Monday, January 10, 2011

A Long Weekend

It’s finally Monday (I said as I let out a long sigh).   I remember sitting down to write last night and waiting for this day to come.  Now… not so much.

If you are actually keeping up with my blogs, you already know that this weekend was rough for Puppy and all those close to him.  His teacher kept his wallet over the weekend and it just about drove him and me crazy.  He was best described as a single puzzle piece, incomplete and out of place.  Puppy identifies himself through his wallet and being without it was heartbreaking and difficult to watch through a mother’s eyes.

Over the last couple of days, my son was preoccupied with making paper ID holders and paper picture sleeves.  He’s become pretty good using paper, scissors and tape.  But when he does his cut-and-tape quickly just to get it done, he doesn’t take the time to measure and then has a fit when the wallet won’t close well or the cards and pictures won’t slide in smoothly.  When I can’t take the frustration in his eyes, I try to remain calm and help him by talking him through the steps needed to achieve the best replicas of the missing parts to his wallet.  I have learned much patience, but I also learned that sometimes I forget that simple tasks for me are like mountains to climb for him.

We had a party to attend on Sunday afternoon.  No big deal except for the fact that it was at a location inside the mall.  We used to take more trips to the mall in the past years, but the older he gets the more difficult it becomes to enjoy visits.  This was one of those not so pleasant trips.

I parked outside a department store that gave us a fairly close entrance to the party place and the convenience to run through the store and buy the birthday gift for my grandniece.  My son’s face lit up when he saw we were going “shopping”.  Right away he wanted to go to his section of the store and look for jeans and a wallet.  I explained it was not his birthday and we were only shopping for a birthday gift.  He stressed that he needed these things.  I reminded him that he had jeans and a wallet and the items the teacher had were going to be returned to him the following day. 

Go ahead, shake your head.  If you are familiar with those on the autism spectrum, this kind of conversation never ends well.  And it didn’t end well.  Puppy started raising his voice and putting his hands to his face (he used to scratch his face) and jumping up and down while we were waiting in line for the register.  Asking him to calm down was working but he would start right up again as quickly as he stopped.  He began whining and begging and I was so ready to call it a day even before we made it to the party.  But we were able to make the purchase and race out of the store and to the party without extra items for Puppy.  Whew!

The party went well and I think Puppy enjoyed himself.  He was fine because the party was at the “Imaginarium”.  It’s a daycare designed to entertain and babysit children while parents or caregivers shop at the mall.  This place has a section for kids to make things with paper and scissor and tape.  Anyone see where I’m going with this?  Yes, he was in the perfect place.  He made his yellow sleeves for the wallet and played with some other activities.  We had a good couple of hours at the party and I had a little time to myself while I watched him play.

The end to those two hours was a repeat of the earlier visit walking through the department store as we walked to the vehicle.  But we survived through the whining, screaming and tantrum all the way home.

And just when I thought it was over, the sun rises on Monday morning.  My son was not a happy camper as he woke up remembering he was still missing an important part of himself, his cards, pictures, etc.  He was grumpy and shouting and refusing to get moving and he did his best to make my morning a very long one.  Needless to say, the bus arrived on time and he was not ready.  He had sat down to make yet, another pocket for pictures and cards before school.  He screamed and shouted, “NO! I’m not ready!” “No bus!”   I walked up to the bus and let them know it was definitely a Monday and we were having a bit of a hard time being ready.  Puppy came out, gave me a kiss and got on the bus.  I can only hope that his day got better.