On Sunday morning, Chef came downstairs around 11’ish. Naked. My response? “No. No no no. No.” Chef made a face and went back upstairs.
A few minutes later, Chef came down the stairs and started saying something. I interrupted. “I do not want to see your penis.” Chef made a face and stomped upstairs.
A few minutes later, Chef came to the top of the stairs and said, “I need to eat and get my chores done so I can have free time.”
“Yes you do,” I responded.
Chef ran down the stairs, put on his jacket, and came into the kitchen, tugging the front of his jacket down as far as he could.
“No. No no no. No.”
Chef grumped, stomped through the living room, threw his jacket in the hallway, and stomped upstairs.
Awhile later, Chef came to the top of the stairs.
“Excuse me please, Mom?”
“I made a problem for myself and I don’t have any clothes because they’re all in the laundry room but I didn’t do my laundry so now I need help.”
“What sort of help do you need?”
“I need you to bring me some clean clothes.”
“Sorry sweetie, as you know, that wouldn’t be helping you. That would be fixing a problem you made and a problem that you’ve had many opportunities to fix and still chose not to.”
“Can you please bring me my clothes from the hamper then?”
“Well I need clothes!”
“Where is your bathrobe?”
“Out on the front step.”
“Is that where it belongs?”
“Where are your pyjamas?”
“Out on the front step.”
“Is that where they belong?”
“How long have your pyjamas been there without you bringing them in?”
“I don’t know. A long time.”
"Lunch will be ready in a few minutes. What is your plan?"
"Umm. To get my laundry done so I can come and eat."
"Is your laundry going to be finished in a few minutes when lunch is ready?"
This blog was initially set up as a means of communicating with my son's team. Since then, I've heard from other parents with similar stories. If you are living with challenges or journeying alongside someone who is, you are not alone. There are many of us. I'm a single adoptive Mom (http://richesofsimplicity.blogspot.com/) of a young man who lives with many abilities and many diagnoses. We have journeyed together through many challenges and a few adventures over the years as my son has tried to find space in this world that makes him feel more comfortable, an attempt made especially difficult when living with Attachment Disorder, PDD-NOS (Autism), Developmental Coordination Disorder, ADHD, prenatal substance exposure, etc. Some of the strongest elements used in this journey have been music, visual arts, therapeutic parenting, team-connection, boundary-setting, boundary-setting, boundary-setting, communication skills, community-building, continual lifeskills training, and elements of Theraplay. (Click here for some written resources.) On this journey, there is laughter and tears and growth and hope. The greatest of these is hope.