Timing is everything they say and yet frequently I have none of it.
From time to time the planets are not quite aligned and I feel the stars are looking down at me, having a chuckle amongst themselves whilst they plot against me.
If I was to say to Joseph, “You’re going to have your haircut, buy new shoes and go to the dentist” the thought of those activities would send him into a bleating tailspin. Fortunately for him, I rarely throw all three things upon him all at once. In fact, if my planning and organising (along with my ability to avoid getting earbleed) is anything to go by, these things are spaced out quite nicely over time.
This morning, I realised his toes were almost poking out of the end of his trainers and me putting off buying new tap shoes had gone on for far too long. I also realised he was beginning to look like a seventies throwback but there was no way I would have time to get this done this side of Christmas. Ok, joking. But it was unlikely I would have time to sort a haircut this week. Again.
They say (I have no idea who They are) that people with autism like advance warning of any changes or deviation from a usual routine because people with autism don’t like change. I actually find that too much notice for Joseph seems to work to both our detriment and sometimes, just sometimes, I wish I knew how to keep my mouth shut.
This morning went a little like this.
Me: Joseph, after school today we’re going to get your feet measured.
Joseph: I’M NOT GONNA GET MY FEET MEASURED.
M: Yes you are. Your shoes don’t fit and you need some new ones. You can stand on the machine and they’ll tell you how big your feet are.
J: I’ll stand on this machine now. (cue Joseph standing on the weighing scales and in fairness it does look like the machine that measures his feet).
M: Unfortunately Joseph, that tells you how heavy you are not how big your feet are (wondering why I am now having this conversation).
J: I DON’T WANT TO HAVE MY FEET CUT OFF!! (no idea why he thinks this?)
M: Nope they’re not going to be cut off, just measured as you’re growing.
J: I DON’T WANT TO GET BIG!! (Fuck My Life…seriously? He is very tall already and will get a whole load taller. I know it)
I realised that from leaving school to getting to dance class, I would have approximately 1.5 hours to get as many of my parently chores carried out as possible. Do I take the easy option and go for just one and cause both Joseph and I as least distress as possible? or do I go for a record in how many tasks I can complete with this limited time? Well those who read my blog will know.
So, I managed to get his feet measured (actually they had not grown so that was a waste of time), bought new tap shoes which he insisted he didn’t want (NO NEW TAP SHOES!!! Silently saying ‘Shut the fuck up” under my breath whilst this carry on was taking place), stop off at McDonalds (bribery is everything) “If you do not moan Joseph I will buy you a McDonalds”, called for trainers only to be told that a size 6 or 6.5 in kids was almost impossible and to go for mens. There was no way I would be buying trainers at adult prices so we walked out (which Joseph was more than happy about).
Joseph then reminded me that if he was going to be good at dance class (no moaning or laying on the floor is the measure of good in my eyes) we could go and get some cola monkeys (yes really). This then prompted another dash to Next. I tried to convince him I had three little bags of Haribo at home but he was having none of it.
Pre-parent, I would never have considered resorting to such tactics but today I realised my life is all about bribery. Maybe I should consider a career move.
I have no insight into change or any nuggets of wisdom about how to manage it.
Offer sweets, is my only advice for these situations.