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Posts Tagged ‘police’

I’m glad I had the wisdom to visit Boo by myself the day after that last post.  Since my mom has been driving down with me every other week, I’ve had a host of other companions join me on her off-weeks.  My sister, two different cousins, and a good friend.  But I knew better this time, and I was right.

Andy and I had just picked Jonah up for his visit, and after a few minutes he asked for donut.  Andy told him yes, but about 10 seconds later he suddenly grabbed a hunk of hair on the right side of my head.  Andy immediately responded by pulling the car over, but before he could get out I felt Jonah’s other hand take a second hunk of my hair, and I was pinned against the seat, my head yanked back.

Andy ran around to get in Jonah’s side and there was a brief struggle before first one chunk of my hair, then the other, was released.  I scrambled out of the car like a hijacking victim trying to escape, my hair in every direction, tears streaming down my face.   Before I could wipe the hair and tears away I nearly stumbled into a car parked nose-to-nose with us.  A police car.  Evidently the cop was driving in the other lane and crossed lanes to pull over and check out the scene.  He opened his door and starting walking toward me.  I must have looked a wreck.

While Andy calmed Jonah down, I tried to get my shit together so I could explain what was happening.  By this time other cars were slowing down to rubberneck.  I started to ask the officer his name and simultaneously saw his name badge:  SCATTERGOOD.  “Your name is Officer Scattergood?” I asked, trying to seem like a normal person, hoping this was an auspicious sign.  “Ye-es,” he said haltingly, evidently hesitant to scatter the good until he assessed the situation.

First he attempted to talk through the open car window to Jonah himself, who by this time was calm and ready for more car ride.  “What happened here?” he asked Boo, who deigned to glance over for a few seconds before turning away.   Andy and I began to explain, each of us supplying bits of information.

Officer Scattergood asked me if I needed EMS and, when I declined, he took down our info.  I asked if he had been trained in responding to people with disabilities, and he said he actually just recently completed a 2-hour autism training course.  Still, we must have been his first autism rodeo; he seemed unsure quite what to do.  Finally he wished us well and we continued on our way.  I pulled my seat all the way forward and out of Boo’s reach.

It wasn’t until I got home and in the shower that I felt scratches all along my neck and right shoulder, and two small bald spots on my head.  I saw all the hair that had rinsed away in the tub and caught in my brush afterward.  (Good thing I have plenty.).   My scalp ached some, but it could have been worse.

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<– Boo was okay for the rest of our visit.  I tucked him in tight for our nap and then lay next to him (on top of the tucked-in sheets so as to give myself a quick escape route, should he attack again) but he only giggled, piled pillows on top of himself, and fell asleep.

I’ve been wondering how the whole scenario with the cop might have played out differently had we been a black family.  I like to think we would have been all right either way, but I also know the world is a volatile place right now where race and police are concerned.

I was very impressed by Childish Gambino’s This is America video and have felt compelled to watch it again and again.  One of my coworkers, S,  is young enough to be my son; he’s the one who showed it to me.  S grew up poor and his family all chipped in to get him through college – not just mom and dad but aunts and uncles and cousins, all lifting him up.  He’s also Hispanic and so we sometimes talk about race, racism, and everything that goes with and exists around it – perceived and real entitlement, privilege…socialism and sexism and capitalism.

I just totally pasted that into my blog post by accident.  Well, I meant to paste the link but there the whole thing is, right?  Ferris Bueller, talking about “isms?”  I could have done that with This is America, too, then.  I guess.  I figure things out as I go along, and technology is whizzing past me.  I end up learning things completely by accident.

The youngster at work is also good at helping me out in this regard.

So off to Boo I go again tomorrow, this time with my mom, our fingers crossed again. Lately he’s had both good days and squirrely ones.

His cool teacher sent me this picture of him, saying he showed up to school with the goofy hat on.  His shirt is courtesy of mama, who is growing tired of grandma’s ultra-conservative taste.  Jonah is not a golfer, nor a Rhodes scholar.  His clothes should reflect his silly, bright, whirlwind of a personality.

See you tomorrow, Boo!

 

 

 

 

 

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“I caught a piece of the sunshine, put a little hope in me
But after the flood raged, there’s nothing really left to see
But I was not done, or beat, the violence was a source of strength:
Not everything is always just as it seems…”

~ Guster

I gave Jonah his pill right off the bat Sunday morning and warily waited to see what kind of kid the world was going to deal me this day.  Attack number one came early; we were sitting together on the couch watching Thomas the Tank Engine when he turned sideways suddenly and kicked me in the face.  I jumped up to avoid further injury and held him on the couch until he quieted, then we counted down together and he seemed okay.  (I think I’ll have a bit of a shiner though).

I guess I got a little squirrely.  I knew I wouldn’t have help until early afternoon at best and I was tired of being afraid.  I decided that even though the new 5-point harness I ordered for our car didn’t arrive yet, I would secure him in the car seat with the shoulder strap, tight, and lap belt too, and pull the driver’s seat up as far as possible.  I figured he’d be safe and I could just drive him to see the train and wherever else, anywhere else, just to eat up time.  He did get to see the train but he was cranky and seemed really light-sensitive.

He asked: car ride? …so I decided to take a familiar loop through Altamont and back around to Voorheesville.   Very suddenly and without provocation, Jonah unbelted his seat belt (which I thought was too far away for him to reach) and launched himself at me, grabbing a chunk of my hair and my glasses, which went flying.  I can’t see to drive without them, so I pulled over abruptly.  Quite automatically, without much thought or premeditation, I found my glasses, got out of the vehicle, closed the door, walked to the front of the car, pulled my cell phone out, dialed 911, and blubbered out the story of my Lifetime TV movie life to the dispatcher.  I’m afraid to drive, I said.  I’m afraid he’s going to make me go off the road and crash, I cried.

Passing motorists gaped at the sobbing lady on her cell phone.  Soon I was surrounded by three emergency vehicles (I told them no ambulance was needed, thanks anyway) all filled with people who wanted to help me but seemed confused as to where to take us exactly.  The whole time Jonah was in the car and pretty calm.  I thought maybe they’d think I was nuts, he was so calm — I wasn’t sure they’d even believe me — but I had teeth bite marks from yesterday and a brand new puffy cheek to prove I was indeed, I guess, a ‘battered mom’.  Finally they put Jonah, car seat and all, in the back of a cruiser and I followed them to the AMC/CDPC crisis center, where a doctor talked to us briefly and I called my friend M to come and meet us there.  I told the doc I thought I could handle things with M’s help; they fed Jonah another dose of clonodine, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, chips, and a nuclear-orange colored drink while he watched Toy Story and I rested on a bench, closing my eyes, focusing on breathing.  In, out.  In, out.

“…so take a breath and step into the light….everything will be all right…”

~ Guster

He stayed incident-free once we got home, and my friends P and Mx kindly dropped me off some yummy cider, pie, and black soda.  After I put Jonah on the bus to beautiful, blessed Wildwood School, I’m going to bring the cider and pie to work, heat both of them up, sit at my desk, eat, drink, and smile from the complete respite of it all.

Sweet, wonderful work.  Marvelous Monday.

Bring it on.

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