Monday, January 7, 2008

A Foggy Sunday

My brain is about as clear as the weather is today. It's 4:35 p.m. and very foggy as the air is warming up. This is always the "sticky" time for me--between 3 and 6 p.m. My older son with autism tends to act up during this period. He gets restless. I guess I should structure the time a little better as he always calms down when the evening routine starts. I also wonder if he has a slight blood sugar problem as he tends to start behaving better after dinner. Or maybe he senses that late afternoon is my least favorite time of day. I don't know.

Right now he's insisting on going to a restaurant for dinner. I've been ignoring him and it's working a little bit, but he'll probably start back up again. Yep, it did. He just brought me a sign that said "let's go". If he makes a sign, then he expects his wish to come true. He should have a fairy godmother, because I'm not giving in on this one.

We did get out today. Our neighbors that live across the street hosted a small party for neighbors and some acquaintances. They were profiled on the front page of Mt. Pleasant's paper yesterday. Every year after Christmas they have two parties. One is a twelfth night party (which the article was about) for close friends. The other is kind of like a thirteenth day party for those of us who have children.

We missed the party last year because of illness, but I showed up with the boys this year. They look forward and expect to go to a train party every year. My husband couldn't make it, but I knew that I had to take them because they look forward to seeing the trains. The neighbor, a retired CMU professor, has a nice set up that runs up against two sides of his garage. He's has two that runs on a couple of loops and several scenes with miniatures. Look closely and one will see a sleigh on a rooftop, a man climbing out of a manhole, and little mountain goats on a mountain. He has put a lot of detail and countless hours of work into his display. He always has a contest to see who can spot all ten of his new additions first. I never win, though, because I'm always too busy making sure the boys are behaving and that they can see the trains.

There are usually four or five stands or ladders for children to get up on so that they can see as the display is raised up about three feet. I had to climb up too to see some of the newly added stuff. Two other neighbors, at around six foot tall, did not have problems seeing everything, but at 5'2", I needed a little help.

The boys behaved well enough. They both listened to the rules about not touching stuff and the little one behaved well as I kept a closer eye on his brother. My older son shot off cannons (clapping his hands together in his loudest boom) and jumped off all the platforms. I did my best with the jumping part because of safety concerns. That was the worst of it. No meltdowns. Just quirky and somewhat unsafe behavior. This was good enough for me. I had been concerned that his behavior could be worse because not only did the party start up at 3 p.m. (the time my son usually starts acting up) but because he snuck quite a bit of sugary stuff before we left. Alas, I forgot about the mug holding candy canes on the window sill.


Casdok said...

Sounds like you had a realy fun and intersting time!

Elissa - Managing Autism said...

We have the same sort of 'crazy' time at our place too, and I've often wondered myself over the blood sugar levels...
I find though that it's a really difficult time to structure - maybe that's something I need to work on!
Sounds like the boys had a fabulous time at the 'train' party, and glad you managed to avoid any meltdowns - an achievement in itself!

J said...

To Casdok: Well, the boys were the ones who had the fun time, and I was the one who had the interesting (a little stressed) time.

To Elissa: Maybe it is just the lack of structure that makes that time of day difficult. I'm glad I'm not the only one who has difficulty structuring those hours. Perhaps that's something we can share ideas on in the future.

Thank you both for commenting.