This morning the signs that Mass might be a particularly challenging experience started early in our little house. Mae woke up at 3 and started squealing.
Oh, vocal stimming, you are the bane of my existence at 3 am.
The things that Mae does that would be considered "stimming" usually aren't all the noticeable (here's a definition for those of you who are wondering what I'm talking about). Usually it's something like pinching my finger over and over again, or patting my hand fifty thousand times or squeezing the little squeeze ball that they've discovered she loves during therapy, or twirling around and around while saying "ruffles" and staring at her skirt.
But the vocal stimming is what has people turning to stare in disbelief or shake their heads with disapproval. For Mae it's usually a high pitched squeal. It's actually a happy sound, over and over again, but at a pitch and intensity that has people turning to glare and covering their ears if it happens when we're out in public.
It actually wasn't happening very often since her diagnosis and diet changes. But then winter struck. And we've been, more or less, stuck inside for about a week at a time, because there always seems to be one disaster or another when we head outside (okay, the tantrums about coming back in are the "disasters")... and now the noises have kicked back up big time. It's meant leaving stores before fellow shoppers ear drums are shattered and dragging her out of Mass this morning while she burst into tears because she didn't want to leave the pew, she was just excited and happy to be there, so happy and excited in fact that she just couldn't contain her sounds.
But now I'm getting ahead of myself, because it all began at 3 am with a good solid hour of high pitched squeals while I said things like: "It's the middle of the night Mae. Go back to sleep." over and over again and hoped against hope that Patch wouldn't wake up (he didn't).
She finally did go to sleep and the rest of the house settled back into the comfortable silence, knowing that it would be morning all too soon.
Sign #2 that Mass was going to be an adventure came when Mae brought me her weighted vest and wanted me to put it on her. I took a deep breath and helped her pull it over her dress. I had a feeling we were in for a bumpy ride.
On the way to Mass we gave the standard Mass reminders.
Me: "Okay, so we're on our way to Mass you guys. That means best behavior. Absolutely best behavior. No rushing the altar. No grabbing the chalice. No trying to abscond with the Eucharist. No mugging anyone for anything.
Paul: "No stealing diaper bags or old lady's purses or the Eucharist."
As he said those words I remembered the Mass where someone left a diaper bag unattended in the narthex and Maggie spent the entire time sobbing because there was a binkie sticking out of the pocket and she couldn't believe that I wouldn't let her steal it.
I'd tried last night to get everything ready and easy and perfect for Mass this morning so that things would run as smoothly as possible. I got out Patrick's suit and the girls dresses and laid everything out. And despite all the standard morning hiccups ("Where's Maggie's coat?!?!? Where's a binkie?!?!?!") we made it to Mass with time to spare.
And we survived (and made it all the way through)... which is what matters. There were tears when Mae realized that we weren't going to be able to stay in the pews, but she was quickly distracted by the coolness of the marble floors and the squishy-ness of the floor mats and the many, many other sensory attractions of a normal church entry way.
Then we went to the store and I picked up a low dose pack of melatonin because our champion sleeper hasn't been as much of a champion sleeper of late. I hope it helps, because she's been awfully sleepy during therapy lately.
Now for the pictures I snapped of the outfits, which were the one thing that I could (kind of) control about this morning:
Mae wore her favorite Dora dress (a hand me down from her big sister) over her thermal pants and shirt. She wore her Mommy-made weighted vest over it.
Sadie wore one of her favorite pink dresses with her "fancy jacket" and a pink sequined head band. She hauled one of her babies with her because "she needs to be baptized."
Patrick stole the show this morning when we were all getting dressed in his little three piece suit (it was $12 at Zulily before Christmas):
|Being held by Daddy who's running on three hours of sleep.|
Until finally I gave up! At least they're funny!