Errands with my kids should have its own sound track. Like the one in JAWS. Or Houdini.
With Mr. Impulsive and Ms. BuysAlot, there’s never a dull moment and before we leave any store, everyone knows that his name is Nolan and hers, Natalie.
But I was focused that Wednesday afternoon. I needed to buy stop signs and bead locks and be back in time to post signs on the front yard tree, the side and pool gate all before re-installing the pool liner and getting to swimming lessons by 5pm. I was on a mission.
But the store had no stop signs and with Ms. BuysAlot already promised a return trip, it was off to the pool store next. And I almost made it out the door.
The exit. I could see it. And I had a pretty good chance too. Afterall, he was seated in the shopping cart. I had full control. Just push and ignore the screaming.
I’ve become proficient in the lost art of Excuse us and Thank you so much. They rolled off my tongue as we made it between cashiers to the exit.
I saw the display cases. I saw the lolipops. I braced for it. But since the store didn’t have what I came for, we are not getting on line.
“Lolipop?!” He said in his cute litttle suprano voice. And I thought, “Nice try buddy, but this autism mom is onto your 1-word requests.”
Gone are the days when I squealed in delight for a token word request. I’ve upgraded from silence, to paroting to token words and now I want full sentences. That’s right, I want full sentences or you get nothing.
But before I knew it, little hands were fimly gripping the display fridge, only fingers away from the lolipop stand. But I didn’t get what I wanted from him so #CueTheSoundTrackToTitanic, because he’s about to let go!
What more could he do? He was losing. I’m sure that he searched his arsenal of autistic boy tricks. And I’m sure that he thought he found one because he said … “I want lolipop, please”
In a full sentence, complete with please. And by golly, my heart inflated, my eyes closed as I took in a deep cleansing breath. I smiled, widely, with the cart still moving forward, and praised him.
“Wow Nolan. Great job using your words! I love that!”
And then it happened.
He giggled, looked at me and said “You love that. You love that.”
I stopped dead in my tracks.
I don’t know the grammatical term for that but by golly, it was not echolalia. Did you see it? Did you see it? He didn’t parot me. He flipped the I to YOU. He processed my sentence! My little autistic man knew that I felt something and that referring back to me meant flipping the sentence around, and then expressing it! I nearly cried with the overwhelming thought of the doors in language now opened to him.
Oh lolipop! We’ve made it to another milestone.
And out of my mouth came a solitary sentence to Ms. BuysAlot. It was “Get on line!”