I am grumpy tonight. It's not because I'm tired (I'm always tired, ok? That's like a prerequisite to being a mother)....it's not because I'm tired, although that probably is making it worse. It's because I'm worried. I have noticed in recent months, that when I am concerned about something, I become grumpy. Tonight, that is also exacerbated by an incident at school involving the girls' lunch orders from the canteen. Something I'm very peeved about, and intend to write a letter of complaint to the school. But I won't go into it here, suffice to say, this is not the first time.
I digress again.
My worry is in relation to my son. He grinds his teeth. This is a relatively new thing for him. He has been grinding his teeth, for maybe..... 6 weeks? The first week or two, it was nearly all day. Drove me absolutely crazy. Then it started to taper off, and now he only does it when he is bored, I think. I don't believe it is a sensory issue for him. I think it is just a habit. One of my older daughters used to do this too, and all of them grind their teeth in their sleep occasionally anyway.
So no, I don't believe it is a sensory craving, and even as a baby , my son never did put things into his mouth. I thought this was unusual at the time, but never really thought hard about it. Instead, I looked at the 'positive' side, and thought that I was lucky, as the choking and germ hazard was greatly reduced because of this. Well, it turns out that he was just not developing as a normal kid should. So much for being positive.
I am worried though, because I heard someone mention that their child also did this (he also has autism), and had to have 4 teeth removed (*gasp* what??). They did, however, point out that their child had a 'thing' for juice, and that they had left the teeth-grinding habit unchecked. And they were reluctant to mention the incident in the first place so as not to scare me. At this point, I want to say very clearly, that these are good people who take very good care of all their children. They are a family that I look up to and admire and hold in the greatest of esteem. Their experience and advice regarding my son is something I value highly, so the mistake they made with their child would have been exactly that, just a mistake.
Anyway, normally I am not easily scared. But I think that without realising, this has become a concern to me. He might not do it so much anymore, but when he does grind his teeth, he really goes for it! So I have been worried all day about it. And it has stressed me out, and so I am grumpy now. I do try to interrupt the grinding, as much as I am able to. I do this by either squeezing his jaw, or giving him a snack. Usually fruit or a cheese stick. The snack works better than squeezing his jaw. Today, I have doubled my efforts to rid him of this behaviour. It hasn't worked much that I can see. I have even taken to putting my fingers in his mouth to rub his gums and teeth. He only lets me do this because I've been trying to desensitise him this way, in order to prepare him for accepting a tooth brush into his mouth.
I wish he would stop. But it has become alot more apparent that this isn't going to stop by itself. I don't know why this wasn't clear to me in the first place. It's as if it just didn't compute, even though I knew. Fatigue I guess. I don't know. I do know that my brain isn't as sharp as it could be these days haha. Too much going on, and not enough sleep. Anyway, it isn't going to go away by itself. I need to work at this.
Like everything else about his autism... I need to work on it all. None of it is going to 'go away' or decrease in intensity by itself. It makes me think, we have a long road ahead of us. And thinking about that makes me tired. And more stressed. And more grumpy.
I know everything will be alright, but I wish I could just get a glimpse of the future to see it. Just so I can be reminded that all this hard work will definately pay off. But the future for my boy is still cloudy for me. I guess I have to be used to that.
Worried. Stressed. Grumpy.
But still smiling. God's got us.