This post, ladies and gentlemen, is brought to you by COFFEE…reportedly assisting in making parents seem alert since circa the 15th century.
One of the things we love about the layout in the top floor of our new home is that there is a switch for the hallway light by the master bedroom’s entrance. That is: we LOVED this until this morning when (shortly before 5) our doorway was simultaneously lit and darkened by the shape of J jolting us out of sleep with light and a lustily, loudly and beautifully enunciated COFFEE???
Whenever I fear that my reflexes are not what they used to be, J finds the need to test them in this way. I bolted upright on the bed with a “holy crap!” that melded nicely with Dada’s “what the heck????” In unison, and with the same perfection of the Vienna Boys’ Choir, we said “GO BACK TO BED!” No sooner had we slumped back to bed in the blessed darkness that, once more, the rather loud voice of our youngest called out (from the darkened doorway because, of course, the one thing that was wrong about the previous approach was the light, right????) COFFEE???
If we were as synced in movement as we are in saying NO, we could be Olympic contenders in Figure Skating. J backed away, and Dada (who had been doing a rather impressive job of actually sleeping and relaxing until then) went to take his shower. I rolled over and decided to wait five minutes until I climbed out of bed. As I was about to sink into sleep once more COFFEE??? rang through the room, jolting me out of bed and propelling me, in the wake of a clearly suddenly-aware-of-how-much-he’d-startled-me J. We sat on his bed, and I explained that we don’t get up until the alarm goes off, and that it is courteous to wait until said time to come looking for us unless it’s an emergency.
J was unimpressed with my speech. He didn’t particularly care that I told him it was rude to turn on the light, speak very loudly, and not check if the time was appropriate to come asking if we wanted coffee. He took his iPad and, deftly moving his fingers, got to the page where he says I WANT TO PREPARE MY SNACK BOX. By this time, I was ready for coffee, and Dada was making his way to us down the hallway. He looked slightly refreshed but still tired, and clean. I, on the other hand, looked like I’d just been jarred out of sleep by a kid who, in another lifetime, could have been heard over the booming of cannons during a sea battle.
This is what happened last night: J fell asleep on his bean bag immediately after he took his shower. He snuggled up under his blanket and was out like a light. We could still hear Adele plaintively asking if she should just keep Chasing Pavements, so we assumed he was awake…by the time we realized that we had moved on from Adele all the way to Mumford and Sons, J had been asleep long enough to make persuading him to go to his actual bed a tricky proposition. By then it was 10:15 so J had been asleep for about 45 minutes, and his official “strike the tent down, I’m going to bed” time was still fifteen minutes away. Hence the “up before 5 a.m. and rarin’ to go” sunny disposition.
That J went to bed early, and that I said “relax DAMMIT!” with enough conviction to persuade Dada to just go to sleep as early as possible meant that he was finally relaxed and, also, out like a light. Jarred out of deep sleep by a light and J’s booming voice didn’t really damper his spirits; he left early to take the car back to the shop (where it had the good manners of making the loud squeak as it was driven in by a mechanic) and then heading back to work.
Fueled by caffeine (did I mention I’d had coffee early?,) I’ve cleaned the kitchen level, started on the bathrooms, cleaned the litter box, washed my hands thoroughly even though I always wear disposable nitrile gloves for this task, started some bread that is currently rising, and so forth. My big project for today is finding a way (PECS, Velcro, a mousetrap come to mind) to keep J from leaving his room before it’s civil to do so )except in an emergency, of course.)
It has been suggested in the past that we lock our bedroom door. That’s an awesome idea, but J is like Raffles, the gentleman thief…the one who can open any door if what he wants is on the other side. Also, J can knock on the door, I’ve been told…by those who haven’t J knocking on a door. (TGG says he should hire out to police, he sounds THAT ominous! TGG’s argument is that J can knock, and someone else can say “THIS IS THE POLICE! WE HAVE YOU SURROUNDED!!!”) I am going for a more subtle approach, something that shows J the right time to (in non-emergencies) approach his parents in the early morning hours (with a difference clearly delineated between weekday and weekend/holiday hours,) when to ask to go to the store, and so forth. In other words: I am going to further delve into teaching J some of the social finesse that Autism robs from him.
Hey, on the plus side, Dada was willing to chill out last night, and some of the tension on his shoulders started going away as we puttered around the kitchen getting a salad and pizza ready for dinner. By the time he sat down to work, at around 7:30, he was visibly calm, and didn’t seem like the fate of the Free World was riding on his shoulders (because it isn’t, as he whispered to me when he started typing in username and password for the database.)
That’s the status…that’s the haps…now I need more COFFEE???? or I won’t make it to noon without walking into a wall…