Tuesday, May 24, 2011


I received a phone call last Thursday from Boy One's teacher.

Apparently, he had a petit mal seizure during library.

Nobody really noticed until he was supposed to stand up and choose a book before going back to class and he couldn't stand up without help from his friends.  Then, instead of choosing a book, he kind of stood around with a blank stare.  Eventually, the other kids were sent back to class and his assistant helped him choose a book and walked him back, where he was relatively normal for the rest of the day.

I talked with his teacher, and then with him about the event and was relieved to know exactly what they were talking about -- I've experienced enough of them myself to know how to describe them.  The school was relieved that they didn't need to worry too much about handling them.  Boy One was relieved that Mama knows all about these incidents that are happening to him, could describe them when he couldn't, and that he doesn't have to be scared because Mama has them and there's nothing to be scared about.

I just want to cry.

With his autism, he isn't able to communicate anything about these seizures, either during or afterwards.  And its almost impossible to tell the difference between when he's having a seizure (and seems detached, giving you blank stares and seeming not to hear you) and when he's just having another autistic memory/communication lapse.

The shining light at the end of the tunnel is that the diet that should lighten his autism should also help to lighten his seizures, and he seems terribly excited that he and Mama have special foods were going to eat this summer that will help our brains not to get fuzzy anymore.  He's been telling other people about it like it's a fantastic secret pact that we have. 

I really didn't want to pass this on the my kids.  They have enough issues to deal with.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Mother's Day

This was my Mother's Day gift (technically from my 'children' but bought and paid for by my Husband).

Yes, it is a clothes drying rack.

No, it is not romantic or thoughtful or an addition to any of my hobbies (unless you can count laundry as a hobby of mine.  Which, I guess, may fall in to that category.).

But it is practical.  And I requested it two months in advance.  And I got to pick it out at IKEA on Saturday.  And Husband put it together on Sunday night.

I am anticipating saving oodles of money on our electric bill this summer (and maybe forever).

Our lovely dryer needs at least two (sometimes, three) cycles to dry a load of clothes.  I'm assuming it's because of lint buildup in the exhaust tunnel (or something like that but in more technical terms).  Because I do not anticipate this ever correcting itself I concluded that my best recourse was to dry each load of clothes for a mere twenty-thirty minutes and then hang them up to finish the process.

Additionally, many of our clothes are of polyester or blended fabrics and need not be put in the dryer at all.

Hence, the drying rack!

My lack of a real laundry room (a feeble but luxurious dream of mine) means that the rack is temporarily housed in the upstairs loft, a.k.a. Husband's office.  But since the ironing board already claimed permanent residence there I believed that the rack could keep it company in the midst of all the dusty books and stuffy computer equipment.

It is now happily and busily employed.
As the weather improves this summer I anticipate moving it out to the back patio where there is plenty of sunshine.  It will be the closest I've ever been to having my own clothesline.

Klingon Catch-phrases

The weather was warm and beautiful the other day and we came home from school to find the neighbor children begging for a water fight.

I opened my garage and encouraged them to try out and use any of our (Husband's) large collection of squirt guns.

I generously manned the water hose and compliantly filled all squirt guns as often as needed.

I pumped up the large guns so that all the kids had to do was pull the trigger.

I brought out dry towels and wiped faces that were drenched by friendly (or not-so-friendly) fire.

I may or may not have chased down a neighbor boy who shot me once too often in the face and wrestled the gun from his grip, only to turn around and use it on him yelling "Death to the opposition!"

Squirt guns are not known to bring out my best side.

The trouble with an active imagination

Boy Two and Girl have matured to the age where they are using fewer and fewer toys when they play together and instead are relying on their imaginations for drama.

Their favorite thing to play recently is 'Kitty and Doggy'.  Girl plays the part of the cat and chases/is chased by Doggy (Boy Two), in addition to giving him advice on whatever else she thinks should be added to the script: climbing, hiding, eating, having babies, etc.

They have both taken to bringing their imaginary animals with them to the elementary school several times a week.  Those imaginary animals have been causing so much trouble in the classroom than I have taken to requiring them to tie the animals (monkeys, horses, dragons) up at the bike rack outside the school before we go in.

These imaginary animals are so real to my children that they even fooled Daddy last Sunday.

Girl and Boy Two were playing downstairs when Girl came upstairs, crying, to find us as we readied for church.

She tearfully explained to Daddy that Boy Two's monkey's had chased her out of  the boy's room where she was playing with them and it wasn't nice.  Daddy, ready to take away the offending monkeys, went downstairs where he ran into Boy One (who previously had nothing to do with this case whatsoever), who eagerly volunteered to show him where the drama unfolded and the offending monkeys were hiding.

Entering the boy's room and finding nothing, Daddy confusedly questioned the Boy Two about the monkey's whereabouts and was informed that the offending monkeys had left the room and run away.  Not knowing what else to do, Daddy instead informed the children that they were restricted to their rooms until it was time to leave for church.

Daddy came upstairs to find me sniggering in our room, where I nonchalantly mentioned "It sure is difficult to discipline imaginary animals, isn't it?"  Finally registering the reality of the situation, Daddy threw up his hands in exasperation with his impossible children.

I had a very active imagination as a child and understand that my children come by it naturally, although I was always too embarrassed to involve my parents in the charade.  But even I wasn't so taken with pretending that I cried about it.

Girl came to us in inconsolable tears several months ago.  In between gasps, we managed to wring the explanation from her: she had been pretending to blow a roomful of imaginary bubbles when her heartless older brother came along and popped them all.

Not knowing what else to do, I attempted to squelch my giggles and suggested that she blow some more.

This is another side of parenting that I just can't seem to get the hang of.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Memorizing Bible Verses

I enjoy manipulating my children's minds.  I may as well just admit it.

This year for our church's Junior Church program the other teachers and I are having the kids attempt to memorize one verse a week for fifty-two weeks.  Each week the verse must have some correlation to the week's lesson in order for the kids to grasp a portion of it's context.

I was asked to help the teacher from the month of May come up with a verse to use for Mother's Day and came up with about seven little-used choices that supplied the word 'mother' and submitted them for approval.

With four of us voting, we chose Proverbs 30:17:
The eye the mocks the father and scorns to obey the mother will be plucked out by the ravens of the valley and eaten by the vultures.

Gross.  But very cool.  And a great illustration.

I wrote the verse out at home for my children to read and memorize if they so choose and in less than twenty minutes Boy Two had read it/talked about it so much that he knew it by heart.  

He is a great comrade to all things animal and is learning many tidbits about vultures in conjunction with this verse.  We have also spent the last few days discussing what 'mocks' and 'scorn' mean, along with 'obey'.

Cut to yesterday when I was in his room confronting him about why he didn't put away the clean clothes/pick up the toys/make his bed like I had asked him to three hours previous.  

"Did you obey Mama?"
". . . no . ."
"What happens when we don't obey?"
*quick intake of breathe and hands cover his face* "I don't want you to pluck my eye out!"

Aaahh.  Comprehension, how chilling you are to my children.

I admit, I'm still sniggering about this.

Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown.

Several weeks ago (I don't remember the precise date) Boy Two's school celebrated Earth Day.

Some very helpful retirees came over from the local Senior Center and assisted the kindergarteners with various 'green' tasks like planting seeds in paper cups of dirt and things like that.

At the end of the day each child was given not only a planted seed, but their very own worm!  Boy Two was thrilled.  There were very specific instructions about the worm including the tidbit be sure to release your worm into the dirt within two days as worms can't live in little plastic containers and don't make for good pets.  Especially if they aren't fed.  I may or may not have added a few minor embellishments to the instructions.

Fast forward a week and I notice the container sitting on the dresser in the boy's room hidden by a pirate ship, a dinosaur, and a pile of drawings of trains and of wild animals eating each other. 

I promptly forgot about it.

Another week or two goes by until I remember that poor worm and go looking for it on Saturday about three weeks after it came home.

Lo and behold, the boys had discovered the previously misplaced container and had decided to give it a position of authority on the windowsill - possibly so it could get enough light to grow.  How thoughtful.

I did, in fact, open it up and look for the worm in the vain hope that it may have survived the three weeks of humid, recycled air and lack of food and water.

Ironically, either worms decompose quickly when they die or it found a way of escape and is now living in my laundry room because I couldn't find a trace of it in the dirt.

That's a satisfying way to end a story.