The Boy has a cold, and you know what happens when you mix autism and illness… let’s just say hilarity does not ensue. Cranky-pants, constant-verge-of-meltdown ensues, and it ain’t pretty. And from what I can tell, school was no different from home today. So when we arrived home today, he put on his “cat costume” (which isn’t really a cat costume, but more of an everything-plaid ensemble, because according to The Boy, that makes him look like a calico… okaayyyy…) and went outside, because it was rather warm today (and sunny!). The last detail of the cat costume is the scarf (tail) he and The Man bought me for my birthday a couple of years ago, but today, the scarf had other ideas about being dragged on the concrete. It turned into a frayed mess, and The Boy began to wail because it was “broken”.
We went back and forth, me trying to calm him and offer solutions, and The Boy calling me names and dwelling on the negative.
I have found over the past few months, that when The Boy is at his most frustrating and meanest point, he will often welcome a hug, and crawl into my arms (well most of him), and cry like a baby. That’s what this behavior all boils down to, folks. It’s an expression of his feelings. He doesn’t really mean that he would like a new and better mom, he just means, “I’m sad and mad and frustrated, and I want to cry”!
While he was in my arms, I started suggesting alternatives to the scarf. Rather than try another fabric scarf (which is what he wanted to do), we needed something different, something tougher that would withstand the concrete, because fabric and concrete just don’t get along. He attempted to get sidetracked with, “Why do concrete and fabric not get along?”, but I motored right past, thinking aloud about something vinyl or plastic, like an outdoor tablecloth… I suggested we go to the fabric store to see what they had. I then had to explain that fabric stores had all kinds of materials and not just fabric (because I think I really confused him after just telling him that fabric and concrete didn’t get along!). As soon as he understood what I was getting at, he wanted to go immediately, all full of hope and smiles.
We were able to find a plaid outdoor tablecloth material for $3 a yard, and came home triumphant. I offered to sew it up for him, so that the soft side wouldn’t be exposed, and he enthusiastically agreed. I broke out my new IKEA sewing machine for the first time, reached way back into my memory banks to remember how to set it up, and was able to do what I had promised.
And now our “cat” has a new tail!
This is a day in the life, and this kind of turnaround is what I live for.