Aaron can drive us a little….or a lot…..crazy with his desire for life to be predictable. His life, that is. He really doesn’t concern himself much with our life, to be honest. He enjoys the sameness of every day, but rarely is every day the same, so he is forced to adjust on those particular days or moments. Sometimes he adjusts with relative ease, and other times we drag him kicking and screaming into the world of change.
Last week he knew that I was taking him to the lab for some scheduled blood work. I had told him that he could take the day off from his day group. We were going to the lab and then out to eat lunch at his favorite place, Carlos O’Kelly’s…….favorite because of the unlimited chips and salsa. Aaron loves unlimited food, so he prefers Carlos O’Kelly’s to Chili’s, because at Chili’s we have to pay for the chips and salsa….and sometimes Mom doesn’t want to pay for that, of all things…..so, predictably, Carlos O’Kelly’s is his restaurant of choice.
He was chomping at the bit to leave for the lab….not because he wanted to go the lab but because he knew that Carlos O’Kelly’s would soon follow. He came to my room repeatedly as I was getting ready. It didn’t matter that my hair was wet…..it didn’t matter that I was in the process of drying my hair…..it didn’t matter that I was still putting on my make-up. The question was the same each time: “Mom, are we leaving now?” And when I would say no, he of course would ask when we were going to leave. A general answer would not do, but general was the best I could do at the moment…….so therefore, he kept returning as he hoped for an EXACT time. I know better than to be exact, though. A phone call or other interruption, such as a bad hair day, can mess up EXACT times…..and throw Aaron into believing that Mom is a liar because I didn’t keep my word. And he doesn’t care at all about my hair….or my make-up. His comment on my make-up recently was, “Do you wear make-up because you don’t want people to think you’re ugly?”
Finally, when Aaron returned again to ask when we would be leaving, I could say with confidence that we would leave in five minutes. Finally! An EXACT time! I sat down at my desk to do a couple things in those few minutes, but soon Aaron was standing beside me, hovering. He was silent as he hovered, until finally he said, “Is it 10:16?”
“Is what 10:16?” I asked.
“Five minutes would be 10:16,” he informed me.
Believe me, we left the house at 10:16. And predictably, he watched every move the lab tech made and he watched her draw his blood even though she told him to look away and he wore his watch way up his arm…..as he always does. EXACTLY as he always does!
Aaron loves taking Jackson on walks around our neighborhood circle. Jackson is getting old, so we only take him when the temperatures are cooler. One day Aaron asked if we could Jacks on a walk and I told him that we would do it later, when it was cooler outside. “When will that be?” he asked. I told him I didn’t know…..just that it would be later. It wasn’t long until Aaron came back downstairs.
“What time will we take Jackson on a walk?” he asked. “I don’t know. Just later,” I once again answered.
This scenario was repeated several times. Finally, after Aaron asked again what time we would leave, I told him that we would leave sometime after 7:00.
Just so you know, the word “sometime” is not concrete enough…..for Aaron.
He stood there silently, looking at the clock and processing the vague word, “sometime.”
“8:00?” he asked.
We left the house at 8:00.
Last week Aaron’s Paradigm driver, Lisa, had texted and told me that she would be a little late with Aaron’s pick-up. As Aaron and I sat in the parking lot waiting on Lisa to arrive, he was getting stressed because she wasn’t there yet. I told him that Lisa had texted me and that she would be a few minutes late.
“A few?” he questioned. “What does that mean?”
“Well, I don’t know EXACTLY, Aaron,” I answered. I reminded him about things like other’s schedules…..traffic…..car problems…..trains.
Aaron was silent for a minute.
“What time?” he asked.
I guess he thought I hung my head because my neck hurt.
Yesterday morning he kept asking if Jackson could ride with us in the van to meet Aaron’s group. I had to think about my morning before I answered EXACTLY that Jacks could come. So several times after Aaron asked me this same question, I told him that Jacks could probably come.
Just so you know, the word “probably” is also not concrete enough……for Aaron.
“Stop with the probably!” he finally informed me.
And that is EXACTLY what I need to remember with Aaron. Stop with the probably! No probably for concrete Aaron!