Saturday, May 25, 2013

Well meaning antagonist

an·tag·o·nist  
(n-tg-nst)
n.
1. One who opposes and contends against another; an adversary.


Last night our family decided to throw caution to the wind and go to a different place for dinner. H had never been here so my fears were the normal ones of how he would react to such a location. I love any opportunity to find new ways to work with H. I guess I was slightly off my game tonight and I let my guard down, that or I was just not in the state of mind that I am typically in when we travel anywhere with H that could entail any sort of trouble. By the way that is just about any location. I blame the holiday weekend in my lapse of judgement on this outing!
Since I had a day off from work yesterday I had sort of just let myself relax a bit too much. I did take him to Chick Fil A for lunch where he behaved himself really well and even when I said it was time to go did so without even a fuss! We came home fought a bit on the nap but we both ended up with a good nap. I was shocked I even fell asleep.  After picking up Chris and relaxing a bit I decided to venture out for dinner. We had some free coupons to a local pizza place so I figured tonight would be a good time to utilize them. 
A good idea in theory but what I wasn't thinking about what H's reaction to the game room. Sean had been given the run down that tonight we would only be eating and not going in the game room after our meal to play. I mean after all that would be a giant overstimulating mess and who wants to end a good day on a meltdown note! So I prepared a nice place of mac and cheese, cheese bread and fruit for H to enjoy since he can't have pizza. The rest of us prepared our plates and sat down to eat. H shoveled and I do mean SHOVELED his food in his mouth! 
Within a few minutes the demands began to go to the game room. I did my best diversion tactics and I thought we had made progress. I brought him with me to get more pizza and refill my drink. Of course when my hands become full and I thought I had him cornered between the drink machine and myself is when he looked at me and looked at the small opening and made a break for it. I left my stuff and grabbed him before he could even cross the threshold of the room. That was it we had officially lost him. Chris and I shoveled our meal at this point and did what we could to try and keep him calm. However shoes were tossed, screams were heard, toys became projectiles. We had finally decided that our bellies being full was not an option at this point and we needed to gather our stuff and go. 
However this well planned idea is suddenly what caused this whole evening to take a bigger turn for the worst. The lady cleaning tables came up to the booth behind ours and proceeded to clean. No big deal she did her job and even handed us some items of H's that managed to land behind us. He screamed and she started doing that shushing voice. I turned my head to become annoyed but realized she thought she was helping. I could see in her face she really thought she was helping our situation. Maybe my face didn't register with her that we appreciated her efforts but she didn't need to engage with our son. 
She picked up his shoe that was tossed and proceeded to speak to him. Anyone who has a child on the spectrum in the midst of a meltdown knows talking to them is futile and can make it even worse. And that is when it happened. I am just glad our hands were loaded up with our goods so we could make a clean break before every eye in the building was on us. She picked up his train said it was hers with a big ole smile on her face. We cringed, we put our heads down and just grabbed him and bolted. He was screaming full on, thought he was being beaten scream! Of course leaving the building only exacerbated this response. 
A few minutes of wrangling him in the parking lot and we proceeded to make the 10 minute drive back to our house at this point the screaming had gone on for about 30 minutes so by the time we got home it was about 40 minutes. Throw in another 10 minutes of him screaming in the front yard and our walk to the park and we had an almost 60 minute meltdown. It was horrible and I felt bad for him. I know that lady meant well but she just ended up antagonizing the tar out of poor H. 
The mood slightly improved at the park but once we were back home he struggled to relax the rest of the evening and felt so anxious. he was up till about midnight and finally had to sleep in our bed while I moved to the other bed. Part of me wanted to call up and yell at that lady for ruining my night but then that sane part of me reminded crazy lady was not going to get anywhere with that type of phone call and it truly wasn't her fault. She meant well she just probably hasn't dealt with a child on the spectrum.  Live and learn folks live and learn!