I had just dropped of my mom today and was headed home. They monkey was in the back seat of my two door car. He had been doing really good all day. I had just mentioned to my mother what a beautiful day today was and how great the monkey was behaving.
I was getting low on gas and decided to go to the gas station. It was pretty packed but I found an empty pump and parked.
I get out, start the pump, and the monkey loses it. In an instant. Just like that. With no warning. He tries desperately to get out of the car. Since it’s a two door car, it is not very easy.
I keep telling him to get back inside because I’m almost done but he doesn’t want to hear it. He’s fighting me and hitting and screaming. In an instant he went from zero to ten. I had no idea what had happened.
I’m trying to calmn him down but I’m unsuccessful. I realize the best thing to do is let him out and see where he wants to go. But I need to put the pump back. I can’t do that with him struggling. I finally push him inside the he car using all of my strength, and I close the door on him. I then run to the other side to put up the pump. He’s screaming so loud it seems as if someone is hurting him. I’m just waiting on someone to call the police on me. I wouldn’t have blamed them. If I would have seen a seven year old struggling to get out of the back seat while a women is frantically forcing him inside, I’d be concerned too.
I ran to put up the pump and run back to him. I open the door and tell him to show me what he wants He gets out and grabs my hand. We go inside the store and he is looking everywhere. We are walking up and down the aisles until he spots it.
That’s what he wanted. Oreos.
I just can’t understand how frustrated he must feel in trying to tell me something as simple as “I’d like a cookie.” 😓
Mission accomplished. He has his cookies. But there’s a line at the cashier’s. The monkey just wants to leave. I’m trying to explain to him that we need to stay and wait in line. But his frustrations took over again and he is not having it.
I weigh my options. Drag him out of there with no cookies or force him to wait in line. I opted for the line. I figured I wouldn’t be able to drive if he was fighting me in the back seat. I probably wouldn’t be able to get him inside the car either.
My son is very strong. He’s always been. And with his swimming this summer, his physic is amazing. He has a little swimmers body. He is toned, with strong arms and legs. Which makes it very hard to force him to do something he doesn’t want to do.
By the time we were next to pay, my glasses have been thrown off and I’m sweating trying to keep him from escaping with the cookies.
And now my second fight. Him letting go of the cookies so that the cashier can scan them.
I tell the young cashier that my son has autism and he’s struggling to understand that he has to let go. I always do this. I always tell people of his non-visible disability. I figure these are great opportunities to create awareness.
But the cashier doesn’t seem to care. She’s more concerned about the line behind me. And I honestly didn’t care about the people waiting to pay. They can wait a minute or two longer while they ring me up. I usually hate for people to wait on me so I always try to hurry my pace. But not this time. I’m too concerned for my son to care about anyone else.
Finally we pay. And as we are leaving, the monkey is crying. But now his cries are sentimental. Now he’s sad. He knew what he did. He keeps using the sorry sign. He needs instant forgiveness. And then he starts to ask me to open the cookies.
He had never done this before. He’s never asked to get anything from a convenience store. This was a first for us.
Once he is buckled in the back, while he is enjoying his Oreos, I sit down and look at myself in the mirror. My hair is all over the place, my glasses bended, and I’m breathing so heavily that I remind myself to calmn down. I need to control my breathing.
And this is autism. In an instant, our world changes. This meltdown had nothing to do with cookies. It had to do with the lack of communication and understanding. And as I’m driving home I lose it. I really wish he’d be able to speak.
This could have been avoided if he could simply say the word cookie 💔