Christmas is always such a stressful holiday. I was expecting the worse this year, maybe that is why it wasn’t so bad.
Last year my sister in law said they planned to spend Christmas day alone with their kids that year and every other year in the future. This entire year they have not spoken to each other much. I was trying to stay out of it and was supportive of my husband. In the past I had tried to help mend fences but it never worked out well.
We planned to spend Christmas alone and invite my mom for dinner. My mom seems to be the least judgemental of my son. I think this is because my dad was an aspie and we both learned to just go with whatever happened.
About two weeks before Christmas the neighbors asked what we are doing for Christmas. I replied we hadn’t gotten that far. They kinda chuckled. I think he thought I was joking, nope was kinda concentrating on getting my kid to school. One day at a time in our world! Anyways they asked us to come over for dinner. I accepted because a) they are really nice b) they have known our son and interacted with him quite a bit c) one less thing to deal with! I told them I wasn’t sure our son would come over and they reminded me that their grandchildren would be there, two teenagers. He does like their grandson so maybe… So this was our plan for Christmas, dinner at their house at 2PM.
I tell my husband and we decide to have my mom up Christmas Eve for appetizers and gift exchange. I asked my husband to invite his mom to which he replies she won’t come. Invite her anyway. Not only does she say she is coming she also invites my sister in law and her family. This makes me nervous because sometimes there is drama when they all get in a room together. My son does not do well with drama.
Christmas Eve they all come over and we honestly all have a great time. My son even bathed and got dressed before my in laws showed up (my mother referred to this as a Christmas miracle LOL). I had told him to at least come down and visit but he could go back upstairs whenever he needed to.
When he came down he brought my laptop to play Minecraft and I let him. He had the volume off and sat in the room with everyone the entire time. He answered questions and even participated in the conversation at random times on his own without any prompting. At one point some of the family went down to the family room and he followed them and I could hear him down there talking to people. YAY!
Christmas morning we all got up and opened our gifts. He said he was tired and went back to bed for a while. He got up again around 11 and ate some but not much. Around 1 I offered him more food and he said no he wanted his Action Replay.
Action Replay is this device for the DS that enhances his Pokemon games and spawn the Pokemon that he wants (or something like that). The first one he had we lost the disc and couldn’t update it when Pokemon Black came out. So we bought him a new one last year sometime. The way it fits in the DS he needs to take it out when he puts the DS in his pocket. Which means we hunt for this thing quite often.
The last place I remember seeing it is on my nightstand when he had his tonsils out. I tore my room apart looking for it. We tore the whole house apart. I tried to tell him we needed to get ready to go to the neighbors and we would look for it later. He growled at me and said “keep looking”. Sigh, he sometimes communicates with animal noises and obviously growling is not good. I am impressed he used words with the growl actually.
I thought that Target was open because earlier when we were looking for an open Starbucks it said the one at Target was open. I told my husband to go buy a new one. He of course argued with me about how we didn’t have time. It was 1:40. I continued looking and again tried to get my son to get ready. He said he wasn’t going. I said he can stay home and he says no I need to stay home too and look. 1:50 I said I was going to the store. This sends my husband into absolute panic because he can’t be late for anything. I am sure you can imagine that having an OCD, anxious person living in the same house as an Aspie, anxious doesn’t want to go anywhere person is absolute fun. No, actually it is absolute HELL. We start arguing about it and I just keep walking out the door.
On my way out I hear my husband speak very sternly to my son that that he needs to get ready. Oh crap, he is already upset. I decide to keep going. Of course no where is open! CRAP, there should really be somewhere open for these type of emergencies!! While I am out my husband calls to say he went to the neighbors to let them know we were delayed. Well that was helpful! And apparently dinner wasn’t going to be ready until 2:30 anyways. I explain no luck and ask how our son is. My husband says he is fine and he is dressed. Seriously?
I come home and our son has my laptop and is ready to go. My husband starts to talk about the Action Replay and I shhhh him because clearly our son has been successfully redirected for the moment. My husband never quite gets that. My husband then notices that the shirt I put out for him has some tiny holes at the collar and asks him to change. He says “no” and I say leave it alone.
We go to the neighbors and explain that he probably won’t eat anything. He parks himself on their couch with his laptop. I pray for understanding. The neighbors don’t say boo. We gather at the table and our neighbor says that we are going to say grace. I think oh crap it would be super rude for him to stay on the couch, what do I do. I start to turn and say his name and HE IS PUTTING THE LAPTOP DOWN and saying “I’m coming”. I am glad I had to close my eyes for grace because I was seriously tearing up. I was so proud of him in that moment. I know such a small thing but really a big thing.
After dinner the neighbors explain they always play games after dinner. What a wonderful tradition. When they bring the games in my son spys the game “Apples to Apples” and comments on it. The neighbors say okay well let’s play that if that is what he wants to play. God bless them. He played with us and we all had a good time. While playing the game he started to chew on his shirt. I think this is a combination of sensory and stimming. He seems to do it more when he is anxious.
We played a few games and for some of them our son went back to playing Minecraft but stayed at the table and interacted with everyone. I was so impressed because I thought he was not in a good place. I think it all worked out because everyone was very nice to him and no one said anything about him playing on his laptop. It makes it so much better when people are understanding! When we left he said that he enjoyed going over there. When we went home he went straight to his room and clearly needed alone time.
I asked him if he wanted to watch his new Jeff Dunham DVD and he said no. He seemed a bit off and again asked about his Action Replay. We looked some more but still never found it. I told him we were going to watch the DVD. He said he didn’t care so I left him alone.
About 10 minutes into the DVD he came in and watched it with us. It was a great relaxing night. Although this is what his shirt looked like when he was done:
This morning I finally got to the store to buy his Action Replay. He says it isn’t the right one. I said there is only one. I am wondering if he needs to download some additional codes. I was asked to keep looking for the other one. I am thinking this may be a long day.