Out of spectrum

‘Anyways, Hank says I have to start taking pictures of people now. Cause they may be a pain in the ass, but they pay to get their pictures taken. If I keep taking pictures of bugs and lizards, I’ll end up poor and homeless.’ Max Braverman, Parenthood

If G hadn’t been sick with a stomach bug forcing me to hold his hand for hours while he was passed out on the sofa and thus forcing me to think about stuff, I would probably have never written this post.  The last two months felt like running on an ice bank, wearing 20 lb. of winter gear, sweating like a pig, while trying to escape a pack of famished snow wolves. Oh wait, replace snow wolves by kids and yeah that’s about right. I am NOT kidding. I woke up this morning and it was -19c outside; is that even possible ? Not only it was -19c but when I complained about it to my building doorman, he laughed as if walking with a brain freeze was the coolest thing in the world. Fucking New Yorkers, what is wrong with you  🙂 ?

Anyway, I was thinking about the last 2 months. What happened?

– Meltdown free Christmas with my in-laws (looks like I am growing up)

– Me screaming Total Eclipse of the Heart standing on a chair at Thor & Archibald’s NYE party (looks like I still have some growth to do)

– Talking to some investors about Another Garde half expecting to be told Fuck Off but instead got told ‘Keep talking, I am listening’

– Deciding that L will definitely be our last child even if none of the three makes it to an Ivy league college or becomes a chef or plays in the NBA which means talks of sterilization are raging at home and made us realize that, after all is done and said, we are all bare mammals. Yikes.

– Organizing a batman and cinderella birthday party for G & P for a dozen old and new friends, feeling very proud of not dropping anyone while dancing with  swinging the kids on Chandelier by Sia

– Keep talking some more to investors who are still not saying ‘Fuck Off’ (yeah)

– Overcompensating for the fact that my parents never volunteered for any class field trips or fundraisers by saying yes to everything the teachers ask: mystery reading, French culture workshop, chairing the Marketing & Fundraising committee for the school’s gala (in hindsight, Papilao & Mamilao = genius and RLM = fucking loser needing a life)… Note to self: for future reference, ALWAYS read properly papers that are given to you else you WILL end up going to the Gala committee chairs’ selection night with 5 other morons thinking that you were going to a general parents/teachers assembly meeting.  And boy did you get fucked.

Despite all this, what occupied my mind the most while nursing G was this phrase:‘You should read the ‘Out-of-Sync child book’.

3 early intervention evaluations did not do it.

Conversations with his day care staff team did not do it.

Months of frustration and wondering ‘Why this? Why that?’ did not do it.

Weeks of speech and occupational therapy did not do it.

Out-of-Sync. 3 words did it. They opened my eyes: yes L, my baby boy was wonderfully quirky but yes, there are things we should be doing about it and that’s OK. Everything will be OK. I think. I know. But let’s backtrack for a moment.

First, it all started as a running joke: L the ‘indestructible’, the ‘kingpin of Harlem’, ‘the clumsy giant’. Gradually questions started to pop up ‘he is still not really talking, is he?’, ‘why the fuck is he always head butting us to show love? It really hurts, doesn’t it?’, ‘he really never listens, does he?’

And then, there was a little bit of sadness: ‘how come he does not have any friends besides his siblings?”, ‘how come he does not know his brother’s name?’ 

Finally it was more questions, more often… And with these questions, my prejudice against American childhood professionals being way too eager to diagnose Hyper Activity Attention Deficit disorders, multiple forms of autism and so on started to falter. So we accepted evaluations.

After hours of being under the microscope, dozens and dozens of ‘can he do this/that?’, ‘what does he do when this and that?’, my heart started to tighten from worry but also from guilt. Guilt from stuff I thought and said like ‘he is fine, he is just a little asshole!’, ‘he can do more stuff I am sure but he just wants to piss us off’, ‘he is not violent, he just has siblings’, ‘he’s too smart, that’s why he does not talk and slave people’s asses instead’‘I am too busy, he can miss another baby gym class, right? I mean, he does not do much there anyway…’

Fucking Mom of the Year. It’s OK, I’ll get over it but still it stings.

Anyway, for the last month he has been receiving free speech therapy, occupational therapy, special instructions therapy (thank you New York Early Intervention program; you rock!). But still I could not understand any of it. What is it about L? Is it because we are a bilingual home? Is it autism? Is it just a phase? Will I be able to communicate with him ‘normally’? Will he stop biting my belly like a fucking vampire? Am I crazy to actually find him extremely intelligent while I cannot understand a fucking word he says and that specialists tell me he is atypical? I wanted to play it cool to no avail. I wanted to understand what the fuck was going on without giving in to paranoia.  I was at a loss… until I heard these 3 words ‘Out-Of-Sync’.

They brought me peace because I am fine with ‘out-of-sync’, actually. I can do ‘out-of-sync’, I can deal with ‘out-of-sync’, I can live with ‘out-of-sync’, I can support ‘out-of-sync’, I can be proud of ‘out-of-sync’, I can find bliss in ‘out-of-sync’, and in hindsight I probably fell in love with and married ‘out-of-sync’. And to be honest, aren’t we all wonderfully a little ‘out-of-sync’? I shall hope so.

PS: Sensory Processing Disorder is the exact diagnosis L was given.

PS2: I need to stop binge watching Parenthood. Worst tear jerker EVER. And I am not a cryer. And also L. is not Max. So I really need to stop crying every time Max is on the fucking screen. Idiot mama.

PS3: L has increased his vocabulary in the last week including words like ‘caca’ (‘poop’) which makes me run around even more as I am attempting to potty train him. The devil is using it OFTEN and then laughs saying ‘No (c) -omin’ 🙂 I am telling you, he is a mastermind.

 

5 comments

  1. Maison Bentley Style

    I’ve decided you are supermum, because I know it. Sending big love for a true rollercoaster ride, the good and the bad. I have a dear friend with 3 ‘special’ children – all different. She treats them all utterly without kid gloves..and I’ve seen these kids blossom and glow. You are amazing xxx

    • redlipstickmama

      Thank you so much! Your words mean a lot. I loved hearing about your friend; it comforts me because I sure as hell do not wish to treat L differently or make his issues a taboo. Your friend is a true inspiration. In the last month I have realized that I had to do little bit of letting it go (so what if he does not get invited to play dates :), a little bit more of accepting and a whole lot of embracing what is and comes ahead. Love xoxo

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