Autism 1 – wet bed
It’s 2330, I came up to bed 45 mins ago, went into the boys’ room as usual to check them. There are 2 reasons for this, 1 is that they are beautiful when they’re asleep. Aren’t all kids? The terrors of the day forgotten they lie there like angels. And 2, they are mostly always without covers as they have kicked them off. So I begin the process of tucking them in. The little one done, I go onto the big one who sits bolt upright and announces he’s wet himself…
We both know what to do. Even in his half asleep state he climbs down his ladder, goes into the bathroom, strips off ready for his shower. I wash and dry him, put him in bed with his Dad (snuffling away). I strip and clean and remake his bed in the dark so the little one doesn’t wake up.
Then I have to try and heave a now sleeping 8 1/2 year old giant up a vertical ladder into bed and tuck him up under a variety of blankets and sheepskins. He says this is how the Vikings slept. I say this is a pain in the arse when you need to wash pee out of them in the middle of the night.
It doesn’t happen as often any more (once a fortnight rather than twice a week). We are like toilet sergeants before bed, have you been? When was the last time you went? Are you sure? But if he’s over-tired or over-excited, his brain focuses on that and not on the need to get out of bed for a wee. Tonight, he says, he thinks his brain was distracted by thinking about Dad’s birthday at the weekend. I realise this is my fault as I told them both that I was going to take them shopping tomorrow. He has then fallen asleep thinking through all the possibilities of what they (I) might buy their unsuspecting father.
It’s sad and sweet all at the same time. He knows his autism well enough now that he can analyse signs and symptoms by himself, but he/we still can’t get a handle on some things entirely. The tiniest thing said in the wrong place can trigger a much bigger reaction. Then you have to store that and try and remember it for next time.