Ben is at school today. Can I get a hallelujah?!
It’s not the same as sending them all out the door and being totally alone, but since Ben is my handful, the difference is tangible.
I suspect this is not something that just happens with special needs, though I also suspect that most kids grow out of it well before age 10, but this phenomenon is something I like to call, relaxus interruptus. Relaxus interruptus goes something like this: I sit down to drink my beloved morning coffee, and before the warmth even permeates past my mouth, Ben has a request. Now mind you, before sitting down with said coffee, I got him food, got him meds, and got him settled with a favored activity, but none of that matters when he notices Abbi lounging on the deck and says, “Abbi out”. Sure enough, Abbi is out. Abbi can wait, but Ben cannot, so I get up and open the door for Abbi, which is never enough, because now “Abbi eat”. So I help Ben feed Abbi, which takes 4 times as long as simply feeding her myself. I then redirect him to his breakfast, and seek out my coffee.
Next thing I know, Ben walks up to me with his clothes, and the cycle repeats. And it repeats every single time I sit down from 5 am to 8:30 pm. So even though I have attempted relaxation approximately 973 times, I have not once actually acheived any level of relaxation. I suffer from relaxus interruptus.
As if relaxus interruptus wasn’t enough, there is also it’s sister ailment, laborus interruptus. Ben’s radar is super sensitive, so he is dialed in not only to when I sit down for a moment’s peace, but also when I get up and do something. Now with things like dusting or dishes, it’s one thing, but when I’m gardening or vacuuming or writing, the interruptions stymie me. If you have ever completely lost your shiz and gone off the deep end over a sweet little voice saying, “Ceweo bweese”, you might know the feeling. It’s not the request, it’s the fact that it’s the 58th request this hour. Not to worry, I have a whole cache of made up swear words to let fly during these moments. When the windows are open, I sometimes catch myself and wonder what the neighbors think when they hear my screeching, “Why the green gunderson did you not ask me this 49 seconds ago when you last interrupted me?!” I suspect that any mom who has ever suffered from laborus interruptus would understand.
Sometimes I try to play with Ben for a prolonged period in hopes that I can fill up his tank and somehow stave off the interruptions for a few minutes. But after spending 63 minutes zooming cars down the track, saying the color of each, and lining them up according to category, I tell Ben that mommy is taking a break. He smiles and says, “Oday mom”, and I breathe a sigh of relief. Phew, I did it, now do I get something done, or steal a few minute break. I head for a bathroom break to consider my next step, and before I’m done washing my hands, he’s there, handing me a ball, with the cutest smile ever saying, “Wanna pway?”