Every Friday is “Friday Pizza Day”. Mr. L even has pizza pants that he wears for the occasion. This tradition started in the early days of the Pandemic shutdown, when all the days had started melting together and it was hard to keep track of which days were which.
Our family had started going out for certain foods on specific days to help autism keep track of the days and to feel like there was some weekly routine. Before the shutdown Wednesdays had been “Burger King Wednesdays” to help break up Mr. L’s school week.
However when we learned that masks were going to become a ticket to the outside world, Saturdays had been assigned to the lovely treat, ice cream- so the kids could start practicing wearing masks and get a positive incentive for it.
So Tuesdays were, “Taco Tuesdays”. Wednesday evolved into “Fast food Wednesdays”. Fridays became “Friday pizza day” and like I said we got, “Ice cream Saturdays”. That diet is not sustainable though in the long run, so once public school became a thing for our family again I’ve been able to ditch Wednesday and Saturday’s food traditions.
Routines should evolve as we grow and change right? So now we just have taco Tuesdays and Fridays pizza days. Some routines are comforting and who wants to turn down tacos right?
So after much introduction I want to share a milestone my sons passed with flying colors. I decided to let my boys get out of my parked van, traverse across the parking lot, cross parking lot traffic, and go into the pizza restaurant by themselves and pick up our Friday pizza day dinner.
I had ordered and paid for it over the phone. No money or cards were needed. In reality this looks like a real basic and simple thing to do. I literally sat in my van and could clearly see them get to the parking lot road, look both ways twice and gingerly run across and into the shop.
But it was still a first for both of my sons. And when I told them they could do it they looked shocked and told me no way! 😂 I had to convince them that they needed to go get their pizza 🤣
In the end though, they did great. Amazing really. They worked together, they didn’t fight, and they were over the moon proud of themselves when they returned to my vehicle victoriously with their beloved, breaded, cheesy, goodness in hand.
Sometimes it’s the small steps that add up to the bigger ones in the long run. This may look like a small thing to you, in fact not even a big deal. But it was a really big deal to us. I want all three of my children to be able to live independent lives as much as they can, autism and all. I plan to add to this kind of thing over time, next time I probably won’t pay over the phone and I’ll have my kids take my debit card in to get it. Then the next step will be using cash and counting it out and getting change back. And I see adding library trips like this in the future too.
The world being a messed up place doesn’t make this easy. It would be strange to send my kids off on their bikes and tell them to be back by supper time. But even if the world is a tricky place, that doesn’t mean I can’t teach my kids independence little steps at a time.