We have a wonderful in-home therapist. Her name is Ms. Nicole and she has made a HUGE difference with our aspie, who loves her dearly. He quickly grew attached to her and when she is here, you will find him sitting in Ms. Nicole's lap while they are working. Not only has Nicole gotten close to our aspie but she has also been extremely efficient in conquering some of my aspie's biggest issues. Nicole came up with a way to handle our aspie's obsession of knives, has gotten him to say hello and goodbye when people come and go from our home, and has gotten him to write his name legibly in the last three or so months she has been with us. She is so sweet, quiet and understanding and has become a member of our family since she is her nearly every morning in our home. She even goes out with us when we think our aspie might have a hard time, like to birthday parties or trick or treating, and is planning on working on our aspie's ability to go to different stores in the near future. Since she has become a member of our family, she gets to be here with the good times, the bad and unfortunately for her, the often occurring weird and unusual things that occur in our crazy family. Her first experience of the un-normal was in October when we had a bat in the house. She held the kiddos at bay while my husband and I wrangled the beast outside, and just the other day she was there again when another, smaller visitor came to visit.
Before Nicole's arrival on Black Friday, I was vacuuming when I spotted a tiny cute field mouse in our dining room. I guessed I had scared it with the vacuum cleaner because it went running across the room and stopped in front of me like a deer in headlights. And although it was cute, it scared the crap out of me since I wasn't expecting it, causing me to scream as well. My husband came running in to see what my shrill was over just in time to see our guest scurry around the corner into a foyer and under the toy box. He looked but couldn't find it so we figured it had run some place else and we both knew it was time to set up some traps after the kids went to bed. When Nicole got there we informed her of our furry friend so if it made an appearance again she would have my same reaction.
A couple hours into their work, and during one of my son's breaks, Ms Nicole calmly and quietly said, "Umm, it's back." Not being so calm my husband and I went running into the dining room to again watch the mouse run back to the foyer and under the toy box. This time though our running made the boys curious and caused them to come running as well. They made it in time to spot the mouse too. "How cute!" the baby squawked. "It's Jerry!" our aspie yelled. "Jerry is here," referring to Jerry from the Tom and Jerry cartoon. From their excitement it became quickly apparent that a non-lethal method of removal was going to be necessary for our four legged friend. Since the mouse was on the run, all of us kept spotting it going from here to there making the kiddos even more excited about our house guest, and so we had to be proactive and decided to hunt down the mouse before our kids decided to catch "Jerry" themselves.
Armed with Tupperware, my husband and I positioned ourselves on either side of the toy box and Ms Nicole had the kids on the steps so they could look over to watch. With a yard stick, my husband nudged the mouse and got him running into my direction with the plan that I would set the Tupperware bowl overtop of the mouse trapping him. Well, that was the plan anyway. In reality, here is what happened.
Mouse came running towards me at an un-godly speed which made me jump, scream and miss the mouse. Our dog Charlie (who loves to hunt) spotted the mouse, smashed through our lane of toys to force the mouse towards me and started biting at the mouse. By this point the kids were screaming and Ms. Nicole had the brains to jump onto Charlie stopping him from grabbing the mouse. The mouse had run back towards my husband who was now stuck under the toy box in the attempt to block the mouse. With Ms. Nicole holding back Charlie and laughing her ass off, the kids escaped the steps, still screaming and now were climbing on top of my husband, who was still pinned, trying to look to find out if the mouse was okay. I, who always thought of myself as calm in chaotic situations, was just sitting on the floor in a daze not sure what was going on wishing I had gone Black Friday shopping. Once I came to I realized the mouse must have been just as confused because it was running back and forth down the lane of toys not knowing what to do. Finally, after my hubs got the kids off of him and he sat up, Ms Nicole had Charlie calmed down, and I got my wits to me, we watched as the mouse came to a stop, in a white flag raising style, and allowed my husband to place the plastic bowl over top of him. We slid a piece of cardboard under the bowl and I carried the mouse outside to release back into the wild. Dazed, the mouse and I exchanged a look for quite some time before I finally left him there. As I walked away I swear the mouse had a look of both thankfulness and pity on his face. The kids watched him from a window for some time while the mouse bathed himself, and finally went on his way to his other "home".
And so, I think we can officially say the Ms. Nicole is a member of the house of crazies. She has been here and survived some of the weirdest things that occurs in our home and has lived to tell about it. And to boot, she comes back! Thanks Ms. Nicole! We hope you enjoy your birthday on Saturday and wouldn't know what to do without you! And always remember, you never know what each day will bring, but we can promise you it will never get boring!
Tis' the season where we start to wonder and contemplate about what we are thankful for with Thanksgiving being right around the corner. I see lists and thankful posts flying around social media like a contagious yawn and it got me wondering....what am I thankful for beside the obvious. Of course I am thankful for my family, our friends, our health, having food, etc, but what else besides that. Am I thankful for all that other stuff that affects our life everyday? Am I thankful for autism? Am I thankful for bipolar? Would I change it if I could?
Really these are horrible questions to ask because they can down right drive you crazy. But come on, I am sure if you ask any family out there that is dealing with things like this they have asked themselves these same questions. It's only normal. So what have I come up with...am I thankful? Well yes and no.
These syndromes come with their ups and downs, and no doubt they at least make life interesting. Without them my world might seem boring and routine. I would be worrying about whether or not my snack tray was liked at the local PTA meeting or what to wear at this year's Christmas party; not wondering if I should pass out Prozac at the door when our 15 guests show up for Thanksgiving dinner for them to handle our crazy house for the evening. But then again, life might be a little simpler and things like running to the store wouldn't be a major three act production. The answer to these questions are not that simple. But if you look at the silver lining of these disorders there are a few amazing things that I have found that I am absolutely thankful for.
Over this last year I have watched my husband grow and change in ways that I never thought I would and for that I am extremely thankful. My husband hid his bipolar for many, many years and this year decided to embrace it; which has overall made him more comfortable in his own skin. He has taken responsibility for his bipolar and has been able to recognize when things are going amiss. He knows when to leave, when to take time for himself and because of that our whole family has been healthier for it. If takes a very strong person to do that. To take on something as powerful as bipolar and not let it control him, but to learn how to deal with it to the best of his ability. AND to recognize that his family needs him to do it. For that I am sooo thankful! (Next year maybe I will be able to post that I am thankful that no inanimate objects have been thrown but I am not holding my breath.) Now would I cure my husband? Yes, yes I would. And only because when he is down he wishes he did not have it. Knowing that makes me wish I could give him a magical potion and take his pain away in a swallow, but I can't. So instead I will be his rock until that day when I find a genie in a lamp and wish it away for him.
Of course I am thankful for both my boys, they both make me proud and grateful that they are mine everyday. When I question whether or not I am thankful for my apsie's autism it puts me in a very uncomfortable position. I think in a way I feel guilty for even questioning it, but in reality no parent wants their child to have to have anything "wrong" with them. Every parent wants their child to go through like with no struggles, and grow up in a world of rainbows an unicorns, but that is not reality. Reality is, he has autism. He will struggle everyday. Some days will be easier than others, but everyday it will be something. But the thing is, it is much like the riddle which came first the chicken or the egg, when the answer is neither, one cannot exist without the other, my son will never exist without Asperger's, its a part of him. I am not waiting around for a cure neither. Why? Personally I believe it is not my decision but will be his if one day they ever find one. So why concern myself with it now. Instead I will make available every therapy I can that might help him with what causes him problems and we will work together to get through the rough times. And as he grows and continues to make progress I will be thankful for everything that he does that amazes me everyday! I am privileged to watch my aspie's brain work in ways that I never dreamed humanly possible. My aspie can remember anything and everything ever really spoken. He will bring up things that happened when he was two that my husband and I struggle to remember. He can solve a 250 piece puzzle in under five minutes, and can take almost anything apart and put if back together if he desires too. He can recite the words from any movie or TV show he has watched and now songs that he finds interest in and that are not too loud. (These are mainly holiday songs since he is still not fond of the radio.) He sees the detail in everything and loves nature and magical things like Christmas like no one else I know. He is amazing, and if autism gave him that, then I am thankful.
I am a logical person in many ways, which I guess is what makes me a good scientist. I believe in the laws of physics and think that they affect all of our lives in all different ways. Physics tells us that everything has equal and opposite reactions, and so with the good comes the bad. No one has a perfect life. No one. But overall when I look at mine, I am so very thankful. My life is stressful no doubt and if I wanted I think I have every right to rock in a dark corner and claim insanity on any given day. (And there are certain days that I want to do that!) But overall, I am thankful for my family and all the labels that come with them........and for the big bottle of margaritas the local liquor store keeps in stock for me.
Our apsie is very particular and hates change. Most kiddos and adults with autism are like this. They have things lined up a certain way, arranged by color/shape/size or whatever their preference may be. If we let him our aspie would have our entire house situated to his liking, but we have enforce the rule that he can only "fix" his room and no where else. His room then is his savior. It's his comfortable place where is actually does spend a lot of his time.
Being also that our aspie LOVES Christmas and the holiday seasons, we have allowed him to decorate his room. He earned a little blue foil tree (that I think is horrendously ugly) that he loves because its blue and has lights. He also earned LED colored lights that we strung around his desk. He also through the years gathered a few decorations that he put around his little tree on his night stand. One of these decorations is a large plastic bulb that is open on one side, has a train that goes around a Christmas tree and plays songs if you hit a button. Problem is the baby has discovered that he too loves this decoration.
When we found this decoration this season the fight was on immediately when the baby discovered this awesome new toy in our aspie's room. Baby would take the bulb, aspie would cry and scream, aspie would chase baby around the house trying to get it, baby would run crying, aspie would tackle the baby if parents were to slow to stop it and so on and so forth. (By the way, this running and chasing always seems to occur when I am in the bathroom or cooking. It's like they know the perfect time to break into a bloody battle. Look she is busy now, lets get into it!) We have tried to work out a sharing of the bulb, but this really upsets our aspie as well because 1. he does not want the baby in his room to play with it and 2. if the baby leaves his room with the bulb, then the bulb is not is its right place in his room nor in its place on a night stand. Its a mess.
Therefore, our aspie decided to take the issue into his own hands and make a "lock" on his door so that his brother can not come in to steal the toy. He took the dog's leash, attached it to his door knob and then pulled it around his desk and under his chair so that the door can only be opened a crack. Of course anyone larger in size can push the door open, but the baby is stopped. I actually thought it was pretty smart idea and sort of gave into the new locking situation and figured it would help stop the fights in the meantime. Oh how wrong I was.
This morning the baby woke up at his normal 6:30 am wake up time. I felt him slither out of bed (yes we are still working on getting the baby out of our bed) and make way for the door. Since he didn't wake me up I knew something was up. I quietly followed him out of the room where I saw him walk up to his brother's bedroom door. I watched as the baby pushed the door as far as it would go, squeeze himself through the crack and make way for the bulb. I heard the words, "Got it!" in his baby slurrish voice and them heard him scurrying back. He couldn't fit the bulb back through the door so he followed the leash under the desk and knocked the chair down to undo the lock. He then grabbed the bulb and went running like a bat out of hell. I couldn't help but to laugh watching my little cat burglar in process.
I am not sure if it was my laughing or the chair getting knocked down but my aspie woke up. He must have sensed the disruption in the decoration force because he looked over at his night stand, let out a loud "UUUGGGG!" and went darting out of his room saying, "What is wrong with this baby!"
After I broke up a wrestling match that pursued I took the bulb from the both of them and put it up for the time being until I can get the baby something of his own.
After all the crying was done with and "normalcy" returned to our home I couldn't help to laugh as I drank my coffee. It was like the baby had it planned out before he went to bed. I could only imagine him thinking you may go to sleep after me big bro but I wake up first!
I know that fighting over things is a normal part of sibling hood but I never realized how much planning was involved in the fights. Apparently a lot. Oh and for the icing on the cake...my aspie is currently up in his room devising another "lock" for his door that is more baby proof!
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When you have kids your life changes completely. I know I heard soooo many people say that to me when we were pregnant. In fact, I got to hate hearing it. Oh no, I would think to myself. I am going to be that one in a million that doesn't let my offspring change the amount of time I spend with my friends, with my family, on my work....I will be able to do it all. I will be the one person that will NOT let my life change just because I have a baby. And I honestly can say, that I walked into the delivery room believing that. And then I pushed out a baby along with every other delusional idea and notion I had with what life was going to be like with a family. For folks out their about to have a baby or are thinking about having a baby...don't be scared. I, like every other parent, allowed my life to change willingly. One cute like burp, a smile, ten lil' piggies and you're a goner. You will do what ever you need to do to make your little munchkin' happy and healthy, even if it means giving up you old life and to start a new chapter.
Granted there are days where you catch yourself longing for some of your old self back. The partying, the shopping, the long soaks in the bath with out a rubber ducky falling on your head....you get my drift. And I'm not going to say there are not days where this life is just way to much reality, and you catch yourself imaging how life would be if you did this or that differently. But then your kiddos sense that they are about to get thrown out with the trash and do something incredibly cute like hold your face in their hands and give you a big fat, wet, cheerio kiss and your back to your reality happy as ever. What strikes me funny are the small things that didn't effect me without kids but are game changers now that we do; for instance, the time change!
If you don't live in a state, country or region that follows day light savings time, let me explain. Twice a year we change our clocks ahead an hour or behind an hour to allow for the most sunlight possible during our waking hours. It started a long time ago to help farmers and now we do it for electricity and economical purposes (or so I think and if I am wrong someone please explain to me why we do this).
Daylight savings never really affecting me before I had kids. In fact, it was usually something I kind of looked forward to because it meant an extra hour sleep, an extra hour at a bar, or an hour less of a date during the weekend of the change. But after I had kids I now dread it. In fact I FEAR it! My husband and I whisper about it like it has ears, thinking if we don't speak to loudly maybe, just maybe we can sneak past it and the kids will not realize it has happened. And yet they do, and our lives go crazy for about a week.
It can't be that bad, you are probably thinking to yourself. Oh yes it is, I will argue back. Unfortunately, the kids internal clocks don't change even though our physical wall hanging ones do. And if you happen to have a special needs child who thrives in routines, structure and concrete ideals, then this internal clock needs a sledge hammer to break the old schedule and to start a new one.
My kids are so different on how they handle it that I have to describe them separately to paint the whole picture. So first, let's tackle the baby. Our baby has always had an amazing set sleeping and eating schedule. Wakes up at 6:30am, eats, sleeps at 12:30pm, eats, eats, eats, goes to bed at 8:30pm. He typically goes with the flow with everything else in life, but mess with his eating and sleeping schedule and you get one crazed psycho baby that uses his bottle as a lethal weapon towards anyone or anything that might make him mad. So, during the time change, baby then wakes up at 5:30 and I try to stall him in the bed for as long as possible, but of course the means I am messing with his breakfast so he starts to get mad. For nap, I try to push it back some, and crankiness get worse. The crankiness continues throughout the day as I try to adjust his schedule. By the end of the first day of our "new" time the baby is walking around shouting random words and swinging his bottle around like a drunken sailor. Enough said for the baby.
Now for our aspie.....weeeellll it's a little different, and what he is going through currently is partly my fault. About a year back we were really having problems with our aspie sleeping. He just could not sleep. IF he fell asleep at midnight, he was up at 4am. IF he fell asleep at 8:30pm, then he was up at 12:30am. We tried everything we could think of to try to get him on a schedule and to sleep. I even came up with some rules so that my hubs and I could get some sleep. And for aspies, most rules are pretty well followed. Rule #1: When the sun is up we are awake. Rule #2: When the sun is down, we must be home in our bedroom starting to relax or if you wake up when the sun is down you must stay in your room. The sun's position is something my aspie could see for himself and hence it helped with time recognition. It was also concrete and could not be argued. This and melatonin has really helped him with his sleep and we are now on a really great bedtime/morning routine. It started getting dark, we would take a bath and get ready for bed. When the sun is up, my aspie would emerge from his room ready to go.
We realized we might have a problem with this wonderful "follow the sun" idea I had when we were at the Pirate baseball game for his birthday. The sun was starting to set earlier and by 7:30 my aspie was rocking in his seat upset that it was getting dark and he wasn't home in his room. We actually had to leave the game in the 4th inning because of it. It kept happening every where we went, and my great idea to follow the sun turned into one major problem when we changed our clocks on Sunday. Since the sun is up at 6:00, so is my aspie which means he is ready for his day, including school, free time and everything in between...oh about 3 hours to soon. 5:30pm and you can find my aspie in his room naked as a jay bird relaxing in his bed waiting to fall asleep, about 3 hours too soon. Trying to "adjust" his schedule comes with meltdowns that are not just the swinging of a bottle. Oh no! This is potty accidents, writing on the walls, not eating, fighting to do anything kind of meltdowns. Damn sun and damn government Day Light Saving time!
So here we are in day four of trying to convince my aspie that although the sun is "asleep" we can still be up for a few more hours with the family and although the sun is up, its "waking" up a bit early. It's not going so well. Actually, its not "going" at all. But with the help of a digital clock schedule so he can look at numbers on the clock and match them to his schedule, not the sun, we are hoping to be situated in a few days...weeks...months....who know really.
So, it's the little stuff. It's the little stuff that gets you every time if you think about it. The little things like a time change....an idea that you think will help your kiddo....a little bundle of joy to comes into your life one day. Yep, the little stuff. Who knew. I sure as heck didn't, but I can tell you that I have learned this. Things change and you can't stop it from happening. So do your best and know the sun will always come up tomorrow.
No autism tonight. This post is a good ole' woman vs man vent about coffee mugs of all things. You would not believe how many times this conversation comes up in this house. Coffee is a staple, plain and simple. We drink it all the time and take it with us everywhere we go. So when one of us goes to grab a travel mug from the cupboard and there are none, tempers flare and words are exchanged....all love of course.
Let me first take a step back and explain something about my hubs. Because of his bipolar, there are days where he is just a little more on edge then others. He does his best to keep it together, but if something pushes him over the edge, well then sometimes the unexpected happens.
Take for example one fine day when we were out shopping. It was before the kids, even before the marriage and we were out Christmas shopping. It was a cold December day and I had taken a coffee mug with me to get my morning dose of caffeine. The mug I took was my favorite mug. My life long friend made it for me in a pottery class she took in college and I used it everyday.
Let me break the story once again to explain something else. I have a horrible habit of not finishing my drinks. I begin to drink something, get distracted and leave my cup/mug/bottle laying around. Hours may go by before I realized I lost my drink and I go back looking for it. Unfortunately, there have been many of times that my lost drink has gotten spilled for this reason or that. The cat knocked it over on the coffee table, you move the laptop and hit it, or say when you get into the car you bump into it spilling all over your pants.
Okay, so it is a bad habit to leave half empty (some might say half full) mugs around like a trail of bread crumbs everywhere you go. I admit it. And yes, I too would be upset if when I got into the car I spilled semi-warm coffee down my pants making it look like I peed myself while out Christmas shopping. I get it, I really do. So, when he got upset grumbling about my bad habit I let it go in one ear and out the other, starting the car up and driving to our next destination. When I looked over to see how bad the wet spot on his pants was, I busted out laughing. I couldn't help it. I know its childish, but it was just so funny. Well, apparently my then finance did not think it was that funny, because next thing I knew, the passenger side window was going down and my favorite coffee mug was flying out of it landing somewhere on Interstate 70. No words were exchanged as I longingly looked for my mug in the rear-view mirror. It wasn't until we reached our next destination did I say. "I really loved that mug." His reply, "I really love dry pants." And the saga began.
I few days later, I found a traveling coffee mug on the kitchen counter. I took it as a "I'm sorry, use this in the car" small apology/hint. From there we have been adding to our traveling coffee mug collection but unfortunately when we add some kids to our pack a new problem occurred. I started leaving the mugs in the car. I know, I know...another bad habit. But I just honestly run out of hands. By the time I get the kids in, the diaper bag, my purse and usually some bag of groceries or toys or something, I just down right forget the mugs. So then, when the next day rolls around and my hubbie goes to grab one, there are none there. So then he mentions there are no mugs and I reach right into my back pocket and bring up the mug toss incident. And the saga continues.
Of all things, coffee mugs. We bicker/joke over coffee mugs. So we have finally found a solution...disposable coffee cups. Yes, it might have taken eight years for us to finally figure it out, but when we spotted them we both laughed and threw them into our cart. His response, "Now don't go getting attached."
My last post was pleading for some help with my son's newest obsession....knives! Of all things, my aspie decided somehow that he NEEDED to have knives. And when I say obsession, it really was. It was his every thought, and because he liked to cut himself with them we had to hide all of our knives and denied him anything sharp at all. Well, it didn't work. He had meltdown after meltdown. Destroyed our house during fits. Regressed in potty training and really just had a horrible time. So, I used this blog to post our struggle and hope to hear some suggestions on how to handle the situation. And of course you guys pulled through! With some private messages and emails and the help of our therapists, we developed a plan of attack to help our aspie through this tough time. And our plan of attack just might surprise you.
What we knew was that our current way of dealing with it did not work....at all! And so we did the opposite. We gave him knives. Yup, we armed our little dude with two of his very own knives that he could only use for 15 minutes, three times a day with supervision of course. During the other times we put them in a treasure box in the kitchen where he could go and check to make sure they were there any time he wanted. If he worked hard and completed all his work, then he could earn "bonus" time with the knives as well. The other condition to the knives, thanks to the input of my husband, was that the knives had to be used as a tool accomplishing some task. He did not wanting him just to hold it or study it, giving him time to think about cutting himself. Instead, he had to cut fruit, vegetables, whittle a stick, cut flowers, etc. Our therapist even constructed a knife use chart that had Velcro images of the knives with the times to give him a visual understanding of how many times a day he could play with the knives. When he accomplished a task, he would remove a imagine allowing him to understand then how many more times that day he got to work with the knives.
From the word go, he was curious and happy to have time with the knives. We ended up falling into a pattern with the knife use so that when our in home therapist was here in the morning, our aspie and her would cut fruit for a snack. Then for dinner he helped me cut vegetables for dinner and after dinner daddy and him did some sort of "manly" cutting. He loved having his own special knives and as soon as we started this schedule, his meltdowns cut down dramatically. We are now in week 3 of our routine and he has gotten to a point that he talks about knives constantly but the need to have them and search for them has lessened greatly. He also has not cut himself since we started. Although he still likes the feeling, he for some reason is not using them on himself.
So there you have it. We gave into the obsession, which is honestly the last thing I thought we would ever do. It's a crazy feeling to allow your five your old to holding sharp knives and using them by himself when everything in your gut tells you to take them off of him. But I, nor any other parent with a child on the spectrum, have a "normal" kid. Our kids think differently, act differently, and are different and so, I guess a different response should not surprise me!
Let's be honest, all of us to some extent have OCD. I for instance can only set an alarm to wake up on even numbers. I can't explain why or when it started but I CANNOT make myself do anything else. My husband cannot wear black socks, and if he has too he takes a shower immediately after they come off. He also keeps his money a certain way and if it gets messed up, then he has to immediately stop and fix it. It's obsessions, thoughts and weird stuff that we can't stop doing. Washing hands repeatedly, etc. Now by no means do I know what it like to truly have OCD, and this post is really not about OCD, its more just about the O: Obsession.
For the last couple of weeks, my aspie has been obsessed with knives. All knives. Butter, steak, Swiss Army, pockets, and everything else that exist in our house. He loves the idea of them being sharp and shiny. He tries to sneak them whenever he can and we have had to lock up all our kitchen knives, my husbands hunting knives and even the butter knives from our son. Unfortunately, that has not stopped our son. When he could not find knives he started looking for screwdrivers, toothpicks or anything else that has a sharp point to it. He is now looking when we go to other places and tries to sneak things home. The other day he got a knife from my in-laws and locked himself in their bedroom with it.
At one point, he cut his thumb on a knife that he had found (prior to the lockup, before we knew how bad it is) and he never cried. He was more worried about getting in trouble with the knife than anything else. The cut was bad and we managed to get it to stop bleeding after about twenty minutes and never once did he cry from the pain. In a way, we think the feel of a cut feels good to him and hence enhances the obsession.
I am writing this tonight in a desperate plea for help. None of us (BSC, TSS, doctor, etc) know how to truly handle this. Our therapist have told us in the 15 plus years of working with kids on the spectrum she has never seen this, as well as her co-workers. We have tried everything from time out to replacement to down right screaming at him because we have been so concerned and stressed out over the issue. And for letting him play with toy knives to replace the behavior, we tried. He wants the real deal. He cannot really tell us why he wants them, and as a whole we all think he truly doesn't know either. He has torn our house apart looking for anything sharp.
And so I ask please help. If you have any recommendations or have dealt with this kind of thing with your own aspie, please share and let me know how you handled it. We are pretty desperate. If not, please share this on Facebook, Twitter, where ever you can to get it around! We are hoping that someone, somewhere can give us suggestions on how to handle this and what to do.
Please understand too, he does not want to hurt anyone with them, he wants them for himself to feel and hold. It is NOT a violent thing.
I ask and plea again, please share and any and all suggestions you have will be extremely helpful. Feel free to post on this blog or on my Facebook page!!! Thank you in advance for all of your help in sharing and helping our family face this extremely delicate and scary issue!
As my blog is growing I have been getting updates on cool events that are occurring in the burgh and surrounding areas. I will be updating my Facebook page with all the information that comes in! So if you are local and looking for something to do or want to travel and plan a family weekend please stop by my Facebook page and check it out. Be sure to Like it to get updates!
This weekend is a great weekend in the Burgh. There is FREE, that's right FREE admission to the Science Center, Carnegie Art and History Museum, Children's Museum, the Conservatory and so much more! Head to Facebook for more information!!!
I wrote a post last night about our experience attending the autism friendly version of The Lion King; however, you will not find it here. Instead, you can find it by clicking here and visiting the Pittsburgh Mom blog spot. I have read Pittsburgh Mom blogs for a while now, to gain advice, find out cool things to do in our city, etc and started bugging her a short time ago about being a guest blogger. Luckily for me she caved and let me write this little dittie about Pittsburgh's production of The Lion King!
So, please stop by and check it out and also check out her Facebook page where there is tons of information about Pittsburgh and a great connecting place for local moms!
And ps...the show was great even if my aspie didn't think so......
Tonight's post title was a quote from my aspie. Needless to say he is not so thrilled with his birthday coming tomorrow. There are many reason to my aspie loathing of his birthday, but lets not let me get ahead of myself. Let's first recap on last years birthday.
Aspie hid when a lot of people showed up
Aspie bit my hubbie to the point of breaking the skin when it was time to sing Happy Birthday
Aspie put his fist into his homemade pirate ship birthday cake that his great grandmother made him
Aspie had a great time running around with his friend J#$% (my husband's best friend's son), but when J$%* left he cried and expressed that he hated us
So in other words, although it was a nice day and a good time was had by most of us, our aspie was stressed to the max and didn't truly enjoy his day.
Now, let's fast forward to present. We started about a month ago asking our aspie what he wanted for his birthday. "I want my birthday to not be here," my aspie would say. Why, we would ask him. Birthdays are fun! Birthday come every year, we would reason with him with no avail. And each time our aspie would give us some logical explanation as to why he hated his birthday and was not going to have one. Here are the reason we have collected and can understand.
Our aspie likes the number 4. It's his favorite, as he would say. I have come to learn that many aspies like numbers and can get pretty obsessed on them. It also helps to explain why so many of them our gifted when it comes to mathematics, physics and things like that; the love of numbers. Being that he loves the number 4, and happened to also be 4 years old, it was the perfect combination. Turning 5 means that he is not his favorite number, and this is more than my aspie can handle.
The good ole birthday song. The song that most kids love to hear and have sung to them makes my aspie so uncomfortable that he usually screams, "SHUT UP!!" start swinging and runs away. At other kids birthday parties we will stay away from the singing until it is over and then try to rejoin the party, but on many occasions this throws my aspie over the edge which means a quick exit home. With him being the birthday boy, and hence the singing being directed at him means that he cannot avoid it. His worst nightmare. We did not understand that last year, mainly because he couldn't tell us what made him so upset. With him being older, and being able to communicate a lot better with him has allowed us to understand that it's not the song he doesn't like, it's the noise. A lot of people singing very closely and loudly toward him hurts his ears and makes his skin hurt. He literally tells us that when he hears loud noises or gets nervous his skin hurts and he runs to find a dark quiet place. That I get and can understand why that song scares him so.
People looking at him. People scare him in general and make him nervous, and really is the hardest battle he has with having Asperger's. Since it is a syndrome that has many social components, having many people in one place is very hard on him. When he is at the center of their attention makes it that much harder and causes him to get very anxious, meaning a meltdown is soon to follow.
Presents. Yes, presents. They can be overwhelming and over stimulating. Sounds crazy to us neural typical folks, but for my aspie it is too much. From what I understand from him, it is a bad thing because he wants to play with all of it at once, but knows he can't. Therefore it causes him to panic. What to play with, when, is that the right choice, all these questions running through his mind at once is a lot.
Understanding these reason now makes it really easy for us to understand why our soon-to-be five year old does not want to have his birthday. Knowing this, we decided to ask him what he would like to do on his birthday. On one of his sleepless nights, at 3am, my aspie decided what he wanted to do. Before I tell you what he wanted, let me explain why I have come to sometimes enjoy our 3am discussions. When the house is quiet and it is dark, my aspie and I have the best conversations in the rocking chair. It seems like at that time he can really concentrate on what he wants to say and what he really wants. On this night, he started by saying what he always says when he wants to talk, "Mommy I have to ask you something." After that he explained he did not want a birthday party, but instead wants to have a Halloween party closer to Halloween. "That way no singing" I said. Yes, he replied. And there you have it, our new found answer to a birthday. No party, just another day, but lets celebrate something he really likes, holidays! Sounds good to me. So for the arrival of his birthday tomorrow you will find us having a normal day, then heading to a Pirate baseball game in the evening. Teachers have been alerted and family members have been notified. This year September 18th is will be coming on Oct 31st and no cake and singing please. And that is the best present his father and I can give him....one happy birthday fit just for our aspie!
Our aspie started a new school this Wednesday. It's a wonderful program in our area that incorporates a few autistic kiddos with "neuro-typical" kids in a structured, small classroom environment forcing interaction. The goal is for the children with autism to socialize with all the other kids to prep them for attending mainstream school in the year to follow. While at school, they incorporate OT and speech therapy as well as your normal pre-school things like writing, arts and crafts, etc. We were extremely happy that there was a spot for our aspie and really hopeful that he was going to like his "new" school. Of course, with a new school come new friends, new parents and a new teacher so this mom was dead set on making a great first impression. I didn't want their first impression to be, "oh, here comes the family of crazies" like I feel that happens so many times when we go places visiting, or when we go to playground, or the when we go to our other school with the crying, screaming, yelling, running away, and all the other random acts of looneyness. So when day one went great, without a hitch, with my little man walking in pretty excited and coming out telling me this was his favorite new school because it was very quiet ,I thought we were in the clear. And then came day two.
On day two of our new school routine, my aspie was excited to go back. He wanted to see his new teacher and see what new things they were going to do that day. All went well for the drop off and I couldn't be more relieved. But when it came time for pick-up, all hell broke loose, and our true crazy colors were exposed. I had the baby with me, and since it was such a beautiful day, I got him out of the car to do a little running around while we waited for our aspie to emerge from the door. The baby was so excited to see his brother that he stood next to me holding my hand, while I was talking to another mom. In the back of my head, a little alarm was going off that I kept ignoring. Warning, Warning, this is going too well.....something nuts is about to occur. Warning, Warning...my head was saying and I just kept shaking it off, hoping that we have turned over a new leaf and we have entered in the new arena of normalville. Well, I probably should have listened to the alarm.
Aspie came out from behind the door happy to see us. He rushed up giving me a hug, telling me he had another great day. The baby hugged his brother so hard, happy to see him while aspie stood there looking annoyed his brother was touching him, but allowing him to do so at the same time. Aspie took off for the car which was a pretty good jaunt away and baby and I were following behind. About half way to the car, the baby realized that we were about to get back into the car, which was not what he wanted to do. Apparently, he wanted to play outside because he started to whine and then cry, saying "NO CAR! NO CAR!" When I was just about to grab the baby to prevent a tantrum from occurring, I heard my aspie say, "Mommy I need to go pee in the grass." Oh no, I knew what this meant. My aspie doesn't really ask to go pee, when he says those words that means he is going at that moment. And sure enough, when I turned around, there was my aspie with his pants and underwear around his ankles, wee-wee towards everyone, peeing in that high arc fashion he does right into the grass in the front of the preschool. At that same moment, baby went into full on rolling and screaming, terrible-two style tantrum that was drawing the attention towards us and my peeing aspie. I didn't know what direction to head in first. Screaming baby or peeing aspie, so for a few seconds I stood there like a bump on a pickle in a panic moment. After I came too, I grabbed the baby and tried to block the non-block able view of my aspie seemingly never ending pee until he was done. When he was done, I kept telling my aspie to pull up his pants as I headed to put the baby in the car. Of course, baby was in full on crazy, hitting me on the head with his bottle. This action caused for my sunglasses to fly off my head right into the middle of the road. My aspie, felling bad for my glasses, wobbled into the middle of the road, with pants still around his ankles trying to rescue my now broken glasses, blocking leaving traffic from the school. As I hurried up and threw the baby in the car, I ran over to my aspie picked him up with pants still down and threw him in the car. As I walked back to the car, the first car that had stopped for my aspie was still stopped waiting for me to pick up my glasses. The dad rolled down his window and said, "Looks like your glasses are broke," with a big smile on his face. "Guess so," I relied with probably a crazed look on my face. I collected my glasses, waved to the line of traffic waiting on me and causally walked to car to buckle up the crew and to get out of there as fast as possible. Well, it only took two days for our cover to be blow and for our new school to be introduced to the "house of crazies." I think next time, I will not try so hard for the first impression. Instead, I am going to have t-shirts made saying, "Family of Loons, have cameras ready, you will not be disappointed!"
I had the most interesting conversation with a computer tech lady on the phone last night. I called because for three days our notebook only had a white screen, nothing else. Of course though when finally made the call to costumer support the computer came on, apparently just needing some time to rest and the threat of a call. I continued the call anyways though because the computer was still not working properly. When I finally got through to someone, she started to ask me all of the normal technical questions that most support teams ask such as, "what is the issue" and "did you try this or that?" Finally, she tried to walk me through a few fixes that I could perform to see if that helped my computer. "Ma'am, could you please hit ctl-alt-del?" I started laughing as I said, "Nope, can't do that one." "Excuse me," she said. "My delete button doesn't work, as well as that hold side of the computer like the number pad, and such." "Oh, okay" she said. "Well, can you hit the window button and esc at the same time?" "Nope, can't do that one either," I said. I have play dough in my escape key and I can't press that, and my son took off the windows button, so no luck there either." "Ma'am, not to sound rude, but maybe I should ask you what does work" she stated while laughing. "Yeah, that would probably be easier!" I replied giggling back. And so I explained to her that I can hit any letter key, the numbers above the letter and some function buttons and that's all. "I have quite an active son that can be rough with the computer," I said matter of factly. I didn't want to go into the details of why my son was active and so rough with my computer. Of how he didn't think the Windows flag button should be on the computer since it wasn't a letter or number and removed it thinking he was being my big boy helper. How the play dough was smashed into the keyboard to make his own keyboard imprint. And how the latest incident occurred when he couldn't bring up a video of trains he wanted so he threw it across the room. "I'd guess your son is rough on it since you computer is only a year old. My goodness" she said. After some more laughs, we decided that maybe my computer should just be sent in to have it looked at since I purchased the all-inclusive warranty when I bought it knowing my aspie's love of technology then...and his meltdowns.
After my phone conversation, my husband and I had started taking about all the techno things that live a rough life in our house, given the fact that our son loves and obsesses about that kind of stuff. My 4 year old has the hardest time writing, drawing, and even HATES coloring but working the tablet is not a problem. In fact, I had to change the password on our Kindle twice since he cracked it once and bought himself $60.00 worth of Charlie Brown videos. (And in case you are ever looking for an episode, please contact me. We literally own every one now thanks to our aspie's little spending spree.) He can work the notebook and my smart phone. And yes, he knows the in and outs of the child locks and blocks on those as well which I have to change often. And when he can't get on something, or his time is up on a certain device, a meltdown happens that usually entails the throwing or hiding of the device. Of course we work constantly on this, and it is happening less and less now, but it still does happen. And as my husband and I were talking about this, I was reminded of another blogger who was writing about his son, who also had autism, and who threw a remote against his 72' TV smashing the screen, being the most expensive thing to date his son broke/smashed. People started replying to his post with other things their kids smashed, which included things like blenders, windshields, computers, dvds, video games consoles, etc. I kept thinking, yup, I can see my aspie doing that. Not that I want him to, but knowing that meltdowns can come in a blink of the eye, I can see it happening. And so, after I was telling my husband of the TV incident this other family had to endure we decided that okay, so our computer has play dough and missing keys, but it at least it wasn't a 72" flat screen TV. And if some day it is a TV, well then I guess we will cross that bridge then, and I am sure I will be blogging about it with a large pitcher of margaritas at my side!
Yesterday I had a rough day. Nothing happened to my boys or my husband, but I had to face the hard reality that my aspie along with my husband and I have a long road ahead of us and this weighted heavily on my heart. The reason all of this was brought to my attention was because I had to meet with the local behavioral health clinic to obtain in home therapy for our kiddo.
We have been trying to receive a behavior and therapeutic therapist for our autistic son since his diagnosis, and although it seems easy enough, there are many hoops of fire to jump through in order for an insurance company, or medical assistance to finally see a need for these therapies. I was so excited when we finally received the notice that he was eligible, that a meeting was schedule to pick a team of specialist and that we were finally going to obtain a case manager for our aspie that when the time finally came I marched in the building ready to get the ball rolling. I had no clue that I would be leaving in nearly tears due to the process, not because of the people or the procedures, but because I basically had to tattle-tell on my little four year old.
Although our aspie has been taking many awesome steps of improvement this summer, we still many struggles behind close doors (and for that matter out in public) that we need help combating. We still have major temper tantrums, still hit, still don't play that great with others, still have eating issues, etc, etc, and yesterday I had to detail all of them to show a final proof of need in front of our new case manager and a county representative for our region. At the beginning of our two hour meeting, our sweet case manager made the comment to not feel bad for the questions that he was going to ask, that I need to be as honest as possible. I had no clue though what it was going to feel like to basically complain and rat out my lil man on his behavior, struggles, issues, and everything in between. I had to tell them about how he has taken an interested in lighters, in aerosol cans and pill bottles and that we have closets and cabinets locked up like a penitentiary. That he has run away from our home when I said no to something, which made us install locks keeping us locked IN our own home. That he still does not understand car danger or running away from us in public and that, yes on occasion I have lost him in a store because a loud noise scared him. How I had to tackle him one day because I couldn't get him to stop banging his head against the wall, and that getting dressed in the mornings is like going to war with a four year old ninja warrior. By the end of it, I could hardly hold back the tears of pure sadness that I had for my amazingly loving son, who is the smartest and sweetest four year old I know.
When I reached my car I called my husband and father to tell them that we were accepted for in home therapy and I couldn't wait for it to start, but they both immediately picked up in my voice that I was depressed. They both explained that this was for the best. That this was going to help all of us, and of course I knew this, but it still didn't help the fact that I had to play through all of those things we struggle with on a daily basis. For some reason it felt like I could no longer hold the weighted of the world on my shoulders and I just got so tired that I honestly went home and went to bed for a few hours. When I woke up I still felt so sad, but I kicked myself in the butt and took my aspie to my dad's house because he had been asking to go and visit. It honestly was the best thing I could of done, because I got to watch my lil man play with chalk outside, laughing and talking with his pap. It's what I needed to see; the smile on my guy's face to let me know that we are fine. That I am sure I will have breaking days were it will all seem overwhelming. I mean, we all have moments of weakness, right? I hope so! But in the end, you move on. Really, there is no other option, but what I mean is when I woke up today, I woke up with a new determination to take on yet another day with optimism and promise. I will not let myself wollow in self pity for to long when I do have those weak days, because that is not fair to my aspie, my husband, nor the baby. It's only fair to be happy and be there for them. And so today...is a brand new day!
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Quotes from movies are a part of everyday life with our aspie. He says them when he is not sure of what to say. He says them when he is tired. He says them when he wants to be funny and tell a joke with the rest of us, and he says them when he gets extremely nervous, angry or scared. He slips them in seamlessly and so well that many people don't even know.
Since we record many movies directly from TV instead of buying them, this means that he also knows many commercials and quotes too. For instance, the other day after therapy my aspie said he was very hungry. I cashed in on this since I have such a hard time getting my aspie to eat. I hate fast food since I love to cook and would rather cook instead, but in this instance I needed to grab this opportunity before it passed. Therefore, I stopped at the closest joint to us at that time...Kentucky Fried Chicken. Lately, they have been advertising their new boneless chicken meals during one of my aspie's new favorite Pixar movies, Up. On our drive home, after my boys had finished munching down their boneless kids meal buckets my aspie blurts out, "Oh no! Stop!" I thought something bad had happened, so I immediately get panicked and said, "What honey? Are you okay?" as I start to pull over the car. "I ate the bones! I ate the bones!" as he looks through the bucket for these missing bones. I look into the backseat at my aspie who has the smallest smirk on his face as he repeats the line from this KFC commercial. "Honey, you didn't eat the bones they are boneless," knowing that if I finish the commercial line that makes him happy and he will usually stop repeating himself. "Then he is breathing on me!' again another line from the commercial as he busts out laughing. I couldn't help but to laugh as we continued on our journey home.
What is so cool about the quoting is that if you ask him what movie that it is from he will tell you exactly what movie that the line is from. His dad and I are very amused by this because even we are sometimes stumped as to whether or not the words are his own or they come from the films. During one argument he was having with me, (yes, my aspie argues with me like your typical four year old) my aspie said, "Shut your hole, you are not going to say that again!" Furious, I sent him to his room for time out, without TV or electronics like the Kindle or the phone. After time out was done, my aspie came downstairs and my husband explained to him that we do not talk to mommy like that. When he was done, he said to our aspie, "What movie was that from anyway?" "That was from Rossy, not a movie!" and stomped back upstairs being mad that Daddy didn't realize that those were his own words.
When I was thinking about this quoting I thought it would be fun to do a test your knowledge of movie quotes with some of our son's favorite quotes that he uses daily. If you haven't watched DreamWorks or Pixar movies in a while this might be difficult, but try anyway. Have fun and comment how you did at the end of the post! You can even add some quotes and I will see if our aspie knows them and comment back. G-rated, animation movies only, please! Just match the letter in front of the movie quote with the number to the right movie. I will post the answers in a few days. Have fun!!!
Answers posted in the blue next to the quotes. Hope you had fun!
A."Root'n Toot'n Ready for Shoot'n" --> 1.Wreck it Ralph
B."I'm just going to wait here to see if I get a card from that
little red-headed girl. Boy I hope I get one." --> 8.Charlie Brown
C."It looks like we're up a chocolate creek without a popsicle
stick." --> 7.Shrek 2
D."I guess I will be a lone, lonely, loner." "That's
a lot of aloneness." "Precisely!" --> 4.Ice Age: Age of Dinosaurs
E."No... no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, this is bad, this is
very very bad, this is really bad... They just can't get my nose right!" --> 3.Tangled
F."You are a toy!" --> 9.Toy Story
G. "There are no accidents" "Schadoosh" --> 10.Kung Fu Panda
H."Freeze Ray!" "OH Yay!" "Dave,
Listen up please !" --> 6.Despicable Me
I. "All right, it's go time, it's go time...." This is a
hard one so I am throwing in an extra quote. "Oh, the gods hate me!
Some people lose their knife or their mug. No, not me! I managed to lose an
entire dragon!" --> 5.How to train your Dragon
We have all been caught in a situation where nature calls and there is no place to answer. I have had many close call situations over my years and can remember times when I just couldn't make it. It happens. Well, nature called my aspie last month in a parking lot and daddy figured out how to avoid a crisis with some quick thinking.
As mentioned many times previously, potty training was not something that came easily to my four year old. Even now, if he is not having a good day/days, we have accidents. And currently he is stuck on only going on our beloved "froggy potty" which is a training potty that we have in our living room. Well actually, that's not the whole truth exactly. He can poop in the upstairs "big" toilet and will pee in the downstairs froggy potty. He will not do any other combination in any other potty. For instance, if he is in his bedroom down the hall from the big toilet he will by-pass the Lighting McQueen potty in his room, skip the big toilet and race downstairs to the froggy potty in the living to go, and vice versa. The other issue is that he does not want to stand to pee at home or really anywhere else that is not outside. Therefore, my husband taking him to public restroom is a no go because the site of a urinal panics my aspie and he would have to stand to pee. So, even though he is going on the potty, we still have many more obstacles to overcome. One of those obstacles was overcome one weekend when I ran into a store.
When we are out together as a family, sometimes one of us adults runs into a store for a few quick things while the other sits in the car with the kiddos. On this venture, I ran into a store and left daddy to fend in the car. When I returned to the car and opened up the hatch to unload my loot, my aspie was standing in the middle of the back seat with a big smile yelling, "Mommy, guess what....I peed in a bottle!!!"
"So, I hear my son peed in a bottle," I said as I took my place in the driver seat. "A yeah, we had a desperate moment," and my husband began to detail the moments that occurred while I was in the store. Apparently, not two seconds after I left, my aspie announced that he had to go to the potty. The baby was asleep and my husband didn't want to wake him up to take him into the store. There was also no woods or grass around to let him pee outside, so as he saw that there was not too many choices on how to help our son out. He spotted a bottle in the back and well, as "they" say....the bathroom gods answered his prays. My husband then explained to our aspie that he would be peeing in this bottle since they were stuck in the car. My aspie said, "Ahhhh no daddy, that is not a toilet, that is a bottle for drinking." "Yes, that is true, but sometimes we need to improvise in an emergency like now. So you will just pee into it." "How?" "Just pee into the hole." "No." "Son, we have no other options, pee in the bottle. It's pee in here or have your bladder burst. Your choice." "So he did it, I'm assuming, I said" "Uh-ha, so don't take a swig of this ice-tea...." as he lifted up the once empty, now-filled bottle like only a proud father could stating "...and he did it standing up."
A few days later, I completely had forgotten about the car incident but hid the froggy potty to try to get him to pee upstairs in the big potty. My aspie came running to the kitchen about mid-morning asking for a bottle. "Why do you need a bottle?" "Ah mom, I have to pee and the froggy potty is missing. Sometimes we need to improvisize mommy," repeating his daddy's words. "Honey, go pee upstairs in the big potty. You can pee up there and you are NOT in an emergency like the car." "Says you......" as he marched out of the room. I declared uncle a few hours later and un-hid the froggy potty after he didn't go in the big potty, since I didn't want him to get a bladder infection nor did I want to clean up an accident. Good news was that we did conquered the obstacles of peeing in other places besides in a froggy potty and standing while peeing, well that is, if we carry an empty bottle with us.
At the beginning of summer, I declared this summer as the "Summer of FUN!" For the last few years, we stayed home due to our aspie having such a hard time out in strange areas and around people, but with therapy and being a little older he has shown so much progress that I decided that this summer was going to be different. And so far it has! We have been to two Pirate (MLB) baseball games, to Kennywood (a local amusement park), to the movies and out to eat TWICE!!! Oh yeah, we have been setting the world on fire. I have been so proud of my aspie who has done amazing on these adventures, and even though we have some minor meltdowns, for the most part he has concurred these events having tons of fun in the process. The baby and daddy are also enjoying these fun filled days and as a whole we have had so many memorable family moments. Of course, by laws of physics for every action there a equal and opposite reaction and Sunday we cashed in on the bad moods and meltdowns!
Everyone knows that when you are around the same person all the time that person for what ever reason gets on your nerves. You basically just overdosed on the person. It happened all the time when I was a kid. I will always remember my good childhood friend who I played with all summer long. She grew up in the same neighborhood as me and our moms were friends. We got along great, but every once in a while after spending the nights and days together, we would get in an all out battle royale and need to be separated for a while, only to go back to playing great the next day. Same thing with your significant other. Every once in a while their very being is aggravating and you swear they are just breathing weird to get under your skin. Therefore, I shouldn't be surprised that every once in a while our family is going to have one huge meltdown where none of us like each other and the day will be filled with tears, yelling and the occasional bloody nose.
My first hint that the day was not going to go well was when I awoke with a hit in the forehead with a bottle by the baby as he yelled "Milk in!" And don't think he threw it lightly...oh no! It was a holding the nipple end hitting me on the forehead with all his might type of hit. Needless to say he lost the bottle and did not get the milk that he demanded. This of course led to screaming and thrashing about on the floor for at least ten minutes. This loud meltdown brought about the waking of my aspie who marched in holding his ears yelling, "Make the baby shut up!!! What is wrong with this baby?!!" When the baby didn't stop at my aspie's demands, my aspie went into his own meltdown of screaming and throwing until I had to carry him out of the room. I was hoping that this would be end of their crying, but I was wrong. As the morning continued on, the boys were at each other's throats. One hitting one, which lead to one pinching one, which led to one biting one and so on and so on. By nine o'clock in the morning I was sick of yelling their names, putting them in time out and hearing the sound of my own voice. Unfortunately, all of the fighting put my nerves on edge so when my husband made a comment about wishing he was on a remote deserted island I jumped down his throat as if he just called me some horrible name and started an unnecessary war with my hubbie. And so by 11 am, no one in the house liked each other and the rest of the day was really no better. After some naps were had and we were a little calmer I thought that maybe we should salvage the day and so my hubs and I came up with a plan that would sure smooth out the bumps and bruises earned earlier. Our plans were to take the boys to the nearby high school, let them drive their Lighting McQueen car around the high school, go for a walk and end the night with Dairy Queen. Sounded perfect.
Now is the time for everyone to guess what happened.
We went on with the night and had an amazing time coming home hand in hand in Leave it to Beaver manner.
We started the night perfectly and ended it with the kids falling asleep on the way home with only minor set backs.
Tears started before we left which led to more kicking and screaming and ended with mommy rocking uncontrollably in a dark corner.
If you chose option 1 or 2, stupid you and stupid daddy and I for thinking it would have went any differently. Here's what happened.
We got to the high school and got out Lighting McQueen only to have our aspie cry that he couldn't drive him here. It was not the right race track and no one else was racing. Concentrating on our aspie I didn't notice that my baby had performed some sort of magic trick with his diaper. Somehow, his diaper miss every ounce of poo that my baby had just dispensed sending it down his legs and into his shoes. Unfortunately it was a little loose because I had just found this new fruit called Pluots (plums and apricot mix) which the baby loves but it gave him a little bit of runny bowels. So as hubby tried to get aspie calmed down I was trying to undress and clean the poop bomb that went off in my baby's short. By the time I was done with getting the shorts and shirt off of him, he had poop literally everywhere since he kept grabbing everything in the process. I'm sure the guys playing street hockey loved watching me wiggle and scream "Oh god this is disgusting!" as I wiped him down with every wipe I had in the car. Luckily I had a plastic bag that I used as a decontamination dump and after a new diapy was applied we headed off to find daddy and aspie who had started to walk around the high school. They must have took off at a fast pace because after a full half mile lap around the school we still didn't find them. The whole time the baby was yelling, "Daddy where are you? Daddy come out?" hoping to find them hiding behind every tree and waste can we passed. After he couldn't find them he decided the best way to get there attention was by throwing himself down on the ground and releasing a deafening scream. And actually it did work because out came daddy and aspie wondering what was happening to the baby. After a few more laps, my aspie had to pee. Daddy took aspie to some nearby trees to do the duty. In the meantime, I found some blackberries that I was picking for the fam and didn't notice that the baby had made his own discovery. A huge mud puddle that had formed for our daily thunderstorms that we have been experiencing. By the time I made it over, he was sitting in the middle so proud of his discovery covered in mud. Knowing that I had used every wipe for the previous explosion of poop I let out a oh crap groan and then started to laugh. My little guy was so happy to be covered in mud and look so cute which is what saved his buttfrom me have a nervous breakdown on the spot. When my husband saw him he laughed and said, "Load em up!!! We are getting out of here." After undressing the small amount of clothing the baby had on, I grab a towel that was in the car and plopped the baby in his car seat. My aspie hating smells kept commenting that the baby smelled like a toot and his normal "what is wrong with him" comment. Leaving the high school I was determined to carry out every task we set out to do so I headed to the Dairy Queen to get us some ice cream. On the way, our aspie couldn't take the smell and threw something at the baby which cause the baby to cry, actually it was more screaming. By this point, I had lost it. I was getting ice cream and that was that, and this was going to make them happy, case closed. Instead, what happened was me screaming over the baby to place my drive thru order, then my husband yelling at everyone to calm down because people were looking, which cause me to yell "Who cares!", which cause my aspie to lose it yelling to us about how we all are "BREAKING HIS NERVES!!!" "Followed by "YOU DON'T KNOW ABOUT FAMILY!!" By the time the nice attendant handed us our ice cream everyone was screaming or crying and my aspie was continuously chanting the previous stated remarks. She gave us this glad I'm not you look and hurriedly gave me my change. As we drove away, our aspie yet again yelled "You don't know about family!" which led my husband to now lose it. "Listen here buddy, your mother and I created this family and we can end it just as quickly if you don't stop it!" Funny now, but at that moment it calmed us all down. The next statement that he made announced for me to go to his parents house for some help with the troops. When we pulled in, aspie headed for the house to go to "his room" where he watched some movies, hubs headed up on the hill for some quiet time, baby headed for his pappy to get some snuggles and I sat in the car like some kind of shock therapy victim. My mother-in-law not knowing what just pulled into her drive way walked up and said "Ummm, you okay." "Yep, I'm just going to sit here and eat my ice cream if that's okay."
And that's pretty much how our day ended. We broke aspies nerves and he decided to spend the night at pappy and nannie (which means a few extra hours without us because he never makes it all through the night), the baby clung to pappy until he pretty much fell asleep in his arms and the hubs and I kept to ourselves.
After we got home and got the kids into bed, my husband came into the living room laughing. "What?" I said curious. "Can you believe that kid said we don't know about family and that we are breaking his nerves? Where does he get that stuff?" I laughed. I too was wondering the same. I guess not all days are going to be filled with rainbows and butterflies but I sure hope that we have a long break before we have another day like that...I don't think my aspies nerves can take it....lol!
I have always known that I was equipped with a big butt and wide hips. I have had a love/hate relationship with it since the beginning of time. Bad when I wanted to be a skinny minnie, good when I gave birth to both my boys a few short hours from the water-breaking start to finish. But other that the fact that they are birthing hips, I have little to no use for them. So when my aspie said to me the other day, "Mommy, you have a big butt!" I was pretty upset and vowed to run everyday for the next year. Even my husband was taken back by the sudden comment. "Honey, you don't say that to mommy! Her butt is just fine!" And the conversation continued on for some time. After about 10 more minutes of this, I finally had enough and stated loudly, "Okay, I'm done talking about mommy's butt....time to move on." And although my aspie kept happily stating that my butt was so plump and large, my husband took the hint and changed the subject.
Not knowing how to take this apparent fixation of my ba-donk-i-donk, I went outside to mess with my flowers and garden. On my arrival back in the house, my aspie came running in the kitchen and said, "Mommy...come here, I have to show you something!" "What is it?" Still not feeling in the mood to be drug around to play trains, knowing full well that when he gets starting on something, like the subject of my butt, that he would continue talking about the junk in my trunk. But alas, I followed him into the living room where my husband was sitting there with a large grin on his face. "We have something to show you mommy," my hubs said. "R&*% made me play Ice Age and at first I couldn't figure out why, and then this came on," and he hit the play button. Please watch the video below.
So, as you can see from above, my apsie was trying to pay me a compliment! It was an awkward, movie quoting compliment, but a compliment none the less. "See mommy, Your butt is big!!!" he said so happy that I now understand! "I know honey!! Thank you very much!!"
Now, having it figured out he was trying to be nice, not knowing that a woman really doesn't want to hear how big her butt is, the evening went on and I gained a little self-confidence back. It wasn't until I was laying in bed (where I do all my obsessing) that I realized that he did compare me to a mammoth. Guess that vowed of running is still on!!
Any parent knows that there are times where one must tell a little white lie. It happens. We as parents do this so that our little ones don't have to immense themselves into the crappy, hard reality of adulthood. For instance, when I was a child I had a bird name Peppy. I still think Peppy is at the vets trying to get better from a cold, when in reality Peppy was tossed in the dumpster at my Dad's work when he found him feet up one morning. And honestly, I am happy my parents told me that because I so loved that bird. So when I get caught in those not so nice moments when I know that the reality is going to cause my little ones pain...yep, I reach out and grab onto a little white lie. This was all well in good until my aspie got a little older and a lot smarter!
I have mentioned before that my aspie loves trains. I need to express though that it's not just a I'm in a train phase, it's more of a I have train on the brain 24/7 type of love. Therefore, you can imagine that we have our fair share of trains around our house. The fact of the matter is that its pretty much the only type of toy, besides the occasional truck, that my aspie plays with, so we have tons of trains. Luckily the baby loves trains too, which I still don't know if its because his big brother does or its because he genuinely likes them too. Either way, my main point is to have you imagine mountains of trains in our residence. So you would think that if one or two go missing due to them being broke my aspie wouldn't notice. Oh, then you and I (being that I thought the same thing) would be wrong.
I have done a little purging of toys before Santa comes or before birthdays, but I have never touched the trains. Something told me then not to touch them...almost a gut reaction, females intuition maybe telling me, "STOP, don't do that!" But on one particular day of wide spread cleaning my momentum overtook my intuition, and a few trains got the toss. And they needed tossed. They had broken couplings, broken faces, or no wheels. Virtually unrecognizable, I swear. And I have noticed them not playing with these trains either, so I figured no harm, no foul. Oh was I wrong.
Apparently, my aspie felt the force shift when the trash left the house that day. He walked into our dining/train room and started playing. I was in the kitchen getting dinner ready when he walked in with a very serious face. "Mommy, I have to ask you? (This is how he starts nearly all conversations that are not scripted.) I can't find my trains." I felt my muscles tighten almost instantly when I heard him say that. The same way you feel when you got caught sneaking out as a teenager. That "Oh Shit" moment. "Oh really, just keep looking, I'm sure you will find them honey." I know, I know, I probably should have told him the truth right then and there...but I couldn't. I thought he wouldn't notice. I thought I would get away with it. I thought wrong! So, he shuffled off to keep looking for his trains and I started coming up with some sort of lie to cover up what I had done. I was sweating...literally. I knew he would be back, I just knew it. And he was...about fifteen minutes later.
"Mommy, I have to ask you something. I have looked everywhere and can't find Thomas with no wheels, Gordon with the broken couplings and James with the cracked face. I can't find them anywhere." "Oh really honey, do you still play with those broken trains?" "Those are my parts trains mommy!! Like Pap-pap builds trains!!! I need those for parts!!!" And those three sentences I heard over and over again for the next half hour to hour, even though I told him my well rehearsed lie of them being at the train doctors getting over a cold. I tried this lie thinking that if it worked once, it would work again. It didn't. Not even for a second. "Mommie, trains aren't people or animals. They don't get colds. They don't have doctors, they have engineers. My trains are not at the doctors!" I kid you not, that was his response that he told me without blinking an eye or missing a beat. I was had. I had to tell him the truth, and it was worse than trying to get out of any trouble I might had got in when I was young. I had to out myself to my 4 year old. "Honey, I threw out your trains because they were broken and I thought you didn't play with them anymore." That is what sent him into the repeating rant that he went into for the next hour and night.
After a night full of apologies, I was laying down with my aspie to go to bed and he said, "Mommy, remember the time you threw my trains away?" "Yes, honey I do." "You should have asked me first like I have to ask you." "Yes, honey you are right. And I have learned my lesson and next time I will ask you." It was at that moment that I was again reminded that I don't have your typical four year that you can sneak one past. I have an aspie that will call me out on everything. And my aspie had to remind me that the truth is the best policy...and if I didn't get away with it with my parents....I won't get away with it with my kids either!!!