I am warning you now, this is a gross-out post. Let me say it again: It is GROSS! If you have a weak stomach or you just don't want to hear something gross (even if it is funny, if you have a weird sense of humor) just go on and hit that X in the top right corner now.
Okay...anybody still here? Wow, you guys are tough. Or just curious. Do you ever have one of those days in which you feel like a dog chasing it's tail all day long? You just run and run and nothing gets done. I feel like that a lot. Organization and housekeeping is a constant source of frustration for me. I want everything to be organized and well-maintained, but it just hasn't fallen into place yet. We always have clean clothes. Occasionally they are even folded and put away, although more often than not we are rooting through baskets of clean laundry to find socks that match. We always have clean dishes, but they are usually dirty ones waiting in the sink too. I find random stuff at odd places throughout my house. Korban loves to throw things and I frequently have to canvass the entire house just to find a pair of shoes that match because he literally just walks through the house pulling off clothing items and tossing them. Of course we are working on all these things, but I feel like I could get SO much more accomplished if I didn't have to waste half my time looking for something.
My children also tend to strew whatever it is they are playing with throughout the house. This is starting to get better now that the playroom is officially open for business, but I have to stay on top of them to keep things in there. We have been advised that we need to be harsher on Selah, since she "should know better" and I know this is true and that it's best to start good habits at a young age. So we work on, but I'm honestly not terribly harsh on her about the toy business. Mainly because I feel like we already have so much going on in our family that I'd rather spend my time working with her on loving God, loving others, accepting her brother, etc. We also spend a reasonable chunk of time doing things such as flying imaginary rockets while belting out the tune to Little Einsteins. (You don't know that one? "Oh, we're going on a trip in our favorite rocketship, going THROOOOOUGH the skies, Little Einsteins!")
So, you may be wondering where the gross is. Laundry, dishes, strewn toys; this is clutter but not NASTY. I said all that to say that I might have more time to deal with clutter if it weren't for being up to my ears in the nasty some days. Please know that all nasty is taken care of right away in an expedient and germ-busting fashion because underneath all my unorganization, I really am kind of a germaphobe.
Yesterday afternoon, I was on a phone call concerning Korban. It was not a phone call to a friend, just for pleasure, it was "business." I do not talk on the phone for fun, and I try to be careful about when I call dr's offices, etc. because Korban usually loses his mind when I'm on the phone. He's very jealous of anything that directs my attention away from him and will engage in either aggressive or outlandish behavior in an effort to get the focus back on him. Thank God, the aggression has been better lately, but the "wild and crazies" not so much. (Still, I'd take that over the aggression any day. So when you read what he did, that should give you some idea how tough the aggression is since I would gladly take the wildness over it.)
My cell phone was not getting good service, so I stepped out on the porch. This is usually easier anyway, because I let the kids go out with me and they like to play on the porch and carport while I talk. Yesterday Selah preferred to stay inside since she was watching a DVD. Korban walked outside with me and was playing on the porch. I thought it was going well, but apparently he decided my conversation was taking too long. He began digging dirt out of my potted plants (which he has eaten before) and depositing it into our air conditioner. Now, our central unit bit the dust back during the winter. We used our gas heat during the winter and have decided to just put in some window units to try to get through the summer, rather than going in debt over a vehicle and a central unit at the same time. So we had just gotten this window unit on Monday, and now Korban is pouring dirt in it. Which really made me mad, because none of us like being hot and I sure didn't want the new air conditioner torn up. So I managed to drag him away from that while patiently continuing my phone conversation. After I put a stop to the dirt deposits in the AC unit, Korban moved on to un-potting the plants and strewing the potting soil across the porch and carport. "Pick your battles," they say, "Ignore the attention seeking behavior," they say.
I was determined to finish giving this information update on Korban (and seriously the entire conversation took less than 15 minutes) so I just kept right on talking. I thought "It's just plants, I can fix it later." But the things about ignoring Korban is he ALWAYS escalates the behavior until he can find something that you absolutely cannot ignore. When he saw the plants and the dirt weren't getting that much attention, he went back inside. Now our doors are glass, so I was standing right outside looking in at him and Selah. He sat down in the floor and I thought "Oh, no, he looks like he's about to pee on something!" In case you haven't read before, he thinks it's just hilarious to pee on stuff! So I start giving him a dirty look and opening the door and as he stands up, I notice what is falling out of the leg of his shorts isn't pee--he's POOPING! So now I'm frantically trying to wind up the conversation and Korban runs back out onto the porch and pulls his shorts and underwear off. The thing about kids is, you can pretty much tell what it is they like to eat just by looking at their poop. Korban's big snack right now has been mandarin oranges. So when he rips his pants off, they deposit a load of Day-Glo orange poopie right on my doorstep. Fantastic. I manage to hang up the phone and catch Korban (who was running his dirty little butt in circles on the porch) and march him to the bathroom . Meanwhile, Selah is standing on the porch looking at the manure pile saying "Mom, Korban pooped outside! He's never done that before!" I couldn't tell whether she was upset or impressed.
I scolded Korban and gave him a very firm discussion on how we poop on the potty, not in our pants, etc etc. I don't know if it did any good or not. So I left him on the toilet and grabbed an armload or cleaning supplies and a garbage bag and went to attack the living room floor and the porch. That took a while and I had to keep running back to make sure Korban was staying put. When I got all that cleaning done, I decided to just put him in the bath because he was very gross and I knew that was the only way I would get him clean, other than taking him outside and spraying him with the water hose. When he saw he was about to get deposited into the bath, he got a really mischievous look on his face, darted past me out of the bathroom and took off running. In case anyone ever thought that I take everything in stride and never raise my voice or whatever, here's a prime example. I was screaming like a banshee as I chased him. "NO!!!NONONONONO!NOOOOOOOOO!!!!" Guess where he ran to--mine and Brad's bed! Jumped right up in the middle of it and proceeded to roll his poopy self all over ever surface he could before I hauled him off and took him back to the bathroom. I was able to successfully get him in the tub this time, and left him to soak in the water long enough to strip all the covers off of our bed and get them started in the washer. (I did a lengthy soak and then washed them on the allergen cycle.) Then I went back into the bathroom to scrub Korban with shampoo and soap. When that was accomplished, I scrubbed the mattress with a wet cloth, then antibacterial cleaning wipes, and then I bombed it with some industrial strength spray--it's like Lysol on steroids. I don't even know where we got it, but I think it's good stuff. After that I went to check on Korban again. He was still happily standing under the shower stream, singing to himself. I was about to get him out of there, but then I heard Selah coughing, so I went to check on her and get her some juice. When I went back to Korban, he had dumped an entire almost new bottle of baby shampoo out all over him. I was distressed by the waste, but honestly he smelled so much better by that point that I can't say I minded too terribly much. So I got him out, dried him off and dressed him. Then I mopped up the juice Selah spilled, which really didn't seem like a big deal after all the poop I had shoveled.
Then I decided that I would take a shower since I felt so gross. I usually don't shower unless Brad is there to watch the kids, either first thing in the morning or after they go to bed at night. Mainly because Korban is so clingy and cries for me sometimes and also because I never know what they are going to do while I can't see them. I obviously can't trust them even when I CAN see them. But I decided the nastiness of this day definitely called for an exception so I fixed them both a snack and settled them with a fresh Veggie Tales DVD before I went and got in the shower.
Just a few minutes into the shower, I heard Selah come into the bathroom. She had an overly innocent look on her face and was trying to turn the water on. They both love to play in water. So I poked my head out of the shower and told her no, not to make a mess. So she gives me that innocent smile again and said "It's okay Mom. Me and Korban are just playing outside." Now let me say that we have those child-proof locks on our doors that most adults can't even navigate and I was JUST talking to another autism parent at soccer Tuesday night about how his child had learned to get around those and he has had to move on to keyed deadbolts. Apparently that day is also here at my house and I have to figure it out while I am naked and in the shower. I noticed around this time that the reason Selah is trying to turn on the faucet is because she has a plastic watering can she wants to fill that was sitting on my porch before I got in the shower. Freak-out time. Selah immediately senses my panic and says "But Mom, it's okay. Korban's just playing outside. He's not pooping!" Always looking on the bright side, that Selah.
Wandering and bolting a real threat in the autism community. Very scary. Korban is an intermittent bolter. Usually his separation anxiety is enough to keep him close to me, but sometimes when the wild and crazies take over he gets very impulsive and bolts away from me. It's few and far between enough to sort of give us a false sense of security, and when it does happen, it's bad. I keep a death grip on him when we are out in public, to the point that he says "Ouch Mama! No hold my hand!!!" But I did not know they could break the child-lock cover off of the doorknob. I strongly suspect Selah was the culprit on that one, but Korban was the one still on the loose. One of my worst fears being realized and I'm NAKED when it happens. So I literally leap out of the shower, grab a towel and wrap it around me as I'm running through my house. I run out on the porch, eyes frantically scanning the road and as I'm dashing down the steps I realize I'm running right past my son. He is sitting and playing in the potting soil that I had failed to clean up earlier. What can I say, I was tired after cleaning all the poop. And at least he had something to play in when he made his big break.
So I'm dripping on my porch, wearing nothing but a towel and trying to act like I do this all the time so Korban doesn't pick up on my freak-out level and make a real game out of it. "Hey bud," I say, like we usually talk out on the front porch when I'm soaking wet and dressed in a towel, "why don't we go back inside and play for a while?" Thank God, he was agreeable to this. Because it's one thing chasing after him when he is naked, but it is a whole 'nother level of bad when I'm the naked one.
So back in we go, and I double lock the doors and take the fastest shower in the history of the world. When Brad got home from work he said "What's with all the destroyed plants and dirt everywhere and How did that whole new bottle of the baby shampoo get used?" "It's a long story," I told him.
So to recap: This is the kind of stuff that happens on a regular basis at my house. You can come see me without fear of E.coli, because I clean that mess up immediately. However, you are definitely at risk of stepping on a Lego or sitting on a Barbie. We won't hold it against you in you don't hold it against us. My kids breaking out of the house ended just fine. It's much easier for me to laugh about it than think about what might have been, but please know that wandering is a very real thing, and the autism community has lost two beautiful children because of it just recently. No matter how good of precautions you take, that's the kind of life we live and it's so frightening to think of what I might miss or not be able to prevent. But thankfully, my babies didn't go far and I can honestly say that cleaning a huge load of poop off of several unlikely surfaces was the worst part of my day. If that's the worse thing that happens to me, I can handle that. After having children, I gained a pretty tough stomach. So if you want to know what you can do to help out, pray for the safety of all of our children, don't judge my clutter too harshly, and remind me to buy some new baby shampoo if you see me. ;)