Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Then, with a flip of the switch…

This morning was miserable. We’re in the middle of rushing around like crazy people getting ready to leave for work, and suddenly we realize that Captain Adventure isn’t just being tired and draggy and pissy – he’s sick.


There are a few stages involved in your kid getting sick on a work day.

First, you realize something is wrong.

Then you go into denial about it for a few minutes. He’s not sick, he’s just {tired, angry, sad, obstinate, groggy, thirsty, hungry}.

Then you waste some time trying to figure out whether this is a sick-sick, or a I-will-be-fine-fifteen-minutes-after-you-call-me-in-sick sort of sick. It’s a waste of time because by now you know in your heart of hearts that you are totally staying home with this kid today regardless, so trying to work that around to where you’re going to pop some cold medicine into this child and take him to the sitter’s house in spite of his obvious misery on the theory that he’ll be fine in half an hour is just pointless.

But you do it anyway, because a day home with this particular sick child is a day with no pay for me. I don’t get paid time off (have I mentioned that lately? I have? Oh, well, then I shan’t mention it again for at least twenty seconds), so I am what might be called loathe to go taking days off so I can watch my kid bounce around being perfectly healthy the minute I’ve sent out the “I won’t be coming in or logging on or anything” email.

The older kids, you know, if they pull a miraculous recovery out of their hats like that, I can set them down with crayons and start working. But Captain Adventure can’t (and shouldn’t) be left to his own devices like that.

Bad things have a way of happening. You might as well just go to your most precious, hardest to replace, most expensive object and smash it to bits right away. It saves time and nerve tonic.

ANYWAY. Yeah. He was obviously sick.

So sick, in fact, that he wanted to go back to bed. So I carried him back upstairs, put him to bed, kissed him on the head and rushed to my laptop to let people know I wasn’t coming in and probably wouldn’t be logging on either today and maybe I’ll just real-quick take a look at this thing holy crap, what is that screaming up there?!

He woke up vomiting. Awesome. All over his bed, his clothes, himself, and needless to say he was not happy about it.

Although I still find myself amazed by the things you’ll think when you have a special needs child…I was kind of happy (inasmuch as I could be happy at that particular moment) because what he was screaming was, “MOMMMMMEEEEEEE, I NEEEEEEEED YOU, MOMMMMEEEEEEEEEE, WHERE ARE YOU?!”

See, that’s a natural thing for a kid to holler when he wakes up under such unpleasant circumstances – but it’s not been natural for Captain Adventure. Shoot, it took almost a year before he would acknowledge that I was a separate entity; he didn’t even have a sound for me until he was three and a half.

So I was kind of tickled that he was summoning me specifically in his time of need. Good progress in the recognition of titles and use of words to ask for assistance, kiddo!

And then he wept on my shoulder while I cleaned him up and got him into fresh clothes like any average child would.

And then he hauled off and decked me for absolutely no perceivable reason. Oh yeah. Autism rocks, y’all. He can’t read me, and quite often I can’t read him, either. I didn’t see that one coming one bit. POW! Right in the eye.

…just call me Blinky…

For the next two hours was a pissy little bundle of rabid monkey. He spit his water back at me, pinched me, pulled my hair, hit himself repeatedly in the head, demanded to play the Wii and then shoved the remotes at me shrieking, “YOU play it, mommy! YOU play it!” (I think because it was making him feel sicker trying to follow the action on the screen.)

Three hours into the ordeal, I was desperate for two things: A moment’s peace, and to get some form of liquid into him.

And then I remembered I had Pedialyte popsicles out in the freezer, from when he had gotten eight fillings all in the same day. Eight. The mind boggles…

When he saw the bright blue popsicle in my hand, it was like somebody threw his pissy-switch to “off.” He beamed a big smile at me, his most charming grin, pointed at it and said, “Oh! I like-it dat kind! May I pwease have-it dat one?”

He ate it, and then he ate another one.

Five minutes later, he was running laps around the Den.

Five minutes after that, he ate half a box of macaroni and cheese, a sliced apple with a dusting of cinnamon, drank about ten ounces of water, climbed into my back pocket and has stayed there ever since.

But it’s a much less upsetting sort of clingy behavior. Sure, I’d love it if he’d just color for a while without my constant input and attention, but at the same time, given a choice between this and the earlier “hitting myself in the face and screaming like I’ve got bamboo rammed under my toenails” thing?

Yeah. I’ll take this, thanks.

And now, I’d like to close with a brief note:

Dear Husband:

Please come home at your earliest convenience opportunity.

Bring chocolate.

And vodka.



Tola said...

hope tomorrow is better for him, and you (plural).

Sungld said...

Hope and support from a distance - for what it's worth. I also think it is very cool that you can recognize developmental steps in the middle of chaos.

Science PhD Mom said...

I hope he sleeps very well and feels all better tomorrow. And I hope your hubby brought home that chocolate and vodka for ya. :)

Louiz said...

Ice pops really do have miraculous healing powers at times. Poor Captain Adventure, and poor you - and congratulations on being able to spot the progress during that.

JustGail said...

Ah yes - the good old "hurl once and then I'm fine, but I still cant go to the sitter or school cause I hurled" illness.

Hope Captain Adventure is well today, and hurrah on the "Mommeeee" summons.

RobinH said...

Y'know, coming after your Monday post, this is somewhat ironic. Hope today is better.

Anonymous said...

You are awesome. Just saying.

Unknown said...

You ARE awesome, and being specially chosen to be blessed with Captain Adventure, you have risen to the occasion and find that pony under all the horse manure most every time. Give yourself a (supportive) hug from me!
Nancy FP