Join Angela, Axel, Abel and Asher as they welcome their new sibling home.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Oh those bathrooms

I'm trying to get caught up on the blog, so decided to write this while I have pictures loading to my computer.

So…bathrooms. Public bathrooms. Axel is petrified of them. Three years ago when I adopted him, on the day of the adoption ceremony, I had to take him to the bathroom in the social center. Only it was a turkish toilet kind, just like this.

Axel would have nothing to do with it. NOPE! Not going in there. His county guardian was a man so I asked him to take him. He called the foster mother who said "No, Axel doesn't go in those." Ok then!

Two years ago I took the (then) three kids on a cross country road trip from MN to DC for the NDSC convention. That is hours and hours of driving, but Axel refused to use any public restroom. Instead he'd wait all day long until we got to our hotel for the night. He had to be miserable. I know I was miserable for him!

Now fast forward to this trip. Thanks to Axel's spinal surgery, he flies at least once a year for a check up with his surgeon, but its only a 3 hour flight so not a big problem for him. But this trans-atlantic flight? Different story. About half way through the flight he told me he needed to use the bathroom. Well, first I had to get him to walk up the isle with (very mild) turbulence. He gripped…no….he clung…to every single seat we went past. I had to pull his hand off each seat to get him to move forward. And let us remember that Axel has two speeds, "sleeping" and "sloth mode".

Finally, when I got him to the bathroom, he was NOT going in that tiny space. Nope. Not going in.  I had to push him in and he was clinging to anything he could hang onto. I realized the only way this was going to work was to go in with him. Somehow I managed to get the door shut.

Do you know how small airplane bathrooms are? They are NOT made for two people. So here we are, in the bathroom, with about 2 inches between us and Axel has a death grip on whatever he can grab, including me. It just was not a pretty experience at all, and I'm sure the people sitting just outside the bathroom wondered why this woman was climbing into the bathroom with a teenager!

About two hours later Axel said  he needed to go again. He walked up the isle much faster this time and went in himself. I had to show him how to lock the door, and he took for.e.ver in there, but he did it on his own. I waited for him outside the bathroom to help him back down the isle.

I'm glad we had this opportunity, because going home we will have Audrey with us and I won't be able to leave her in the seat to help him get to the bathroom. He will either have to wait, or go himself. He is perfectly capable, he is just afraid of certain things, like public bathrooms, small places, heights, stairs that are new to him, etc. I was VERY proud of him when we got on/off the last flight for Serbia. On that flight we have to go up the steps attached to the plane. Axel climbed up them with very little help, and when we got off the plane he climbed down just as well.  Climbed DOWN them, facing FORWARD! That was HUGE for him. (and his therapists are cheering now.)


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