Wednesday, February 03, 2010

A day in the at-home-sick life

6:42: I’m “working” from home today because Captain Adventure was sent home with a sign around his neck that said, “LEPER! OUTCAST! UNCLEAN!”

Oh, I kid.

It was worse. It was a Stern Missive from his teacher that he must be kept home today because he had {shudder} diarrhea yesterday in class.


7:22: What makes this particular onerous for me today isn’t the usual onerousness that comes with the abrupt summons home to deal with sick offspring – it’s never convenient, it’s never a big “happy” moment, you’re never coming home all yay! I get to not work tomorrow because instead I’ll be dealing with a sick kid!

But you know what’s even worse than that?

Being home with a kid who isn’t sick at all. Particularly when that kid is an autistic five year old.

My girls are older, and typically-developing. If they have a day off school and they aren’t desperately ill, you can set them down with a book or whatever and say, “OK, now, mommy has to work for a couple hours, honey, call if you need something…” and they will do their thing for a couple hours, then pester you for lunch, then do their thing for another couple hours, and it’s like, you know, a normal work day only with very short coworkers.


7:58: Not so much with our Captain. You’re only prayer is that you can take advantage of his autistic-fixation ability (which makes you feel like a jackass, by the way) and get him engaged in something that will keep him relatively quiet for a few hours at a stretch. Blocks, maybe; markers, perhaps; or maybe the Wii.

{hmm…break to try the Wii thing…}

8:22: BUT, naturally, because he’s my kid, he isn’t the type who tends to hyper-fixate in the first place, and when he does, he doesn’t do it alone.

He wants you along for the ride, too. Or, more specifically, me.

I’ve tried blocks, coloring books, crayons and markers of every kind, I’ve turned on the computer and now the Wii…oh sure, he’d love to play the Wii!


8:35: Aaaaaaand here’s your remote, mommy! You will be Player 2! And you will also help me win! Because I’m Player 1, but you will do that remote too!!

If Mommy does not wish to play along but would rather, I dunno, attempt to work from home, I will hang off the back of your chair every four minutes going, “BUT MOMMMMMMEEEEEEEEEE!!” and then I’ll start doing to you what you do to me when I’m being particularly autistic-inattentive: I’ll start stroking your cheek and saying, ver-ree clear-lee, “Mommy, look-it in-two mine EYES…I am speeeee-king tuh U! I SAY-ED, I WAN-NIT U FOR PWAY-IT DA WII NOW!”


9:15: Seriously, I’m going to lose my mind here.


9:35: What’s ironic about this, of course, is that most parents of autistic kids would kill to have my problems right now. My son has decided that when it comes to me, social interaction is what it’s all about. He wants my input, to converse with me about everything that’s going on, to have my direct and undivided attention squarely on him.

None of his usual eye-contact-avoidance, silent-treatment, I’ll-just-be-over-here-in-my-own-world-thanks with me, nossir!

And if I didn’t have a whack of reports coming due, and data loads to analyze, and a phone-in meeting in a few minutes, I’d be thrilled to oblige him…


10:31: You know what’s awesome? Trying to phone into a meeting with your son screaming “BUT MOMMMMEEEEE, I DOAN WANNIT TO PWAY DA WII, I WANNIT GO TO DAH PARK!!!”

And if he comes over and starts trying to punch buttons on your laptop while you’re trying to figure out and explain new errors in the newest data load? Double awesome!

I don’t think I broke anybody’s eardrums when I screamed, “STOP IT! GO PLAY WITH YOUR MARKERS, DO NOT HIT MOMMY’S LAPTOP EVEN ONE MORE TIME!!!!” directly into my hands-free microphone.

…in related news, I should be looking for a new job soon! I’ll keep you posted…(joking…I’m so thoroughly traumatized I’m not even close to interested to getting a new job, if I were to be sacked right now…) (I should be so lucky. I think they still like me, even though by now it is obvious that they hired a crazy person. Of course, being an experienced parent-who-works, I’m also a master at somehow, magically, finding ways to make up lost time so that my deadlines are met. Especially with a client willing to let me work from home, it’s actually fairly easy for me to just, you know, stay up ridiculously late so I can keep the spreadsheets flowing, ha! HA! HAHAHAHAHAHA! Awwwwwwesome…!)


1:15 p.m.: There has been absolutely nothing wrong with the Captain all day. Nothing. He is fine. No diarrhea, no cranky, no sadness, no signs of illness whatsoever. Over the course of six hours trying, I’ve billed about two hours. And now, I’m taking the boy out, so he can run like a maniac in the open air, wear himself out a bit, and see if I can’t set myself up to be able to actually work later tonight, and overnight, and into the wee hours of tomorrow, and then through tomorrow so make up for the lost time…which should be the point at which the tummy bug Captain does not have ought to be finished growing to the size of an elephant in my intestines.

I’ll probably discover I’ve got it after I’ve already gotten on BART.


I love working. Seriously. It’s just a never-ending barrel of laughs!



Science PhD Mom said...

Sorry it was a rough day Tama. I hope the week ends strong for you!

Steph B said...

Oh dear. Chocolate. And maybe some cashmere. Hang in there!

Tola said...

why couldnt you just have sent him to school today with a note saying he was "FINEthankyouverymuch" ?

ps my verification word is "inklini"

Anonymous said...

Whew - kids.. and work... I certainly understand buying lottery tickets - despite the odds.