Saturday, May 30, 2009

Well, We Didn't Go. Who Saw That One Coming?

I knew my husband wasn’t thrilled with the idea and when I heard him agree to help someone move at 2:00pm I knew we weren’t going. He said that he’d take Will and I could still go to the concert. But the thought of Will in a strange neighborhood with a distracted father gave me heartburn.

On the plus side I was home to watch my friend’s kids while she went and read a book at the ER. (She’s fine.) And Jake and Lizzy both had friends over. However, it’s my friend’s (who shall remain nameless) fault that I burned two pans of granola for the second day in row. Because I heard ER, jumped in the shower, then left my house, completely forgetting I was cooking something; until I returned home and saw the two partially charred pans of granola on the stove. Then my husband said to me, “I think if you burn any more it’s probably cheaper to buy it.”

Anyone want to come over for breakfast?

Friday, May 29, 2009


I’m trying to convince my husband that it would be a great idea to go to EarthFest as a family tomorrow. I feel that our children would get a valuable musical experience from hearing Shawn Mullins, the Lemonheads, and Soul Asylum live. (And it would really make me happy.) He looked at me. And said, “You want to bring the children where? And they’ll do what while you’re in the mosh pit?” The good news – I have a couple more hours to convince him it’s a brilliant idea.

Bri on the other hand will be serving the city of Boston and she gets lunch and a tee-shirt out of the deal. Hmmm, at least one of us has some civic pride.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Spelling Bee

I just watched the National Spelling Bee on TV. I have two thoughts about it.

1. It's really cool something like that is televised. (Hey, it was on ESPN earlier today.)

2. I really suck at spelling.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Matthew Alexander vs. Dick on Torture

Matthew Alexander, who uses a pseudonym for security reasons, was a 14-year military interrogator who oversaw more than a thousand interrogations and conducted more than 300 in Iraq himself. He wrote How to Break a Terrorist: The U.S. Interrogators Who Used Brains, Not Brutality, to Take Down the Deadliest Man in Iraq which I read earlier.


My husband called to me from downstairs, “Will needs you.” I immediately thought the worst. But his next words reassured me. “Will asked for a dinglehopper.” Will had come over to him, was yanking on his hair and asked for help. A wad of gum was stuck in the hair on the crown of his head. I walked him to the bathroom and two snips later the gum was gone.

This isn’t the first time Will has brought up a dinglehopper. A couple of months ago he grabbed a fork, called it a dinglehopper and started combing his hair.

Sunday, May 24, 2009


This morning Will came up to me, handed me a CD and said “Church.”

I looked at him, decided if he really wanted to go to church he should wear something more than just underwear, and said, “Shower first.” He put the CD down and got into the shower. After we finished washing him he grabbed his CD and was ready to go. I told him to get some clothes on.

He was so eager to get to church than we hurried faster than usual. In the van I looked back at Lizzy. Clearly her hair wasn’t brushed, and my husband forgot to put anything in his hair. I tried not to worry about it because we would never win a beauty contest when compared to the rows of beautiful families, children with actual bows in their hair and coordinating outfits for children.

Bri’s hair always looks un-brushed five minutes after she brushes it. Lizzy won’t allow a barrette near her hair unless she puts it in or I put in four. (Not exaggerating! I put whatever she wants in her hair!) Jake wears his suit without a tie and his shirt is always untucked. And Will, well, Will has wore blue crocs to church for the last month.

And even if we weren’t unmitigated slobs, Will would attract a little attention. Today he decided to collect hymnals. He collected all the hymnals near us then ventured further. He knocked a man’s arm off the pew grabbing one, then stomped someone else’s bag grabbing another. It’s a good thing that he’s adorable with he sings.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Whose Fault Is It?

Jake and Lizzy were playing outside when I heard Lizzy start to cry, Jake yell something and then Lizzy started running up the stairs to the deck. Jake told me he hit Lizzy with the (foam covered) bat. Taking a deep breath because I figure it could be bad, I check her out. I’m happy to see that there isn’t any blood or even a bruise. (We’ll see how it looks tomorrow.) “Did he hit you on purpose?” I ask her.

“No,” Lizzy sobs.

“It’s not my fault.” Jake says.

“Oh, yes it is.”

Then we say the same thing again.

Jake stops, glares at me and says with anger and hurt, “I can’t believe you think I’d hit her on purpose!”

“I don’t,” I respond. “But it’s your fault.”

“No, it’s not.” Lizzy says. She’s stopped crying and is ready to defend her brother.

I try to explain that even though it was an accident it’s still Jake's fault. They don’t believe me. I ask her if it would be my fault if I walked around a corner and accidentally knocked her down. She has no idea what I’m talking about.

I try again. I turn on the water and put Lizzy’s hand under the water. “Whose fault is it that your hand is wet?” I ask her. She looks at me obviously puzzled. She doesn’t say a word but I can tell that she thinks I’m deranged. And she’s really confused about why she has a wet hand. Then they started laughing at me. Eventually, I give up trying to explain. Five minutes later she asks me why I think it’s Jake’s fault. I said that even though it was an accident he was still responsible.

“Oh.” She says.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Fishing: William Style

I just came home from Pride Night at Hemenway. I learned from last year and I did not take any children (to the great rejoicing of all!) Bri babysat for me. When I got home the TV was on – no one was watching it. Will was on the computer and Jake, Bri and Lizzy were playing the Wii. On the plus side they were all in their pajamas.

I had my first hint that something was awry when I noticed a suspicious spill on the stove top. I saw the spill … where was the container? I looked in the fridge – no, counter – no, was it in the sink? Then, thinking of William, I looked in the trash. Ahhh, there it was. Along with the last of the cheese, the melting chocolate my husband just bought and never tasted, a bowl and the tahini.

I don’t know why. It just happens.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Growing Old with Autism

Here's an excerpt from Time Magazine's article Growing Old with Autism

"...Parents, of course, love their children. When I used to accompany my parents to visit Noah at Fairview, we would sometimes see other parents visiting their middle-aged "boys" — some of them strapped into helmets because of their self-injurious behavior — who walked with the same stiff-legged gait, bobbed their heads from side to side, twiddled rubber bands or twigs in their hands and sometimes smacked their foreheads with their fists. They were unlovely men, I thought, lost, impossible to like. But once the parents were gone, who was supposed to keep making these visits and these phone calls checking up on their sons and attending these meetings with the administrators and bureaucrats and caregivers to advocate on behalf of the lost men? That will end up being me, or people like me, the siblings. We will be the ones left caring..."

I love the phrase "unlovely men" as much as I would fight against it being applied to my son; even though I worry that he too, will become unlovely as he loses his baby appeal. His stims will become annoyances rather than sources of amusement to his therapists.

Already his angelic appeal has started to fade as he ages. Here's a picture of Will about four years old. He's huge now.

Decision, Decisions

I'm trying to decide between watching Glee and Frontline tonight. While I am interested in the current economic crisis; I have a desperate need to watch a well written TV show while Life is on hiatus and I have high hopes that Glee could be a shining star in the usual wasteland of TV show offerings. (Not that being a completely worthless show precludes my watching it mind you but ....)

Alright, I'm going to watch Glee! My husband clinched it when he said he was interested in seeing it as well.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

I Don't Understand Eleven Year-Old Boys

I asked Jake to take off his sheets and bring them to the laundry room. A couple of hours later I went in his room and noticed his fitted sheet was still on his bed. I complained that I’d already washed his sheets and that he should have taken them all off. “I’m sorry, I forgot.” He apologized.

Fast forward another couple of hours, I went in Jake’s room to find him lying on top of three pillowcase-less pillows on top of his mattress pad. I said, “Jake, why don’t you have a sheet on? That’s gross!”

“Oh, I thought you said I couldn’t use one.” -- I can only assume he thought I was trying to punish him but taking away his sheets.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Dancers

A couple of weeks ago someone I know sent out emails asking people if they would host a couple of dancers for a couple of nights. I decided to help her out. So, on Monday night I drove over to Ashland High School and picked up two very cute dancers from the BYU Ballroom Dance Touring Team. But I couldn’t get the sound of Justin Timberlake saying, “We’re the dancers,” out of my head; so every time someone said “the dancers” I tried not to giggle. (Brianne started saying “the dancers” a lot!)

They were adorable! I don’t think I’ve ever been thanked so often for anything in my life! Even though I think staying at my house was different from other houses they’ve stayed at. For instance, my house was the only place where they had cold cereal for breakfast. (Seriously, they told me.) And Will woke up at 5:00am one of the mornings. (They assured me he didn’t wake them up -- although, I heard him.) And they got up early to go running (because dancing isn’t enough exercise) and got lost. They called their director who called someone else to get our phone number. Don’t worry, I found them.

On Tuesday, I decided that perhaps I should go to the show since the girls were staying at my house. Marcy went with me. It was really, really good! I guess that makes sense since the team is the reigning National Champions. When the team comes back again I’m taking all my kids to see them.

Friday, May 15, 2009


Yesterday morning I couldn’t find my small frying pan. I opened all the cupboards. I even looked in the dishwasher. I had put it on the stove top the morning before in case “the dancers” wanted eggs but now it had disappeared. My husband was still sleeping so I didn’t ask him where it was but I started to think he had hidden it from me.

…. and then I thought of William. I opened the oven and found the pan. It had peanut butter, a cut-up banana and a few other things mixed up together.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Roaring Bailey

Two year-olds are so adorable I want to squeeze them! Today one of the kids, in the preschool enrichment class I teach at the Y, started roaring. Quite frankly, I’m jealous. I wish I could roar if I felt like it! However, I fear that rather than being endearing it would be seen as psychotic.

I want a Roaring Bailey!

A Roaring Bailey would be incredibly useful! If anyone annoyed me or I was a little frustrated; I’d simply hold up a finger to signal one minute. I’d reach into my pocket. I’d unfold my Bailey, hold him up and let him roar. Then I’d fold him carefully back up and return him to my pocket. The offending person or object would in stunned silence move back, or give me what I wanted.

I’m going to Target to look for one.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Someone Actually Suggested I change My Name

I picked up Will from school today. Almost from the time he saw me (except the brief moment he was mesmerized by the TV) he said, “My name is Michelle. Hi, Michelle.”

Yes, the entire drive home and even now while he’s on the computer I hear an occasional prompting for me to accept the fact that he has christened me Michelle. I feel like I’m trying to scoop up the ocean with a pail in attempting to prompt him to call me mom – or barring that, at least call me by my own name!

One of us, clearly, is more stubborn. Should I accept the inevitable? My husband has already slipped up, on Mother’s Day I heard him tell Will to leave Michelle alone.

Monday, May 11, 2009


Will came up to me and said, “Cooking.” Chicken was roasting in the oven and I guess he figured he had waited long enough.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Digging for Treasure

Will brought home a Mother’s Day card in his backpack on Friday. It was a giant piece of blue construction paper folded in half. He had written “Happy Mom Day” on the front. I opened it and found an “I love” and a “William.” I pointed out some other letters and asked him what it said. “Love Sam.” He replied. I turned the paper upside down. It did. I turned back to the front of the card. Will had drawn a sun and I found Jordan’s name.

On my Mother’s Day card I tied with Sam and Jordan.

Friday, May 8, 2009


My niece had knee surgery, to cheer her up I sent her a link to Timerlake as one of Beyonce’s back up dancers on SNL because I find it quite amusing. Long story short -- I showed it to my husband. Then I showed him other SNL digital shorts I find amusing.

I’m sure I removed any possible doubt he might have remaining as to whether I do anything productive during my day!

Thursday, May 7, 2009


My husband told me he was coming home on Thursday. Instead, he got home at 1:30am. Naturally, when he walked in the room I woke up and screamed. I was a little scared until I realized it was him.

ASD: Changes in California Case Load

Here's a link to a new report out of California. The tables show the dramatic increase in cases over twenty years. It's frightening.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Would You Consider It Unreasonable Search and Seizure?

Yesterday, Bri came home and told me that the principal opened her locker and looked through it. “Why did she do that?” I demanded, my hackles rising.

“Oh, something was poking out. She opened it and saw that it was half filled so she called me down to clean it.”

“Really . . . your locker is so full of crap that your principal called you out of class to clean it out?”

“Hey, I only filled up one recycling bin.”

Monday, May 4, 2009

No More Michelle

Last Thursday, I came home to a message on my phone from a friend who met Will at the swimming pool. She said, “I saw Will at the pool and I met the infamous Michelle!” Her son is in Will’s MyGym class and she listens to him call me Michelle throughout the class.

I suspect that my friend mentioned something to Michelle and that Michelle had a conversation with Will about calling me mom because when he got home he ran inside to find me, opened the door and said, “No more Michelle.” And then ran out.

Since then he’s vacillated between calling me “No more Michelle” and “Michelle.”

Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Children's Blizzard by David Laskin

This is a really well written book! The outcome was never in doubt and even if it was, the title would have tipped me off; but the book compels you to finish it even as it makes you want to cry.

And it had a conclusion so interesting I had to read parts of it aloud to my husband.

“The memories still burn. They burn all the fiercer because sorrow, sadness, and heartache did indeed follow in the blizzard’s train. . . . These days nearly one million acres of the plains are so sparsely populated that they meet the condition of frontier as defined by the Census Bureau in the nineteen century. . . The white farmers and townspeople who remain would shun you for daring to say it, but in large stretches of prairie it’s beginning to look like European agricultural settlement is a completed chapter of history. ‘It’s time for us to acknowledge one of America’s greatest mistakes,’ wrote Nicholas D. Kristof on the op-ed page of the New York Times, ‘a 140-year-old-scheme that has failed at a cost of trillions of dollars, countless lives and immeasurable heartbreak: the settlement of the great plains.’” (pg. 270)

Friday, May 1, 2009

The Pitfalls of Working from Home

My husband is taking Jake camping this weekend with the scouts. It’s going to rain non-stop so it looked like the perfect weekend to go. We have some cast iron skillets and a dutch oven he wanted to bring so he rubbed them with oil and put them in the oven to season. Then he went back in his office to run a conference call.

About fifteen minutes later the fire alarm when off. I went in the hall to shut it off. I disconnected it from the ceiling but it kept telling me “Warning, warning!” I pulled out the batteries and silenced the voice. I opened all the windows, turned on the fan and watched the house fill up with oily smoke. When the downstairs smoke detector went off, I looked at it. Couldn’t see a way to easily turn it off and decided to ignore it.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...