May is here and it’s the time of year where I feel like I’m slowly losing my mind (more than usual). I’m frantically trying to get my projects in a spot ready for the summer so I can (hopefully) get away with an hour or two of work a day instead of the six hours I’m used to. I’m trying desperately to keep track of all of the choir, orchestra, and (sometimes conflicting) track meets. We’ve got some other random things going on too: J and W need passports for our trip this summer, we’re getting J assessed for his visual processing, we’ve got routine dr’s appointments, a checkup on J’s orthotics, and W’s getting braces at the end of the month. I really feel right now that my calendar and brain are going to explode.
Maybe it’s all the stress I’m feeling lately, but there have been quite a few times this week–in some really stressful situations–where I’ve just burst out laughing at the bizarre comedy of my life. And as much as autism makes me want to cry or pull out my hair, there are times where the autism element is just downright hilarious.
What the hell:
Wednesday night we had a full-on battle with J’s computer and Read 180, his remedial reading program. I’d gotten a note from school that they were struggling with the mic picking up J’s voice (which is essential component on part of the program) and I thought, “hey, I’m youngish and good at technology right?” we can figure this out! So we signed in and started talking to the computer.
And we did it again, and again, until I finally recruited my REAL technology expert, W, and we went through the dog and pony show again with her, and she couldn’t figure it out either. Finally, after the billionth time of yelling J’s name into the computer, he threw his hands in the air and said, “What the hell is wrong with this thing!”
W and I just looked at each other and started laughing, because J never curses. Then W said, “Mom, don’t laugh. Don’t LAUGH!” because W knows ALL too well about all the trouble we have with J getting a big response from “taboo” words. But I couldn’t stop laughing, because his delivery was hysterical and it was so unexpected. After his “what the hell” moment, he kept stating his name for the computer over and over again.
“What’s so funny?” he finally asked.
“This,” I said. “This whole thing.”
The Under Armour sweatshirt:
Thursday Steve and I had one heck of a time getting our prospective kids (Steve picked up W from the middle school, I picked up J from the high school) to the passport office on time for our appointment. But by some miracle, we all made it and the postal worker filling out the paper work was tolerant of our dysfunction–and it was obvious that dysfunction is how we roll. Steve messed up parts of the application (he put J’s birthday down in my birthday spot), our passport pictures were just a millimetre too big for the”OK” zone, and we suddenly found ourselves running our fingers through both kids’ hair trying to help them look somewhat presentable for their mug shots, when Steve looks at Steve and says, “wait, where did J get that sweatshirt from–why is he wearing that sweatshirt?”
“Long story,” was all I could get out before J was sitting in front of the white screen (His para explained to me as I was shuffling him out of the school and into the car that J was wearing a random Under Armour sweatshirt from the lost and found because he got too cold at school that morning). So now, for the next five years, J’s government-issued ID is a picture of him in a shirt he doesn’t even own. Which I think is pretty hilarious.
The High Five:
J ran the 800 m for his track meet on Friday. It was sort of a strange meet–J’s main coaches weren’t there–and for some reason, J was really struggling with his ADHD. He was super distracted during the lineup and finished with an OK time, and wandered back onto the field when he was finished. As he was following the group of finishers, a coach from Davies high school (not our high school) told the kid in front of him, “Great job, you really worked hard out there today,” and gave the kid a high five. The boy walked away and J walked up to the Davies coach, gave him a high five, and said, “Thanks,” as if he were high-fiving his own coach.
The split-second look of confusion on the Davies coach was priceless.
This week J and I were driving in the car and he was commenting on all of the sign displays advertising Mother’s Day deals. I asked him what he was going to give me on Mother’s Day and he said, “I don’t know.” I asked him what he thought I’d like, and he said, “I’d like chocolate cake.”
“J,” I said, “When you get a present for someone you get them something they would like, not what you would like. What do you think I like?”
“I don’t know,” he said.
“What do you see me do all the time? What do you think I like doing?” I said, trying to help him out. (I’m thinking running, cooking, reading books)
“Driving,” he said. “I think you like driving.”
Oh, autism. Sometimes you really do make me laugh.