“Oh pooth!” Kaitlyn managed to get out in between tears. Today and tonight had been good up until a few minutes before 9. She had helped me get some things prepared for a Christmas party this week, and eaten her dinner without giving us a hard time, and she was enjoying the Amazing Race like she likes to do on Sunday nights.
All season long, Kaitlyn (and Amber and I also) had rooted for Andy and Tommy. And all season long, they had not disappointed her once. They were rather dominating. Until they took a wrong turn tonight. And were eliminated. That they will not be racing next week threw Kaitlyn into one of those episodes where she is completely inconsolable.
Amber and I are heartbroken to say the least. Not even Amber suggesting that maybe they would appear on an All-Star edition of the show helped her at all.
There is no manual for these types of reactions. This type of strong reaction is reserved for monumental events for a neurotypical child. Where a “normal” child will accept that Andy and Tommy were eliminated and move on, Kaitlyn has had her world turned upside down. Even Amber and I were at a loss on how to get her to calm down. Her response was one that you might expect after hearing news of a tragic loss or event, not one of watching a team on TV no longer be able to chase a million dollar prize.
We know that there will be times when we are left speechless because of the way Kaitlyn process things, and any parent of a child on the spectrum knows what I am talking about here. But knowing that it will happen does not make it any easier to deal with. What is the best way to make her sadness go away? This may seem like an overstatement, but this may just impact her whole week, and it will not get any easier next Sunday when she does not see her favorite team racing. She comprehends season finales of the Race and Survivor and is always fine after a winner is declared, knowing that the next season is right around the corner. Rarely has she had this strong of a response to an elimination.
If we find something that works in dealing with her tremendous sadness from tonight, you can bet that it will be put into our mental notebooks and we will at least have a foundation for the next time this happens. Because one thing is for sure, it will happen again.
And for the record, we are not sure where she picked up “pooth,” or how she came about using it. But we have surmised that she uses it to express sadness, frustration, surprise, and pretty much any other emotion.