I sat down to write an update on Moe's sleep, what we've tried, what we've learned, what's worked and what hasn't. I still plan to do that, but not right now. Because as I sneak a peak at Moe on the video monitor, now sleeping peacefully, I just feel relief.
This week is spring break for Moe, so I've had him and Jelly at home. We've had some appointments, but for the most part, we've been home, as it is impossible for me to take both kids almost anywhere by myself. Just getting Moe and Jelly safely out of the car and through the parking lot to his OT appointment was so stressful and involved me unbuckling Moe but leaving him in the car, going around to get Jelly, going back around to the other side of the car and then pulling Moe out with one hand while still holding Jelly with the other. I've gotten this down to somewhat of an ungraceful art.
So we stayed home. We played inside and out, but Moe isn't very good at organizing his time, so he spent a lot of the day running aimlessly and putting things in his mouth. Inside, he bit the tire off a toy car, the very definition of a choking hazard. Outside, he put a snail in his mouth. It's disgusting - don't think about it too hard. The point is he is starting to need absolute constant supervision.
Moe was really manic before bed tonight. Jeff tried to calm him down by reading to him. They read some books, like Where the Sidewalk Ends, that I keep on a high shelf in the office so Moe can't destroy them.When they were done, he ran back into the office and tried to get the books by climbing on the swivel desk chair. Twice I rescued him from what I was sure was imminent head trauma.
I tried to calm him with deep pressure, rolling a ball on him, giving him tight hugs, but could barely keep him still. He pulled my hair and tried to bite me - not out of aggression, but when Moe gets really wound up, he bites whatever is in sight: books, his monkey toy, your arm if you're not quick enough. The only thing he won't bite these days are his chewy tubes. Go figure.
In the end, we couldn't do anything to help, so we put Moe in his crib and zipped up the crib tent. This was, as it turned, out exactly what Moe needed, and he calmed down in just ten or fifteen minutes. But I didn't like that the only thing we could do was basically lock him up. Moe is not quite four, and a small four at that. He's maybe 35 pounds, but I couldn't control him. What happens when he's five? Or ten?
Moe is growing and changing. I'm learning new ways to work with him that I hope help his ability to communicate. I understand that this is a long journey. But what is hitting me hard right now, is that Moe isn't getting any less autistic. Maybe that seems like a stupid thing to say and I don't mean to be insensitive. I recognize that this is a way of being, but it isn't my way of being. And part of me naively thought, or at least hoped really hard, that someday he'd be over it.
And now I find myself in a position where I am unable teach my son the things he needs to know. Like not to climb on a swivel chair, or run into the street. And definitely not to eat snails unless they are first drenched in butter and garlic.