Every evening this week for 2 hours the kids are going to vacation bible school (VBS) at our church.
Lilly has gone for the past four years but this is Ri's first year.
Most of the people in our church have known the kids since they were born so they kinda know what to expect... but my kids have always been in separate classes on Sundays and it's just an hour. (Well, we're usually about 15 mins late so not even a full hour.)
Yeah, I know... I suck. I'd like to see you try and get these monsters out the door on time. It is next to impossible.
Anyway, I came back to pick the kids up after VBS and I got to see them sing their last song before it was over. Only, my kids were not standing there or singing. They were running away from their leader and goofing around. Lilly has had really bad issues with chewing things lately (I think it is the summer chaos and major change in routine) and she had chewed the front of her shirt into a soggy mess. The teacher was holding Riley while he squirmed in her arms. *sigh*.
When she saw me coming towards her, she gave me an exasperated look and jokingly said, "I'm surprised that you're not a raging alcoholic!!!"
How mortifying and sad is that? I know she was trying to be funny...and she was but Oy, its still really embarrassing. And...they only have them for 2 hours. I live with these lovely monsters every single day.
On night 3 of VBS I arrived to pick them up and Lilly was off in the aisles away from her group with no shoes on. She was running around and not paying any attention to what the leader was telling them about. Her group leader looked less than pleased to see me. I can tell she was just done dealing with her. She said Lilly did nothing except run away from the group and have meltdowns over every little thing. I told her that the kids would not be coming back again. It is just not fair to those people that volunteer their time to have to deal with such frustration and exhausting behavior from my kids. I’m already embarrassed to show my face there again.
On the drive home, I had a “talk” with my kids. I told them that I was so embarrassed of their behavior and that they could not go back to VBS this week if they could not act their age and conduct themselves in a somewhat civilized manner. Now, I know Lilly is not your typical kid. She has Asperger’s. We all know this.
At one point during my “talk” at them, Lilly interrupts me and says,” Mom, you have already said this to us about 50 times. And why do I have to “ACT” like everyone else…why can’t I just “BE” how I am?”
She is right.
I know she is not like everyone else so why I am expecting her to be? Granted, she can improve her behavior and could have acted a little more mature and not so wild…but she was in a large group of kids, with music and lots of things going on. That is just an obvious overstimulation to her brain.
I told her that she could be who she is...but if that means she causes a disturbance and makes things difficult for the teachers, that she probabaly should not be attending those kinds of events anymore. She was sad...but understood.
Those moments where your kids catch you off guard and teach you something are bittersweet. I felt like such an ass...but was so proud of Lil for knowing who she is and being willing to speak up for herself.
Riley, well...he's a 3 year old boy ....I'm still working on him.