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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Adventures in Toilet Plunging

Once upon a time in a life far-far away, a mother was able to leave her then 10 and 13 year-old sons at home alone, for a couple of hours.  A couple of pizzas, movies, and video games were enough to keep them occupied.  She would only be a phone call away on the cell.  The senior-citizen neighbors across the street would be available for emergencies.  If the 13 year-old (Red), was being too annoying to the 10 year-old (Blue), would simply go into the parents room, lock the door and watch t.v. in their bed until they returned home.

Fast forward to age 13 and 16, the boys have evolved into the mindset of testosterone charged, hormonal, teenage boys who have explosive personalities and zero patience for one another.  Both boys are on the autism spectrum as they've been all of their lives, only now this means that they can and will explode at any given moment when unexpected, annoying things happen.  They can hardly stand to be in the same house together without fighting about the smallest infractions.

Mommy is sick with an annoying head cold, but her taxi duties are not alleviated just because she isn't feeling well.  She isn't given any sick days.  Her wicked mother (Nana) must get to her hair appointment at the local Barber & Beauty shop, which is about 10 minutes away.

The 13 year-old boy has just awakened from a pleasant night of slumber.  He will not be ready in time to go with them today.  Mommy has decided to take the 16 year-old with her, so that he can get his hair cut, while Nana gets her hair done.  Therefore, not leaving the two boys together...in the house...alone.

Scratch the record....at the last minute, the 16-year-old boy decides that he has to go to the restroom and that he will be a while (if you know what I mean).   He had been too busy farting around (pun intended), starring at the laptop for the past 20 minutes, to figure out that he needed to go to the bathroom before it was time to actually leave.
At this point, there is only 10 minutes before Nana's appointment, and Nana absolutely hates to be even 2 minutes late.  Mommy decides to leave the 16-year-old boy in the bathroom taking care of his business.  She tells him, she will be back to get him, as she wants to ensure that Nana makes it there on time.
This means that the boys will at home...together...alone, for approximately 20 minutes.  They are teenagers after all.  What's the worst that could happen?

The 13-year-old boy comes down the stairs to prepare his breakfast.  Suddenly, he realizes that he is not alone in the house.  His brother is in the restroom.  Great!  I thought he was going with Mom! 

Moments later, the 16-year-old boy yells from the bathroom, "Blue can you get the plunger?  The toilet is flooding again."
Seems simple enough right? 
"You are such an idiot!  You flooded the bathroom again!!  I'm not getting the plunger," screams the younger brother!
"But you have too get it!"

Rigga ma ro and nonsense ensues.

Blue the 13-year-old, calls Mom on the cell.  He is yelling into the phone, not listening or letting her get a word in at all.  Not that Mommy has much of a voice.  She is sick remember?  Mommy hangs up the phone, not hearing much of what he said.  She is already heading towards home and will be there within 5 minutes.

When she arrives, she parks in front of the house, noticing the front door is open.  Faintly, she hears some one call, "Mom" from behind her.  It's Blue.  He is wearing no shoes, but has come from accross the street.
"May I speak to you for a minute?" he asks her very sternly.
"I had to get out of here.  Why did you hang up on me?" he continues
"You were not listening to me.  You were just yelling into the phone.  If you had been listening, you would have heard me say, that I was on my way home," she replies.
"Well...I had to get out of here! Red was trying to strangle me.  And I was going to call the police, but he wouldn't let me!  So I ran to our neighbors house!"
"He what?! and you did What!?"
She listens a little further and the story doesn't make very much sense, which really isn't all that surprising.
You all are fighting over the toilet plunger!  Seriously??? And it gets so intense that you have to run to a neighbors house???  I've been gone for all of 20 minutes and it got this bad?  Really??  What do I have here...two toddlers?

As time passes and tempers deminish...she gets a little closer to the real story.

After Blue started screaming, "I'm not getting the plunger.  You're such an idiot, etc.  Red, comes out of the bathroom, pants down, flag-waving, (and by flag, you know what I mean) cursing at Blue.   Blue starts calling mom and dad on the cell phones. He then threatens to call the police because Red is cursing and making crude comments.   Red comes after him to try to take the phone away so that he will not actually call the police.  Red has an extreme fear of police officers.

"So when exactly did he try to strangle you? Well...he just, kind of, tried to grab the phone away from me."
"Can you show me how he did that?"  He demonstrates what looks like Red grabbing around his body, trying to get the phone.
"Do you know what strangling is?" Mom asks.
"Yes...it's like um, like...choking?"  He demonstrates the choking motions.
"So did he ever put his hands on you like that?"
"Well...um...no."
"But you just told our neighbor that he tried to strangle you."
Our very nosey neighbor!  The one who likes to talk to everyone in the neighborhood and gossip!  You just basically accused your brother of a crime, in front of THIS neighbor of all people!  You couldn't have gone to Ms. C our nice neighbor.  You know, the one who has her own special needs child and would probably understand.  The one who minds her own business.  Nooo! You had to go to the loudest mouth, in-every-body's-business-neighbor! Great!  This just just absolutely, freakin-great!

"Well I meant RESTRAIN me, not strangle!"

20 minutes!  Over a toilet plunger?! All of this because you couldn't possibly have gone to get the toilet plunger for your brother.   You couldn't have walked away...gone back upstairs to your room, locked your door, called someone else you love and trust to explain the situation, because you were so offended because he flooded the toilet!  No...that would make too much sense!

Mind you...at this point, mama has not eaten an ounce of food, therefore, she has not taken any medicine for her cold.  Her head feels like it's been blown up like a balloon and is about to pop.  She is dizzy.  She has no voice, yet she has to referee this fight, without a whistle!  She is imagining the whole neighborhood talking about those crazy people over there!  That boy's a ticking time-bomb!

Patience is non-existent in this frame of mind.  So of course, she goes off in her own bit of rage saying some very unkind things to her children.

Hours later, we all apologize to each other when things have calmed down.  After Mom gathers herself and gets some food and medicine into her body, she actually laughs at the lunacy of this whole ordeal. Ha ha ha!
The boys go back to bugging the shit out of their mother about what they are going to do over the rest of Spring Break and whatever else they can think of.   Little do they know, she plans on begging her doctor to check her into the hospital for a head-cold, so that she doesn't have to hear the words, "So mom are you going to be better by Friday so we can go to Six Flags?"

Lesson learned here:
No, you can not leave a 13 and 16-year-old brothers, with explosive personalities and anger issues, on the autism spectrum at home together, alone... not even for 20 minutes.  That is unless, you want the police to greet you when you return home.

Editorial note:
Now I will admit that in my youth, my brother and I did fight when my mother was not at home.   He did give me Ex-lax and told me it was candy and teased me relentlessly.   I did go after him with a steak knife, and ended up cutting my own finger instead of him.
However, the police were never called.  And no nosey neighbors became involved...EVER! Luckily the neighbors were full of even more drama than we ever had in our house.
I just called my dad, long distance...as if he could actually do something about it...over the phone.
Said brother and sister now love each other madly.  That is now that they no longer live together and have their own maddening children.