If autism was a man, I would kick his ass to the curb!!!!!
I realized this while I was happily dressing my three-year old as he screamed and cried because I woke him up too early. I thought to myself, “if you were anyone else, I would not be smiling or wanting to kiss every inch of you right now”. I guess that was my ‘Aha! moment’, that this is what unconditional love is all about. It’s that feeling that no matter how difficult that person makes your life, he is still worth every heartache.
However, if this was a man, I have to say, I would not be hanging around. Let’s think about a typical day in the life of this “man.”
–You wake him up and he screams and cries for at least 20 minutes. On the flip side, there are more than enough days that he wakes YOU up screaming and crying. Either way you lose. Then, there’s the wake up at 3am and stay awake until 5 or 6, just because he wants to. Every scenario sucks!
–Then you start to make him breakfast. You have to guess what he wants because he isn’t talking to you and he is unable to make breakfast for himself (lazy ass). So you decide on pancakes. You put them in front of him and he throws the plate on the floor while screaming “NOOOO.” Instead of getting upset, you have to figure out what it is that he really wants to eat. You break out the mini muffins, because he actually likes the pre-packaged shit better than the homemade things, which is fine by you—that means less cooking. Maybe he’s not so bad after all. But then you have to worry about whether he is getting enough nutrition, or whether he is getting too much sugar, or that terrible gluten stuff. Oh well, worry about that another day.
–Then you have to pack his lunch for school because, again, he’s a lazy ass. You have to play the guessing game once again, knowing the teacher may tell you he didn’t want anything I packed for him, then YOU are the bad woman. At the same time you are packing the lunch, you have to put on his shoes AND his jacket for him. Heaven forbid he could do it himself. Maybe I am enabling him? I don’t know. These are the type of questions you are constantly asking yourself.
–Then comes the part that you spend most of the day doing………..driving him everywhere he needs to go. You hope one day he gets a driver’s license so you don’t have to keep doing this. He’s only in school for part-time, because he doesn’t have enough experience or eduction to go full-time yet. So, once you pick him up from school, you have to take him to some form of therapy. This is everyday! Every single day. Monday and Tuesday its to speech therapy, because he’s a typical man and can’t communicate. Wednesday and Thursday, it’s to occupational therapy, because he needs all the help he can get in order to hopefully be gainfully employed sometime in the future. Friday it’s to ABA (adaptive behavior analysis) because he needs some behavior modification in order to be a good husband at some point. And Saturday and Sunday, it’s “play therapy” time. This is actual work, but they call it ‘play’ to make him feel better about it. Just like a man–have to use the word ‘play’ to get him to agree to anything.
–Then its home, where you have to keep a solid eye on him at all times. He might ruin the furniture somehow, or decide the plant looks too fabulous not to eat. Or, he might try to unlock and open the door for a quick getaway. Typical of a man, right? You also have to watch what HE wants to watch on TV, and you don’t get a choice. It’s Team Umizoomi or nothing.
–Then comes the dreadful dinner, where it’s a repeat of breakfast, but usually worse because he’s tired and cranky. It’s an almost guarantee the food will end up on the floor again. So, you have to pick the chicken nuggets over the pizza (which is the only 2 foods he eats at night), so the mess is less. You ask him if he wants strawberries or grapes with it and after a few seconds, he mutters a slight “stawby”. You clean and cut the strawberries, only to realize he actually wanted to eat the grapes but felt like saying strawberries, just because it was more fun. Saying one thing and meaning another………..sound familiar, girls?
–And last but not least………bath time. Of course, he can’t get the water temp right himself, and doesn’t know how to soap and rinse, so you have to do it all. And dry, dress, and put him to bed as well. So high maintenance! To top it off, he wants the exact same three books read to him every single night, and without it, a major fight ensues. Always has to get his way, just like a man. Then I go in for the hug and kiss, only to be pushed away and rejected as usual. That part is usually the reverse with a man and woman, but anyway.
So, as you can see, if autism were a man, he would definitely not be in my life. Too high maintenance, inexperienced, negative, and difficult. However, “he” is my whole life, and his name is Keegan. He is autistic and I love him more than life itself. Yes, it’s hard, and sometimes I am just going through the motions. But he makes it a little easier each day. I guess I’ll let him stick around.
(P.S. This post is in no way meant to mock autism, autistic children, or the process. It is simply my way of dealing with a stressful situation in a lighthearted way.)