9 Years of Spud

When you become a Mum for the 4th time you think you've got it cracked, been there, done that and bought the t-shirt and nothing can phase you. When you are the Mum of children on the autistic spectrum you think you're invincible and can deal with anything. How wrong I was!! Spud has been testing my parenting skills in ways I didn't know possible! 
My labour was a 2 day failed induction that resulted in an emergency c section. I ended up having a general anaesthetic as they couldn't get the epidural in my wonky spine. I then struggled to wake up from my anaesthetic so spent hours in recovery. The picture above is me holding Spud in recovery, yet I don't remember it being taken. My first memory is being up on the ward receiving visitors 12 hours after he was born. Our first night together consisted of him being lifted out of his little crib, being placed in my arms to have a bottle and me waking up again to him being back in his crib. I can only presume that I kept falling back to sleep because of the anaesthetic. 
He was a chilled baby, happy to eat, sleep and repeat, he met all his miles stones early and was my earliest walker. Being the sibling of 3 other children on the autistic spectrum we decided we wanted him to go to nursery early to benefit from some early interaction. So we paid for him to go to the nursery 2 afternoons per week. He loved nursery and he flourished there, we never had any concerns over him being autistic, he was so different from his siblings in every way.

I have always felt like I didn't know how to parent him, I was so used to parenting a child with autism, it was routine, expected and what we all knew. So for a child to come along that does all the usual things, like have tantrums, give you lip and break your fine-tuned routine it threw us! For the first time since L was born in 2004 I felt out of my depth, which for the parent of 3 autistic children felt weird, I had dealt with so much with the other 3, but there was a 4-year-old whos behaviour made me cry!
I have never had to discipline my ASD 3 as they generally aren't rule breakers, as long as the routine was as expected life ran smoothly. Spud wanted to challenge every routine we had, but then he isn't autistic so didn't need to the routine like his siblings did. We had to stop lumping him in with his siblings and remember that he was different, he was just little boy, life wasn't so polarised and difficult for him, he just wanted to be a 4-year-old and push the boundaries.
Spud is a rule follower (generally), he aims to please, is fantastic at school and very smart. He flourished when he started big school, he did take some time to settle in, he was quiet at first but soon found his group of people and hasn't looked back. At home its a different story, he is still cheeky and tests us. I tell him its bedtime and I go up an hour later and he's hiding under his duvet playing his iPad. He never wants to eat what I'm making for dinner, he doesn't put his clothes in the laundry basket and I have to ask him twice to do everything. But he wouldn't be him without these slightly annoying personality traits. I'm already sure the teenage years aren't going to plain sailing, so here's to the next 9 years!!
Thanks For Reading
Mandy
xx

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