Friday, December 28, 2012
FOR THE LOVE OF A CHAIR
Forty-five minutes. That’s how long it took for Tanner to stop crying over our recliner today. Not the sniffles…not crocodile tears…but the kind of crying that leads to hyperventilation and soaked bed sheets.
Our recliner was a generous inheritance from my parents this year when they retired to Florida. After countless hours of kid-cuddles, Sunday naps and cartoon marathons, hubby and I decided it was time to retire our battered brown baby. The family fixture had seen better days (see photo) and it was time to part ways. Soooooo, my husband told Tanner to sit in the chair one last time before we took it out the door.
We were NOT prepared for what came next. Tanner ran to me, grabbed my legs and began to scream and wail. This began an absolute emotional meltdown of drastic proportions. Suffice it to say that Tanner was MUCH more attached to this piece of furniture than I could have ever imagined.
I explained the overall condition of the chair and the safety issues it posed (obviously grasping). My husband promised a Father-Son trip to the recliner store. I even called my mother in on speaker phone for assistance. Tanner wasn’t having any of it. He continuously begged, “Please don’t take it away!”
I began to process this turn of events with my husband:
“We just totally disrupted Tanner’s schedule. We should have prepared him for this.”
“This recliner was his favorite place in the house. It provided security and we are jerking that out from under him.”
“How could we not have seen this coming? Tanner hates change. We are horrible parents.”
Once Tanner began to calm down (waaaaay later), I asked why he was so upset. He began to cry, “BECAUSE IT REMINDS ME OF NANA!”
For those of us dealing with autism, we have conditioned ourselves to scrutinize atypical details, to constantly uncover triggers of our kids’ behaviors, to “think outside the neurotypical box”. Sometimes, we miss the forest because we are dissecting the trees. Tanner missed his Nana and wanted to keep that piece of her with him - A touching response from any child.
The happy ending is that, visibly upset, my husband called a local upholsterer and dropped off the recliner this afternoon. His plan is to take Tanner to pick it up next weekend. :)