Tuesday, May 6, 2008

101 COUCHES

some times when I am alone, I dream of owning a beautiful couch.....

See, no one tells you the hidden costs of autism. The incredible prices of therapy that aren't covered by insurance; the diets; the supplements; the swings- these things people hear about when they read about the cost of autism.

I am here to tell you about one of the hidden costs....

we are on our 7th couch since our son was born. He turns 8 next week- and we need a new couch AGAIN.

Does that make it a couch a year?

I no longer go to real furniture stores to look for a couch. We can't afford the expensive ones; it will be ruined in a few months anyway.

See, Autism HATES couches.

Autism causes kids to soil their pants at the least expected moments.....so all of our couches are peed on or worse...

Autism causes kids to make couches fall apart.....

I really haven't figured out HOW; it just happens.

I think it is an autistic fairy that slips into the house at night while we are sleeping- it takes cushions and removes the slip covers....

it hides slip covers in weird places.....

it takes the cushions and throws them outdoors to get rained on....

I know that some of you who haven't lived with autism would read this post and say, "HOW?"

"SURELY if someone was watching this child better, he wouldn't ruin the couches!"

I would answer to you, "you don't know autism"

See, it is not my child who ruins the couches, it is autism.....it lurks its head out to drive me insane.

After a few days of severe autistic activity; parents can become brain numb...so letting a child eating on the couch while perched on the back, hanging upside down...becomes OK.

What was once totally unacceptable behavior becomes.....

not so bad.


Seriously.

When the oppositonality; the physical thrasing; the soiled clothes; the phone calls from the school to come and get your child while you have a baby who needs to be nursed in tow; the pulling off the clothes; the spinning in circles while screaming a high pitch yell.........all comes together like a tidal wave over a period of a few days; you need rest.

And rest often means that it is ok to hang on the couch- to paint one's body on the couch with shampoo and toothpaste....or god knows what else. You pick your battles because if you don't you loose sight of what is important. You become a screaming banshee instead of a loving mother.

I figure the day will come when I can own a beautiful couch....

for now, I'll dream of them inventing one made out of cement but feels soft ...

indestructable but still a place to rest.....

a girl can dream, right?

I'll share with you photos of our latest victim; complete with a missing cushion.....

if you promise not to judge me for being a bad parent; see, I LOVE my child, it's the autism that gets me drained.....and let's me allow him to destroy our couches...I mean, they're only objects; He mean so much more to me than they do.

In my world; he's not autistic; HE'S CALEB.....who has autism.......and who on most days is a wonderful, bright, happy little boy.


You know, come to think of it, by the time we CAN have a beautiful couch, I probably will want these ones with the memories engraved into them....

battle wounds.......or journal entries.....

it's all in how you look at it!

6 comments:

Jayne said...

I smiled as I read this... and well... you know why. I know. I so know. And, I too appreciate learning how to pick my battles. I've learned it to an art in the past 12 years. So you want a peanut butter sandwich at every meal? Fine. :c) This too shall pass. And, you will have that nice sofa one day.

Tera Rose said...

You know, I hope that it becomes an art form for us.

Most of the time the battles don't wear me down....for some reason, this week; today in particular, I am tired.

peanut butter sandwich at every meal....

yup. I can relate.

tysdaddy said...

Wow. That is an amazing post.

I worked as a caregiver for adults with developmental disabilities for a time many years ago, and several of my clients had autism to one degree or another. If I remember correctly, most of our couches were covered in some sort of plastic, just to make cleanup easier and the atmosphere more sanitary.

Hanging upside down on the couch? Man that brings back memories.

Blessings to you as you raise little Caleb. He sounds like a charmer!

And thanks for stopping by my blog. It's amazing what a tag as simple as "couches" can do. Don't be a stranger . . .

Brian

shaun said...

I know what it's like going through furniture..
I also tagged you for a meme on my blog..

Sherry at the Zoo said...

The couch, the couch, the couch. If you were to uncover our couch, if you were to take off the covers that are on top of covers, and then take off the blanket and then the quilt, it would be NASTY!!! But you know what? I wouldn't have it any other way. I'll take the kids and the animals any day over a pristine couch. Your priorities are perfect!

maggie, dammit said...

This is a wonderful post.

I want to introduce you to two other bloggers who occasionally write about their autistic children:

http://magnetoboldtoo.com

and

http://livinggraciouslyin34time.blogspot.com

Peace to you and yours. :)