a lovely picnic for Mother's Day a very stressful day.
Absent husband (due to being away for work)
11 year old boy
almost 13 year old boy
14.5 year old boy ('Slightly' autistic is best. Even better if you can find one with ADD as well!)
Sister and Brother-in-law
Mix Me, Mother and Sister together to make arrangements for a lovely day out at Araluen Botanic Park for a BBQ and picnic to celebrate Mother's Day. Bask in glow of expectation of nice day out, in good company, with good food.
For the week before, prepare 14.5 year old repeatedly for the prospect of going out in public with no electronic device to entertain him or bed to throw himself onto when he doesn't get his own way. Repeat process (and expectations of behaviour) numerous times in days leading up to
minor 'obviously huge' event.
The night before, ensure that 'Me' gets little sleep, due to a bed-hogging 11 year old and a
slightly totally psychopathic dog, who barks like the four horsemen of the apocalypse are trying to break in at 2:30AM, when it was just a pot plant waving in the breeze outside the window. Allow 'Me' to feel small amount of resentment towards peacefully slumbering children, especially the 11 year old who is hogging all the blankets and most of the space in a queen size bed.
Have 'Me' return to bed, only to toss and turn for at least an hour before finally falling asleep. Allow 11 year old and 12.5 year old to energetically wake 'Me' up at 7am with many hugs, kisses and several gratefully received and appreciated presents, followed by 14.5 year old making his way into the room resembling a drugged sloth soon after. Enjoy some family bonding time before going to have breakfast at McDonald's.
Have 'Me' fight through the crowds at the bakery to get the boys the treat food they have requested for the picnic then have a mild panic attack at the prospect of not being able to purchase the main item 'Me' was asked to bring: hot dog buns. Relax slightly when hot dog buns are found, then make trip to pick up 'Mother.'
Enjoy short visit with 'Mother' before 'Mother' being interrupted by a somewhat upsetting phone call. Console 'Mother' then corral boys and 'Mother' into car and drive to picnic destination. Endure constant repetition of "He's in my space", "He's touching me", "Now he's leaning on me", "Mum, make him stop touching me!", "I didn't touch you! I invaded your space but I didn't touch you!" from the boys and "how much longer?" from the voices in Me's head.
Park car and let out the passengers. Find nice picnic spot and settle in for quiet, enjoyable time. Upon review, realise that the 14.5 year old has managed to combine teenage attitude, over-stimulation by somewhat busy surroundings, a sense of deprivation at being removed from the usual mind-numbing electronic entertainment and mild hunger, with his autism and ADD.
Prepare 'Me' for 'not-quite-so-relaxing picnic' and then rapidly downgrade to 'Lord-grant-me-patience-because-if-you-give-Me-strength-he-will-die!' Make allowances, within reason, for 14.5 year old's repeated button pushing as well as physical pushing of 11 year old and almost 13 year old. Allow 14.5 year old to play in creek until large rocks start rising from water and landing too close to picnic table. Distract 14.5 year old and endeavour to keep entire party on even keel.
Soon after, adjust 'Me's mental state to one of 'ignore-ignore-ignore' then pray for people hogging BBQs to hurry up so 14.5 year old can be fed something other then simple sugars. Praise 'Mother' for pushing her way onto corner of BBQ plate, then curse laws preventing BBQ from being hot enough to cook sausages in less than 30 minutes. Finally mix 14.5 year old with food then pack up so 'Me' can retreat to sanctuary of friend's house.
Place boys and 'Mother' in car for return trip. Endure another round of "He's in my space", "He's touching me", "Now he's leaning on me", "Mum, make him stop touching me!", "I didn't touch you! I invaded your space but I didn't touch you!" from the boys before depositing 'Mother' at home.
Reluctantly decide that 'Me' would not be very good company right now, due to lack of sleep and homicidal tendencies and retreat to study to write long, whiny blog post. Insert occasional verbal outbursts about extreme level of noise and lack of chores being done, then stew for an hour or two. Cook dinner (or not!) then send boys to bed before their normal bed time. Sit back and try to enjoy 'Bones' on TV without falling asleep.
Happy Mother's Day!