Every dog in the neighborhood seems to be out this morning. J got the key and my sandals, and asked me to go for his walk. We were ALMOST to where we turn back when we saw a yellow dog with no leash, it was directly in our path. Then came the first “dolphin squeal” and I decided it was time to heed J’s desire to turn back. No sooner did we do the 180 than we saw two large dogs bounding out of a townhouse on our right and up the hill. I could see they were chained to a post, but J -seeing through the eyes of irrational fear- squealed once for each dog and increased his speed.
Now would have been a good time for him to let me steer him away, but having learned the lesson that a straight line is the shortest distance between two points, J was bound and determined to go in as straight a line as could be, dolphin-squealing in my ear all the way.
We made it home in one piece. One sweaty, out-of-breath, ringing-in-the-ears piece, but one piece nonetheless. With the same promptitude and dexterity shown by the natives of foreign lands in the Indiana Jones movies, we set up the plants and barrier that separates J from the rest of the world when he’s on the deck. You wouldn’t known we’d been out there if you’d not seen us scooting up the stairs and across the lawn while hearing the squeals my darling J was issuing. For a few minutes J was limping, but then I realized it was that he had a pebble in his shoe. If he had twisted an ankle, there would our Wii run and our walks go…petering out to nothingness until he recovered.
Memo to me, buy a periscope with a high-powered lens…check for dogs before even considering stepping outside. (To paraphrase Indiana Jones: Dogs! Why did it have to be dogs??) This is what I get for mildly complaining that perhaps life has become too quiet or that things are boring…me and my big mouth.
All in all, aside from the appearance of canines, our day had been going well. We cleaned bathrooms, did laundry and organized the recycling. We did our Wii run and some stretches. We made chicken nuggets and french fries for lunch, and we practiced saying KETCHUP and RANCH as we poured a bit of each for J to dunk his fries and chicken in…of course, J says KAYSHUP and WANCH, but that’s the way it goes. At least he can now ask for both things when we take him out to eat.
Our trays of PECS have grown and we have such an abundance of things we can now resort to that I feel a lot more comfortable about the reduction in medication. When J was having his behavioral issues, one of the things we all found most frustrating was that we didn’t seem to understand each other. J seemed to want that which we didn’t have or couldn’t figure out what it was, and we seemed to be at a loss for how to bridge that gap. A lot of time was spent trying to “translate” J’s frustration into movements, items, words that didn’t seem to quite fit. I feel equipped now…I think now we can use ASL, the PECS and what we learned about re-directing him to better manage this transition. Am I being unrealistic? Maybe, but I’m going to try everything I can think of to help J adjust and succeed.
Now, if we could just schedule this appointment, all would be smooth sailing. Oh, yeah, that’s right…the appointment has been scheduled since March? For 4 P.M. on Tuesday…except this morning (while every significant sound was being drowned by washer, dryer, vacuum cleaner and J singing) the doctor’s office left a message. Please contact us about re-scheduling at either 10 a.m. or 1:30 P.M. on the same day. I didn’t hear the phone, but -as I went to update the grocery list that I’ve been working on all week- I saw there was an e-mail from the doctor’s office. I called my husband and asked him to pretty please call and make arrangements as I was up to my hips with things to do. He called me back and said: I’ve arranged for one-thirty.
After the failed walk, I came home to find another e-mail. Your appointment has been scheduled for ten a.m. I am trying to be patient, but there’s a lot hinging on this appointment, and it’s on the same day as J’s summer program starts. Is it too much to ask that we arrange for this smoothly???? Apparently…we are now waiting for another call to clarify what seemed to be pretty cut and dried in March. Sigh…
So, here we are, waiting the forty-five minutes left until J’s bath-time. His mop of hair needs a trim as it is now falling over his eyes and, cute though he looks when he whips it back in one single sophisticated movement, it’s not particularly comfortable for him. The goatee he has decided to grow is still little more than concentrated scruff on his chin, but he is quite insistent when he asks for a shave in covering that spot with his fingers. So be it…I think a seventeen year-old knows how much facial hair he wants to sport. (I just thought of another thing I need from the store!)
Once J’s taken his bath, I intend to take him out for another walk. I am sure -I am hopeful- that the dogs will be indoors by then. Tomorrow is the day when we do our shopping with TGG so J and I will work on our grocery list with PECS later. There’s always something to do around here…
For now, J is outside listening to Nina Simone, who has been his musical companion for the past few days. Oh, Peter Gabriel, Katy Perry and such sneak in there, but I think the other day’s cloudburst has given him a new appreciation for Ms. Simone’s interpretation of Here Comes the Sun. I have to admit, it’s quite comforting…