Happy Day After!
What did you do today?
Happy Day After!
What did you do today?
We put up a few more Christmas decorations today. Just one more little box and we’re done!
I love how our house looks when it’s all decked out for the season. I wish we could carry the sparkly glow of that through the whole year without diminishing the special feeling of it in December.
We dim the lights and burn some candles whenever we have guests, but there’s nothing quite as romantic, cheery and welcoming as holiday lights. The trees, the garlands, the string of fat old bulbs on the backyard fence, they all just add so much to the fun of day-to-day living.
I often think I’d like to keep the backyard lights throughout the year and simply change their color for each season. They’re very festive and seeing them out there makes me feel like I’m in Bazaar Del Mundo or something.
But enough about that.
The little boy went to school as happy as can be this morning and seemed the same when I retrieved him in the afternoon. Unfortunately, I just found a red card in his backpack. Apparently he was “not following directions, pushing others and slapping the classroom aide.” Blech. Will it ever end?
I had lunch with a dear friend today. He asked me what I thought would happen to my son after I was gone or just too old to care for him. My friend wanted to know if I thought my son would ever be independent and capable of living alone or being in a relationship.
I confess, those questions circle my brain on a regular basis. They put a lump in my throat at least once a week and occasionally motivate a full blown sobbing panic attack. All of that is laced with heartache, but I try very hard not to let it get the best of me.
For the most part, I am full of hope for my son and I consciously choose not to worry too much about his future. There’s just no way to know it or to control it, so I can’t borrow the trouble of it while I’m busy getting him through elementary school. I simply can’t afford the energy that would require.
I do know that he has come a long way since he got his first diagnosis around 18 months. For a while, we weren’t sure if he would ever talk. Now he talks all the time and he has an infinite capacity to learn new words and to correct himself with each sentence he tries.
He constantly labels things aloud, narrates whatever action he sees and is eager for clarification or fine tuning of his vocabulary. I just see all that growing and, I think as it does, it will naturally improve his ability to navigate successfully through the social nightmares that surround him.
I guess I gave some shortened version of this response to my friend. I know he worries about my son too, so I hope he was okay with this answer.
I feel like I’m rambling now and, really, I’m more than ready to sit on the couch with the remote in one hand and a fudge bar in the other. (No cracks about that please. Or the fact that I linked to Walmart. What can I say? The fudge bars are good and Walmart sells ’em cheap.)
Oh, just one more thing – RageAgainstTheMinivan cracked me up again this week. I swear, she’ll probably think I’m a nutso blog stalker or something, but she’s really funny and you all deserve a laugh, so here’s a link to one of her recent posts.
Day Twenty-Nine 2010 Pumpkin Demise
Flat as pancakes out there.
Pumpkin pancakes, mind you. Just like IHOP. Not. Heh heh.
As usual, there are a few other pix in there too, including a couple of the little boy with half closed eyes and really dirty teeth.
He’s the sweetest, smartest, cutest, kindest, most beautiful baby boy that ever lived. And, no matter what, I tell him that every night.
We blew some giant bubbles again today too. 😀
Just a pile of pumpkin ploppy for now.
I got something in the mail from a friend yesterday.
(Click to enlarge it.)
Thanks, L.C.! 😀
That made me laugh!
Here is the squash rot.
It really is getting kind of nasty…
even by my standards.
As always, there are a few other things in there
to break up the gross out.
P.S. I’m having a really bad hair week. 😐 Sigh.
We got up, ate breakfast, dressed, packed a lunch and left the house in plenty of time to stop by Vons for our daily visit to the light bulb aisle. The little boy was happy, cooperative, bouncy and singing.
Things were good.
Or rather, they were good until we left the store for the remaining mile and a half drive to the school.
We were behind a bus, we couldn’t see well, the fog was thick, and the traffic lights weren’t working. None of the left turn arrows ever went green, so we were delayed much longer than usual. Cars were backed up all the way down the street and some of the drivers ran the lights in frustration.
In a word, it was chaos – thick and foggy, aggravating chaos.
And inside the car, it was growing even worse.
On a normal day, the little boy has issues in traffic. He starts to shake when I slow for a light, and if I stop, he has a meltdown. I’ve written about all this before, but today was the worst of all.
He was so distressed that I could feel his pain on my body.
He threw everything in his reach. He kicked and he shook. He screamed, he moaned and his burning red face was wet with sweat and tears. He was like a small animal in the clutches of a predator, writhing to get free, crying in agony. It was unbearable to witness.
And there wasn’t a damned thing I could do, because a week ago, I got that stupid ticket and now I have 450 fat dollars trumping my survival instincts. So I sat, and watched the other drivers go.
My child was tortured by that mile of delay, absolutely tortured.
The bus finally pulled ahead enough to allow us an exit to the other lane. I took the chance and altered our route. That upset the little boy even more.
By the time we finally arrived at the school, I think he was in shock. I just don’t think he could cope with such a hopeless lack of control over his environment. It damaged him.
I shut off the car and climbed into the back seat to give him a hug. At first he wouldn’t let me, then he relinquished and even seemed to need it.
It took almost thirty minutes for him to recover and it became painfully clear in that time that school was off our agenda for the day. Just an hour before, he had been excited about seeing his friends, and now, he wanted nothing to do with them. There was no convincing him. I have learned better than to waste my energy with that battle.
I was really at a loss for what to do at that point. I didn’t want to suggest we return home because I knew he’d never leave the house again and I’d be trapped all day, hopelessly out of control of my environment.
Luckily, a good friend called to remind me that we had agreed to have coffee today. She was wondering where I was. I told her the quick and distracted version, but said I would be there shortly, with the little boy in tow. Her eight-year-old son is autistic too, so she gets it.
When I told the little boy where we were headed, he actually seemed relieved. A new destination had perked him up. He had no issue with any light in the three miles to the coffee shop, but I didn’t bother to revisit the possibility of returning to school. That ship had sailed and isn’t due back until tomorrow.
Coffee was pleasant. My friend gave the boy two quarters to buy fish food from the vending machine. He happily threw the food into the pond, bopped back and forth across the little bridge, and entertained himself quietly while we chatted. When my friend and I began comparing notes on homework and curriculum in the boys’ classes, he even seemed proud to show her how well he has learned to “borrow the one” in subtraction.
The change in his demeanor was miraculous. My friend is always surprised when I tell her how bad things get at home or in the car or in other places and situations that she doesn’t see. He’s a dreamy little angel when we’re with her.
The rest of the day went fine, but I do have to share a few other autism behavior highlights for your reading pleasure.
After coffee, we went next door to Borders. The store is closing and everything inside is on sale, even the fixtures. Since I’ve been wanting a world map for the bathroom wall, this seemed like a good day to get one. Sure enough, it was only three dollars.
I carried the long roll with me to the front of the store and got in line to pay. To hold the boy’s interest and keep him from wandering, I lightly tapped him on the head with the map and made a ringing sound. He giggled and snatched the map from my hand. I moved to protest, but he charmed me with a sweet little smile. I smiled back as he imitated my gesture and tapped me on the head. Except it wasn’t really a tap. It was more like a whack. And then he took a step forward and did it to the woman next to me too. 😯 😕 😳
Before we bought the map, we breezed through the children’s section to see what was left. The short answer to that question is “not much,” but we spent a few minutes there anyway. When I reached for my son’s hand to lead him toward the other side of the store, I found his fingers occupied by a small silver kaleidoscope. In the other hand, he held a glittery plastic recorder and a rubber rainbow ball. Clearly, I had not seen him reach into the mark-down toy bin.
A little baffled by the sudden appearance of these items, I told him to choose one and put the others back. (I’m such a softy.) He chucked the ball. Then he put the recorder to his lips and blew a note. I thought he would keep it and toss the kaleidoscope, but he dumped them both and walked away. Maybe this is a comment about my behavior more than his. I didn’t go back to clean the recorder and I wasn’t going to buy it if he didn’t want it. We already have three others. So, if you buy a plastic recorder from Borders, you might want to give it a little bleach bath before you give it to your kid. Not that my son is germy. I’m just saying he’s probably not the only one who did that, right? Yuck. French-kissing strangers. That’s just like French-kissing strangers.
As we headed away from the kids’ stuff, another mom came in with her toddler son. My little boy seemed fascinated with hers and that fascinated me. Though separated by a foot and a half of height, they locked eyes and seemed almost to be dancing as they made room for each other in the aisle. They circled one another and smiled. When the toddler peeled his gaze away and searched again for his mommy’s familiar face, my son’s eyes followed him to the end of the shelf. I wish I knew what my kid was thinking as he whirled around to watch the little one leave. So curious. Like many children on the autism spectrum, my son isn’t often so comfortable making eye contact. In fact, he frequently prefers to stand behind the people around him and it’s clear he does so to avoid their glances. This open, engaged interest in facial expression and body language from a younger child was encouraging to me.
Of course, it was tempered by the map thing. 😐 Although truly, even whacking that stranger’s forehead is sort of a good sign, right? He’s getting more social. No? Am I reaching?
We ended our outing at Carl’s Jr. Not my choice, but when the little boy craves a certain food, I pretty much get it for him. He had eight chicken stars. That’s a lot for him. A lot.
Today started well. And then it stopped. And then it went again. I’m still thinking about how it ended.
Here is your daily dose of the evil deed doers. And by evil deed, I mean rot. Squash rot, don’t you know? The most amusing part of today’s photographic tour? The fact that there are pumpkin plants sprouting three feet from the dying Jacks. I can’t remember if we sprinkled this year’s seeds in that spot or if these are late sprouters from last year’s uglies. Either way, it cracked me up to see them there. Because I know how much you all love my pumpkins.
And please, leave me a comment why don’t you? 🙂 Nothing delights me more than a message informing me that someone cares enough to write.
P.S. It occurs to me as I wrap up this post that I neglected to express how disheartened I am that our neighborhood can’t support Borders enough to see it survive. Certainly, we have Barnes & Noble and a Goodwill Used Bookstore close by as well, but my heart tells me this is a sign that the world is moving too quickly away from the printed word. While I am all for technology and how far it goes to bring literature to those who might not otherwise have it, I remain convinced that there is a magic to reading actual books that can’t be had from a cold hard gadget. There’s just something about the way that the book paper feels in your hands that is different and more charming than a Kindle (or whatever). Just my humble opinion.
P.P.S. WordPress doesn’t yet have a method for excluding individual photos from a slideshow or gallery, so that foggy bus pic is everywhere. My apologies.
P.P.P.S WordPress formatting options suck today. 😦 Weird alignment bugs me.
Today’s spam comments made me laugh, so I thought I’d share them:
“hello bockychoy , i read your blog , that a nice blog and greatly. Good for everyone. best review for and Jack-o-Lantern content. i will plan to read and comment your website.”
“hello bockychoy , i read your blog , be a nice blog and perfect. Good for everyone. useful and piano content. i going to visit to read and comment your blog.”
Are you laughing too? 😀
Last week, I set the dvr to record Amelie. I finally had a chance to see it yesterday. I love, love, LOVE this movie. And I’m so glad I watched it with subtitles instead of dubbing. I might have to watch it again today. Have you seen it? What do you think? I think after this life, I’d like to come back as Audrey Tautou – beautiful, quirky, charming. Sigh.
Day Seventeen 2010 Pumpkin Demise
The new life in pumpkinville doesn’t look as green and determined as it did yesterday. I’m thinking that slug probably snuck in there and chewed off the new growth from the bottom up. Oh well, even slugs have to eat, right? I’m sure another little sprout of something will show itself in due time.
It’s funny that I took that picture of my shoes yesterday, because a few hours later, I retired them, with no forethought whatsoever. Now I have their shiny new cousins – same brand, same style, but cleaner, whiter, better and less embarrassing to remove in front of someone who will be looking closely at your feet.
Anyhoo, here is today’s squash rot. And just in case you don’t recall where we started, I threw in a picture from Day One for your viewing pleasure.
There are also a few of the little boy’s chalk drawings. He is ready for Christmas. 🙂
The doctor’s office was running behind schedule today.
I had a ten a.m. appointment to get fitted for my custom orthotic shoe inserts.
When I arrived at 9:45, the patient ahead of me was asleep in the waiting room.
She was sitting upright with her head tilted back toward the wall. Her mouth was wide open and she was snoring.
I tip-toed past to take a seat, but then realized that the magazines were inconveniently located on the table right next to her. Shoot!
Since she was asleep, I figured I would be waiting a while too. I needed reading materials.
I hovered just inches from her leg to find a title I could stand. Sports Illustrated. Every last one of them. Phooey.
But I went through a stack of fifteen without waking her up!
I chose the one with Michael Phelps on the cover and returned to my chair.
Note to self: bring Martha Stewart and Country Living discards when you return to pick up your inserts in ten days.
I put away Michael Phelps and sat in silence until the nurse called the sleeper’s name and woke her up.
It was kind of funny and sad to see her startled from her dreams like that.
As she walked through the interior office door, I wondered why she was so sleepy today.
Maybe 9:45 on a Tuesday is the only chance she has to rest.
Maybe she normally moves a mile a minute to keep up with her kid or her job or someone else who needs her.
Maybe she has noisy neighbors who keep her from sleeping at night.
Maybe she’s me.
I have fallen asleep in public before too.
Or at least, in a doctor’s waiting room anyway.
What can I say? I’m tired.
My son’s psychologist has a small, empty office without windows. She keeps the temperature on high and the music on low. I can’t keep my eyes open in that place.
Luckily, I’ve never fallen so deeply asleep that I’m unaware of my surroundings. No head tilt, mouth agape or snore from me.
Even though I covertly texted those sordid details to my far away friend, I’m not heartless. I feel immense empathy for the sleeping woman.
I wonder if she has an autistic child too.
You just never know about these things.
Here are your pumpkin pals.
Please note the signs of new life springing up from the one on the left!
Happy sleepy Tuesday.
And my feet hurt.
No real post today.
Just the Day Four 2010 Pumpkin Demise
Getting gruesome out there!
I knew these guys wouldn’t make it through the heat.
Note the slight lean to the right.
Still a lot of leaves on the tree.
All right, Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up.
Like those fruit flies? How about the fuzzy eye? You gotta click the pix to get the best view.
And how are you feeling about the black pulp inside? 😀
Pumpkin Demise progressing nicely, thanks.
See you tomorrow.
P.S. Christmas is almost here! There’s glitter on the keyboard and I’m not really sure why. That’s a sure sign! 😀