Mafe Maria: Personal stories by autism parent mentor, Maria Stultz

Life is so much better with coffee

Only three days after my mom left — and really just one day alone at home with Joaquin — I started to worry… How can I be new to this baby every day?… The question was twofold: How can I always be energetic to be there for my baby day after day?… and also, where am I gonna get all that creativity to give him something new every day?

So today, I ran just like I did yesterday, trying to fit as many items from my to do list as I could during Bolliti’s first two naps (the only real naps), and since I felt my energy going down, I decided to make myself a cup of coffee. Real coffee. And by this I mean coffee different than the fake decaf stuff I’ve been drinking, since caffeine is supposedly so bad for the baby when you’re breastfeeding. Ok, so back to the point: This afternoon I had a real cup of coffee. As soon as I got back from the kitchen I heard Joaquin stirring in his crib. He had only slept 10 minutes. He’d given me all the signs that he was ready for a nap, and yet, after rocking him a little more hoping he’d go back to sleep, in his own way he told me to stick that nap up where you know. This would usually be considered a domestic tragedy. Not today. Not after a real cup of coffee.

So I un–swaddled the boy and took him back to our play area (i.e. my bed), proceeded to read a book with him — although lately he’s been giving books a poopoo face. And as I’m telling him what’s on the page and am about to turn the page, his little manita reaches for the edge of the page and flips it. I begin the next page for him, and he flips it again. And so, the focus of the activity turns from reading words to flipping pages. This only lasts for a few minutes after which little Joaco started to act frustrated because his little brain and body were working so hard learning the new trick. And here’s what I learn at that point… My baby will help me. Between him and I, we’ll find something new every day… I just have to pay attention, and maybe take a cup of coffee when I feel like I need it.

After playing, as I was rocking him back to sleep, I noticed his eyes were closed. He was ready to be put on the crib. I was free for 40 minutes to go and do all those personal things on my list. But I didn’t want to. I felt like staying there and keeping him in my arms for the next 40 minutes. Then, I decided that he would sleep better on a mattress, and maybe I could just go and write a quick postie…

I don’t care what they say… Some times, caffeine is all you need to clear up your mind, and maybe get some good perspective.

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  1. On , Petie wrote:

    Agreed! …and don’t worry about finding new things for Joaco, he’ll be finding the new stuff all by himself. You just have to enjoy it. At least, that’s the way it’s worked for Elise. Joelle was more demanding and wanted entertainment.

  2. On , Joey wrote:

    Glad you got to enjoy a real cup! I’m afraid Joaco is one of those that demand to be entertained. Though he doesn’t seem to mind heavy re-runs of the same activity.

  3. On , marla wrote:

    Go coffee! Go Mommy! Go baby!