Saturday, July 21, 2012

Normal is Just a Setting on the Dryer

 I knew yesterday that we were headed for trouble. The day before, J had awakened at 7 AM and ran full steam ahead. Although I got a little rest, and so did The Hubby (but not at the same time), J stayed awake all. night. long. Sleep just was not gonna happen for him. 
   Yesterday, it took The Hubby and I a little while to get moving, but we were out the door. We'd promised J lunch at Burger King. Once we got there, however, he was ramping up for a full blown meltdown. Something he hadn't really had in several weeks now. He was hungry, but he was tired. He didn't want to put on his shoes and he didn't want to get out of the car. It's entirely too hot to eat in the car in mid July, so we tried to coax him out. Nothing doing. He wanted to hit, but that was stopped. Finally I sent The Hubby in to order for us.
   J and I stayed outside. He sat in his seat, I stood beside him, talking quietly. The meltdown fizzled before he even got it started. When you're exhausted you don't have the energy to "hulk out" and smash the entire world. He settled for grouching and some half hearted pushing of the driver's seat. Every once in awhile he'd hoot loudly and some customer would look our way. I just focused on my boy, talking quietly. Dad came out and told us the food was ready, and J still wouldn't budge so Dad went right back in, alone. Two minutes later, it clicked. The food was not coming outside. J accepted my hand and came out of the car.
   The rest of the day went fairly smoothly, if really quickly. We'd planned to spend some time at my mom's for a visit, but our time dwindled to less than an hour after the lunch protest, and still we needed to grab some groceries that had been forgotten the day before, and still get Dad to work on time. It all worked out, though, and before I knew it we were back home. 
   Somewhere between three thirty and four PM, J crashed. Hard. He was sawing logs before I knew it. And I left him sleep. He needed it. My plan was to have dinner ready by seven and wake him up. That would give him enough time to rest, and yet wouldn't keep him from going to bed at a decent hour. Well that didn't happen! 
   Seven came and went, and the sleeping giant slumbered on. I called his name, I shook him, I rolled him over. On he snored. He opened his eye once, then rolled right back onto his stomach and snoozed away.  Okay, at this point you can think oh this is gonna be fun. He's going to be up all night again. Or you can pray he sleeps blissfully through the night and wakes up by six or seven demanding to be fed. Which way would it go?
   He split the difference. I went to bed at ten so that I'd have some rest just in case he did wake up ready to party. He was up at three. Amazingly, he ate his dinner and went right back to bed and slept till close to 9 this morning.  His sleep should be back to normal routine tonight, but in the life of autism we learn that "normal" is just a setting on the dryer. During all this fun and excitement I may not get much accomplished in the way of housework. That's okay. It'll keep.
When you wake up at 3 am to feed a wild child who just woke up, feed him supper, get him his meds and send him back to bed, then go to bed at 5 am to wake up at 8 am and do it all over again, somehow the energy to clean dissipates quickly. But hey, this is the life I was given; the life I chose, and I love it and am thankful for it. :)

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