Archive for June, 2010


Papyrus

I have been spending all my time writing; just not on my blog. I have been writing words. Thousands of words. I don’t know what it means if anything, but it has suddenly consumed me. All my time not spent caring for my family is spent writing or researching things to put in my writing. I think my husband thinks I’ve lost my marbles.

I’m generally a reader. I read more books in a month than most people read in a year…maybe two. I have discovered audio books. I do not consider this reading, but it occupies my brain in a similar manner and makes housework less mind numbing. Since I have been writing, I’m only reading 3 books at a time instead of between 4 and 6. Srsly. I have books put in specific places. I like a good non-fiction book in my master bath. Good for teeth brushing and other things that happen in bathrooms. I like a short type of book in the downstairs bathroom. Usually some pre-teen/teen book that I “screen” for my up and coming readers. I have a whole shelf dedicated to this and my oldest is just getting into chapter books. (happy dance) I have a book by the bed and one by the couch downstairs. I have one that I keep by my computer to read while raiding when CERTAIN PEOPLE WHO SHALL REMAIN NAMELESS must go smoke. I have a book that I carry with me to read when I’m waiting somewhere. I do get far enough into a book that it takes over all spots and I just carry it with me where ever I go.

Now, though.

I write.

I carry paper with me. Pens. I do not own a laptop so I write everything long hand. I have maps and building plans, plots, persons, family trees and random ideas that are not relevant to the current writing. I carry all of this in a binder of loose leaf paper. I carry it EVERYWHERE. I write while waiting in carpool (or did before summer started). I will give myself little voice memos on my phone while sitting at stop lights. I write while in the drive thru at the pharmacy. I write while at Little Gym.

I have noticed something. People watch you when you write. People out right stare at you when you put ink to paper.

Must be something they haven’t seen in a while.

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Worry-wart

Chi is a man of absolutes; a man of rules and schedules and literal interpretations. As we’ve been going though this new jungle of anxiety and worry and meltdowns and insecurities, Chi has taken on different worry responsibilities.

backstory: Chi doesn’t like to answer questions. Chi doesn’t give details when talking about things that have happened. In fact, he doesn’t like talking about things that have happened. He likes to talk about what he likes to talk about; his current favorite video game, mostly.

He started out worrying that meatballs and spaghetti and pancakes were gonna start falling from the sky if ever there was a single cloud, this was after watching Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (which is a really cute movie, but triggered the beginning of the end of our handle on Chi’s problems). He even told me at the end of March, and this is when I knew we really had a problem,

Chi:  “Mom, do you remember the first Thursday of March?”

Me: “Erm, no, not really.” 

Chi: “Well, I do. It was when we watched that movie.”

Me: “What movie, Chi?”

Chi: “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.”

to myself: “Holy crap! What kid measures time like that?” and then “Houston, we have a problem.”

Me: “Yeah, that sounds about right. Why?”

Chi: “Those are just clouds, right?” **points at the sky

Me: “Yeah, they’re pretty, I think.”

Chi: “But in the movie the clouds would come and food would be on the ground.”

Nothing I said alleviated his worry that food was gonna fall from the sky. That added and mutated into an irrational fear of the dark. He has never been afraid of the dark. That added and mutated into a need for water every 5 minutes after bedtime; another issue we’ve never had. Then came the need to know what time it was; at all times. Then the need to know where I was at any given time. Then he started in with the worrying about the weather and the news. Were people dying? Was it going to flood because water was falling out of the sky? Thunder is loud, mmmkay? And that lightening is risky business. What about tornadoes? We are going to eat again, right, but you aren’t in the kitchen right this minute! I need to wash because I’m dirty. I know I bathed this morning.

And on and on. He came into the kitchen one evening worried that Pynni had not yet bathed that day and I grabbed a hold of his arm. I got down to eye level and holding him firmly in place by his upper arms, I attempted to look him in the eyes.

sidenote: Most Aspies don’t do eye contact. Chi, being on the lower end of the scale, can and will, but it is obviously not preferred.

me: “Look at me, Chi.”

He glances into my eyes and away, focusing on who knows what. Which makes it hard to tell if he is listening or not.

me: “You are 8. You do not need to worry about whether there is food, or money for things, or whether your siblings are clean, or whether it is going to flood or whether you are gonna be late for school or whether there are gonna be tornadoes. You do not need to worry about what we are having for dinner or whether the dishwasher works. You are 8. A kid. Kids are supposed to have fun and be worry free. You can worry about what game you are gonna play next or whether your level on Little Big Planet will be published by Friday or whether you Pokemans are up to snuff and can defeat other Pokemans. You worry about whether or not you’ve earned your daily marbles by doing your work at school. You let your Mom and Dad worry about all the things that you can’t control, ok? Just have fun. Be 8.”

Chi: “Oh. Okay.”  deep sigh of relief and walks away.

Did this solve all of our problems? No, but it seems to have helped. Why didn’t I think about telling him what the worry rules were when this started.

Note to self: When in doubt, recite the rules.

Or Not

Today is the last day of school. These last few weeks have been rather hellish. I can’t tell up from down; Chi must be spinning. The substitute was the worst replacement ever. She changed all of the rules, lots of the schedule, and Chi could not predict what would happen from one moment to the next.

She changed snack time to the afternoon.  They don’t have lunch until 1p and they get out of school 2 hours after lunch is over so their snack was in the morning at around 1045a to hold them over until lunch. Ms. W thought snacks were only for the afternoon and changed it. She would cancel recess arbitrarily. This is one of those things that should be left alone. Kids need recess to blow off steam. They spend a good portion of their day sitting and writing or reading or listening. If they don’t get out and moving they get restless. The teachers would make the kids walk laps of the playground if they misbehaved during class time so they weren’t playing but they were still expending energy. **sigh** Then she decided that Chi couldn’t be the only one to earn computer time every day by doing what was expected of him and banned him from the computer all together. POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT IS PART OF OUR STRATEGY WITH HIM!!!  Anyway, we gave him computer time when he got home.

I feel that as the year wound to a close that Chi was persecuted by this teacher. He was constantly getting into trouble for this or that; things that his regular teacher would either over look or deal with in an appropriate manner. I don’t think Chi even knew what he was doing wrong half the time.

Example: The class sits at the back of the classroom on a carpet to hear the morning announcements; after morning work and roll call and the pledge, etc. He and another boy were horsing around instead of listening. Chi had recess revoked. They have recess at 2p. This other kid got no punishment at all. Now I understand that Chi may have been more at fault here than Other Boy, but as far as Chi was concerned they were both being loud and not paying attention.

This is far from the only time that even the whole class would be acting out and Chi would be punished with no one else being made to sit our recess or having all computer privilages revoked for the rest of the school year or being made to sit through the end of the year ice cream party without being allowed to participate.

My mom says I should have one last meeting with the Principal and give her an update about how Ms. W worked out and how it has effected Chi. I’m just ready for the summer and for a fresh start with a new teacher and maybe a reinstatement of the Student Support Team meetings on Chi’s behalf. I have, quite frankly, been very sick the last few weeks and my energy to deal with this head on is nil. I’m just glad it’s over and that I can get my son home where we love him and can work on getting his life back in the predictable column.

School’s Out FOREVER!

Ok, no, it’s not even out for summer, yet, but I actually can’t wait. I’ve never before hated school. I was one of those freaky kids who sat at the front of the class on purpose, took notes, did homework, answered questions voluntarily and made straight A’s. I loved school. As a parent with one of three kids in school and a second one who will start in August, I HATE SCHOOL!

I know that it has to do with Chi and all of his trials. I’m hoping that Pynni will be the light that shines through all of the darkness of Chi’s distress. She has been from the moment of her birth. Hers was not a charmed pregnancy due to several health factors on my part, but it was the kind of delivery mom’s who value natural births dream of. Then she was this wonderful baby who only cried at nurses and slept and ate beautifully. She was willing to be on whatever schedule I needed her to be on. She mellowed out my own hormones and emotions so that I felt happy and at peace and able to do whatever needed for her and Chi. She calmed Chi. He would sit and play his DS next to her for hours and talk at her (he mostly spoke Chi-nese still at this point), but he loved her immensely. God knew I needed her and here she is.

I’m trying not to pin too many hopes on her because I’m also trying not to melt down and dissolve into nothing because she isn’t going to be home with me next year. What are Rhys and I to do? He depends on her as much as I.

So I’m trying to focus on enjoying the summer during which my fabulous niece and nephew come to stay with their dad and I get to keep them all day. They are like my own children that I only get to see for 8 weeks out of the year. I have a hard time imagining what my brother must go through if I feel this way about his kids.

Anyway, I say all of that but, I’m hoping that her love of school will generate more calmness and joy in me and help me handle Chi’s situation better. No pressure or anything.