Tuesday, August 05, 2008


Reading through my last post, I realize that there is a back story about something that is critical in the lives of, not only parents of autistics, but of parents in general...and that includes those of you who are parents to the four-legged variety (all living breathing beings for that matter). Doors play a critical role in all our lives; I'm not sure if they play a more critical role in our household...you be 'da judge.

We have 11...no, make that 12 living breathing entities in our house, including the one fish. Each has their own unique needs for containment and/or access to the outside world. Fish, no prob, self contained, we only have to watch out for unwanted intrusions from the 4 felines and Liv who loves to stim on the water. A little duct tape and we're set. Next, felines...so, you have to keep them inside...check, don't leave doors open. They need access to the garage to do their bidness, kitty door...check. Our newest kitten has a little specific incontinence trouble (she likes to pee on bathroom floors), right now she is relegated to our room with her own littler box. I think this is where it begins to get complicated.

Bedroom door shut to keep the cat in, that works for the most part, except for the girls. Livie cannot open doors, so we're safe there. Grace, however knows no boundaries, can and will open all doors. I also made the unfortunate mistake of unlocking the bedroom door in front of her. Now she is always on the lookout for coins to unlock the bedroom door. Livie DOES however like to shut doors. They're like a tagteam, Grace is the security expert and Liv is the mastermind. Unlock the door to look for mommie, let the cat out, Liv goes in and shuts the door after. Now, cat is out, Liv is in our room potentially doing damage to our computer or whatever. Luckily, Grace is locked out and complaining; there's our alarm. Get cat in, get Liv out; all is hermetically right with our world.

Now comes the full effect of the human/door/animal interactions of the house. The gate and the doors to the outside world pose the greatest challenges. Grace, the locksmith, has already proven herself many times with her Houdini like (lemme get with the times, Criss Angel-like) escapes. Her two latest accomplishments are using stepstools to get to the front door chain and discovering that there is a back door slider that is sometimes open. That on top of her ability to open the child proof gate and unlock doors and she is virtually unstoppable. Thank Gawd she hasn't discovered she fits through the cat door in the garage! So, in and out of house must include a lockup or a designated lockee for after we leave. Likewise, when someone comes in, the doorbell sounds and someone has to let 'em in. We USED to have the older three go through the back, but Grace is now a threat. Chain, lock or gate undone...BIG trouble for the non-do-er.

At night, we also have special challenges. Since Tim Allen resides in our house, the girls' door does not quite bolt (yea I'll get to moving that latchy thingy next weekend), so unless you close it JUUUUUST right, anyone can leave, and they do. Nothing like having Liv come in our room at 2 am and turn on and off and on and off the light. Or maybe she'll go in the living room and turn on the TV. How about she goes into the bathroom to start the great flood. Or Grace come quietly in the shadows of the room like a gremlin and squeeze in and begin reciting a Big Comfy Couch episode. WE HAVE A JAILBREAK...

I guess, looking at it from the 20,000 foot level, it ain't all that bad, it just seems at times all I do is worry about who's where and what are they doing behind closed doors...or outside of them.

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