What does Monday look like? Today it’s wet and rainy because the weather cannot make up its mind what month it is. Sleep was better tonight. E was kinder. We’re getting there. Sleep was never great with any of my kids at this age. Since sleep is hard I hit my snooze once, only this morning I turned off my alarm instead. Whoops! My sister who has been staying with us to help my odds during the day, had to come up and tell me it was 7:10. Well shit! My husband was already in the shower starting his morning routine. I Scramble out of bed and go into J’s room. He’s already awake and happy. Those are the best mornings. I know he’s gonna have a good day. I get him changed and dressed and we head downstairs. My sister helps me get his breakfast and lunch together and I have enough time to go get A cause she’s awake now, change J again and get him on the bus. His bus driver Miss K is fantastic. J is always excited to see her. J got on the bus at 740. I like school days because it brings down my odds. Plus J loves school. He stands at the door and waits for his bus. It’s so cute.

In the meantime A is asking for some random cartoon. Changing her mind every 10 seconds and getting angry when we won’t change it every time. Eventually I turn the cartoons off and let her tantrum. She can be very spoiled sometimes. Her breakfast this morning consisted of those fruit/veggie pouches  she likes them and they’re good for her

By 8 am my husband is out the door for work. His schedule has gotten better but for a while he was gone 7-7 Monday thru Friday. Long days and he rarely saw the kids.

Today A has playgroup through her EI (early intervention) office. She receives speech once a week for an hour. Her playgroup is a drop off from 9-10:30. Recently she’s been having separation issues but they last maybe 90 seconds and she enjoys herself. Monday mornings are by far my busiest mornings. Since my sister has been here I’m able to leave different kids with her based on my needs that day. Juggling whatever activities or appointments are happening that day.

When we get back from playgroup A gets lunch sometime around 11. She’s my adventurous eater. She likes food. She loves food. I let her decide what she wants and then by about 12 she goes down for a nap. It’s the first time I breathe and sit still on a Monday. Don’t forget somewhere in all of this there’s a newborn who will not be ignored. A gets up around 2-2:30, just in time for J to get home. The noise level in my house with both big kids awake is out of this world. Toys, cartoons, screeching, yelling, it’s amazing how I’m not deaf.

J will be out of school at 2:45 and today is one of those rare days where he doesn’t have therapy after school. That’s easier for me harder for him. He does better with long days that are structured and lets face it, home is not structured to the degree the classroom is. It will never be that structured. I’m not that structured.

Maybe at some point between 4 and 5 I’ll figure out dinner. Dinner is not always structured. J eats very few things and when my husbands schedule sucked something fierce he wasn’t home to eat it. I stopped cooking big meals for just me and A. Most nights consist of chicken nuggets and hot dogs.  That sort of thing. And before you pass judgement, remember that autistic kids are super picky, add on top of that J’s sensory stuff, food is tough. He eats maybe 30 things and hot dogs and hamburgers are the only proteins now. He likes crunchy foods: crackers, chips, etc., so that makes it hard to get veggies and fruits into him.

Tonight is not a bath night so they will run amok until about 6:30 pm when I get them ready for bed. J will let me brush his teeth. Thank God. He has perfect baby teeth. I mean perfect. They’re straight and perfectly spaced. I hope his adult teeth are that way too. Dental is going to be hard with him. I get him changed first and set up in bed. I have been using oil diffusers (I’ll talk about that journey in another post). J surprisingly most nights is easy to put to bed. We sing some songs and say goodnight. Some nights he’s out quick others he “talks” to himself for a while. He rarely gets out of bed and he never leaves his room. We’re very lucky. A is also very easy to put to bed. We get her changed, and she goes and picks out a book. This routine is relatively new for us. She will sit with you while you read to her. It’s wonderful. We’ve been taking turns who reads to her. A lot depends on if E is screaming or not. After the book she’s into bed and like J, some nights she’s out quick and others she talks to her stuffed animals. All of which are in her crib with her.

I breathe at night for the second time when they’re in bed. It used to be I wouldn’t see my husband til after 7 but now he’s home around 5:30 and gets to say goodnight and be part of the routine. Now that he’s home early I’m trying to plan meals. Some days are more successful than others.

Mondays will look like this for the forseable future. We’ll probably add therapy after school today too. It’s inevitable. There is never enough time in the day or the week or the month or the year for what I have going on.

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