Coming home that night was a struggle. Part of me wanted to pull into the Good Times around the corner from my office and eat all the custard. Blowing up like Violet Beauregarde seemed like a valid excuse not to go home.

That wasn’t the responsible thing to do, though, and, it turns out, I’m supposed to be a responsible adult.

Twenty minutes later, the garage door squealed open like a giant fingernail raking across the guts of our house. Before I could pull all the way in, the house door swung open, framing two mostly naked children in the muted hallway light. They danced around, shouting for me to hurry inside, to see what they had done.

“We’re playing together!” Kella squealed

That’s when I knew I was really in trouble.

With a deep intake of breath, I forced myself out of my dented Subaru and headed towards the kids. I tossed my bag to one side and threw my coat on a one of the hooks Amy had installed by the entryway closet.

“Come on, Daddy,” the children chanted, grabbing my hands and dragging me on. “Come see what we’ve done in the kitchen.”

We’ve had plenty of messes in our house over the years. There was the Great Relish Stain of 2014, the Tenacious Honey Spot of 2015, and, of course, the infamous Mustard Smear Christmas Special. I thought I had seen it all.

I was wrong.

The scene in front of me would best be described as attempting to recreate Mt Everest using only a mixture of flour and whatever sauces were most accessible in the refrigerator door. The mess started under the table in the typical powdery spread created when the kids circumvent the magnetic locks on the cabinet doors, but it increased in elevation as it neared the sink until my head would have touched the ceiling if I managed to step on the apex.

Evidence, though it doesn't do the topography justice

Evidence, though it doesn’t do the topography justice


One small scoop

One small scoop

Although I couldn’t see the transformation crossing my face, it must have rivaled that of Jekyll to Hyde. Kella ran to shut herself in her room. Finley burst into tears.

“I’m sorry!” he cried out between sobbing gasps. “I’m so sorry and will never do it again!”

Somehow we all survived that night. The children cried themselves to sleep while I dug through the mountain like a strip miner. The bags of trash I threw away must have weighed at least as much as Kella. Even after hours of work, residual flour filled in the cracks around the edges, which I only got up last night with the help of my Home Teachers.

Had it just been the one mess, it would have been bad enough. As I was excavating through flour, I managed to slow my heart rate down from that of a coked up squirrel (I’m referring to Coca Cola, by the way) closer to human range. I realized that at least this was on the hardwood and not on the carpet. Had it happened five feet to the left or right, cleaning might have been impossible. But it wasn’t just one mess.

Finley kept is promise not to make a horrific mess. For about 15 hours. The next strike was on the carpet.

That's a jar of peanut butter. not my preferred place to spread it, but the dog certainly had a field day.

That’s a jar of peanut butter. Not my preferred place to spread it, but the dog certainly had a field day.

At least we had that portable Rug Doctor you see in the shot, which we bought in a frenzy two years ago when Finley was smearing something much more disgusting on the carpet. It removed the peanut butter with ease (with the help of the dog’s tongue).

Then the next day, Finley and Kella got into something that the Rug Doctor couldn’t handle:

Turns out this was the wrong shade of Mascara for the carpet

Turns out this was the wrong shade of Mascara for the carpet

Later that day, we wouldn’t even have the Rug Doctor, since Finley decided to do an experiment to see what happens when you push the carpet cleaner down the stairs. End result? Broken plastic and a lot of yelling.

The day after that it would be eggs. Four dozen of them on the kitchen floor, which we had been planning to use for Easter, but which we never got around to dyeing (it should be easy to guess why).

So that’s been our week. One of the more difficult ones we’ve faced. Finley has always had a penchant to destroy things when he got bored or frustrated or distracted (ask our friends whose closet he tore apart. Which, I should add, he did to our closet while Amy was trying to clean up the make up stain). Google has taught me that it’s not an uncommon trait among children with autism. This, though, brought it to a level we never could have imagined, especially when you add in the marked increase of kicks and hits aimed at my face.

Turns out we have Keppra to thank for that. Keppra is the anti-seizure medication prescribed to him after our little scare. A friend of ours warned us that her child turned into a monster when he started taking the medication. Research shows that the two of us are not an exception, either.

When I reached out to the doctor for help, she told us to keep on keeping on and it should get better. Maybe that’s true, but I’m not sure we’ll have a house by then. And yes, Finley has threatened to “smash it with a sledgehammer,” which I have little doubt he would do given the chance.

We’re still looking for a solution to this one. In the meantime, though, please be patient with us, especially Finley. And if you do plan on visiting anyone at our house, it’s best if you bring a rag and some 409 with you.