Part 281 ~ The Adventures of King Ben & Zeus the Big Dumb Dog

If you missed the start of this series, you can find it here. A lot of things will be the same or very similar.

After we got the group photos, it was time for food. Daughter made half a pizza for Ben cuz he won’t even try any of the “Holiday” food. I took pictures of sunset while everyone was eating. Too many people, too much energy, too tired after a busy couple of days… I needed to be with Mother Nature. Plus, it rained earlier and the clouds were breaking up and making the sky pretty. I used my phone. It may be a couple weeks before I’m able to get familiar with my new camera. Ben sees it and says “Ben’s turn” with his hand held out. Uhhhh…. NO!!

Younger and Partner needed to be at Partner’s family thing at 6pm and Younger needed to change into something besides PJs or her work clothes. After they ate, they hung out for a little while, then Younger packed up a bunch of the food, and their gifts, gave hugs and headed out.

Ben ate his pizza, and watched his tablet. Then meds, bath and bedtime followed as usual. Daughter wanted to put all the food away but I hadn’t eaten yet, (me and my weird food thing) so she fixed a plate for me and put it aside, then put everything away.

We each went to our rooms to relax. I did the usual Things and Stuff, did some WP stuff, sent some emails, then ate my food. I was letting it settle when the Food Coma hit. I was only out for forty-five minutes or so. It was just before midnight when I took my meds, ate a Reese’s Tree for sweet dreams and konked out.

I briefly woke a few times, moved Sophie Cat who thinks I’m her “cat bed” and went right back to sleep. The final wakeup was just before 6am… quiet house and potty emergency.

Everything was still quiet when the 6:30am med alarm went off as I was visiting with the Coffee Dragon. I turned the alarm off, thanked my burbling, hissing friend and went back to my room. Coffee is wonderful, but so is a warm bed and mounds of blankets. I chose blankets.

I way laying there, doing a very thorough inspection of the inside of my eyelids when I heard Jingle… slam… pound pound pound pound and my bed started quaking. I was just starting to wonder who won the Race To Gramma’s Room when I felt a cold, wet nose touch my cheek. My hood was up on my Sleeping Hoodie so Zeus couldn’t get to my ear. (I still don’t know why he sniffs my ear. Weird dog!) A second later Zeus was grumbling and he was pushed away by Ben, under the blankets, scootching up next to me. Feet between my calves, elbow into my waist for leverage… finally settled into the heat stealing “cuddle”.

I said Good Morning to Zeus during the sniffing, I now said “Good morning, Ben. Did you have good sleepies?” Ben said “Gramma come living room.” Yep! Things were back to “normal” at Casa Cuckoo.

As I was getting up, Ben told me “You have to get dressed, you have to go to the store…” I told him the stores were closed, it was still early, and asked what he wanted. He repeated the get dressed, go to store thing a few more times as we made our way to the living room. He was carrying his new Jumanji game (in a real wood box, with hinged split top, like in the original movie) and he finally told me I needed to get “new white dice”. I asked if he’d lost his dice from the game, he said “Yes, I did!” (It’s a script. I don’t know what it’s from, but he says it with pride like he just rescued kittens from a burning building or something. It’s funny to hear him proudly affirming that he lost or broke something) I then went on the Great Search through all of his coffee cans and tubs of miscellaneous Stuff, looking for a pair of white dice. It didn’t take long since he has a bazillion dice. They were a THING with him for a while. Anyway, we settled on the couch and my Couch Sittin Duty began.

Daughter got up at 9:30am and we did the super secrect ceremony. I was getting more coffee when I got a text from my mother and one from my brother. I don’t have much of a relationship with either of them. No animosity really, but they won’t come to my house and Ben isn’t safe at my mother’s. Plus, my mother only ever contacted me when her ex-husband/roommate/companion was busy and away. When she was alone, she wanted me. I had texted her to invite her to come over yesterday. Dude has a new girlfriend and has moved out. My mother financially supported him for over twenty-five years, and now he’s found someone younger and more wealthy. My mother has drained her savings and is retired. Anyway, I felt bad about her being alone. I found out this morning that my brother spent the night and is spending the day and probably tonight too. I texted her early this morning since I never heard back from her on the invitation to come to my house, and I was worried about her being alone and depressed. Only she wasn’t. She and my brother were “talking and time just slipped by”. I am reminded why I am DONE with blood relatives except my daughters and Ben.

Okay… enough of my family’s dysfunction. I’m sure we ALL have a story or four. I got my coffee and went to get Horizontal.

Life at the Casa was the standard, usual run of the mill. Ben did a little of this and that, I hollered out the med alarms, Daughter did Couch Sittin Duty and watched her laptop. Everything was relax and chill. Until…

around 1pm Ben came into my room and started with the “You have to get dressed. You have to go to the store…” bull shocka-locka again. I kept asking what he wanted, hoping it was like the dice, easily solved. He just kept repeating the phrase. I was getting a little frustrated, I admit it, after ten or twelve repetitions. I said “WHAT do you WANT from the store?!” He pointed at a picture on his tablet. It was three train cars. I read some of the copy and found that it was three wooden subway cars. So I logged into Ye Olde Money Sucker App, aka Amazon and searched. Each train car was approximately $20. Yikes! I found something similar and showed it to him, he pointed to his tablet and said “Like this. Number one, number two, number three. Three window trains.” I tried to explain that they were very expensive and showed him some other train cars. He kept pointing at his picture, holding up three fingers and saying “Like this”. He became very frustrated with my inability to POOF! magically make the train appear. And my refusal to get up and get dressed, etc. So off to the gate he ran. Doing ALL the things. Daughter brought him back inside and he started kicking the front door. She was getting angry and calling him names like “spoiled brat”, and “little monster”. I think stuff like that just makes things worse. I completely understand the frustration, but the goal is defusing the situation.

The problem is always are we giving in to a tantrum or is this Autism or OCD related and he’s truly frustrated at an unfulfilled NEED? It’s difficult to know. I wound up ordering the three train cars and put them on a credit card. It’s money I don’t really have right now, but I DO know that it absolutely had to be those three train cars. No substitutions. I’ve been down this road before. Tried less expensive similar items, and wound up having to buy the exact item later anyway.

Did I give in to a “spoiled brat” throwing a tantrum? I don’t know. I don’t think it’s going to matter in the Grand Picture of Ben’s life. If he wasn’t autistic, I wouldn’t have bought them. Autism is NOT an excuse for bad behavior, but it IS a reason why some things have importance that doesn’t make sense to you or me.

He wasn’t happy that they’re coming in the mail, but he’s getting used to that. He was able to calm himself down after I showed him that I ordered them. He saw the pictures of the exact train cars and knows that my word is good. Meltdown averted…again. I sure hope the meltdowns we keep stopping aren’t leading to an inevitable, necessary release.

It’s almost sunset time. The clouds went away overnight, so I don’t expect anything spectacular. That’s okay with me. I can look out the side door (doo doo doo… lookin’ out my side door…) and see the western sky from the comfort of my Horizontal position on my bed. If the sunset starts to get dramatic, I can get up and take pictures. If not, I can just keep chillin until it’s time to get Ben ready to Drive Miss Daisy.

I think most of my readership is around the same age as me, and probably knows Cheech & Chong. This is their comedy bit about Santa Claus. It always cracks me up!

Santa Claus And His Old Lady – Cheech & Chong

For those who celebrated, I hope your celebration was great. For those who don’t, or didn’t, I hope you had a fantastic Friday. For anyone feeling sad, or lost or just blah… I’m sending virtual hugs and the offer of a non-judgmental place to “talk”. My contact page will get an email directly to me. I’ve been in a LOT of dark places and I understand how difficult getting through some days can be. I’ll listen. I’ll help if I’m able. You’re not alone.

Tomorrow will be picking Daughter up from work, Couch Sittin Duty and then the usual. Yep… rinse, repeat. Something else will happen. It always does… ¡Hasta mañana!






16 thoughts on “Part 281 ~ The Adventures of King Ben & Zeus the Big Dumb Dog

  1. You’ve very wisely averted the meltdown. Giving in to his demands can stop further aggravation and that is always a better option.
    The sunset is really awesome. Hope tonight goes well. Lots of love ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Sadje! I did not put up with tantrums from my daughters. Acting out was NOT the way to get what they wanted, and what Ben does looks very much like a kid throwing a fit because they didnt get their way. And he is capable of plain old bad behavior. Not everything is because of autism. I think I tend to err towards autism more, and honestly… toward self preservation. Every parent everywhere has bribed their kid for good behavior. 😘

      It’s one of the hardest things about autism for people to understand, I think. And parents get judged un public a LOT when they see a kid acting like Ben. Yelling, throwing things, trying break things, kicking a door. It looks like a temper fit.

      Sorry… just using the comment space to add more info. Education is part of what I try to do. This whole speech wasn’t directed at you specifically, Sadje.😘💕💝

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You were wise to defuse the situation with HRH and not really see it as a tantrum – with Autism so much of the ‘need’ is a coping strategy I think. It must be hard though to get the balance right. You’re doing a brilliant job. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My pug does the ear sniffing thing too! So weird. She makes me laugh though when she does it. Have you ever heard a pug breathe? It is so grunt-y. And in my ear, it just cracks me up.
    I would have done the same thing. I have tried option “B” before because it was cheaper, but it would inevitably be “Wrong” not hitting the mark in Declan’s mind at all. And then that leads to a meltdown. I feel his brain just gets fixated on THE THING and that is the need that I have to meet.
    I hope everything goes well for you today! Hope it is nice and chill without any hiccups!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I haven’t ever been around a pug, but when Gigi stayed over she was grunting and snorting and making pig noises. She’s little for a pit so maybe she has some Pug in her background😂😂

      4:30am Bounce, but at least he’s calm and I got to stay in bed til 5! Amazing!😂😂😂💕

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Gary! It’s so hard to know when it’s truly an autism thing or just a kid being a kid.
      I sure do wish his “Things” were all as easy and inexpensive as dice.🙄🤦🏼‍♀️😂
      We’ll ALL have a better 2021! We’ll MAKE it happen!! All of us, together!💌💌💌

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This may slightly annoy you, but I was curious about “wooden subway cars”, so I did a bit of googling. I don’t know if I found the same set that Ben was craving, but they are really cute and I think I need them in my life… 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They are reproductions of the New York trains. Ben had to have the #1, #2 & #3 cars. They have been ordered🤦🏼‍♀️
      He has been asking for “window trains” for a while and I could never figure out what he was talking about. I think these subway cars are the “window trains”.🤷🏼‍♀️

      Maybe Ben will let you play with his when you drop by. He has some wood track pieces. So far he has only perfected the oval.😁💝

      Liked by 1 person

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