No Big Deal.

I wanted to stick with light, happy stories for Christmas.  But that’s not my life.  What I’ve had going on is a kid with a snotty, runny nose, screaming, yelling and pooping his pants through my house, non-stop this past week.  No REALLY YELLING – a lot.  Pooping pants? Not once or twice.  Every.single.day for over a week.

I'm not quite this old yet...

Now, for the holidays, I have to cook.  One meal for Christmas Eve.  Another meal for Christmas Day.  Not a big deal.  But I do have to remember to get all the right ingredients, Asian and soft stuff for the old folks, vegan stuff for the girl, meat for the two men, something for the picky kid.  No biggie.

Wouldn't it be nice to have a "wrapping room"?

I need to find time to wrap all the gifts.  I’ve been getting up at 5:30 a.m.   I do dishes and chores and head upstairs to the secret present closet, sit on the floor and wrap for about 30 minutes and then hide everything, go back down and get ready for the day, get the kid ready, and go. No big deal.

Do you know how “no big deal” meets “no big deal” times, like 25?  It kinda snowballs.  And somehow, it all seems like a big deal.

So, yesterday, I had to finish up some shopping.  We headed out.  We started at Target.  Big carts – kid in cart.  No big deal.

We head to the depths of hell – yes, the mall.  After playing musical parking spots, I secure a spot about ten miles away, crossed what felt like the autobahn, and made it inside.  I managed to get to one store (on the side of the mall opposite from where we parked) when all of a sudden, the kid starts walking like he’s got something stuck up his rear end, kind of teetering from side to side.

I sighed.

I knew what happened.  Was I prepared?  Of course not.

I asked.  “Did you pee your pants?”

“NO.  ZERO, ONE…….” he yelled back.  This is his new mantra.  He will either start doing equations or reciting numbers.  Usually, equations but he threw in some variety this morning for the 4000 or so on lookers in the crowded mall.

Being as we were close to The Children’s Place, I popped in and grabbed some clearance jeans and underwear.  As he stood there, rotating from side to side, yelling, “TWO PLUS FIVE EQUALS SEVEN!”, the clerk actually asked me to type in my email address on one of those touch pads for your signature.  “No.”  I said, full of Christmas spirit.

Now, we had to walk quite a ways to get to the bathroom I was determined to use for this project.  My beloved Nordstrom has a family bathroom which is large and private.  So we walked.  I listened to “8+6=14…… 11-1=10” and finally, “WANNA PRESS THE “A” BUTTON” which apparently was meant to go to some elevator of which I am unaware.

It was at this moment that “no big deal” became, a big deal.  “You’re going up this elevator and you’re pressing 2.”  I told him.  “WANNA PRESS THE A”.  “You’re going to press the 2” I said quite emphatically.  “Wanna press the 2” he replied.

We walked for another 5 storefronts to get inside Nordstrom and across the store to the bathroom.  I was ready, at this point, to kick the door down if anyone was occupying it, but luckily, it was empty.  We entered.  I was wearing a coat, a blazer, and a turtleneck.  By this point, I was sweating.  And it wasn’t a pretty little, I-got-a-little-exercise sweat.  It was that prickly-feeling, I’m crawling out of my skin kind of sweat.  My hair was caught in the sunglasses on my head and falling into my eyes and mouth.

I told him to get his shoes off.  His shoes are the size of flippers, I swear and his jeans are the tight skinny ones, so, of course he tries to pull his pants down instead.  I reach down and get his shoes off, looking at the disgusting floor, wondering what was on the ground that I really didn’t want to know about.  Meanwhile, the kid is keeping his balance by pulling on my hair.

When I finally get his pants down, they’re dry.  Inside the undies, there is one tiny nugget.  Yeah.

So he gets on the toilet and he’s got poop everywhere – on his legs, on his rear, on his little boy parts.  What?!  And it’s the dry kind.  The kind you need water to remove.  Or a good wipee – which I did not have.

So I proceed to use toilet paper.  The transparent, let’s-see-how-I-can-get-this-1/2 ply paper-that-comes-out-of-the-dispenser-one-sheet-at-a-time-and-for-which-I-cannot-find -the-beginning-of-the-roll-for-five-minutes,  to wet it and wipe my kid’s behind.  So, I feel like I’ve hit the Lotto when I manage to get three square out to wet for wiping.  I proceed and it balls up and rips and tears, falls to the floor and generally is a mess.

Eventually, I clean him up enough to get on the new undies.  To get those on, again, he chooses to balance by holding my head with his hands which have been hugging and clinging to the very public toilet upon which his dirty rear end has just been seated.  Are you jealous of me yet?

Eventually, I made it out.  Okay.  That’s over.  No big deal, right?  We get home at the end of the day and feeling all renewed and, again, full of the Christmas spirit, I pull out the Pillsbury Sugar Cookie dough (cuz let’s face it – I’m no Suzy Homemaker) and tell the little guy how we’re gonna bake cookies for Santa.

You know, like this...

I leave him alone, playing the Wii.  I go to the kitchen, pull out the frosting, the cookie sheets, the cutting board, and use the rolling pin to roll out the dough.

Then I head back to the bedroom to get the little guy to wash his hands and help me cut out little stars, Christmas trees and trains for cookies.  Bonding, 101, right?  A Norman Rockwell moment, right?

I call.  He comes into his little bathroom, looks me in the eye and yells, “TOILET!”  I said, “Oh, that’s so good, honey.  I’m glad you’re telling me now.”

And then I realized.  This was after the fact.

This one warranted a bath.  Washing of clothes.  Five good flushes with nice hefty wipee usage.  This was enough to zap my Christmas spirit.  Still, being the trooper I am, I put one batch of cookies, stars, Christmas trees, trains, fire trucks and hearts in the oven.

This is what came out of my oven:

Move over, Martha Stewart!

Merry Christmas.  Does anyone know what time Mrs. Field’s opens this morning?

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About solodialogue

I'm a lawyer and the mom of a 6 year old boy with autism. I work part time and spend the rest driving here and there and everywhere for my son's various therapies. Instead of trying cases, I now play Pac-man and watch SpongeBob. I wear old sweaters and jeans and always, always flat shoes to run after my son. Yeah, it's different but I wouldn't change it for anything. The love of my child is the most powerful, beautiful and rewarding aspect of my life.
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13 Responses to No Big Deal.

  1. You should pat yourself on the back for even attempting to do all of this for Christmas! I gave up on a lot of it a long time ago.
    That premade cookie dough spreads terribly. It isn’t good for cut outs (I learned that the hard way, too).

    I hope you have a Merry Christmas!

  2. Lizbeth says:

    Ohhh, you even have a Silpat on those cookies. Oh Lord Karen, I heart you. I really do. That is so achingly similar to a holiday we had when A. was younger except we had to travel to NYC for all that action. I think shortly after that, I called shotgun and said we would never travel for the holidays ever again. A. was puking the whole time and there was no way in hell I was sticking around one day longer—which is what my hubs family wanted. I actually took him on the plane sick as a dog just to get away, get him home and relaxed. It was just too much—for everyone.

    I hope things get better and Mrs. Field’s is open. Do what you have to do, take care of T. The rest can take care of itself.

    Hugs, lady, hugs.

  3. Oh my goodness, Karen! I have to admit that I laughed… I’m so sorry. I wish it wasn’t funny but it is.

    But I’ve also gotta tell you that I really REALLY needed that laugh right now too. We just started potty training again (Little Miss’s idea – not mine) and I feel like I’m right there in the trenches with you. Yesterday, she kept grunting and I kept rushing her to the potty only to have her sit and wiggle and make — you guessed it — nothing. Then I take my attention to something that needs to be done for Christmas and blammo! It’s enough to make you want to tear your hair out isn’t it? But, then again… what would the little ones have to hold on to in the filthy public bathrooms? Sigh.

    Hugs to you!

  4. Grace says:

    What’s a Silpat? And who cares what those cookies look like as long as they taste good. (In case you never noticed before, I have very low standards.)

    At least no one tried to hug you on the way to the bathroom. Or throw you out of the mall for not having an engraved invitation. Where the heck was Emmanuel anyway?? (That’s his name, right?) Maybe he could have helped in this situation. You know, by standing around pointing out all the violations you were committing, like sweating in public and damaging the environment with your excessive use of toilet paper. That stuff comes from trees, you know!!

    I’m amazed that you haven’t thrown in the towel by now. At this point, I’m pretty much ready to just call it a holiday and start drinking heavily.

    Merry Asian/vegan/carnivorous Christmas!! One word of suggestion for next year: potluck. That’s one word, right?

  5. Hang in there, mama!!! You’re doing a great job. Merry Christmas!

  6. Oh my goodness! I hate to say it is so nice to laugh so hard as I read what could be a snapshot of MY life with my son who, coincidentally has pooped his pants an average of THREE times a day for the past three solid weeks! I’d be happy to run away from Christmas this year! LOVED reading this- really cheers me up to know I’m not alone! 🙂 Hope you have a good weekend!

  7. Lana Rush says:

    Karen, like Karla & Suzanne, I have to admit that I laughed, too. It’s only because it’s such a perfect portrayal of “a day in the life of a special needs family”. And really, with that much stuff going on, how can you not just eventually laugh?? You can only cry in public so many times…

    I hope you at least got your tea out of that trip! In fact, there should be an emergency drink call button in those nice family bathrooms at Nordstrom.

    Thanks for the smile – I hope you’re smiling now, too! 🙂

  8. Broot says:

    So BTDT with the poos. Still fight that one, in fact. Although the boy *is* getting better.

    And I’m with Grace on the cookies – just leave a note for Santa explaining what happened. Santa will understand, I know.

    ((hugs)) It’s nearly done for another year!!

    (P.S. Can Tootles feel when he has to go? Some kids have non-working nerve endings there, so they can’t tell they have to do poos until they’re already on the way out. That’s my boy’s trouble. Look up encopresis.)

  9. Teresa says:

    Crazy funny with emphasis on the funny. Merry Christmas to you, Little Mister and your Beloved.

  10. I’ve had this tab open for a few days, waiting to have the time and spoons to respond properly. That doesn’t seem to be happening, so here’s my response, boiled down:

    The keeping-their-balance-by-gripping-your-head-with-their-hands-regardless-of-what-is-on-those-hands thing? Yeah, Ash does that too.

  11. eof737 says:

    Oh you poor thing! Girl, I hope you found time to take a breather and just do nothing…. Your hard work is noble but you do need a break. Hope Tootles is feeling better too. 😦

  12. Teresa says:

    I was feeling a little blue today and read this again just to get a smile when I saw those cookies.

  13. momgonerogue says:

    I have been there!!!! My son didn’t stop pooping his pants till he was 3 and occasionally did it when he was 4 I carried wipes in my purse until last year (he is 7 now) just in case, they work great on hands and face as well. I hated going to the Mall with Little Man the bathrooms are always in the most inconvenient places! But the first place Little Man ever told me “I need to go potty” was at the mall and your story reminded me of that. Hope you have a wonderful new year!

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