Tuesday, September 28, 2010

busy days

School started and things are more than busy. Our son has had several weeks in a row with painting a trailer in the neighboring town. Hopefully, the paint is dry now and they won't be back. There were about 3 weekends in a row that he painted blue paint on this trailer...the first two weeks it poured rain. Last week there was no rain but lots of cold weather.

I didn't know that boys don't wear jackets around their waists. Did you know that? I was informed that boys carry their jackets if they don't wear them. Who knew? My husband informed me that i am not allowed to tie my son's jacket around his waist again...it is an anti-fashion statement for guys or something. I won't make that mistake again.

We are looking to wrestling season. New year, new team, lots of changes...we may need to get new shoes. I think we are going to have a guy with really big feet. Seriously. He has grown so much this year and we are looking at an advanced routine in the upcoming schedule. It seems like the autism is under control. We need to tweak things but otherwise we are looking at a really great year for our son at church, school and at home.

Homework has gotten itself under control too. It is a real treat to watch our boy do his work when he gets home from school. He takes a break, and then starts up at a specified time. No coaxing or anything he just does it. On Fridays he has been doing ALL of his work that evening so that he can take the rest of the weekend off from it. We never suggested that to him; he came up with it on his own. In fact, the last one, he went out, and prior to that had more than half of the work done. It was amazing. I think I like the new way of doing papers too. There is a great website: http://turnitin.com/static/index.html that has the kids turning in their papers so that they can't copy. It is on account and with e-mail and all that but it is really awesome tool.  I like it because the teacher has the papers right away and he can track what he has turned in and what he hasn't. He is keeping track of his school stuff and we don't have to.... very cool.

He also tells us that there are friends he wants to ask to come over. We told him he could if he gave us some warning. I think there are 2 boys he would like to hang out with so we will see if he does ask them sometime. We think he needs to expand a bit and if he found "kindred spirits" at school that might work out in a positive way. Never hurts to try and open a door or window or two, right?

It is good, at least as far as we know right now. No one has told us different so we will take things as they are.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Security

This is a huge topic in our house. The feeling of security, the basis and the facts.

Our son has anxiety issues, some of this stems from the insecurity he feels regularly. This can stem from feeling weird about a school project to being generally unhappy about not knowing if he has friends at school or just common teenage angst.

Today's drama was about not bringing a certain book to school. then the insecurity because kids were throwing goldfish crakers at him and telling him to break his diet and get fat again. (Nice) As a parent we have to encourage our kids to "be nice to everyone", "play the game" and "just get along". Frankly, some of the gens I have seen I would never allow my son anywhere near them. They are annoying little berks.

My son has no interest in hanging out with people out side of a small circle of friends, his small group and his house group. Oddly enough, he will go to football games and he loves his sports seasons. He told me once that he did want to play football but doesn't any more. I never asked why, but maybe because he is insecure and might think he isn't any good at it...DK.

My other security thing is about finding a job. Thus far interviews and job things are not forthcoming. I get the fact that work is work and there isn't any. I guess that is what made my husband and I decide to throw in the towel and start looking elsewhere for a job for me. I am worried. I don't want to move across the country and leave the boys here at home. Our son can't move until HS is over. It would be impossible for him to do so. It seems like sitting here day after day is just a waste of my time and energy. I go to the classes, the workshops and all that and it doesn't do anything or get me anywhere. I am told htat things are turning around and jobs will be forthcoming....no clue what kind of jobs will be forthcoming, but that is OK. My degree in "under-water basket weaving" should come in handy eventually JK.

I wonder what is coming next, I have a feeling that somehting is happening in the "aura" around here but i don't know what it is... guess we will find out soon.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Kitty court and the judge

I have been reading, and this quote is from a girl's book from England. I don't recall where I located the book. I am sure I grabbed it from a pile and this sounded good.

"Shakespeare helps quite a lot. There is a good deal of sense in Shakespeare; he's fundamentally logical and sound. Take Shylock for instance. Shylock wanted justice, he wouldn't accept mediation; he wouldn't accept an iota less than what he considered his due. He wanted justice. If you refuse to share and continue to demand justice you can't complain when justice is given you."

As a parent of a kid on the spectrum so many times I hear people wanting justice from everywhere. Schools are big when the kids are of the age. I believe that most of the work with our kids begins at home. We demand that the schools do certain things: and yet at home the consistency isn't the same.

What brought this up was something I read yesterday about a blog by Penelope Trunk. You have heard me mention her before. I ususally find her pretty amusing. Yesterday wasn't so funny. She was proponing the use of the dreaded video games. As a resource (cooking and other excercise venues), video games are probably OK. The idea that she had that they were a way of learning to work together and create teamwork was really a stretch. I realize she is writing from her point of view, but she doesn't realize that as her kids get bigger the video games get more addicting and she and her farmer are going to be in a fine kettle of fish when the boys decide to beat the boogers out of them after playing for an afternoon. I think when her boys are bigger than she is; she may want to re-think this video game option.

I don't like video games or the systems. I have a numbe rof reasons why, and although I don't go into a ton of detail about it I will say that the over stimulization of the games is really a bad thing (understatement). Some kids on the spectrum do get physically violent after a stint of playing (they make the news). Here in our house we allow for 15 minute increments timed with an egg timer. After what we call an "episode" (refusal to do homework or cooperate) several weeks ago our son lost the video gaming privilege until January. We will re-evaluate at that time; and we are viewed as grossly unfair and mean by our son's friends and acquaintances. Like Shylock, our son wanted justice and wanted me to allow justice to flow HIS way and it didn't work like that. He lost the verdict.

The court of the house is me, as judge and jury representative and our kitties as the jurors. The defendent was over-ruled and lost his gaming privilege.

Wow. As for Shylock, I think that that Shakespeare was attempting to show ALL different kinds of people. The fact that the character is seen in a negative light is a matter of viewpoint. I see Shylock as an educational tool; he wanted what he wanted when he wanted it and how he wanted it to be. Not everyone sees justice in that way. Ergo, educational and for many justice may not be served.

In our house we have several phrases that pop up periodically, "Would've, Should've and Could've; mean nothing" another is, "What goes around comes around."

Maybe we all need to understand where the others are coming from. I certainly understand that Penelope's boys are playing video games, sitting still amd being quiet (bonus) but for those of us trying to extract ourselves from video game land, a blog like that doesn't help much.

Monday, September 13, 2010

I did it

I got smart with my son's history teacher.

I am so ashamed.
Actually, I didn't get smart with him. I got annoyed. The tone and venue of his remarks to my son's case manager made me mad on her account. What kind of twerp talks to a collegue that way? Apparently, this one does. I called my school hero (I have several over there) and told her I was having a "temper tantrum, hissy fit" over this guy regarding several issues. I admit I am easily confused about my son's homework assignments. I tutor him and there are things that, because I am not a teacher, I don't understand the workings of their minds.

I am not proud of myself at all.
Number one, I know better than to let a teacher upset me. Especially when I have my son telling me that this guy thinks that the pyramids were built by aliens (there it is out there). I think (I hope) my son misunderstood him.

Don't fall over in shock, two blogs in one day, Sorry all don't mean to freak anyone, I just had to vent.

Don't cry for me

Have you ever wondered about the musical "Evita"? I mean really wondered and I am NOT talking about the Madonna version. ALthough I am sure that version is fine and well done, it does have Madonna in it and, well that is just freaky. That and the picture of Madonna with a shirt that looks like she came from a burn center makes me wonder what she could have done to herself this time.

Anyway, this is not where I was planning on going... "Evita" is a story of a very strong woman. She may not have been moral, nor upright nor faithful (she was narcissistic and a meglomaniac). But she was strong and used to getting her way. I am strong too, but not used to getting my way.

My son is strong willed and a poopy pain in the neck. That works doesn't it? No really, he is a good kid, but when he shows up from school and is a slug and crabby it doesn't make me want to be in the same room with him. Seriously, when he is bear-like when he gets home all I want to do is lie down and take a nap. His pysch tells me that when I do that it is my reaction to the negative verbiage I am getting from my kid (sounds impressive, does it not?).

Because of these reactions we have come up wiht a fabo game plan. I am not being facetious or sarcastic: we start work at 4. Any work, all work and we stay away from each other until he calms down and I am able to function. There are times when MY functioning involves coffee. For some reason having full flight java at 4PM wakes me up and helps me cope with "Mr. Happy". Unfortunately, I am out of orange cappucino. (Joe, say it ain't so) aand because of that I am making do with a french vanilla want-to-be that just isn't cutting it for me. I have tried adding the Starbucks instant to it and, nope, the french vanilla is just not that great...maybe i have had too much and need a MAJOR flavor adjustment. Who knew?

The other thing (gripe) I have today is the ever present economy. I am tired of being broke, my friends are tired of being broke (and of my being broke). Our savings are almost gone (OK lets pretend that the loot is kaput, flown the coop). The temp service I tried at isn't placing people like me (we are "special"), and when I think I may have a decent job interview it never comes through. I am waiting for Mr. Obama's change (didn't the "CHANGE" happen several years back? Did I miss it?). Although the way I am understanding it the change is only for his friends and family. Since that may be the case, if anyone is willing to adopt me into his friends and family package so I can get a job; let me know...the waiting is blowing our savings out of the water.

"Don't Cry for Me Argentina"

Friday, September 10, 2010

this is the giggle from yesterday. I hope you can laugh with it too

Misconception Number 1: Moms miss their kids when they go back to school. Seriously. I've had enough of you by now. Every morning with the "what are we going to do today, Mom?" is finally over. I've had looked at your face twenty-four seven for the last 77 days. It's time to go learn something. No more asking me about the pool, when is the next snack or if you can stay up late and watch a movie. It's over....You're going back to Hogwarts and I get to have a life again. There is a Christmas morning for parents and it's called "back to school".




Misconception Number 2: Moms like to go school shopping. Are you freaking kidding me? Why do I pay taxes?...so I can rack up a 200 dollar bill at Staples for crap that we have laying around my house in junk drawers. Why does it have to be new pencils? What's wrong with the chewed up, broken strawberry shortcake pencils sitting in the bottom of the toy box for the last 6 months? And how many subject books can you possibly need? What happened to reading, writing and arithmetic. If they added a couple of things for parents to that list I wouldn't mind so much....why not pencils, erasers and vodka .....or some Nyquil.



Misconception Number 3: Moms like back to school night. Why must we do this every year? I got it already. You're the teacher...I'm the parent. My kid is either going to be smart or dumb. If he gets a certain number or colored dot on his discipline chart, he can't get a prize from the prize box. Pretty simple stuff. Listen, I'm pretty old school. If he doesn't listen to you...you can throw something at him. I don't care. But I got a lot of work to do at home and I'm paying a babysitter right now. Plus, I'm pretty sure you are going to assign some project on wigwams made by some Indian tribe I've never heard of, so I need to get home and start my research. So, I got it. We're all here for the betterment of the kids. Blah Blah Blah. Can I leave now?



Misconception Number 4: Moms like school paperwork. How many trees are you planning on killing to tell me the same stuff I had to pay a babysitter to listen to the other night? You know our name, where we live and our emergency phone numbers. He doesn't have a nickname....call him "stinkbutt" for all I care. We don't have any "special circumstances" that you need to know about. He lives in a home with two parents who may or may not like each other at any given time and they will fight. If that qualifies as a reason he can't get his homework done on time then he won't be able to function as an

adult and have a real job so you may want to "educate" him on that life lesson.



Misconception Number 5: Moms like covering books in that annoying sticky paper. What exactly will you be doing with these books that I have to cover them in a plastic laminate? Do you often teach in the rain? Or while the children are drinking soda and eating soup? Do you know how long that takes? Has any parent in the history of education been able to do it without any air bubbles in it? From now on I'm covering it the old way...brown paper bags. That way I can cover the books and pack their lunches at that same time. Who says moms can't multitask?



PS. Please tell my son if he can't find his lunch to look in his science book.



Misconception Number 6: Moms like helping you with your homework. What? I am scared out of my mind. I'm pretty sure that I forgot everything I learned in fifth grade by the time I was in sixth grade. I have no idea what you are talking about most days. I don't really know my 12 times tables, I read the cliff notes to all your summer reading and I don't know how to conjugate anything but I do know that song "conjunction junction what's your function" if that helps at all. And please don't even say the words "new math" to me. What the heck was wrong the old one?



Misconception Number 7: Moms can't wait to pack your lunch every day until we die.

I hate doing laundry. Making dinner every night is the bane of my existence, so making your lunch every day for an entire year, in terms of "mom fun", lies somewhere between brushing plaque off the dogs teeth and scheduling my annual pap smear. Listen, as a child I hated what my mom packed me for lunch. But, like every kid before me, and every generation to come you will find a kid to trade with...I'm sure someone likes sardines.



Misconception Number 8: Moms love after school activities. I don't know who made up this idea of organized clubs and sports but they should be the ones in charge of carting your ass around. Don't get me wrong. I'm not against all after school programs. I just wish they would offer it during hours that would work best for me so that dinner wasn't at 8:30 at night followed by 4 hours of homework. Why not do it on the weekends and call it "after-hours activities" so mommy and daddy could actually go out one night and pretend that we have a life of our own. Don't worry about us though I'm sure that me and

"what's his name" will be married a very long time.



Misconception Number 9: Moms don't mind taking you to school if you miss the bus

Your bus comes at 7:10 am....which means that you should be standing by the door

at 7:05 am. Not eating breakfast, chasing the dog around the house or in the

bathroom, asking me to check your homework while I'm taking a shower. Get it

together! I don't like running down the street in my jammies at 7:12 screaming

"Please wait" or "If you stop I'll show you my _______."



Misconception Number 10: Moms cry on your first day of school. We do cry but they are tears of joy. I have done my job. I have successfully kept a human child alive for at least 5 years without doing any major damage. Motherhood is the hardest job in the world!! Sure, doctors save lives and CEO's run million dollar businesses but...you teach a kid not to poop their pants and then you can say you've made the world a better place."

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Insomnia

I suffer from insomnia. Normally I would have it every night when I was working. I barely made it home daily and would crash and then wake at midnight to start it all over again.

Now I get it from school meetings. The one tomorrow is a standard team thing. We meet we talk we mention stuff and then we move on.
I am nervous and can't calm down. It isn't a bad meeting, not about a fight or anything. Just run of the mill garbage and a couple of basic add ons. I am worried though. My son's doc diet has caused him to loose about 20 lbs. He has about 10 more to go and then he should stabilize. What about sports? How screwed will my son be with the weight loss? WE are expecting the worst; which is typical for special ed parents. Seriously how much good stuff do we get to have?

I ahve had a giggle lately. Misconceptions about parents is something else. I live in a land of misconceptions.
As a special ed parent people either think we are "Jus' plain dumb, or don't give a rat's butt." I think this varies and I think it is pretty funny.

NOW that I have started writing I am getting tired. Maybe because I am thinking and my brain hurts? Whatever the reason, this brain storm wil have to be continued at another time.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Roasted red tomato squash.

Have you heard of it? We hadn't until today. We bought one, and the boys made it with olive oil, garlic and this hard as a rock squash. I thought it would be dreadful.
I was wrong.

This whole diet change has made an enourmous difference in this house. The boy is eating all kinds of things; celery root with apples, swiss cheese and pepper. Or the newest fav roasted tomato squash...and then grab your potatoes (made with a ricer...no lumps and less butter). It sounds like we are eating like kings. We aren't. We are eating NO JUNK. Our son is better tempered, looks better and feels good. He is amazing with the will power; it is there in the cafeteria or at his house group and he doesn't eat it. Blows us away.

Interactively, he hates gardening (what teen doesn't?) and loves his veggies. He has decided to beg his grandpa to grow red tomato squash. I wonder how THAT will go over? His tastes are different than we expected. He is discoursing on having pepper with your celery root and how much better it is. If it is too sweet he says so, there is little or no dessert, or his favorite peanut butter.  With that he has lost more weight than I can count...my husband believes it is over 13 lbs...and the boy looks better than he has in years.

He does his homework with little or no argument, he is working his head off to keep ahead in class. It is hard work.  He doesn't have a lot of patience with me, Mom, but he does apoligize after being a little jerk. There are pluses and minuses. His perceptions are sharper lately. I wonder what he is thinking and how he will react to things. His reactions are much better than I expect. He is slowly becoming considerate and very helpful. He wants to do well.

What do I want? to go to sleep, not have nightmares, and to not overthink anything. Basically asking for the moon, stars and sky when dealing with a teen on the spectrum. :-)