The Through the Woods post last week, https://problemfreephilosophy.blog/2020/08/13/through-the-woods/, ended with Jacob not wanting to leave. He was so glad to be at Granny and Granddaddy’s. The day went by too fast. He hadn’t been there long enough. He likes it best when their home isn’t filled with all the aunts, uncles, and cousins.
I resorted to a bribe to get him off the couch, “if you get up, we’ll get hamburgers on the way home”. I grabbed his cup of orange juice and diluted it with water to give him something to drink in the van. It’s his preferred cup with a spout top. Not spill proof, but a good solution. The bribe worked and we were soon on our way.
When we are travelling, I’m often checking him in the backseat mirror. As I watched, he took a drink and then sat the cup across from him on the ledge. What was I thinking? Mistake #1 was giving him juice instead of water in a moving vehicle. Several times I told him to put the cup in the cup holder. I could just imagine the cup sliding and sticky juice going everywhere. I switched from asking him to put it in the cup holder to asking him to hand me the cup. He looked at me as if I was speaking a foreign language and refused.
I decided to crawl over the console and take the cup. That was Mistake #2! Don’t report me but I unbuckled to get the cup that was teetering on the edge.
As I reached for the cup, Jacob reached for my arm and pulled me toward him. Alrighty, Mistake #3 in progress—I sat by him. Didn’t have much choice so I buckled up. One of our hard realities is that no one can ride near or beside Jacob in a vehicle. Oh that we could go back to the days of us riding like a ‘normal’ family. His place is alone on the third row of our van. It works except for when it doesn’t.
Okay, fine, I could ride the rest of the way home sitting by him. Obviously he wanted me there as he wouldn’t let go. Obviously he wanted me to go back where I came from because he was intent on causing trouble.
I am not exaggerating when I say it felt like I was sharing the seat with an octopus!! How can Jacob’s two arms appear to be 6 or 8? He was bent on pulling my arms, clothing, and hair. It sounds crazy but it is impossible to escape him with his arm down the back of my shirt. Mike asked if I wanted him to pull over. He was watching arms flying and helpless to intercede. We were on the interstate and I was determined to manage until we got home.
Because I knew what could happen, I quickly undid my necklace and set it aside. Lesson from the past with broken necklaces! Mistake #4, I didn’t remove my bracelet. He grabbed, it snapped, and I was mad! I reached to take off my earrings realizing I was already missing one.
It was 25 minutes of misery. And as angry as I was at him, I was more overwhelmed with sadness. How did we get here? What makes him react to me, or anyone, being in his space?
I’ve promised fast food burgers before because it’s something he enjoys. I had every intention of keeping that promise. Until, I couldn’t reward him for the behavior he exhibited before we arrived home.
We were frazzled but lived to tell about it! I learned from Mistake #1. There is no reason for him to have anything but water when on the road. I think I’ll remember that. The broken bracelet was repaired quite easily with my handy needle-nose pliers. Mike found the missing earring in the stow-away floorboard.
A few days later we went on a long ride and he was perfect. And, we got him hamburgers while we were out.
That brings me to, Mistake #5 – I accidentally published this post on the ninth of August. As I created this story I went to save and set a August 20th publish date, and I clicked the wrong button!! I try to work ahead and have a couple of posts ready to go. That doesn’t always happen but it helps me to compose and then mull it over. I usually edit quite a bit between the creation and going live.
I was so aggravated with yours truly. In almost a hundred posts, it is the second time I posted before I was ready. But this one needed to follow last week’s. Unfortunately, this one had a sad undertone, a true example of living with autism.
But know this, I’m not in the habit of pointing out all the mistakes I’ve made. You know how on Facebook and Instagram, we show our ‘best side’? Right. While the mistakes listed here weren’t catastrophic, they added up to a frustrating total. Thank the Lord I am not the sum of my mistakes. His grace covers me and reminds me tomorrow is a new day. Learn from mistakes and move on. I learned a lot that day. It’d be nice if sharing my mistakes helps someone, too.
Please understand that as crummy as part of that ride was, it didn’t ruin the trip. The visit was fantastic.
And, the ending became it’s own post.