|See how much they love me!|
I wake them up for school with a "Good Morning Sunshine! and a cuddle. I make them whatever they want for breakfast,(ok- within reason on that one) pick out clothes, pack lunches and backpacks- well-just for The Boy now, Teenzilla pretty much takes care of herself in that regard. The Boy is allowed to watch TV in the morning before school. I give gentle reminders throughout the morning about getting dressed, eating, teeth and hair brushing. I give the final 5 minute warning before we head out the door. Yes- I drive him to school. The sensory overload the school bus can cause is not worth it. The Mister drives Teenzilla- it works out.
But for some reason- if I am not here, there is meltdowns, crying and upset or pissed off kids. Dad runs the mornings with military precision. "GET DRESSED! EAT BREAKFAST! BRUSH TEETH AND HAIR! THEN YOU CAN WATCH TV!" He is all about getting it all done as quickly as possible. I am too- I just have a gentler hand about it. The crying and "You're mean" and the constant arguing just doesn't happen...not often anyway.
I can bet money on The Boy losing his shit if I am not home in the morning. Hell- anytime I am not around. He comes home crying from practice 2-3 days of the week, sobbing "Dad is so mean!" to which The Mister replies- "I was just trying to talk to him". This is true- but The Mister just doesn't read The Boy right sometimes. Generally, after practice- The Boy is in a place where he is focused and easy to talk with. But sometimes, that just isn't the case, and dad just doesn't see it. It's become almost a joke in our house- I walk in the door and someone is yelling or crying and I immediately ask The Mister- "What did you do now?"
I admit that lately it is getting worse, and more than a little annoying. Even Teenzilla asked The Boy- "Why do you always throw a fit when mom isn't around?" The Boy of course growls at her or tells her "Leave me alone witch"- THAT is a new one that will not be said again- at least not in my presence anyway. Then Teenzilla says- "You would never have let ME do that!" Oh...silly little girl! You got away with MURDER when you were a wee lass, and turned out pretty damn good in spite of it.
I have told The Boy repeatedly- you need to stop crying and throwing a fit with Dad when I am not around. There is no reason for it. I know you are used to the way mom does things- but just because I am not there, and it's just dad does not mean things are THAT much different. Dad loves you and you need to stop telling him he's mean, or horrid or whatever else you say. It is disrespectful and it is going to start getting consequences.
Then he looks at me with those big eyes and says- "But you're the greatest mom in the world and I love you." Teenzilla rolls her eyes and stomps away at that point. The Mister gets an irritated look on his face and shakes his head. Do I recognize the manipulation? Hell yes I do. But I know that brutal honesty is part and parcel of autism- and this is him, just being honest. The Mister says I allow the kids to lay epic guilt trips on me. Sure I do. What mom DOESN'T?! So I stick my tongue out and say "They love me best- so there!"
The balance of power is constantly shifting- they will get mad at me and he will get to be Super Favorite Parent for awhile. And that's just fine.