“Little Man’s” Mom is a high-ranking manager for our very large city. Yesterday was take your kids to work day. It’s her job to organize this event for her fellow employees, and her children’s participation in this huge event is not optional! “Little Man” & “Big Brother” who are highly intelligent are equally lacking in their social graces. Yesterday was an absolute freaking nightmare!
For those of you who are not familiar with our Blog, “Little Man” is a nine-year old boy whose superpower is Autism, and I have been his superhero activity assistant for almost three years. I also care for his older brother who is ten, and their baby brother who is three. “The Baby” otherwise known as the “King” is exhibiting some Autistic behavior, but has not been officially diagnosed. “The Baby” was given a pass on today’s events because of his age. Thank goodness for small blessings.
I adore all three of the brother’s, but their public behavior can be much less than desirable. Mom is painfully aware of this. She asked me to be there to help out with the boys who are notorious for wandering off in large crowds, and prone to some “Dennis The Menace” like antics. “Little Man’s Autism plays a huge factor in his awkward social behavior. He does much better in small crowds, and with a scheduled routine. “Big Brother’s” crotchety by nature, and can be quite rude when things do not go according to his expectations.
Yesterday’s events involved 31 other employee’s children, 13 other adults besides Mom, and myself. It began at 8:00 in the morning with a light breakfast (Director’s Welcome) at Mom’s workplace, followed by a tour of one of our cities aquatics programs featuring a tour/lecture on their new Geothermal Heat Pump. We were surrounded by huge swimming pools with slides, but that was not included on our to do list. Try to imagine how 31 children felt about that. Next was a tour to our City Hall to meet our Mayor, and Deputy Mayor. Then back on the bus across town to tour a new recreation center, and lunch. Then back on the bus across town to another recreation center that’s focus is on wildlife preservation/environmental studies, and then back on the bus to our final destination yet another new recreation center/gift tree dedication. Then back to Mom’s work place to clean-up before going home at 5:00.
Now if you haven’t fallen asleep from sheer boredom let me tell you about the “Brothers” reactions to this kind of scheduling. The breakfast entailed a game of healthy bingo. Each card had healthy not-so- common foods in the squares rather than numbers. A great way to introduce new choices, that included some pretty great prizes for the winners. Well guess whose two children did not win a single round. It was a huge battle just to keep “little Man” from continuously examining all the prizes prior to giving them out. He is like a “Houdini” at working his way out of a designated seat to go somewhere he has been told is off-limits. Meanwhile “Big Brother’s” face is contorting into the most awful expressions of pouting known to mankind. Mom’s colleagues, are witnessing the whole situation because we are all packed into a conference room like sardines.
Mom is attempting to keep “Little Man” in order as I try to quietly persuade “Big Brother” not to embarrass himself in front everyone else, especially Mom’s boss. Next stop was the aquatics park where our beloved “Houdini” once again ignores directions, and slips off a narrow cement landing almost ending up in a deep pool of very nasty water! I was lucky enough to grab him mid-air by the back of his shirt, and pull him back onto the ledge.
Next stop City Hall for a tour to meet the Mayor. He explains to the children how things work, and he asks the children if they have any questions. “Big Brother” raises his hand and asks “When can we go I’m bored now!” Mom tries make him apologize to the Mayor, to which he loudly replies “I’d rather drink from the toilet!” Mom takes him into the hall to scold him. Then he begins to cry loudly, wildly waving his arms, stomping his feet.
Next stop new recreation center “Big Brother” openly rolls his eyes at Mom’s co-worker who was very nicely trying to give him directions. When another co-worker steps in to help she also get’s an eye roll accompanied by a smart-ass remark. When he was asked to apologize he replies “I would rather drink from the toilet!”
Next stop animal show at environmental center. All the children had been instructed not to make loud noises or quick movements during the birds of prey show because the falcon, hawk, and owl were very nervous by nature. “Little Man” becomes overly excited by the falcon’s wing fluttering jumps up screaming. This causes all the other birds who are tethered to their caretaker’s arm’s to wildly flap, and do 360’s around their arms in a mad attempt to flee from this chaos. This frightens the other children who are now screaming and running away from these pretty scary looking panicked birds!
After calming the kid stampede, and getting the birds safely back inside their cages the kids are taken to a city program which again involves games, and prizes. “Big Brother” loses again has a complete meltdown. The D.J. gives “Little Man” a gift for being a good sport to make a point to “Big Brother,” this just causes him to react even more. Now at this point I have had it, I pull “Big Brother” from the floor, and drag him back to the bus.
These are not my children so I had to restrain from my natural desires to deal with them in what I know would have been completely foreign to them, and very much deserved! We finally arrived at our last stop, both boys knew that I was very unhappy with them. They have never seen this side of me so they decided to turn themselves around. At this point I was desperate to bring this day to a close. Mom had tried to bribe the boys that morning with the promise of a great reward if they could be on their best behavior that day. You should know I am not a fan of this idea. My children were required to behave because it was simply the right thing to do.
“Big Brother” looks up at his Mom and says”I know we had a rough start, but we did turn things around in the end. Can we still have our reward?” Mom looks over at me, and says” What do you think Ms. G-uno?” I am now boiling over with anger, my hands are clenched, “Big Brother’s” attempt to manipulate his mother has me ready to explode! Both boys are searching my face waiting for my response. I’m desperately trying to edit the response that is going on in my head. Then I look them all in the face, and say “I’d rather drink from the toilet than give you a reward!” 😉