Hello, my name is Heavily Caffeinated Mommy and I lie. Yes, I lie regularly to my kid. I can already see the comments, how dare you, you are creating distrust, you are harming your child.Before you also go down this road paved to hell, let me explain.
For most kids getting a little excited as a date approaches is a normal part of the growing process. The anticipation is something they enjoy. For Autism Boy it is HELL. I don’t say this lightly. I learned really early on that knowing something was coming and when the blessed event was going to happen became his own personal hell. He wouldn’t sleep. He made himself sick. He was miserable. He couldn’t stop thinking about the event. It didn’t matter if it was a birthday party or Christmas. The angst and anticipation overwhelmed him and us to the point that life shut down.
Our first true experience with this was the advent calendar. You know, these cute little calendars designed to help us count down to Christmas. I hate them. That year he barely slept for a week, so I barely slept for a week. Attitudes were short, and caffeine was not doing the trick. Well that year his birthday was the same thing. Silly Mommy told him when it was and he lost it. Although he tried, he didn’t sleep, got sick, and was miserable.
So fine, I needed a solution. I lied. Yup, I did. I sat down with Autism Boy after one of our really horrible holidays and asked what he loved most about it. He talked about the people, the food, the fun. I asked if not sleeping made it fun and he cried. He honestly hated that he couldn’t sleep. So I asked his permission to lie. I told him I would never let a holiday pass and not celebrate it but that I just would not tell him when it was. He cheered and guess what, it worked. Yes, Autism Boy does not really know what the exact date is but he doesn’t exactly need to. He isn’t out there writing checks or paying bills. He knows whether it is a Monday or Wednesday and the month but not the exact date. And yes, I have fibbed as special dates have grown closer all for him and right now it works.
Yes, this is a skill we need to work through, just not yet. When the time is right we will start with something small, but for now I am a liar, liar, pants on fire Mommy.