We've waited all year for this, summer has arrived! School is over, we've done the work, now it's time to reap the reward...and give your teachers a much deserved break ;) We are very welcoming to the late nights & sleeping in (Clara and Gabe seem to be professionals at this already), lot's of sunscreen, grilling our meals, ice cream a little more often (score!), as well as enjoying more of your favorite activity - swimming or "kick, kick, kick" as you like to call it!
While all of these things are awesome, the fact of the matter is, we struggle.
Transitions can be our very own personal nemesis!
Your world thrives off of structure and consistency. Every break we have - Thanksgiving, Christmas, spring and especially summer is an abrupt change to everything you've come to know and expect in your day to day routine. For example, Christmas is usually a very exciting time for most kids! Gifts, treats, Christmas music (side note: I LOVE Christmas music even around Thanksgiving, yes I'm that person), but unfortunately all this just leaves you feeling confused and in a sensory overload. Resulting in you heading back up to your room shortly after we've only opened stockings on Christmas Day. :(
Like most parents, I simply can't wait to get more time with you and your siblings, but adjusting to our additional time together is indeed a challenge. It can get quite chaotic actually. One minute you're happy, the next you're throwing toys across the room. Generally a firestorm of emotions with lots of tantrums and meltdowns.
You know what sweetie?! I get it, perhaps not to the degree which it affects you, but I understand.
Every morning I wake up, go downstairs and make my coffee. Same thing everyday. On days when I venture downstairs only to discover we are out of coffee, it can set a very different tone for what's to come. I may get a headache from the lack of caffeine, leaving me a little more agitated than my normal happy self ;) Things that are usually very second natured for me just seem to take more time than usual. It can all actually just get plain old frustrating and I want nothing more than to curl back up into bed. Ha ha ha! If only that option actually existed! Yes, all this over a cup of coffee.
Now insert your usual routine of waking up.
You bounce your way downstairs saying a letter or sound for each step. We change your pull-up while you tell me who is pictured on the front of it repeatedly until I say it back to you. We'll discuss and choose a breakfast option. After breakfast you'll get dressed, brush your teeth, grab your backpack, and head to school or to see "friends" (said in a yelling but loving fashion by you). Your day would generally follow structure of lessons and sensory play from there. Predictable = Happy Addie!
Now while I can still provide the beginning of your routine you know and love, the structure to most of your day is now out of the picture and seems to cause you anxiety. Although you know your family, home, neighbors, everything around you, every move becomes unpredictable. It's not what you expect and have become accustom to. The unknown seems to aggravate you. You tend to be far more sensory seeking to fill the void of balance in your body and mind. Standing on tables, climbing on half walls and in windows, mouthing things you shouldn't, going outside as much as possible (hopefully with clothes on! So sorry neighbors!) We start noticing less functional language and more gibberish or just long drawn out sounds to drowned out noises that might be irritating to you. I'm exhausted for you just by watching your stimming suddenly shifting into overdrive. You've essentially run out of coffee Addie = SADdie
Believe it or not, this can all happen literally overnight.
Every year I say I'm going to get your summer schedule in order before school gets out. This is the year! But in the blink of an eye there is a thousand things to do for each of you the last few months of school. Between studying, testing, field trips, class parties, teacher gifts...all this while still maintaining the controlled chaos of home life, therapy schedules and extracurricular activities - it once again gets lost in the shuffle. By the time I get around to researching camps, therapy, and additional lessons for you, I hear those dreaded words "We're FULL!"
I was even told by one camp recently that I had to register in January for a shot at being accepting to attend in June! January?! Really?! This camp does look amazing and now that I know for next year, here's hoping I can get it together that early. But seriously, in January summer camp is the farthest thing from my mind!
Mommy fail. Again.
So yes, once again I've found myself unorganized for your summer schedule. :( BUT I have recently been given a ladder to help climb out of the hole we seem to have jumped in when school ended. I may have some pretty excited things in the works for you! Or at least some much needed structure and sensory stimulation you crave so much.
Sit tight baby girl! Your world will make sense soon. Promise!
I love you very much and am sorry you're feeling this way.