Washington D.C. Trip and Grumpy Old Men

Hold on! I need to sit down. My head is spinning… There was so much going on in the past few weeks that I honestly lost touch with the real world.

It’s about time I move all the photos from our recent trip to Washington D.C. to my laptop. I take tons of pictures with the ambitious idea to later choose the best one out of 10-20 of almost identical shots. If you have an ASD kiddo, you know what I mean. Most pics are out of focus because some individuals are constantly in motion and cannot stay still for the whole 3 seconds, ha ha. While we were exploring Washington D.C. with all its

monuments and famous buildings, Booboo Bear was as good as gold. His baby sis on the other hand was asking every 15 seconds “are we there yet?” or “is this building close from here? I’m tired. Can we drive there?”.  I was exercising my patience, and so was Daddy Bear. Little Chatterbox would go on nonstop, ha ha. We literally ran through the city’s “must see” points within a few hours and exhausted drove to our friend’s house. She’s like a mom to us – we met in Cyprus and have formed a very special bond ever since. And so when we came back from our site seeing adventure, not only did she cook for us some of our favorite dishes but also provided accommodation in her 2-bedroom apartment. True royal treatment  She was there for us when Booboo was born and when he was making his first steps, flirting and charming all the ladies… She remembered our boy as a very sociable and cheeky little monkey, who’d be playing Peek-a-boo with her, chatting in baby language, shouting “Hallelujah!” etc – basically pre-autism Booboo. Now, after 8 years we met again and she was surprised to see the change in him… We took an opportunity and raised autism awareness by sharing our story and how we deal with ASD on daily basis. It was heartwarming to see our little man hugging “mommy Afifi” and asking her to tickle him… and watching our girl learning to paint on real canvas and creating beautiful jewelry with her new best friend. I wish we lived closer to our special “mommy”.

It was a blessing to be her guests. She lives in a very modern seniors’ home (4 storey apartment building) with extremely thin walls (and CEILINGS!). As you all know, our Booboo is a stimmer. He remains calm and focused when he’s allowed to stim. In his case it’s drumming. He takes any object that’s handy and bangs it on the floor, wall or his legs. He’s a drummer  Especially with all the extra stimuli – new place, new smells, new person, everything different… He was a star and tried to cope with a change in the way he knew best – yup, through drumming. Alas, the floor was not soundproofed, despite a thick and fluffy carpet! It didn’t take even 3 minutes till we heard a knock on the door. As we opened it, we were greeted by a grumpy sour face of an elderly gentleman who immediately shared his piece of mind. Mentioned something about pounding and Russian invasion, ha ha. We promised to keep it down. Little did we know it would have a disastrous effect on our boy – he would try extra hard not to stim and be as quiet as possible. We were so proud of him.

When we got home, he immediately let all the tamed anxiety out and drummed his body and soul out  Then, the following morning he’d shrug his shoulder nonstop. Teachers were concerned too, as they’ve never noticed such “ticks” in Booboo before. I believe it was his body’s way of dealing with all that accumulated tension. It vanished within 10 days.

Now we have a new concern – continuous eyes rolling. It looked too much like epileptic seizure, but thankfully it wasn’t. Most probably it’s a replacement tick Booboo chose to “practice” instead of shoulder shrugging…

Summing up: LET THE KID STIM or deal with aftermath