Adventures in Autistic Parenthood

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Do You Want to Go to Vegas?:

 It's no secret that David wants to go to Vegas. I'm pretty sure everyone in the Free World, or at least all of Southwestern Pa knows about it. It's a common theme that every 6 minutes there has to be a Sin City reference or the world will come to an end... Or at least the Dudeworld will. Mostly the constant Vegas references are a grind. Every other time his mouth opens: 'It's only Vegas!', 'It's only the Casinos!', 'We have to make it to the elevators in the Casinos.' or: 'You ready for the Slot machines in the Vegas, buddy?' (that's the newest one) I haven't gone a day in the last two or three years without hearing some reference to our proposed Sin City Vacation Destination.
     I actually made a mistake a couple of months ago by telling him he couldn't go into a casino until after he was 21. Now he's convinced we're leaving for Vegas the day after his birthday. I'm pretty sure I said nothing of the sort, and I'm not exactly sure how he worked that out, but his schedule goes something like; Special Olympics Beaver, State Special Olympics, Birthday, Kansas City, Vegas. The rest of his year is kind of fuzzy, but he's very clear on that part. I'm pretty much doomed.
     This sometimes comes out in some strange ways. Anyone who's been anywhere around Dude will know that he incessantly quotes movies, games and sometimes even songs. The other day we were coming out of Target or Wal-Mart, or somewhere, when he started quoting The Lion King. Nothing unusual about that, he recently found his talking storybook CD-ROM collection and that's one of them. I was half listening to the quote when I noticed a certain edit of Muphasa's lines. The quote is supposed to run, 'Simba, let me tell you something my father told me. Look at the stars, the great kings of the past are up there, watching over us.' What I got was;'Simba, let me tell you something my father told me. Look at the stars, the great Kings of Vegas are up there, watching over us.' I was shocked for a second, and then I completely lost it. Laughing so hard I'm sure I was making the people in the parking lot nervous. Then Dave almost started a panic with his, much louder raucous laughing. 
     So there we were, two hysterical Dudes walking across the parking lot, laughing our fool heads off heading into Wal-Mart... nothing unusual there. Hey... I've seen some things at 3am in Wal-Mart
that would curl your nose hairs. If that's the weirdest thing they had happen there that day, they need to give us a medal. And a cheeseburger. Each.

     Dave's fairly magnanimous about going to Vegas, he even has the airline picked out. It's Southwest, by the way, and now every time we go by Pittsburgh International Airport (it's 10 miles south of us) and we see a plane, He points to it and says, 'You know what that is?' The first few times I fell for this I answered, 'It's a plane.' (Oh, foolish Dude-Dad) He immediately jumped on top of that, saying, 'It's the Southwest Airlines.' I peered at the plane and couldn't tell. 'We get on the Southwest Airlines and it takes us to Vegas.' 'Oh lord.' I mumbled and realized too late that a face-palm maneuver probably isn't a good idea at 70 mph. 
     That better be a big frickin plane too, because Dude doesn't think that anyone should, or would want to be, left out of his trip to Vegas. 'Are you ready to go to the Vegas?' is his normal form of greeting if 'Hi buddy, how's it going?' doesn't seem to fit the situation. 'See you in the Vegas.' is what he uses where most people would put, 'goodbye' in a conversation. The whole thing also seems to be becoming more pervasive. Even dinner has been 'Vegas-ed'. 'We have to get the pizza at the Vegas.' or 'They have the Mac&Cheese at the Vegas.' To which I inevitably reply, 'Why don't we just worry about the pizza/Mac&Cheese/cheeseburger in Aliquippa for now?' He always says, 'Yeah', but I don't think his heart is really in it, because the next thing that hits the table, 'Does the Vegas have the ketchup?' I immediately have to assure him of the certainty of his favorite condiment's inclusion in the Haute Cuisine of Sin City, and then I go someplace quiet for a while and lie down.
     Of course Dude, being Dude, isn't satisfied with just one trip to one place. He'll also bring up... other things. Like his, now yearly, trip to State Special Olympics. 'Time to get ready to go to the Penn State! The City Bus is almost here!' The school charters a bus every year to take them to State College. 'He has to go to the Penn State to take the 3DS to record the elevators!' He doesn't ever talk about the events, or the medals, just, 'It's only the Penn State!' or 'It's just the elevators at the Penn State, he has to record with the 3DS!'  And then there's always, 'We have to get to the Western Beaver High School for the Special Olympics!' I usually just put my head down at that point and stay quiet until he goes away. (He never does)
Would you like to go to Vegas, Mr. Bond?
    He's getting a bit more diabolical and intricate in his 'Vegas' campaign. The other day we went to buy him shoes. We have to do this quite often as the way he walks wears down the inside of the heel quite rapidly. When we picked his new shoes, he asked, 'How fast are the shoes?' I, unthinkingly replied, 'As fast as your little feet can make them.' He paused for a minute and then asked, 'Are these the super fast shoes?' Realizing that I had unwittingly found myself in some sort of shoeware cusp moment I replied more firmly, 'Dude, those are turbo booster shoes.' 'YES!!', he shouted, (in the middle of a crowded Wal-Mart that we suddenly had a lot of room in) 'He takes the turbo shoes to the Western Beaver, to run in the Special Olympics and goes really fast!' What could I do? I said, intensely, 'Yes!' and we went about the rest of our business. Dave wouldn't let the 'Turbo Shoes' out of his grasp and almost snatched them from the checkout girl before she could ring them up.
     When we got home, I told Raine, 'Ask him about his shoes.' She did, and he was off... 'He has the super fast Turbo Shoes! And he wears them in the race at the Beaver Valley High School and he goes really fast!!' She looked at me in confusion and I just shrugged and said, 'They're Turbo Shoes.' and shrugged, as if that explained everything. I was wrong. 'Turbo Shoes' explained many things, but I was to learn what 'everything' really was.
     During the course of the day Dave would often repeat his new 'Turbo Shoes' mantra. But by the time I was tying them on his feet to get them ready for school, I learned that Penn State was also to be conquered by the mighty Turbo Shoes. As this was not only a natural progression, it was also completely expected. It didn't startle me at all when I heard, during his shower, 'He uses the Turbo Shoes to go fast in the raced, and win the medals at the Penn State.' As a matter of fact I portentously intoned, 'It will be so.' Then the bomb dropped, 'And then after Penn State we take the Turbo Shoes to Vegas and the Casinos.' Dude-Dad, ever on top of this sort of thing, said, 'Huh?' He leaned in, ingratiatingly, with that Used-Car salesman look on his face, and said, 'It's only the slot machines at the Vegas.' I cocked an eyebrow at him sternly. 'He takes the Turbo Shoes to the Vegas?' He said, with a smile. Obviously falling back I said, 'Why don't we worry about the shower in Aliquippa first?' He laughed and said, 'Yeah.' And we went back to shower things. 
     Why not? He could afford to be magnanimous. In the holding-action that is our Vegas War, he had obviously won this skirmish, hands down. I did the only thing I could do, as a defeated Dad/General. I rallied my troops and sent the opposing forces to bed. I may not have won the battle, but at least I was holding the field at the end of it.... Or at least the towel. Either that, or I'm just the towel boy at the Dude-spa.... yeah.... that's probably it. I wonder what kind of job I can get with that on my resume'?