"Nobody told me there'd be days like these/ Nobody told me there'd be days like these/ Nobody told me there'd be days like these/ Strange days indeed/ Most Peculiar Mama."-John Lennon.
Those lyrics ran through my head after #1's bus pulled away. It started when I asked him to bring the garbage cans up from the street before his bus came. He put on his raincoat and went out. When he came back inside, he was very agitated. He ripped off his raincoat, grabbed his down coat and started to cry. A moment later, he ripped off his down coat crying, "I'll just get wet." I said, "yes. It's cold and rainy. Let's put a sweatshirt under the raincoat and you'll be fine." I ran to his room, grabbed two sweatshirts and let him choose(to give him some control). He chose the zippy. I helped him put it on and then put his raincoat over it. And then he blew a fuse. He ripped the coats off his body like I had put acid on him, threw himself and the floor and started screaming.( His bus was due any minute).
My internal dialogue was like this, "OMG, OMG, OMG. What the fuck...do ..I ..do here? Shit. Fuck. Motherfucker."
So, I do what any parent who is being sucked into the vortex does; I start yelling. "GET UP! YOU NEED TO PUT A COAT ON!" (bus has pulled up). I help him off the floor and he grabs his raincoat without the sweatshirt, puts it on in an agitated fashion, one step from being upside down, grabs his backpack and runs to the bus. I can here him crying up until the bus doors close.
"Mommy, can you fix this" Says twin S, "I NEED A MINUTE", I say, much louder and with more drama than I needed to. I get the magical sticky tape and fix what is required and I think, "what the hell happened?" He was absolutely fine, until he went outside. I then realized, We taught him, "when it rains, wear a raincoat. When it is cold, wear a winter coat" We didn't teach him,"when it is cold and rainy, wear a sweatshirt under a raincoat." He had melted because the coping strategies he had in place didn't define the strategy for the condition he was presented with. It was illogical. I thought of Spock looking at Captain Kirk, in that "what the fuck?" way that only a Vulcan can pull off. Autistic individuals are creatures of habit. As parents you spend so much time prepping your children for things hoping they learn how to cope, but you always have to err on the safe side because you never know what seeps into their heads until they show you.
Note to self: teach all kids how to dress on cold & rainy days, because, Nobody told me there'd be days like these. Strange days indeed.