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Saturday, January 7, 2012

Dad

"Daddy, please," our older son announced not long ago as he walked into the kitchen and peered out the door. It's dark out and nearly 7pm. He has completed all of his after school activities and his internal clock is telling him it is time for his father to come home and take him on a pre-bath outing.

This child lives for his outings, and his coping skills when he doesn't get them when he wants/needs them...well, that's an area which could stand some improvement.

The problem this evening is that I have no clue where his father is. My attempts to reach him have failed, despite the fact that not too long ago he fervently argued that he would be more accessible to his family if he had a personal cell phone in addition to his work phone.

Yes. I fell for that.

I fell for that knowing that his argument assumed that the phone would not be forgotten at home or left sitting in the car; would always be charged, turned on and also regularly checked. I love you honey! But, sigh. I'm a fool.

And, so, there sat the fool with her kids. The older one wanted his dad, and I had no clue what time dad would arrive at home. It's a given, however, that even if I were to magically speak with him on the phone, he'd say that he's fifteen minutes away.

It never works out that dad is truly fifteen minutes from home, and, just a word of caution to all of you out there: when dealing with the autistic population, if you are saying that a desired activity is going to happen within a specific amount of time, you'd better make sure it happens when you say it will.

That is, of course, unless you happen to enjoy living in full-blown meltdown mode. If that's the case, then have at it.

"I am sad that he is not here," I heard a computerized voice say. That's our son's dynavox, his electronic voice output system. We actually have a page programmed for the time of day when our older son is ready for dad to come home but dad is not here.

The page is new, and younger son found it. Giggles from him.




"You aren't helping matters any, you know," I pointed out.

"This is funny!" he said as he pushed another button.

"He is even later tonight than he was last night," voiced the machine.

Yeah, we all know. Even the machine can point out the obvious. Dad's not here. We get it. I watched our older son wind himself up with frustration as our younger son played with this new page that points out all of the different ways that DADDY IS NOT HERE!

I can't stand this time of day. By this point, I've already played supermom in getting our two kids and husband out the door (no small task), cooked special foods for snack and lunch boxes, put out fires at school (because aren't there always fires at school?), handled problems with the compounding of medications (because, isn't there always a problem with the compounding of the medications?), doctors/laundry/all around glamorous grunt work and THEN these two boys come bounding over the threshold of our house. The chaos that comes with them is astounding. Meltdowns, toileting, homework, toileting, screaming, toileting and always shaping behaviors, shaping behaviors, shaping behaviors...

By the time the sun sets, I'm fried. It's JUST the time when I need to be at my best, my most creative self so that I can pull us all through that last hour until dad walks through the door and I can shove the kids at him and walk out of the room welcome him with open arms and ask him about his day.

At some point our older son started pulling at the doorknob in an attempt to rip out the locks from the top of the doorframe.

Have I mentioned that he's a bolter? God bless those locks!

"I want dad to be home. Can I call dad, please?" said the latest buttons which younger son pushed on the dynavox.

"Well, dynavox, that's a really good question!" (The nerd in me is trying hard to ignore the grammatical error made by the box's programmer. lol) "I have no problems letting you do so, but good luck getting anywhere with it!" I've reached a low point.

You know you've reached a low point in your day when:

1)You start ranting to your kids about people starving in other countries and the fact that they need to appreciate their lives more than they do.

2)You start ranting to your kids about how you went to school for a million years/used to be gainfully employed in order to end up cleaning their toilets all day.

3)You start ranting to your kids. Period.

4)You find yourself talking to the dynavox.

"I want Daddy to be here," said the dynavox, courtesy of our younger son. Giggle.

"Daddy, please! DADDY, PLEASE!" chimed in our older son.

Everyone looked at me, expecting me to produce daddy, the Holy Grail of this household. What am I, chopped liver? Broccoli? Homework? Where's the demand for my presence? I do not deserve such mutiny!

Does a gal have to be late all the time to warrant her own page on the dynavox?

Ugh. That thought made me feel exposed. Looking to my husband's page, the only thing that is painfully obvious is that he is always late. I don't even want to think of the buttons that would be programmed on my page. Yeesh. Never mind that thought!

"Hey, guys, let's color for a bit until dad gets home," I suggested, taking a better stab at damage control. While I can appreciate that the dynovox offers dialogue for a person who is not able to speak for themselves, I'm not sure I'm ready to hear what my pre-teen is thinking about me.

Nope. Not now. Daddy can remain Mr. Popularity for a while longer. I don't think I want to have a dog in that fight.

6 comments:

  1. I think I agree with you. Not sure I would want to have seen what my kids would have programmed on their Mom page, either. Best to let Dad be the "star" and the outing king!

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  2. Lol! Jo, I was too scared to publish some of the buttons whic I thought my kids would program for me! BTW, you simply must not comment before I find all my typos. It makes me look bad. Hahahahahaha! Just finished-for now. Thank you for always supporting me!

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  3. I don't think I want to see anyone's full, uncensored thoughts about me!

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  4. "My three favorite bloggers, all commenting in one place!" said a mysterious voice from Wisconsin. "None of them have anything to fear from the peanut galleries of the world!"

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  5. Don't get a big head Jo! Nobody said anything about the ORDER of my three favorite bloggers!

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  6. *Timidly looking over my shoulder to see who else is in the Mom Cave that Mike can see...anybody? Anybody?* Blush.

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