Monday, September 15, 2014

Tennis Elbow?

I think the word that would describe our weekend with Aaron would be “fixated.”  In other words, “stuck.”  By bedtime last night, Gary and I were full to the brim internally and our ears were exhausted from all of Aaron’s talking.  How could he possibly have so much to say over and over about the Predator/Alien movie he’s watching?  And about his elbow?  

He woke up yesterday with a sore elbow.  “Mom, my elbow is sore,” he told me when he came downstairs after getting out of bed.  “I think I hurt it in my sleep.”  We discussed all the possibilities……or some of them… to why his elbow might be sore.  He was sure that he had slept funny, but it seemed more than that, so I told him about how it might be inflamed from repetitive motions……as he stood there bent over, rapidly rubbing his hands together in excitement because we were talking about HIM……and he asked, “What’s repetitive motion?”   So I pointed out the obvious one he was doing at that moment, and he grinned as he rubbed his hands together even more.

And then I made a mistake.  I told him that sometimes this condition is called Tennis Elbow.  I knew that I had just added a heap of confusion to Aaron’s literal brain as I lamely sat there trying to explain Tennis Elbow.  Of course, the first thing Aaron said after my expert explanation, was:  “I don’t play any games!”  Meaning games of tennis, of course, and so I had to back pedal and explain my explanation…….and finally I just told him that his elbow was sore and we didn’t know why, but we did know that it wasn’t from tennis……so just forget Tennis Elbow.  

I poured myself another cup of coffee.

He spied the Sunday coupons and he hovered over me as I looked through them, checking to see if I wanted to buy another Sunday paper.  He wasn’t thrilled about the number of coupons he had to cut, reminding me of his sore elbow, so  I asked him if he wanted me to remove the ones that I knew I wouldn’t use.  

“No!” he replied.  “I want to cut them!”  I knew that’s what he would say.  I hadn’t been able to secretly remove them before he came downstairs, so now he had more to cut than usual……but cut them he would, sore elbow or not.   I asked him if he wanted me to cut them today as he mentioned his elbow again, but he told me that I don’t cut them right and so he would do them…..even with his sore elbow.  And I knew that his elbow was going to be one of his fixations on this day.

Another cup of coffee was in order.

The morning and the rest of the day was also consumed with his Alien vs. Predator movie that he was watching.  Gary and I have watched clips, listened to endless explanations of scenes, tried to answer questions, told him why we don’t care for that movie, explained that we don’t plan to watch that movie with him……and wondered why we let him have those movies.  I’ll admit that it’s hard to find good movies that he enjoys, and movies that don’t have some language are next to impossible to find.  

“Mom, they shouldn’t use cuss words.  They should just use WORDS!” he said.  He’s so right, and I question again the wisdom of some of our choices for him.  He enjoys some really good movies, but he also likes the alien ones.  On Friday, his group went to see Dolphin Tale at the theater.  Sadly, he was not impressed with this good movie for some reason.  He thought it was a “young child’s movie.”

He told me that some of the clients were crying after the movie was over.  I don’t know about that, but he was also not impressed with those “cry babies,” as he calls them.  But I told him that sometimes this is a sign of a really good movie.  He immediately connected to what I was trying to say.  

“But Alien vs. Predator is not like that?  It’s not a cry movie?” he asked.  I agreed, but he was still not convinced that Dolphin Tale was better.  And he continued with his alien fixation for the remainder of the day.  Exhausting.  No amount of coffee could compensate for that.

Aaron relaxing in the mulch  

I took him out to a couple stores in the afternoon.  At each place he greeted the staff with this:  “I have a sore elbow!”  And then he stood there waiting for their response as they just looked at him in discomfort, unsure of what to say, and I tried to fill in the blanks.  But nothing stops Aaron, and he continued to tell them about his elbow and why he thought it was sore and repetitive motion and sleeping wrong and if he holds it like this it doesn’t hurt and if he holds it like this it does hurt…..

It’s one of those situations where I just look at Aaron in both amusement and embarrassment, honestly……and I am once again reminded, with great confirmation, that my son has autism and has no filters.  DUH!  Don’t I know that by now?  Well, yes, I do……but seeing it in full force like this never ceases to amaze me.  It amazes those poor store clerks as well.  

And laughter…..oh my goodness, does he make me laugh!  “Mom!” he said on the way home.  “Today I sneezed in the bathroom.  I got that sneeze thing on the mirror!”  

Gross.  I need to get my nerve up today to go in there and clean it.

Aaron relaxing while watching a little football
He laughed as he watched a court scene on television and as always, was amused as the lawyers yelled, “Objection!!”  And the judge responded with, “Sustained!”   “Mom?” he asked.  “Do they use scientific words in the courtroom?”

Speaking of using words……which Aaron does with great expertise…..sometimes…..I was reminded of how blunt he can be.  Again, no filters on that boy.  Like the day he got frustrated with me and then responded with, “Mom, did you notice how I stopped myself from saying ‘jerk’?”  In some strange way, that required praise from me.

So last night before bed, Aaron said, “Mom, Barb had some Jolly Rogers candy at Paradigm!”  

“Jolly Ranchers?” I asked with a smile.

“Yeah!” he affirmed.  “Jolly Ranchers!  She gave me some.  She said her children don’t like them.  I told her that her kids are weird.”

Thankfully, Barb understands Aaron…..and if he did indeed say this, then I know that she took it in stride.  But I still explained to Aaron why he shouldn’t say that Barb’s children are weird.   I didn’t say it was the pot calling the kettle black.  I wouldn’t want to hurt Aaron’s feelings.

Besides, he would just say that he doesn’t have a pot or a kettle.


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