Adventures in Autistic Parenthood
Saturday, April 10, 2010
And Then There Was....
The other Friday I recieved notice from my son that 5 whole school days had gone by without a frowny face in sight and because of our agreement a trip to GameStop was in order. Now this can make Fridays kind of interesting (insert loud) because even though he knows that we don't go to GS until Saturday or Sunday (depending on which is Shopping Day) he gets really excited. When Dave gets excited his habits tend to become more intense. He doesn't do any more talking (he couldn't and still be able to breathe) but what he says is even more obscure and at a higher volume and speed. So we spent an interesting 15 minutes or so at the bank in the grocery store. Me trying to deposit my check and slide into my weekend relaxation routine with Dude, babbling at ever increasing volume and speed.
Normally when I tell him to quiet down there is a brief (5-10 second) pause depending on my facial expresion and tone of voice, and then a resumption of the unending flow of game and movie quotes at a slightly lower decible level. Not Friday. No matter what I said (insert threatened) or how I said it, (insert psychotic mime imitation) there was no break. There was no pause. There was no lessening of volume. We concluded our financial arraingements, grabbed a couple of things from the store, waited in the checkout and left without a reduction in the speed or volume of his vocalisations. I was oh so seriously tempted at that point to make him walk home. There were several reasons for this A: Because I didn't have a rack to tie him to the roof, and B: There's a pass-through from the trunk through the back seat that I'm almost certain he could fit through to make his way back into the passenger compartment or at least allow his voice unobstructed access to my ear canal. But too many people had seen him with me so I had to take him home in the car.
As we drove up to the house (still at full volume) I was having one of those moments that all parents of young or special needs kids have occasionally. Just a profound state of weariness that strikes briefly from time to time. A full body sensation of 'Man is this tough'. I leaned against the center console and, in a worn out sort of voice, said, "David, you're a big pain in the butt sometimes, ya know?" My son, who had seemingly been bucking for a gag/straightjacket combo, leaned toward me, laid his hand consolingly on my forearm, and with a mischevious grin and a chuckle in his voice said, "Yeah, I know."
I now know the true meaning of the phrase 'gob-smacked'. There was a long moment when my mind went totally blank. It was a scene out of almost any comedy movie. I stared at Dude. Then out the windshield. Then back at Dude. Shaking my head I stepped out of the car and then just started laughing. I was still laughing as I opened his door and walked him to the curb and into the house. If my life is a comedy (and it mostly is) it's David that has all the timing.