The counselor called in sick this week, so there’s no update there with that. This has put us in a bit of a holding pattern, or so it seems.
He did bring up one thing last session that we have not followed up on at all. He said it might be a good idea to reconnect with some sort of “date night” type of activity without the kids. It’s a good idea on the surface of it, but we’re having a hard time with it. First off, there is an issue with childcare. Arwyn is quite fussy about who can or can’t watch the kids so we don’t get out very often as a couple which is pretty typical of parents of children on the autism spectrum. We haven’t had an overnight trip without them since they were born, unless you count when the second one was born. The childcare issue makes for a pretty convenient excuse, but it’s not the only one. In fact it might not be the main one. Our kids are not bad kids at all. In fact, they are better behaved than most kids that I know because Arwyn and I are nothing if not vigilant. Other kids may be free to terrorize neighborhoods, restaurants, grocery stores, churches and the like, but not our kids. They do have spastic periods of running around and acting like crazy kids and they have both had meltdowns. But we’re always there and they do not do it while we are out as a family or we won’t be out. They have firm boundaries and limits and when we had a babysitter last week (a friend of Arwyn’s from church) she commented on how well behaved they were and they really liked having her over.
No, it is not just about childcare. It’s about US, and the fact that there isn’t a lot of US there. Apart from the kids, we just don’t have a lot going on as a couple. So the few times that we do end up going out sans kids, we always, always, always end up talking about them. Even if they are not there, they are there. So why pay someone to watch them when they might as well be there?
Sometimes we can have conversations that do not include the kids. Sometimes the conversations are about us, when WE were kids. That’s one reason the last session was so boring, because Arwyn and I had been there many times before. Yeah, I know the therapist hasn’t so I get why he needed to hear it.
We talk about work, the neighbors, and lots of logistical things like we need to get our roof fixed and the lawn reseeded and what we want to eat for dinner all week. But we are in need of experiences or interests that are ours and unique to us. She doesn’t like movies or books very much. I’m not much into Discovery Health or American Idol. She’s not into LOST or Battlestar Galactica. I’m not into Spider Solitaire or autism bulletin boards and she’s not into blogging or Age of Empires. She’s not into politics much at all. We do have some pretty good discussions on religion and spiritual things. We can’t really talk about sex, which is a big part of the reason I blog about it.
With sex off the table for the moment, we are in need of quality time together. We just aren’t quite sure how to do it. So what are y’all doing to stay connected apart from kids and logistics?