If you missed the start of this series, you can find it here. A lot of things will be the same or very similar.
Ben kept wanting to go to bed earlyish last night. We were trying to keep him up until 6:45-7:00. The plan was to dope his face around 6:30, drive Daughter to work, then come home and I put him to bed.
He wasn’t interested in eating, he had a few goldfish crackers. I guess it’s better than nothing. Then I got him into the bathtub. He needs to have his hair washed but I didn’t want to start a wet, naked, slippery fight before Daughter had to go to work.
After the bath he went and got in bed. It was only 5:30. We tried to keep him up and awake but it was a losing battle. I double checked with Younger Daughter that she’d be available to sit with Ben while I drove her sister to work and she confirmed. I told her “No later than 6:30, please.” We gave Ben his meds and let him go to sleep.
Younger texted she was on her way at 6:20 and arrived fifteen minutes later. Older and I walked out as she and Partner were walking in. I got Older to work in ten minutes and was home six minutes later.
I thanked them, okayed the “shopping” Younger had done in my fridge and cupboards and asked if they’d be available tonight, just in case. They are. I think Kris needs another injection anyway. Hugs and goodbyes, then I locked up and went to look at the sky.
The clouds rolled in fast and heavy. Not storm clouds, just a thick Marine Layer. Oh well… no sunset.
I ate a nuked burrito and got ready to call it a night. I went to sleep around 10:00 and was woken up by a text message from Younger Daughter. It had come through an hour before, but I didn’t wake until 11:15. I texted back and waited to see if she was going to answer. I had a small comments chat on WP and read, commented on some posts. I probably went back to sleep around midnight.
And woke at 1:00am
And woke at 3:00am
And got Bounced at 4:00am. Ben got in bed with me then wanted his water bottle. I told him to go get it. “Gramma to do it.” Of course… how silly of me… what was I thinking? I got the water bottle, which was empty, filled it and presented it to HRH, along with his tablet. He was on the couch of course. I got my stuff and joined him. Then I texted Older that we were awake.
The morning was pretty chill. We just relaxed on the couch, I even dozed a little, knowing the 6:30 med alarm was set. Meds were taken and I was just waiting for the time to go get Daughter from work. She gets off work at 7:30 am, I figured we’d leave about 7:15 and drive slow.
At 7:05 Ben had his eyes closed and was falling asleep. Of course he was, this is Casa Cuckoo… Murphy’s Law rules. I told him to wake up, we had to go get Mom in ten minutes. He was drifting, then he jumped up said he had to get dressed, ran to his room and came back with the white button-down, the vest, the jacket… he couldn’t find the tie and he forgot to grab the dang long pants. I had a minor Gramma Tantrum as I got the pants and found a different tie, then dressed him. I kept telling him we were just going to pick her up and come right home, he didn’t need all those clothes. It wasn’t one of my finer moments.
We went and got Daughter. She had a good shift, but was tired. We went home and Daughter tried to talk Ben into going to her room. He didn’t want to. So we settled on the couch and she went to her room. Sven was uncovered and given fresh food, which he ignored.
I guess Ben was still tired because he fell asleep leaning on a pillow propped against my left shoulder. I had almost dozed off too. I got up and went to my room. I figured he’d come get me or at the latest, the 10:30 med alarm would wake me.
I was really surprised that it was the med alarm. I got up, woke Ben up and gave him his pill. He tried to give it to Zeus. Ugh! I don’t know if 100mg of Seroquel would kill Zeus, but it certainly wouldn’t be good for him. Ben took the pill and laid down on the other end of the couch.
Everything was okay, he even played with his chalk a little until about noon. Then he started with the “You have to get dressed. You have to go to the store for a new police car toy.” He kept saying it. Ben was stuck on repeat. Daughter came out at 12:30 to use the bathroom. She went back to her room but wasn’t able to go back to sleep. She came back out to take over the living room at 1:00.
After she’d used the bathroom at 12:30, in an effort to distract Ben, and just because… I decided to put Sven in the shower.
Sven enjoyed his shower for about an hour while Ben told me to get dressed and go to the store over and over. It wasn’t quite the “I’m stressed out and gonna blow a fuse” meltdown imenint tone, but he was doing all the things… going through the motions. He was bugging the crap out of me. Finally, he went outside and sat in the shade of the deck. Good place for him.
When I got Sven out of the shower, I stopped and picked up the chalk Ben left laying everywhere, and I talked to Daughter about our situation. We agreed that Ben needed to eat and that a new police car probably wouldn’t solve whatever the “problem” was. I had the idea of going and getting him a Happy Meal. If he was still bugging after that about the police car, tell him he has to eat first, then going back out if necessary…
And here’s where I need to note that Ben can be extremely obsessive. He might still be thinking about the police car he wanted when we stopped to buy wine for Daughter a week ago, or he might just be using the idea of a police car as a doorway to change. A lot of times Ben just cannot move on until a thing is done. Whatever the thing is. He might do other stuff, but the thing is always on his mind or it keeps popping up in his mind… I don’t know for sure. What I do know is he can’t let go. We eventually have to do the thing or buy the thing or whatever, just so it can be over.
Other parents may think “Yeah yeah, you’re justifying giving in” and I’d be the first to admit I’ve done that. The Happy Meal was definitely a bribe to eat. Also a way to make him eat to get the police car if the police car was something he had to have. Autism changes things. Ben’s brain doesn’t work like mine. I get an earworm, it’s annoying but it goes away. It doesn’t affect every facet of my life. Ben gets an obsessive thought or a thing he needs to do, there’s no getting past it until it’s done. His brain puts it on “repeat”.
So I drove through the Golden Arches. He was sitting on the couch with Daughter when I got home, and when he saw the red box he made the “give it” hand motions. I gave it to him and he dug out the toy. Thank the universe and the Flying Spaghetti Monster, the toy was a Hello Kitty figure. Yay! He actually ate a couple fries while I was out there too. Then I went to my room to eat my fries and await further developments.
At 3:15 I texted Daughter, I was afraid to go out to the living room because it was quiet. I didn’t want to disturb whatever calm bubble had developed. I asked how he was. She sent back a picture of him sleeping. She said he ate four chicken nuggets and some fries before he went to sleep.
The plan is to wake him up at 4:30 or 5:00. Do his bath and his meds and have him ride with us to drop Daughter off, then come home and go to bed. That’s the plan anyway. I guess we’ll see what Ben’s plan is.
This song seemed appropriate (ish)
Thanks for hanging out with us today. A strange day, but most days at Casa Cuckoo are strange. Come on by tomorrow, anything could happen… it usually does.