Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Just put the broom down, ma'am.

Lately, I’ve been feeling a little overwhelmed.  The problem is, I’m not quite sure why, since I’m unemployed.  I mean, it all just feels like too much to handle right now. And the only boss I have to report to is Conor. I don’t know how other people do it.

(Listen, I feel the need to say, I really do realize that I’m lucky to be able to stay home. It’s a luxury many parents don’t have.  But that’s for a future post.)

Oh sure, I have the passle of annoying chores that everyone else has to do, the same boring to-do list that every mom deals with. (If I have to sweep the kitchen floor one more time I’m going to scream.)

I go to the grocery store so often I feel French.

Someone smashed my car’s passenger door window and I have to deal with the insurance company and the repair company to get that fixed.  Today, please, if possible.

We’ve got a ceiling coming down in the back hallway and we honestly have no idea why.  (Well, I have my theory and my husband has his theory and since they don’t match, the collective “we” has no idea why. I’m right, though.) This means that we now have 4 ceilings with various levels of damage (mostly water) and the plaster is bubbling up on one wall (again, with the water).  We fixed the leaks but not the damage.

The six foot wooden fence around our yard is broken in four different areas thanks to our latest wind storm.  (Linus still can’t get out of the yard, I’m thanking the universe now for sparing us that!)

I’m shedding a lot of hair. I don’t have the time for the blood work (did make time for the doctor visit, though) but I am not going to go to my college reunion bald, thank you very much. So I’ve got to fit that in.

The dog has an ear infection, which includes, get this, MRSA.  Yes, the antibiotic resistant bug that means he’ll need multiple ear drops and multiple vet visits for multiple months… yeah, that’s gonna be cheap.

We need to upgrade the Internet because my connection keeps dropping, which is annoying to me (what with all the recent blogging) and tantrum-provoking for Conor. But I spent an hour talking to someone about the thingy (a modem I think it’s called) and got nowhere.

I could go on with the chore list forever (and my husband often says I do).  I think what overwhelms me is the extra layer of chores that having a child with autism often adds on.

Things like—

He only eats 5 foods so if we run out of one, I have to go to the grocery store.  Immediately.

Those Nazis at Quest Laboratories won’t release blood results to me (the patient’s mother). And for some unknown reason, the psychiatrist can’t seem to, oh, I don’t know, get around to contacting the lab for the results of the blood work he ordered… three weeks ago.

Insurance keeps paying or not paying various doctors bills and lab invoices.  So we’re constantly getting bills, paying bills, getting refunds for overpaying bills, and then more invoices.  Trying to keep the insurance straight is like trying to train a goldfish.  Impossible.  (But, again, thankful we have health insurance. I shouldn’t complain.)

Every time I pick him up from school, I cringe and try to hide from Conor’s case manager ‘cause if he’s coming out to talk with me?  It’s not for my sparkling wit, let me tell you.  Hmm, I wonder who Conor bit today?  Oh, it’s pinching?  That’s better. 

Keeping track of Conor’s medications and supplements is like living with an 85 year old man with high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and erectile dysfunction.  We used to have a spreadsheet to track them all but now I just have one of those days-of-the-week pill cases.

You know, Conor is twelve years old now.  But in many ways, it’s like still having a toddler.  I can’t leave him unsupervised for very long when he’s home.  You never know what he might be getting in to.  He could have wet his pants. Or climbed on top of the dining room table.  He might be happily playing Pop A Shot on the third floor, or working up to a wicked tantrum because he can’t get on the Internet.

He might be bouncing a ball in the front hall and knock a picture off of the wall.  And then step on the glass in his bare feet because he doesn’t know that stepping on broken glass will hurt.

Spring is coming.  He can open the back door and let himself out in the yard.  He might decide to go swimming in our pool and he’s big enough and smart enough to work the lock on the door and the gate.  Of course, he can swim like a fish, but still…

So when it’s my turn to be Conor’s one-on-one at home (my husband and I take turns), there’s not much else I can accomplish. 

Oh, I totally left parenting my other child of my to-do list.  Maybe I’ll get to that tomorrow.

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