I am standing outside of Macy's the Sunday before Christmas with Monkey, shivering. He's crying, I'm ignoring him, and G is nowhere in sight. How did I get here? I'm glad you asked. Frankly, I am getting tired of blaming Autism for these predicaments, so I am torn between blaming Motormouth and his ill-timed Christmas spirit, for Macy's and their charitable donation campaign, mail slots too small to stick your arm in, and Santa Claus.
Let me back up. Yesterday Motormouth decides that he should probably get around to mailing that letter to Santa before it's too late. G and I were a little relieved to find that we had managed to buy about half of his wish list all on our own, so he won't be too disappointed come the big day. Unfortunately, I forgot to have G take it with him when he mailed out the Christmas cards and Motormouth noticed. In what I thought was a flash of genius, I announced that we can take it to the 'Special Santa Mailbox' at the store, so it will be sure to arrive on time. I convince Monkey that he might like to write a letter too and help him write it (for those who care, rest assured that Monkey still wants a blue jingle bell for Christmas). We seal it and take the letters to the store.
Motormouth marches right up to the shiny red mailbox and drops his in. Monkey is unsure. Well, not really. He is sure he doesn't want to be in the store. He is sure he wants to be at home right now. He is sure he wants to keep his letter. "Don't you want Santa to bring you presents?" Motormouth asks. Monkey does. So he wavers. Not quietly. He doesn't want any part of the mailbox but he doesn't want to mess this up. We are starting to draw attention. At this point, I don't care. Leave it, don't leave it, it will be fine either way. Monkey makes his choice. He takes his letter and drops it in the slot. And immediately changes his mind. Things escalate quickly. Within seconds G and I are trying to scoop a thrashing, yelling Monkey up off the shiny tile floor. Note to self: Winter coats slide remarkably well across the entry way of Macy's. After several false starts G manages to get Monkey up and hangs on to him until we get out the door. The parking lot poses a whole other issue. Monkey has no intention of getting in the truck. It's like trying to stuff a cat into a coffee can. I am uncomfortable with the amount of attention we are still getting so G and I agree that G will leave with Motormouth while I stay behind and let Monkey work stuff out.
So here we are. Monkey is settling down and realizing the consequences of his actions. We both know it's going to be a long afternoon with no computer or video games. I'm not really sure who is dreading that more. G eventually returns and we all head home. Monkey apologizes and if the amount of giggling is any indication, finds something hilarious to think about all the way home. I only wish I could do the same.