Of Clocks and Box Fans and Fiddle Dee Dee

One of the things about raising a child like my son, who carries a dual diagnosis of Down Syndrome and Autistic Spectrum Disorder, is that he can become rathe fixated in the heat of the day, if boredom (God forbid!) starts to set in. Prior to Covid, he became interested in getting a clock for his room. He wanted to go to CVS (it used to be for buying their cute little cars that are on display in some of the CVS stores). I thought: “Okay … a clock … a good thing … he wants to know what time it is and what time it says when it’s nearly time for bed, etc. Yes! Let’s buy a clock for him , by George! ” So I laid down the dough, and he seemed pleased to have it. Not long after, however, he caught me when I was beyond exhausted and wanted “another clock.” Clearly not going to bed (holding me hostage) until I said yes (bear in mind my son is nearly 18). Okay … two by two … compare the times I thought … accuracy … whatever… I can promise him that if ONLY he will: “GO TO BED, for PETE’S SAKE!” He went to bed. (Remember the story of Rumplestiltskin? Turn all this to gold or I will take your life? Well, as the story went on, the king wanted more and more gold and eventually promised to make the girl who was spinning the straw into gold, his wife… but What was I getting??). You guessed it: unfortunately, my son wanted a THIRD clock, and he decided to take ours (somehow we forgot to lock our bedroom door that evening!). He waited until we were not around and blammo … he got it! No sense trying to reason with someone who cannot reason! No way to get it back. We are left accepting some things at times. Well, we can use our cell phones in the bedroom to tell the time, right? THIS was just one one those things, dag nab it! He plugged them all in around his room and broke one of the outlet covers intentionally (so we had to replace that) then the boredom DID creep in! Next thing you know, his childcare provider brings me the broken clocks (2/3 ain’t bad, right?). He had de-wired them all with some expectation that we would just buy more. At least one is intact, the one with a radio (I had no idea he liked KISS 108 after bedtime!). Enter next the story of the Box fans. Essential because he will not tolerate air conditioners! We are on the second one of those as the first one became a toy to bang off of the table and ultimately smash. Lovely. No choice but to get another one. Where is the lesson in this?? So far we are only on the second one but today he insisted on changing the second one with the one in our bedroom. Sneaked in again! He nearly knocked my weakened husband over trying to get to it while he (my husband) tried to “explain” that he (my son) could not have it. The negative NEVER works with my son. I barged thru the door, “Timothy is going to earn tickets if he takes mom’s fan!” (receiving tickets are this ” bad” thing that he didn’t like, starting back to when his brilliant teacher began giving them to him along w/ negative attention [i.e., when the child does not get any attention from the teacher or the parent when he is being naughty … a word that he understands on some level]). He stopped trying to take the fan! Thank God! I knew he wanted it because he was hot and probably thought that 2 fans are better than one. Two clocks … two fans … hmm a pattern I fear? He also believes that keeping the windows closed is somehow beneficial (I am constantly opening them for him and refreshing his ice water in protest), and he seems to think that taking off the window shades is a good thing…don’t get me started with that one! We are down to one box fan and one clock in his room, and I am wondering what the next thing will be. Oh, wait! It’s ALEXA, the thing that you give voice commands to! Apparently, the childcare provider has it in her house (KRIKIE!!!!!! ), and he thinks if he can just get into the office in our house (oh no!!) that he will find her there! Does anyone remember Habitrail, a special fancy gerbil cage? I feel as if we are in the Habitrail with Covid, just running around and around. I am trying to prevent my son from nibbling through everything so that there will be something left for next week.

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