Autism Watch: 2007

Posts Tagged ‘escrow

There are times my son looks “normal.” He’s not screaming or yelling and if you watched through a window, you’d see him focus on his laptop for hours at a time or play his DSi. You’d see him do his homework and eat some dinner, and give me a hug when he goes to bed. So what’s wrong with that? Nothing..except without hearing him, looks are entirely deceiving.

This past weekend, we were house hunting. We spent about 1.5 hours at one particular house, deciding if it was “the one.” In fact, it was “the one,” but we didn’t make an offer until the next day, and we heard this afternoon that it was accepted. (Can I hear a big YAHOOOOOO?) BB wanted to go with us to the open house. We’d promised him a quick (ha) tour of a home we were considering buying, and we wanted him to have an idea of what to expect in case we did purchase it. From a distance, it probably seemed fine, but if you couldn’t interpret the look on his face, the slope of his shoulders, or the shuffling of his feet, you wouldn’t know what was really going on. It probably looked like an everyday family but plug in the sonic ear and you’d have heard a completely different side.

See, this house we looked at is in “the” neighborhood. It’s a custom home on a two-acre lot, surrounded by homes closer to, or more than a million dollars in value. It’s got a pool, a jacuzzi and a sauna, along with workshop, craft building and this white picket fence that screams home. To us, it’s ideal…”us” being my husband, my older son, and my younger daughter. BB? Not so much.

He started off in the screened-in pool area. He wouldn’t leave it, no matter where we went. He had run in there the second we got in the home, and wouldn’t look anywhere else, no matter how hard we tried. We thought “perfect, he’s loving the pool, just as we’d hoped.” Ha. If only things were that easy.

“BB, what do you think of this bedroom? It would be yours!”

“NO! This is an OLD LADY HOUSE!”

“Old lady? Huh?”

“Mom, it’s wayyyy smaller than the neighbor homes, surrounded by mansions and we’re going to be the poor people!!”

Okay, here’s where I admit to having to turn away before he could see my amused face…or my ‘he did NOT just say that! omg, that’s hilarious, what a butthead!’ face.

However, he didn’t stop. Family, including Dh, had to come in and talk to him, all to no avail. He didn’t yell. He didn’t scream. His words weren’t nasty or things I couldn’t repeat. But, they were not the words of a child happy to move out of our in-laws’ home and into our own home where he could get to all his stuff. Heck-a-no.

Two days later, escrow/lender/legal paperwork in the works, and he’s still not changed his mind. Now, he’s not entirely wrong. Our house is the smaller of the three neighbors that surround us. (We back up to a gorgeous forest.) But, it’s bigger than other homes beyond those ‘mansions’ and bigger than many other homes that are in the neighborhood. We aren’t, by far, the “poor” people. In fact, if I could get him to listen, there don’t appear to be “poor” people, even if I wanted to go there with my commentary. (I don’t, so please just take what I’m saying in the spirit of the story, not the literal sense. Hmmph.)

Not sure what it’s going to take, but he’s not having any of it right now. We’ll continue to work on it with him over the coming weeks before the close of escrow. We’re thoroughly excited…”we” not necessarily including BB, but we don’t let that dampen the mood. We’ve looked at a lot of houses, configured a lot of budget plans, and decided what’s important to us. Local to our family, same schools they’re already in, one-story, good amount of land to garden, and room to relax without hearing our neighbor’s breathe. (In fact, we can barely see our neighbors.) We got that. All of it. And more. Jackpot. Now I just hope BB will adapt to it before we move in, though I have no doubt a few days of easy pool access will play a big part in making our new house feel like home.

As I’ve bemoaned about recently, we’re in the midst of a move. We’re excited about moving but the move itself, not so much. It’s work. A lot of it. It’s chaos. As I type this, I have a bottle of barbecue sauce next to me on the table, because I was packing up our Nascar cabinet and I am not moving a bottle of barbecue sauce, even if it has a picture of our favorite Nascar race car on it. We love our driver, but barbecue sauce sitting in a box for six months…no, thank you. Past the barbecue sauce is a stack of boxes, and an empty hutch that once held our Nascar collectibles. Tons of it. Wow, I could sponsor a race if I sold it all. It was no easy feat packing up the autographed memorabilia, the occasional lug nut and odd items collected from race tracks for the last six years. Beyond that, empty boxes, calling my name, screaming “Pack pictures in me! Wrap the rest of your wine glasses and put them in me too!” Then there’s my couch, nestled amongst those boxes and a pile of displaced items that had a home on a wall unit until my husband moved it to put it in the 53′ trailer we now own in the morning. And that’s just one room, so you get the idea. (I’ll spare you what my bedroom looks like, devoid of half its furniture and items, leaving me wondering how I’ll peacefully sleep in there for the next 2-3 weeks.)

Last night, I had to go through BB’s toy cabinets. He has two huge ones, and there was overflow under his foozball/air hockey table, and in his sister’s closet. It took me quite some time to sort out the things I knew he wouldn’t want, and then to ask him over and over, “Do you want this? What about this?” “Mom, I’m too old for Hungry, Hungry Hippos..” and “Mom, we played Guess Who so much at therapy, I don’t want it anymore.” On one hand, I was repeatedly thinking how great it was that we only had to pack half of his stuff. But on the other hand? My baby is growing up!

There was some sadness as I stacked Chutes ‘n Ladders in the garage sale pile. We’d played that game over and over. It didn’t require him to speak or maintain eye contact, and he’d win almost every time. The cards that he’d sort out and lay out perfectly in order, side by side, not off by a hair went, too. I almost kept them, but what in the world would I do with them? They were a good memory, because we’d spent hours upon hours working and playing together, but they were bittersweet — they were such a sign that he had autism, and I never picked up on it.

I was so happy when he chose to pack his Ratatouille chef’s hat and apron. He looks so darn cute when he puts them on and makes his famous Club Cracker, mustard and deli meat sandwiches. He decided to keep all his dinosaurs and his pirate swords, but I was sad when he put the “little kid” pirate costume in the go pile. Sniff. Then we got to things I was sure he’d keep, all his Hot Wheels and Matchbox buildings and garages. “Mom, I’m not a little kid anymore.” Then my husband just had to chime in, “His interests have changed, it’s okay.” I think he knew my ambivalence about seeing some other kid run away with Rocket Park playset, something he’d play with for hours, even if he played with it a bit weirdly. When the entire Little People world goes, for not a cheap price, I may cry.

He’s got a new interest in drawing this week, and it’s one that fits right in with his computer animation and gaming interests. We’ll definitely be encouraging it and getting him whatever training he wants, as long as it remains fun for him. He drew an eagle that easily rivals something a much older child would do, and Dad was amazed at how fast he did it. (Dare I say that part of me is thinking a-ha, I passed something down! I was an art freak and an art major. It’s still a love of mine, though now I mainly view art instead of creating it. Who has time and the kind of focus it needs?)

Now we’re at the phase of the move where he just wants it over with. The disruption of his bedroom and routine is getting on his nerves. When he asks for a new subscription for a month to Club Penguin or wants to go see a movie on a certain day, I have to remind him that we’ll be on the road for five days, and in transition a few days before and after that. Online time may be at a premium. (Then again, we are staying at KOAs with wi-fi all the way through our drive.) He wants to move, but doesn’t hesitate to remind me, frequently, how much it’s getting in the way of his normal things. Sigh. Please, Lord, let the rest of escrow go smoothly and let it all come together so we can really be out of here soon.


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