Maybe because Jeff was gone, but probably for other reasons too. But we'll get into that.
The entire plan for yesterday was to make it to the SPD Support Group family gathering at a local park--about thirty minutes away, a drive we are comfortable making.
This kind of adventure requires much planning, and not just because it is a weekend and we are off routine.
It requires planning for the meltdown we will have transitioning there, and the meltdown we will have transitioning home--exhausted.
I began by putting laundry in the wash. Getting the right clothes prepared, and making sure there was a change of clothes. I also needed snacks, drinks, straws, gum and anything else I could think of that *might* be needed by Gabriel.
The boys spent the majority of the morning outside playing. The sun was high in the sky, and they were running around having fun.
The problem was that Gabriel was SO INCREDIBLY volatile. I blamed it on the lack of routine, the anxiety of getting ready for an event, his allergies and Jeff being gone.
As the morning ran on, and I packed things, got the ice ready, and all of the other things, Gabriel's behavior was out of control.
He poured nearly a full gallon on milk on the table--and floor--and chair--and it splattered onto the walls and the cabinets. He hit Nick, screamed, yelled, and then spent hours complaining of his itchy eyes.
Yesterday he was particularly worried about his itchy eyes.
He couldn't stop itching them--and they were becoming more and more inflamed.
I gave him things to touch, other choices, washed his eyes out, tried to get him in the shower, washed his hands, and more, but to no avail.
He was miserable. And he was quickly making us miserable.
I had him sit down and make a written plan for the day.
We included the things we had to do (finish baking the banana bread, mom had to shower, we all had to get dressed, pack our things, put up the dogs, and drive to the park). He included check boxes (his idea) for each thing, and I had him use a W or a D to indicate on each step if he was "Waiting" or if he would be "Doing" during that step.
This was a great activity to keep him busy, but he wasn't that thrilled with following it. But Nick was.
Gabe on the other hand couldn't focus. He didn't want to hang from his heavy bar, and he was completely out of sync all morning.
I gave the boys some lunch around 11:30--Nick didn't eat, Matt ate well, and Gabe ate half what he normally does. Strange--but like I said, it was an off day.
By about 12:00 I was done.
I was clear that he wasn't getting better, and I needed to figure out how to get in the shower without all hell breaking loose.
I put Gabe in his room, under his blanket, for a break. What else was there?
I got Lindsey to listen for him and Nick to be in charge of Matt. It works.
I got in the shower, got out at the speed of light, dried, dressed (partially) and went to check the boys.
Gabe was asleep.
OK, I figured, I will wake him when EVERYTHING else is ready to go.
I got the rest of the fam ready, and went to wake him.
He was like a zombie. He was so asleep and so out of it, he couldn't walk, open his eyes or anything.
I drug him downstairs only to realize he was PISSED and awake now--he didn't want to go to the park (???) and wanted to go back to sleep.
I gave up. I sent him back to his bed. Asked Lindsey to be there for him. And kissed him goodbye.
I run downstairs, put all three dogs in the backyard, pack the van, and the kids. But no Gabe. Bummer.
Nick, Matt and I went to the park together. We met my mom there, and had a wonderful afternoon in the sun.
When we got home, Gabe had only been awake a short time.
He looked better. Like his eyes weren't that bad.
I had trouble-shot finding his missing Rx (long story) and was ready to take care of his eyes.
But, again, he was fine.
Like some how he had slept off the craziness of the morning--that his eyes were better, and he was functioning fine.
That brings me to the puzzle.
I am looking around the back steps, I see there is dog puke all over. White and foamy, and downright disgusting.
I notice they apparently ripped up the trash too. I walk out, grab an empty container of canned frosting.
I go up to Lindsey and ask her if the dogs were sick. She replies by letting me know that Dakota had been throwing up, and we deduce that she got the container of frosting--and that was the foamy white dog puke all over. Lovely.
I go down to begin cleaning up the mess in the backyard.
I am picking up paper, old hair/dirt from the vacuum, Q-tips, ripped up art projects....and then it dawns on me: no food in this trash.
So, now, I am confused--how did the container of frosting get out there?
I go to the pantry, and check for all 3 of the jars I bought last Wednesday, in anticipation of Gabe's birthday, I wanted to be prepared for impromptu cupcake making.
But there are only 2 jars.
I double check--but still 2 jars of frosting.
Now I understand. Some one took the jar of frosting out of the house, and ate it then left it out back, where Dakota found it. This is my guess.
I call out the boys, Gabe first, then Nick, who both give me the "I know it wasn't me."
That is because I asked the wrong question. You see, when they are in trouble, they both become experts at semantics.
I asked, "Who took the frosting outside" when the question should've been "Who ate the frosting outside." See the difference?
Still no one claims it.
So, I finish cleaning the trash, and head inside to wait for Jeff to log on to Messenger from Korea.
As I am chatting with him, Nick comes in.
I casually look at him and say, "So, did you eat it with a spoon behind the tree by the hot tub?"
"Yeah, two spoons; it was Gabriel's idea. I just had a little, but he ate it all. Then he let Dakota lick out the rest." Nick replies. Grinning ear to ear since he knows he is busted.
"How much did Gabriel eat?"
"Almost the whole thing!" He exclaims.
The thing is, Nick and Matt aren't the kind of kid that gorges themselves on junk--they will eat some--then try to hide the rest for later. Gabriel will eat everything he can get his hands on, and then probably throw up.
I finish chatting with Jeff, and then go to confront Gabriel.
I assure him, from the beginning, that I know what happened, and this is his only chance to tell the truth, or there will be consequences for lying.
He comes clean with the same thing that Nick said--with Nick standing next to him correcting each piece that may come out a little inaccurate. Nick will throw anyone under the bus--himself included--but he wants to make sure everything is accounted for accurately.
Here is how it apparently went down:
Matt took the frosting outside to the playground and left it there.
Gabe finds it and assumes it is a gift from the gods.
Nick finds out Gabe has it, and now Gabe has to share.
Gabe is behind the tree next to the hot tub.
Nick is sent in the house to get the spoons.
Nick takes two bites, and Gabe eats the rest.
In an effort to cover their tracks, Dakota is recruited to clean out all remaining evidence.
*DING DING DING*
Now I know why Gabriel's behavior was so erratic--he had filled himself with High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) and had a reaction. Not shocking. It actually confirms my theory that he doesn't handle the HFCS well. I, of course, had never given him *that* much before, but as far as a litmus test goes, I am now convinced more than ever.
Then, of course, the crash from all of that sugar wearing off. Ugh.
I tried to explain it to Gabriel, you know, how his actions made him act and feel horrible--and that he missed having a great time at the park all because of some frosting! But, that level of cause and effect thinking is just lost on him at this point. His brain is just not wired that way.
At least I know what happened. At least there is an explanation for the erratic behavior and the crazy eye rubbing.
Not sure how to stop it in the future, but hey, baby steps, right?
Enjoy your day--and stay out of the frosting!