Today is DC’s first full day at camp. He has attended this camp since he was 5 years old. He loves it. Before he left the school system at age 21, he was able to attend 9 to 3 every day for 7 weeks each summer. Now that he has a “job”, he normally uses some of his allotted vacation time to attend for two weeks of the season. He does and has always been able to attend the twice weekly after camp program.
He attended when he was at the camp full time and still attends now after work. Because we took an extra vacation this year, he was not able to take an extra two weeks off to attend camp as he usually does, so I opted for him to go one day a week on Friday in addition to the two “after camp” sessions that do not interfere with his work schedule or his time off. This works out well because I am off from work on Fridays for the summer and I don’t have to figure out and schedule how he will get there each day.
The camp has what they call “Special Days” (more about that in an upcoming ‘Everything is Related’ post) listed on the calendar. Because of DC’s schedule he has missed one of his favorites, Hat Day (or “silly hat day” as DC likes to call it) for the past 3 years. He still has every single construction paper award that he has ever won for his hats on Hat Day and he is very proud of them.
Today happened to be Hat Day. As soon as DC discovered that he would be at camp on Hat Day, it was all that I heard about. We went through his collection of silly hats and he chose the cheeseburger hat.
We arrived at camp and he got himself situated. Although the director and assistant director are aware of his seizure, I wanted to stress again the fact that I really believed it had to do with the heat and the all-around stress of the day we had that day. I also wanted to talk to his group leader personally.
We were a bit early so the staff was still in their morning meeting. DC decided that he had to use the restroom. He came right out and informed me that there was no toilet paper.
(for someone who was so uncomfortable writing a post about toilet paper that I had to use a code word – ‘paper towels’, I do get that it is odd that I am writing a post about it again)
I got him a big handful from the ladies room and he went back in, no problem…. or so I thought. When he came out, he would not let go of the fact that there was not toilet paper in the men’s room, even though he didn’t need it any longer, it wasn’t there. I told him that I would let the director know as soon as they were finished with their meeting – but he would just not calm down about it.
When the meeting was over he came with me – still ranting – to talk to the director. First I explained to her that what was going on right then was because there is no toilet paper in the rest room. She immediately called to one of her staff to replenish the supply. This did not do a thing to calm him down. It was too late. This coupled with his normal ‘arrival anxiety’ was too much and even when I showed him the new rolls, it didn’t matter, he was too far into this now. It went on for awhile.
When he finally did calm down about that, he moved right into his normal routine of obsessing about me.
“I’m sorry, calm down now. I’m sorry. Not ‘crappy’ anymore “- (DC – speak “crabby”).
As many times that I have told him over the years that he has nothing to be sorry about (and as many times as I told him this morning), this is what happens. If we are home together, this could and has gone on for hours. If I am dropping him off somewhere, I try to just get him calm enough so that I can leave, because if I am there he will continue to perseverate on me.
I was worried and having seizure flashbacks because it was hot and now he was upset, so I was afraid to leave when I normally would have. He finally did calm down to the point where I felt comfortable leaving – not to say I feel comfortable leaving him anywhere since the seizure, but as comfortable as I can be now-a-days.
As I was leaving he moved on to obsessing about whether I was going to come back and when I was going to pick him up. This is his regular obsession – I do not know why – I have never been so much as a minute late in picking him up anywhere, ever, but it has always been a thing with him.
Now that he had moved on to “Mom is coming back”, his regular routine, I was sure it was safe to leave.
I hope his anxiety this morning does not ruin “Hat Day” for him. Fingers crossed that he comes home with that construction paper award today, because that will most certainly fix everything.
and later ……