Home > Monday Minute > Monday Minute: How Much Is A Kiss Worth?

Monday Minute: How Much Is A Kiss Worth?

Sometimes we get into a routine, where, despite the day-to-day struggles I forget a little bit how disabled James is. He’s barely on the spectrum anymore, I think to myself. He’s getting over so many of his issues and is really making progress this year.

Then, something happens to shake up the routine, like a holiday –  off of school, houseguests, unscheduled days, later bedtime, sensory overload – and I am quickly reminded of how fragile our daily balance is. Today’s Monday Minute is a real snapshot of what the week has been like since Thanksgiving weekend. And despite Christmas being one of my absolute favorite times of the year, you will see why I am dreading rocking the boat all over again.

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My responses are in bold italics. Other people are in bold. James is in italics.

(walking to school)

I’m gonna try to be more better in the mornings. James, you have to stop flipping out when your alarm goes off or when I wake you up (remember how amazingly the alarm had been working?). I’m gonna try my best. Last week was really rough in the morning – we need to start fresh this week buddy. I’m gonna change it up. I’m gonna.  Mom. Mom. Mom – What? I’m gonna wake up and say good morning Mom! I really hope so bud. Look at that dog sniffing over there. James, please turn around, you just bumped that lady. Sorry. Why are there pigeons on that path? James turn around. Look straight ahead. (to passerby #2, bumped) Sorry about that.

James, look where you are going or you have to hold my hand. Stop holding my jacket. Look straight ahead. whoa do you hear the cranking noise of those wheels? Whoa listen to that cranking! Look at the cranking! James hold my hand for a minute. Ugh James look – you just stepped in poop. No I didn’t. Yes, you did. Please buddy. Please – eyes on the sidewalk ahead. But listen to that cranking. There’s something I’ve been wanting to tell you. what? I’m going to be good and Santa better bring me something. He’s not going to bring you anything if you ask like that. You need to use manners and be on your best behavior. I’ll be so frustrated with him. He might be feeling a tad frustrated with you right now, too. He’s not. He’s happy right now. He’s a nice man. right mom? Santa is nice. Sometimes he wants to be nice but feels frustrated. He’s just happy right now okay mom. Okay? I’m gonna change it up tomorrow.

(long pause, James walks with his mouth open, tilting his head to the side and nodding occasionally as if deep in conversation)  

what are you thinking about? James? James? please look where you’re going. James? (physically stop him on the sidewalk) Look at my eyes right now. James. What are you thinking about? (James silently mouths things to himself with a small smile) James? I’m going to change it up today. Oh no, what happened to Subway – look! (bumps into two more people while James stares at the Subway, which has not yet opened for business). James stand over here. It would hurt getting a hole drilled in your head. what?? Do you hear that drill? (faint in the distance) Oh look there’s Santa! What kind of present do you think Santa will bring me? Some Ramen noodles? I hope he sees how good I’m going to be. Hey mom look at those pigeons! what do you think they’re landing on? what is that? what are they doing? What, James. oh, a pole they are landing on a pole and on that tree. why?

Crossing Guard: Hey, how are you? Wow James is getting tall! How are you? Hi, pigeons!!!!!! HIIIIIII PIGEONS!!!!!!!!! James, be quiet! Rose is trying to say good morning. It’s fine. Where are the babies? Ryan has them at home, he worked overnight and just got back like – PIIIIIIGGGEEEOOONNNS! Look at them up in that tree! What are they doing? James, be quiet right now. (Softer): It would be gross if pigeons pooped on our head, right mom? right? Yep, real gross. (bumps into woman walking dog while looking up into trees) Sorry. James hold my hand until we get to school. No thanks. I’m not asking – hold my hand right now. Okaaaaayyyyyyy, mmmmoooooommmmmm. It’s nice to hold hands with you. Right? right?

(After meeting James’s para at the door)

Okay James, have a good day. Be good – no talking back. Okay mom – give me a kiss. I love you. Love you too bud. I love you. Okay – here’s a kiss for you on your cheek. Here’s another kiss. Kiss. heeee. okay buddy hold on – (James walks around the corner with a classmate and disappears) To para, mid-thought: You probably should go….

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I’m too tired at this point to tally up whether or not James bumped into people or kissed my cheek more this morning. Disabled though James might be, he is nothing but advanced when it comes to schmoozing!

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