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Tater Tots

Monday, September 02, 2019

I just got Tater Tots for the first time in my life. I never used them when my children were young; in fact I don't think I was particularly aware of them. They were not around in my childhood and I never had to eat in a cafeteria until I was at university.

So....I have a son who will soon be 45. He is on the spectrum. After all these years I still don't understand him. Yesterday he asked me for "Tater Tots". He said that they were incredibly special to him.

Today I went out and got two bags of Tater Tots. I thought he might really appreciate it.
But I came home and he accused me of trying to murder the entire household.

I'm upset because this kind of thing happens too often. He seems unable to live independently and he refuses to find a job. I hate that. I have worked as a cashier, a waitress, a home health care aide, an assistant librarian, a teacher, and I even spent a couple of months working in a screw factory and inhaling metallic shards. But this is not about my past: I always knew that I had to earn money no matter what.

So it's not really about the Tater Tots per se; it's about the difficulty of living with the irrational and the inconsistent.

I keep telling him that he must prepare for his parents to die and he thinks it's some sort of gimmick to force him to work. He thinks he will just stay in this house. He thinks I'm being annoying when I tell him that we have to pay slightly over $500 a month in property tax. I don't think he even knows about things like water bills, gas bills, electric bills, cable bills.

And today I went out innocently thinking that my little boy (he will be 45 in November) would be pleased that I listened to him wax nostalgic about Tater Tots. And now I am being punished for bringing them in.

OK: here it is: if I am going to take my time here at Spark seriously, I should say that both my husband and myself are afraid of our two sons. We were young when they were born. We told ourselves that by our mid-40's we would be independent and still young enough to travel and enjoy life.

The younger one (who will be 43 soon) manipulates us by threatening suicide when things happen to throw the spotlight off him. When his father had a stroke he said he would kill himself unless we sent him to England. Then when my brother died our son could not handle the fact that I was in grief so he went to a bar the next day, got drunk, and called us saying he planned to kill himself.

But the fact it--people do kill themselves. I would never threaten to do it.

Right now I am huddled in my study because the Tater Tot son is commanding the kitchen like a world-famous actor playing Hamlet.

Who knows what will happen there?

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • CANDOK1260
    emoticon I will prayers for you and your family.
    692 days ago
  • no profile photo CD6114535
    I just can't comprehend what you must be going through. My daugher is 42 and lives in my home state of Maine. We live in Florida. I could not live with her - haven't been since she was in her late teens. Does "on the spectrum" mean that he might qualify for government assistance? Group home? My daughter has lived in group homes since she about 18 or 19. She has only been in 2 different ones. Prior to that was respite. In Maine, I had to practically threaten to abandon her at the DMR office to get her into a group home. It can be hard as she does have issues with another resident there, but it needs to be worked out by her team, which includes me and my husband, but also her providers. She misses us, certainly, but will be relatively okay when we inevitably die.
    694 days ago
    My husband died when our son was only 3 - before I found out he is on the spectrum. He is now 23 and living in my basement (there is a full apartment down there) and refuses to leave the house to do much of anything now that he is no longer in school. He is not quite as manipulative as your two, but there are days...
    694 days ago
    Tator Tots are kind of gross actually. We didn't eat them when I was a kid either. It certainly sounds like you have your hands full. From what I have experienced a lot of children don't appreciate their parents or treat them well. They don't like being pushed into taking care of themselves but eventually they will have to. Hugs.
    695 days ago
    I can relate. My son is on the spectrum too. But he is also epileptic and intellectually challenged (mental age of 3-4) so he will never be able to manage on his own. On the other hand, he cannot be manipulative either. Just like you I worry about the future, when I am gone. My husband died 6 years ago, so it is scary to be on your own to manage this. I feel for you because I know there isn't much help around.
    695 days ago
    Prayers for you all that you can find some guidance. Praying your son can take some lessons of life to heart and grow up.
    695 days ago
  • no profile photo CD24783373
    I just wanted you to know that I've read your writing;
    oh my goodness, completely shocked & yet have heard
    these stories from others -- have you spoken to anyone
    who could assist, give direction ...

    my heartprayers for you & your husband.

    695 days ago
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