Yesterday was one of those days. I missed an appointment. I had a tension headache till I went to bed and I drank a few glasses of wine to get to sleep. My reason was that I was disappointed in myself.
So here was my scenario. My eldest son is being a typical teenager generally not pulling his weight in the home and being lazy. He tipped me over the edge which made me angry, then he left for work.
In the meantime, I cooked a sausage sandwich and put it in a little bag to take on the journey to school. Most days we get the chance to eat at home but as I was arguing with the eldest I was delayed. I had an appointment and needed to be back in Leeds for 9.30 am. Just a 10-minute delay can knock my day out of sync.
I know my PDA child won’t be rushed. It only pushes him into anxiety mode so I decided to just bag the sandwich up and let him eat it on the way. Being thoughtful, avoiding rushing him, and not throwing lots of demands … I was thinking ahead, but how that thought process quickly vanished within the space of five minutes – I really don’t know.
I marched upstairs and saw Spencer sat on his bed, he had put all his uniform on and brushed his teeth and was watching a YouTube video on his phone. Immediately I snapped at him to hurry up – we needed to go! It took me about five times to repeat the instruction. At this point, I was really running late. I had an appointment back in Leeds at 9.30 which and it was looking unlikely that I would get there on time. I started to panic. “Spencer – NOW – we need to go!”
His response …. “F**CK YOU!”
Now to most parents, I guess this isn’t really alarming and you may have heard that language from your child before, but to me, it was heartbreaking as Spencer never swears, he hates swearing.
I immediately shouted at him and told him that he will never talk to me like that again. As I write this I hang my head in shame. I shouldn’t shout. Shouting will only make the matter worse. I was also rushing Spencer, the exact thing that I was trying not to do as I bagged his breakfast up for the car journey. I was making demands and my tone of voice was certainly like waving a red flag to a bull in Spencer’s eyes.
The mistakes carried on. We had full-on refusal getting out of the house (Which was making me even later) So guess what … (hangs her head in shame again) .. I mentioned how late I was and how I would make him late to his art class if he didn’t move. BANG! … the bag he carries his glasses in is flung at my head.
Spencer eventually moved and we got into the car and we both cried, practically the whole journey.
I cried because I was disappointed in myself. Everything that I believed in and had strong views about I went against in a matter of 20 minutes. How could I have been so stupid?
I apologised to Spencer and told him that it was wrong of mummy to shout and be abrupt. It was my fault that we had a bad morning.
Spencer was able to express to me that he shouldn’t have used the swear word but he was getting frustrated with the way I was talking to him.
We both agreed that if there is a next time, he could maybe tell mummy that she is not talking very nice.
I wrote this post not to be hated, or judged. But I just wanted to say that we are all human. SEN parents hold in their anger, frustration and emotions for such a long time … if you have a blip don’t beat yourself up about it. I did for most of the day mainly because I was disappointed but then I focused on the amazing support I give my child daily. We had a blip. I messed up and I apologised.
We told each other we loved one another and Spencer forgave me.
Learn as an adult to apologise. Set an example and always end with an “I love you”.