Well, I'm at the point I'm actually labeling some of Jono's behaviors with Autistic terms. Is this another level of acceptance? Who knows.. it's just where we are at.
Yesterday on school holidays, we went out to a local park, Jono had trouble sitting in the car seat properly and preferred to be on the floor (as he had the other day). He's been horribly sick, with a vomiting flu thing and its really sapped him, and has seemed to cause some regression - he went through two days of no talking at all, and even now his babbling isn't as bright and cheery as normal.
So anyway, yesterday we went to the park, and then we wanted to go to the shops to buy something for Daniel, I spoke to Daniel about the chance we wouldn't get it today, depending on whether Jono could sit in his chair or not... How does an 8 year old take that you may ask? Well... it was difficult for him to understand he may miss out because Jono was having a 'moment'... but after he understood that I would not drive for 15 minutes to the shop we needed to go to because Jonothan's safety was more important, he seemed to be ok.
We got back in the car after the park, and I swapped their seats putting Jono directly behind me.. again he couldn't sit in his chair, he wanted to be on the floor. So I put the seatbelt across him the best I could and thought - perhaps I could bribe him, and we drove the few hundred meters to the petrol station and I got everyone an Iceblock. That worked! He sat up for that. So we had 1 boy ok with driving and in his chair properly, and one boy who was happy because we could now go to the shops. So off we went.
At the shops we got a game for Daniel, and some stuff at the chemist, then got back in the car... I bought everyone some drinks on the way out so Jono would 'have' to sit up again and he traveled fine. We got home and started baths, the idea was to have Jono in the shower while the game got installed so that the computers weren't doing something that was too odd. I got Sarah in the bath, and was upstairs when I heard Jono crying and wailing, genuinely distraught.. I came back to see he had picked up the game case and opened it, and I could not see the CD... so.. I start thinking - oh great he's tossed it somewhere, and start searching the front yard, the lounge, the stairs, the back yard.. to no avail. In the meantime Daniel is getting distressed coz the cd is gone, and Sarah is needing to get out of the bath to go to the toilet (never rains!)
So I sort Sarah, help Jono to calm, and then ring the shop... and they messed up, the disc is still there... let me express how I now feel in syllables... GRRRAAAGGGHHHHHH!!!
So, I explain to Daniel that it will have to be tomorrow, the shops close in an hour and I don't think Jono will make another trip today... and Daniel is in tears. I get Sarah through the bath.. and it's half an hour before the shops close.. so I thought.. let's try. I ask Jono if he wants to go for a drive, and he said yes... so we pack up again and head off.
The drive there was fine although busy, they gave us some money back as an apology, and were nice about it... then Jono wanted to stay in the shop, I explained it was time to go.. but he just couldn't. So I drag a screaming boy out of the shops to the car.. in the car he couldn't sit again... I coerced him, and even smacked him a few times to get him to his chair... he ended up standing at the front of his seat and I got the seatbelt on, but he just couldn't sit down. So I got some chips from a drive through and headed off... the 20 min home with a screaming, overwhelmed, scared boy clinging on to my head rest for any comfort he could obtain from holding something familiar was not the most pleasant trip of my life.
The choices are hard some days... I can't hold my other kids back from things they enjoy because one is having a hard day, but we all need to be compassionate and give room where its needed.
And after everything, he slept very well that night.