(This is a revised version of a post that appeared on my first blog many years ago. There are times as an Autism parent that we have to laugh, because if we don’t laugh we just might cry. This was one of those times. )
My toddler made a big scene in public yesterday. I LOVE it when he does that (insert sarcasm font). This time it was in front of his older brother’s ENTIRE preschool assembly. This meant that a large group of people trained in early childhood education got to witness my epic failure as a Mom. Totally not a boring morning.
Toddler has a hard time when we drop Preschooler off at school. Due to his developmental delays and sensory issues he has trouble with the chaos and quick transition of running in and out of the church building. He also finds it incredibly frustrating when he is not allowed to stay and play with the older children and all the wonderful toys. Many a day it has triggered a meltdown, and I have several choices as to how to handle it. Sometimes I simply sit in the lobby and hold him tight, trying to remain calm while we let his emotion run its course. Other days I have the energy to get him back to the car, but it is a struggle. He kicks, screams, and drags his feet the whole way, and then I have to physically force him into his car seat. When I don’t have time to wait it out I usually use the stroller because letting him walk or carrying him is too risky. You see, if carry him I run the risk of droppage (yes, I know, not a real word) when he starts kicking and squirming. And if there is droppage not only is there the possibility of injury, there could also be escapage, and if there is escapage then there would be runnage. And if there is runnage he could get hurt or disappear, and we can’t have that. Have you even seen a small child with Autism try to get away? They are FAST! I worry about it all the time. Unfortunately there are some inherent risks to using the stroller, because Toddler has grown and can now reach his feet down to the floor. Trying to push a resistant passenger in one direction while he is trying to scoot in another is no easy task. He is a tough kid, and has been known to knock the stroller over during one of his escape attempts. It’s just what he does.