What time is it?

This week K’s comfort question seems to be “what time is it?” He asks it while getting his diaper changed. He asks it when he wants his brother to leave him alone. He asks it when he wants juice. He asks it when he breathes air. The easier thing to do would be to list the times when he’s not asking for the time, which is never. He is never not asking what time it is.

At first I answered him. I would check the clock and give him an accurate reporting of the time. Now I just flat out make shit up or I tell him that I don’t know. Sometimes he’s okay with that, sometimes he’s not.

I try not to think about whether or not this could be an autism thing. I try to remember that he’s already in services so in the grand scheme of things, a diagnosis doesn’t really matter. But when is parenting ever really about the grand scheme? When do you ever stop in the middle of a day spent picking chewed up chex out of your hair and say “man, I’m so proud of my son for self regulating his sensory issues tied to eating and managing to rub his food in my hair instead of gagging and choking.” Never. Never will that ever happen.

Instead you will spend the day obsessing over which behaviors could be spectrum behaviors, when on earth his damn ADOS will finally get scheduled and why you keep getting faint whiffs of barf every few minutes. At least eventually you’ll discover the giant streak of dried spit up running down your back. The rest is not as easy to sniff out.

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