Friday, January 13, 2012
It’s all Fun and Games Till Someone Loses Their Mind
TWEET: How do you make every teacher and kid within a 50 mile radius happy at 5:30AM while simultaneously making every parent weep? SNOW DAY!!!
That’s how the day started. And life was fine…
Thing One headed back to his bedroom to pull up Google Earth, his newest obsession, while Thing Two took to the bathroom to set up today’s Lego universe, as seen through the eyes of a 10 year old, still in Pull-Up’s, slightly verbal autistic boy.
I amused myself on Twitter, joking around with a few friends about this and that and some such nonsense, including an upcoming trip to Las Vegas, that I will, in just a few hours, begin to think can't possibly come soon enough.
At exactly 11:32 AM, I was staring at the alarm clock on my bedside table and praying for something to happen. ANYTHING to shut him up. Thing Two, at that point, had spent an entire hour screaming in my ear, poking and cajoling me, physically and emotionally.
“Mommy, Jake, Jaxson, Grammy, Grammy’s car, seatbelt, Walmart Store, Lego Jungle, Singing Mickey, Gamestop, McDonalds. I wuv… Mommy, Jake, Jaxson, Grammy, Grammy’s car, seatbelt, Walmart store….”
On and on and on and on and on… repeating the same thing over and over and over until I found myself on my bed in the fetal position with my fingers jammed in my ears, eyes scrunched closed and humming loudly enough to get his voice out of my head.
For the first, let’s say, thirty minutes of this tiptoe through Hades, I would like a huge dollop of credit for the patience I was able to exhibit.
“No, honey. Not today. No store today.” I said it as many ways as I possibly could, very sweetly and calmly, interspersed with portions of time where I ignored him completely - going about my daily routine of laundry and dishes, with him trailing behind me as I continued to hope the broken record would finally skip to another song.
He was on a roll. It was as far from a “normal” tantrum as one can possibly get. Because I can’t reason with this child. He doesn’t “get” words of reason, with the possible exception of “NO!” which I finally screamed - having done everything else I could possibly do, starting with TRYING to reason with him - hoping it would be the one time he would understand - “Mommy can’t go to the store today. The roads are icy and even if they weren’t, Mommy doesn’t have enough money today… and even if I did, I’d have to use it to pay the phone bill, not buy you another set of Legos to add to your ever-expanding collection…”
Reason. Ha! The universe mocks.
I knock, knock, knock on his little head. Nothing’s getting thru. So I try ignoring him, closing myself in the bathroom until he breaks in to join me - because we don’t have locks on ANY of the interior doors in the house. Locks? Are you crazy? Two autistic kids live here. The last thing I need is to have to crowbar either one of them out of a room they’ve barricaded themselves into with a lighter and a four pack of generic toilet paper.
Okay, so Thing One wouldn’t do that, but that’s totally within Thing Two’s modus operandi.
So, I’m in the bathroom and he’s at my feet and he’s whining and crying and it only takes ten minutes of this sheer hell to realize that the acoustics in the bathroom - coupled with his hysteria and the decibel level of such - is not conducive to me retaining a sanity level that is greater than or equal to a sanity level necessary to keep me from being carted off to a padded room somewhere.
For a moment, I laugh - the horrible guffawing of the clinically insane - as my mouth waters for a few moments in that goddamned padded room. I bet it’s quiet in there… and at this point I’d take ten seconds of silence over a ten minute orgasm.
I flushed (at least I got something done while I was in there), stepped over Thing Two and escaped to my bed, where I burrowed under the covers. Unfortunately, he burrowed right along with me.
I tried the finger to lips, “Shhhh.” A gentle cue for him to SHUT THE HELL UP BEFORE MOMMY LOSES IT!!! - one I’m certain he understood. But, then come the tears. Tears in earnest, as if I’m torturing the kid because I won’t take him to Walmart. He doesn’t understand. He’s not getting it. And there’s not one goddamn thing I can do about it but ride the tsunami of dysfunction till he tires out or I have a stroke - whichever comes first.
And he’s poking me. Non-stop poking. This is not the hard, barbed, LISTEN TO ME poking at this point, but the very gentle, almost-a-tickle poking that says, “Please give me some attention because it seems, Mommy, that you’re not understanding my wants and needs and all I require is a little understanding.”
It is so sweet and so sad and so damned absurd… and if the little guy only understood that I completely understand his wants and needs, but his wants and needs, at this precise moment, juxtaposed against my particular wants and needs, seem to be at loggerheads.
I need him to stop touching me.
I need him to be quiet.
I need a cigarette - which I cannot have because I’ve recently quit - ironically, for my kids because if it were only me I had to worry about, I’d gladly smoke myself into an early grave while enjoying every menthol-y drag on my road to emphysema.
Poke, poke, tickle - he continues his non-stop refrain, quiet, soft and accompanied with tears, and it is worse than the screaming of earlier: “Mommy, Jake, Jaxson, Grammy, Grammy’s car, seatbelt, Walmart Store, Lego Jungle, Singing Mickey, Gamestop, McDonalds. I wuv… Mommy, Jake, Jaxson, Grammy, Grammy’s car, seatbelt, Walmart store….”
I lay there thinking about my flippant early-morning tweet and how the universe is a sarcastic bitch, (and how I could probably put this torturous situation to good use by inventing something similar as an effective form of torture for our government to employ on “enemy combatants”) when I start to laugh. It’s so over-the-top, having gone on almost two hours, so ridiculously, morbidly horrifying, that I’ve now reached that point where there’s nothing to do but laugh.
So I laugh, taking a brief few seconds to GROAN LOUDLY in frustration, then continue my hysterical laughter of the insane…
Then, it happens. Thing Two stops, the record skips to another song and suddenly he’s in the living room and I’m on the bed alone and I’m not quite sure how I got there, or what I did to make the bad thing stop, but it has stopped.
I close my eyes and do some yoga breathing I picked up somewhere, who the hell knows where because I’ve never done yoga in my life, and would most certainly risk pulling something vital like my aortic valve if I did.
When the coast seems clear, I tiptoe over to my computer and jot down this rant - which will never get properly edited because there are only so many hours in the day…
“Mom, look. Mom…”
Now, he’s at the computer, watching some Lego video on YouTube and pointing to something he wants me to help him build. I smile wanly and nod as he pulls the huge box of Legos into the living room.
Then, I sit down next to him, dreaming of a day, 79 days from now, when I will have four consecutive days to do whatever the hell I want to do …and I assure you, whatever happens in Vegas, it won’t include Legos or Walmart or me being screamed at or poked.
…and for 4 days, life will be fine.