Friday, December 30, 2011

Pygmalion- G.B. Shaw

"The great secret, Eliza, is not having bad manners or good manners or any other particular sort of manners, but having the same manner for all human souls: in short, behaving as if you were in Heaven, where there are no third-class carriages, and one soul is as good as another."

The thing with manners is that most of the time my son doesn't have them.
He is aware of what they are and that using a napkin or a tissue is a good thing. He doesn't choose to do it. He is my little gutter snipe....and I am always at him to work harder and try more and do more and....well you get the idea,

I found this great thing on I-Books. The Project Gutenberg does free classics. This is great stuff. I can catch up on my old fav's and read things I never had a chance to before.

Since reading Pygmalion I have been humming tunes from "My Fair Lady" I have always LOVED that musical and although the ending is WAY different than in Pygmalion it is a grand story.

Sometimes I feel like Higgin's teaching Eliza sounds with the boy. The isn't getting it....or pretending not to. Like the part in the musical where they start singing, "The  rain in Spain falls mainly in the plain." IT is a great bit and although not totally like the play at all....very entertaining song.



IT isn't just the manners for an Aspie. It is the listening too. The boy has missed out on an opportunity and he feels badly about it. He went someplace today and wasn't asked to do anything. He just sat there and read books and watched matches. He was bored.
The last time he went on an overnight he didn't listen to the coach and he got in trouble and he didn't get asked back and it is unlikely he will be asked to go and stay there again.....I don't blame them but the joke that he and someone else played on someone else was funny, but right now he feels like a "criminal" because he was in a location that reminds him of things he didn't like and it made him uncomfortable.

I am not mad that they played the joke. I think it was funny.
I am sad that my son feels badly that this  person they played the joke on  was sucessful in making the boy think that he really doesn't want him around at all and the boy knows it and feels really badly about it. At least that is what the boy told me at first- he changed his story when I took it to the coach and made the cuter one and I sound like dopes (gosh so what else is new?). So who knows what to believe.....he is either good with it or not....I wish the boy would leave the drama for the bedroom mirror and keep it away from the rest of us.

This is supposed to be an experience that makes him want to try harder and work more and unfortunatley that isn't going to happen. As he put it to me, "Going to ____ for me is kind of like going to ___ for you. You never want to go there again and you hate the thought of it. I didn't know where we were going today and if I had I wouldn't have wanted to be there."

WOW.

Not only did he make a MAJOR connection he relayed it well. He is right. Going to __ is something I hope I NEVER have to do again. I left there and don't ever want to go back or even visit....UGH.

Time for the boy to hit the showers. Hopefully it will calm him down AND make for a better day tomorrow.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

if a hat fits doesn't mean it was meant for you

if a hat fits doesn't mean it was meant for you

This is what I call an "almost" quote from the Anne Series by LM Montgomery. I sort of have the idea but I am not patient enough to skim thru the books to find exactly what I am looking for (typical).
Many times there are statements made, sometimes by preachers, sometimes by others and it will sting. Hard.

When that happens to me, which it does frequently.....being the modicum of virtue that I am it means I mess up quite well and often. I remember reading that quote. Anne was talking to a neighbor and the neighbor was saying that someone was angry at a preacher.....Anne came up with that statement and it was a very true comment. Which, naturally, is why it stuck in my head.

For then and for now. Just because a comment during a sermon comes close to home....doesn't mean it was meant for one person only. IT could be meant for an experience, a thought or a multitude of things all at the same time.....I know a lot of times I write and there is much mayhem...sometimes it is for a specific thing and sometimes it is general observation. Most of the time it is offensive only to those who know that they have offended. Which is why, when you hear a sermon that makes you want to crawl under the pew you may need to stop, reflect and know that you are responding to it for a reason a pastor I used to know told me once that when that happened it was God speaking to me and telling me to fix whatever it was.
He taught me how to listen to a sermon and that there are times when a sermon will say one thing to one person and something else to someone else. It is all good.....and maybe you will learn something from it.

I know I have.



Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Stop drinking my soy milk!

The boy has a thing for peppermint soy milk.
I like it too and so does the cuter half. However Mr. Piggy-pants (aka the boy) has decided that drinking a quart of it a day is acceptable as a option.
It's not.
This is a seasonable item and I have to pre order if I want it from the health food store. Terrific pain in the butt to get it and all that. Ergo I am going to ground him if he drinks any more of it. Unfortunately for the boy the Mom of the house is getting to the age where this kind of drink helps her with certain issues. Keeping soy milk around is kind of like keeping fish oil and cat food in the house.

What it comes down to is not being a rude, greedy pain in the butt. "I get tempted" is another phrase for "I am a rude greedy child and I want it so I take it and I don't care what you need."
To say that I am slightly annoyed is putting it mildly. I have been patient and it has wained. This eveing Mr. Piggy-pants drank almost ALL of it minus enough for 1 glass for me. I am ready to choke the self absorbed little twit and ground him for the rest of his young life. In Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood there is a part where the main character talks about how considerate you need to be to the people who love you. The boy needs to be MORE CONSIDERATE and not so blasted greedy. The amount of time and the fact that I like this too means that i have to take considerable time out of my day to go pick it up....and yes I will charge him for that too if I must.

Essentially, if I want something, I have to hide it. I have to learn to like stuff that is SO off the freaking chart that he would never be willing to try it. That is unreasonable and totally off the charts even for a Mom of a special needs child like I am.

I know, in the ultimate scheme of things, this is really nothing but when someone is SUCH a twit it is all I can do to NOT smack him one and ask him if he grew up in a gutter. Which I won't do and it is a good thing the boy is in bed now because by the time I see him in the AM I will have calmed down a bit.

It reminds me a lot of a certain un-named person who would drink almost an entire gallon of milk in one sitting. That is a person I wanted to smack too because that person was taking things from a child who needed it....but that is another story all together.

Anyway Mr Piggy-pants is gonna learn a lesson tomorrow.....and it may involve PAYING me for the 15 quarts of peppermint soy milk he has gotten thru since break started. Sadly, that seems to be the only thing he understands; I have to charge him for things before he grasps that by the end of the week he will be broke and I will have his money that he blew because of "tempation" and NO I don't give him the money back.

Hopefully he will learn consideration but right now I am just so ticked off.....

I wonder how much I can bill him for mileage and telephone time to find a store that actually has what I am looking for.


Monday, December 26, 2011

Beyond the ionosphere

There are some things that we have determined are beyond our ionosphere.

What that means, to us, is that there are some people who either haven't been hit by the economy, don't understand the need for restraint or just plain don't care.

For us low lifes, we have been hit by the economy. The boy is aware of the economy largely because we have cut back to a pretty severe extreme. We aren't doing the over the top gifts....although the boy did get a lot of things we found at rummage sales and a large # of books that will be great for him in the future. No big ticket items though.
No trips to Paris, no fancy toys and no new car for him. Hearing about the hoi poloi that can afford such amazing trips and gifts is still beyond our comprehension. It is nice to hear about but why? Stimulating the economy is one thing. taking on the stimulation of an entire economic community is something else (didn't Madonna buy an island or something?).
The whole "spend it all" concept is something I would rather hear about, if I have to, and not experience. Frankly the entire theory of such extravagence is really sort of tacky. When most people are struggling to find work, spending a load of cash on something really outrageous....well it doesn't make good sense.
Fortunately for us, the boy worked out that he wasn't getting a "big ticket item" this year. Not because we couldn't . We probably could have.....BUT because he hadn't behaved well towards me (the Mom of the house) we decided that he wasn't worthy of such a gift. Although it was tempting to do a Chevy Chase and wrap up Aunt Bethany's cat for the boy we decided that wasn't necessarily in good taste.....besides we don't have an Aunt Bethany.



So we did just the plain stuff. Gifts we know he will like, but as with the books, we spend very little and end up looking like we did quite a lot. Things we were holding onto or just something made by one of us. Although after a whole day with video games he lost the right again and we are back at the drawing board. It isn't good form to tell the cuter half "I told you so" but "I did tell you so"- Sorry dear.
Most of these gifts we have had for many a year (stored in a secret location). One, a mask I made in college....is going into his collection of masks. The boy had NEVER seen it before; and Yes I did make it many years ago. He was beyond thought that his mom actually had some talent.

For us, Christmas gift giving to the boy is an evaluation of the entire year. Honestly, we were mature adults about this gift thing this year. We played dirty, we hid gifts, we put gifts in different paper than what we used for everything else. We didn't put gifts out until the night before the night before Christmas. The boy thought he wasn't getting anything (he was genuinely concerned). He knew he messed up. Knew he had blown it earlier in the fall and knew that although forgiven, the incident was not forgotten.
We kept reminding him that the cost of what he did cost him in the long run. The boy knew it, and understood why we did what we did with him. He did get two lumps of coal.
Which, is cool btw, because they come in little containers that are marked similar to the above picture. Perfect for saving, especially if you need it again....one never knows so we hang onto ours every year.
However, I digress. The boy knew that the gifting in the house was curtailed, not only by the obvious economic climate, but by necessity. Spending on some bills affected the gift giving for everyone and the spending was due to his inability to keep himself together. He has learned and although frustrated with himself is going to have a better year this coming year. We've already discussed it. HE is going to do better....and as a parent I am going to get off his back (sort of). There are certain places I know about, and frankly I am NOT going to end up like someone I used to know. That person suffered with her disabled child ALOT and I am not going to get to that point. I saw what happened to her and it was tragic....thinking about it guts me to the core.

Like with any family, a family with a child with a disability, well we have a lot do deal with....we have some things we have to be firm with and let go of the outrageous stuff...There are some places we would like to go, and others we can do with out. Same with gifting and such for the boy. And honestly, he is growing to be a better person without the over the top gifts and will learn to deal with a 3rd hand car that hopefully we can pick up for cheap.... that being said, not all the Aspies will be driving a car....nor will they be able to enjoy the freedom of working. But for those that are able, they will be working to do their thing and be independent.

In the mean time, we have enjoyed this 10 year anniversary Christmas. Although the cuter half and I have been together LONGER....we have been fortunate to celebrate a wonderful milestone together.... and are looking forward to many more

Looking back, I honestly don't have any regrets this last year. No "would've, should've, could've" I would describe the firts part and the last part of the year as almost peaceful (the summer not so much)....and for us that is really saying something

HAPPY CHRISTMAS!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Holiday Scones

Every year the boys make me scones.

I have learned to love scones. When I was younger I thought they were nasty. As time has gone by I learned to like the taste, texture and having one with coffee or tea. Mine aren't like the ones served at Sandringham Estate for the holiday. Mine are made by my husband and son, for me. Mine are better. The ones the boys make me aren't perfection...they are made for ME with a ton of love and a bunch of other things besides. They aren't made by staff or a grocers.....they are made at home.

As I have gotten older, (ewww I'm older now? how did that happen) I have found that i appreciate stuff more. I am more crunchy, I am more into what happens to the environment and I want my son to learn the same stuff. In fact, we have discovered that he has learned some things from us almost too well. We got something the other day and his comment was, "Who should we give that to? Maybe _____'s  baby?" As the cuter half said, "Well at least we know we have brought him up right."

The boy has gotten the recycling down pat.

Now to enjoy the scones!

I hope all of you readers have a wonderful holiday and enjoy the day for what it is, the birth of Christ. Please appreciate your kids, and let them experience Christmas the best way they can....the lights, bells, sounds can be overwhelming, but they can learn to enjoy the parts that are available to them....don't stress....just appreciate.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Paula Dean Ham

Did you know that the Paula Deen Hams are really good?
I know, bake it all in a stick of butter, a vat of oil and then roll it in a large strip of bacon.

seriously, the hams are that good and we got the last one at the store tonight.

We wonder where the boy gets the OCD from. Duh. It is from us. We had to drive out of the way to pick up the ham for dinner with my mom, the boy and us for the coming holiday. Really it is very funny. The cuter one and I were making fun of each other during the trip....

The other night the cuter one and I were looking for something. The cuter half had decided that the boy could earn his handheld gaming systems back for 10 min intervals daily and 1x for 10 min on the weekends. truthfully this is against my better judgement. I don't beleive the boy is capable of such self control and I am certain the boy will end up getting pissed off and having the systems forcibly taken away from him again.

The cuter half keeps trying with this video game system crap and although I would like to smack him upside his head and ask him where his common sense is. I do realize that the cuter half is trying to help the boy in the long run by not making the game systems a taboo. Similar to kids who party and drink too much moving from home, video games could end up as something totally addictive and very bad for a kid like ours. My fears come from experience; while playing Mario several years back the boy took a good swing at me when I told him it was time for bed. At that point he lost the right to having the systems in his bedroom. Then he lost the handheld and was only allowed to play the other while jumping around and using a TON of body movement. After incidents like that I am much more wary....and I don't allow the video games, I have the internet essentially shut off for extended periods during the day and other things are done at very restricted intervals.This new thing that the cuter half tells me the boy has earned back is a little unnerving to me.

I don't like video games. Never have. The cuter half talked me into the first handheld system when the boy was 10. My dad had passed away and the boy was depressed and very unhappy (who wasn't but the boy needed a TON of support during that time). It was soemthing the boy wanted pretty badly and I kept saying "No" Then the cuter half kept telling me it would help the boy and we should allow it. I didn't have any experience with video games but the little I knew I wasn't wild over the idea. It did keep the boy quiet and helped the boy calm down and not be so upset....he was able to heal and detach a little. It sort of helped but is also gave him the perception that life was like a video game and that is something we have had to work through.

Although totally unrelated, when the boy was little I had the TV programmed to 2 stations. Both PBS programming or videos that were previewed and preapproved by me. Ask anyone, I was the pickiest mom ever regarding TV. In fact the boy didn't know other channels existed until the cuter one showed him what they were. The boy also thought video games were only in certain places and certainly NOT something we had at home.

The cuter half tells me we can't ban video games for life or the boy would end up like a gen moving away to college and drinking. So to allieviate all that; I suppose we have to allow the video games....(NO DRINKING IN THE HOME THOUGH so don't be stupid and think we would allow that- geez get a grip will you). I just get nervous....the boy is much more argumentative after messing with the video games; I have to plan on taking the handheld systems to work with me during the day (otherwise he sits on his fat butt all day and does nothing). Then we have to go into that damn argument about some stupid video game club at school....it is not worth it.

I think this time the cuter half should handle it. Kind of like the cute one not liking the answers I give him when the doctor calls....he can just take care of this video game system fight himself....I will back away, and watch. Then if I have to I may start going to get some coffee or something on the way home just to be out of the way when the meltdowns happen after the boy looses the video game systems again. Like the boy, it seems like the cuter half may need an "object lesson", at least this time.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Don't open before Christmas!

Doesn't that tag just bring out all kinds of desires for rule breaking and opening gifts?

I am the impatient one....I see that tag  and automatically I want to call my friend and see if it really applies to me. It does, I know this without calling. I hafta wait.....while my imagination runs riot and I know it is gonna be cute and I will like it.....it is just one of those things....

The waiting until Christmas is the same as we do with the kids. We hafta wait and see how they turn out. We have to let the tea steep, the coffee brew or the brownies bake and see what is there when it is done.

I am inpatient.

I want to KNOW what is going to happen.
Oddly enough, I have always been a kind of control freak. I never got completely drunk in college (the time you are supposed to) I never wanted to loose control. I was a very tightly controlled person- all right I was uptight and had a cob up my butt for no apparent reason.
I wanted to know where I was going, what I was doing and with whom would I be spending my time.

Nice to know, but lunacy when living in the real world.

As a parent of a kid like mine, or an Aspie, this control was wrenched from me forcibly when my boy was younger. I learned quickly that his OCD and his Aspergers and his ADHD were all things that I had absolutely NO control over. He needed to learn to control it or it would control him. We are still teaching him that one. AS I have always mentioned, we have worked hard to get the boy where he is and he is learning every day. Nonetheless, as a parent, there was little or NO control. Even today, the boy was being belligerent and he finally told me, "Mom, 'Because I said so' is not a good enough reason. You have to explain why I have to so I understand it." As a parent that means I actually have to THINK about explaining things to him and instruct him on how life works.

This week he has learned that if he doesn't do as he is told, if he breaks the rules and does as he wishes instead of the "greater good" there are things he won't be allowed to do. He won't get to go, he won't be asked and it is not some people's job to babysit the boy when he doesn't wanna listen. So it is the boy's tough beaners and he has to learn to get the rewards, you gotta go with the flow, work with the team and BE THERE and awake and on time.

I get scared.

He has one more year to get this crap down and then we are in "grown-up land". Even with all our planning, working and planning ahead....I am still terrified.
What if he isn't ready?
What if he messes up?
What if he can't do it?
What if.......

And there isn't a blooming thing I can do about it.

Except, push harder, demand more of him and have higher expectations.

The expectation part ain't sayin' much when you see what else is out there, but let's hope anyway. The cuter half and I were discussing some things this evening and it turns out that some of our family members are of an age that the cuter one and I were when the boy was born,  then the boy starting school and at that point the cuter half and I were discussing getting married.

That's scary.

I mean if you think of that in a certain way, some people are the same age I was when I had the boy....and it doesn't appear that they are ready for that kind of thing. Erma Bombeck once said, "Most kids don't know how to handle defeat. They fall apart. IT is important to know how to loose because you do a lot of it when you grow up." I often wonder what they would do with a kid like ours and I think it would be interesting to see what would happen. I wonder if they would get picked.....i think it would be good for them to be picked....then I start thinking I am glad it isn't my decision though. God seems to know who ought to be picked and who isn't made of the right stuff to be dealing with those kinds of issues.

The other thing I learned is that it is a good thing to be right where we are. The cute one and I do quite well right where we are....contemplating a big move after more education is completed sounds like lunacy. After recent experiences I think we are better off staying where we are than moving and hoping the boy would be accepted in a new neighborhood location where it is unlikely that he would be accepted at all. The only change would be location; we know what we have here (being the parents of "that kid" has its advantages).....- why risk it? We would still be as isolated wherever we move to as we are right now....even if he were accepted it is unlikely that things would alter socially. Making a big move is kind of like thinking "The grass is always greener over the septic tank."

The cuter half doesn't necessarily agree with me, but that is OK. I don't always go along with what he says either. That and he will tell me I am over thinking things again. SO what else is new?

I think it is time to go check out that puffy envelope again.....I need to figure out what it in there before officially becomes Christmas and I am allowed to open it.


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Holiday gathering- and other thoughts

Recently, the cuter half and I decided to plan some stuff out.
We did some planning in case life happened and we made some definitive plans regarding the boy.
IT was a goal we had for the year and frankly, last summer precipitated what we decided to do. It was hard. I don't want to think about this stuff. I don't want to worry about the boy and what he would do.

We found out that we are in a pretty good spot and we have "people". It is nice to have "people" and having "people" means we can sleep at night. Or at least I can.

That is nice to know.

We don't really have a formal "support" group any longer. That was renched from us by someone who will remain unnamed (even by nickname) and we have been flying solo ever since. Although we are back at where we were prior to having the support group we are finding that many people are in our position and the quasi support group we, and others, have made up is really quite sophisticated and nice to be with.

Did you know that there is a fireplace DVD that you can turn your television into a fireplace? Prior to this year we didn't know such a thing existed. The cuter half bought an inexpensive one for us and you know, I miss the fireplace at my parents old home. IT was nice.....and we were able to use it for parties and it was a place to mellow out and just relax. We sort of had it, with out the heat, the other evening.

The group was quiet, I am hoping no one was bored, but the "fireplace" was there and it was NICE. No drama, like we usually have to deal with at school or larger parties with Aspies and families. The kids were in the boy's room hanging out (television is broken so that was out) and the "adults" (wait, I'm an adult? When did that happen?) ate sweets and hung out in the family room....

To us, who are used to major drama (OMG I lost my flash drive, OMG I lost my ______  shoes, OMG I broke my lunch bag and threw it out); it was relaxing.
Even better, the boy was taught an object lesson. He learned that going to a party and staying out late means that the parents of the house are still gonna make him go to his sports thing then next day. As a good friend said, "If you are gonna party with the boys you have to get up with the men." He's right.

So the boy learned that partying with the boys means that you miss out on certain things. He didn't like that much. But he learned it and better to learn in now in HS than learn in as an adult.....when making mistakes like that count for a lot more. At least they do where I am coming from viewpoint wise. I am certain a lot of people wouldn't concurr with that thought.

So anyway we had a party, yes we did, in a house that is not fit for a planned event. IT was fit for the great group of people we got to hang out with and enjoy.

Support group? We have ours. DO you have yours?

Friday, December 16, 2011

Being Responsible

Teaching the boy to be responsible is kind of like training a puppy.
I know, to some of you delicate ones that is an offensive allegory. However, explaining how we do things to someone we recently met.....well that was the best way to explain what we do.
Our son has been trained/taught to be respectful, to be nice, to not show WHAT he is feeling until he gets home from whereever he is (sometimes he can't help himself but most of the time it works).

He also knows that Aspergers is for his bedroom. He can go there, shut the door and have Aspergers. When he steps OUT of his bedroom his Aspergers is under control and he has to conform to the norms. It's tough. Over all he does pretty well but there are times when he is so buttoned up that he has to burn off steam. We keep telling him to run, work out, burn off the energy and negative feelings. However, there are times when taking the time to do that kind of workout is not possible, what then? The ultimate back up plan is to go someplace and essentially relax until he can come back and hold it together.
Then a good walk or run at a later time will help keep his perspective.

A LONG time ago, there was a study done in England. I wish I had a copy of it. They did this study with kids on the spectrum and what happened was there were 2 groups. One went out to run 2x a day and then did fish oil and some other therapy. The other group did the fish oil only. Believe it or not the first group was the MOST sucessful. The running fueled the endorphins, burned off the energy AND helped the kids focus and be able to study.

That is what we use as a guideline. LEt me say here and now, the cuter one and I are the FURTHEST from jocks you will ever come. We have little or NO athletic ability (although I have seen cute one kick a soccer ball and he was pretty good at it- sometimes I think he is faking so I don't feel bad).

Do a workout....Wii Fit is a fun alternative and competitions can erupt in the MOST unlikely places. I need to use this more...especially when there isn';t time for a brisk walk or it is too cold outside.
Although it is hard, we parents have to show healthy alternatives and working out is a good way to do that. I would like to run but it is really difficult for me....the Wii fit has a running program and it does help.....although I am slow. We don't have to be the best or lift the most or do the fastest we have to show our kids consistency and competition. It is good for them....

Kind of like the time I was teaching the boy to play chess. His goal was to beat me. He did. and now he is learning to out think his competition.....sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't.

Make the kids get off the dratted video games and GO OUTSIDE. shoot hoops, run in the back yard. I used to kick the boy and guests OUT of the house and make them go run in the back yard...kick the soccer ball, do SOMETHING but get out of this house and NO you can't play on the computer or watch TV....the video games are still off limits....unless we use the egg timer.

GO RUN!!!!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

It's the holidays!

For the uninitiated there are those of us special ed families that ABSOLUTELY love the holiday breaks.

First off we get a break from school. We don't have to think about school, worry about school think about the next day's issues and or show up at a moments notice for 2 WHOLE WEEKS.

Rock on Seymour!

There are NO phone calls from counselors, teachers, the school nurse (always frightening) and NO HOMEWORK.

Ironically, the cuter one and I LOVE school. The boy is remarkably sucessful there and is doing well in his classes. We just need a MAJOR BREAK from school.....


I know, how often do I turn to Pink Floyd? This stuff is great and classic....and my rebellion music from when I was a kid.

ONTO the annual celebrations....OK not really, just making some cookies.
__________________________________________________________________________________________

Including the annual Holiday LETTER below- a two fer one.....better than going to Carsons.
Annually we write a letter for our family and friends.
This year we upgraded a bit and we had help from our lovely little kitties.
We giggled during the process and we hope you like it too.... if we don't laugh during stressful times we don't have anything.


Dear Family and Friends of the Human Pets,

This year the humans of the house are very busy and unable to write a Christmas letter themselves so the task has fallen upon me, Trouble, and my brothers Bert and Garfield. We are not sure what our Daddy has been doing other than he works at the same place he has now for five years, helping sick people afford their medical bills, our Mommy is going on __ years at her job, she does something with _____________ and talking to people on the phone. The food dishes are full so we are happy, they could stand to turn the heat up during the day as it is cold in the house in the winter, and we would prefer the food dishes to be fuller during the day as well. A kitten needs 12 square meals a day.
The boy child is a Junior this year at some place called _____________. He appears to be doing fine too, as he is gone all day and we do not have to see him until he comes home from ________. He leaves most days by _____ and returns around _____. Not that we keep track of those things, but we enjoy the peace of having Mommy and Daddy to ourselves. The boy child is now just under _ foot tall and is on JV _______, it is his ___ year of ________. He also wants to become a ____ and has been taking _______ classes at ________. You would not know it though as the food dishes could stand to be fuller, especially with shrimps and lobsters. Mommy and Daddy also say he has all A’s and Bees in school, we don’t believe them as he never brings home any honey.

The boy child did bring home an award for service to the school, he helped save the life of a fellow teammate how had collapsed in the locker room and the boy found the coach and called 911 to have an ambulance come to the school. He has been told he saved the other human pet’s life. He was at the right place at the right time. Now if only he would feed us.
The boy child has also been learning to drive. Mommy comes home from riding with him full of the Holy Spirit. We can hear the “Oh my Gods” a mile away from the house so we know they are close to being home. We think she may have become a Quaker as she shakes a lot and just mutters “Oh my God, Oh my God, save me”, over and over. Daddy tells us the boy child is doing fine and will have his license this spring, in time to drive us to the cabin on vacation.

Speaking of vacation, we had a great one this year at the cabin, 10 days of lounging in the sun and watching the ducks and birds and boats and chipmunks and crows and eagles and deer and dreaming of eating them. The boy child tried to feed us fish from the lake, but we did not like it much, he has become a pretty good fisherman. Unfortunately, there were no mousies in the cabin this year so we could not hunt like we like. Mommy says we were good boys too, as we did not get sick on the ride up or back and I sat on her lap only part of the way.
As for the kitties of the house we are all fine, we would appreciate any care packages you may want to send, we like Fancy Feast, pork roast, roast turkey, ham and seafood, we do not like roast beef. We also like being brushed and played with, if you are in the neighborhood, the three of us are always here, and the humans are always here too, even though Mommy says we only get two meals a day, we would prefer more and would not tell her if you slipped us some extra.

Meowy Christmas,
Trouble

Sorry about the editing. There are parts removed for personal reasons!!
Happy Christmas!!!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

My life sucks so I will fix yours (language alert)

CLASSIC!!
I read this last night and I really liked it. I know my life doesn't suck but there are people who think my life does suck and they may have some need to fix it.

On another note, last night we had to explain the spirit of the holidays to the boy. I discussed with him that the persons are dead that originated the holiday but the spirit of it is alive in all who love and give to those in need.
Those in need can be anyone, from a person with no coat to a family member needing a night off from taking care of their disabled kid....to just a simple going out to dinner. There are plenty of opportunities to help. Most gen families don't understand that a simple dinner out can be a strategic planning move for the special ed families and it really does help....all it takes is an hour or so.

I am glad Brian wrote this article. IT really touches home, especially when there are people who think that giving an Aspie a good spank is really gonna help. It doesn't, it only makes the problem worse....we use the removal of privledges....and that seems to help....no TV or video games...loosing a door is always effective. Using a spank is a waste of physical resources on these kids.

What it comes down to is that those who are the most critical are usually those who are in the worst form of denial....I know plenty of people like that. Absolutely never satisfied with anything and constantly keeping secrets (very stupid) I've said this before- as Penelope Trunk says, "Keeping secrets means that other people can treat you like shit." As for the most critical ones, I don't hear from them any longer...and that helps alot. As a parent of kid on the spectrum I am constantly questioning myself. I don't need their disapproval and cruel words to help me get in the "slough of despond".

Brian King wrote this blog post. I have included the link and the part of the blog that I am so intuned with right now is here....
THIS IS GOOD STUFF.....
My Life Sucks So I'll Fix Yours by Brian King
There is a tendency in people to go out of their way to fix the lives of others when their own life is a mess. When listening to others describe the persecutors in their own families and after examining those in mine, this appears to be a common trait. The ones doing the criticising are the ones with the greatest number of problems themselves.
Even those who claim to have it all together as part of their ongoing effort to wrap themselves in a comfy coat of denial, are unable to prevent those around them from seeing the trail of chaos they blaze wherever they go. Especially when they bring it with them to our house.
On a deeper level, when you consider how unhappy these family members are, it's fair to say that the majority of the thoughts going through their heads are self critical. If this is their primary lens on the world then they'll have little else to offer you or your child.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

I have a question

no I don't expect anyone to answer it.
Here it is:
Why is it that the parents that shouldn't be expected to volunteer are the ones doing so?
For example, I KNOW my son won't be invited or expected to go on sports trips this year. Yet the cuter half and I show up, serve our time (volunteering) AND selling stuff....for things my son won't get to do. THERE are plenty of other parents that don't offer their time....and there are parents who like us go above and beyond.

Yet we go, to support the school and the activities our son is involved in. BUT if you really use the gray matter what it comes down to is WHY would any one like the cuter half and I even bother to help out or do extra?

First off, we are asked.

Simple right, we get asked to do stuff. It is HIGHLY unlikely that we would EVER volunteer. But if we are asked we do it. At least most of the time.

The other is that we get to pretend for a little while that we are like the gen parents. We aren't....and they know it but it is a nice little pretend on our parts,

We know that the other families refer to us as "the parents of THAT kid." At least they will know we are nice, sort of (just don't mess with our kid- or us- as I have said to people, "If I haven't given birth to it I don't hafta put up with it."). We have a little bit of a reputation to live down (or up to).

A reputation? US? Since when would we have a reputation (who knew?).

Oddly enough the cuter half informed me the other night that certain people might be intimidated by us. Who are you kidding hot stuff? US? we are the most mild mannered, easy going duo in the school's sandbox. We don't make waves, we prefer flying under the radar and we are subtle and unopinionated....after the cute one was able to get off the floor (he had a fit of laughter). He explained a few things....like the fact I have some people on speed dial....and I use it when I have to. I am as subtle as a blunt axe; and the fact that I compare any of my pains to giving birth. I figure that if it doesn't hurt as bad as that...then I am not in pain (for a guy, imagine pushing a 6+lb bowling ball out your butt-that should tell you what it is like giving birth). For example, several years back I broke my foot. It was a pretty bad break. I was in a TON of pain. I could barely walk and I was still walking around with a swollen foot and ankle. TOTALLY unaware that there was a problem...except that it hurt. Well, me being me, I figured if I can still stand up on it; ain't broke. I was wrong. I ended up in a foot cast thingy for about 6 months....and it still hurts when I stand to long or am cold or tired. BUT the thing is....when you compart pain to something totally not the same it is pretty hard to keep your judgement in the right place.

I am still lost on the cute one's point... I am trying really hard to be low key.
Not really, I just don't like admitting he is right. Especially when I wish to God I were quiet shy and demure....life would be so much easier that way. Being a door mat is so simple.

What is with these parents in my age group,.....who came up with this sense of entitlement and that they are OWED anything? What you are owed is any penny you can find on the street or side walk... Now go over there put on the big person pants and GET OVER IT ALREADY. All these kids work hard and I think they have earned the right to go. Would I wish my son were able to go too, Hell yes. Will he be able to? No I doubt it- NOR do I expect it. He is not ENTITLED to go becuase he hasn't earned it this year. There isn't room for us to play the special ed card, which is really odious and annoying when you think about it in this scenario. In fact, because this is what it is there is NO way I would ever do that....it would be completely wrong and inappropriate.
+
It took me explaining to someone WHY I would be willing to pay for stuff when my son doesn't get to go on sports trips and I do so gladly because I want the OTHER kids to be able to go.....maybe that is a dumb idea but why shouldn't we support our kids activities? What is the deal with these parents who don't think they need to volunteer? COME anyway, show up....bake your cookies, bread and give forth your ideas. EVERYONE is valuable and worthy of thought.....my art teacher used to say that there is no bad idea.....each one is creative and can be used somehow.

Yet the parents of the kid who shouldn't even give a volunteer thing the time of day are there....ready to go and sell out of stuff and run around and work hard. Believe it or not, to the cuter one and I, it is worth it....

Friday, December 9, 2011

The boy knows

quite a bit actually.

He is learning to be nice, polite and offer rides home to people who need them.

It's all about karma...which is a new age term but I don't mean it in a new age way. Naturally, I have come up with my own definition (why should that surprise anyone). Treat others the way you would like to be treated....I do my best and there are times when I fail miserably.

There are times when we all have to put our feet down and be "firm". There are those who have been "firm" with me in the last year...and I have been "firm" in response. The boy knows we are VERY "firm", strict too...oh and he better have a "please" and "thank you" in there somewhere as well.

I have noticed that now is the time for the boy to be doing other things....he has places to go and people to see and most of the time it doesn't involve the cute one and I.
Doing homework on his own, staying on the "B" honor role....it is an adjustment for the cuter half and myself.

He earned his bedroom door back....yesterday to be precise. Why, because he helped a classmate who was in serious need. We are very proud of him.....he did a really good thing. Ergo, he got the door back. Frankly, loosing his bedroom door is REALLY more of a punishment for his parents than for him. I am not going into the details as to WHY it is a punsihment for us....just trust me on this one, OK?

Kids like ours don't always pay attention to others, and we are trying hard to get ours to be nice, helpful and polite....most people don;t get why. but that is the goal.
I think the other thing is, people don't realize HOW HARD it is for a kid like ours to be in sports. Especially the ones he is in....it is darn rough out there. For a kid with sensory issues these sports are brutal.

AND it is good for him. The boy needs it. ALOT. Although, he is like me and Marching Band in HS. I was not the most talented muscisian. BUT I did go to everything....and was on time, in my uniform when it was a bazillion degrees and we were dropping like flies and I was there....keeping going and not about to loose control and fall down or pass out during that UNBEARABLY hot Memorial Day Parade where we stood out in the blasted field and about had heat stroke....The boy is like me (shockers); he will go, he will participate, he will have his uniform on and he will stand at attention follow directions and work well with his team.

This is what our Aspies need to do. They NEED to follow directions, put up shut up and go do it and knock off the whining.

Our boy is learning it, and picking up fast.....at least for today.






Wednesday, December 7, 2011

extraneous expenses

the boy has determined that the cuter one and I are made of money.
This week alone he has burned thru a pair of sport shoes, a flash drive, shorts, a Hollister T-shirt, assorted pens and pencils, and a broken screen door.

we are looking at OVER $500.00 of stuff we may have to replace for the home and he needs for school.

He is going to be working it off. The cuter have has figured up that the boy has to work 20 hours in the next 2 weeks to pay us for all the stuff that is MIA and or broken beyond complete repair.

Can I go back to bed now?

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Acceptance of perspectives.

Codicil: this is the boy's perspective: not necessarily the cuter one and I. I am writing using HIS various viewpoints and things he has told me over the last few years. I am not critizing anyone or anything- I am going strictly by his thought processes and viewpoints- using analysis and attempting to understand where he is coming from on his own.

As for me, the Mom of the house, I grew up in church. I went to every activity. I spent more time at church than I did at home. I was allowed only to go out with church friends. For many years I dated only church boys and I volunteered for church only activities. I knew all the pastors, their kids and their wives; I was there- A LOT. I learned about churches who was there for what reason and if they were there because they believed in God or were told they did.

Not so my son, he had gone to many different churches; he has had acquaintances. Three years ago he told people he is a Christian but he does question his faith. ("God has punished me because I have Aspergers. I didn't do anything to God why is He punishing me?")

His current youth leader is a nice guy. His wife is very sweet and very patient (I admire her a lot). The boy is trying to learn about God and why God does what He does and how it works in life. I don’t know if either of them can answer his questions. It seems like they can and are willing to help the boy with questions the cuter half and I cannot answer.

The boy doesn’t hang out or socialize with believers other than those I am aware of).

Now, in the believer’s defense; it isn’t like the cuter one and I are terribly outgoing. We are pretty laid back most of the time and rushing up and saying “Hi” to us is always appreciated but it is doubtful we would be able to do it on our own. Because of this social butterfly lack on the boy's parents part (schmoozing ain't our thing): currently, the boy hangs out with more non-Christians at school, on weekends, at work. Everyone likes him (or at least that is what they tell us). Many gens like him (from what we hear), but not enough to hang out with him. I only know of one gen that is willing to be his friend, and spend time with him at home. this person has made a HUGE effort to get alone with the cuter half and I and become part of the family....

Why does it seem like kids who are believers are less likely to accept people for who and what they are? We noticed this MORE at our old church than recently, but it is still hard for the boy to go out to activities, we usually are standing at the front door of the house trying to talk him into going. Once he gets there he is fine; but then he comes home and is trying to figure it all out....he doesn't grasp the obscurity in religion.

His problem naturally, but the Bible is not something that is tangible to him. His belief that God has punished him because he has Aspergers is something hard for us to overcome. Maybe it is the lack of acceptance in himself that makes it more difficult for people to accept him. He is struggling to accept the Aspergers and some of the reactions that he has and with that it is making it harder for him to understand that what he does reflects on himself. Ergo, he doesn't have the desire to go out like he did.

Growing up as I did, this is unfathomable to me. As the mom of the house, and at one point the religious person; I was taught that it didn’t matter if you were purple with pink polka dots, green stripes with orange hair or had piercings all over your head; you were still a person and worthy of respect. My mind struggles to wrap itself around this acceptance of others topic; especially with him.

Seriously, how far do we go, what do we do and where does it end? We cannot expect gen people to accept a kid when the kid is struggling to accept himself. I pray, the cuter one prays and yet most of the time the boy is treated BETTER by those kids with little or no religious training than by the others at the prior place we used to go. At this point, the boy doesn't know what to do, his religious training has been (prior to 2 years ago), well, unusual to say the least. Now, this is NOT on what we did here in this house but other places where the exposure was a tad unusual. Fotunaelty the lovely youth couple we know now are trying to get this stuff figured out with him and answer his tougher questions....thankfully they both have theological training.

As a parent of an Aspie, I don’t understand this thought process that he believes he is punished by God at all- the boy's viewpoints on this part are different; this thing that he believes that God punishes him because he has Aspergers. He is so young and doesn't realize that the difference is a good thing (it is MORE than the purple hair I had in college) and he can use it for positive experiences. I know that he is trying hard to fit in and is kind of like the square peg in the round hole. The "Left of Center" by Suzane Vega comes to mind (besides being a favorite song). Heaven knows how often I related to the square peg analogy (Please...I am the square peg, who are we fooling?)

God chose us, gave us this child to train, teach; pray for. Yet the boy believes he gets more from a non-believing environment. Some of his choices have not been the best and although we try to encourage him events from that other church place then last summer certainly haven't helped us.

Being around a VERBAL Aspie is NOT easy. It isn’t a picnic in the park.

But it is a lot of other wonderful things that MOST kids and their friends will never have exposure to.

What it is: - a learning experience. A coach one told a group about working with our son, “He makes us better coaches because he MAKES us coach him.” The boy asks questions and expects good answers. He won’t accept, “Because I said so” as a reasonable response. It takes a lot of “splainin’” to get the boy to understand something as incomprehensible as how to be a friend and not smother someone to pieces.
Understandably, most gen kids won’t even give him a chance either because they look at him like he is a freak (the boy’s words not mine) or because they don’t understand the smothering or the enthusiasm he has for people who want to hang out with him and get to know him better….too bad because they could have a friend that wouldn’t compete with them, wouldn’t judge them and would defend them. Hey, he might even be able to help you with your history homework. All you have to do is ask. (His one friend did, and that person discovered that when you get under the Aspie bits, there is a valuable person to know).
Kids like ours can be the MOST loyal, most reliable, most trusted leaders of any given group. Instead, most of the time, they are pushed aside, bored and feeling left out. Our son is now turning to (potentially) non-believing friends who are nice to him, pay attention to him, and most of all want to be with him and find him to be valuable to know (not just with the homework). Like most kids, Aspies want to be accepted for who and what they are.
For our son, at least for right now, he is not finding that acceptance within himself. Tolerance, yes, acceptance- he tells me he is not feeling it and hasn’t felt it in a social environment since middle school. I don't really understand WHAT exactly he is looking for but I am thinking he is looking for a group of gens that automatically understands Aspergers; there he is going to be disappointed. As he puts it, “The staff accepts me, but the kids ignore me. It is like I am not even there.” That perception, on his part is hard to ignore.

Honestly, since the summer incident and the religion thing now almost 3 years ago, he is finding it difficult to be with gens. He is less willing to go out and is very protective about pictures or anything that could be posted on FB or online. For example, last summer, I wanted to take a picture of him in his internship uniform. He wouldn't allow it- except for one unsmiling surly picture that I won't share because it looks like I put him to the rack.

Unfortunately, I have a feeling he is going to be removing himself from some social groups as an adult because he isn’t perceiving it as a viable environment for him. As he gets older, although it is harder, the cuter one and I have to accept his choices. We will be discussing this issue for some time and him leaving is not going to be without a TON of family talking. However, it appears that a change is gonna happen and there isn’t much I can say to him about it. Except it is debatable that he will decide to go out to more gen places as an adult.

I don't like that he is contemplating closing himself off. Limiting himself to new experiences, places and things. That scares me.

Don Williams said it well, and maybe you remember this song from the 80's. We all need to believe in something and although it is hard to watch I know the boy is being guided. I would rather jump in and fix it all like your typical youngest would....and I can't. Sometimes you just can't fix it. All you can do is watch.

I know when I heard this song today it flooded me with good memories: of singing with my cousins, and watching the stars in the sky and walking down the roads at my Aunt's farm.....just chillin' out and drinking some funky juice stuff that she got from a vendor on the road....putting up the little wooden nativity....

Accepting that I can't fix my son's thoughts, perceptions and having to work with him and what he has and will be able to do.



I Believe in Love- Don Williams
I don't believe in superstars
Organic food and foreign cars
I don't believe the price of gold
The certainty of growing old
That right is right and left is wrong
That north and south can't get along
That east is east and west is west
And bein' first is always best.

Well, I dont believe that heaven waits
For only those who congregate
I'd like to think of God as love
He's down below
He's up above
He's watchin' people everywhere
He knows who does and doesn't care
And I'm an ordinary man
Sometimes I wonder who I am.

I dont believe virginity
Is as common as it used be
In workin' days and sleepin' nights
That black is black and white is white
That Superman and Robinhood
Are still alive in Hollywood
That gasoline's in short supply
The risin' cost of gettin' by

But I believe in love
I believe in old folks
I believe in children
I believe in you.

I believe in love
I believe in babies
I believe in mom and dad
And I believe in you.