Adventures in Autistic Parenthood

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Elevator Blues:

David is dissatisfied with the amount of elevators currently available in the Greater Pittsburgh Metro Area. Or, at the least, he's dissatisfied with his father's unwillingness to take him to every single one of Milo Otis' Pittsburghian brainchildren. So, despite the fact that we still haven't emptied all the boxes from our last move. (sorting the basement is low on the priority list) And despite the fact that the 'new' has yet to rub off of the New House thing, Dude is fully prepared to tell all and sundry that we're moving to Las Vegas, Kansas City, Chicago, and New York City, in no discernible order, and at the first available opportunity.
   Our Easter trip to the Homeland was very dissatisfying in this regard, since we didn't even take a plane, or ride any of the airport's elevators. (He really likes the glass elevator at the Pittsburgh Airport) And my hometown has about 4 buildings (not counting the college) that even have working elevators in them. So he was waaaaay out of luck there. David was very disappointed in his progenitor but still agreed to let him chauffeur him back to his games. 'We have to get back to the Pittsburgh. He has to go to the mall and the elevators!'  So I wasn't too surprised when he regaled Alexis all Summer with tales of moving to Vegas or Chicago. To which we always replied, 'We'll see.' No, the shocker came when I received a note from School asking, 'Is Alexis from Chicago? And is David moving there?' To which I replied: 'Not unless I can
find a box big enough to send him in.'  Okay, I didn't really send that. But it was awfully tempting. I sent them a note back stating that, while we were moving, we would not be leaving the confines of Beaver County, and that Dave would indeed be in the classroom come Monday morning as scheduled. The only upside to this is that since we've moved he's changed bus ladies and hasn't yet invited the new ones to Vegas. And the old ones don't know where we live, so I don't have to worry about transporting 2 extra people on our non-existent journey to Sin City. That's a load off my mind.
    We will not, repeat, NOT be moving to Chicago, Las Vegas, New York, or Timbuktu.... We will not be traveling to far Tibet to ride the Everest Elevator in the Yeti Shopping Mall and Sherpa Funpark. Hell, we wouldn't even be going to the second floor of the local library.
    The other day Dude and I were grocery shopping after a successful GameStop run. It had been a couple of weeks since he had qualified for a Smiley-Face game and he was quite excited about the whole thing, as a matter of fact he had been creeping me out all morning. Our stairway is enclosed from the living room, with a one-step landing at the bottom. David would periodically lurk (there's no other word for it) just off the landing on the first step, exposing only half his body and one eye to the room. I would occasionally catch a shadow of movement out of the corner of my eye and, slightly startled, would turn to see a familiar hazel orb peering around the corner. I'd roll my eyes and say, 'Not yet David.' and the eye would disappear with a grumble sounding suspiciously like, 'Uhhh, This is what a chick must feel like.' as his footsteps faded upstairs.
    We were nearly finished with our resupply when we were stopped by the mother of one of Alayna's friends. We rarely actually meet, but she's a nice, if somewhat absent-minded lady. Mostly she can't remember our names. I usually let that slide, because half the time I'll be damned if I can remember hers. (My lack of name memory is legendary. I once asked a new acquaintance 3 times in an hour what his name was.... Yep, you guessed it, it was Dave.) As I said, she's a nice woman, but really not prepared for the verbal onslaught that ensued as soon as she started trying to talk to Dave. He immediately broke in with our (?) plan to go to Chicagovegasnewkansascitystan and pillage all the elevators there, and then regaled her with a detailed account about how he qualified for a new game and how he was going to parlay his current 'good boy' status into a dazzling array of Christmas Points and basically corner the market on XBox and 3DS games. Through this whole barrage Linda (I learned her name after I got home) got what I call 'The Look'. It's that ubiquitous combination of facial expression and body posture that comes over people when they first enter Dudeworld. Its symptoms follow: A slightly hunched position, with head cocked slightly to one side, as if listening for some small noise, (which is definitely not Dude), a politely puzzled expression and
frequent furrowed-brow glances in my direction. I used to try hard to ignore 'The Look', I found it more than vaguely insulting, now I hardly notice it at all except to supply a random (but mostly helpful) translation occasionally.
     After a time I noticed Linda's glances becoming a bit more brow-furrowed and more frequent as well. I dipped into the stream of non-stop sound that is my youngest son and supplied, 'He's been on a Vegas/Chicago kick for a while. I guess there just aren't enough elevators in Pittsburgh.' Dave, who I sometimes can't get to pay any attention to what I say without risking an aneurysm or vocal cord blow-out, heard my soft-ish statement over the sound of his own voice (no mean feat) and broke in, 'YES! He's going to Chicago to ALL the elevators with the Christmas Points and Super Mario II for the XBox 360!' And while we were trying to puzzle that one out, 'He gets ALL the Christmas Points for the System (3DS) and the Xbox with Kinect games! Then he goes to the Kansas City next summer to the Airport and the Hotels with the elevators!'
     Okay, I've dealt with David for nearly 2 decades and I was having a problem sorting this one out into something coherent. Linda had absolutely no chance at all. I almost felt sorry for her as she stumbled through her farewell and started moving slowly off in the opposite direction she'd been headed when she found us. 'Bye!' Dave said cheerily, taking no notice of the wreck he'd made of this woman's psyche, 'See you next summer at the Kansas City!' I'm pretty sure she wasn't mumbling to herself when she left, but I can't really be  completely certain. Although I am sure that when we went past the next aisle, where she was pretending to look at paper plates, she did a reasonably good imitation of someone who'd never seen either of us before in her life. Nobody, not even me, is that absent-minded. But Dudes don't care about that sort of thing, so we just continued our Imperial Progress to the checkout and then back to the Dudelair.
   A couple of days later I made something I call Cheaters Lasagna or Short-cut Lasagna, it's a quicker way to get really good lasagna before you actually expire from hunger. Considering Dude's pasta/cheese/sauce dependency it's actually his perfect food, and he loves Lasagna in all it's many and varied forms. Also, with lasagna you get garlic bread, which is a big bonus.
    Now, to my family, meals are as much a social occasion as a chance to refuel, so as often as not the actual eating of the food is drawn out by many interruptions for conversation. David doesn't seem to need to pause in his feeding for talking so he can get it done a lot quicker than the family average. For his meals at home David likes to sit in the dining room, and since the rest of us are TV junkies he's usually sitting in there by himself. He's not isolated or anything, there's a huge entryway between the living and dining rooms and he's only sitting in clear view about 15 feet away from me, he just likes to sit at the table. Well on Lasagna Night
we had more than the usual compliment of eaters in the house and virtually every space in the living room was taken up so I took my food to the dining room and set up shop.
     Shortly after I sat down Dude said something that ended with, '...and he needs to know the Password.' To which I immediately replied, with a steamy, cheesy forkful in my hand, 'The password is Lasagna!' Without a pause Dave returned with , 'Lasagna! Password correct.' Then after a slight pause, to check with the Central Database I assume, 'Password accepted. Table access granted.' Which was a huge relief for me, as I had nowhere else to eat my dinner. Thankfully, when eating with David, one need not hold up any part of a conversation, so I could concentrate on the wonderful food I'd prepared (no kidding, it really was) while Dude, without the need to breathe, (I haven't yet found his gills, but I'm sure he has them) carried both sides and the middle of about 4 different conversations at the same time.

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