White Dog stopped me by putting her paw on my knee and then jumped into my lap. "Don't wake them," she said referring to Steve asleep on the floor by the dog door with his arms wrapped tightly around the soundly sleeping Quinn. "Quinn had a very rough early morning and just now both fell back asleep."
Quinn's manic-ness is greatly affected by our environment. Changes in weather or noise levels (like road construction sounds) or tension or even new things can be triggers that set our boy off. We have learned to be cautious when we notice such times, and are usually prepared to compensate with medication or extra attention to help The Other White Dog through his episode.
Last night was very stressful in the household. Michael in his continuing attempt to master cooking, poured too much oil into his pan and then spilled it all over the hot oven. There were billows of stinky greasy smoke as we threw open windows and turned on fans trying to rid the house of the fumes. Michael had a complete meltdown and it took all of Steve's efforts to calibrate his autistic outburst. In an attempt to keep the White Dog Army from over-reacting and to get them out of the smoke, we put them out in the yard with orders to "Stay." None of the Army is used to being verbally locked out of the house which caused a herd to gather pushing and jockeying for position to see into the door. Quinn somehow got knocked over and managed to skin his chin.
When the kitchen catastrophe was averted and pretty well aired out we tended to the scrape and spent time giving all of the White Ones some extra attention. Quinn was medicated but was already jumpy and restless. After bedtime walks I held TOWD in my arms on the bed as I do every night before he sleeps. I could feel him start to relax and then feel his muscles clench in manic mode as his nervous system went haywire and then relax again.
And so it was for our boy all night. He slept at the foot of the bed and I could hear him (I am a light sleeper) settle down and rest for about 45 minutes then twitch to awareness and get up and wander in circles for a bit before returning to settle again and repeat the cycle. When Steve got up at six to study, he took Quinn out and then asked the Q-man to supervise as he did schoolwork. He circled while Steve worked for more than an hour.
By then, according to Steve later, TOWD was so sleep deprived and tired from the pacing that he began to stumble. That is is when Steve sat on the floor holding his special boy and gently massaging him. Each time he would stop, Quinn would jerk awake and look at Steve begging him to continue. And that is where I found them both, curled together and sleeping peacefully. Quinn's posture of total trust and Steve's protectiveness made me kiss the head of White Dog, sitting in my lap. She looked up, "It IS beautiful, isn't it, momma?"