Yesterday morning was one of those mornings with Aaron. If there is a morning that Aaron stubs up and refuses to go to his day group, it’s usually on Wednesday. The staff at Paradigm cooks on that day. They fix very yummy meals, but Aaron wants nothing to do with it. For several weeks, Aaron told me that the staff was just going to give them tuna sandwiches and that he doesn’t like tuna, and on and on. Well, I checked with some of the staff and found out that they have never fixed tuna sandwiches and had no intention of fixing tuna sandwiches. Aaron was caught and he knew it. Therefore, he has changed his Wednesday tactic.
He got up on his own yesterday. Andrea was busy getting ready to head back to Texas. I found Aaron sprawled out on her floor, petting her little dog, Darcy……..who was trying to hide under her desk because she doesn’t exactly trust Aaron. Darcy is a perceptive little doggie. She doesn’t like Aaron’s booming noises, or how he bursts through closed doors, or his clapping, or his loud talking. She does like the fact that he slips her treats………treats like gummy worms, or peanuts, or pieces of meat under the dinner table. Therefore, Darcy will timidly allow Aaron to pet her as she searches his outstretched hand for a little food nugget. Aaron had no such treat in his hand as he laid there petting her, so she stayed under the desk, keeping her distance as best she could. Smart little Darcy.
I spoke to Aaron and he slowly got up, coming into my bedroom as I was getting ready. He began his Wednesday morning con job. “Mom, I’m tired,” he flatly said. I told him that I was sorry, and then told him that I had poured his coffee…….which would work wonders on his tiredness. This was not the response he wanted. He wanted me to quickly realize that there was absolutely no cure for such extreme tiredness as he was now experiencing. So with as much feigned exhaustion as he could muster, he continued. “No, I’m really tired. I read until 11:32 and then at 2:00 I was still awake.” His tone was one of utter fatigue and was definitely designed to prick my tender mother’s heart……….and to allow him to stay home.
Inside I was smiling, and I was also dreading the way that this morning might progress. Aaron can easily turn very hateful when his worn-out ploy doesn’t get the desired result……..which is that Mom will allow him to stay at home. I expressed concern for his weariness even as I went about my business. I once again reminded him of the coffee waiting downstairs and his morning pills. Aaron was beginning to see that Mom had a rather hard heart in her chest on this morning. Therefore, he deployed Plan Number 2.
“Mom, I’m iknorin’ you.” Oh brother! This is one of Aaron’s favorite games to play anymore………..except it’s not a fun game. It’s almost always a sign that he is getting fed up with me. So I just “iknored” what he said and kept getting my make-up on, even as he followed me into my bathroom. He stood there staring at me, hoping for some result that would come from his statement. There was none. He repeated, “I’m just iknorin’ you.” Still no response from seemingly calm Mom. “So I’m iknorin’ you.” I shook my head but made no comment. “I’m going to iknore you.”
It was so hard not to laugh. In his effort to ignore me, he was totally NOT ignoring me! I don’t know how many times he repeated that he was “iknorin’ ” me, but I just sat there going about my business………which in reality meant that I was the one doing the “iknorin’ “………….not Aaron. He never seemed to come to that reality, however.
Finally, he walked out of the bathroom and made one more verbal fling. “You can’t make me stop iknorin’ you!!!!”
At last he was out of sight and I could fully smile, and even chuckle. He actually drank his coffee and took his pills, and then I heard him taking his shower. Progress! A good sign indeed!
He ended up sitting at his desk, watching his new GI Joe movie. I realized that we might be able to leave early enough for me to take Aaron to either Dillon’s or Quik Trip to get a drink. Knowing that the very sound of my voice might stir up his anger again, I decided to try a different tactic to ease him beyond his frustration on this morning. I wrote him a note, and then quietly walked into his room. I handed him the note over his shoulder, laying it on the desk in front of him. He read it quickly before I could leave the room, and then he happily replied, “OK!” And he immediately added, very softly, “Sorry.” I patted his shoulder and left the room, where soon he joined me to say that he wanted to go to Dillon’s. I breathed a sigh of relief. He didn’t write me back on that little piece of paper. Instead, he was willing to communicate. More progress!
We had overcome that hurdle, but the rest of the morning was crazy, thanks to Aaron. He said something to Andrea and me about opening the front door, so we rushed downstairs……….where we looked outside and saw Darcy running through our neighbor’s yard. We ran outside and yelled, not knowing how far Darcy would run, but thankfully she came back to Andrea right away. I was fussing at Aaron, who seemed oblivious to what he had done, and soon I hustled him into the van. I was trying not to be late to meet his day group ride.
We backed out of the driveway, and Aaron suddenly opened the van door and hopped out, not caring that we were in the middle of the street. He said that he forgot something, and I yelled at him to close the van door. I pulled back into the driveway as he scurried (as fast as Aaron can scurry) back to the garage, where he opened the door and went inside the house. He came back carrying his container of peanuts, and off we hurried to Dillon’s.
I walked quickly into the store, with Aaron lagging behind. He finally chose his flavored water and then had to have more peanuts, and finally we were done and on our way to meet his group, and of course he talked non-stop the whole way, and I was frustrated at being late…………
But at least he wasn’t “iknorin’ ” me, right? We pulled up to the day group van, where Aaron opened his window so that Craig would open his window…….and Aaron continued to talk. I nudged him out as he grabbed his Dillon’s bag that held his peanuts and flavored water, and then he grabbed his other peanuts……all the while happily talking to Craig while he juggled his TWO containers of peanuts and his water. Aaron was asking Craig about the barbecue that they were going to have that day, and informing Craig that he would NOT go to the barbecue in the park, water balloons or not.
I had moved beyond being “iknored” and the whole dog incident and the tiredness of Aaron and rushing through Dillon’s by the time Aaron barged in the door at 4:30. He rushed upstairs to find me as he yelled, “Mom! Mom!” He burst into my bedroom and proceeded to excitedly tell me about the barbecue in the park……..the barbecue that he had no intention of attending………and of the hamburger and chips he ate……….and the water balloons that he avoided………and the geese that he fed and the goose poop that he scraped off of his shoes.
He dug in his pocket and pulled out some very dirty coins that I had him promptly throw away. He continued to dig in his pocket and then pulled out a very ragged feather. He held it toward me as he said, “Here, Mom! This is for you. It’s a goose feather. Here, take it!” I came very close to telling him that this feather was very dirty and that he should throw it away as he did the filthy coins, but the look on his face stopped me. To Aaron this gift was as valuable as a gold and diamond necklace. How could I say no?
So I reached out and took the possible goose feather, and I thanked him as warmly as if it was that beautiful necklace. He hardly reacted, though I knew he was pleased as he thumped up the hall to his bedroom……..where he checked to be sure I had plugged in his keyboard, and then changed his clothes……..with his door open. And he loudly reminded me to tell him when Wheel of Fortune came on, the way he does every single night.
That ragged possible goose feather with who-knows-what on it is still sitting on my desk……….a reminder that Aaron cared enough for Mom to bring me a treasure. I never know what to expect from Aaron from day to day, from hour to hour…..even though at times he is so predictable. His mind is amazing and multi-layered, that’s for sure.
I went from being “iknored” to being the recipient of a valued feather of unknown origins. All in all, I’d say it was a pretty good day.