Surviving the life of a "High Needs" child & parent.

Tag Archives: Travelling

The Habanero has always been dramatic in his fits and is easily upset. A while back he started occasionally sending himself into a coughing tantrum when he was mad about something and I didn’t think much of it. Sometimes the coughs would lead to him spitting up, but most the time we have been able to calm him down before it gets to that point.

Last week in our car rides he started shoving his fingers down his throat (and other objects) to make himself gag which eventually leads to him puking. As you can imagine, this behavior is very frustrating in the car because there’s really nothing I can do to stop it besides telling him not to do it which of course he doesn’t listen to.

I thought maybe it was just normal for a kid to put their fingers in their mouth and gag themselves all this time, so I really haven’t thought much about it. In talking to some other people I’m realizing that this behavior of his really seems to be more about attention than anything else. There is little in the way of advice online for this that I can find and everything I’ve read says to interfere with the behavior by stopping the child physically from doing it and tell them not to, but as you can imagine that’s pretty hard to do when I’m driving.

For a while now I’ve been hoping that this coughing/gagging himself thing was just a phase that he would eventually grow out of as I’ve seen others say this about their children. Unfortunately I don’t think it’s going away anytime soon without some sort of intervention and it’s probably going to get worse as we get closer to the age of 2. Getting tired of cleaning the car seat…

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Well it’s been a while hasn’t it?! (My apologies in advance this is going to be a bit of a rant.) I’ve been pretty busy with travel this summer. The Habanero has taken two trips this summer, one in June with the whole family and one in July with just mom. I’ve had a couple of visits this summer as well. It’s a lot of work as you may know if you’ve ever traveled with a tot under 2. Even just being home all the time with a little person, is a bit of work, especially when they want your attention most of the time (I don’t know how you stay at home mom’s keep your sanity!).

For my first post back, I thought I’d write about perceptions. Because, unfortunately I’ve been getting a lot of commentary from my family members lately about how I’ve become “lazy” and I “don’t clean up after myself” during my travels and at home. I’ve also been told that I don’t do much to help out the people I’m visiting. I’m not going to point any fingers or name any names but these are individuals who have never had the experience I’m currently living so it really shouldn’t bother me but it does.

Now, I don’t know about you… but when I go on vacation, even though I’m spending what little vacation time I get every year on seeing family, I still like to at least TRY to pretend I’m on vacation and take a little bit of break from my norm. My norm these days is a 40+ hour work week, at least 1 or 2 doctors appointments and then a weekend of quality time with my little guy, while his dad is sleeping and working. During the week, dad has class two nights a week during which we are also on our own. This amounts to a grand total of 2 evenings a week I get the pleasure of being with my husband for more than an hour or 2.

Suffice to say that with a husband working full time and going to school full time, I spend a lot of time on my own. If you’ve got a High Needs baby yourself you probably are very familiar with the idea that getting anything done when they are conscious in the way of chores or errands is basically mission impossible. My husband has all but given up on even trying to get anything accomplished when he’s home with the little guy (usually when I’m shopping or the Habanero is home from school sick).

What I mean by not being able to get anything done is, if I am trying to load the dishes in the dishwasher the little guy either “helps” by unloading everything I put in there, or if unloading he pushes the drawers in and stands on the door of the dishwasher when I’ve got my back turned, causing it to tip forward. Most parents I think have the problem of not being able to go to the bathroom alone… but if I close the door he sits outside crying and having a tantrum. If I leave the door open he takes off with my toilet paper. If I take him to the store or to a restaurant most the time I’m SOL because not only does he hate being confined to a cart or a high chair, the majority of the belts don’t extend far enough for him and they are too tight to actually buckle (he’s a big kid). So I’m pushing a cart, trying to hold him in it while putting things I need in the cart and trying to stop him from reaching back and throwing what I’ve put in the cart on the floor.

I end up with the kid that won’t sit still and I have to chase and or walk around the restaurant to entertain while dad and I take turns eating. Or, the store as it were. If in the cart, he likes to “shop” and add items to the cart for me when I’m busy which is always fun. Needless to say at this point I really try very hard not to go shopping with him or out to eat, which in the case of shopping means leaving him at home with dad.

For my time at home, my house is a disaster. And it’s not for lack of effort to clean or pick up, it’s because any cabinet that is unlocked or any piece of furniture with anything on it basically looks like it exploded all over the room after the little man gets done with it. I have lost the will to keep picking things up after him – I don’t even try anymore. Pretty much if I’m picking up it’s to clean and that’s because he’s sleeping. He takes every item he can, out of every storage device I own, every cabinet, every drawer. (And most of our stuff has child locks on it with the exception of 2 or 3 in the kitchen.) As you can imagine this is all pretty exhausting. So when I go on a trip and it takes everything I’ve got in me to just get through the airport, you can imagine I rely pretty heavily on whoever I’m visiting to help me out a bit when I arrive so I can get a break.

Apparently there are some people in my family (all my family with the exception of my father) that live out of state who think that me coming to visit means that I expect that everyone will do everything for me and I won’t have to lift a finger. Because most people have family close by to help out with their kids regularly I don’t think as big of a deal is made about it. But because they never see me and they don’t understand what I go through on a daily basis, it’s like an act of god for them to change my kids diaper for me. Despite the fact that I still do a lot when I am on a trip for my child – certain family members associate me visiting with a terrible inconvenience and follow up my trip by shit talking me to either my spouse or other family members about how I don’t do enough.

The irony of the term “Lazy Mom” is that as a parent I don’t believe there is any such thing. Certainly there are parents who are more laid back in their parenting style, there are some parents who are completely useless and make no effort to be part of their children’s lives… but for those of us who are here day in and day out and don’t have the help of family on a frequent basis I don’t think it’s fair to make any such accusation. You can’t be lazy and be an involved, caring, parent. Accusing someone of being a lazy parent in my mind is simply highlighting your insensitivity, inexperience, stupidity and maybe even bigotry.