I’m not sure how many light bulbs were broken before it occurred to me. “Don’t they make shatter-resistant light bulbs?” I’m going to guess about forty. Forty light bulbs were smashed into tiny bits and swept up off the floor–probably more. But never completely, of course. You can never get each sliver of glass. You always miss a few.

(Now that we have no more glass dishes, we have also decided to lock our cabinet doors.)

I can’t wait for that box of light bulbs to get here. I become angry every time I hear the familiar sound of broken glass coming from the next room. She’s so quick. And there she’ll be, giggling as if she has never been more pleased with herself. I remain calm, sweep up the glass, and repeat for the millionth time: “Do not touch light bulbs. Because you touched the light bulb, you will not have any Pop Tarts today.”

This is when she throws herself into a crying fit and begins to request Pop Tarts on an endless loop; specifically requesting the confetti cupcake flavor, which we do not have. In fact, I cannot find them at all this month, and fear they have discontinued the flavor. (We had a minor setback when Kellogg’s decided to discontinue the peanut butter and jelly ones, but I imagine confetti cupcake will be a much more dramatic loss since it is featured in one of her favorite YouTube videos).

Occasionally she will unscrew a light bulb, set it on the table, and wait… like she’s hiding an Easter egg for us. She just wants us to know that she could have broken it. 

Soon I will replace all the light bulbs with ones that will break–but not into the pieces which seem to delight her so much. And did I mention that I can’t wait for it? I know there will be crying over this, too, but I look forward to it. Is that terrible? She will still lose Pop Tart privileges for touching the light bulb, but the goal is to make it boring for her; because consequences are not working, and this is getting ridiculous.

Worst case scenario? Less glass on the floor. And at least we’re saving (a little) money on Pop Tarts.

As if buying more Pop Tarts than the average household wasn’t enough to prove my devotion to the company from my home town…this month we moved into a new house, located on Kellogg Avenue. While the name “Kellogg” was generously plastered throughout my old stomping grounds in Michigan (I even attended Kellogg Elementary school), it’s a rare find here in Central Illinois. No annual “Longest Breakfast Table in the World” here. I would take our new street address as a sign, if I believed in such things. It’s only a short walk from our previous house, but it does feel like home already.

If you are reading this, it is possible you noticed that I missed last month’s update. I have also slacked on updating the Facebook page every day since. I’ve been busy, but I’ll get back on track. And priority number one has been setting up our new home to provide a better experience for babysitters. After all, the mere sight of a sitter appears to push a button in Teghan called “Obsessive Destruction Mode.”

Light bulbs are nothing. This little girl has mastered the art of breaking, well… pretty much anything; and one cannot fully appreciate her skill level until she is left in the care of anyone who isn’t us.

But not this time. This time we’ll be prepared. Everything breakable will be locked away. All light bulbs will be shatterproof. Her room offers nothing breakable, and has its own bathroom (kept locked for her protection, the house’s protection, and our sanity) – which is stocked with all possible cleaning supplies a person might need for the messes she is capable of creating (that we know of).

This weekend we are doing a trial run to see how she does. Our sitter is skeptical; she has opted to bring a helper, and is not ready to try bedtime again quite yet. I can’t blame her. Last time she was here she spent most of her time sweeping glass, and felt the need to reassure me that she was “not too scared” to come back. You know, typical parent/sitter talk.

Many parents take for granted how easy it is to find a sitter. My friend Jim recently wrote this article with some tips for autism parents, if you are looking for some advice. We have no family in the area, but we do have a few amazing friends who are better than family. Last month we went to see a comedy show in Chicago for our anniversary, and you can’t ask just anyone to watch your kid until 4am. We actually have friends who offered to do it. And yes, they also spent a significant portion of their evening sweeping up glass. (I didn’t even know we had wine glasses left, so nothing lost.)

These days, my husband and I spend a lot of time going out separately. It has forced me to become more confident socially, which is ideal, since staying connected with old and new friends is kind of a life goal I am obsessed with right now. And I always have an amazing guy waiting for me when I get home.

We are night owls, and every night we do get a few hours to hang out with each other, but I would like to attend one of my husband’s shows now and then; maybe go out with couple friends and be in a couple, too. That sort of thing. To meet these goals, we are always looking for ways to make things easier on us–and more inviting for potential sitters.

This week it’s shatter-resistant light bulbs. Next week, who knows? Whatever it takes to keep us shatter-resistant. (So far, so good.)


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