When you have Christmas with the grandparents and your children, what do you envision? In this guest post, by Tiffany Dozier, you get a peek into her life raising children on the autism spectrum and celebrating Christmas with the grandparents.
Christmas with the Grandparents: Guest Post by Tiffany Dozier
It wasn’t our plan to spend a week and a half at my parents before Christmas. My 3 boys were delighted, my husband dismayed, myself bone tired and my parents understanding. Our saga began with the battered bathroom floor.
The floor was spongy. My boys, ever creative, sat on the toilet bowl and pretended it was a rocking chair. After consultation, our landlord decided to put down a new floor.
When a patch of the floor was lifted, the wood underneath was saturated. The tub, sink, and toilet had to be removed; the leaks needed to be found. I told the boys that the bathroom had to be worked on, so we’d be staying at Grandma’s. Savion, perplexed asked, “Are they going to take away my living room too?”
We didn’t have far to go, my parents’ house being on the same block. The boys have a history of doing perplexing, dangerous, and odd things at Grandma’s house, so I told my parents to be prepared.
For instance, Savion tried to feed the fish with lotion; then decorated my mom’s exercise ball with sea animals. Anwar raided my mom’s quilting room, unspooling all the thread and flinging out her fabric patches. And Taj relished going to the shredded paper bin and throwing bits in the air like confetti.
Because of all that, My parent’s house already had locks on their upstairs doors and double locks on their outside doors to prevent elopement. The glass shelves that the boys were drawn to had been removed. And the upright piano sold, to prevent Anwar from scaling it and jumping off again.
Taj was determined to unscrew the light bulbs from my mom’s Christmas village display.
Anwar and Savion tussled over my parents’ two nativity scenes. One nativity scene was made of clay and the other nativity scene was wooden. Clay nativity scene Mary lost her head. And the wise man from the wooden nativity scene disappeared. *sigh*
Taj wanted to watch Charlie Brown Christmas every day. Anwar wanted to watch Polar Express every day. And Savion, annoyed at their lack of variety, wanted to watch a different Christmas movies.
My parents answered Taj’s repeated question of “What we do for dinner?” They observed Savion running laps around the table while we ate. And they tried to soothe Anwar when he banged the table or bit his hand, so overwhelmed by the activity of his brothers.
But Christmas break was fun too. My parents enjoyed hearing Savion practice piano and seeing the boys off to school. My father bought a Polar Express train. The boys enjoyed watching it travel around the tree. At one point Anwar accidently pushed over the tree and Savion, horrified, yelled, “You killed the tree!”
Finally, the bathroom was done. My parents love my family, but they were happy to have some space for themselves at night again. It was a funny and zany Christmas.
Tiffany Dozier is a stay at home mother of three sons aged 10, 9, and 7. All three sons have a diagnosis of severe autism spectrum disorder with global developmental delays (emotional, social, cognitive). Her husband recently accepted a job overseas in Qatar as a government contractor. She and her sons currently live in Junction City, Kansas. Before becoming a mother she juggled three jobs as a waitress, personal trainer, and dancer in New York City.