Tired and worried

I’m tired. I’m happy with things, mostly, but so very tired. Colt has decided he’s not going to sleep at night anymore. We send him to bed early each night so he can play a little while as he unwinds. He usually takes his ipad and plays minecraft for a little while, then we take the internet activities away (have to shut down the wireless – the child will sneak out of his room after Dayne and I are asleep and then locate his ipad or ipod and play on it again!). His toys are put on shelves and his apple products are taken to our room, a soothing music CD is put on and he is told to go to sleep. Sometimes he does, but then wakes up a little while later and starts to play again. Sometimes we are up ten or fifteen times in the night trying to get him to sleep….it’s not that he isn’t tired…he just forces himself all the way awake when he wakes up as he sees it as his opportunity to ‘stay up and play all night’. I even tried letting him get it out of his system a few weekends this summer but he was SO freaking grumpy the next day it was unbelievable. School starts next week again and he simply cannot stay up all night and then cope with school in the morning. It’s hard enough helping him manage his behaviour when he’s well rested and somewhat focused. :S

He’s already ramping up to disobey at school as well.

“Mom. What will happen if I won’t do my work this year?”

“Well, you’ll get into trouble like you did last year.” I try leaving it a bit open and ominous to see if it makes him think twice.

“But what will happen? Will I get grounded?”

“It depends on how you behave, Colt.”

“Will I get suspended again and get to stay home or at Mrs. K’s?”

“Colt, let’s not talk about this. You need to work on following school rules by not swearing, not running out of class and doing your work when you are asked to.” I attempted to reason.

“I’m not going to do my work.” he replied.

Well damn…we’re here already are we? I don’t know what to do anymore. Positive reinforcement no longer works very well with Colt…when it comes down to it, whatever he would have earned for following the rules becomes meaningless in the moment for him. Negative drivers don’t work either…he just breaks down and asks for the punishment immediately. In fact, if you don’t dole it out he’ll do it for you.

“Fine. I’m going to get suspended and in big trouble and get grounded and spend the entire day in my room with no toys.” Then we find ourselves struggling to make him understand that the punishment should dissuade him from breaking those same rules over again, but it doesn’t. He just accepts that the behaviour causes “x” punishment and that’s that. There’s no thought there about stopping it or controlling things inside him, coping differently. He wants to swear when people piss him off on the playground and he’s going to do it no matter what happens. He doesn’t want to do his school work and he won’t, no matter what happens. It’s a tough place to be when we are trying to help him through.

He won’t eat lunch at school…usually only eats a few bites of whatever we give him. He gets hungry and cranky and still doesn’t eat. We tell him and his teachers to make sure he eats lunch, he says no, they can’t get anywhere with him and he ends up eating a quarter of something in front of the principal who then calls me to discuss him not eating his lunch. I’m exhausted already, just thinking about it….and those are the good calls too. I’m dreading the ones where I’m forced to try to talk Colt out of or into something on the phone with the entire office listening over speaker (the school office, I mean).

I’m trying not to stress over this. I mean, I’m not actively stressing or worrying about it endlessly because I don’t want to make Colt’s anxiety over school even worse but what do you do when you’ve run out of tactics and tricks? I tried to talk to one of the OT’s at work to see if they had any ideas but they just told me things I already knew and have put in place years ago. I tried to tell her that but she wouldn’t listen….so in the end I thanked her and just let it go.

“Yes, thank you, we figured out the visual schedule when he was five…..” *sigh*

So now we are trying to set up appointments to take Colt regularly to the psychiatrist to see if therapy helps. Every time we have to leave our jobs to take him to an appointment we get in trouble. I’m not allowed to take vacation for things like this in my new role so I’m stuck taking unpaid days when I have to be off….Dayne isn’t even allowed time off for this stuff at all so he takes unpaid sick days. Between that, daily calls from the school, managing Colt’s behaviour and then my own job and health on top is sounding impossible this year…I’m just so much more tired this time around. I wish I could be someone who stays at home to clean and cook and run the kids to their appointments, rather than forcing my body through 8 hour days to get home to clean for another hour then fall asleep the moment I hit that couch. There’s so much more to do in there.

This year, Dayne plans to take Colt to an after school club dealy at the YMCA. I know his intentions are good but we barely make it to swimming lessons once per week. It will likely tire Colt out though and then he might sleep better…or the added social pressure after being at school all day, then in a crowded babysitters place, then in a new environment with more kids he doesn’t want to be around will overload him and be too much. Either way, I just want to sleep through it all.

In happy news, my thumb continues to improve so I’m very happy with that. I can see how resting it like this (I’m keeping it splinted all the time) will really help it heal. Dayne brought home a neoprene brace for me last night to sleep in and it’s so comfortable. I ended up waking with no pain in my hand thanks to that kind gesture. So thankful for the wonderful things in my life even though I’m tired these days.

I would so love to crawl into my covers and doze off for a day or two right now. I’m tired from waking up to make Colt go back to sleep and then waking up to Dayne yelling at him from our bedroom. I jumped about two feet in the air at one point, from a dead sleep.

“FOR CRYING OUT LOUD COLT GO! TO! SLEEP!” Dayne hollered about a foot from my ear. Geez…

We’re looking into herbal sleep aids this weekend. Will see where to go from there. I would rather try to exhaust Colt before I medicate him to sleep. If he’s going to go on meds, I’d rather it be a last resort. He’s only ten.

I should have taken tomorrow off to catch up before we have to hit the ground running on Tuesday morning. Thank heavens for a long weekend…one extra laundry day. Baah.

Happy about my thumb. Gonna hang onto that one today to get me through the afternoon.


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About Grainne

My name is Grainne. This blog has been with me for years now and has served as a journal, a confessional, an outlet and a place for me to create and express my love of life. Thank you for stopping by and for becoming a part of this life long journey of mine. I appreciate every single one of you who takes the time to do so. :)

11 responses to “Tired and worried”

  1. KittyHere says :

    I am thrilled that your thumb is improving.

    Colt is really being more than a handful. No one is any good without eating and sleeping. Trying to wear him out with physical activity is a first step. And working with a therapist might help with other aspects of his behavior. Herbs vs. meds — don’t know what to say for sure there. I often think at least meds are tested and regulated so safer. You deserve help and support for sure.

    • Grainne says :

      Thanks Kitty. We’ve been lucky so far in life…I knew he’d eventually rebel. He is his fathers child after all lol.

      I’m so pleased about my thumb too. As you know all too well, everything is easier when you can use your hands. Xox

  2. Hope says :

    Thinking of you, Colt, and Dayne. I really hope things get easier soon. You deserve that.

  3. Mental Mama says :

    They’ve got my step daughter (11) on melatonin now because she doesn’t sleep. Yes, it’s medication, but it’s more of a supplement that’s non-addictive. Good luck, sounds like you could use some.

  4. marieolivia says :

    Sucks to hear that you’re having trouble with Colt and that you’re worrying about the year ahead! I wish I could tell you something that would ease your troubles :-/

    Have you guys tried really talking to him. Not activity X leads to Y, and stuff like that, but EMPATHY. This might be stupid and something you have tried LONG ago, and I don’t mean any disrespect or like being stupid like OT’s by saying obvious stuff. But if you remind him how he feels when he’s cranky and sad, and say that being up all night will lead to that, and describes in detail how it’s more fun for him to be rested, and it’s more fun to play during the day, after he’s done his homework/school. And even to try to make him understand that the ones he loves get tired and cranky, remind him of the feeling he gets and convey that you and his father get the same feeling. Not to put blame on him, or make him feel ashamed, but for him simply to understand that other people have their own feelings, despite and separate from his, and that when we love someone we don’t want them to have negative feelings, the same way you and his father want for him, so you’re not just saying that he should go to bed because you guys want to sleep, or dictate, but because you want what’s best for him. And maybe even ask what he wants to do in the future and make him realize the link between going to school and being able to do stuff later in life.

    What do you think?

    • Grainne says :

      Strange…I replied to this long ago but it didn’t capture!~! Thank you SO much for these awesome words of support! You’ve got it right..it’s the empathy that is so important to get across to Colt. Empathy is the one thing folks with autism struggle with the most, I’ve learned. It’s so hard for them to be in a mindset where they can wear someone else’s shoes for a while. Colt though, does have a big, soft heart and he reacts when someone he loves is hurt so he’s got a better chance than most.

      Thanks so much! xox

  5. Smplefy says :

    This is tough stuff that rips at a parent’s core. Best wishes and prayers for all of you.

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