On Tuesdays after school Riley has private therapy. He literally comes home, unloads his backpack gathers his ‘stuff’ (I’ll get to that in a minute), snack, and communication device. I load the whole crew into the car to drop him off at therapy. Now if you know Riley you know how hard it is to get him out of the house because of his ‘stuff’. I am talking bags of ‘stuff’. It can be anything, his ‘guys’, Legos, or little toys, sometimes a magnet, a pencil, coloring book, an empty toilet paper roll (not kidding) broken heads off of his ‘guys’, marbles, erasers the list goes on. Well, on this particular day he was looking for something and it was nearing the time we HAD to leave and in his mad rush to run around and gather his stuff, he started a temper tantrum that kept escalating. With Riley, what he is looking for is usually something he had been playing with before school.
For those of you that don’t know, Riley has Cornelia de Lange Syndrome (CdLS) www.cdlsusa.org. He was diagnosed at 17 months old. CdLS is a genetic mutation and happens to 1 in 30,000 births. CdLS does not discriminate as it can happen to anyone. One of the delays is speech. Riley has a few words but uses a communication device to communicate. In addition to his syndrome he also has Apraxia http://www.asha.org/public/speech/disorders/ChildhoodApraxia.htm. I can understand him but there are instances I cannot and tell him “get your talker to tell me”.
In our rush to get into the car with everyone, there was no time so literally he got pissed. Sorry for the harsh word, but he did. He started a temper tantrum but I needed to leave STAT. So kicking and screaming (him not me 🙂 we got into the van and the tantrum continued. The other kids were oblivious. All they wanted was to watch Alvin and the chipmunks in the car DVD player. This went on as we headed to therapy. I tried to remain calm and not pay attention to it. We get to the light at Old Milton and State Bridge to make the turn. Riley is now escalating his temper. As I make the turn I hear Reese screaming “Mom, Riley took his shirt off”. I am thinking, I will just put it back on once we get to therapy. Then the next thing I hear is “MOM!!! He is going to throw it… and then I hear the back window open and then… “MOM!!! he just threw it out the window” … I continue to drive thinking … ok what do I do?? I could do one of 3 things..
- Go back home and get another shirt (no time for that)
- Go back, stop traffic on a busy highway, and get it (nope, not doing that either)
- Take him to therapy as is and hope the therapist has an extra shirt.
I picked #3 …We get to therapy and it’s at the time kids are coming and going to therapy… kids are coming out with therapists talking to the parents as to what they did in the session and kids are coming in for therapy… Very, very, very busy – and here I am walking in with Riley without a shirt and still a bit of a tantrum, with his bag of stuff in front of at least 20 people. So picture this… everyone sees this and stops what they are doing. The look on my face is priceless. I see the owner, he sees me. He could tell by the look on my face this was not going to end well if I didn’t drop him and head out. He takes Riley from me with a smile and says “I’ve got this” and takes him back for his session.
I never did go back to find that shirt… Don’t judge… I don’t litter, but I think I get a ‘pass’ this one time.
Until next time….
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