Is Summer Over Yet?

Living with a child on the Autism spectrum, you learn to dread certain things.

Summer breaks.
school vacations.
going to sleep.

The first two, because any alteration in the routine is a recipe for trouble. The third, because you never know what havoc your child will cause while you try to recharge your body from the stresses the child has caused all day long.

In our case, as Game Teen has aged, some things have improved, but it's a given that the lack of a rigid schedule during school breaks means that he is going to nag you incessantly for games, get more game time and as a result, become more of a pain in the ass. If you cut back the games, well, he will make your life a living hell, bugging you every 2.5 minutes "Can I play?"

The child does not know how to interpret the increasing frustration in anyone's voice, so he will nag/monologue/drive you to insanity to the point that he's punished and doesn't fathom why you've told him fifty times to STOP, damn it-you have had enough games, your brother doesn't want to play games and no, I am not buying you a game and if you don't quit it, you're going to get in trouble really means he WILL get in trouble. And does, daily. (Do NOT tell me to let it slide, folks-let it slide once and I've opened the gates of hell, also known as "but you did it before")

Then we have the fact that while we sleep, the other ugly facet of Asperger's rears its head, the fact that the child will consume all manner of food stuffs while you sleep. Three days in the past week, I've woken to find that the child has polished off:

The brand new, unopened bag of tortilla chips that was to go with the leftover chili for dinner (big bag)
3 hot dog buns

Nine pieces (half loaf) of bread
A nearly full family size jar of applesauce
(Then when I woke up, he complained he was hungry)

Half a round of Monkey Bread
2/3 to 3/4 pound of cheddar cheese, gnawed off a 1.5 pound brick

then wanted breakfast, lunch 45 minutes after that and bugged me for dessert, too.

Yesterday, I was at my wit's end. We can't have dyed foods in the house, and cereal is guaranteed to be gone in one sitting with this child. He thinks nothing of consuming 4 or 5 yogurts at a time. If there's a box of frozen waffles and he knows it, he'll eat them all frozen in one sitting. For a time, he did the same thing with frozen fish sticks.

It's probably a good thing that I don't buy a lot of prepared foods, because things would probably be worse if we bought uncrustables, lunchables, easy mac and any other crap of that nature. However, it sucks that I expect to make sandwiches for lunch because they're cheap and I'm broke, then open the fridge and discover the loaf that was just opened the day before is gone.

The child has gained 20 or so pounds in the past three months and it is because of this gluttony. Much to Ed's consternation, there isn't much in the house that is considered snack food. If it's a dessert, it is something I have to make from scratch. Learned that the hard way, because Game Teen will eat a whole box of donuts if he knows it is in the house.

At this point, I think padlocks are going on both refrigerators and a piercing door alarm is going on his bedroom door so we know he's left his bedroom. The sucky part of this house is that the miniscule pantry has a bi-fold door-there's no way to lock the darn thing. We're already packed tight (and have to manage the ant issues that are common here), so I really don't have options for hiding food elsewhere. Besides, once he sees me or Ed getting food from the bedroom, the jig is up.

Other than grocery shopping each day for that day's meals, I don't know what else I can do except hope that August 24th shows up quick, because when school starts, I have to get the kid up in the morning-before he can eat me out of house and home.


DoeWDW said…
{hugs} my friend. It doesn't sound like an easy life, for sure! But to your credit, every day you find a way to make it through AND to have a sense of humor about it. I hear Dory singing "Just keep swimming, just keep swimming..."
- Doreen in PA
Elaine said…
For the bi-fold door take a trip to a hardware store. You can buy latches that you can lock for things like that. Just attach the latch to the door, the "hook" to the wall and use a padlock on it.

Most have hinges so that you can angle them any way you need to get the door to lock shut.

What can I say I have a 1.5 year old so we have had to baby proof this 60+ year old house. Old homes aren't always the same as the new ones when it comes to baby proofing ideas.
daysgoby said…
Sounds like a giant load of suck. Would charging him for his meals (or snacks) work? Is money a hot-button with him?

Hugs to you, Suz.

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