When you feel like you’re being pulled under by chaos, it may be best to go with the flow.
We’re still at the hubby’s parents for our annual summer vacation – and T is having a blast with his grandparents and vice versa.
While T has made so many gains since last summer, his use of inappropriate language has increased.
During dinner on Tuesday, after repeatedly telling T to stop saying things like “Shut up,” “Shut your mouth,” and “Be quiet,” I had enough and took away his tablet for the evening.
T got angry, screamed at me and even threatened me with his fork.
I kept my cool – and everyone around the dinner table did as well – and our disregulated child soon calmed down.
Raising a child with FASD can feel like you’re being washed down a never-ending river.
Some moments are very frantic and you feel like you’re going to drown.
When we recognize it is T’s brain – impaired with a lack of impulse control and emotional regulation – and not “bad” behaviour, we can stay calm, ride it out, and things quiet down again.
The following day, we enjoyed an afternoon hike at beautiful Pabineau Falls.
The hubby and I last visited in summer 2015, when my Ma joined us for our annual visit.
This was T’s first visit. He quickly found large rocks to throw into the gushing water.
T is a natural curious explorer and he wanted to venture further down the river – something neither the hubby, his parents nor I have done in the many times we’ve visited.
As we hiked down the river, I reflected on the previous evening.
For those unfamiliar with FASD, T’s shortlived outburst and threat may seem horrifying.
I thought instead about how T was able to deescalate, thanks to everyone staying calm, when the intuitive thing to do was to respond and reprimand.
This is not always the case: I’m human and I don’t always stay calm; the hubby’s parents have in the past said things in the heat of a moment.
So this was a winning moment of teamwork.
Our journey down the river of life with T often leads us to unfamiliar territory.
When we leave ourselves open, we encounter the simple joys – like climbing rocks or wild blueberries quietly growing under tree canopy.
When we don’t resist against the futility of angry currents, we are led to calmer waters – like an unexpected swim spot enjoyed by locals of all ages.
During the calm moments, we are blessed with higher firmer ground to take stock of the path travelled and to prepare for the rushing waters inevitably around the corner.
When we returned home, the hubby and I made dinner to thank his parents for their hospitality, spending time with T and giving us a break.
I barbecued chicken kebabs and romaine lettuce hearts, the latter I last made for the hubby’s 40th birthday pandemic celebration in 2020.
They went well with the hubby’s chicken fried rice.