Monday, June 24, 2013

That look.

If you are a parent of a child with autism, you know which one I'm about to talk about.  As I just had happen again to me, times three, while out for pizza with my kiddo.

Yes, I was sure lucky to get that dripping with disdain expression from you, old ladies at the pizza place.  That my son's mere existence in your world for about forty five minutes was almost to much for you to handle.  That his noises coupled with my constant prompting to use a correct volume of his voice and to eat his food won me the chance to see you roll your eyes at each other several times.   I guess I ruined your dining experience when I decided for two minutes to just try to eat as many bites as I could while he sang "Sha Boom Sha Boom".  Hey, you think you could at least appreciate a song from your era.

I have no doubt that when you all piled in your car later, many remarks were made about my kiddo.  You probably thought that time stood still while we were there, two tables over from you.   Would we ever leave?  Would he ever stop making noises or repeating lines from TV shows?  I'm sure we gave you quite a lot to talk about on your ride home.  Here's the difference between you and I.  I bet you forgot about us as soon as you pulled into your driveway.   Here I sit, two days later, wondering about you.  Beating myself up over how he behaved.  How I ruined your dinner.  Wondering why couldn't you just see I was trying my damn best.   Oh and while you thought his noises were so annoying, you do have it better than me.   You didn't have to go home with them.   You won't be woken up at 5AM by them.  Or possibly even earlier.  You don't have to do the autism dance of back and forth.  Allowing him to have appropriate times and places to stim and teaching him when and where they are not acceptable.  I bet you thought you could get him to stop.  Good luck with that.  Spend a day with my kiddo when he's in a high stimmy day groove.  You wouldn't last an hour in my world.   You just proved that by how you acted over one dinner. 

I get it.  Your age probably had a lot to do with those looks you gave me.   I don't think my kiddo noticed.  I'm hoping he didn't.  I sure felt your eyes on me as I struggled to prompt him to take bites, dig another trick out of my autism mommy purse, and try to eat a bit of dinner myself.  As much as your looks annoyed me, I'm not going to stop going out with my kiddo.  No way.  No how.  With all the studies and stats on autism, I know it's in your families too.  Maybe not close enough like it is in my house but it's there.  You probably never even heard of autism until some celebrity's kid had it and they told their story exclusively on some television show.  Here's the thing, these kids aren't tucked away anymore. He won't learn how to be unless I take him out. There's no better learning than real like experience.

But let's break this down a little more shall we?  You were at a flipping pizza place.   I didn't drag my 9 year old into Brasserie Les Halles in Manhattan.  I took him to the local pizzeria  that just happens to have wait service in the back room.  I was sipping a soda while you were sipping screw top bottle wine.  (I don't judge screw top but please let's not pretend that makes you fancy schmancy)  As restaurants go, that's where any parent brings their kids without thinking twice about it.  So if you want that real high end experience you feel you are entitled to, you best start going to places that don't have a Pepsi cooler full of soda and Vitamin Water by the front door.   Sorry that the wait staff ignored you for a moment but they were being nice by fetching us a coloring book and crayons without me even asking for them to help keep him entertained.  The waitress who looked barely old enough to drive seemed to be a little more in tune with my kid and what we might need to make this easier than you three Bitches of Eastwick.  Did you notice that all my prompts were mostly my concern he not bother you?  Trust me gals, it could of been a whole lot nosier.  You got off light.

My son is nine and I'm getting damn tired of that look.   I know it won't be the last time we get it either.  If there is any silver lining to this, that look tells me pretty quickly who to bother with and who not to even waste my time.  I guess I'm lucky that these people are not in my life.   At one point, I did lock eyes on one of you and you quickly looked away.  Didn't like the look I had on my face did ya?  Oh well.  Too bad. So sad. I'm still sitting here thinking about yours.  Thanks for the nice blog fodder though.  Till we meet again because we eat there a lot. ;-)

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Autism never takes a vacation

But that doesn't mean we won't take one.

That's right!  Pack up your troubles and your PEC pictures and we're gonna on a trip.  Even though the prospect of it is daunting to me.  (One week and counting! YIKES!) I will do this because it is good for my family.

Before the kiddo, we traveled.  My husband and I loved going on trips and when the kiddo came along, well, we just packed him up when he was a mere three months old and took him with us.  I'm not sure what we were thinking taking a baby that young anywhere.  I'm gonna blame that one on complete lack of sleep and me going completely stir crazy at that point being home in "baby nap jail".  It was eye opening to say the least just packing for him.  Here we were dragging him to some resort that my husband's family went every year.  I think the part he liked the best was the colorful bedspread in the hotel room.

Then came autism. We did another trip to the same resort with a very "active" not yet quite diagnosed but in the middle of early intervention two year old and it nearly killed me.  The amount of crap we had to pack grew and I bought a purse that made me feel like a Sherpa.   He ran EVERYWHERE.  In fact, I think we went to same resort but I'm not really sure.  That whole trip is a freaking blur to me.  It set the tone for a few more like that.   Then we added a kiddo who flipped out at every transition, every change of scenery, who wouldn't eat anything except fries, woke up screaming at the butt crack of dawn after being up for hours the night before.  I'm pretty sure the people of that town rejoiced whenever they saw our car leaving.  There was a point where I said to my husband as he planned another trip "I can't do it anymore"  I had a complete meltdown and we didn't go anywhere for a really long time.  

And it sucked!  Hard!  We wanted a vacation.  We earned a vacation.  We deserved a vacation.  So after a few years, a lot of therapy and a good prescription or two for the boy and myself, we tried again.  Slowly at first.   A simple overnight at the infamous family resort.  We planned that trip like a general about to attack at dawn.   We got room service for dinner and then wore his ass out in the hotel pool.  Yeah, it took him forever to go to sleep but he finally did.  I, of course, decided not to sleep and instead panic that he would be up at any moment.  Not a smart idea.  Try not to do that.   Then I produce a magic amount of new toys at breakfast the next morning.  That's right, we took him to breakfast.  We earned to eat a massive amount bacon at the buffet and the toy selection helped.  Then we went to a train museum and a ride and then well home.  It wasn't a lot and it wasn't long but it showed us we could do it.  Yeah we were tired but we all had FUN! 

Every trip since has had it's ups and downs but honestly, it's been mostly ups.  It does require a lot of planning.  We know our kiddo's limits and yes, we do miss out on some stuff because we just know it will be chaos. That kind of blows, I won't lie.   This is the hand I was dealt, I got to make the most of it.   An underlying theme is always visit whatever local train museum is in the area.   Buying tickets before hand online or over the phone to make sure we get on that all important train ride after.  Yes, I now know more about trains that I ever thought possible but hey, it's his vacation too right?  So we go.  We throw in a lot of pool time.  Swimming is excellent sensory so hotels with a pool are a must.  Indoor ones are even better because you don't even have to worry about weather.  Plus an hour or so after dinner of swimming knocks his butt out back in the room.  

There's still extra junk to pack.  No wifi? Not happening.   That iPad is coming on the trip and the portable DVD player.  The various chargers.  Last year I got smart and packed a power strip for all the plugs because there is never enough outlets in hotel rooms for all the stuff.  All the medications and the supplements and the food flipping kills me.   Before kiddo, maybe the husband and I pick up a bottle of wine to drink in the room.  Now?  Three bricks of juice boxes and a trip to the warehouse club for snacks.  He still isn't the best with eating but he's gotten better.  I also know he's so distracted while out that he won't eat enough and will get hungry later.  I got to be prepared.  There will be a seriously discussion of what stuffed animals loveys come with him and I will have to explain we cannot take the whole DVD library from home with us. 

We're headed to a lake resort this time.  I suspect he will probably ignore the lake and prefer the pool but hey, he's worked hard this year at school.  It's his vacation too.  He'll probably live on a diet of chocolate milk and french fries when we go out to eat but if it means I can get a meal I didn't have to plan, cook or clean up, whatever.  It's my vacation too.  At some point my husband will take a long walk alone around the lake when he's tired of seeing his son ignore the lake.  That's okay, it's his vacation too.  We'll roll with it.  We earned it.  Autism doesn't go on break but we can give each other ones.  It's going to be fine. 

I think.

I hope.

I pray.

Fingers crossed!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Can't you just...

"Can't you just move the appointment?  He can skip a session right?" 

"Can't you just put the songs he likes on his iPad? Instead of playing the same CD the skips?"

"Can't you just have him watch that DVD downstairs?  What do you mean it has to be on the portable player?"

"Can't you just get a babysitter and come out with us?  There are tons of teens looking to make some extra cash."

"Can't you just make up little cards to hand out that have autism information printed on them?"

"Can't you just..." is a question I hear far to often and I'm at the point where if I hear it again my eyes are at risk for getting stuck from rolling them one to many times.  Which would really suck.  I wouldn't get to see what shade of spray tan the Real Housewives are this week.  Autism, just isn't that simple.  I wish I could just do it that way you are suggesting but we have learned our limits dear friend.  

Once again, he's sleeping and I am not.  It's the middle of the night and my brain is just running.  I can hear some of you now saying "Can't you just sleep when he sleeps?"  Nope, sometimes I can't. I'm much to busy having a insomnia induced panic attack about school ending in 8 (Gulp!) days.  I'm worrying about a vacation we are leaving for in two weeks.  I am mentally making my check list of all the things I need to buy for it.  The list of what needs to be packed.  Is the car charger for the DVD player still in my husband's SUV?  It's 2:19 AM.  I could just go look right?  Totally normal time to run out to the car.  Jeez what DVDs should I bring this time?  Which one is the one that skips in the portable?  This place has Wifi right?  

Ugh!! "Can't you just enjoy your vacation?"  Nope, apparently, I can't.  Not unless I worry about every possible thing that could go wrong and what can we do to fix things.  As if just going about our business couldn't be stressful enough some days with strange looks and comments from the general public, let's throw in a completely new environment around us.   I guess the bonus is, if it gets really bad, well, we will never see those people again.  Oh that reminds me, his meds!  Add that to list. I do notice I've never heard folks suggest "Can't you just skip his dose?"  No routine and no medication?  Even Jesus wouldn't take the wheel on that.  At least that's a "Can't you just..." I haven't heard.

Will I have time to make little cards to pass out in case of a meltdown?  Then I start to think why SHOULD I have to make little cards to pass out?  Even if I did, I can tell you, making sure I stop and pass them out would be the LAST freaking thing on my mind.  So yeah, I'll be skipping that errand to STAPLES.  More bug spray and sunblock, less office  supplies.  Yeah, I know.  I'm missing a prime opportunity to educate and advocate and blah, blah, blah.  Sometimes though, I just want to do what I got to do and if that means paying our restaurant bill quickly while my husband half drags him out, so be it.  I can't be a walking information kiosk all the time.  I don't want to be and nor should I be.  You think I got a clue what I'm doing?  I'm sitting here not sleeping at 2:40AM and wondering if I should check my husband's car if he has extra wipes?  WIPES!  Put that on the list.  Seriously, don't think I got it going on.  I'm so flying by the seat of my pants here.

"You need to give yourself a break.  Can't you go get a sitter and go out with your husband?"  Hahahahaha!  Yeah the neighborhood 14 year old, so not equipped for the kiddo.  You neurotypicals think you have a hard time find a babysitter?  Not even close.  Sorry.  Unless they had a sibling with autism maybe.  Even then, I bet they'd like a night off from autism.  I don't think they'd be knocking down my door for a job.   What do I know?  It's almost 3AM and I'm not sleeping.   Oh and even when we have gone out because a family member pitches in, guess what we talk about?  :-)

OK, I really need to try and sleep.  Daylight will be here soon.  Even the dogs have left me to go snore.

 "Can't you just drink another cup of coffee?"  You mean on top of the three I have most mornings?  Sigh....  MELATONIN!!  Pack melatonin.  This list will never end. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

A love letter to Mrs. M

Today I got a phone call from my son's case worker from school confirming who would be his teacher come summer.  The big switch is now real.   I knew it was coming.  We talked about it in the IEP but, with the days running on full speed, the end of the year is looming.  Extended School Year (ESY) aka "Summer School" will be here in a hop, skip and a jump.  Normally I don't mind.  Heck, I'm usually looking forward to it.   Gives me a chance to rest up after "vacation".  (which I think we can all agree vacations are more like military boot camps for parents then they are relaxing) This July the kiddo will start with a new teacher.  One he will then go to in the fall as well. This poor caseworker, who probably thought she was going the extra mile by calling me at home instead of sending out a form letter, heard me get so quiet on the phone that she actually thought the line had cut out.  Nope, I was still there.  I was just busy being speechless and realizing that this change is about to exceed the limits of my medication.   

He's switched them before but there was something different about Mrs. M. I knew I liked her right from the start because she wasn't about to hear it that he didn't want to be at school.  For the past year, as he finally started to get more and more verbal, he came up with some fantastic excuses for not wanting to go.  ("Put away school!"  "Want Saturday!! No Monday!!"  "Turn off School!")   The year prior he had greeted the previous teacher with "NOOOOOO SHE SHE!!!" (which was his way of saying her name) every single morning.

 Mrs. M not only wasn't having it and her attitude about how awesome school was caught on.  She didn't meet him head on with stubbornness.  She helped him learn what his feelings were and how to identify them.  For that I am truly and forever grateful.  He finally had a name to go with the way he was feeling.  I suddenly had a kiddo coming home telling me he felt happy or sad or pissed off! (OK in more age appropriate words but it was getting a little Dr Suess like here with the sad, mad, bad, glad) She helped label and organize those mixed up emotions flying around his brain.

She made him feel pride.  Pride in his work.  Pride in his actions.  Pride in himself.  For a kiddo riddled with more anxiety than any one person should have, oh he needed this.  To have him tell me "I feel proud of you!" when he was pleased was a delight.  He knew that was the best compliment.  She gave him trust.  She trusted jobs to him.  She saw he loved to work and she put him to it.  She made him the classroom lackey.  He was sent down every morning to the office for attendance.  Off to the cafeteria to drop off the lunch orders.  Then over to the kindergarten to drop off the milks for the "little kids" as he called them.  Needed to get a message to another teacher?  Send the kiddo.  Through these outings, another great gift arrived.  Kiddo started getting more social.  Actively engaging and saying "Hi!" to all he encountered.

How did she do all this?  Well, the music just flowed through this woman.  Singing was a big part of it.  She's a big music lover and she saw that with him too. In the two years she has had him, anything new has first been brought to the kiddo in song.  It's like she's a walking musical in there!  She totally understood his love for it and she ran with it.   Telling time, money, order of the months, even writing his name became a song.  They may never win a Grammy but they are top hits in this house.  I'll probably be singing "Hip Hop O'clock" in the nursing home because of her.

Now the time has come for him to move on though.  I know it's a good thing for him too even though the changes are scary.  I also know she knows how I feel about it all.  You see, this year she told me how her own son is on the spectrum.  That the kiddo reminds her a lot of her son at that age.  A whole new level of respect washed over me when I found out.  I thought "How on earth?  All day with autism and go home to MORE AUTISM!?!?!"  Seriously, how does she not burn out?  I almost want to ask her "Are you on really good meds and if so, can I have some?" She's is aces in my book.   I don't know how she does it but damn am I lucky that she does and she did for my kiddo.  Think about it.  Writing up and teaching a bunch of IEPs to go home and make sure your kid's IEPs are being done.  I am in awe. 

I'm sure the next teacher is swell.  I'm sure she'll do great things.  If not, I'm just going to insist Mrs. M be his teacher till he's 21.  Perfectly reasonable demand in the IEP no? OK I won't but Mrs. M, you set the bar high.  I hope that new gal knows what kind of act she's following.  She better rest up on that break we have.  Organize dancing poodles for her class for some sort of science experiment.  Bring your "A" game newb.  The kiddo goes big.

We had some emotional texting last night.  That's right folks.  Mrs. M and I text each other.  How many teachers do you know that do that?  So often she would text me a cute picture of my kiddo or even video of him doing something.  To see into his little world of school was a gift!  She let me know she's got my back and will help with the transitions.  She knows what it's like to sit on my side of the IEP table.  I love her.  Why can't she live with me?  I'm sure her family is nice but we got a pool.  They could visit.

I told the kiddo last night about the big switch.  He immediately laughed it off.   However, this morning over breakfast, he repeated to me who his new teacher would be in the summer.  He seemed pleased.  One more gift she has given him.  Helping him learn how to accept big changes even when that change is loosing her as a teacher.  

OK, off to write a social story for myself to help accept this change.  ;-)

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Waiting Room Warriors

I love my fellow ASD parents like an ASD parent loves a nap or a cup of coffee or both.  These are the folks who just get it when I make a poop joke or post from the dark of my son's room while I'm waiting forever for him to go to sleep.  They are all over the world.  Up at all hours.  My comrades in PEC pictures and social stories.   A troop of Waiting Room Warriors in the trenches with me, forever waiting for their kiddo's session to be done.

I've been the kiddo's mom now for nine years and I've been "waiting" for him to get done with therapy since he was twenty two months.  I've seen my share of waiting rooms and yes, to amuse myself or keep me from going insane, I rate them in my head.  Call this the Zagat guide for making a kick ass waiting room.  I know therapists read this.  (Hello folks who treat the Kiddo!!!!)

First, let's cover magazines and reading materials.  Screw TIME and other high brow stuff.  Lots of copies of PEOPLE, Us Weekly and the like please.  Maybe throw in a Life & Style to mix it up.  I have enough serious stuff I deal with on a day to day basis.  This is my one chance to escape reality for a bit and read some fluff.   Considering I"m usually listening to my kiddo yelling about something during the session, I really can't concentrate on anything more in depth than whatever model Adam Levine is dating that week.  Plus it's not like I can flip through these bubble gum rags when I'm in line shopping with the Kiddo.  I'm usually busy containing his destruction while we wait.  So do me a favor get more of Entertainment Weekly, less National Geographic. 

Second, enough room to sit.  I'm not leaving and most of the parents that are there aren't either.   They got an hour to kill.  How about some comfy seating?  You know what would rock?  Just clear out the chairs and throw all those crash pads and bean bags in there!  Oh that would be sweet!  I'd probably fall asleep but I'm sure if I didn't snore to loudly somebody might spoon with me.  Pass out a few weighted blankets while you're at it.  It's usually Arctic during the summer months when the AC is blasting.  Oh that would be cozy. 

Third, a small table and chairs for the siblings.  Now I am lucky.  I only have to entertain myself for an hour when I go to therapies with the kiddo but for those moms who got a sibling or two in tow, I salute you my fellow Waiting Room Warrior.  You got to keep them busy in a pretty boring place. "Here kids, let's have fun waiting!"  Oh and do you see how they look in those OT therapy rooms with the swings?  You know they are just thinking "why can't I go in there too?"   I see so many of them doing homework on the floor while they wait.  Try writing on a carpet on a worksheet. Yeah, not so great. 

(Side note, Therapy places.  You ever think about renting those gyms out for a pizza party?  I'm just saying it would be a crowd pleaser for the ASD set)

Fourth, Wifi!!! Dudes, how else do you think all us bloggers get any work done?  My son's place has it!  It rocks!  Seriously, I wanted to kiss them on the lips the day they had a sign up announcing it! Not to mention, I know there are a lot of working outside the home parents, they need to catch up on work and most likely took time off to get their kiddo to that appointment.  Spot them some internet would ya?  You will have a much happier parent to work with if they got the stress release of beating that level of Candy Crush they were stuck on for two weeks and then got to brag on Facebook about it. 

Fifth, parking.  Ample parking.  Make sure your office building has it.  When my son's therapists moved to a new building recently that had GOBS more I nearly wept with joy.   Cause you know all know it just takes one Mom driving a big ass SUV who can't park and screw up parking in a little lot for EVERYONE!  (stay between the two lines!!!!!)  

Sixth, a big huge window of your therapy room.  Yep, that's right, I want to see what you are doing in there.  Yes I will duck my head down from time to time so I don't distract my kiddo but dammit I want to know what's going on back there.  For all I know you could be filing your nails while my kiddo spins on a swing.  I'm nosy. I want to know.  Not to mention it's super insightful to see how my son acts with other folks.   If he's being a complete pain in the arse, I will thoughtfully give him the "wait till we get home" death stare and perhaps it will jolt some sense into him for ya. :-)

Seven, coffee would be nice.  Wine would be nicer. 

Friday, June 7, 2013

Come on feel the noise!

Quiet Riot has nothing on the kiddo.  Nada!

It's got to be payback for the teen years right?  When my brother and I played "Stereo Wars" from our bedrooms.   He was blasting The Police or U2.  I had whatever hair band with a pound of make up and spandex du jour going.  I'm really wondering how my parents aren't both deaf.  We both have kids now.  My brother is getting his payback of playing "Synchronicity" constantly.  His daughter likes One Direction.  A LOT.  Lord Sweet Mercy on his soul.  

So what's my payback for playing "Wanted Dead or Alive" ten thousand times in a span of an hour?  Constant ear splitting, brain melting, dear God where are my ear buds, noise. All sorts of noise.  From him or from the four different electrical appliances he likes to run at the same time at any given moment.  I bet you thought your first rock concert was noisy.  Living with the kiddo is like living at the Lollapalooza 92 tour when the Red Hot Chili Peppers took the stage.  ALL THE DAMN TIME. 

His favorite stim noise is to screech.  He screeches when happy or sad or just to amuse himself.  It kind of sounds like a cross between a camel giving birth and the noise you might make if stabbed with a rusty shank.  Not only is this god awful to hear but it's also damaging his vocal cords a ton.  So while I'm all for letting him stim with a good hand flap or pacing up and down my hallway from time to time to self regulate, "NO NOISES" is said quite a bit in this house.  I'm really surprised that both dogs haven't started saying it too.  Maybe I'll just play it on a infinite loop.  It might be easier.   As I have and the kiddo have worked so hard to get him to "use his words" this makes me want to dive off the deep end and let's face it, I didn't have far to go to begin with. 

Plus, lets add running ALL THE ELECTRONICS!!!  Let's get that TV blaring.  Turn on the portable DVD player with something else.  Hop on the iPad and turn up the YouTube.  Wait!  Not done.  Let's get Mama's or Daddy's smart phone and play some videos of himself.  ALL AT THE SAME TIME!!!!  I'm pretty sure they said this type of activity was torture with the Geneva Convention and yet on any given day, that's life at French Fry Inc. 

And you haven't LIVED until you get woken up by James Taylor's Greatest Hits blasting in your ear.   Anytime I hear "Fire and Rain" I now get the shakes.  He especially loves to play the CD of it.  You know, the one he's scratched up beyond all recognition and skips all over the place.  Yeah we've got it downloaded on his iPad but playing it on the CD player is better? More mind numbing?  Fun to watch Mama twitch when it skips?  I'm not sure.  He hasn't let me in on that.  I must not be sophisticated enough to understand. 

So yeah, anytime people are like "Oh girl I miss my kids so much when they go to school", me?  Yeah not so much so.  Don't get me wrong.  I miss him.  But the noise?  Not so much so.  Sweet Jesus, thank you for making him the county's problem till 3.

At least eating another side of fries is quiet.  

Monday, June 3, 2013

Hey Autism! Let's do lunch!

It was a typical morning at French Fry Inc.  Refueling our tired brains with some coffee.  Regaling my husband how I was mad at him when I woke up because in my dream the night before he had divorced me and wanted to know when he would.  He dryly replied "Not today." and then I got hustling to get that kiddo ready and out the door. 

Sometimes in the mornings I have no idea how long it's going to take him to get ready.  More often than not, there is some extra wiggle room.  I'm grateful for it but it also means I have to keep him entertained and out of trouble till the bus comes all the while getting myself dressed.  I try not to be the hot mess Mama walking him to the bus.  Doesn't mean full make up and hooker heels but I try a quick shower (OK quick spritz of dry shampoo) and make sure I'm dressed in something that looks like I care somewhat about how I look.  ( Yeah even the bra goes on.  I'm fancy like that.)

Usually I whip out the iPad and he's pretty content.  It might mean interrupting me five or six times to show me some quick video I took of him that he thinks is the greatest thing ever, which of course, it is.  Today I remembered the new school lunch menu was probably out and I quickly pulled it up for him.  This kiddo LOVES the lunch menu and a new one to study and memorize, well that ought to buy me a few minutes to go pee alone.
That was until he realized one day did not have the meal listed.  RING THE ALARM!!!!!

Every Thursday, his school does some sort of breakfast for lunch.   It rotates between pancakes, french toast and waffles.  For whatever reason, that last Thursday of the month just listed "Breakfast food".  I'm not sure if the lunch lady was like "Screw it.  It's gonna be the last week of school.  We'll see what we got left" when she was typing it.  All I know is it caused a anxiety attack in a certain 9 year old.

I know autism is a spectrum disorder and most days it's kicking my arse in a spectrum of different ways.   I really was in no mood for a meltdown on what he was going to have for lunch three weeks from now.  Mama Fry was tired from staying up to late last night watching Bravo reality TV.  I had 30 minutes before that bus would be rumbling down my street.  I had to talk this kiddo off the ledge over the mystery of french toast or waffles being served.

So I just put down my toothbrush and said "Oh??? It's going to be a surprise!!! Oh my gosh!  That's so cool!!"

And the kiddo, who equates surprises with parties was like "Oh yeahhhhhh!"

Sensing I was on the right track I decided to play into his ego.  "And you'll know before me and then I'll have to guess when you get off the bus that day.  You'll know but I won't!"

I can hear the gears turning in his head and he delights on pulling one over on me.  Knowledge over mom versus having a hissy fit about not knowing what he will have for lunch three weeks from now.

"LUNCH SURPRISE!!! LUNCH SURPRISE!!!"  and he runs down the hallway away from me and thankfully, a meltdown.  

Crisis averted, for now.  Phew! A year ago, I would of been pulling him off the ceiling to get him on the bus.  There would of been a flurry of emails to his teacher regarding said meltdown.  She probably would of asked the lunch lady for a lunch confirmation.  This is just life with autism some days.   Always on my toes. 

I think I'll have pancakes for lunch today.  Suddenly, I'm in the mood and it's not even a Thursday.  :-)