Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Weekend Festivities (3.22.2012)

A good friend of mine asked me today what my plans were for the weekend. Since this is my weekend with Sam, I can pretty much recite chapter and verse exactly what we'll do. You see, my Sam is a planner. He likes to leave nothing to chance. Sam will ask me about the weekend festivities weeks before he's going to be joining me and after 21 years, I'm still not sure if this has something to do with his autistic spectrum diagnosis or the fact that he's my son. Or maybe it's a little of both.

So here's the rundown for the weekend:

I will pick Sam up at the group home (after my work and his) at 5:30 or 6. Usually the conversation goes something like this the Wednesday prior: "You pick me up at 4:30?" "No, honey. I can't. I'll pick you up as early as I can. Around 5:30 or 6." "You pick me up at 5?" "Saaaammmm...."

From there, we have plans to go to McDonalds Medicine Lake Road. Not McDonalds Bass Lake Road, mind you, but very specifically, McDonalds Medicine Lake Road. Apparently there is a very big difference that completely escapes me, but that is where we will go.
Sam is always very interested in the McDonalds PlayPlaces -- the locations that have the constellation of interconnected tunnels for kids to play in. He is fascinated by these and always asks me (still) if he can "see" them. I always tell him, "Yes, you can SEE them. But you are too big to go inside." [And this is our favorite part of the conversation and probably the reason he always brings it up:] At this point, I always say, "We don't want you getting stuck like Winnie the Pooh when he went to visit Rabbit -- a bear wedged in a great tightness* -- do we?" This always makes him laugh. And now that he is 6'1" and about 190, I add, "And besides, you are a man now. And if you tried to start climbing around in those tubes with all the little kids, people would just think you were creepy." And this seems to make complete sense to him too.

Saturday will be spent seeing "Target France Avenue". Once again, the Target near France Avenue has a distinct draw for Sam that is completely different than any other Target any place else. I don't doubt there is a significant difference for him. I just don't know what it is. I humor him just as he humors me most of the time.

When we get to "Target France Avenue" Sam will want me to drive around the building so he can see the fire doors on the outside of the building. He will marvel and note "fire door" at each one. Then after we park the car and go inside the store, he will say, "Can I see the WHOLE store?" And I reply, "Yes, except for what?" And he'll say, "Except for areas that are for TEAM MEMBERS."

At this point, he will start at the entrance and walk the entire perimeter of the store. Along the way, he will match up the outside fire doors with the inside fire doors. He will say hello to people. And he will look into every doorway along the way. If he stops too long, we say, "Remember: there's nothing back there for you." And he will repeat that, knowing that it helps him remember to keep moving and not get stuck.

As for actually shopping, we have a system now: if we need to deviate from the store's perimeter to buy something, he comes with me. Then we go back to the spot we left to continue the inspection of the perimeter. This probably sounds a little goofy, but it hurts no one. I just put on my Fitbit and get my walking done.

After "Target France Avenue" Sam wanted to go to Wendy's but I put my motherly foot down. "Sam, if I'm going to drive all the way to France Avenue (it's a few towns away), I don't want to end up at Wendy's. No way." We agreed -- or rather I bullied him -- into going to The Cheesecake Factory. Not the most low-calorie choice, but at least I'll have a fighting chance of having a few food choices. I think.

Ginger Taking a Sunday Afternoon Cat Nap
Sunday is typically our planned hang-out day. It's a day for baking, watching TV, hanging around in our jammies, or maybe even taking a nap. It's wonderful to see how much Sam enjoys being a homebody all day and he just savors the free time to play his video games, check out his favorite YouTube sites (within reason), or watch NetFlix. I wonder who he gets that homebody stuff from? Best of all, we get to have a recharge day, together. That is, until we start planning our next weekend.

 * The actual line is: "Then would you read a Sustaining Book, such as would help and comfort a Wedged Bear in Great Tightness?" but we have adapted it over the years.


  1. This sounds like an ideal weekend and the dialogue is very familiar to me. I think I have had similar conversations :)

    1. LOL..That's so funny. I bet you have! Thanks for reading!

  2. you are seriously one of THE coolest Moms on the planet. yep. it's true!

    1. Thank you, dollface! I just try to keep up with Sam's coolness. He leads the xoxo