Well it finally happened.
I got stopped today and cautioned for Road Rage.
I also got cautioned for driving a Micra in the "Over taking Lane" as the young Garda told me it is called and told that it was to be points and an €80 fine next time.
It wasn't actually a marked police car so don't think I am that stupid, but an unmarked grey Mondeo that was behind me a bit on the M50 motorway even though I was doing at least the speed limit. (maybe hovering just above, sorry)
They flashed the lights and I moved over into what I used to call the slow-lane and then gave them my usual pinkie wave as they passed. And then I saw that there were about 7 aerials on the roof of the car and both occupants were wearing blue uniforms. OH CRAP.
They slowed down, got behind me and flashed me again, this time with the special lights that say "pull over you stupid girl, you have really messed up this time'
He came over and lectured me about the pinkie wave, then the lesson about what the right hand lane is for. I apologised and when I tried to turn down the radio to explain, Bratty began screaming (she wants the radio loud) and then Boo started pulling my hair. So I explained and apologised. He said next time it could be a stolen car I give my signal to and then I could get hurt.
Yep; I was bang to rights. I was road raging, I do drive like a bloke but I drive a Nissan Micra which is an old ladies car and blokes in Mondeos are always tailgating me to move over. I figure if I am doing the legal speed limit then I have a right to be in the fast lane and I will move over when I get past the slow vehicles in the slow lane. So I have form.
I am also having the week-two weeks, okay lets face it; The Four Months from Hell.
Not only is Boo biting, hitting and trying to knock me over several times per day, he is screaming, thrashing around and hurting himself and biting his hand.
He also lies down in the road when you are trying to get him to go for a walk, he won't wear his shoes properly, or a coat. He won't get dressed in the morning easily, he won't go to bed at night, he won't get into the car when it is time for school, he won't get out of the car when we get there.
Oh yes, we are making changes and have got rid of the VCR, all his videos, we took away his television and left him with a mini dvd player on a battery - which runs out. And some limited access to his computer, but not at the same time.
This change has been painful for all of us. If he misbehaves we put away the computer, then the dvd and on the third strike I start putting actual DVDs into a suitcase saying I am taking them to Farmleigh, the Health Board Respite House which he hated. Because I made the Videos disappear completely, he now takes this threat seriously, so by the third overnight bag full of DVDS (he has several hundred Discs) he usually does what I want. But with a lot of self harm and stress for all of us.
Oh, and did I mention that Bratty doesn't like Boo's Tantrums and My Yelling? So she screams and continuously asks us to repeat her comfort words "Icecream" and "Coota" (computer)
all while Boo is thrashing about throwing things, taking his clothes off, and biting himself/me.
So the change has not been accepted easily.
Put it this way: I watched that stupid show "Airline" the other night while cleaning the kitchen. A problem with Air Traffic Control had grounded a lot of flights in Bristol and the Easy Jet Customer Service Guy was Having a Bad Day.
(have you ever watched that show and wondered if maybe they did less talking to TV crews and more booking of flights there would be a lot less angry people hanging around their desks?)
At the end of 9 hours of telling people to go and feck off as there were no flight, he put on his jacket and trudged past the cameras in the foyer to go home.
I looked at him and imagined how it must feel; first to get home after such an awful day, and then to have to get out of bed and force yourself to come back into work the next day.
And then I realised; I never get to "go home" from my sometimes awful job of parenting a pubescent boy with autism, and I certainly have no choice about forcing myself to do it all again the next day.
I am one of the worlds great optimists. I can honestly say that I have never woken up and thought "this is going to be a terrible day, I'm not getting up"
Never. And I worked retail for 4 years!!
But yesterday was world championship standard awful. The morning was awful, I fought with Boo to get him ready. The day was awful as I managed to offend Mr Hammie over the phone, the afternoon was gold medal awful as the road lying, non shoe wearing incident on the forest walk happened, and the evening was all hurt silences and and misunderstandings and not enough hot water in the bath, and " you go and deal with that"
I was at breaking point but there was no one to catch me if I broke. Simple as that.
Oh, and to cap it all off there are hot north winds and a bush fire burning less than 30 kilometres away from where my sisters live in Victoria.
But I still got up and did it all again this morning. I got them to school, I got him out of the car and I came home for coffee, some work and then faced into the fact that I had to go and collect them. And face Boo again for the Afternoon Walk. And I might add that the walk is part of the Exercise is Good and Reduces Aggression program. And there is no one else who can take him for it.
So Yes, I was quite stressed out.
I'm sorry I made the hand signal. You are right Garda, I could get into trouble (more trouble) doing that.
But what I also could have done Garda is handed you the keys and stepped out of the car.
Gave you the two children to parent, exercise, entertain, teach and try to control.
You could probably manage Boo, you looked strong and trustworthy. You could probably make Boo wear his shoes and hold hands crossing the road and not lie down in mud and blackberries and walk in dogshit in his socks.
Instead I put my head down on the steering wheel and cried my heart out, and when I looked up, you were gone.