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Archive for the ‘Autistic parenting’ Category

I woke up on Mother’s Day at 6:41 a.m. Just woke up. No child screaming. No cat screaming. Just my clock, the biological one. Technically, I slept in by twenty minutes—weekdays 6:20 is my start.

I pee. The baby is up. The cat hears me and begins his morning song for food. I go feed the cat and decide to sneak a load of laundry from the washer into the dryer, grab Andy and then head downstairs before he wakes anyone up.

But Max. Max.

Max has been dealing with some anxiety lately. He’ll be looking for a toy and will full on yell at us, “Where’s the blue car!!!!” over and over again until we point it out to him. Sometimes even then he won’t go pick it up, he screams at us to get it. (We don’t, btw. He can pick up his own damn car.)

So I’m midway between my laundry task when Max bursts out of his room and full on yells, “It’s happy time! It’s happy time!” I’m like, “Okay.” He continues, “Mommy! It’s HAPPY TIME!”

“Okay, buddy, you don’t have to yell.”

“It’s happy time. IT’S HAPPY TIME, MOMMY!”

Keep in mind that this is full-on, Tori Amos’ Tear In Your Hand kind of scenario. Fonts and capitalization don’t do it justice. He is saying the word happy in a voice that is not. In a voice that says, If you don’t give me what I want I’m going to throw myself down on the floor and wake everyone in the neighborhood.

I say, “Okay, buddy. Let Mommy finish and we’ll go downstairs in five minutes.” (Five minutes is our standard countdown time for anything: five minutes to potty, five minutes to tubby, five mintutes to go bye-bye.)

“MOMMY! Happy time, MOMMY!”

“Yes, dude, I get it. Mommy has to finish this and then get Alex, okay.”

“Get Alex … HAPPY TIME MOMMY IT’S HAPPY TIME!!! Get Alex, Mommy, GET ALEX!”

“Go ahead, go get him. Open the door.”

“IT’SHAPPYTIMEMOOOOMMMYY! IT’SHAPPEEEEEYTIIIIIIIMMEEE!”

Good times at what is now like, 6:50 a.m. My mother graciously appears in the doorway of her room to find out what Mikey wants while I shove the clothes into the dryer. I tell her, “I have no idea. It’s happy time.”

“Oh,” my mom says.

“What?”

“I was trying to teach him Happy Mother’s Day yesterday. I was telling him, ‘Tomorrow we’ll tell Mommy: Happy Mother’s Day.’ Is that what you’re trying to say, Max? Tell Mommy.”

He looks at me and says, “Happy Mother’s Day, Mommy!”

God love him.

Flowers from Ned/Thor/Gunnar and the boys.

Flowers from Ned/Thor/Gunnar and the boys.

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It’s a little ridiculous at this point. I know I’m preaching to the choir. It seems like the entire country is fallen ill: colds, flu, fevers, bronchitis … you name it.

I’m over it.

I currently own four bottles of children’s cold meds (with acetaminophen and without, nighttime and daytime formulas), at least a pair of acetaminophen and ibuprofen bottles for both kiddos, and I’m pretty sure I now own stock in Kleenex. And Puffs. Waaa!!

This is not a paid advertisement. Pinky swear.

This is not a paid advertisement. Pinky swear.

The sickness entered our house in September, when school started up for Max. (He’s there five days a week, so he gets maximum germ exposure I guess.) One or both children have been sick since then, with no more than a one-week break between viruses. I don’t exaggerate (I say that only because as a writer, I tend to exaggerate). We canceled a Thanksgiving trip to Ohio because of fever and colds (first Max, then Andy). Max spent Christmas with a fever and cold. We rescheduled our trip for New Year’s—and as Max got over his week-long fever, Andy picked it up. My mom came to visit instead and we celebrated Christmas and rang in the New Year in VA.

At the end of January, we were supposed to leave Virginia and head to Ohio for my mom’s birthday. And … Andy ended up with a sinus infection. Technically, he never really got over his NYE cold, it just morphed into the need for a ten day stint on Amoxicillin.

Next week I’m attempting a Valentine’s Day trip to Ohio. I supposed I’m playing with the Universe at this point (historically, NTG and I have not spent many V-Days together). My sister isn’t returning my calls because she totally doesn’t believe we’re coming. I’m going for it anyway.

But what to do to stave off future sickness? We all know washing hands. Vitamins. But what else? Essential oils? Rubber gloves? OJ every day? I’m at my wits end, and ready to send Max to school with a face mask on. I’m not kidding.

Yes I am.

Well, sort of.

It doesn’t help that in an ASD household, staving off colds has other challenges. I cannot explain to Max how to not touch his face or exchange fluids with other classmates, because the kid still sticks his fingers up his nose on a regular basis, and stims near his face daily. And he has sensory issues when it comes to water, so I don’t think they get him to wash his hands at school often, and here, he flat out refuses (I wipe, and hand sanitize a lot).

I have tricked him into gummy bear vitamins—and I know lots of folks freak out about dyes and such, but I have to think of the trade off.

And this week, the news comes out that the Brits may have saved us. In the meantime, maybe Mother Nature will keep giving us snow so the kiddos don’t have school until March. 😉

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