Monday, July 4, 2011

Booby Traps

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Asperger's is such a fun and interesting disorder because you never know what your kid is going to do next. Right now, we are into skateboarding. That's probably because we've expanded our social horizons and have some Paxil each day that makes us want to get out and shred (a term meaning skateboard as far as I can tell). Most kids in our town skateboard, so I'm glad the my boy has a way to break the ice with new kids he meets while enjoying common interests  with his regular group of friends. 

It's a little scary to watch him maneuver on a skateboard.  As a mom, my super power is the ability to see ever single injury-- big and small -- that could occur while he's practicing tricks. "Wear your helmet" is my new motto it seems (and for someone with sensory issues it's a miracle I can get him to put it on). I try to ensure a proper fit every time he puts it on. For him, it's entirely uncool to have your mom dote over you like that. (Evil safety freak, I am. I'm also no longer allowed to refer to myself as "mommy" because that, too, is uncool and embarrassing.) My boy does have cat like reflexes on hit skateboard and since his birthday, I've only dressed one skinned knee. It makes me wonder if he is a re-incarnated skater, because with everything else and like his mom, he's a klutz.

But bragging about my super powers to see his future broken bones and his amazing ability to not to break anything while trying the latest skating trick is not why I write this post. Skating is his new interest. When his anxiety was higher, when he was worried about intruders all the time and before Paxil, his obsession was digging little holes, or booby traps, around our house whenever he was outside.

At one point, he'd dug so many holes in the backyard that my hubby went to work filling them all in and we instituted a no digging holes in the backyard policy.  Why? Because the only people the kid was going to thwart were himself, his family and his friends. The only thing thwarted after the great hole filling in by daddy was the no more holes policy. The boy was literal. We said no more holes in the BACKYARD. With asperger's, you have to be specific.

The kid started a small pit to China in the side yard, or alley between our house and our neighbor's -- right split in the middle. The hole once again was to trap anyone who meant us harm. We put a stop to that digging as soon as we discovered complete silence and a missing shovel. We explained to the boy and his hole digging companion (after all, boys love to get into the dirt, so the kid's obsession was cool)  that that's where our neighborhood had a special drainage system put in because our gutters were emptying into our neighbors house and garage. If he'd hit a pipe, it would have been disaster. I kept meaning to fill in that hole, but never got to it. I also reminded the kids that part of that hole now belonged to our neighbor, who wouldn't appreciate the extra security.

Then we parents instituted the absolutely no digging holes anywhere at anytime without express permission, except at the beach. No use of shovels without permission, except at the beach. Specific enough? I think so. 

The other day, I was looking for my less fearful much braver kid whose forgotten almost entirely about intruders (and only says "lock the door" 50 times a day instead of 5,000) and whose focus is now playing with other kids like a regular, non-anxiety having kid. He's supposed to let us know where he is going and who he is with whenever he changes locations. This time, he didn't. Mommy, er mom, was irritated because he forgot a lot that day. (Too many children in the neighborhood behind us are unsupervised, unless its by me our neighbor, which is one reason we worry when the kid goes-a-playing out of our line of vision.)

I was walking along the side yard in a huff when I discovered his booby trap worked really, really well. As I fell onto my right knee, sliding across the grass and dirt, my left foot (the one I'd injured severely as a teenager, which has never been quite the same) did its own crazy Tony Hawk like trick. I cussed, I held back tears, I said "the boy is now grounded officially" and I realized that his booby trap was successful, especially since enough time had elapsed to allow grass, when it needs mowing to hide the almost adult foot sized pit.

It being Fourth of July weekend, I couldn't imagine hobbling into the emergency room to wait ten hours to be told what I already knew: I sprained something. So, I did all the good first aid stuff while my husband found the kid playing happily with well supervised kids. The kid felt bad that because we were looking for him and because he'd dug a hole, I got hurt.

The kid and I both learned some valuable lessons from that experience. The first is that yes, the kid needs to report his where-a-bouts because bad things happen when you don't, which he's taken to heart. The second is that there is a reason we don't dig holes in the yard (a phase I think is over). The final thing is that his booby trap was really well designed and all those times I thought about filling it in, but put it off makes me currently an idiot.

I also think I now prefer skateboards to booby traps. 

My foot didn't get better, so I ended up at the emergency room at seven in the morning to beat the crowds today. It appears I injured the middle of the foot, in which is an area difficult to x-ray clearly. The doctor guessed that nothing was broken with caveat that sometimes you can't see a break until it starts to heal. He gave me something for the pain, said I didn't necessarily need crutches as long as I stayed off my foot for a few days. Since it was already injured, I could have strained the innards of an already weak foot. If it doesn't get better within a few days, I'll need to see a specialist-- either a podiatrist or an orthopedic surgeon. So let's pray it gets better because its summer, we need beach time and I still have a recovering husband. 

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