infinitely more complex. Her interactions with family members was very love/hate! Run to them for a hug run away from them cause they said something negative… like Zor stop… you hugged me 10 times already… you are not a baby anymore… then she would hold a grudge… sometimes for days. Very willful in her intent.

The baby resentment in some ways is still present.  If the Zor could will it she would be an infant indefinitely.  She seldom is exited about the prospect of growing up.  From the age of 1-4 she would ask “do I have to grow up?” “When I grow up can I live with you?” Some kids may ask similar questions but you could tell the Zor’s questions had an urgency to them… for three years.  She will continue to talk in baby talk if she is under stress or super excited, it sends my wife through the roof as she is almost 8! We are working on that one!

As previously stated or eluded I am or have been the disciplinarian a majority of the Zor’s life. This has been one of the most difficult aspects of my wife and I’s marriage.  We do not fight over much but if we are having a fight it usually has revolved around the Zor.  To the parents that have been or are about to deal with this complex rearing style compromise and support one another.  If I have nearly unlimited patience, my wife has a very limited supply.  My wife would agree and tells me all the time she is lucky she found me cause she cannot do as I do.  However once my patience is used up, its gone and you will get a pretty raw quick response.  Do not deceive yourself an autism spectrum child will try you to the nth degree!  In the opposite direction I lack empathy or feeling due to action contrary to that desired.  In this respect my wife compensates for me, and the Zor and I are fortunate to have her.  The two extreme balance each other out, but it makes me the “Bad Guy” all the time and my wife the defender of the Zor.  When it comes to disciplining a autism spectrum child I will say I have tried EVERYTHING legal. Use what works as long as it works.  The Zor can be immune to pretty much anything on a whim, and if you try to get through to her the most hellish tantrum may be unleashed upon thee. You may have to swallow your pride and just let it go, cause trust me its not worth the aftermath… a few hours later.

This dynamic has led to an odd perception by the Zor, as she will interact with my wife in whatever way she chooses. Very disrespectful at times, then mom is better than sliced bread.  Me on the other hand is always respected lovingly never adored but never disrespected either.  I am the sole proprietor of this particular niche.  Grandma, Papa, Mom, teachers, sisters, etc. can correct the Zor to varying degree but to “call Dad” is serious… most of the time (see last sentence in above paragraph).  Many of the same behaviors that were exhibited in daycare carried over to the home, with quite a few others.  To try and have the Zor sit and eat was impossible, she just now is managing this well… its only been seven years.

Sleeping was/is an ongoing fight.  Driving her around used to work.  I attempted the “She’s fed, she has a clean diaper, she will cry herself to sleep”. Tantrum begins, one hour passes, the Zor turns it up a notch, “she can’t keep that up” another hours passes, the Zor turns it up a notch “Wow, she has to running out of steam, cry’s of desperation”, my wife has to leave the house cause she can’t take it. “Trust me I say, she can’t keep going”, another hour goes by the Zor turns it up a notch… We open the door to her room.  The Zor is naked her diaper removed, her clothes on the floor, the crib pushed into the middle of the room she has broken the latch that drops that side of the cradle.  Her entire body is red and she is screaming “mommy, mommy, mommy I don’t want to go to bed” at the top of her lungs”.  The Zor is almost two. This was attempted on one other occasion with similar results.  The Zor cannot be put to sleep like other kids.  For the Zor “bedtime” is the most tentative time for my wife and I as this has been the trigger for her worst tantrum episodes.  She has rituals that must be observed in a certain rotation of  ” I need to go to the bathroom, I need a drink of water, I need a hug, tuck me in, I want this light on, that light off, I didn’t feel your hug, can you read me a story, can I call grandma, can I wait until mom gets home, I need a drink, I need to go the the bathroom…” Just because she is in bed does not mean she is asleep. We have come into her room 3-4 hrs after she has gone to bed and heard “do I have to go to sleep”.  The rules for the Zor are in bed by 9pm, be quite, don’t get out of bed! We don’t try to get her to sleep.

Its not all bad and trying! The Zor is crazy fun in her own unique way, and that will be the focus of the next post!

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