Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Autism Travel Log: Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Shove--Part 2

This is the continuing story of a somewhat hellacious weekend trip with the family that I began here.

Yes!  We arrived at the hotel and found my husband, looking clean-shaven and dapper, waiting for us.  The boys ran up to him as if he were the hero they were waiting for.  Daddy, Daddy!  It's Daddy!  Hey, Dad!  Dad's here!  Mommy, who had driven them, put up with them, and bought them food, was forgotten.  I didn't care, because I was thinking, He's here!  He's here!  Thank God!  Maybe he has a glass of wine for me!
Peep Show!

We brought our stuff up to the room, and I immediately noticed a problem.  The window in our room
faced into the atrium of the hotel.  For some people, such an arrangement would be weird or a little cool, but for the mother of a perpetually naked child, it was going to be a challenge.  I mean, he might as well hang a picture frame from his waist and announce, "Conventioneers and members of the wedding!  Behold my junk!"

We were going to have to keep clothes on him.

But first, the pool!  Yes, let's chill these whiners out with a dip in the indoor pool.  Oh, what an idea!  They were happy for the first time all day.  Please don't splash Mommy.  I just had my roots done.  Do you think brown hair just grows out of your head?

My husband's ONE JOB in planning this whole trip was to find a restaurant for dinner.  He's a chef, a foodie, and is great at finding just the right place.  He knows our requirements.  Any restaurant we go to must serve french fries, ice cream, and chocolate milk.  The restaurant is preferably a little noisy, so we don't disturb other diners, and has booth seating, so we can keep the boy in a seat.  Unbeknownst to me, my husband must have taken up crack-smoking, because he made a reservation at a charming and quiet English pub, with no children's menu, no milk or apple juice, and no ice cream.  The seats were short stools.  It was a disaster.

"I wanna go to Pennsylvania!" the boy cried.  Me, too, buddy.  Me, too.

We went down the street to the Franklin Fountain, a really cool old-fashioned ice cream shop.  They housed their giant sundaes.  They were happy for the second time all day.

We returned to "Pennsylvania", which is the boy's word for the hotel, with the hope that he was worn out enough to sleep.  No such luck, alas.  He refused to settle down.  First, he wanted to sleep with his brother.  Then he decided it would be more fun to shove him off the bed.  So I made him lie down with me.  I scratched his back, and just as I thought he was drifting off, he stood up and took a flying leap onto the other bed where my husband and Big Bro were sleeping, and kneed my husband in the pills with all his weight.

I settled him down again, and must have fallen asleep for a bit, because I woke up to him shaking me and saying, "Take it out, Mommy.  Take it out, please."

"Take what out?" I asked.  He responded by shoving my fingers in his mouth.  He wanted me to pull out his tooth.

"I'm not doing it, dude." I murmured, and fell asleep for real.  I awoke in predawn hours to the sound of the boy singing.

"Peanut butter...we love peanut butter!"  I opened one eye, and felt around on the bed for him.  I found a bloody tooth, but no boy.

"Peanut butter!  That's what we like best!"   Where was he?  Not in the other bed.  Not in the bathroom.  But then where...?

"Do you like it on your head?  Yes, we like it on our head!"  I followed the sound of his voice to the curtains, and saw two bare feet between the curtain and the window.

Oh, God.  No...

Oh, yes.  There he was, butt-naked and singing, pressing his genitals against the window in full view of a very resigned-looking janitor who was vacuuming below.  The boy turned to me and grinned, his glasses and missing tooth making him look like a deranged jack-o-lantern, and continued his song.

"On your head?  On our head!  OHHHH!"

And that was just the first night.


  1. Awesome!
    I actually live right outside of Philadelphia, and my boy too is perpetually naked. We live on a fairly busy street, and the minute we get home, his first act is to whip off every stich of clothing. He'll then look for a bay window, or second floor illuminated window, and as the rest of the world is working it's way home, give a show of his wares.
    I'm constantly looking around saying where is he now? I'll dress him, and he'll shower 3 times all before his father gets home, and each time.... strut like he just doesn't' care.
    It's a matter of time before he's removed from our home, or signed by some talent agency...lol

  2. "Behold, My Junk!" This. Is. Spectacular. As in the oh-I'm-so-sorry-and-I-feel-ya way. We took a similarly spectacular road trip this summer. It was horrid in most ways and now he's asking for pieces of it to do again and my only thought is NO EFFING WAY!

    Jacquei, I am sure the authorities don't want any part of him, lol!

  3. Oh I'm so sorry, but I can't stop laughing.

    You are so much braver than I am. I wouldn't have attempted it.
    Your blog is amazing <3

  4. Vacation on the spectrum. It's a double-edged sword. You want your NT kids to have a 'normal' life, but everything revolves around the ASD kid. So it's not normal. But we dream we can make THIS vacation a fun one. Best of luck to all your future trips and keep trying.