Friday, October 03, 2008

Two's My Limit, I'm Driving

I hear all the time from mothers who tell me about the errands they run. I think it is par for the course, part of Motherese, the Mother tongue of Mothers everywhere. We talk about bedtimes, and bathroom habits and what errands we drag our kids on. I listen in envy as a mother tells me, "We went to the bank, and then I had that thing to return to the store, and I needed a windshield wiper blade at the auto store and we got the car washed, and on the way home we stopped to get groceries!" And I always ask, because I am a glutton for punishment, "Where were the kids in all of this?" And the reply is something along the lines of, "Oh, they went with me, they looooove errands and are flexible to whatever needs to be done!" And that's when that familiar feeling wells up inside of me, and I want to laugh or cry or something between the two and can't decide which. Because? That never happens in my house. Sorry. Couldn't hear your reply over the laughing...

For as long as I can remember, or at least since I have been running errands with kids One errand is usually doable. Maybe this is part of the autism, maybe it is just the particular makeup of my kids. Two is pushing it. Three?

Core breach: Warning, Meltdown Imminent.

Sometimes, I forget this, and the results aren't pretty.

Today, after the meltdown over the Logic class with JBug but that's another story, for another time the kids had an appointment to get their hair cut. We have a wedding tomorrow and they were both due to do the hair thing. They like the hair place, so that went well. Then I had to swing by our church on the other side of town to drop something off quickly. I had also promised JBug that we would try to find her a dress for the wedding, so against my better judgment (isn't it always? This is where I go wrong...) I decided we would make a trip to the store. It's not a loud store or particularly bright, but there are lots of racks of clothes, and little kids get bored easily.

I can't accurately represent what went on at the store, except to tell you that at one point, while I was quickly checking the fit of one of JBug's prospective dresses, JBear had coerced JBean to bite herself on the arm, and then told her to bite harder, and she did! I think her middle name should be Lemming. She of course, hurt herself, started crying, was angry with him and hit him hard. This occurred while I was 20 feet away for about thirty seconds. This doesn't count the loud, loud voices that they use, which make me cringe and I can imagine people cursing me for my children.I get it... sometimes I curse me for my children!

You know the Very Quiet Cricket? My kids are more like The Extremely Noisy Pests
I had promised them smoothies if they could hold it together at the store. THAT didn't happen. So the smoothies didn't either. We came straight home, amidst the wails of JBean, who was beside herself that she missed out on the smoothie, and angry with me that I stuck to my word. Of course, driving home was a picnic; everyone loves ear-piercing, bloodcurdling screams and feet thumping against the back of the seat. We pulled into the driveway, she ran to her room and locked the door, screaming. She did come out long enough to hit me, so that was festive. I managed to talk to her about her behavior, and she may have gotten it. We'll see. She has since calmed down, and is sitting here next to me building with blocks, but I am getting too old for this rollercoaster crap. And, I have no one to blame but myself.

So...I have made the rule Hard and Fast:

Thou shalt not run more than two errands in a single driving session. Two shall be the number, and the Number shall be Two. Neither shall the number be Three. Or Four. Two is the number. Or else. I'm not kidding. Flying monkeys, I needs them?

(but that says nothing to the number of drinks I get to have once the kids are in bed!)

T, who really, really needs a break

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9 sent chocolate:

Gayle said...

It's not autism or your kids. It's all kids. They are kids, not small adults and they get bored. Boredom leads to all kinds of trouble. I won't go to the store anymore if I have to take more than one child. Seriously. I reached my limit and I'm taking a break from shopping with them. I have shopped with all six kids and a few extra tagalongs that we always seem to have. NIGHTMARE.

Anonymous said...

I'm thinking that maybe a grant might be in order. Anyone know a grant writer that owes you a favor?? The grant would be for blogging mothers of HFA children who are in serious need of respite. We would need enough funds to meet somewhere tropical, with no telphones/computers/anyway for our families to reach us, and of course enough funds for any tropical drink needs that might arise during the respite. The grant would also need to cover any miscellaneous costs we might incur such as trashing our hotel room to release pent up frustration. Sounds reasonable, right?

T. said...

gayle: while I know all kids get bored shopping, I was just using it as an example of not being able to handle more than two errands at a time. Believe me, my kids are not treated like little adults. I don't take them shopping often, but the schedule was such that I couldn't avoid it this time.

topsytechie: YES. That's a great grant. I'll start it right now. As an educator, I stand a good chance o being able to get it approved for "research." I'll keep you updated. ;oD

Thanks for reading, ladies!


Marshella said...

I really enjoy reading our blog. You have an award at my place (Sept 25 blog).

hellokittiemama said...

I really try not to have to drag my kids around from errand to errand but sometimes it is inevitable - just not that many hours in the day and by the time my husband comes home... things like the bank are shut. Thank goodness for the drive-thru teller and online banking!!!!

Some 'errands' though, my kids love to go - Grocery shop... They love it. I don't care for bringing both with me though and actually like to just bring one at a time, so we 'take turns' and everyone is happy - mama still has part of her sanity.


colleenfelz said...

This scenario sounds like my life! Two errands is the limit for us, too. If I try to do more, I hear about the bathroom, that they are starving, or that they are incredibly tired. Then the meltdown begins.

sueme said...

Oh, I have so been there, and I feel for you. One thing I finally learned is to offer the treat just for going, not for good behavior. That way even if they don't hold it together we can still end on a good note. So I just say after the bank and the supermarket we'll go out for ice cream. Works for me. Good luck at the wedding. Loud parties can be another nightmare situation for us. You too?

Maddy said...

I think we must be at a different developmental stage from your family. We couldn't possibly do haircuts, church / wedding on three different days nor three different weeks for that matter.

Hair cuts are a non starter. Churches and their acoustics are out. We have attended one wedding but it was a civil ceremony in an office and that was a really tough 10 minutes.

The interior of your car sounds just like mine.

Slightly off topic but I'd be interested to know what the record is for stopping / pulling off the freeway? Ours is 17. [although fortunately that was a couple of years ago now.]
Best wishes

Mum-me said...

I can relate to most of what you wrote, but not because my children are autistic - just because there's so many. I try to do the 'if you behave you will get a treat' but it hardly ever works for me, and then I have children angry at me for not giving in .... *sigh* .... but good on you for not giving in. (So many parents do.)

My nephew has Asperger's Syndrome and even at 14 he can be very upset at the thought of something out of place, or not in routine.

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