Life, Autism, Disability, and More

Tag Archives: school holidays

failI’d like to begin by thanking the school for being kind enough to give the kids a whole week off. A week of unstructured insanity. Three days without school and without Thanksgiving, so that kids who are totally focused on Thanksgiving get to spend those three days talking about it over and over and over again.

Then I’d like to look at all my Tuesday failings…

First: I left Simon unsupervised for a good five minutes at the library. Now, when I say unsupervised, I don’t mean alone. No. He was lying on the floor, reading the book he wanted to get in the children’s section, and I was sitting in the rocking chair about five feet away. I had books of my own I was going to check out, and I was distracted. I didn’t watch him every second of those five minutes. I just looked up to make sure he was still there, still happy, and not getting in the way of any of the other kids in the area.

And that’s my mistake.

I should have been watching both him and the other kids. Because while my eyes were turned away, one of those obnoxious little snot-nosed thieves stole Simon’s Blue’s Clues notebook!

Admittedly, he didn’t notice either. He was too engrossed in his book, a board book with bright colors that has a number of different animals in it. He’s borrowed it from the library at least a dozen times now.

So after a search of the area, with my loud “Do you see your notebook anywhere, Simon? Where did your Blue’s Clues notebook go?” (foolishly hoping a parent would notice their child had run off with it), we gave up, checked out our books and immediately came home so that I could grab a new notebook from its hiding place in the closet where we have a secret stash for moments like that.

Second: I let Simon talk too loudly in the dollar store. Well, maybe it wasn’t really too loud. But it was pretty loud. We got a lot of stares. But it *was* the dollar store. We’re not talking about high quality items or a generally upscale shopping experience. And it wasn’t that bad for most of the store, although he definitely shocked a few people when he kept telling them that the front door was big enough (Winnie the Pooh getting stuck at Rabbit’s house).

It wasn’t until we were in line that he started getting really loud and really echolaliac – yes, that’s a word because I said it was.

In line, with the cashier looking on, he told me repeatedly that we needed to go hide in the shower. I wouldn’t say she stared, but she did look like she might be interested in where the rest of that conversation was going. I went with the TV-talk, telling him that we didn’t need to go play hide and go seek and didn’t need to hide in the shower (Max and Ruby), but I’m not sure if she believed that was where it was going.

So if you happen to be the cashier from the store who was giving me funny looks while I paid for my items, please know – really, I swear, it’s from TV.

Third: I listened to seriously inappropriate music in front of Simon. I try to avoid doing that. I know that he likes to repeat words. And I don’t want to write those words in this blog, either. So I’ll just leave it at this: yes, I like my Lords of Acids station on Pandora. And, no, Simon hasn’t repeated anything from it.

Yet.

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April 3I’m not sure I can say that it is directly related to Simon’s autism, but there are definitely times when that is what makes the difference.

Now, this is totally a pity party post. Let me admit that up front. So if you don’t want to read me whine and bitch and moan, go away now and keep having a good day. But if you want to know what happens when I’m feeling like it’s a bad day, keep reading.

It’s the little things, for me, that set the tone for a bad day.

First, Simon is off school for the holiday weekend. It automatically makes him anxious, and he begins asking (very early in the day) to go to HEB. He loves grocery shopping, and shopping in general, so that’s his go-to when there’s no school. He is normally willing to settle for something else, as long as it’s a trip somewhere. It can even just be to the Starbucks drive-thru. But he has to get out of the house. I get that. I do. But I know that he will be anxious all weekend, and that sucks for him. I’m not saying it’s a bad day for me because I have to listen to the anxiety – it’s a bad day because I know he’s anxious, and there’s only so much I can do to help him through it.

Second, I was trying to mail out some cards with pictures of Simon with the Easter bunny. And I realize that there were very few people to mail them to. I don’t like to overwhelm friends who are out of area with pictures of Simon. Let’s be honest – people without kids of their own (and even people with kids) don’t want that many pictures of *your* kid. They want them of their own. But it was also a reminder that our families aren’t around. And I don’t mean geographically. My father lives a whopping 20 to 30 minutes away (depending on traffic), but he doesn’t come to birthday parties, he doesn’t check in on what Simon’s doing, and last year, he didn’t even give Simon a birthday present because he “didn’t know what Simon wanted” (because he couldn’t ask, apparently). Sigh. Family. Aren’t they grand?

Finally, and this is one of those things where it’s a random happenstance, some friends took their kids to see a first-run movie. Not a big deal, you say? Oh, yes, it’s huge. Simon likes going to movies, but he doesn’t like the being quiet part. And he doesn’t like the sitting still part. He likes the popcorn quite a bit, though. So when we go to movies, they’re either the summer-time kid-friendly showing that Cinemark does for $1, or we run by the dollar theater and get something as it’s on its way out. In those situations, if we leave early, whether it’s because the popcorn runs out, Simon get bored, or Simon gets too loud, it’s cool. But what isn’t cool is if we go to a $10/ticket showing and he lasts for ten minutes or just can’t stop echoing something from a previous show or movie. It’s one thing to be loud in a movie that parents paid $1 for, one where they expect other parents to bring numerous loud children. It’s another to go to a theater that is running something new and making people pay an hour’s work for. (Or more than, if it’s someone earning minimum wage.) And, yes, I do know about the Sensory Friendly showing, but those are super-limited. Once a month, not very close to home, and it’s the movie they pick, which is oftentimes at too advanced a level for Simon to get any enjoyment from.

Yeah, I know, a lot of complaining, right? But it really was one of those days.

It did get better this afternoon, though. We ran some fun errands up into Houston, and Simon got to check out some jewelry supplies (lots of rocks to touch!) and some wood/woodworking supplies (lots of wood and turned-off power tools to touch!). He’s a happy camper now, and tomorrow we’ll be dying Easter eggs, so it will be all good.

I do want to also make sure that it’s clear that I’m not complaining about Simon. I’m complaining about situations, situations that we find ourselves in that deal with his issues.