Last weekend we had the Crown Prince over because it was his birthday. (He’s now 22, Mr. Lucky’s age when he married me.) On Sunday evening we all piled into the car to take him back to the group home where he resides with other mentally disabled adult males.
Once there, Baby Bear refused to leave.
For a while we let him sit in the wooden lawn swing on the front porch of the house. Yet when we told him it was time to get up and go home, he made his usual squeal (that’s the best word to describe the sound) of protest and continued rocking in the swing.
We mentioned McDonald’s to him. He usually loves McDonald’s. Not this time. He wanted to stay where he was.
I started rummaging among all the McTrash in the car to show him something that might lure him back. I found an empty Dunkin’ Donuts box and waved it. “How about donuts?” I asked him. He never turns down the opportunity to go for donuts.
Mr. Lucky finally attempted to physically remove Bear from the swing. I tried to hold the swing steady, thinking that would make it easier, but Mr. Lucky informed me in no uncertain terms that I was not helping, and to back off. And stay backed off.
I got in the car and started it up. Meanwhile, somewhere between the porch swing and the car, Mr. Lucky and Bear wrestled each other to the ground, which was all dirt. Very fine powdery dirt. Bear was already sweaty from his constant movements, and within seconds he was covered with grime.
Mr. Lucky was on his feet, trying with all his strength to get our son off the ground, but the boy was having none of it. He rolled away from his father, picking up more dirt.
At one point I was afraid he’d roll under the car and stay there, and then we’d never get him out. I turned off the ignition, because he was already too near the exhaust pipe.
And all the while Mr. Lucky was wrestling with him, Bear was yelling something that sounded like, “Nay nay nay nay nay!”
It was decidedly negative. He knows the word no, and he hates hearing it. But he’s never actually said it. He doesn’t talk. Yet I once heard or read somewhere that non-verbal autistic children, when under extreme duress, will suddenly burst out an exclamation in clear, concise Queen’s English to the amazement of all concerned. Was this going to be one of those moments? Would Bear suddenly go a la Charlton Heston in Planet of the Apes and yell at his father to get his filthy hands off him?
Alas, no. I was to hear nothing but the endless staccato of nay-nay-nay-nay-nay, until Bear scrambled to his men’s size 13 feet and fled back into the group home.
Mr. Lucky instructed me to move the car so as to line up the rear passenger door with the sidewalk leading out of the front door. He followed Bear into the house, and managed to distract him with the aquarium they have in the foyer. We’d love to have our own aquarium, but—well, need I explain why that’s not a very good idea?
Somehow Mr. Lucky got the boy distracted enough by the pretty fishies that he was able to quickly propel him out the door and into the back seat of the car.
This whole fiasco took about an hour. Bear was filthy. Mr. Lucky was in a lot of pain from wrestling with him, and remains astonished at the kid’s Incredible Hulk-like strength.
The Crown Prince, meanwhile, had a very Happy Birthday.