Monday, May 03, 2010

Act II - Toaster in the Tub

Have you ever seen one of the old cartoons where an electrical appliance ends up in the tub and there are all these waves of exaggerated electricity in the air? (And it’s gotta be one of the older cartoons because we would never dream of tainting our youngsters’ budding little minds with such ideas in this day and age.) Ok, so keep that visual in your mind.

I’m going to digress for a moment just to say that sweet little Jordan has a bit of a problem we are working through. We think he might have a mild autism or possibly ADHD, and we’re in the process of getting him tested. So, he’s got some funny little quirks that are just Jordan, and we love him and wouldn’t change a thing about him, quirks and all.

One of his quirks is that noise bothers him. He doesn’t like noisy things at all, you know, things like the garbage disposal or the hair dryer or mouse farts, those sorts of things. Things that wouldn’t phase most of us. So we try to talk him off the proverbial ledge whenever he is bothered by noise, and so far, our reasoning skills have been sufficient to convince him that his eardrums are not really going to catch on fire if he hears sounds.

That’s the background. Here’s the story. In a fit of mothering genius, I decided that we’d made it home in plenty of time to go straight from the trampoline meet to Aftershock, the venue where Jacob was performing in the Van Halen tribute concert this weekend. I thought, “Hmmm, what better way to show how much we really care? The whole family will be there to cheer him on.” It was a good thought. It really was, but you probably already have an idea where this story is heading.

The girls and I met Jason and the boys at Aftershock, and we were able to have a slice of pizza and a couple sips of coke before all holy chaos began. The lights went low and flashed to some sort of rocker-blue, and the music started. And Jordan became the toaster in the bathtub.

It wasn’t a fit—nothing to be in trouble over. He just started moving and never ever stopped. He dumped the diaper bag, writhed from the bench to the floor to the table to our laps to the floor, mutilated his pizza slice, began jumping up and down and flapping to the beat of whatever song was playing (I had no idea what song it was because I was preoccupied with finding out why my toddler suddenly went from zero to bat-sh*t crazy in 2.4 seconds.) It was like there was this invisible electric force around him that had possessed his little body and commanded it to move, move, move!

‘Cause I’m sort of brilliant like that. Hey, the kid doesn’t like the garbage disposal because it’s too noisy, so I should take him to a concert! Yep, brilliant. I’m thinking the little guy was simply overstimulated, and he had no way of expressing that to us other than to swing from the light fixtures and howl at the moon. Sheesh, okay, okay. Lesson learned. No more concerts for Jordan in the near future, well, unless we’re going to watch something relatively calm, like Barry Manilow.

Needless to say, we ended up leaving the concert after only three songs, and it was alright with Jacob, because he knew we would be back the next day to see him perform again. In fact, he was probably thinking we needed to seek immediate medical attention for his little brother, who was putting on a show similar to, well, the show that was happening onstage.

And what do you know? As soon as we were in the car and the doors were sealed against the offending noise, Jordan sat back in his seat and gave a huge sigh, as if to say, “Man, that was exhausting.” And he was back to his usual everyday self.

So the moral of this story is don’t throw a toaster into a bathtub, and don’t take a child you suspect might be autistic to a loud rock concert. The end.

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