My little superhero.

I got pretty sick last week. I couldn’t keep anything down. In one of our nightly drives we were taking with the monkey, I stopped by Taco Bell drive thru for some nachos. Bad Idea. I couldn’t keep anything down for a few days.

I think the monkey knows when I’m sick because he is so much calmer. He would come over to be with me. He likes to put both of his hands on each side of my face and stare. He will stare at my eyes, then my nose, my cheeks. I don’t know what exactly he is staring at but he does this constantly. Then he would go play on his swing or with his doggies. Then abruptly stop to come and stare again.

I am doing much better but he has not stopped staring at me. Many times I call to my husband so he can watch us. He will ask the monkey, “What are you staring at buddy? Come over and look at me too.” But the monkey ignores him and keeps his focus on me.

We started to notice that our laundry kept disappearing. My daughter’s work pants were missing, my husband’s work shirt. We couldn’t figure out what was happening. Then my husband noticed our laundry shoot was full. Which is strange because we throw the laundry and it should simply land downstairs in the laundry basket.

Then we realized what had happened. The monkey threw one of his little plastic chairs down the shoot. Of course it got stuck. And because we didn’t know he had done this, the clothes kept piling up. And that’s where the missing laundry was. There we are, my husband and I, trying to take out all of the clothes and break the plastic chair to unclog the clothes.

Solution? Lock the laundry shoot door with a key.

This upset the monkey a lot. Not being able to open the laundry shoot and throw stuff down make him very upset. So what does he do? He decides to flush down his underwear down the toilet. He got so upset that he took his underwear off and flushed it down the toilet. He did this a few times that eventually I put him on time out. He was not allowed to watch any videos or play upstairs. He hated this. I kept telling him that’s the price for clogging toilets. It was hard hanging on to the punishment. He would cry. He would get upset. He would have tantrums. But we stood firm. And he hasn’t done it since.

I try so hard to remember to treat him the same as our daughter. To not use his autism as an excuse. But the truth is this is a very difficult balance. When is it okay to give in due to his disability? Or when is it okay to not give in due to him being a typical kid?

Thiis is parenthood in general. I always told my daughter I didn’t know what I was doing with her, much less with the monkey. Parents just wing it. They try to make the best decisions with hopes that eventually, we make the right ones.

Last week, we missed the monkey’s virtual class. We think he has an internal clock or something because in the afternoon, a few minutes before class was about to start, he grabbed my husband’s hand and took him to table. He grabbed his markers and was ready to start the class. He knew it was almost time.

So many times I feel we don’t know what we are doing, and then these little glimpses show us maybe we are doing something right.

Or maybe it’s just that this little kid is winning his internal battles a little bit more. ♥️


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