Christmastime is a minefield when you have a kiddo with autism. Routines may change, no school, the anticipation- these are all things that provide a perfect environment for a HUGE meltdown. We were miraculously meltdown free until Christmas Eve when our normal plans were sidelined due to a sick Grandpa. Our big dinner and present opening with Grandma and Grandpa and Auntie was not going to happen. So, Grandma and Auntie came over to drop off gifts and to get hot dinner to take home. Presents were opened while I tried to get everything done in the kitchen. It was loud, and hot, and NOT THE SAME. The Boy was very disappointed that the family wasn't staying. I was disappointed. But I plastered a smile on my face and kept going, trying to gloss over the fact it was NOT THE SAME.
|The calm before the storm|
Dinner ended, and we were cleaning up. Teenzilla and The 20 Something were playing with the Nerf arsenal we get every Christmas. This agitated The Boy even more. "It's not time!" he yelled and frantically picked up the Nerf darts all over the living room.
Then- the MOMENT happened. The Boy had gone upstairs to watch TV in my room. Netflix WASN'T WORKING! He came flying downstairs in a panic, "Netflix isn't working!! Netflix isn't working!!" I went upstairs and checked it out. I turned the Wii off and on again. Nothing. I came downstairs and checked. Nothing. I went online- Netflix was out for certain people. There was nothing I could do. I calmly explained this to The Boy. That. Was. It. He screamed, he cried, he threw himself on the couch. Hoping to pull him out of it, I said "Clyde is still here you know. You don't want a bad report to Santa on Christmas Eve. Let's get Santa's cookies ready." So I dragged him through what is usually a fun ritual, and told him he could lay down in my bed and watch something on the DVR. I led his rigid body upstairs, tucked him in and turned on the TV. "I'm sorry mom" he said. I hugged him tight and tried not to cry. "It's ok buddy. Time to sleep so Santa will come." I kissed him and went downstairs.
All of my years with dealing with the dreaded meltdown and I broke every damn rule about avoiding one. The initial disappointment, the rushed dinner, the forced sitting with us, putting him through the motions of cookies and milk, saying goodbye to our Elf- what the hell was wrong with me? Things had gone so blessedly smooth, I was lulled into a sense of complacency, a sense of NORMALCY, so much so that I blew off the signs of impending doom and forced a fun Christmas Eve. I felt like crap. I consoled myself with the fact that come morning all of this would be forgotten. And of course, it was.
|And we're off!|
|The whole fam damily|
|Calming himself down!|
So now here we are, over halfway through the second day after Christmas. The house is mostly put back together,the cookies are gone, the leftovers are all gone, and life should be getting back to normal after another chaotic holiday. Kids are bickering over the Xbox, we have played outside in the snow, had a Nerf gun battle and things have been fairly relaxed. Why do I feel like I have been on a month long bender? Like The Mister said- you don't have to drink too much for Christmas hangover. Ain't that the truth?