At the beach on Thursday, Sienna was enraged because her toddler sister, Sarah was getting all the attention from the family and me. Sienna went to grab an adult sized raft that Sarah, looking as cute as a spring bunny, was relaxing on. I saw the vengeance in Sienna's eyes and before she grabbed the mattress out from under her little sister, I stopped her and quietly told her if she didn't get control of her anger, she would have to sit on the blanket in a time out. She screamed or groaned or did something inappropriate, I actually forget some of the details because my adrenaline kicked in.
After I ushered her over the our blanket, I told her to sit down until she could get control. Like a hurricane, she growled, kicking sand, fluffing our blanket while sand blazed everywhere. We had friends and family sitting around with babies who were getting sandblasted. I tried to ignore her until I realized this, I walked up to her and told her we would have to go to leave and sit in the van until she got a grip. I had to toss her long body, arms and legs flailing over my shoulder and carry her up the van. Subtlety was no longer an option.
Sienna kicked and screamed in the van. She put a whole new spin on 'if the van is a rockin', don't come knockin'!"
Five minutes passed, it seemed like five hours to me. She was animalistic. I had to spank her bottom, just to send a shock to her system and for her to get into reality mode. After that, she kept saying repeatedly, "I'm bad. I need to be in jail..." while slapping her face and punching her head. Something that my therapist told me was typical with spectrum disorders. (When he told me this at our recent appointment a couple of days ago, I got teary-eyed. I am still in denial over having girls on the spectrum - I can convince others that they have it but not myself- still!!! I guess I am still hopeful.)
We then walked back to the beach. Friends and family offered condolences as if they just witnessed tragedy. Every encounter was as awkward as hearing conversations in a funeral home. I was consumed with embarrassment. As if the energy burned on being a good mom dealing with a child's tantrum wasn't enough, I had to expend extra energy worrying what everyone thought of me, hoping they'd still be my friend. I stewed on people's "friendly" suggestions on how I might have handled it better.
I wish I could start charging admission for the public entertainment, or at least have someone produce our lives in a reality TV program. I could use the money to pay for my therapy! My current issue I am struggling with is that I am trying to not let other's opinion ruin my life. I try to hard to impress others and when I have two kids on the spectrum while being new in a small town, I have to just let that go. How? I still don't know. I am a work in progress. I am sad that I had to let my career and all of the dreams surrounding a successful career go along my life in Chicago and now, my reputation in a new small town. I focus on stress management and continue to grieve it all.
God continues to mold me. Ouch.