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Autism and Overnight Guests April 25, 2009

Posted by hopeauthority in Autism, Children, Family, grandparenting, humor, Parenting.
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Somebody save me. And Fabio.

I got the bright idea…born after too many consecutive sleep-deprived nights… to invite my 75 year-old aunt to come to visit and see my daughter’s stage debut.

Did I mention she never had kids? Or that she divorced about 30 years ago and still lives in the same house with her ex because they are both too ornry and stubborn to settle the distribution of their property. They sneer at each other as they pass in the hallway as each waits for the other to die first. Or that she never stops telling the same stories from her childhood …complete with the venomous grudge tone… about how my mom was the favorite and got everything, while she was, like, the slave version of Cinderella and had to cook, clean, and care for the youngest sister. Woe is her. Forever.

But, she was always good to me. And she loves my kids. So, I get these crazy, regrettable ideas from time to time. And I spent 8 hours on the road to get her back here on Friday.

And I’ve been kicking myself since because…

She won’t freakin get out of Fabio’s face. She’s like everything you’d want in a grandma…if you had a typical kid. But when you have an autistic kid, she’s like, oh, um, the anti-Christ of grandmas. I am waiting for Fabio to deck her.

Within minutes of arriving, she started forcing herself on him, trying to play with him. Not exactly his strongest trait. He plays with his toys. You watch. If you’re very lucky, you will be able to ease your way into playing with him, but must take his direction. He’ll let you know which toy you can have…and which one you can’t. He will give you a turn…after every 3 of his. Again, if you’re lucky and subtly work your way into his space.

So, he’s kinda like the Toy version of the Soup Nazi from Seinfeld. Yes, it’s Fabio, the Toy Nazi. If you don’t follow his rules… rules that seem ridiculous to typical people… “NO TOYS FOR YOU!”

And don’t even get me started on her attempt to move the assembly of 425 little toys (which we refer to as Fabio’s “concert” or “show”) off the dining room table. That show’s been in town for 2 months. He really doesn’t have much interest in it…unless someone touches it!

There’s really something wrong with this world when a little boy with autism can’t enjoy his grandma-type great aunt because she just can’t understand how to connect with him (despite parental guidance).  I feel guilty being frustrated with her…because at least she tries. There’s so many younger family and friends who don’t. 

Before Fabio went to bed last night, my aunt told him she was staying overnight and he should come see her in the morning. So he leapt out of bed at the crack of dawn and ran down to her room and crawled into bed with her. Steps behind him, I got a peek of her throwing the blanket over him and welcoming him in for a silent snuggle.  And I backed quietly away…

Some situations need guidance. Some, happily, don’t.

I guess she can stay awhile longer…

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Comments»

1. pixiemama - April 25, 2009

Dude!
That’s my dad with Foster, only, my dad’s not nice at all (and would not snuggle my kids in bed AT ALL) but expects us to make sure he is happy every.stinkin.minute. He shouted in Foster’s face one time because Foster couldn’t/wouldn’t hug him. It’s h*ll – yet… I love him and keep letting him come back for visits.

So – here’s hoping Fabio makes it through this visit, and the next…

2. abunslife - April 27, 2009

That is so sweet that he felt comfortable enough to get in and cuddle with her….

3. MOMSBLESSINGS - April 28, 2009

She probably doesn’t realize she is pushing too hard, its sweet that she cares enough to try though. It would be worse if she ignored him. Her attempts paid off, obviously Fabio loves her or he wouldn’t have welcomed her invitation to snuggle. How sweet!


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