Why is it that I never learn my lesson? When I change the routine at all, let alone bring new people into that changed routine, Adam is going to go wild. He will throw things, push children, spill drinks, lash out, cry when disciplined and in general occupy all of my time and brain space. I know this will happen, and I still do it.
I go through the same stages of grief every time--anger and disappointment that Adam acts the way he does, guilt for being angry with him, back to anger that he never learns no matter how "well" I try to teach him, back to guilt that I never try hard enough to teach him well...now that I think about it, there are really ever only two stages of grief in my experience with Adam!
In part it's for my own sanity, to have other adults around to talk to. I also want Adam to learn to be with other people well, and there is only one way to do that. I know that Caleb and Agnes and I need a life and need to be with other people, and so does Adam. In theory it will help me through a difficult night, though in practice the night becomes more difficult at the same time. I feel isolated enough in my life with Adam that sometimes it's my breath of air to break out of the mold...but it's not really relaxing that I have to gulp that air quickly while chasing Adam around and shouting at him is it?
I guess if I could learn anything it would be how to react better, how to help Adam along and not sweat the inconvenient cups of apple juice on the floor or friend's child crying in the corner, rubbing his head where the toy car just bounced off of it. Tonight I at least learned that strapping him into his chair for dinner a few minutes early saved me a few minutes of stress. I learned that I still at some levels don't know Adam at all, and that bothers me enough to keep trying, even if it means engaging in nights like tonight to see where we are at.
Though it will be a few months until the next one, I assure you.