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W started school on August 23. There were tears and a little bit of struggling to get him into the building. The same was true of the rest of the week, but everyday I was picking up a happy, excited kid who has lots to tell me about his day.

By the end of the second week I did start to see a lessening of enthusiasm. He started to complain about being bored. He told me at one point that the other kids didn’t want him to speak at recess??? That was odd. Lunch was starting to get a little bit more difficult. It’s loud in the lunch room, and he likes to sit in the same place everyday. Everyone else kind of chooses where to sit daily. So he had been eating alone a lot.

The teacher kept reassuring me that Wyatt was all smiles at school and he was doing well. But she doesn’t see him at home, and he was starting to show signs of stress. Not wanting to play with his friends, and dreading the next day of school.

Then the library debacle occurred. Library books are to be returned on Monday’s. But there was no school that Monday. On Tuesday we forgot to put his library book in his backback. His teacher told him that if it happened again he would lose a blue key (for responsibility). He listened to the teacher and librarian talking to make sure they weren’t talking about him and his missing book. After school that day he said he didn’t feel good. We talked for a while and we were able to discover that he felt upset about the library book.

I think it was that week that we decided to give him a mental health day. It was a Thursday. He was by my side almost the whole day. He helped me clean the house, we had lunch together, he did some writing and some impromptu science experiments. He went back to school on Friday with not too much difficulty.

The Hell of Week four, next post

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I’m back and other stuff

I was gone for quite a bit there wasn’t I?
The summer got away from me and then school started for my three kids. But I am back now. And I’ve decided to use this blog particularly as a place to document my son’s journey through school. My goal is to write every school day about what has happened that day. Even if the day went spectaularly well.

Before I begin that though, I was given my first ever blog award! It was given to my by Fi, from http://welcometothemadhouse/. As a woman with undiagnosed Asperger’s and as a mom with kids diagnosed and undiagnosed, I always find something in her musings that I can perfectly relate to.

However, I don’t know how to do the bloggy award thingy. I don’t know how to copy the award and I really don’t know any bloggers well enough that I feel comfortable “tagging” them. So, for now I guess I will give you seven facts about myself:

  1. I am 99% sure that I have Asperger’s
  2. I met my husband of almost 25 years when I was fifteen. I felt like I already knew him on our first date.
  3. I love the Beatles
  4. I need to read. I helps keep me sane.
  5. One of my goals in life is to travel to all 50 states
  6. Another goal is to be able to hold a job at some point in my life
  7. I love my life. My husband. My children. It has been difficult throughout the years, but I wouldn’t trade my life for anyone elses.

Okay now. Off to write a post catching us up on our schooling adventures.

A partial list of why I’m down:

  • Y has truly been living up to his “diagnosis” of “quirky” lately and it has been wearing me down emotionally and mentally. I so so so so hope that school will help, because I so so so so need his “outcome” to be different from his brother’s
  • My toe is still not healed and it has been wearing me down.
  • Because of my toe  and my quirky kid, we have not done all of the fun summer things I had planned.
  • Upon reflection, I decided to postpone starting school. It did not seem like a good idea for EVERYONE in our house to be going to school this fall, especially when three of those people will be in school full time for the first time EVER.  I do believe it is the best decision I can make for my family right now, but I have been notorious for saying I was going to do something and then finding a reason not to do it.
  • My adult child with Asperger’s is still struggling to find a place for himself in this world. And really, I don’t know what I can do to help him, except be there to listen. 

I guess for right now I need to find a book to get lost in and look at the pretty roses that P gave me yesterday. And maybe make some blueberry muffins, even if standing for that long will make my foot swell.

the Beatles, I’m Down

We planned the whole weekend. Y was happy with all of the plans, thankfully. We built in enough “down” time for him. Time to play video games, time to play with friends, time for sword fighting imaginary foes.

The last thing on our agenda, for Sunday night, was going to see Karate Kid! Yay! A movie we were all looking forward to seeing. Even our eldest daughter, R, wanted to come. But I made one crucial mistake. I neglected to tell Y that we were going to a different theater than we usually go to.

We all got in the car and were talking about the movie and what snacks everyone wanted to get. The theater we usually go to is about five minutes away from our house. The theater we went to last night is about 15 minutes away. It finally dawned on Y that we hadn’t arrived at “our’ theater yet and he said ” Are we going to a different theater?”.  Oops. I told him “Oh, yeah, I thought I told you that we were seeing the movie at the Tivoli. You’ve been there before.” He insisted that he hadn’t been there before and that in fact I had not told him.

His eyes got kind of misty, but he stayed quiet. We arrived at the theater. We all got out of the car. Except for Y. P had to get him out of the car. We started walking to the theater. Y said ” This theater is boring.” I said “Well, the movie won’t be boring. It’s going to be lots of fun.”. We kept walking and he kept insisting that the theater was boring.

We payed for our tickets, got in line for snacks and Y said that he wasn’t hungry. This after telling us at dinner that night that he didn’t want to eat too much pizza because he wanted to be hungry for movie snacks. But now, nope, there was no room in his tummy for one ounce of candy, let alone a whole box.

At this point, my blood was starting to boil. I tried to remain calm, but really, I had thought this evening was just gonna be fun. I wasn’t ready for the struggle of getting Y back to a place where he could enjoy himself ~ if that was even possible.

His sister was able to make him smile a few times, but when he wasn’t getting her direct attention, he was on his knees, face down on the floor. I offered him candy again. This time, not only was he not hungry, but the didn’t have the candy that he wanted. I found that very hard to believe, so I asked him what candy he wanted, that I bet they did have it. “Tootsie Rolls”, he said. Tootsie Rolls. He has NEVER had Tootsie Rolls at a movie theater. NEVER. 

I proceed to argue with him about how about this candy selection, and tried to get him to substitute another candy, but nothing but Tootsie Rolls would do.

It was finally time to get our seats. The Tivoli theater has been around since 1928. It was the second theater in the US to show talking pictures. It is not stadium seating, and Y can barely keep the seat down with his weight. I suggested that he use one of the booster chairs. Nope. He didn’t like that idea, besides, did I know this theater was boring?

When the previews came on he said, ” This theater is louder than our theater.” It actually seemed quieter to me, but I knew better than to argue that point. I tried joking with him, tried to get him to admit that maybe, just maybe there was a little room in his tummy for candy. Nope. Not hungry and if he were hungry he would want Tootsie Rolls, but this boring theater didn’t have Tootsie Rolls.

I couldn’t imagine surviving more than two hours with the seat rocking and his attitude, so I told him that if he and I left right then, Daddy could be back to the theater in time to watch the movie with everyone else. He didn’t want to stay but he didn’t want to leave either though. Sigh.

I remained quiet for a while. I was thinking that I couldn’t believe I was going through all of this stuff again. We went through this stuff with A and now with here I was again, many many years later. And really, shouldn’t I know how to deal with this by now? Shouldn’t it be old hat?

I don’t know what happened to change his mind, but he did. He finally said ” I know what candy I would like.” He and P went to get candy. They came back with a booster seat too. And he laughed many, many times during the movie.

Alls well that ends well?

pie and stuff

First, a picture of our pie.

I made the crust and the kids made the filling. It was perfect. Not too sweet and  just enough cornstarch to keep it from being runny. One of our best ever!

We had a great three-day weekend. Saturday was spent baking and at the local water park. Sunday was the Fourth, so it was time for our community picnic, local  water park (again), grilling, and then fireworks. Although during fireworks Y and E were a little more interested in throwing a ball and their glowy necklaces than the actual fireworks. They all really need to stop getting older. NOW!

 Monday we foolishly planned a walk to a couple of neighborhood parks, one of which has fountains you can run around in. As we were getting ready to go, Y said “Oh, I thought we were doing that tomorrow.” And proceeded to get very pouty, but wouldn’t admit he was pouty. All he would say was “I thought we were doing that tomorrow”. It can be very difficult to get him out of a mood like that. But yesterday we just decided to chance it. We plopped him in the wagon and once we were moving he was much better.

 Of course by the time we got to the park all of the equipment was scorchingly hot so we sat in the shade and ate our snacks. Then we stopped at 7-11 for slurpees and ice cream. We started loosing both Y and E about half way to the splash park. So we heeded their wishes and went home. Next time the splash park will be our first stop. 

After about an hour much needed air conditioning and vegging in front of the tv (a marathon of Cake Boss ~ not sure why we chose that. No one really likes it, but everyone watched) I suggested I take I and E to the water park, while Y stayed home to start Super Mario Galaxy 2 again. (He beat Bowser but the special level with more stars is too challenging for him. His new challenge is to see how quickly he can get to the end of the game).

So that is what we did. I swam with I for a while, as E went down all the slides. Then I’s friend showed up and I went to read my book in the sun ~ and proceeded to get sunburned for the first time this year. Ouch. I think I am trying to see how physically uncomfortable I can make myself this summer ~ first my toe (which still bothers) and now a sunburn. Good job, K!

Every year my kids and I pick black raspberries. (This is what we call them. Is there such a thing as a “black” raspberry?) from wild  bushes near our house. They ripen just in time for the Fourth of July hence the name of the pie.

We go several times a week for a couple of weeks until we have enough berries, about six to eight cups. Various configurations of kids do this with me.  Sometimes the kids go by themselves. A went with us once, but was too bothered by the thorns and the bugs and the patience needed to collect enough berries. Y doesn’t like to go either. My most enthusiastic pickers have been I and R.

This year it has just been me, I and E picking berries. And I think that I’s heart wasn’t really in it this year.

E and I went this morning. Things were good for about five minutes. Then she started saying she wasn’t a very good berry picker, cause she is “wimpy” (her word, not mine) about the thorns. And then a couple of friends and her sister showed up, headed to the park with a soccer ball.

scratches, welts and stains from berry picking

So. I picked berries for our Fourth of July black raspberry pie this morning. I’ll post a picture of the pie next week. Maybe I’ll try to post the recipe too. It is a Frankenstein’s monster kind of recipe though. The filling part is from one cook book, the crust is from another, but it is delicious and  I can’t wait to eat it!

bffs

Y and X were born one year and four days apart. Y is the older one. X is our neighbor.

 When Y was two he used to run away from X. I think X’s unpredictability scared Y.

When Y was three and X was two, they would play side by side, more than together. And of course, either I or X’s mom was always near by.

When Y was five and X was four, Y thought  X was a little silly. One year seemed like a big age difference.

This year, Y is seven and X is six. The difference doesn’t seem so big anymore. First thing after breakfast, now that it is summer, Y says “Can I go knock on X’s door?” And then they are off to play Legos, sword fighting, or any of a million little boy games that I don’t quite understand.

Y still won’t go with them (without me) to a movie, or for ice cream, but he did go with X’s mom to pick him up from camp the other day, which surprised both us mommies greatly. I love that X’s mom doesn’t stop asking though, and at the same time is completely understanding when Y says no thank you.

I am so glad that Y has such a good friend. A never did. I think it could have made such a big difference in his life.

I’m looking forward to this fall when Y and X walk together to school, both going to school full-time for the first time. I hope X’s family stays in the neighborhood for a long, long time.