Friday, December 28, 2007
We went bowling today. We all really suck, but we had a great time. B only bolted down the alley once.
Yesterday we rode the commuter train. Pretty exciting! To the shopping center and back. Lunch at the burger joint. A and B remarkabley well behaved!
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Monday, December 24, 2007
What do you do with a teenage boy, anyway?
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Tops on my list this week are:
* my partner, who loves me
* a sitter to cover the hours I was running home from work to meet the kids getting off the bus, and sometimes was late (sorry MB, I know that means S is even later, but really, it's not usually my fault!)
* the ability to put nutritious food on our table
* my beautiful children, who try really hard (today B tried really hard to put his foot in the toilet bowl. I guess there are different ways to measure success)
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
Friday, November 02, 2007
Thursday, November 01, 2007
Friday, October 26, 2007
UP: I was able to take both boys on their bikes to the school playground. A did an excellent job staying with me, waiting, not crossing the street without me, and stopping as I stayed VERY close to B.
DOWN: Shortly after we arrived at the school playground, B threw his shoe (up) over the fence, where it fell (down) into the neighbors' back yard. I make B ride his bike home with only one shoe on, while I hold onto the back of his shirt because I no longer trust him to listen to me at all.
UP: Luckily, A continues to listen, wait and stay with me.
Then I dump the kids back home, wake T from a (very brief) nap, and drive back to the school to try to figure out where B's shoe is. I really don't want to lose this shoe because another shoe (from a different pair) is still waiting on his school roof (where B threw it last week) until the janitor has a chance to climb up there and retrieve it (along with all the other things, including a watering can, that B has thrown up there). So I drive around the block of mansions (literally mansions) and finally figure out which one probably belongs to the backyard where I think the shoe landed. The door bell is located outside a wrought iron gate, attached to a speaker system that calls into the house. Thankfully I see some children's toys in the yard and am hopeful that an understanding mom opens the door. Not the case, but a handsome and extremely nice man instructs me to go around to the side gate that I can open and look for the shoe. He comes out in his PJs to help me look, casually explaining that he was watching football and not to worry. We chat a bit as we hunt through his backyard for the shoe, which is camaflage green in color. Eventually he finds it and I'm on my way.
I decide to take just A with me so he can finish enjoying his bike ride, because I want to reinforce his positive behavior and let B understand the consequence of his actions. And because I need a break from B.
UP: A and I head to the office park by the bay. This is one of the places where I take the boys when I'm alone with them and need to get out of the house. They don't necessarily behave here, but there are usually so few people around that it doesn't matter as much. A is really happy to be here. He hops on his bike and takes off along the path. I walk behind, keeping an eye on him. He gets to the first circle, and comes back towards me. Good, I think, he understands that he needs to stay close enough to me so I can see him, and he understands that he may need to backtrack if I start lagging behind. "Let's go down to the next circle" I say to him.
DOWN: A heads down the path, but DOESN'T turn into the next circle, like I expected him to, and like we usually do when we are all on foot. HE KEEPS GOING. At this point, I this point I start calling his name loudly, but he is too far ahead and doesn't hear. I start running. A is fast on his bike, and the distance between us continues to grow. I shout out, but he doesn't hear me. I lose sight of him. I panic. I run out of breath and have to stop running. I ask passersby, "Have you seen a little boy on a bike go by?!?" They say say, and indicate that he headed further down the path. I catch my breath and start off at a run again. I think I see his pale yellow shirt ahead in the distance. I cup my hands and yell as loud as I can. No response. The wind carries my voice across the salt flats. The pale yellow dot goes around the bend and I lose visual contact again. I ask more dog-walkers if they've seen a little boy on a bike. Yeah, about 5 minutes ago he went that way. Couldn't be that long ago, could it? I panic more, and try to run faster. I can't run any faster. I can't see my kid. I try to make up time/distance by cutting through the parking lot. I panic even more, as I realize he might stay on the sidewalk and head down towards the freeway. I ask the guy on rollerblades if he saw a little boy on a bike, with a red helmet. "What?" he replies. I panic more, I am losing time, I can't see my son, which way did he go?!? I run more, in a seemingly random direction. I think I glimpse his shirt way down the path. I pant as I ask another stranger if he's seen my son, and keep running, and keep yelling. I'm totally out of breath. I hope he stops when he gets back to the bay. OMG what if he goes into the bay>!>! He won't go into the bay, we come here fairly often and he's never gone into the bay, he'll stop at the car, he'll stop back at the first circle, shit, I don't see him. I ask the folks who are fishing if they've seen a little boy on a bike. The girl says, "yes, he went by half an hour ago with a big smile on his face." My voice gets a high pitched nervous edge to it, "Half an hour? When I was with him? Have you seen him just now?!?" "No", the man replied. "How did you lose him?" Mouth agape, I point to my feet, "He's faster than me!" The man dropped his fishing pole, "I'll help you look for him. Will he know where to stop?" I thank him, and shake my head. The girl wants to go with him, but he tells her to stay. "If you see him, tell him "stop" Tell him to wait right here for mama." I have a split second debate about whether I try to explain to this family that my son has autism. I decide not to waste my breath on that, and run back to my car (which I should have done 15 minutes ago) and start to drive along the path with my windows wide open shouting his name. Finally I see him heading towards me on his bike. I swerve towards him and slam on my brakes. I almost hit a car riding along side A -- it's the fisherman, who found him first and was accompanying A back towards me. I am grateful. I am so incredibly relieved. A sees that I am upset, I see that he is not. I try not to yell at him. I think he really didn't realize that my expectation was that he would stay close to me. He knew where he was, and was happy riding his bike. He was not worried. I was just about as scared as I've ever been. Well, maybe it was on par with the time B ran down the ravine by squid's house. But at least then I had my friends there to help me - this time I was reliant on strangers and not thinking fast enough, not acting fast enough. I try a few short sentences of explanation to A, "You need to stay with Mama. You have to make sure I can see you, and you can see me. I was really scared. I didn't know where you were. I couldn't see you." He senses I'm upset. But doesnt really understand. We buckle up, and go on our way.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Friday, October 19, 2007
Cousin M: Do you like cars?
Cousin M: You like to play with cars?
Cousin M: Where are your cars? In your room? Go get them!
A: looks at me. I affirm that he should go to the front room and get his cars. He goes, brings back his favorite car, sits back down next to Cousin M, plays with his car, and shows it to him.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
Saturday, October 06, 2007
Thursday, October 04, 2007
"You have unlimited potential"
Hmmm. B, you can hold on to that one, I told him, as I read the message out loud to him.
Now if only we could figure out how to unleash it.
Friday, September 28, 2007
1. Spent my entire lifetime believing I was fat, even though it's probably only really been true for the past 7 years, and for a time in college. Why? Because of the catty girls behind me in the water fountain line who said that my belly was getting so fat as I was drinking water. In retrospect, they were probably just hot and thirsty and wanted me to hurry up.
2. Requiring speech therapy in first/second grade because I couldn't pronounce the sh sound. came out as s. Not too big a deal, unless you know my name irl.
3. 2nd grade school bus. I got on the bus at almost the last stop, and noone would let me sit with them. Happened repeatedly. Although i wasn't aware of why at the time, in hindsite and conversations with my bro, it was probably bec i was one of the few jewish kids on the school bus.
4. 4th grade. chorus tryouts. basically all the kids get to join. all the time. except for me. Did it have anything to do with the fact that all the other kids were given familiar christmas songs to sing, together in a group, and I was given a hanukah song that I didn't know to sing by myself?
5. 6th grade when two classmates taunted me (endlessly), claiming that I stuffed my bra. And that I did such a poor job that the 2 sides were uneven.
6. Junior high, and the perpetual lunch time fear that I wouldn't have anyone to sit with in the cafeteria.
7. Adulthood, challenged to take on a creative writing project and terribly fearful that I don't have the ability or the wit to produce anything publishable.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Monday, September 17, 2007
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
B has been having some "issues" with the school bus. The problem started on the day that the classroom staff put someone else's jacket on him on a 90 degree afternoon and sent him home on the bus for a 90 minute ride. Poor guy was overheated and not happy. Ever since then, he has been figuring out how to wriggle out of his buckle guard (and through the guard out the bus window) and wriggle out of the harness (this kid is more agile than Houdini!!!) and walk around the schoolbus as the driver is trying to concentrate on Freeway traffic.
Friday, September 07, 2007
WTF does he have a 1:1 for if not to NOT LET HIM PULL HIS PANTS DOWN AND POOP IN THE PLAY AREA?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?
Thursday, September 06, 2007
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
Sunday, September 02, 2007
Friday, August 31, 2007
i think i'm going to try to model that attitude. Call me on it if i don't....
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Me: "How was your first day at school? Did you have a good day?"
A: "Good Day."
Ok, I know it is echolalia, and I set him up, but still, he doesn't repeat things that he doesn't understand or doesn't want to say. So I really think he was telling me he had a good day!
And B's teacher said that all things considered B had a good day too. Only problem was escaping. He is way too fast for them. Today she told me that he stole an oreo cookie from another little girl at recess. I love the fact that she is honest with me and reports these things!!!!
I think we're going to have a good year.
Sunday, August 26, 2007
I love my boys dearly. I really really do. I'm thrilled that BOTH A and B approximated the word school bus as we had our bedtime chat about going back to school tomorrow. I know that they understand that they'll go back to school on the school bus tomorrow, and that is AMAZING. But it's not italy.
Sunday, August 19, 2007
As you all know, I'm the last to favor gender-based stereotypes. So I shouldn't necessarily have been envisioning a female nurse. But it did throw me a bit.
Monday, August 13, 2007
In our relationship, T is the one who is always looking out for potentially dangers and pitfalls for the boys, and I am the one always saying, oh, let's just try it, it will be ok, noone is going to get hurt. He thinks I'm slack and careless, I think he's a paranoid scaredy-cat. In the end, I think we probably balance each other out nicely.
But I am rethinking the level of risk to take now. After the Scary Incident. In part because I PANICKED. I always assumed that if I perceived my children to be in mortal danger, that I would react immediately and appropriately to rescue them. But in reality, I just stood at the top of the ravine and screamed my head off. Which of course had no affect on B. Or rather it had the affect he was looking for, and thus he just ran further down the ravine.
Fortunately, my hot mama friends came to the rescue. Squid bravely and calmly (something I couldn't muster at all, but had a wonderful affect on B) went down to the depths of the poison oak and sticker patches and pushed B up by the butt, then pushed me up by the butt since I was quite incapable of climbing up myself, while jennyalice and Mama B watched over A and Leelo and their own kids.
I was pretty disappointed in myself and my own inadequate reaction. And disappointed in B for blatantly disobeying and willfully entering into a dangerous situation. Proud of A for independently deciding that we were all where we shouldn't be and climbing back up to safety. And grateful for the tribe that helped me get through it.
Friday, August 03, 2007
Oh, by the way, I highly recommend teaching your kids to use their bike brakes BEFORE removing the training wheels. It is VERY hard now for me to teach this important lesson, and they are riding VERY fast.
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
A is hanging low. Showing more and more signs of add. It worries me. Except I know that whenever one of them is doing well, the other takes a hiatus. We'll see how it goes.
Monday, July 16, 2007
Me: What do you want, B?
Me: Ok, take off your pajamas and put on some pants, and we'll go outside and ride bikes.
Within the blink of an eye, he was dressed and ready to go! Sped down three blocks to the end of our street, and then we turned around and came home, me panting, trying to keep up with him.
I think I need to buy a bicycle for myself, because I surely can't run fast enough.
Sunday, July 15, 2007
* My children really do have autism. Ok, so I'm still a bit in denial, but almost, almost at the point of acceptance.
* I feel best when I'm working to make positive changes in our community.
* I'm proud of the work of the task force.
* I still don't have as much patience as I need.
* I feel best when I include exercise and meditation as part of my daily/weekly routine.
* Building relationships is key.
* I control my thoughts; I control my life. (I tend to forget this last one too often).
Friday, July 13, 2007
Friendship and Love are the most important things in life.
Trust your friends. Look out for them. Follow your heart. Tune in to your instinct. Have confidence in your own abilities, and also recognize that you can't always do it alone.
I think that's why I like the series so much. Plus the fact that it is a total escape from reality, like a mini-vacation from being stuck inside my own mind.
Saturday, July 07, 2007
Moon: I want to watch THIS video!
Me: Moon, do you come over here just to watch videos? (naively thinking this was a good way to seg towards interactive playing)
You've got to love his honesty!
A moment later, he is at the toy shelf, pulling out the box of trains and the box of traintracks. Sorts through, and finds James. Tries sticking a few magnet trains to the back of James, and seems somewhat agitated.
Moon: Where's the t..m...ah?
Me: Where's the what?
Moon: The t...m...ah!
Me: I don't know, let's look in the box.
Moon: I can't find James' t...m...ah
Me: The Thomas train?
Moon: No, the t..m...ah!
Me: Maybe we don't have one.
Moon: James needs a t..m...ah
Me: A timer?
Moon: No, a T...NM...EH.
Me: A movie? A movie about James?
At the mention of movie, Moon takes James and goes back to the living room to watch the video he picked out. A sees Moon with trains, and goes into the front room and continues sorting through the box of trains, lining them up in row. When the video gets boring, Moon joins A, and now spies what he is looking for.
Moon: Here it is! James' tender!
Of course, James always has a tender. Ignorant me, not only do I not pay enough attention to the omnipresent video to realize what was missing from James, I don't have a vocabulary nearly as sophisticated as Moon, who although he has slight articulation issues, sure knows his train parts!!!
We had a lovely playdate. Picked and ate apples from the tree in the backyard. Played hide and seek. Played catch, jumped on the trampoline, water play. A few rounds of the aligator dentist game. Another video and the promise that he could take one home later if he agreed to play outside for a while. Very nice.
Friday, July 06, 2007
Sense of community.
Which is it?
Both, I guess.
Or maybe just the small town feel of this town.
Where I take my kid downtown to hear some free live music, and we run into his preschool instructional assistant, a colleague from work, and the County autism specialist and her kid, all within about 30 minutes. Luckily I was with A and he was extremely well behaved, actually sat on the edge of the fountain without getting wet at all and enjoyed the music for at least 4 songs, and when he got up and I asked him if he wanted to dance, he DANCED for a moment.
Friday, June 29, 2007
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Saturday, June 16, 2007
Friday, June 15, 2007
The boys are loving the pool. B has swallowed about half of it already. A is teaching himself to swim. He puts his face in the water and blows bubbles. And he is jumping in off the side of the pool. I know he is preparing himself for the diving board at the RM pool, which he is fascinated by.
B did just fine on the plane. A did great on his own with Grandma/pa. I'm very proud of them both.
Thursday, June 07, 2007
Friday, June 01, 2007
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Friday, May 25, 2007
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
But I digress. I meant to write about happiness and here I am writing about suffering. I guess that's why I find it so hard to STAY in the present moment.
Sunday, May 13, 2007
Now, if only the kids would fall asleep.....
Saturday, May 12, 2007
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
Do you think that's true?
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
Buttoning own pants (A mastered, B trying)
Trying to talk (A, B)
Trying new foods (B: watermelon; A: pork)
Playing with the waves at the beach (A, B)
Following directions, sitting at the table for dinner, learning to wash own bodies in the shower (A, B)
Making time to meditate (me)
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
Fully accept and love both A and B exactly as they are today. Believe that anything is possible in the future. Do whatever I can to help them reach their fullest potential, whatever that may be.
This, combined with my overall worldview of:
Fight injustice whereever it may be found. Work towards system change. Each of us can make a difference. Accept personal responsibility for making the world a better place.
has lead be to where I am today.
So why does it hit me like a ton of bricks when the special needs summer sleepaway camp coordinator calls me to say that she has reviewed my applications for the boys, and despite our initial phone conversation she now feels like my children need more support than their camp can offer right now. This is a FUCKING SPECIAL NEEDS summer camp. That's all they serve is kids with special needs. I'm not fighting to get my kids included in a typical summer camp. I'm aware that we couldn't handle that. But this is supposed to be for kids with special needs. WE ARE JUST TOOOO FUCKING SPECIAL.
What a hit. I'm still trying to recover from it.
Saturday, April 28, 2007
I thought my youngest son had outgrown the toilet bowl drinking habit already. Guess I was wrong.....
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Saturday, April 14, 2007
Live in the present moment.
Think kind thoughts about others.
Think before talking.
Short term goals:
Generate creative energy.
Connect with people who inspire and energize me.
Don't be afraid to take on an occasional challenge.
Don't take on too many challenges at the same time.
Sunday, April 08, 2007
Thursday, April 05, 2007
Sunday, April 01, 2007
Saturday, March 31, 2007
Ah, small miracles.
Friday, March 30, 2007
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Sunday, March 25, 2007
Friday, March 23, 2007
A wrote his name by himself yesterday. He was doing his homework, letter coyping worksheets, and I asked him to write his name without giving him any visual prompts. Just, write your name x x x x. And he did. Beautifully. I'm so proud.
Thursday, March 22, 2007
So why then do I find it so hard to do the same with my partner?
*** The only person I can ever change is myself***
Saturday, March 03, 2007
Friday, February 23, 2007
Meanwhile, grandma and grandpa held down the fort at home, taking B bowling (!) and out to lunch (!), getting A off to school just fine, getting everyone in bed and asleep by 10pm with no jumping, and left me wondering why we waited 8 years to try this....
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
Age-ism is another issue that I need to work on.
Friday, February 09, 2007
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
Saturday, February 03, 2007
Monday, January 01, 2007
1. Patience. This is an ongoing resolution for me. I am definately more patient than I've been, and not as patient as I need to be. Probably will always be the case. The important thing, I think, is to keep working on it.
2. Appreciating what I have. This includes being grateful for my partner and my children, my whole family, my friends and support network. Also appreciating all of the material blessings that we have, including a roof over our heads, plenty of healthy food, running water and electricity ALL THE TIME, employment, and all the basics.
3. Let things go. Don't let all the little annoying things that happen hundreds of times a day bother me. Recognize that I control how I feel about things, I can be annoyed, or I can let it go. I can always choose to let it go.
4. Think positive. Dwell on what I DO want to happen, not on what I DONT want to happen. Focus on what is good, not what is bad.