The ice, the grass and other things…..


(Warning: Crabby Post Ahead)

December, although only a week and a half in, is not looking like it is going to earn a spot on my favorite months of 2014 list.
At work we have an annual shutdown around the holidays. Unfortunately the shut-down week is not always the same every year, we have to wait for the announcement.
Doug, DC and I normally plan our vacations 9 months to a year ahead of time. This year we opted to go a few weeks earlier than we have in the past. Because our plans would fall around shut-down time, we chose the logical week for a holiday shut down; the week of school vacation.

– insert buzzer sound here –

Well we chose incorrectly.

This year our shutdown week is scheduled the week before school vacation. This means that I will now be out of the office for two weeks. So needless to say I am getting a bit panicky trying to get my day-to-day work done, while thinking ahead and trying to get all of the other things done that are due the week I will be away. Of course, being the end of the year there are additional, time-consuming items that need attention, and now a few extra meetings thrown in for good measure. Not to mention a day out of the office next week for a doctor’s appointment that they strategically scheduled right in the middle of the day so going in beforehand and/or going back afterwards is almost not worth it.

Not to say that panicked is not my normal state of being – My friend Bill (not a work friend; an autism Dad) would get a kick out of the fact that I could always admit to my – “panic first and think about it later” mindset. He, having worked with me on a few projects and in a few groups, knows this to be very true. He always thought it funny that I knew this about myself but still could not seem to control it. But this month just seems to be worse. There are a number of other things that I won’t get into, but the end result is that I am really not looking forward to our vacation right now, at all.

So yesterday, we had an ice storm. Why not? Now that DC is no longer in the school system, bad weather is just leads to very confusing mornings. When school was cancelled or delayed, it was cancelled or delayed, there was nothing to figure out. If cancelled, I could bring him to work with me. If delayed, I knew what time the bus would arrive and I could call work to let them know what time I’d be there.
It is not as easy now.
DC’s work program rarely closes and because his transportation and work are two separate entities, we really never know what to do. Will the car arrive at the regular time, will it be delayed? If so how long? If the roads are bad, do I really want the car to arrive at the regular time? If I choose to delay, will they even be able to come as it is a livery service on a schedule with other passengers to pick up and drop off throughout the day? I try to avoid calling the dispatcher, who doesn’t let me get a full sentence out before screaming at me as if I was insisting that they come in any sort of weather, I certainly am not, I just need to know all or some of the information above. During his rant, he never fails to “mention” that he was once “THE STATE COMMISSIONER OF TRANSPORTATION” – I wonder if he can have that tattooed on his forehead, or if he introduces himself as such to random people he might meet. I usually end up having to call back once or twice to get all of my ‘sentences’ out (story of my life).

Then we have DC’s “storm anxiety” – I have to watch the weather, just in case his work program is cancelled or delayed. It is also helpful to see the school cancellations listed to give me some idea about the conditions in the town where he works as well as the town where I work.

DC spent the morning stimming, yelling out random words, running to the door to look outside and yelling:

“No ‘wea-ver’! Two Five”
“No ‘wea-ver’! Two Five”

After many, many years of watching “Angel” every weekday morning on TNT (channel 25), this is the channel we must watch each morning. Even though Angel was removed from their line-up a few years back (BOO! I say) and replaced with “Smallville” (aka “Somebody Save Me” in DC-speak) which does not seem to hold his attention the way Angel did, the TV still must be on Two-Five in the morning.

I tried to salt the sidewalk so he could make it to the car when it arrived, but I have issues with both of my arms, which happen to be acting up more than usual lately so I only made it part of the way down the sidewalk.  I decided he could walk that far and cut across the lawn to the car when it pulls into the driveway. This did not go over well with DC at all!

“No grass!”

The driver began pulling into our driveway about a year ago. Originally she would pull up right in front of the house. But DC would not walk across the 2 foot strip of grass between the sidewalk and the road. He would walk right up to where the car was parked, turn left to follow the sidewalk out to the driveway and then a right onto the road to walk back to the car. He did the same thing when it was the school bus sitting in front of the house.

So not only was I ruining his life by watching the weather, now he had to walk across the grass!

“No ‘wea-ver’! Two Five”
“No ‘wea-ver’! Two Five”
No grass! No grass!

The driver called to say she wouldn’t be leaving the station for at least another half hour. She had already spoken with Tonya. DC and Salli (Tonya’s daughter) ride in together and Tonya, knowing I needed to get to work said I could drop DC off at their house to wait. As much as I didn’t want to be two hours late for work due to everything that was waiting for me there, and as much as DC would have loved to go there under normal circumstances,  I just couldn’t throw another wrench into his morning routine by bringing him to Tonya’s. The driver laughed,  as she’s seen him in “storm mode” before.

The wait was good for him, it gave him a chance to read, edit and calm down. He needed that. He was back to his old self by the time the car arrived and I walked across the lawn with him, so everything was just fine on that front.

Did I mention that just two nights before, I had finally convinced DC, after 2 years,  to sleep in his bed instead of on the couch? I could have predicted a storm as soon as he agreed. We’ll see what happens there. Storm=Couch. Just because the storm is over does not mean he won’t be “feeling very nervous about this”.

And just a side note- hasn’t it been said that stress could lead to weight loss? I mean, there should be some sort of silver-lining for me during this miserable month, right?

It looks like I’ll probably miss that boat as well.

Did somebody say “Christmas shopping, card mailing?” – No?

I didn’t think so…….


12 thoughts on “The ice, the grass and other things…..

    • He does get anxious around Halloween and Christmas due to his excitement. He usually happy but the closer the holiday gets the more I notice his focus is off and more flapping and stimming. Hyper, I’d have to say, more than anything. He can’t calm down, very loud. Fortunately the majority of it is happy, flapping and stimming. Unfortunately, when there is an added complication, it seems to be worse than it normally is.


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