Breaking Bad Ass

We like to have a beer or other adult beverage while watching the Seattle Seahawks play football. With our son on the autism spectrum since he was three, an adult now, there stands a hard line between beer and wine – and hard alcohol.

“Vodka!” He screams at the top of his lungs….”Yes, Vodka.” We, his dutiful but worn out parents confess. “It makes a delicious alternative when mixed with lemonade vs. a heavy beer.” We TRY to explain.

“It will lead to DOMESTIC VIOLENCE!” He vehemently proclaims. Daring to hope he understands and will choose to be rational like he usually is……we headed down to watch the game. With the vodka drinks.

Ever the comedian, and dramatic as all get out, our “not so sold” adult son hears us from his room yelling at the television, cheering on Russell Wilson the the team after a very solid play. The stadium in Seattle is rocking and everyone is knocking. Except our son.

“Thats IT!” “You are fighting and it’s because of the VODKA!”

We yell upstairs to him that we really are not fighting….we are cheering on our team. No go. “I’M CALLING 911 NOW!” Oh shit. He does have his cell phone fully charged, in his room, on the night stand at all times.

We rush up the stairs. In full boxer short glory he’s taken the “God Forsaken Poison!” from the fridge (sitting next to the apple beer) and threw it out the back door almost to the neighbors yard.

“I’m DIALING!”

“NOW!”

Mind you, we suburban dwellers, affected by the virtual tragedy of autism, i.e. underemployed, lifetime caretakers, double duty chefs, and on and on. Deserve. A. Drink. Especially at this very moment. So, in his room, hand poised to press send on his cell he smirks…..

Yes, I called him a rat bastard. Yes, I meant it. No, I’m a horrible mother sometimes. Yes, he had us. Yes, he knew it.

Yes, we dumped the bottle.

Yes, we had an apple beer instead.

This morning I approached my adult son on the spectrum. “Wanna go to the casino?”

Oh boy…..the new frontier.

“WHERE’S MY CELL PHONE!!!!!!”

(snicker) ~ Wendy Frye

“Spend some time this weekend on home improvement; improve your attitude toward your family.” ~ Bo Bennett

Man Bag

Growing up, our youngest son radiated happiness like light from the sun. Always curious, engaging, and full of energy was he. A deep mirthful laugh, dimples on his cheeks, and eyes that closed when he smiled.

He loved his big brother. He followed brother all over the house, darting in and out of rooms, always watchful of us all – but especially of his big brother. They shared bath time, dinner time, nap time and eventually therapy time. Our oldest had been diagnosed on the Spectrum when our youngest son was one and a half years old. That’s when our days became full of appointments; speech therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, doctors, and on and on. This was our normal.

Somewhere along the way, our youngest son became a serial hoarder. Distressed children do act out in all kinds of ways, and even with the most loving intentions, our house was like a battlefield trying to save our eldest son from the void.

First, he started piling toys in the corner of his room. Next, we noticed he was packing random things around in his underwear. We would look up to the top of the stairs, call his name, he’d fly around the corner (always cheerful!) and say “Hello!” There he would be, only in his Batman UnderRoos, packing an entire toy chest in his pants, with the downstairs TV remote sticking out the back! He was like a little squirrel, collecting goodies and stashing them for later. He would roam around the entire house taking any and everything. Whoa, whoa, whoa! This was out of control.

We sat him down, calmed ourselves, and had a lengthy discussion letting him know that his underwear were not to be used as hoarding device. My husband offered to take him to the shopping mall in the morning to find the perfect “Man Bag”. In the interim he had use of a small athletic bag to replace his “personal pockets”. We were talking so far over his head – just like adult humor in a Disney movie. My husband and I were practically in tears trying to keep our serious faces in place. “Now, give me back the remote, and let’s get ready for bed!”

Ten minutes later, round two tuck-in time, found us back in our youngest son’s room. Where did he go now? We heard a little pathetic cry coming from his closet. Our youngest son had managed to zip himself inside the athletic bag. Hoarder to Houdini in ten minutes flat. We had to be the worst parents in the world.

We didn’t get him the Man Bag. Couldn’t fight nature this time. In the end, we let him channel the way of the kangaroo, his own personal spirit guide. ~ Wendy Frye

(Truth? we surrendered, beat at our own game like a couple of sissy girls.)