I may have only written about this once before, but that does not mean that it is not a constant in our home. The constant I am referring to, of course, is drama.
While part of the drama that happens in our house can be directly attributed to us having a 6-year-old daughter running around (because at that age, everything is dramatic), I am certain that it is amplified on occasion because of Asperger’s. Hooray for amplified drama.
Kaitlyn takes almost everything to the extreme. Even something as minor as having her get out of the bath becomes an award-worthy performance (“if I get out now, that means I can never have a bath again” is often heard).
This morning, Kaitlyn was presented with a dilemma. Of course, it was a dilemma that she created for herself, but there is no telling that to her. This morning, she was pretty upset that we are unlikely to get snow again this winter. Living in North Florida, snow is pretty rare, so I am not sure why a lack of snow this year would be cause for concern.
She has her heart set on us getting snow. Knowing her, she wants a significant snow event, not something small. Her solution to the infrequency of snow events in our area is moving to Pennsylvania. Easy enough, right? We have family there, and she loved visiting there this past summer. She got excited this past Saturday while we were watching the Pitt game on TV because it was snowing a little, so that might have been the start of the drama for her.
In theory, and in her mind, we can just pack up and move today. But when Amber and I mentioned that moving would mean leaving her friends and her school, she balked. She had not thought about that at all, and really does not want to leave her school and her friends. Carpooling from Pennsylvania to her school is out of the question, too, since it is about a 20 hour drive. I am glad that argument seemed to work, because when I pointed out that we would also leave our pool behind, she was unfazed and reminded me that some houses up there have pools. My bad.
We had a relatively mild winter last year, and our summer was not as hot as usual, either. So far this fall, it seems that we have gotten a little colder at night than usual, and for a longer period, than in years past (we have already had several mornings in the low 30s and high 20s). For what it’s worth, the weather experts predicted a colder winter for us this year, with the possibility of a snow and/or ice event early next year; hopefully that will keep Kaitlyn from packing up her room and heading north.
The last month has dragged by. It has been one month today since we closed on the new house, and it seems like forever ago. I have written several posts (here, here, here, here, and here) about how Kaitlyn has handled the last few weeks, and it will be interesting to see how she does today.
She has had a lot of stress building up as a result of the move. She tries to make us believe that she is fine, but we can see that she is nervous, worried, and stressed. I know she is looking forward to everything that comes with the new house, especially the pool, but I also know she is worried about living somewhere new.
We have tried to make the transition as easy as possible for her. But, since she is so dependant on her structure and routine, we know that this will not be easy for her. She is already gearing up for our big house warming party, and the start of her swim lessons (thank you, Caroline! We have all missed you this summer!).
School starts back soon, so hopefully that will help to ease the transition. And if you are in town, feel free to contact me so that I can let you know how you can help!
We think we did a really good job at having Kaitlyn be very involved with our house-hunting process. We wanted her to feel like our new house, whichever one it ended up being, was one that she had a hand in picking.
We were very fortunate, and we found a house we wanted the first day that we looked. It was one that we added to our list at the last-minute, but one that Kaitlyn loved immediately. It had a pool, and the pool had a slide. Kaitlyn was in love and ready to move in. We put in an offer, it was counter-offered, and we countered back, eventually settling on a fair deal for all parties. And then the waiting game started. The lengthy mortgage process, one that we were ready to have hold up our closing. Luckily for us, our closing went rather smoothly, at least on our end. We were even able to get some last-minute paperwork to the underwriter while we were on vacation.
Our closing was just about a week ago, and now we are the proud owners of a house with a pool, and a slide. Now, we are busy packing up our current residence so we can make the transition rather easily (we hope). Kaitlyn has also been very involved with the packing process.
Because she had reacted emotionally before we started the process of looking, we figured that packing the house would be a challenge as well. When we first started talking about looking for a new home, Kaitlyn became very upset because she thought that we would leave all of her stuff here and she would have nothing. Once we convinced her that her stuff would move with us, we were good to go.
For the most part, the packing process has been uneventful. We intentionally left Kaitlyn’s room virtually untouched as long as possible, but that had to change this week. We began to pack up her stuff. She has been mostly unaffected, at least until today. Amber was packing up some toys from her toy box, and Kaitlyn had a small fit. All of a sudden, the toy box that had gone unopened for almost 6 months now contained toys she played with “every day.” The fit was short-lived, and we were able to proceed with packing a good portion of Kaitlyn’s stuff.
With very little left of Kaitlyn’s to pack, the next obstacle will be the actual move. While she says that she is ready to move in, the jury is still out on that. I want to see how she responds the first night we stay in the new house, and then measure again after a week or so, and finally gauge her transition as school approaches. Kaitlyn is already planning on having friends over to play and to swim, so maybe the transition will be easy for her. Or we could very well be in for an epic meltdown. We will know the answer pretty soon.
Over the past few weeks, Amber and I have talked a lot about looking for a new house. She had been looking at houses online just for fun, but we recently became a little more serious. So, we decided to start the process. We got our pre-qualification done, found a realtor, and made a list of houses.
One of the first discussions Amber and I had was whether or not to involve Kaitlyn in the process. And if we did involve her, how much would we involve her? Because one of her areas where she struggles most is with transitions, we agreed that she needed to come along with us as we looked for houses. We wanted her to get a feel for each one, and we wanted her input on each as well. The last thing we wanted to do was to find one on our own, and her be miserable once we finally were moved in.
Yesterday, we met our realtor for the first time. She is very experienced and seems to be in-tune with what we are looking for. She took us to several houses, and answered any questions we had.
A few of the houses we visited had pools, and that meant Kaitlyn was immediately in love with it. She was already making plans to invite her BFF over after the first one we saw. It seemed like no other house, with or without a pool, measured up for her. We were in one pretty nice house that had a big yard and a pool, and Kaitlyn just sat by the window saying how much she did not like that house over the first one. I even had to show her that we were less than 5 minutes from her BFF’s house, compared to almost 10 minutes at the first place. It did not matter.
One of the last houses we looked at was the one that Kaitlyn immediately loved. From the first second she spotted the yard, she was sold. When we were leaving the house and the realtor commented that it was “move-in ready,” Kaitlyn was ready to come home and start packing. We had to explain to her that it may be some time before we find a new house.
I would say the first part of house hunting has been a success. Kaitlyn was really involved in the process, and she gave her input and asked questions. The next part is deciding whether or not any of the houses from yesterday are what we want, or if we want to keep looking. It is a Catch-22 of sorts because we do not want to jump at the first house we like, but we also do not want to wait and miss out.