Adventures in Autistic Parenthood

Friday, January 6, 2012

Father of the Felon:

I use this picture a lot on this blog... wonder why that is.
You know those stories that start out, 'If only he had known what was in store for him...' Today was one of those kind of days. We've been a bit slow at work, so I've been helping out in the maintenance department and taking my breaks back in the maintenance room, sitting at the maintenance desk. Pretty boring, actually.  When my phone rang during break, I looked to see if New Horizon came up on my screen and when it didn't I let it go to voice mail. Turns out I should have taken the call.
  Several minutes later I listened to my VM and it was Tammy, Dave's speech therapist. The message went something like this: Hi Mr. Hoffman (my oldest is 29 and I'm still not used to people calling me that) this is Tammy, David's speech therapist. Don't panic (Oh God! what has he done now?) but I had my iPad in Mrs. Yarozs' room yesterday and when we went to look for it today it was gone. (Oh, crap) Now, I wouldn't be calling, but (and there's always a 'but') when we asked the room, David said that it was 'at home'. I don't know if he has it, but I know how much he loves it. So if you could look for that, and let me know, I'd really appreciate it. Oh and Dave said that you've moved to a new house, so if you could, please send a couple of pictures of it to school with him. We were going to make a story book on the iPad. (if my son hadn't stolen it, you mean). Thank you.
   Unwilling to actually believe that my son was a high-tech thief, I called back at noon and left a response on her VM: Hi Tammy, this is Dave, I'm pretty sure he was talking about my tablet or 'Layne's iPod, but I'll take a look for you when I get home and let you know either way. (Hubris: The pride that goeth before the fall)
  Several hours later I arrived home and, in no special hurry, eventually made it up into my son's bedroom to search for ill gotten gains. A quick scan of the room didn't turn up anything, and quick look under the bed and on his shelves was equally fruitful. Dude, generally has no self-induced property awareness, or guilt, so it never occurred to me to be any more thorough than that. Smugly satisfied that either Tammy was a bit absent-minded or one of those 'other parents' children' had done the deed I went out on the front porch to wait for Dude's bus.
I just got a new iPad!
   Dave came home in his usual good mood, and I got him off the bus, and we walked up the stairs to the house. He seemed just a bit too eager to get into the house and upstairs, and that tripped my Dude-dad Ninja senses. He didn't come into the front room to take off his shoes, or try to get me to read his (5th and Game inducing) Good Note. He just started up the stairs to his room.
   "David." I said in a quiet, but solemn tone. "Where is the iPad?"
   (Please don't say it!) (but he did) 'Upstairs in the bedroom.' He stated cheerily. (Oh Crap!)
   "Show me."
  Desperately clinging to the hope that he was talking about Alayna's bedroom and her iPod, I followed him up the stairs and unfortunately directly into his room and the third drawer down in his dresser. (Double crap with a crap chaser!) After a long talk about what 'not yours' means and what would happen if he ever again returned home with any of Steven Jobs or Bill Gate's products that he didn't actually own I went downstairs to retrieve my cell phone to eat a generous helping of crow. (Maybe if I apologise 14 times and make the last hundred yards on my belly I won't have to explain to Raine why I need the number of a really good (and cheap) bail-bondsman)
    I called Tammy, (introducing myself as the father of the felon) and apologised profusely for doubting her assessment of my son's illegal activities, and promised the return of her electronics Monday by Dude-post (his backpack). She was very nice and forgiving, telling me that it was okay, and that David should be spared any paternally generated doom, because when asked, he told her right where the thing was. I told her that I'd even been tempted (It's an iPad, man!) to tell her that: No, I hadn't found an iPad, never even seen one, wouldn't know it if I saw it, didn't even believe they'd ever been invented. She laughed, as if I was kidding, and assured me that Dave was in no trouble at school, hinting that that should mean he shouldn't be in trouble at home. I assured her that David would (probably) survive the weekend, and at any rate her iPad would be at the school on Monday morning, and then we hung up.
Picture to be used on milk carton
Just in case.
   I then called Raine to give her and her co-workers something to laugh about. Increasing the chances of Dude's survival by letting as many people as possible know my motive if he should happen to mysteriously turn up missing sometime over the weekend. By the time Raine came home she had developed an interesting theory. She thought, because Tammy had offered to put pictures of Dude's house on the iPad, that David, knowing that the tablet will also take pictures misunderstood and brought the thing home to take pictures with. This theory made a lot of sense to me. It also put the blame for my son's larceny directly back on Tammy's shoulders, and made a certain amount of Dude-sense... if you ignored the fact that he hid the damned thing in his dresser. We're still trying to come up with an official story that won't land Dude behind bars.... unless they're the ones I put on his windows to keep him from slipping out to cat-burgle the neighborhood.


  1. I have been visiting your site now for about a year. I seriously love your stories!! I can't help but laugh. That's good for a mom with 2 special needs boys. So I can relate to alot of your stories. Mine are a bit younger than Dude, but I at least I have a snapshot of my future. Thanks for the stress reliever! Sincerely, Melanie

  2. Sorry this took so long, but we're still getting settled in the house, and I'm not writing as much for a while. I'm glad you enjoy Dude's stories, and anything that brings a laugh and relief from stress has got to be a good thing, so I'm flattered there as well. Dude has been trying to induce a Dad-anyeurism for quite some time now, but there's no one that can make me laugh and smile more... normally right after, or before, I want to destroy him.... lol. Thanks again for your kind words and I hope to make you laugh some more as we go on... Take care, and good luck!