Is Strapping The Boy Down Really The Answer? Apparently So.

This is my kidlet. He’s nine, he’s frickin’ adorable, he has Williams Syndrome, and he’s unruly on the bus.  He just can’t sit still.  Last year the bus had an aide and that was all that was needed, but this year transportation has gone completely insane.  The budget cuts are astronomical. It’s impossible to get an aide for him; I know because we asked.  Repeatedly.  We were trying to avoid the “Hello, Mama, the police brought me home!” thing again.

This is the answer: A weight vest.

At least, it’s what they call a weight vest, because that definitely isn’t what this is.  A weight vest is, of course, a vest that is weighted.  It can be specially made, or it can be a fishing vest with beanbags in the pockets.  The idea is that the extra weight will make the child feel secure.  And it works, because Niko has used weight vests for years and did very well with them.  This, however, is a harness.

The metal hoops on his shoulders clip to an apparatus that is securely fastened to the bus seat.  There are metal hoops on each skinny hip, as well. It zips up the back and buckles between his legs like a parachute harness.

Oh, he hated it at first! How he screamed! It was absolutely heartbreaking. As time went on, he became more used to it.  I’m trying to do the same.  It’s very nice to know that he’s secure in his seat and that he won’t be running pell mell on the bus, and it’s especially nice to know that the next knock on the door won’t be Las Vegas Metro handing over my little one.  It’s still very difficult to physically strap him down every morning. But that’s life, yes?  Take the bad and celebrate the good.  At least my son is so gosh darn charming!

*UPDATE* I wrote this post a long time ago (hence the coat. It’s a bazillion frickin’ degrees outside right now! A coat? No way!) and we’ve had time to adjust to the harness.  It no longer frightens him, and he actually seems to feel very secure wearing it. It took a few months to get to the point that we’re at now, but with consistency and adding it to his daily routine (“Go potty, wash your hands, and then we put on the harness!” we’re at a great place with it.  I’m glad we have it, especially since he’s been watching youtube videos on learning how to drive school buses.  Dodged that bullet!

So The Police Show Up With My Eight-Year-Old Son…

Sounds like a bad joke, right?  Only it isn’t.  Through a series of miscommunications and things that would be heartbreakingly comic if I was watching it on TV, my son ended up freaking out on the school bus.  So much so that the school police were called.  My car had mysteriously died this morning, my baby hadn’t slept all day and was wailing, my daughter was so disobedient that her head was practically spinning, I was out of Coke Zero (yeah, the no caffeine for a month thing?  Longest month of my life), and then this?

At least the officer was nice.

My son was delighted to be home and buzzed happily around the house, checking to make sure that the microwave, washer, dryer, and vacuum were all in their proper places.  Absolutely no sign of the trauma that had ensued.

I will be driving him for his last two days at school, because on Thursday we move him to an autism classroom.  I’m not sure about his new placement, but his current one is an awful fit.  Obviously, yeah?

My little troublemaker.  Getting into scrapes with the law.  Egads.

An Open Letter of Apology. Oh, the Shame!

Pink Cupcake Pajamas

Dear School Bus Driver,

I am extremely sorry that you were forced to endure the sight of me running out to you in my pajamas.  Nay, not just any pajamas, but a pair of bright pink fleece pajamas with multi-colored polka dots all over them.  It has been cold, and these pajamas are warm and snuggly.  But quite honestly, good sir, I am trying to write a novel in 30 days, and I got off to a rather limping beginning.  Now I am settling into the swing of things, and I just don’t have time to pretty myself up.  Why waste time brushing my hair, putting on mascara, and changing into socially acceptable clothes when I could be writing, for crying out loud?  I will only see you for 60 seconds, and then I will wave goodbye as you drive my precious child off to school.  I know that 60 seconds of these rather loud pajamas seem like a lifetime, but our trials only serve to strengthen us.  Besides, my mother bought me these pajamas.  You would look askance at a gift from my mother?!

Please do not judge my son because I look like an oversized pink cupcake.

Yours,

Mercedes M. Yardley