The wonderful bliss of sitting here in my amazing window seat and enjoying a relaxing moment of knitting. When I say moment, I mean moment. All went quiet in the boy’s room and then BAM, the sound of his iPod touch smashing into the door. Thank the good Lord for Survivor cases or he would have broken this iPod several dozen times over. This seems to be the way nights are going now. Tonight, the iPod or ‘touch’ as we call it died. The battery wasn’t charged enough, or maybe he turned the brightness up on it AGAIN and ran it down too quick. Whatever the reason, it quit before he was ready to go to sleep so it was pitched across the room. Funny thing is, I’m thankful that I am sitting in my wonderfully padded window seat enjoying my knitting. Yeah, I’m annoyed he threw the touch but I’m glad that I didn’t get hit with it. I’m glad that I didn’t have to address the behavior and I just sat here knitting – ignoring Autism for just another moment.
The bliss was short lived.
Now there is rhythmic banging and it is surely him kicking or banging his back or head into the wall or the padded cover we have over his window. Joy, maybe it will stop and he won’t smash whatever he is smashing more than just a couple times. Maybe he will kick the wall a few times and give up and go to sleep so that I can enjoy peace in my window seat for just a moment longer.
I’m just not that lucky tonight.
The banging is getting louder,
His grunting is getting angrier,
I have to stop ignoring Autism.
Time to figure out what my baby needs.
Baby. He really isn’t. The poor child is 10½ years old, and I still think of him as my baby. He can’t talk. Not a single word escapes his lips. This doesn’t make him a quiet child by any stretch of the imagination. On the contrary, he is the loudest kid I have ever come in contact with my entire life. He is so very vocal that it is hard to believe that he can’t form a single word to communicate with anyone around him. I can’t even begin to imagine his frustration. I feel it though. As I take a deep breath and get ready to go into his room to help him. To try my best to figure out what the problem is so that he can settle and get to sleep. It’s a sad routine now. He is angry and biting his hand. Not the best option, but the alternative is him biting me, his siblings, Hubby, my dad, you get the idea. He has quite the callus built up on it now and I was told that it’s not a bad way for him to deal with his anger since his hand is always with him. Guess I buy it. I would rather him not get so angry and frustrated every single day of his life; but I guess that isn’t a realistic request.
So there he is, wrapped in his blanket, sitting on his bed, biting his hand and grunting what I’m sure in his mind are obscenities directed at me. It’s the same thing every time. I ask what’s wrong and my answer is a swift kick or maybe a punch. Occasionally I’m close enough for him to try and head butt me. No matter, my answer is an attack in the physical sense. So of course I tell him that doesn’t tell me what’s wrong. For the past few years we have had this scenario. I almost think that it’s a pattern he has to go through. I wish we could skip the violence aspect and go from my asking what’s wrong to him actually telling me – but that’s not how Autism works. Lucky us. So I grab the valerian essential oil and asks if he wants to put it on. He loves that one at night. He leans forward so that I can put it on the back of his neck. The boy really does love his oils. I never get a fight from him when I ask him if he wants me to put them on him. Thank God for small favors. Alas, I guess that wasn’t what he ‘really’ wanted and he decided to take another swing at me and a kick at the wall with some loud vocalizations to go along with it. The past week he has actually preferred the Thieves blend of essential oils. I made up a bottle just for him with the essential oil diluted into some olive oil for him. Then he doesn’t need to wait for me to do any mixing before putting it on him. I put a bit on my finger to get ready to rub it on his skin, but he opened his mouth and shoved my finger onto his mouth. Alright, I’ll listen while I pray that he doesn’t decide to bite my finger. Oh a mother’s trust! He gives a few more angry protests in the form of a couple kicks and punches before I manage to persuade him to get back in bed to go to sleep.
Maybe I can get back into my window seat and relax, maybe I can go back to my knitting and enjoy myself for another moment. I close his door, and very quietly return to my window seat while I listen to what is going on in his room. Sleep? Maybe? Nope, not yet. At least he is done with the banging and is instead making ‘talking’ noises and giggling to himself. Who knows what is going on in that head of his. Something is cracking him up now. Happy is good, but sleep would be so much better. Guess I’m not going to get that moment after all. Yes, I am in my window seat. Sure, I’m sitting here with amazing scenery to look at. Absolutely, I am working on my knitting. Nope, the serenity is gone because most of my focus is still on that bedroom and what is going on behind the closed door. For over an hour I focus on listening to him, making sure he is not out of bed and getting into trouble. Then, for another hour after the last time I heard him, I maintain complete silence and strain to hear every movement because quiet doesn’t mean peace. 3 hours to get him to sleep. I could have been worse. It has been worse. Nothing is broken, no one got hurt and he is asleep. I’ll call it a win. Hopefully the next challenge won’t begin until morning and we can all get some sleep.