Me and Tantrum Tot at Carowinds
(if the camera adds 10 lbs, how many damn cameras are pointed at me????)
OK so we (by we I mean mostly my wife) decided to take the kids to Carowinds amusement park in South Carolina since our budget was slim and other factors. Kids of course complained the day we were trying to leave to the point where she was beside herself and I was poised to strike at any continued complaint from the peanut gallery in the back seat.
Well first on our way there, the Jeep Patriot started giving us trouble. We got a temperature light and all of a sudden the car stopped getting power to the accelerator. We pulled off and while we were pulling into a gas station, our tire popped. Woo Hoo!!
Well I limp into the gas station and unpack the entire back and change the tire. We popped the hood and checked the overflow tank which had fluid in it so we just let the engine cool off for a while. The light disappeared, the car started running fine again so we continued on our way.
She got a GREAT deal on the hotel like she always does…we were in a 2 room suite with 2 full beds and a full sleeper in the other room, full kitchen and free breakfast every day. We usually find a time share with a full kitchen so we can do a small shopping and feed ourselves in our rooms for most meals instead of drive thru’s etc. every meal. (You can REALLY save big doing that, and you don’t have to worry about waking up early so you won’t miss breakfast hours either).
So we get to the hotel, our room is kind of nice. (We’ve stayed in bad rooms before believe me). BUT the last guests had completely pulled the molding off the door frame and we were worried about the baby getting hurt. And then my wife noticed the ad on the internet when she booked the room said 2 bedroom suite, not 2 room suite. AND there was no table and chairs in the room like the ad said. AND they said free breakfasts had been discontinued since they just opened a new restaurant in the hotel. AND the pool wasn’t usable because some other guest decided to throw a glass into it from the eighth floor the night before.
OK so now I have to call the front desk. The only thing I cared about was the door frame cause honestly, every one in my family sleeps late except for me so they miss breakfast anyway. And we had 2 beds and a sleeper so we had more than enough room. We didn’t have a table and chairs but we had 2 desks we’d be fine.
But my wife HAD to have me call cause damn it the ad said this and we weren’t getting this! She cannot abide that, cause she feels it’s dishonest and it goes against her literal minded nature. However even though she’s the one who has the issues, I get to be the one who makes the call. So I call down and explain and though we didn’t get a discounted rate or meal vouchers or anything they moved us to another room since the molding was really a safety issue, and they agreed to continue their continental breakfast for another 3 days.
OK first off let’s get this straight. Carowinds is NO Disney. It’s no Universal. Hell it’s not even a Great Adventure. While it’s a nice park, large, 2 wave pools, kiddie water areas, water rides, plenty of roller coasters etc. the biggest difference is that Disney’s biggest pro in it’s favor, is the customer service. And the Fast Pass accommodations. And the food. And the food here at Carowinds in the park is not only BAD but incredibly expensive.
Here at Carowinds, I’m guessing this fast pass and accommodating people with disabilities is fairly new. However, the staff manning the rides have NO idea what they’re doing. Each person told us a different thing. The pass its self says no waiting, yet each person tried to have us wait. One person tried pulling the children for whom the pass was issued off to the side while the accompanying parent waited on the line and when they reached the front, the kids would then be able to cut the line and go on with the adult (so in essence wanted the autistic child to wait in a separate area ALONE while their parent stood on line.) Another person tried to have the kids stay online with us and when we reached the front usher us through the handicap entrance. And each person was not only clueless to how their accommodation pass should work, but they were either completely disinterested or flat out annoyed because of it.
I had to keep my wife on a short leash because she was ready to take people down!
Other than that the kids had a good albeit short day.
My wife grew up going on vacation every summer. Or taking short weekend trips somewhere every so often. She insists that the children will cling to the memory of these trips just as she with all her Aspie-ness has.
My family was dirt poor. There was no vacations. My weekend trips were when my mother’s friend from church would take one, maybe two of us kids to her house (her kids had toys galore and COMICS Oh my Lord the comics!) I would stay up all night reading Spider Man and Legion of Super Heroes and when X-Men were introduced I was in heaven!
Needless to say I never understood her obsession with vacations, especially when they cause so much stress it’s not relaxing at all. When we discovered her Asperger’s it made a little more sense to me why vacations are always so stressful. Vacations take the kids out of their normal environment and routines. They complain about that. LOUDLY and OFTEN. Aspie Wife puts tremendous amounts of energy and planning into the vacation trips. She makes lists of the lists she has to make. She budgets she plans. She visualizes this incredible result from the efforts of her plans. And then the kids strike with their complaints and their passive aggressive and/or totally aggressive reactions and her illusions are shattered even before we leave.
Aspie Teen’s routine is to wake up, help with Tantrum Tot and at some point slink away to his room/Aspie Cave and play PS3, watch Hulu and play online video games. As long as he is doing this he is content.
Aspie Monkey Boy, as long as he can come home, switch on Netflix, go next door to play with the two girls or the 12 year old boy down the row, come in when he wants and go back outside, he’s in heaven. No fuss no muss, and you won’t know he’s there until they all come inside and drive my wife nuts with the extreme noise levels they bring.
My wife however, feels like a house prisoner. She can’t go outside, has no one to interact with, taking Tantrum Tot out in public without me is too exhausting for her. And now that she’s pregnant, her energy level and tolerance for chaos has diminished significantly. So she looks forward to these vacations even if we’re on a shoe string budget. (believe me no one on earth can do more with a shoe string budget than my wife).
However, once we’re off the real world starts chipping away at our plans, intentions, monetary reserves, patience, tolerance and ability to deal.
Onward my friends….follow us on our “getaway”. (insert maniacal laugh).
Oh my God this was just SO funny I hope it makes someone else laugh as much as it made us laugh. Aspie Teen just cackled for about 20 minutes after I read this to him.
Sorry, everyone. Just… sorry. I got up really early today to get a lot of work done, and while I was working at my computer, I felt our little dog lay down at my feet and brush her silky long ears against my toes. All was right with the world. And then I remembered that the dog was actually downstairs in the guest room with the kids, since they all had a big sleepover and watched movies all night. By the time I realized that the five minutes or so of soft toe-tickling was being done by a giant wood roach running back and forth across my bare feet, I pretty much lost it. I sprayed my entire office with Raid.
But then had to keep working. I’m pretty sure I’ve either now been repeatedly licking envelopes, or I’ve lost my taste buds. And I keep seeing midgets dance in…
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I just read this post by The Worthington Post and had to re-post it. This was awesome! I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did.
Today my wife and I went to her cousins house for her daughters 14th birthday. Her cousin and her husband are the only friends we have down here and if they didn’t live an hour away from us we might see and hang out with them more.
My wife’s cousin’s husband is Mexican. He’s a cool guy…he was an architect in Mexico, but can’t work as one here. (don’t get me started). Anyway, her cousin is cool people. She works from home and takes care of their two teen and pre-teen daughters. Needless to say they are all NT’s and they don’t know about my families Aspie-ness.
The husband had some of his friends and relatives over for the party, (my wife is the only family her cousin has down here). There was food, (barbecue and Mexican), music, (I had no idea before today that Mexican’s listen to Merengue music like us Puerto Ricans do), and the kids were in the pool. Now my wife and I sat apart from everyone else, his family usually is very “stick to themselves” when they are there with anyone else (so my wife’s cousin tells me)…but we didn’t mind too much, because it gave my wife a golden reason to NOT have to interact and spared her a lot of pressure.
I was sitting there, listening to the music, eating the food when I realized how much I missed having Spanish culture around me. I’m Puerto Rican from New York, and though I don’t have a very strong cultural identity (i don’t speak read or write Spanish, and I can’t dance Salsa or Merengue etc.) still being in NY you can’t help but be around it some point. True this was the Mexican culture, but it was similar enough to invoke those feelings. I also felt sad that I didn’t feel connected to what was going on around me.
My wife and I have NO friends out here. We don’t interact with anyone. I don’t hunt or fish and can’t even fathom how that is even entertaining. I am not Mr. Fix-It or Mr. Mechanic in a land of people who were raised building, plumbing, farming, hunting and fishing and working on cars since they were 3. I have NOTHING in common with any of the men down here.
For my wife it’s even worse! She rarely does anything other with her hair than throw it in a pony tail, and usually wears shorts flip flops and a large v neck tee shirt whenever she goes out or stays in, and doesn’t really worry about her appearance too much after that. She doesn’t put a huge priority on cleaning house, or gardening, she doesn’t like shopping or doing girly things like that and has absolutely no interest in getting together with the girls to gossip. On top of that at least during the day I get to leave the house and go to work and interact with people while she stays at home and feels like a house hostage.
I say all that to make this point. As I sat there feeling disconnected and sad about it, it hit me how my wife and other Aspie’s feel like this every day. Seeing the world go on around them, and not being able to interact with it, and when they do they don’t quite feel connected to it. They will never be able to experience it the way we NT’s do.
I’ve spent my whole life feeling like an outsider. I didn’t have a strong enough Puerto Rican identity for my culture. (To this day I get poked fun of for not speaking Spanish). I was always an outsider wherever I went. We moved around a lot and didn’t stay in one place for any amount of time. We were dirt poor. I never had cool clothes or even new clothes. I was easy pickings for the bullies to make fun of. I had a speech problem. I wasn’t allowed outside and my dad though he lived with us was hardly home to teach me to throw a football around, or hit a ball etc. so I sucked at sports and didn’t know the rules or how to play any of them. I wasn’t allowed to listen to music or go to movies so I had nothing to talk to anyone about. I was lonely my whole life.
But I learned what to say in what situation. I learned the correct social cues and etiquette and eventually even how to understand emotional effects on human behavior and reason out why someone would act a certain way or even predict how they would react if I did a certain thing. So I learned how to survive adapt and blend even if I didn’t feel I ever belonged anywhere.
My wife can’t do that. My sons can’t do that. Nor will they ever learn to. They will forever be disconnected from the world at large. They will never quite fit in. They will always feel like they are in a room full of people yet be so lonely it’s heartbreaking.
Not only that, but outside of this house, they really don’t have a hope of ever being able to do so.
Thank God for the online community. For places like WordPress or Blogger or even Face Book where they can meet other Aspies, share similar experiences, come together and have some sort of solidarity. For cyber-friends and circles. There is hope, they can see they are not alone. They can reach out across miles, states, countries or continents and FIND others like them who can show them they are not as alone as they think.
Thank God for all of you.
It has been a loooong 2 weeks around the Aspie household. It seems time stuck this household in a bottle, swirled the bottle around and watched us all spin around like crazy (emphasis on crazy), and when it seemed like the whirlwind would slow down, he’d spin it again.
Aspie Teen has been in RARE form, driving his mother crazy and being VERY self centered. Aspie Monkey Boy has been his usual crazy self, but it seems like the communication gap between him and I continues to grow. He wants to challenge every direction I give him. Which leads to minor melt downs and tantrums. Aspie Baby has been a literal Holy Terror. From morning to night he has been a NIGHTMARE on MY street!
I get emails and texts from my wife ALL day starting at 6:30 in the morning detailing how he’s driving her crazy. He’s screaming. He’s still screaming. Hasn’t stopped screaming yet. Now I’m (wifey) screaming! When I get home, he gets happy for a little while unless I try to do something crazy like leave the room or go to the bathroom. Then he’ll scream DADDY at the top of his lungs until I answer him or pound on the door to the bathroom with his head until I let him in or come out when I’m done.
(Those are his little fingers coming under the door).
He’s been waking up every 2-3 hours again even on Melatonin. I get up and give him a bottle and he goes back to sleep. Wifey is having a TERRIBLE time sleeping at night. Between heart burn, gas, and nightmare upon nightmare she has a hard time falling asleep and an even harder time staying asleep. Couple that with pregnancy hormones and it’s been a REAL blast! I feel sorry for her, and wish I could pay for her to go to a hotel down at Myrtle Beach and let her have a week for herself!
The past two weeks I’ve woken up feeling like the walking dead. If it wasn’t for my Bustelo and Adderall (for my ADD), I wouldn’t be able to function at work. Needless to say the house is destroyed as well. I come home, help with the cooking. TRY to do the dishes but the next day some son of a bitch has come and used half the cups/glasses in the house AGAIN! I do laundry yet somehow lack the conviction to put it away after it’s done.
(found this pic on my iFunny app and thought it was SO appropriate)
Today we went to my wife’s cousin’s daughter’s 14th birthday party. She lives about an hour away. Her cousin is Italian/Irish/something and her husband is Mexican. So there was a LOT of food, music and while not a LOT, enough people that I could see the tension go into my wife’s body the minute we entered. We spent most of the day by ourselves, as the boys splashed in the pool. I ended up having to chase Aspie Baby around all day with my wife spelling me at intervals. Aspie Baby wanted to go through the house, close every door a hundred times, flick every light switch on and off a hundred times, and finally ended up climbing in and out of the jeep for an hour or so. I had planned on getting SMASHED at this party, however when I saw how pooped my wife was getting and how Aspie Baby was behaving I cut it short and switched to Pepsi for the rest of the day.
We walked into the house which after the clean orderly visit to her cousins house only drove home the disastrous mess we live in (for me anyway). Aspie Baby is passed out, Aspie Monkey Boy has had his Melatonin and is watching Netflix (and by the way the person who invented the streaming Netflix deserves a bloody Nobel Peace Prize), Aspie Teen, though he seemed to enjoy himself a LOT playing with the other teens and kids in the pool and in the yard afterwards, came home and ran right upstairs to his safe zone (room) to decompress after having had to interact with all those people, and wifey is laying down completely and utterly devoid of any energy whatsoever. I am waiting for the my last dose of Adderall to leave my system.
Even though wifey and I stayed mostly to ourselves today, (I’m going to write a post about that next), the day still exhausted her mentally, emotionally and physically. She said today tired her out more than a day at an amusement park. I hope that is so, because next week we are taking the boys to an amusement park. We’ll see how THAT goes.
This will be a short post…but I had to post it…
My wife, Aspie Teen and I were watching The Big Bang Theory when the Pepsi commercial with Beyonce Knowles aired. Now this is like the umpteenth time this commercial has played…and my wife turns to me and says…is this chick supposed to be somebody we should know that they keep playing this commercial?
I turned slowly and looked at her in disbelief and said that’s Beyonce…and she said…yeah she’s supposed to be married to some guy named Jay Zee…
I was floored…flabbergasted…stunned into disbelief…ok….my wife isn’t into music as much as I am…especially NEW music…she contentedly listens to the same artists over and over again….I can understand that…but to not even know who Beyonce is? She is one of the most popular most played music icons in the recent past who has appeared in movies, tons of music videos and has appeared countless times in magazines…and Jay Z is the grand-high-mystic-exalted-poo-bah of rappers who has managed to branch out into most every branch of business imaginable.
My wife really lives in a bubble. This is the on going joke that we share. Because for someone with super senses, she really pays no attention to things like commercials or previews or anything…she’s constantly being taken by surprise by movies that are in theatre’s or how much this child actor has grown since the movies she saw them last in. Now I’m not saying I am the most informed person in the world either, because I’m not. I don’t listen to the news, and I am the least political person I know. But even I know who Beyonce and Jay-Z are…(OK I admit to having a more than passing interest in pop-culture here), but again these people’s names and faces have been plastered EVERY WHERE!
It was just another reminder of her face blindness which inhibits her from remembering random people’s faces even though she’s seen them before. This used to manifest itself most often when we lived in New York and attended a large church where I would introduce her to people week after week and it was like she never saw them before. I’ve only ever experienced this when I was sick with a really high fever and was walking around in a daze where I could not remember who anyone was. I don’t know how she does it.
I just had to stop and post it. Sorry…ok it’s out of my system…have to go finish my Sheldon show..
Good night all.
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