Saturday, December 29, 2012

Holiday Scheduling and Special Needs

Hap-happiest Time of the Year!

It had been a very long time coming, Christmastime. It was inevitable. The time of year where everything becomes haywire, like the summer, schedules fly out the windows and through your very best intentions nothing goes according to anything close to what you had planned.

This year MacLeod's kiddos would be coming for Christmas for the first time ever to stay with us. Last year when we both talked about it we smiled and thought how amazing it would be to have our family complete, one whole unite. Somewhere along the along the line... I think it was the memorable summer vacation trip we all took together and the various new versions of kiddo's Apsie meltdowns I was party to, the magical feelings wore off.

For me, the holidays are by far my favorite time of the year and it starts with our absolutely bizarre obsession with Halloween and rolls right into Thanksgiving and Christmas. This year it doesn't end ringing in the New Year because we are finally celebrating our actual wedding in February! We are super excited and it gives us the opportunity to extend the, err, magic of the holidays.

Well, except they have been a little less than magical.

I also don't want you to think that this was all an issue of MacLeod's kids, because it wasn't, it was EVERYTHING. See, MacLeod, my dear, my love, is not a planner. So he sort of fails to tell me what certain things are going on when it has to do with when things are going on and where people are going to be and when. My family on the other hand... well, my family plans things out very carefully especially since we had family visiting from overseas. I think my favorite (and I use that with ever so much sarcasm) line of the Christmas Eve car ride was "I was pretty sure I told you about it." Umm, no.

So...Kiddo, wow. Well, this blog is about us living with Asperger's... but wait can it still be that since Asperger's no longer exists? What? That is a discussion for another blog entry and I know I am behind the ball on that one, alas... another day. So, kiddo and the holidays. We have had to do hoards of prep work to get him ready for the holidays which is why I could have KILLED MacLeod when he sprung things on me or changed things around at the last minute. Kiddo has a very hard time dealing with MacLeod's kiddo in his living space because of past events. For starters they are simply said, polar opposites, we say that my kiddo is fire and MacLeod's is the fuel. Additionally during previous visits his toys, legos (he peseverates deeply on his legos) and other personal items have been broken or gone missing or damaged. This is a huge problem for him. So in therapy the few weeks leading up to the visit from MacLeod's kids, mind you his therapist was sitting awake at night worried as much as I was, we made plans to deadbolt his bedroom closet and put all his toys in there and anything that was broken or lost or damaged I promised would be replaced. It only made him feel slightly better and some may think that is a ridiculous way to approach it but the amount of anxiety that he had about the coming visit was so high, I just didn't know what else to do. MacLeod said one day in response to the locking of the closet "can't we put it on the top of a shelf where they can't reach?" Umm, hon' they aren't toddlers anymore, that will not work.

We had a few moments with all the kiddos together a particular book light that was broken and the meltdown that followed which I did remind him loudly twice that it would be replaced and it quelled the fury. The next day and a half was filled with "when will we get a new book light?" until the book light was indeed replaced, but it was the only casualty of the actual trip.

The one thing that supremely surprised me and something that I will attribute to work with his amazing therapist was Christmas Day. Leading up to Christmas Day, his interactions, just hours at a time with MacLeod's kids had been at best "ok", at worst of extreme meltdown property. On Christmas morning kiddo walked up to me as I was getting my breakfast casserole put together to get into the oven before MacLeod got back with his kiddos (who were staying up north about 30 minutes from out of state) and before MacLeod's parents arrived. He sat down on the stool by the counter and said "mom, (*big sigh*)remember in therapy we said if I did really good with [MacLeod's kiddo] that I could get Angry Bird's Star War's on the iPad?" I said "yes, I do, but it hasn't been so great, has it?" He said "yeah, I know. But maybe if I am good today, do you think maybe I could still get it?" He looked at me and smiled. Well, geez, who can resist that? Of course I said yes. "If you can work really well with him today and not fight or be really mean or nasty, then yes, I think I can do that, ok?" He nodded and walked off with that little smirk on his face like he just got one over on me.

He sat on the floor for the next 30 minutes starting his new Lego set and I heard him actually say "Maybe [MacLeod's kiddo] can help me with this set when he gets here!" What?! Is this the twilight zone? Nope, when MacLeod arrived, Kiddo actually started to engage with MacLeod's kiddos and was nice! It didn't last the entire day, but he was actually trying very hard. I mean its only so long that Fire and Ice can interact properly, but it went really well. I could not have been prouder of him.

As it turned out in the end, all of our preparations were for not, because complications on the other end of the spectrum (ha! very punny!) meaning MacLeod's ex, made it so that his kiddo's only ever step foot in our home once. We did have lovely beds for them set up and all and made TONS of preparations for them to stay with us, but for kiddo it was a sigh of relief.  

We still have New Years to go... as my friend said the other day it's been a December to remember, to which I replied... or forget  :)

Merry Christmas... and a Happy New Year!!!

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