Friday, November 10, 2006

My Day Off

Today, in honor of Veteran's Day, my company - the one that is open on July 4th, but closed for every other holiday - was closed and I got to enjoy a day off with my family. Needless to say, my internal clock is all messed up thinking it's Saturday night. This morning, I woke up at 7:00, took a walk across the upstairs hall to the bathroom, went in to kiss SmallBoy and he, through his sleep, said to me, "Mom...there's no school or work today. Go back to bed," which I promptly did. And I stayed there until after 10....didn't fall back to sleep, but stayed in bed. Like this cute little pic from last weekend of SmallBoy & Princess?

PC & ET got moving and took LargeBoy out driving this morning before the weather turned yucky. LargeBoy got the experience of going from 60mph to 20mph in a few block span. He realized what a pain in the ass that is. As a reward, they took him to Nick's Burger's in Lemont for the best damn 1lb burgers on the planet (yes, 1 POUND). He ate ALL of his and was eyeballing what they were bringing home for me. No, I didn't go. I thought that having "guy time" was probably a much calmer driving environment for the LargeBoy, not too mention that, well, it was "guy time."

Snood had stayed over last night after she and Girl had worked at Parent Teacher Conferences (oh yes, I'll be posting on that too). This morning, Girl's birthday/confirmation money was burning a hole in her pocket, so she & Snood went shopping. That left SmallBoy and me. COOOOOOOOOOOOL! His birthday wishlist to the family contained basic stuff from the fitness aisle at Target or Wal-Mart that he could use for "home OT." He got some stuff, but got cash and gift cards from most everyone else. I told him that this money was not for video games, but to be used to buy him OT things. SmallBoy and I bundled up and headed to Target.

I knew, walking in, that this excursion could be a good experience or a nightmare, and I think that by taking that with me and being prepared for anything, it helped to keep me on my toes, yet calm and ready for whatever might happen. As any parent of ANY child can tell you, taking them to the store to shop for something other than toys can just be...Oh..GOd...well, you know. Add into this equation a child on the spectrum. Heh heh heh...yeah, we know what we're looking at before we even leave the house. So, yes, I was prepared for anything. Our luck started early when we managed to get "rockstar parking" - at Target - on a HOLIDAY! Would this streak continue?

I knew that our list included a weighted ball, so we opted for a cart that I let SmallBoy drive (I wish I'd have thought to have brought my camera). We also had new gym shoes on our list, so he decided we should go there first to make sure that we didn't spend all of our gift money before getting shoes. I taught him about stopping at the end of the aisles, just like crossing the street, before proceeding through the store. He did great! We found shoes. No arguments, no meltdowns. So far, so good. On we went to the fitness aisle, with SmallBoy at the "wheel."

We loaded up our cart with an 8lb weighted ball (with handles - good for Mommy to use, too), a Pilates ball like we use at OT, something else that I'm totally flaking on, and then I let him pick out something for himself for holding it together. We looked at a body length SpongeBob pillow that would be great for squishes, a couple of bean bag chairs, and a bed tent. After MUCH consideration and hemming and hawing, he opted for the bed tent...not exactly sensory oriented, but something that helps him feel like he has his own space into which he can retreat. And THEN, because he was SO spectacular and pulled himself out of a couple of meltdowns during the hemming & hawing, I let him get a game. He chose dominoes.

When we got home, LargeBoy & the big guys were still out driving and girl was still out shopping with Snood. It was still just Mom & SmallBoy. I thought briefly about hopping on the computer before the rest of the family came home and hogged it, but when I thought about the fact that I was going to post about my day off, I realized that it was only 1:00 and there wasn't quite a lot to talk about yet- except SmallBoy's incredible composure at Target. Instead, he and I went upstairs and assembled his bed tent (ooooh, ANOTHER post idea!). Now that it's done, it's totally cool. We inflated the pilates ball and attempted to work in RDI and OT into this one activity, although, I suppose the structure of our morning together was pretty RDI based. For the ball, we took turns with the foot pump. I decided that it was worth it to take a REALLY long time to inflate this ball and keep his focus on the activity without him getting bored. Yes, I did say we took turns. He did 20pumps on each foot, I did 20pumps on each foot. Yes, it took a REALLY long time, but we got it done and "stayed with me" the entire time. He's sitting on it now watching tv.

It was a couple hours later, though, that the mask finally fell off and the Not-So-SmallBoy finally crumbled. He was, initially, struggling with the "time flies when you're having fun" concept which led to a much deeper conversation. The sadness and dissatisfaction with himself surfaced. The question of, "why do I have to be like this," came up. I held back my tears, as I have grown acustomed to doing, and gave him some answer about how God made each of us different from every one else for a reason. I told him that he was made who he was and I was made who I am because that's what God wanted. Of course, this required my going into detail. I told him that he was given the gift of asperger's and I was given the gift of being his mother so that we could learn about it and help not only him, but OTHER families. I told him how many people have already learned SO much more just by the two of us blogging, by his book, about how now his book has gone to international and is enroute to Scotland (thanks again Marti & Child!) This helped, but it wasn't convincing him of anything. This really was breaking my heart. We have these conversations every once in a while, but not often enough that I worry about how the asperger's might be bringing on depression. Of course, that's why we have a psychologist, to help us with these things. Eventually, though, I talked to him about how he makes ME feel...I told him he makes me a better person, a stronger person, a smarter person, a more caring and compassionate person, and so on. I think that helped. The conversation ended after an hour with him teaching me how to do a Pokemon card battle.

After that hour, I was in dire need of a calming beverage and a hot bath. PC & ET were getting dinner started, so I started the hot water in the deep clawfoot tub, came down and poured myself a very generous glass of white wine, went back up and sank, Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman style, right down into my tub (although I had no bubbles). I washed my hair and conditioned, according to Marti's beauty tips, shaved blindly (I didn't have my eyes in, and wearing glasses in a hot tub is asking for trouble). By the time I had made it back downstairs, I had calmed down, simmered down, and brought my engine WAY down, and it was eat time. They all had chicken, mashed potatoes speckled with a mean-ass habanero sauce, and green beans cooked in onions. We all noticed the heat in the potatoes upon our first bites, yet no one said anything, lest we plant that in SmallBoy's mind. HE never noticed. It wasn't until about a paragraph ago that we asked ET what he had put in the potatoes.

SmallBoy's engine is down now, and he's waiting for his turn to enter the dominoes match. I'm writing, accompanied by the requisite glass of wine, and we're taking turns grossing out the children by mentioning that we "did the deed" this morning. It's really funny how much it makes them crazy. I mean, yes, think about YOUR parents doing it. Makes you cringe and let out a big EEEEEEEEEEUUUUUUUUUUUWWWWWWWWW, doesn't it? I used to try to convince myself that I was adopted so that I'd never have to imagine MY parents having sex...I mean, GROSS...EEEUUUWWW! Girl is doing the old Eddie Murphy "La La LA LA LA LA LA LA LA I'm not hearing you," trick. Needless to say, this is the running joke of the evening. SNat is coming over in a bit and we're settling in to our Saturday night - no, correction FRIDAY NIGHT!!!!!!

Somebody comment and remind me to post tomorrow. I might get too relaxed!


standing still said...

You had a WAY productive day with your precious Smallboy. And, remember, if you weren't doing all this connecting stuff with him, he wouldn't even be able to SAY how he felt, let alone explore it with the person who he trusts most in the world to help him hold it together. Sounds like a good day to me....

KR said...

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEUUUUUUUUUUWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW...TMI...not only do I not want to imagine my sister "doing the deed," but why did you have to bring up Dad? Ew, ew, ew, ew, ew.......parents.........ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwww! Okay, I think I'm good...wait...EWWWWWWWWWWWW!

I'm so glad NSSB is doing well. This week will be crazy, but at least they didn't have to go to school on Veteran's Day... :(

Love you alllll sooooo much!