This morning I took the crew on a little adventure down the street at the park. With jars in hand, they were each commissioned to observe nature and find specimens for us to discuss. In particular, insects were high on the list of priority. Gleefully, the bandits scattered through the park in search of the perfect items to present to each other when we regrouped.
I took in a deep breath to ground myself with the amazing nature around me and feel the wind…what peace. THIS is what homeschool is about. Bliss.
A few minutes later, the scene changed. All of the children were clustered around something. And as usual, the something had to do with Lucas. Three voices, upset and anxious telling him to stop, that’s gross. Lucas’ in his high-pitched tone of agitation that I’ve come to know so well, screeching over and over frantically, “I’m catching flies. I’m catching flies.” As I walk towards them to diffuse the drama, I’m thinking, “What’s the big deal with flies?”
Well, the big deal was that he, in his own clever way, found a fail proof way of catching flies. Shoving dog poop from a careless neighbor into his jar. And I take a deep breath. And I close my eyes. Because I can’t attack this kid, even if the last 5 years of my life has revolved around him and poop.
If you’ve read before, you know that poop is not a new issue with Lucas. (there’s a little poop HERE and then a lot of potty talk HERE) Both are from the same week, when he was 3 1/2 and I was determined to be done with his poop issues. Looking back it kills me. First, because I now know so much more about this sweet boy and what he needs. Second, because I neglected to come back and share with you the results of the poop wars. For three years. Yeah.
To be honest, I think a part of me doesn’t want to put it in writing. It makes it more real, so concrete, this computer screen of mine. For me, it’s putting it in writing that makes things so final. Makes them more true somehow. I’ve hinted about it, I’ve talked about it. I’ve somewhat posted Facebook statuses and links about it. But, now I write. It’s time.
Lucas is now 6 years old. And he is still in pullups. Actually, he’s growing out of them and I’m having to look for xsmall depends. WHAT, you say?!?!?! So much has happened. GI specialist, blood tests, pow wows with preschool and kindergarten staff…. Yes, I sent him to Preschool and K because he needs structure desperately. And the reason is that Lucas has a Vestibular Sensory Processing Disorder. His nervous system does not tell him how or when to poop without help. He also has what commonly comes alongside SPD. Lucas has Asperger Syndrome.
I am very thankful that he is high functioning. There are pros and cons to that, as well, since many people just see him as a badly behaving child who lacks discipline. We had an email from a teacher last year who was upset at how disrespectful he was to her. He just REFUSED to make eye contact with her when she was speaking to him. Heck, I’m happy if he makes eye contact with ME!! We’ve been working on eye contact since he was a baby!
He can go for hours looking like a completely normal child, and I start thinking maybe they’re wrong. Then something sets him off. The squeals start, the repetitive motions….It’s there.
As far as the poop, we’ve been told that at his level some children aren’t fully self-sufficient even until 12 years old. So, we’ve dropped it. Taking the stress of that out of my day was huge, even if it meant surrendering myself to many more years of butt wiping. I’ll be sharing more about it, but I wanted a starting point. I needed to get it out there to move on.
And since, the poop has been such a part of this walk, I figured I’d start there, and let it all be known.
We had to leave the park to clean Lucas up. He was devastated because he was certain that his fly trap would be a great success. I’m sure he’s right. And there comes another facet of having a different level of need in your home. The disappointment of 3 other children who wanted to stay and play at the park. It’s a unique juggling act that many mothers better than I am have mastered. I’m just catching the balls as they come and throwing them back when I can, hoping that I’m doing the right thing for these little people in the process.
Lucas is a lover, a cuddler, the one who strokes your hair when your head is down. He comes with a deep insight that’s unexpected. He’s incredibly intelligent and I get daily glimpses of what he will be as a man someday. I look forward to that, because the day-to-day now is temporary. Every time I clean his mess, I pray. Not a prayer for rescue or healing. I pray a prayer of thankfulness that my son is happy and healthy. I remember what my mother always said, “Well, thank god for good plumbing and a healthy digestive system!” I take a moment to consider the mothers who have children unable to play, speak, move. I have nothing, NOTHING to complain about. My son is perfect, just how he is.
I’m ready to start sharing more, and I think that I will now. Now that I’ve cleared the air… on the poop.
Lucas, aka Ludini, with his fellow escape artist and favorite hen, Copperfield.