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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Very Aspergery Day

Editorial Note: This was originally posted in June of 2011.  My days are so hectic right now, it seems that writing is a luxury that I can't afford.  I have two partially written posts that I just can't get around to finishing.  Too busy driving children and my mother all around town.  Goes to show you...my life hasn't changed all that much in a year's time. Meanwhile, I hope you enjoy....


I have big dreams for the day...for the week really.  It's going to be  a week of working out, swimming, running, hanging out at the Y.  We've had such a busy summer so far, that I haven't had an opportunity to work out.  The boys have been swimming, but not much in the past two weeks because of camps.  Today, I plan to have both boys go to the YMCA with a friend to swim.  I will run on the treadmill for a half-hour or so and then join them in the pool.  HA!

First of all, Red has been complaining for close to a year about not having any friends, so today's plans include a new friend of his.  So why is it that when it's time to go...I find him in bed?  When I tell him I will call his friend to cancel, he screams..."NO!" Yet, he takes his sweet time getting up to get ready.  Now on the other end,  his new friend Adam (who also has Aspergers) is telling his mom, "I don't think I want to swim today.  I swam already."  His mother insists that he come because it is a social opportunity and both boys have been so "bored" this summer.  It seems that we mothers are working hard to make this friendship blossom.  I guess we have the tools.  Them?  Not so much.

Blue also brings a close friend Jake, who has Aspergers.  I love this kid!  There is just something about him that I find so endearing.  He is of course, brutally honest and has no problem asking me any question.  He doesn't see many boundaries and for some reason, I find it very charming.  He like Blue,  is also a bit of a rule follower and appears to think in very black and white terms.  He has a tendency to blurt out things and his volume is seldom on low.  He makes me laugh.  Watching him and Blue together just lights up my heart, because they've been friends for so long and have worked at maintaining their friendship despite the fact that they are no longer at the same school.

Are you keeping up?  This means there are 4 Aspie boys on this trip to the pool.  Red and his friend Adam just kind of mill around for a while.   It seems they are trying to decide if they will actually get in.  They finally do.  Jake, Blue's friend takes his swimming test and then they're off swimming, mostly together.  I'm chatting it up with Adam's mom, Angel (let's call her).  They met us there.  The next thing I know...I have no idea where Red is.  He's off in his own non-social world.  His friend Adam is now hanging out with Blue and Jake.

It's nice and steamy in this mostly indoor pool.  I need exercise desperately.  Finally, I get in to do a few laps.  Not long after that, Red's friend Adam has had enough.  He goes to change out and is ready to leave.   A few minutes later, my boys are also ready to leave, but of course, they want to stop and get something to eat.

At first Jake is resistant.  Eating was in the plan as far as he knew.  Blue and I coax him into being a little flexible.  I tell him I will call his mom to make sure it's o.k.  Of course it's fine.  Now the big question when you have more than one Aspie you're dealing with is, where can we eat in order to make the majority happy?  I make what I think is a healthy choice.  3 of us agree.  1 person adamantly disagrees.  This person of course is Red.

He makes such a major stink in the car.  It isn't pretty...at all!
"Why do I have to eat that!?  Their fries are disgusting!  I don't like anything there!  I want a milkshake!"  You know the drill, why can't we go here...or there?
Blue is so embarrassed by his brother's behavior he's ready to give in.
"Just let him have what he wants mom!  Just forget it!"
"No...we're not going to do that.  We have a decision.  There is a majority and that's that."

From the back of the car Jake says, "Yep! That's right!  Majority Rules!"
Blue turns around and says to Jake, "Ssh!  Don't say anything.  You're just going to make Red more mad."
Jake doesn't really care or is oblivious.  The next thing I know he's singing, "You can't always get what you want,"  the Rolling Stones song.  He's singing that line over and over with a smirky smile on his face.  I see him through the rearview mirror.  I start laughing so hard I thought I'd pee my pants!
Blue is fervently trying to get Jake to stay out of the dialogue.  He doesn't want his brother to get mad or start screaming at his friend.  Jake doesn't appear to care.  It's hilarious!
Red is still ranting, being very ugly.  He's not cursing...thank God!  But he is being extremely disrespectful and embarrassing the hell out of his brother.  Blue grows more and more frustrated.  He's about at the point where he wants to curse.  He just wants the madness to stop!  It's impossible.
Finally Blue says, "Let's just forget it.  I don't want to eat!"
"That would be allowing your brother's behavior to dictate what we do," I say.
To which Jake replies, "Yeah...we don't want any dictators around here.  I don't like dictators."  His voice remains very flat and he's laughing in a nervous kind of way.  This of course makes me laugh even harder.  I'm so glad that he's with us.  Normally, I would be ready to explode at this point, but Jake makes it all sort of funny.

I come up with an alternative for Red.  There is a sandwhich shop next to where we are going.  This still isn't good enough for him.  "I don't want that either!"  What he wants is a hamburger and fries.  This is not going to happen.  His demanding, disrespectful tone and attitude assures the fact that I will not give him what he wants.  When he turns down my option and is now yelling and ranting, I decide to take him home.  

"I don't want to go home! That's not fair!"
I call my husband to prepare him.  Red actually tries to grab the phone from me.  I tell him, he can either go home peacefully or I can drop him off at the local police department.
Jake says from the backseat, "Is Red going to jail?  I don't like that yelling.  Is he going to jail?"
"No...he's just going home," I say.  "I was only kidding," I assure him.
"Well...you're right.  I don't like  all that yelling and I don't like dictators.  I don't want any dictators around here."
Moments later he starts singing again, "You can't -always get what you want," laughing nervously.
Blue is mortified at this point.  I am laughing uncontrollably, the kind of laughter where you can hardly speak or catch your breath.
We drop Red off at home.  He goes inside and rants with his father for another hour.
Jake, Blue and I go off and have our peaceful meal.

As if that were not enough...later we pick up 2 different autism friends to go back to the Y to play basketball.  I finally get in my run on the treadmill thanks to the "Black Eyed Peas" who really get me moving.  30 minutes in to my run...here come the boys.  They want to try out some of the gym equipment.  That's a whole other autism story!

Aspergers and autism is alive and kicking in our world.  Do you think my plans for the day were a little too ambitious?  Maybe I should have bowed out at the first sign of trouble --when Red was laying in the bed refusing to get up and be on time.  Nah...then I wouldn't have had all that laughter!

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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Hot Girls

Update June, 2014-

This was originally posted in June, 2012.  The subject of girls, girlfriend's and sex has long been on the menu.  It's just so funny how Red has changed. He now considers himself a "hardcore Christian" who believes that sex is to be saved for marriage.  Very recently, he started seeing a young lady, who according to him, has the same views.  

Now who knows ...if  they really get into dating, their feelings may change.  I'm not naive.  Been there done that.  But this post is proof that our children do keep evolving, maturing and growing. 

The irony of this conversation below ...is that Red and his friend had it on the way to church! 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I can hardly catch my breath from all of the comings and goings that I have been responsible for this summer.  I have to keep them busy and on somewhat of a schedule otherwise, they will drive me completely nuts instead of the usual half-way-to crazy.  Swimming, working out at the rec center, hanging with friends on top of half day camp for Blue and 1/2 day vocational training for Red.  In between all of normal refereeing of fights and general madness.

What never ceases to amaze me is there sense of entitlement, as if I owe it to them to keep them stimulated and entertained every second of every day.  It's not good enough that you drove me back and forth to camp today, where are we going next?  And what do you mean you don't have time to take me to point A, B and C?  Well, why not?

Do I owe you an explanation? Uh...no.  I do not.

Today is particularly busy.  On top of my normal runs, I have to pick Red and his friend up to take them to the church for a youth outing.  In the car they are conversing as if there is not an adult...a woman, a mother no less, anywhere within earshot.  Here's the conversation.

Red says, "Man...I want a girlfriend so bad.  But I want a HOT girl not an ugly girl."
His friend says, "Dude...you should just want a girl who is nice to you, not just some random HOT girl that's going to treat you like crap."
Red "The girls at my school only like you if you're a football player and you have a six pack.  That's why I'm working out because I'm too fat."
"That shouldn't even matter.  You need to stop trying to go after these cheerleaders and just go with a normal girl."
Red -"But the cheerleaders are the Hottest.  Come on Dude!  Sexually, speaking...I don't want to make out with some ugly girl with cracky lips. Who would want to do that?"
This is followed by ruckus laughter.
His friend then says, "You know what your problem is dude?  You need to stop looking at those girls on those videos.  Every time you come to my house...that's what you want to to."
Red replies "That's not me!  That's you! I don't look at porn all the time."
 HELLO! I'm sitting right here!
"Yes you do."
"It's not even really porn.  It's just hot girls in bikinis.It's just not fair!  Why do girls only go for the boys with six packs and the athletes?"
"That's not all girls."
"It is at my school."
Friend says, "D -goes to your school.  He has a girlfriend and he's skinny!"
"Yeah -but he has an ugly girlfriend."

I finally interject into the conversation, "You know why you don't have a girlfriend?  Because you don't want one for the right reasons.  You have no clue as to go about getting one.  And God isn't going to bless you with one until you figure that all out.  You're not ready!"
"What do you mean?"
"I just said what I mean.  First of all if the first words that come out of your mouth are, 'Do you have a boyfriend?' when you first meet the girl.  She's going to shut you down right there.  She's knows you're scoping her out and your asking personal questions that are none of your business. As soon as you ask that question...she can't get away from you fast enough."
"What do you mean?"
"I mean get out of the car.  We're here."
"Mom..."
"Yes."
"Can I try out for football this year?"
"Good bye Red and I hope your conversation is more appropriate once you get inside of the church."

He brings a whole new meaning to the term "No shame to my game!"


Friday, June 15, 2012

Never Made it to Cake

About a week ago...Blue made a very good argument for why he needs a new Ipod.  He sent his dad the following e-mail:
Hey dad,
I knew you didn’t have your phone so I sent this.

I need a new iPod really bad, because my iPod is acting up badly. I restored it a week ago and today it said, “iTunes cannot read the content on this iPod, you need to restore it!” Really? I’ve restored many times and I get this! My iPod is outdated. I need the 4th Generation iPod Touch with the latest software! I also need more memory. The next up memory storage is 32GB, there’s no 16GB, just 8GB. I need more memory. So the iPod I wanted to get is the iPod touch 32GB 4th Gen. It cost $299 plus a 10% discount for my old iPod. Please think about it because I am really frustrated with my iPod, it’s very old. If you could, reply to me on the airplane or call when you get to your car. If not, then can we talk about it when you get home? Thank you.

Sincerely,  (first and last name)
Primary and Secondary e-mail addresses for response.

We were both quite impressed with his research and the formality of the e-mail.  I thought, he is ready for the business world already! The e-mail along with the fact that he has a straight A average for the entire school year, was enough for me to convince dad to go ahead and get the IPod.  There is also  the condition that Blue will pay $100 of the ONLY $299.00.

Dad buys it for him and gives him.  When he hands it over, he adds one more condition:
"My Birthday is on Wednesday.  I want total peace in my house for my birthday.  That's all I want." Ha!  Be careful what you ask for! 

Wednesday morning arrives and Dad goes off to work.  The day is incredibly hectic with comings and goings, camps, appointments, shopping for the birthday presents, etc. I drive around the world and back.  In fact, the day is so busy, that Blue accidentally skipped taking his a.m. meds before he left for camp.  When Blue and I arrive home after all of our running around, we find Red on the couch watching a movie loudly.
  
"Let the wild rumpus start!" ~Maurice Sendak, Where the Wild Things Are

We are all busy cleaning up, and getting things together for dad's birthday celebration.  The plan is, we are going to order food in, have my older son and his girlfriend come by, have cake, and dad will open presents, etc.  A little family birthday party. 

In the midst of preparations, Red -the boy who always comes in the room when anyone is watching t.v., starts talking, asking questions and telling you how stupid the show is that you're watching, starts yelling at all of us, "BE Quiet! I can't here!" 

I am attempting to make a cake.  The mixer is going on and off.  Dishes are rattling.  Water is running.  The dog is barking.  I understand his frustration but, we only have so long before dad will be home.  It's not as if he has never seen this movie before.  Or as if he will never see it again.  It's a DVD.  He watches movies over and over until he has memorized the entire dialog along with all of the voices.  

Blue ~the Controller and Rule Police,  starts yelling at his brother to turn the movie down. Ridiculous, sibling fighting and subsequent meltdown for Blue ensues.  It quickly turns into total chaos.  As suggested by his therapist, I ask Blue repeatedly to remove himself from the situation. (She also suggested that if he can't or won't remove himself, that we leave or at least disengage).  Nothing I can say or do is helpful when he is in this state.

"Go upstairs to my room or your room.. Put on your Ipod. Watch something else on t.v. Turn on your computer.  Lock the door. Go outside.  Go for a walk ...just remove yourself,"  I suggest as a way to solve the problem.

I ask Red, "Please disengage from your brother.  Stop responding to him,  Stop talking to him.  You're only making matters worse." 

NO ONE LISTENS! 

I pour the mixed cake batter into the pan in-between feuds.  Before I put it in the oven, I ask myself, "Did you put any butter in that batter?"  Something tells me I did not.  I take the batter back out of the pan, put it back in the mixing bowl, add butter, remix, clean the pan, re-oil and flour, poor the batter back into the pan and bake.  I do remember, Thank God, to set the freakin' timer. 

Hubby calls in the middle of Chaos Control.  I tell him, "Please don't come home now.  I don't want you to have to deal with this on your birthday. I don't even know if what we have planned is going to work at all.  I don't see things getting any better ...any time soon." I suggest that he go over to my son's apartment until I can figure out a new game plan.

I quickly call dear friends of Blues and ask them can he come over there so that hubby and I can at least have a dinner out together.  There is no way I can leave the two boys here together.  Luckily, they are gracious enough to come and pick him up. What a blessing.  I think I will send them flowers for saving the day.

Hubby and I end up having a lovely cocktail infused dinner together, drowning our sorrows and planning our next escape.  We really need a vacation together from this chaos.

Afterward, we go back to pick up Blue.  We finally get back home...it's late.  Everything has cooled down between the boys right? Wrong! Before I can even make it up the stairs they are right back at it.  Red is on the phone talking loudly.  Blue marches straight to his room to tell him to be quiet and hang up the phone.  Yelling back and forth ensues.  Both boys are banished to their rooms.

So much for total peace for Dad's birthday.

Caramel Cake our Birthday Tradition
We never even made it to cake.  

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

SUCKER!

My Bella 
For the past two weekends in a row I have been supposed to go to Houston to see my Best Friend and my godchildren.  My little darlin -Bella turned 3, and I have not seen my little angel Corvin in 2 months. He's only 7 months-old, so he's growing and changing...without me.  I was going to go in for Bella's birthday party and to be perfectly honest --to escape my family.  Going to see my Houston family is my respite.  They make no demands of me.  We eat we drink, we sit around play with the kids and watch movies.  They let me sleep a long as I want to.  I take long, hot baths and sometimes, Bella actually lets me do this alone.

Newborn Corvin
The day before I was going to leave the first time...I got a flat tire.  There was a huge bolt in it.  The car sat in my driveway for more than 24 hours ...waiting for my husband to get off of conference calls to fix it.  I had numerous errands to run before I could leave.  Lord knows they don't know how to go to the grocery store and the pharmacy without me.  And forget about me leaving without getting my mom her supply of wine.


(Side note: The guys at the local liquor store get her order ready when they see her getting out of the car.  I think they all know her on a first name basis.)  Love you mom! 

One may wonder, "Why didn't you just take your husband's car to run your errands?"  One who wonders that has apparently, never met my husband.  His car is his most prized possession.  Although both of our names are on the car's title..I do not drive it  because number 1) it's a stick shift.  He did that on purpose to make it harder for me to drive.  And number 2) If anything were to happen to it while it is in my possession, we would be on our way to divorce court.  Not literally...I think.  But it would be the end of life as we know it.

Anywhoo...it was also our Anniversary that Monday and he was leaving town on Tuesday.  The later I would leave, would give me less time I would have to spend in Houston and I would have to rush home in order to celebrate our Anniversary.  Not to mention... I've been perpetually tired for the past month or so.  I really didn't have the energy to drive down there (3 hours) only to have to rush back
home.

I stayed at home and we had a wonderful 18th Anniversary together.  When we arrived at the restaurant...there was a huge bouquet of flowers.  I was the envy of every woman sitting around us.
Flowers from Hubby

The following weekend I am supposed to go again.  This is the first week that the kids were out of school.  Hubby had been out of town most of the week on business, which means I had been entertaining kids 24/7.  I have already been running on a low energy factor.  By the time the weekend rolled around, I was freakin' exhausted.  I couldn't muster up the energy to go.  Sucker!  I should have just sucked it up and left.  See ya! Sayanara family!

Part of me was also not comfortable with leaving Blue with his dad since he's been so explosive lately.  With the two of them being twins and all...I mean they are so much alike, especially in the stubbornness department.  They either can't get enough of each other or they can't get away from each other fast enough.   So yes, the sucker mother that I am...let the guilt keep me from leaving

So this week is my husband's birthday and on the weekend it's Father's day.  Blue's friends are supposed to come to stay a couple of days because their mother is going out of town for a wedding.  I volunteered for this months ago,  after she was so kind to keep Blue for us while we were in Vegas.

Sucker that I am...I give hubby the option of going to L.A. for the Playboy Jazz Festival (alone). He's actually been doing this almost annually for the past few years.  He goes and meets my dad and some  friends.  I made this offer because he is not a fan of having other kids in the house.  He barely wants his own kids in the house.  How could I do that to him for his birthday and Father's Day? Right?

Of course,  he doesn't think twice about my offer.  He booked that plane ticket so fast, he left my head spinning.  He is out of here!  So the SUCKER who has missed getting away for 2 WEEKS in a row, is now going to be stuck at home with a bunch of kids for the weekend!

Just give me a tattoo and put it on my forehead.  BIG FAT SUCKER!  Ha ha ha ha ha!  That's what my husband will be saying as he takes off on that plane.

The good news is...after he booked his trip, Blue's friend's mom cancelled on the boys coming to spend the weekend.  It turns it's their dad's weekend.  Awwh! I'm so sad! At least one father will be stuck with his kids on Father's Day.

The other good news is my Bestie texted me and says that she's going to come up here to spend time with me!

And that's why this SUCKER loves her so much!

Me and my Bestie
Editorial Note: Hubby says I threw him under the bus on this post. I will admit that both weekends he did encourage me to go even after he made me a day late, but I was just too exhausted.  However I must remind everyone...this is MY blog and stories are written from MY point of view.  These are MY Confessions -MY therapy!  I can't tell you how good I felt after writing this.  It made me laugh.  I am entitled to creative license.  I tell the story as I see it.  There are times when I write for comedic release and to make others laugh.  What is the world without a little laughter?  If you can't laugh at yourself and your life ...your life is going to be really BORING and in MY opinion...that would be tragic.  

I welcome guest posts if you would like to write something from your point of view.  Of course since this is My blog...I am also Editor-In-Chief! 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

You Never Think About...

Editorial Note: This Post was previously published in November, 2011.

As I lay in bed this morning...as I do every week day morning, I absolutely dread having to get up and awaken the boys.  Red sets his own alarm and if he is so moved...he may actually get up and get dressed.  But most days, he walks across the room, shuts off the alarm and then gets back in the bed...under the covers.  I think Blue has given up on the alarm setting.  If I had to bet, I would say that the meds he is taking make him sleep like a log.  I try to wake them both as gently as I can.  I give them extra time to lay around for a few extra minutes.  Heaven forbid I rush them!  I still dread the process!

 This morning, I think to myself...when I had these children, I never thought about having to wake them up for school as teenagers.  I don't think my mother ever had to wake me up as a teenager.  I set my own alarm, got up, got ready and rode the city bus across town to get to school.  If I didn't make it on time...that was on me.

There are a million things you never think about when you have a baby.  As much as I love my godchildren...when my BFF recently got pregnant (this is child #4) all I could think was,  "Have you thought about when these children become teenagers?!" Of course, her  10 and 12 year-old girls are much better behaved than my boys.  I pray for her sake that these last 2 children will be the same.  She is an awesome, loving,  but hardcore mom.  She doesn't take any crap!

Anyhoo...here is my Top Ten List of things I Never Thought About before I had my babies:

1) Never...ever did I think I would have a child with special needs...much less, have 2.  Since having special needs wasn't a blip on the radar...what it would be like to parent a teen with special needs.

2) I never thought about what it would be like to raise teenage boys.  Silly me...I just assumed I would have a perfect set -a typical boy and a girl.  Never thought about what it would be like to be completely responsible for guiding to young men towards independence and adulthood.

3) Never thought about all of the nights of sleep I would loose,  all of the tears I would shed...that I would feel every single feeling that they feel.

4) Never thought I would wait almost 4 years to hear the word, "Mama."  Now that they are teens with Aspergers...I wish I could change my name and not tell them the new one.

5) Never thought about all of the jobs that are hidden behind the tittle -Mom i.e., Nurse, Therapist, Pharmacist, Life Coach, Advocate, driver, referee, cheerleader.  I guess I knew I would have to feed them...which would mean I would also be a cook.  I just never knew I would come to hate it so much.

6)Who would have thought I would ever hear the words, "I wish I could kill myself," while my child is crying uncontrollably.

7) Having to decide weather or not to give my kids psychotropic medications and all the nightmares that come along with that ...no one warned me this would be a possibility.

8) Sitting in a Pediatric, Psychiatric ward with my child...who me?  No freakin' way!

9) Having to talk to ...much less actually, call a police officer or mental health officer  because my child's behavior has become violently out of control.  Who does that?  Apparently me.

10) Most of all I could never have imagined this immeasurable, unconditional love that I have for them. I could never have conceived the magnitude of our connection.

This life with my children is simply unimaginable...

What's on your list?