Day #177 – You are driving me NUTS!!!

It’s true.  There are moments that I seriously think I may lose it.  Totally and completely.  That is real living on the spectrum (or let’s be honest…parenting).

Yesterday, I picked Tucker up from school…I wasn’t feeling well.  I’ve been battling an on-again, off-again cold/flu/sick thing for about a month. I was exhausted at 3:30 PM.  The kind of exhausted where I have a ‘fall-over’ nap. That’s what my husband calls them.  I’m not actually a ‘napper.’  I don’t like sleeping in the  middle of the day.  I know – some of you love it.  I don’t.  The idea of laying down in my bed to sleep when it’s light out feels odd – maybe it’s because I grew up on a farm and there is ‘no rest for the weary.’  I don’t know…but I’m not a fan of taking naps.

That being said…there are moments when I’m grading papers and/or reading emails that I literally fall over on the couch and fall asleep.  My husband has taught my children to cover me up and be as quiet as possible because, “If you mom falls over on her computer – just let her be. Put a blanket over her, turn off the television, and [if you can] remove her pen so she doesn’t write all over herself. It means she needed that sleep about three days ago.”  Bless his heart…

The point of that digression was to show my state of mind.  While normally patient and calm…the continued funk that I’m in makes me a bit less patient and a bit more irritable.

The point of sharing the conversation below is to show how conversations with Tucker often go.  Tucker always has to know the schedule. Children on the spectrum rarely like surprises.  Tucker always has to know what is coming.  He won’t stop until he has all the details he needs.  He’s 12.  This conversation will most likely remind you of a conversation with your three-year-old.

A ‘typical’ conversation in our ten-minute drive…

“I’d like to have Austin over this weekend.  Can we?”
“I don’t know.  I’ll have to ask his mom.”
“When will you ask her?”
“I don’t know.  I’ll probably text her tonight.”
“Like when we get home, right now, or after supper?”
“I don’t know.  When I get a chance.”
“So, are you saying no – that I cannot have Austin come over?”
“I’m not saying no…and I’m not saying yes.  I will find out and we will talk about it.”
“When will we talk about it?  Tomorrow or before bed tonight?”
“Austin’s mom is at work right now.  I will find out.”

‘What about tomorrow?  Will he come home with us for Confirmation?”
“I don’t know, I haven’t talked to his mom about that yet.”
“When will you talk to her?”
“I don’t know.  Right now she’s at work.’
“So you’ll call her or text her?”
“Probably text her.”
“Like when we get home, right now, or after supper?”
“I don’t know.  When I get a chance.”
“You know, I just like to know what’s going on.”
“I know, buddy.”

“Tucker, do you have any requests for supper?”
“Something good.  Are we having supper right away or later?”
“I don’t know.  It depends on what I’m making.”
“What do you think you’ll make?”
“I don’t know.”
“How much time do you think it will take?”
“I don’t know.  It depends what I decide to make.  Do you have any requests?”

Finally….a pause in the action…I start to drive faster.

Be patient.  Stay calm.  Deep breath.

Be Patient. Stay calm.  Deep breath.

“Well.  I know you aren’t feeling great – so nothing that is too much work.  How about beef and noodles?”
“I don’t think I have the right noodles – will you eat it with the ‘wrong’ noodles?”
“Why would you make it without the right noodles? That wouldn’t make it beef and noodles.”
“Sure it would – just a different kind of noodle.”
“No, the picture in my head only has the regular noodles.  I don’t think it would taste right with a different noodle.”
“Okay.  No beef and noodles then.”
“Do we have freeze pops?  I really like freeze pops.”
“Yes, but that isn’t supper.”
“I know.  But I like them, what colors do we have?”
“I don’t know.”
“When can I have one?”
“Like when?  Right when we get home?  After my homework?  Before supper?  After supper?  Before bedtime?”
“I don’t know.”

Another pause.

“So, do you think Austin will be able to come this weekend?”
“I don’t know.”
“If not, what else are we going to do?”
“I don’t know. If Katie wins her basketball game tonight we may go to Des Moines to watch her play.”
“Why is her game in Des Moines?”
“Because that’s how the State Basketball tournament works. It’s in Des Moines.”
“But Alex is playing games and they were in Cedar Falls and Iowa Falls.”
“Yes, it’s difficult to explain. It’s done in a bracket. When there are so many teams left everyone goes to Des Moines to play.”
“Oh, so when would that be?”
“When would we leave.”
“I don’t know. It would depend what time the game would be.”
“What times would be possible?”
“I don’t know. I don’t have the schedule.”
“Where do we get the schedule?”
“It’s probably online. Look. We’re almost home. How about you look that up when we get in the house.”
“Ok. But first I want a freeze pop, did you decide on that yet?”

We finally arrived home.

Normally, this conversation doesn’t phase me.

Yesterday, I felt crushed by the questioning and planning-necessity that is the spectrum.

Yesterday, that continued funk of exhaustion and irritability reminded me that these conversations aren’t ‘normal,’ not at age 12.

Yesterday, I had the  moment that I remembered our life is far from ‘normal.’

Yesterday, even though I was questioning my sanity, I was thankful.

Thankful because there was a point in time that these questions didn’t come.  While other children were in this phase at age three…he sat quietly and played.   I remember thinking, what a good boy.

What a good boy….sigh….little did I know.

So, today?  Today, I am thankful for these questions and all of the others he will ask me in two hours.

3 thoughts on “Day #177 – You are driving me NUTS!!!

  1. Pingback: Day #279 – Tucker’s Version of Autism | 366 Days of Autism

  2. Pingback: Day #321 – Sox Has Autism | 366 Days of Autism

  3. Pingback: Day #327 – Indexing | 366 Days of Autism

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