Saturday, January 21, 2012

Cabin Fever

The Seattle area has had four snow days in a row. That means four days of no school, no therapies, no babysitter, and mostly no Erik, who is out of town, waiting on delayed flights. For a kid who doesn't play with toys, it's a struggle not to be bored, and for his mama, it's a struggle to not resort to lots of iPad time to fill the hours.

By about the second day of the saga, I decided I was going to be easy on myself and ignore the good-parenting demons (you know--"you should limit his screen time," "he needs balanced meals all day," "you should be spending quality time, mostly Floortime, with him," "you should try to engage as much as you can). I decided it was going to be a parenting snow day for me. So we watched way too many iPad movies, ate when we wanted, had popcorn and wine for dinner (wait, that was me), and stayed in our pajamas most of the day. And you know, a weight lifted after I gave myself permission to bend those parenting rules I set for myself.

In the day since the snow melted and Erik finally came home, I've been thinking about that weight. I'm wondering how much of my angst about parenting Soren during the darker days stems from me--from my insecurities about what "people" must think when we're out in public, worries about what I'm not doing for him in terms of therapies and interventions, ruminations about the speech and behavior Soren had when he was younger and how much more he may regress. These are my issues, not Soren's. I'm making parenting him so much more complex (and less fun) by lugging around these Jenny issues and confusing them for Soren's autism issues.

I hope I can remember this insight even after the last snow melts and we can walk outside again.

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