Achingly cute.

The commute tonight was not fun.  It snowed this morning, then it turned to sleet and finally it turned to a cold driving rain.  The sidewalks in the neighborhood were a disaster, ankle deep water and slush were everywhere.  I had to walk in the street and even that wasn’t entirely clear.  Oh, and, this morning…I forgot my umbrella.  So.  I was not a very happy camper when I arrived home.

Then I opened the front door.  I knew the moment that my son realized that I was home because he began yelling excitedly.  I peeked in the doorway and as I stripped off my dripping coat and damp boots he bounced and waved to me.  As soon as I stepped into the living room, I opened my arms and he said “Ummy!” and ran to hug me.

I love coming home.

The Honest Scrap Award

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Vicki at Holly Daze presented me with this award.  THANKS!

The rules for this award are as follows…

Choose a minimum of 7 blogs that you find brilliant in content or design.

Show the 7 winners’ names and links on your blog, and leave a comment informing them that they were prized with “Honest Scrap”.

List at least ten honest things about yourself.

  1. I am a total introvert and homebody but most people don’t realize it because I’ve discovered that I can hide it.  Doing so comes with a cost though and sometimes I just can’t manage it.  The entire time I’m getting ready I need to be left alone, on the way there I will not talk, once I’m there I’m fine, afterwards I need a nap.  I’m just mentally and physically drained by socializing.  My husband is a social butterfly and this all makes him nutty.
  2. I have a terrible memory about most things but random things stick in my head.   I am full of useless trivia, I can recount conversations from a year ago and even remember exactly what we were doing and wearing but practical, useful information?  *Poof*  This will explain why I might be repeating some stuff I’ve told you before in this list although I’ll try not to.
  3. I hate the word Fraggle.  That doesn’t mean I hate YOU if you use it though.
  4. I could have declared a minor in religion in college but elected not to.  I read/studied the bible with a biblical scholar.  I also studied Hinduism, Judaism, Buddism and a variety of Native American religious beliefs.  I even have a Book of Mormon that a very nice young missionary gave to me on the bus one evening that I’ve found very interesting. 
  5. I am an atheist.  This is very upsetting to my parents so they don’t ever bring it up.  I still celebrate Christian holidays though only in the most secular ways (Easter Bunny, Santa.) 
  6. I am not one of those atheists.  I don’t give a rat’s patootie if we have “In God We Trust” on our money, I have no problem with including God in the Pledge of Allegience, I don’t think public schools should be totally devoid of all references to religion but I do think they should be inclusive of the religions of all the students if they’re going to include references to any.
  7. Sometimes I will tell people I’m “praying” for them and I mean it.  I see no problem in offering people comfort when they need it in a way that they most appreciate because, really, it’s not about me. I think that probably makes me a bad atheist but it’s not like they can kick me out of the “club”, right?
  8. Extremists of any type really grind my gears.  Can’t we all just get along?
  9. I let Monkey watch “SpongeBob” even though I said I never would because I think SpongeBob is a total turd.
  10. I’ve always said I’ll never watch “reality TV” but I’ve started watching “Rock of Love” and “The Tool Academy” much to my embarassment.  They are probably the very worst of the “reality” shows out there but I just can’t turn away.

I don’t know who hasn’t done this yet and I don’t have the mental energy to figure this out, pathetic, isn’t it?  If you haven’t done this yet…TAG!  You’re it.

Empowering Monkey

Sometimes I worry that people will think that we are overly permissive with Monkey because of his disability1.  We run a very child-centered household for sure and we do it because we are trying to foster a sense of power in Monkey.

It seems to me that it would be very easy to feel powerless if I were in Monkey’s position.  If I were unable to clearly communicate my thoughts and desires in many situtuations, what are the chances that even well-meaning people would discount them?  How many times do you suppose that he tries to communicate something and has it misinterpreted?  I know for sure that it has happened at school and it happens at home too.  There are times when, no matter how well we know him, we cannot understand what he wants.  We’ve given up, at times, out of frustration because we can’t figure out what he’s trying to tell us or ask of us.  Those situations, few and far between as they are, break my heart.

Also, Monkey is asked to do things frequently that make him uncomfortable.  His comfort zone is so very small that this is unavoidable.  In the name of therapy he is asked to touch things he does not want to touch, he is asked to get into physical postitions that he does not want to get into, he is asked to jump through hoops he does not want to jump through just to get what he does want.  I understand the importance of all of these things and I understand that it’s for his ultimate benefit but I do wonder at times what this does to his sense of worth.  No one forces him to do anything but we do exert a great deal of (well-meant) pressure to induce him to comply. 

So home is the place where we feel we can best empower him.  Sometimes it leads us to do things we do not want to do.  For instance, Monkey will grab a stick of shortening and point at the mixer to indicate he wants to cook something.  It’s now up to me, even when it’s the last thing I want do, to figure out what we can cook with shortening and a mixer (the answer is Snickerdoodles, btw.)  Saturday evening he decided he wanted to use the food processor.  We don’t often use the food processor so it took a little while to figure out what we could use it for (homemade hot chocolate)  and we did so even though it was dinner time and we should have been cooking dinner instead.  It seems like such a small thing, to stop whatever plans we were making to do what he requests but I hope it pays off in the long run.

I want him to grow up and know that what he wants counts.  That what he likes is important.  That what gives him joy is worth pursuing.

Even if it means we need to order out for food if we want to eat dinner anytime soon.

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  1. I need to write a post about this sometime b/c I’m uncomfortable with this word. []

The desire to cook is strong in this one.

I am useless in the kitchen.  I bake, I boil and I can cook grilled cheese sandwiches but that’s it.  It’s pitiful, I know, but I don’t feel any need to change that because Duhdee loves to cook and he’s really, really good at it.  As if he needed any more characteristics to prove, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that he is Duhdee’s “MiniMe,” the boy has a burning desire to cook as well.  Oh, the ways I suffer.

The sound of a cabinet door being closed or utensils being gathered causes Monkey to drop whatever he may be doing and run straight for the kitchen.  He loves to add pinches of this and that to Duhdee’s recipes.  He has to be supervised very closely because he will add things that should not, under any circumstances, be added.  For instance, garlic croutons to Duhdee’s coffee?  Duhdee was really confused as to why he coffee tasted so terrible until he cleaned out the pot, ha.   Extra, extra, extra salt?  Sure thing!

Sometimes, though, Monkey is not allowed to help.  The rule in the house is that if something is on the stove he is not allowed to help.  Monkey hates this rule and has sat in time-out on more than one occasion due to his non-violent, but persistent, protests.  Duhdee recently made a delicious pot of beef stew1 and, since this meal revolves entirely around a stock pot on the stove, Monkey was forbidden to help.  What is a poor Monkey to do?  He’d already sat in time-out for violating the rule so he decided to improvise.

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He stole some of Duhdee’s onion and “cooked” on the kitchen table.  Heh.

Now here’s a question for you, how do you decide if a child is safe enough to assist with cooking on the stove?  Since age is clearly not going to help me here, what would you look for in terms of readiness?

  1. haha, I typed BEET stew initially, ew []

I am clutz, hear me roll.

Have I mentioned before that I’m a clutz?  Seriously.  I can be standing still and lose my balance.  I’ve actually hurt myself to the point of bleeding while sitting in a chair and putting my hair in a clip.  I have twisted my ankles so many times that I couldn’t even guess how many times.  I did it again this morning.

Monkey and I were walking down the stairs on our way to school when I caught the heel of my boot on the stair tread and went down.  Hard.  I ended up only 5 stairs down because the stairs curve and I hit the wall.  Now, if I were wearing sassy high heeled boots it would be understandable that I’d caught my heel but I was wearing my decade old pair of Herman Survivors1, people.  The heel is…oh… 1/4″? Good lord.

The absolute best part?  Monkey was holding my hand when I fell.  He instinctively tightens his grip on my hand when I try to pull my hand away sometimes and he did it this morning which meant that I catapaulted/dragged him down with me.  Ugh.  He was scared but not hurt.

I’ll be fine in a couple days, my ankle is a little swollen and I bet it will be really pretty come tomorrow! 

In other news, Monkey stayed dry all weekend.  He’s been willing to sit on the toilet to go poop and he’s settled on the must-read book for the event.  It’s a book called “Monkey Goes to School” put together by his teachers when he started in this classroom.  It has pictures of all the other kids and of the staff.  Monkey loves to look through the book and name his favorite friends.

Interesting to note, last year Monkey was all about the ladies.  He had 4 favored peers and they were all girls.  This year he has 4 favored peers and they are all boys.  Quite the change of heart!  I think it’s because there were not very many boys in the other classrooom and they were all quite active.  This year there are more boys than girls and they’re much more lowkey.

He galloped his way into the classroom again.  That makes it a full week of ho-hum school drop-offs.  I like.

  1. and WTH, Herman Survivors was bought by W@lm@rt?  Argh, so much for my favorite boots. []

Just as expected…

Overnight we got another 6-8″.  The snow is piled higher than the fence.  I’m not sure where we’ll put the snow expected on Wednesday.

To answer Grammy’s question, Monkey and I did join Duhdee outside in the snow.  Monkey loves to help Duhdee.20090111_280

And there’s always time for a tour of the neighborhood by sled after the work is done.

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