For a while now I have been reading to P from Madeleine L'Engle's Time series of books. He is interested in them and for the most part is settled and attentive as I read to him. It is our special time every night. We snuggle together on his bed and discuss the book as I read. Tonight however a wrinkle (Not a Wrinkle in Time) was thrown into the mix. There was "Nothing" for snack.
Now before we go any further let me say there was a variety of choices for snack from butterscotch pudding (purchased at his request, but after I bought it he decided he only liked homemade butterscotch pudding, even though he has never had homemade butterscotch pudding.) to fruit. Of course the snack he really wanted (Yogurt) was devoured as quickly as they could eat it. I said once it's gone it's gone. No more until I shop again. It was snuck into the basement and eaten as they hid in their hideout. No more I said, and I meant it.
When he realized what he wanted was gone the tears flowed down his cheek. His cries sounded like he was in mourning. Nothing would help. The world was ending in his mind. It is horrible to watch your child go through this. I know in his head this behavior is rational. I have to fight my instincts to get upset with him for this display. He can't help it, he can't stop it until it has run it's course.
I wish I could gather him in my arms and just make it go away. But when he is in this state a hug is not accepted by him. He goes in his room, his safe place, but even that is not helping. When he calms down I think we have been through the worst of it. We have told him if he doesn't pick a snack there is nothing else we can do. He will have to go to bed without a snack. We are not running out to the store to get him a snack. It is not going to happen.
I go into his room with the book. The book I read to him every night AFTER his snack. That is when he knew we were serious. It was bedtime, he chose not to have a snack, so now it is story time. The realization was too much for him and he just broke down. He was so upset and was flailing around on his bed. I told him I couldn't read to him if he acted like that and he declared that he didn't want a story that night. He just wanted a snack.
Finally he calmed down enough to realize that he was hungry and would have to eat snack from what we had. He picked oatmeal. I swear I had a different son at that moment. There was no evidence of the attack he had mere moments ago. He was smiling and happy. We made his oatmeal and he ate it. Then he came over to me, hugged me and leaned his head on my shoulder. "Mommy" he says "I really do want a story tonight."
Instead of two chapters I could only read one. I explained that too much time had past and we only had time for one chapter tonight. Oddly enough that decision makes the book end perfectly on Sunday night. That gives me an extra day to find a copy of the book. Luckily in two books we have only had Asperger's effect us one night, one Aspie night.