Friday, December 28, 2007

Christmas travels

It is nerve racking for the majority of us. For those with sensitivities it can be torturous. I fully expected that Connor would sleep his way through the hour and a half drive to my father's house and then hide in a bedroom the whole visit. Which is OK if that's what he needs to do.

To my delight however he didn't. He named cows, horses and various other things the whole way there and stayed out in the crowd playing with toys and the other children while we were there. The fact that he has discovered those pretty little wrapped packages contain toys has helped bring him out. The presents are where the people are and he can tolerate them for presents.

While I color a pretty picture of a well modulated boy breaking through and being a perfect angel, as with most toddlers this is not the case at all. He still had troubled bringing himself down to a regulated state anytime he was disappointed (mainly if told he couldn't have something). I am also afraid that this is made worst by a mother that still despite all well intentions is not quite grasping the situation until it is over and then smacking herself on the forehead.

The perfect example is the stop at the truck stop. My husband decides that since Connor seems to be in such a good mood he can go in the store with him. My daughters and I who sit in the car with scratches on arms and faces from this same delusional thinking, have our doubts about the outcome. However I talk myself in to believing that since he acts different for the two of us, he will be fine. I somehow, even though I know it not to be true, talked myself into believing that his outburst and tantrums were due to being spoiled and he wouldn't try to pull that on his Daddy.

After a moment or two of thinking this I hear crying and screaming and know that my son and husband have exited the store. I get out to see if I can help because I am sure he is on the ground at this point. Hubby has him picked up off the ground in a fireman's hold. He brings him to the car and wrestles him in with Connor making wildcat noises as he fights back. He would much rather lie in the parking lot, cars be damned! When he is in and is hiding his face behind my daughter (he likes dark enclosed places to come down) I notice my husband has a spot bleeding on his face.

Hind sight is 20/20. Writing about this I can see that Hubby handled the situation well even though he had a few minor outburst of his own. Looking back at it really lets me see how marriages become strained. Most couples I see or know of that have autistic children have a father working outside of the home and the mother being the main care taker. A snide inconsiderate remark from one, especially about if the meltdown is due to the child's condition, and tempers more than flare. Which makes any situation worse whether you are wrestling to keep a child safe or not.

I am happy to report that the flaming tempers were kept to a minimum however and after we talked about what was to blame for Connor's distress, we were fine. Later on our trip however I showed that my husband was more the visual learner than I when my daughter pipes up "Mom, help get him off of me."
"How big are you? You can get him off."
My husband looks at me and laughs saying, "Well he kicked my ass and I weigh 250, she might have a little trouble."

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Thursday's Thirteen

13 things that we (he) have done this week.

1. Spelt "Pixar" while seeing the word on a car package. Yes, he spelt his first word! Or read the letters of the word...whatever it is good stuff.

2. Jumped on a huge trampoline in the mall while attached to some major bungee cords. He flew so high in the air and squealed causing many of the adults nearby to stop and "Ohh" and "Awh". To be fair though, I think we had already grabbed their attention while flailing, crawling, and screaming around the kiosks.

3. Painted Popsicle sticks for an ornament made at school a bright red and came home looking like an accident victim.

4. Discovered while scaling the microwave cart, that the top of the refrigerator was an easy next step.

5. Only got ready for school at mention of seeing a certain little girl, and then the certain little girl told on him to his Mommy about going out in the hall by himself. She says that he was probably looking for me.

6. Decorated a gingerbread woman. It is definitely a woman due to the two strategically placed pom-pom balls.

7. Fell in love with the "Land Before Time" movie and has temporarily forgotten about "Cars".

8. He has started to put his hands together during prayer before dinner and starts to sing "Away in a manger" instead of saying the prayer.

9. Has randomly started saying "HAHA you so funny bunny!"

10. Has proven to me that he isn't quite so easily portable as I thought. Results of the x-ray is pending.

11. Has started naming his dinosaurs after the characters in the "Land Before Time" movie and acting out the scenes with them, complete with "Awh! Sharptooth! Run!".

12. Tolerates consumption of raw spinach calling it "Tree stars".

13. For the first year ever he is labeling and singing about; Christmas tree, snowman, reindeer, Santa Claus, and stars.

You know, just the normal being his amazing self.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Show and tell

This is my oldest daughter's. The darker portion is from a magazine, she drew the rest. It was showcased at the winter festival of her highschool last night before she and the rest of the school's orchestra played. She is multi-talented beyond belief!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Thoughts for Thursday

1st. My life has recently taken a weird turn. I know this when my son's aide at school tells me, "Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you. Connor tried to jump out the window yesterday."

No worries the whole school only has one floor and the aide is so dedicated I believe she would have went out the window after him.

2nd. The first grade teachers at my son's school are having a bad week. I know this because I over heard one tell the other, "Excuse me, but I need to go chew up a few valiums now."

It was only Monday morning, wait till she has my son in her class, hehe!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

7 more things

Another one of my favorite bloggers, Jade at The Mixed Up Thoughts of a Jaded Soul has tagged me to tell 7 more things about myself. She assures all that she has tagged that it is bad luck not to follow through, so.....

1. Unlike Bill Clinton, I will admit that I did in fact inhale. The result was after one inhale I was extremely paranoid. My friends were quite happy when I announced that it was not something I enjoyed.

2. The people that were involved in my upbringing would have had it that I would be racist and very closed minded. Thank God for rebellion.

3. I was raised Catholic mostly, except for when my father had visitations, then I was baptist.

4. I have a sister and a brother born the same year, four months apart. I share the same Mother with one and the same father with the other. I was told I had another sister when I was in 6th grade, she was taken from her mother not long after. I now also have a step sister and brother from my father's 4th marriage.

5. "When bad things happen we have to pick ourselves up and keep going. Especially us women we have to do what is best for our families." These is the motto I live by. I often hear the sweet southern voice I heard it from in my head saying it over and over. The woman who said this has had several stillbirths due to being RH-, had lost the 3 men that she had loved, is adored by all, and turned 81 this past August. I am proud to call her my Grandmother.

6. Owing to the fact that I quit my job to be at home with my son, I have no medical insurance. This led to my sister having to triage me yesterday before seeing a nurse practitioner. She was very professional about it and said she was fine as long as there was no pelvic exam involved. We are of one mind, thanks Sis!

7. My mother does ludicrous things that drive me absolutely insane, and then I feel guilty about being aggravated with her and avoiding her phone calls.

Now I will tag my victims to tell 7 things about themselves.

1) The Kimbrough Family
2) Identity Crisis uh huh I tag you back!
3) Crystal Jigsaw
4) Down River Drivel

I wont go for the full 7 as most that I would tag have already been tagged.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Annie get your guns!

I have embarked on a new mission. The "Be strong and stick to your guns" mission. My children have left soft spots on my heart and Connor's, because I am afraid of the big bad world mistreating and taking advantage of him, has left a spot that resembles a bruised and rotten peach. Using enforcement to get him to say "Want" or "I want" when asking for something has not been hard for me. The thing that has been hard is the cutoff point.

When first trying to needle speech of any form out of him I heard over and over if they ask for it, give it to them. If he asks for cookies and says the word give him the whole thing, jump up and down, make a big fuss. Make saying the words rewarding. I did and he said more and more. Then we added "Want" word or sign, and then "I want". Every time rewarding, encouraging more communication.

A trip to the store rarely ends with out Connor getting something. Even when faced with the big expensive toys, his sisters would up their allowance to stop the crying and screaming. He spotted the fire engine from the Cars Movie, "Life would be a dream." he calls him, because that's the song that plays in the movie. We stop and look at the toy. Connor picks it up and admires it from every end. After a while I tell him we are going to put it back and say goodbye. "NO! MINE!" and tantrum from hell begins. Big tears splash down his face as he scrolls through all of his asking for signs and words. Obviously we are stupid and don't understand what he is saying, because despite him getting louder and repeating his pleas we are putting it back and leaving the toy area.

"Life would be a dream, where are you?" he cries and his sister can't take it any longer.
"Mama can we get it if I give you my allowance? She asks as she is now on the verge of tears. We leave with the fire engine in tow.

The latest trip to the store for a quick dash in and out, he gets his sister to take him to see the fish. I grab what I need and head back over to the pet department to find them not there. I start to panic a bit as I envision Connor somewhere laying on the floor and Grace trying desperately to get him to cooperate, when I hear "Mine!". He had forewent the fish and led her straight to the toys. He is now carrying a box through the store a tad bigger than him. The Cars Movie people strike again with a huge Mac that opens in to 3 different types of tracks. Mac talks and comes with cars, he is Connor's dream come true.

The problem with this is it is so close to Christmas and this is one of the items on Santa's list. Not to mention that it is expensive and would kill the mission and cause the downward spiral down a very slippery slope. I am wondering now how do you go from "Want" to "I want" to "Get a job, learn the value of a dollar, and buy it yourself."

It took a lot of patience and muscle power to keep him from falling out on the floor and hurting himself, but slowly we left the toy at the store. I told him what good asking he had done, which I am afraid fell on deaf ears. The meltdown that followed only lasted roughly an hour and ended with Connor falling asleep in exhaustion.

Other peoples' children

Use to be that I didn't like other people's children. The children I did like or love were of course my own, my sister's, my friend's, and maybe some of the neighborhood children. Though most of the neighborhood children didn't make the cut.

Other people's children were rude, spoiled, and annoying. Our neighbor's children were a direct influence on this as they were let to go wild. The boy would walk across our yard to demand cups of water and Popsicles from my husband, to which Hubby would tell him to take his butt home and get it himself. The teen aged girl I had to tell off more than once for talking to my elementary aged daughter like she didn't have any sense.

I realize the fault was not the children's but of the parents and maybe mine as well as I have little patience. Connor however has made that different. Because of Connor I have learned tolerance and patience, although reluctantly. Being an overprotective mother has reached new heights and because of that I am thrown into the midst of other peoples' children for the well being of my son.

At the beginning of our school experience I felt a little guilty about being overprotective as I would watch parent after parent come into the class and drop off their child and I would leave 15 to 20 minutes later. I would tell myself, So what I am helping him adjust! It was true but part was not wanting to leave him.

We have since seen 2 aides come and go because they can not cope with so many of other peoples' children and they have no incentive to do so. So I stay longer and longer and help with other children and pair myself with them so they will be more willing to play with me and more importantly Connor. I make great animals noises and sing all the songs. I tell them how great they are and laugh with them. The rewards are wonderful. The kids want to be near Connor, the mother hens of the group want to help him, and to my great surprise, when my little guy is too busy to tell me good-bye and give me a hug, ten other little ones come and do it for him.