I was wrong.
Chef hadn't done his chores yesterday. Normally, he'd have a free pass on chores the first day of school in exchange for other enjoyable/relaxing activities. However, because he has gone back to only occasionally doing his chores lately, he still needed to clean up the kitchen after supper last night and clean up the bathroom.
Chef sounded like he was doing his chores and on initial glance, the kitchen looked cleaned up. I discovered this morning, however, that bits that should have been swept up from the kitchen floor had just been swept into less conspicuous places; under the cupboards, under the table, into the bathroom, down the hall, etc. There were dirty dishes in the cupboards. And though the bathroom smelled very "clean" it actually wasn't at all, meaning Chef probably did what he's done many times in the past - just dumped cleaner (vinegar) in the bathtub.
He'd also said he'd packed his lunch and even listed off what he'd put in his lunchbag - and I mistakenly believed him without checking. This morning his lunchbag only contained empty containers from yesterday's lunch. Chef grumped about having to still pack his lunch, grumped about me having to check his lunch, grumped about having to clean up a mess he'd left on the floor the night before, and when it was time to go out for the bus he kept moving slowly til he was almost late, then got dressed outside.
He did, however, have clothes on when the bus arrived, was wearing his glasses, and got on the bus with his (now packed!) lunchbag and his school supplies. So - was on his way to school and leaving a bit of a wake behind at home.
When he got home from school, there was no time for his after-school rest because we have additional plans for this evening so he needed to finish his chores from yesterday so we can enjoy the evening and start preparing for the weekend. He accepted the news, with the understanding that he would have had time for a rest if he had done his chores yesterday (still learning that it doesn't work to stockpile chores or pretend to do them or lie about having done them). Chef arrived home at 3:30pm and is almost finished cleaning up what he left in the kitchen from yesterday. It is 5:30pm....
After supper, I told my son he had 10 minutes to get the supper dishes done. They were done in 10 minutes.
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.