My Children Have Asperger’s

My kids’ Christmas party was yesterday. It’s the first time I’ve been to their school since the Sandy Hook tragedy. In the lobby, one mother asked if the front desk could have a panic button installed, just in case. The secretary, whose son also attends the school, agreed it would be a good idea. I’m not typically given to worry about the grand scheme. You want small scale frets? I have them in plenty. Conspiracy theories? I’m your woman. But the big stuff doesn’t usually bother me.

This does.

My kids were with me on Friday, December 14. It was my birthday, and the opening night of the Nutcracker, in which they both performed.… Read the rest

First Day

“How was your day?” I buckled Sam’s seatbelt then climbed back in front while Caroline hooked her own.

Caroline said, “It was AWESOME! I get to be in classroom B, and I’m only with one of the Katies, but it doesn’t matter because I get to go up to C and D for reading and math and spelling, and language, and writing, and I have the best seat ever in all the classrooms, and I’m right next to my one Katie in homeroom…”

When she paused to inhale, I jumped in. “Sam, how about you?”

“I like my teacher.”

The barrage from his sister’s side resumed.… Read the rest

When The Morning Comes

Here we go with the 100 word song! This week, it’s OK Go’s “This Too Shall Pass”.

 

Since Tuesday, I’ve watched this video twelve times with Sam. He finds something new every time. I’m trying to teach him to step back, when his heart explodes, to breathe and say ‘this too shall pass’. I know I’m doomed to failure. My Mom pressed “Let it Be” on me in the same way, but I can’t let anything be. Nothing at all. So I know that Sam has to find his own song to speak peace to his heart. And yet he sings it, and when he sings, I hope it will pass, so he can enjoy his childhood.… Read the rest

Sam Part III

If you’re not familiar with Sam’s story, start with Sam Part I and Sam Part II. Then, if you’d like a happy little interlude, try out Beauty and the Beast. Although the story below will make sense without the background, the background will help. A lot.

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I just took some chocolate chip cookies to the neighbor’s house. Normally, I do that to express sympathy. I eat for comfort. Surely you do, as well. But today, I was saying, “Thank you.”  We barely know these neighbors, a married couple with teen kids. In the three years we’ve lived here, we’ve exchanged maybe thirty words.… Read the rest

Thank God For the Fireflies

Sam proves that they're called 'monkey bars' for a reasonThe super moon has turned Sam into a super monster. Seriously. He’s been on a rampage today. He isn’t normally all that talkative, but today? It’s been nonstop words. We took him to the zoo this morning, and I swear to God he woke up every snake in the reptile house bellowing “HERE I AM,” as he ran in the door.

When we got home, we tried to slow things down with a viewing of Wall-E. Scott and I enjoyed the movie. What little we saw of it between “hug attacks” and “What’s that?” bombardment. (NB: This is a kid who can follow Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen so I know he’s full of piss and vinegar when he claims to be unclear about a Pixar plot.… Read the rest

Celebrate CALM Part One

I attended a mini-conference last week, and because I am me, I’ve been mulling it over ever since. It was one of these parenting seminars destined to be either spectacular or spectacularly dumb. I should assert here that my inner skeptic was expecting the latter.

A little background. I do not approve of parenting via the fluffy-cloud method.  Scott and I once paid some $400 for a parenting course that was ALL 1970s schmaltz.  The class text even used the phrase “hang-up”. Does it get more 1970s than “hang-up”? And yet, I loved that syrupy thing. Every annoying idea that irked me actually had practical applications that were anything but stupid.… Read the rest

A Starbucks Kind of Morning

It was a Starbucks kind of morning. I woke up to the sound of my kids yelling at each other, which meant that

1) They had been up before us long enough to get into a squabble (which even for them takes a few minutes) and

2) There was likely something wrong out in the rest of the house.

Oh baby. Little did I know. I popped out the retainer that keeps my bottom teeth from overlapping, pulled on some pants and lumbered out of the bedroom. For the next full minute, all I could say was “Oh my God”. Over and over again.… Read the rest

People who live in glass washers

Yesterday, our friends Linda and Robert, and their son, Kristopher, came over for dinner. We fed the kids first, while we grownups visited in the living room, and then the adults took over the table to eat. Our kitchen table is too small to seat seven, and it works better for us to eat in shifts anyway. If we feed the kids first, then their demands are easier to meet, and they aren’t interrupting the adults.

After everybody went home, Scott and I put the kids to bed, and Scott started a load of wash. As he was getting ready to roll it over to the dryer, I heard him say, “Jessie, dearest?” in a tone that meant bad things.… Read the rest