Swimming Lessons

Sam is learning to swim, and he’s almost there. Well, I say almost, when really, the kid’s there. He’s there. The teacher can let go of him for several strokes and he’ll stay afloat. He doesn’t shy away in terror any longer from her classes, like he did just a few weeks ago, and he even gets excited about jumping in the water and chasing down the toys she throws for him.  His skills have increased dramatically since he started, and his attitude has become correspondingly positive.  He differs from me there. Both my kids do. My attitude is hard to modify, and I struggle to give something I dislike a “second chance”, even if I continue doing it.… Read the rest

World War III

This morning, Scott went out to put the lid on the sandbox and came back in with three signs from the tree house.

Boys Stink Bunny

These stem from a combination of Caroline’s current Calvin and Hobbes addiction and a recent playdate at our house. Caroline’s been reading the series where Calvin makes a boys only club to keep out Susie. But that’s not  Caroline’s handwriting on the signs. So we know she had help with the implementation here. Our friend Heather has two daughters and a son, and they came over the other evening. This brought a sufficient number of boys and girls together to launch an all out gender war.… Read the rest

Treasure Island

   Well I made it. While I did not reach page fifty, I got through the end of chapter eight and thereby completed the material I had assigned myself for the week. Naturally, I got behind in my grading, and I came across potential blog topics just begging to be written daily. But I got my characters out of their conversation without bogging the plot down too much more, and ended with a chapter from the killer’s perspective. Whee! I can resume my blogging now, as The Bitch has been appeased. (Should I be at all concerned that her urgency turned out to stem almost entirely from desire to get to that “killer’s perspective” chapter?… Read the rest

Treasure Chest

“I eawned my tweasuwe chest!”

This is how Sam wakes us up nearly every morning. It’s a huge improvement over “I SEE THE SUN. IT IS MOWNING TIME!” Although he was eighteen months old before he got there, once Sam started sleeping through the night, he was pretty good about it. For a year. Then, he discovered that his big boy bed was not the same kind of prison as his crib, that he could, in fact, bounce up and come find me at will. All. Night. Long. We tried several methods of stopping this, from the gentle “stand-at-the-door-and-wordlessly-return-him-to-bed” (he once jumped back up a hundred times, thought the whole thing was a game, and completely wore us down) to the slightly less polite lock-the-door-from-our-side (he just screamed –once for an hour), to the completely draconian unplugging-his-nightlight-routine (that one worked, but had to repeat it every single night, and we hated it.)

And then we found the solution completely by coincidence.… Read the rest

The Programmable Child

We call Caroline our programmable child. It’s one of the more amusing aspects of her Asperger’s Syndrome, for her as well as everyone else.  Given the right mindset or circumstances, she can be made to repeat a message almost verbatim. It’s fun to set this in motion and watch the reactions. Mostly, I program her with information for her teachers and appropriate responses to social situations. But sometimes, I’ll stick a phrase in her head and wait to see when I hear it back again. And, on rare occasions, and always by accident, others will program her with messages for us, not knowing the power they have unleashed.… Read the rest

Picky Eater


Caroline is a world class picky eater.  Food is more about texture and temperature for her, and if an item upsets her sense of either, she’ll vomit.  Too hot? Instant gag. Too meaty? Immediate puking.  So we only introduce new foods with extreme caution and feel elated when she sticks to something easy for awhile.

It’s not like she’s the only picky kid on the planet. Or like Scott or I either one was exactly open minded about foods in our own childhoods. But, as with everything, Caroline has her own sense of how to do things right, and the list of things she wont eat far outstrips the list of things she’ll even consider edible.  … Read the rest

I Love You Just The Way You Are

Caroline demanded and braved herself through earrings


 Caroline has Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of high functioning autism (HFA) that is probably going to be lumped together with other forms of HFA in the next edition of the big-honking-medical-text-where-they-catalog-the-nomenclature-of-such-things (DSM V).  Whatever. Autism is a spectrum anyway, and describing it is difficult.  It would be easy to let this post devolve into a discussion of what does and doesn’t work in treatments, and which classic Asperger’s symptoms Caroline does and does not have, but that would quickly turn into a conversation about autism.  This post isn’t about autism. It’s about Caroline. Who has Asperger’s syndrome.

So to start out with, I will just say three things.… Read the rest