I find myself facing a new paranoia… I fear the meltdown. Maybe some other day I’ll talk about the meltdown itself, but today I just want to share my success in avoiding one. I was getting ready this morning, wondering if there is a special way I could wake Emma up that would ensure some semblance of humanity. I got everything ready, and crept into her room for the attack. My limbs felt a little bit rubbery and I found myself holding my breath… Is it possible to just slip jeans on her without waking her up? Can I change her diaper underneath the blankets? How about transporting her to Alamosa with her entire mattress and crib? I’ve tried to dress her in the clothes I need her to wear the night before… Who cares if the “strawberry-ba-ba” leaks pink stains all over, at least I know that it was freshly laundered the day before. BUT – NO. That won’t work, because Emma has a very very VERY VERY specific unmutable list of what is or is not going to be worn to bed. It consists of: FAIRY PRINCESS DRESSES, VERY SHORT SHORTS, SWIMSUITS, and the occasional Dora, Elmo, or Spongebob short-sleeved pajama TOP.
Anyway, as I was saying, THIS MORNING. I tried one of my 10 approaches, the “non-chalant mom is not even really here, so just go back to sleep” method. It worked for a diaper change, but definitely not pants. The legs were just beginning to wind up (kind of like a spinning chandelier) and her vocal cords were stretching when I decided that we weren’t going to wear pants. She could wear the damn spaghetti-strap summer dress to school and I’d bring some pants with her. But she’d need her coat. (NOT). Coats are obviously OUT OF FASHION this week with autistic children, because you would have thought I was trying to smear her down with dog shit. I tried choices, sweaters, hands-on-forced-dressing, and such. No way-Jose. Finally I came running out of the bedroom with her full-body-snowsuit (it’s about 2 feet thick and bright purple). “Will you wear THIS, Emma?” Her eyes stopped glazing, and through hiccupped sobs-dying, she said “Yeah.” So the snowsuit went on, and she even let me take the dress off. Miracle-of-all-miracles.
The car ride was a different story, but at least she was protected from frost-bite. I handed a pair of pants and a shirt to the daycare lady and gave her my fondest wishes of wellbeing.