Tonight, after the boys had brushed their teeth and were getting ready to read and go to sleep, Alex decides that he wants to drink chocolate milk. I told him no. I told him he could drink water or even plain milk but no sugar before going to bed. He didn’t like what I said and decided to stomp his feet all over the house and slam doors. After the third door slam, I went up to him and with my firm voice, told him that he needs to stop. I reminded him of his drink choices and if he didn’t choose one, then he just needs to read his book then go to sleep. He still wasn’t happy. I had a filthy kitchen to clean (that I knew would take 2 hours) and I just couldn’t talk to him anymore. He started to cry and pout. I told him to go talk to his dad for a while. He did. But he was still upset. He came up to me in the kitchen, in tears, and whispered, “I hate you.” I calmly replied, “Well, I love you. You sometime make me angry. But I always love you.” He didn’t reply. He just walked away and went back to his room. About 15 minutes later, he comes back to the kitchen, still with a few tears in his eyes, kisses my arm and hugs me. I hug and kiss him back. Unprompted, he says, “I love you. I’m sorry.” Through my teary eyes, I said, “I love you, too. It’s okay.” He gave me another kiss and I hugged him again and said goodnight. He went back to bed and is asleep.
I honestly do feel like I’m doing the best I can for Alex. I truly believe in early intervention and I’m grateful for his team (teachers, speech therapists, behavioral interventionists) who help him in every way they can. But every now and then, I question myself. I wonder if I am truly doing everything I can for him? Or am I missing something? Maybe I’ve gotten too comfortable with how much easier things have gotten for us over the last few years. But this moment with Alex tonight just confirmed that, just maybe, I am doing something right. Actually, no. There’s no maybe. I know I’m doing something right. And I’m pretty f*cking proud of myself.