Some days are smooth, albeit rarely in our lives. But few are quite as tough as today. From early this morning, people had big needs and struggles and needing a lot of reassurance. Today was a farm day and they were going to be able to ride, which is always a favorite. I forgot it was trash day. They did too. So that added to the stress of leaving the house.
Because I have two in diapers overnight, the upstairs bathroom trash is generally quite full. And, though we have instructed the two capable children to roll their diapers each morning so as to save space, they do not. Thus, the elder of the two is supposed to compact that bag so it can be easily removed by another sibling. I had told him to and he had complied. Rory, whose job trash was this week, also asked him to do so. He told her he had, but she didn't hear. She asked again. Rather than stand up for himself and repeat that he had, he went to take that trash out completely. Which resulted in my asking what he was doing and him having a massive meltdown. I yelled because I couldn't be heard otherwise. I proceeded to work through what had occurred, which took nearly 10 more minutes, and solicited apologies from each involved child. By this point, we should have been walking out to the van to leave. We were far from.
On the way to the farm, I had to remind the backseat dwellers multiple times to be calmer and quieter. You're in an enclosed space, yelling is not ok! Ruby was also behaving badly. She gets very excited to go on car rides.
We finally arrived at the farm and everyone got farm ready to work. Thankfully, most of the farm chores went smoothly. Though I had to do a lot of deep breathing and counting to 10. I can be explosive and I don't want to be. If I can remember to breathe and count, I do better. Kae was difficult and demanding...more than usual. Mack was sulky. Will was heavily reading focused so sirens were necessary to reach him, but he still wanted to walk his favorite horses. If we don't notify him and attempt to allow this, he gets very frustrated. Routine is crucial.
Even the special needs adults who come with their aide were a bit out of sorts today. One always talks. He is a lot on a calm day. But today, even he was more than typical and couldn't regulate. Will has been stimming a lot with his mouth lately too. And this gentleman stims by talking. I was overwhelmed to say the least. Their aide was too. And I only had them for one and a half hours! So many deep breaths!
We finally finished the chores. The bus left. The instructor was there. Lesson time. Will's impatient horse nipped him and actually hurt him (not badly). Will doesn't process and recover quickly. And pushing him will cause a shut down. I am so thankful their instructor knows not to push him. She continued the lesson with the other three, even though Mack didn't want to ride. And I tended to Will. We were able to get Will to return his horse to the pasture with the instructor to begin to rebuild their trust. They are beautiful together. Ground work will be necessary before Will is able to ride again.
I thought maybe when we got home, everyone would chill and be able to relax. I got nothing but more needs and intensity. Will has been reading a lot lately. Almost every free moment is spent reading. I love that he loves to read, but maybe that is excessive? Maybe we should cut him off? I don't know. Mack was bored because no one was playing with him. Usually I give chores to bored children, but I couldn't fight him. I simply told him he was choosing to depend on others for entertainment. Will had dishes to do too. He is very sloth-like with chores he doesn't enjoy. This is no different. I reminded him that he can choose to move more quickly and finish so he can get back to his preferred task. He shrugged. Oh well. That is his choice. Rory asked about something she wants to do for Flina who is leaving ahead of schedule and I had to tell her her chosen plan wasn't possible. She reacted terribly. They always do. And I am the bad guy. I reminded her that just because she couldn't do it then didn't mean she couldn't at all. And to trust me. She agreed. Her attitude is some better.
I escaped from dinner because I just can't be their go to for a while. I am over done. When Mom burns out, who takes over? In this house, I have a helper. I have an incredible husband. Many aren't that lucky. Many have no choice but to do dinner and bed time when they have less than nothing left. These nights, I am more thankful for my helper, my husband. I realize how blessed I am.
Take a deep breath. Breathe slowly. Count to 10. Or 20. Or 100. Speak calmly. Remember they are hurting. They aren't hurting you intentionally. Hug them. Cry over them. Love them.