Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Why did the Blog Storm, that Engulfed Smockity, Erupt?

When I read Smockity’s original post and her defensive first response I was really upset.  I tweeted it, I facebooked it.  I sent her an email.  I blogged about it.  And then I started reading other bloggers’ posts and doing obsessive @Smockity searches on twitter.  Why did I react like this?  Did Smockity write anything that was worse about the child she observed in the library than what people have thought about Will?

I doubt it. 

I know what people think about Will before they understand why he’s behaving inappropriately.  Actually he probably gets more compassion from the average bystander because his behavior is so obviously due to a special need.  But he still gets those looks and some people are more expressive than others.  Sometimes I take the opportunity to educate the public.  I tell the person that Will is autistic and watch as their attitude changes.  “Oh, I wasn’t upset.”  I’ve been reassured.  But I know they were before they understood.  Usually, I disregard the looks . . . but some people have a talent for slapping you in the face with a single cutting look.

I think perhaps why I was so hurt by Smockity’s post was because she was reading the Bible.  I was discouraged.  If Will wasn’t cut some slack by a person like that, who would give him the benefit of the doubt?

But I’m even more concerned about Jake.  Professionals have told me they never would have known he was once diagnosed with ASD.  If someone like Will doesn’t get any slack what chance does someone like Jake, whose disability is invisible, have for compassion?  

Smockity’s post coincided with a boy on Bri’s bus mocking Will and my emotions erupted.  I can’t protect Jake from being bullied, Bri from being hurt or William from being mocked.  And I think poor, unprepared Smockity ripped the Band-Aid off the unhealed wounds that have festered for as long as our children have been mocked and disparaged.  And I think that is why the response to Smockity was so out of proportion to what she said.  She received a mountain of stored up hurt and anger.  The fallout was immense and I apologize for my out of proportion reaction to her post.

Monday, March 29, 2010

I've heard this song roughly 500 times in the last two days

It's a good thing that we're Glee fans! But to make it even more adorable ... Will sometimes sings part of the song.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

I wrote an email to Smockity Frocks but William erased it so I can’t print it here

Proving, I guess, that either autistic kids have an ironic and delightful sense of humor or that I should keep better track of him. I tried to be polite while letting Smockity know it is unkind and hurtful to mock kids with special needs and it’s odd to do so while mentioning several times that you’re reading the Bible.  I’m going to give her the benefit of the doubt.  I assume that ordinarily she is a delightful and kind woman.  Perhaps she had a bad day or was feeling pressure to finish the aforementioned Bible in 90 days.  I certainly have said and thought spiteful things that I’ve been ashamed of later.  And I hope that I’m a better and kinder person than I use to be.  I put my foot in mouth regularly and often I have to spit it out to apologize.

But I no longer keep my mouth shut when I hear harsh comments made about people with special needs.  I remember when I was in 10th grade listening to two girls mocking someone with special needs.  I was so upset I told them off in my mind!  But I didn’t say anything out loud.  I still wish I had.  

Smockity, clearly being a good Christian is important to you.  We could model ourselves on my mother.  I’ve never heard her insult, gossip about, or say a bad word about anyone.  Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for myself.  But I’m willing to try to be more like her if you are.

Update:  Smockity  Frocks posted an apology on her website and I feel much better about the whole thing!

After I calmed down I thought about why I was so upset and had to apologize for my over reaction. 

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Nerd Wars

Will likes to fall asleep in front of the TV at night. His preferred show is Scientific America. I will say it’s pretty interesting. Jake really likes it too and lately he’s started taking Will downstairs at night to watch it together. Last night I noticed Nova had a show on Mayan hieroglyphs. I wanted to see it. I consider it homework for Mexico. You never know when that could come in handy. An archeologist at Chichen Itza might have a question when we’re there. What? It could happen. Anyway, I started watching Nova. Will got up and changed the station.

We watched Scientific America. It was about archeology, but about the Clovis people. (I now seriously question whether they crossed the crossed the Beringia land bridge.) But I ended the night a little depressed that I lost the nerd war to Will.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Preparing for Mexico

Marcy started swimming once a week at the Y and decided that I should start swimming too.  Since I do everything she tells me to do I went with her today.  But because I hate putting my face in the water I bought some goggles because I thought that would help.  Unfortunately, I had to buy two pairs because Will ripped off the foamy part of the first pair I bought.  I learned from this and he will have a harder time breaking the next pair.  I’m not saying impossible mind you merely that my new pair will be a little harder to break.

It’s surprising I went because 1.  I am not a very good swimmer (I took swimming lessons once when I was 12 -- roughly half a century ago), 2.  I’m not a fan of wearing a swimming suit in public, 3.  The aforementioned hatred of water in my face, 4. I’ve never actually swam a lap in my life, and 5. The only actual stroke I remember how to do is some sort of frog movement on your back.  However, we are going snorkeling in Mexico not to long from now (yes, I got my passport renewed so nothing can stop me) and I thought I should practice swimming.   

My conclusion from today is that 1.  I need more practice, 2.  It’s pretty funny when old women pass you, and 3.  I should hope that the hotel provides some sort of buoyancy device, 4.  It doesn’t matter what the rest of you looks like when you’re wearing an orange swim cap matched with blue goggles, 5.  My best stroke is the doggy paddle, 6.  I still hate putting my face in the water even with goggles and 7.  Understanding (granted from watching the Olympics) that you breath out underwater then turn your head and breath in doesn’t translate into having the actual skill.

But at the end of the day (10:48pm) I still want to go snorkeling in Mexico.  We went snorkeling on a cruise in the Bahamas and we liked if even though there was really nothing to see.  I can’t pass up the Mayan Riviera where I suspect there will be something worth seeing.

I am considering suing Marcy for enticing me to engage in an activity that she should have reasonably known would cause a shoulder injury (as well as an obscene amount of complaining) because at our Chinese Cooking Class tonight when I was cooking the cashew chicken, my shoulder hurt due to my vigorous doggy paddling earlier in the day.  I figure if she settles the lawsuit I’ll have spending money for Mexico.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Internet Diet

One of my sister-in-laws told me she was on an internet diet so she didn’t neglect her children.  While tremendously impressed with her, I told her that in a couple of years they’d be in school and she could gorge on the internet then.

In contrast, I am not on an internet diet, rather I have been busy considering whether to send Jake to a charter school next year, going to school committee meetings, deciding which selectmen to vote for, and watching it rain for three straight days.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Two weeks ago I took Lizzy and Will to a dollar store.  It was not fun.  I don’t know what was up with Will but he probably pinched me 50 times.  The pinches may have affected my brain and I bought Lizzy a felt, green and white striped hat.  She wore that hat every day to school until she left it at a friend’s house.  Unfortunately for Lizzy, I have not gone over to get it because it would probably take me at least two minutes to drive to her friend’s house and I only pass by it once or twice a day.  As I think about this I realize it is very bad that I did not get the hat for her because she was also sleeping with it, she told me it “was really special to her,” and she didn’t have it on St. Patrick’s Day which was doubtlessly the day when wearing a green and white striped hat reminiscent of the Cat in the Hat makes the most sense.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The New “R” Word

Yesterday, my friend Marcy’s sister was waiting in line when she overheard someone say, “I’m having an ‘autistic’ day.” She was horrified, but didn’t know what to say. Is “autistic” becoming the new “R” word? Marcy and I discussed it. How should someone respond? Should we ask did you suddenly lose the ability to speak or develop echolalia? Do you feel a compulsion to stim or line your money up on the counter? I wonder if it would be appropriate to respond how William, a true autistic, does when he hears something he doesn’t like. I could walk over to the offender say “all done” and pinch them.

I understand that people have always mocked others but isn’t it a shame that the same person who would never dream of making a racial or ethnic slur thinks nothing of making a comment that any mother of a toddler would correct.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Bri's Love Affair with Irrational Numbers Continues

Someone on twitter sent me a link to a Pi song.  Do I even need to mention that Bri loved it?  No, I didn’t think so.  Here's the Irrational Number website.

Friday, March 12, 2010

To Finish Up Bri Week

* * * * * Breaking News . . . . Brianne sadly and unfortunately was not the school’s Pi champion.  She was whooped by multiple sixth graders.  She made a mistake on digit # 103.  And the winning math nerd recited over two hundred numbers.  However, she was the eighth grade Pi champion.  (To be completely honest she was the only eighth grader that entered, though doubtlessly she would have won anyway.)  In honor of her memorization er . .  achievement she will eat a pie, sadly and with regret that this year she did not earn the right to throw it in one of her teacher’s faces.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Math Nerd – And I totally blame this on her father

I picked up Bri from school today to take her to the dentist because she has defective teeth.  Three molars came in with holes.  Honestly – my first thought when they said that was “then why am I paying for braces?”  And no, I didn’t say that out loud because I have a tiny bit of self control.  I was innocently minding my own business for once, usually when she’s in the car with me I like to ask her if she likes any guys or if anyone else asked her out (she can’t date until she’s 16  . . . and be quiet, I already hear how unreasonable that is from Marcy).  So, we were in the car when she mentioned she had memorized Pi to 100 decimals out.  And before I could even ask WHY she had started reciting them.  

As I was driving, I rejected the idea of clubbing myself into unconsciousness on the steering wheel -- but I wanted to.  When she apologized for messing up I refrained from stating the obvious, “sweetie, I never would have known and I really don’t care.”  Bri has been the reigning Pi champion at her school for two years.  Last year her closest competition knew Pi out to maybe twenty decimals so I think she got a little worried.  When she finished she mentioned that she would keep memorizing more until Pi day.   Then she segued into singing Third Eye Blind's How's It Going To Be.  Just when I've pigeonholed her into total nerd status she proves me wrong.

Fortunately (kidding), she was unintelligible, due to the Novocain, on her way back to school so I have no idea whether she recited any more numbers.    And I haven’t told her yet but I think she may have a conflict between an orchestra concert and the Pi competition . . . I guess it’s a nerd conflict.

Update:  When I told Bri I called her a math nerd because of her mad math skills.  She said she wasn't a nerd and disparaged my math skills.  It was as if she thought that I thought anyone with math skills is a nerd.  

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Best vs. Bestest Mother

Brianne told me I was the best mother this morning.  I bought her love with Honey Nut Cheerios.  Overwhelmed, I could barely reply coherently.  She added that if I wanted to be the bestest mother in the world she would like the cable back.  I told her I would just have to be satisfied with being the best.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Jake’s tee-shirt should read: I reenacted the Boston Massacre and all I got was a tricorne hat and British coin.

On Saturday we took the kids into Boston to see a Boston Massacre reenactment.  Jake got to be one of the British soldiers.  Lizzy refused to be involved except for throwing a snowball.  I don’t think I even heard the insult “lobster back” cross her lips.  It was very amusing to hear the captain try to drill the “British army” into shape.  He finally gave up and said, “Well, I guess that’s they best we’re going to get.  Sigh.”

After the massacre they trooped inside to reenact the trial.  Bri testified for the prosecution and my poor husband (because I told the park rangers to ask him) testified as well.  Jake, along with the other children, would occasionally interrupt the trial with a spirited “That’s a bloody lie!”  And throughout it all I fed Will individual grape Nerds to keep him quiet so the trial could be enjoyed by all. 
We had lunch at Faneuil Hall where Lizzy was entranced by the man hanging upside down in a straitjacket.  And we stopped at Mike’s Pastries for cannolis on the way home.

 (Jake is third from the left.)

"The 240th Anniversary of the Boston Massacre had some little redcoats involved in a reenactment and mock trial of the incident which took place on march 5, 1770. They even had styrofoam snowballs. Real ..."

Note:  I edited the link so it should work now.  Sorry about that.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Imitation New York: The Kids Edition (Actually, we just drove into Boston to see Lion King.)

Friday night Marcy took Dave, and I took Lizzy and Jake into Boston to see Lion King.  My husband took Bri to see it in New York and they said that the rest of us should go.  Jake barely shut his mouth for the first half.  And this was only partially because he wanted food to be placed inside it.  Almost as soon as we entered the Opera House he started asking for food.  I mentioned that he just barely eaten dinner before we came; about an hour previously.  He ignored my attempt to reason and implied I was uncaring and neglectful.  As I am a completely hardened individual, I naturally told him to stop talking.  Because I am “that kind of mother”, I added that if he had eaten more vegetables for dinner he would not be hungry now.

Lizzy was entranced with the show.  However, when she started asking me plot questions I realized that she’d probably never seen the movie.  That’s what happens when you are the youngest and everyone else has moved on from Disney movies.  Instead of Disney princesses you watch Hannah Montana or other miscellaneous, crappy Disney or Nickelodeon shows.  And I am not about to start renting Disney movies for her.  She prefers Scooby Do anyway, and keeps her stash of DVDs hidden from William in her underwear drawer.

The costumes and puppets were fabulous!  I loved the animals and the brightly, colored African clothing.  The elephants, giraffes, and rhinoceros were very cool.  The musical was visually stunning. 

And on our way back to the car – Marcy scored the kids bottled water from a limo driver because that’s the way she rolls!

Friday, March 5, 2010


I looked in Will's backpack and found a red, rectangle piece of paper with several white, thin stripes of paper glued across it.  I scratched my head, unsure of what it was suppose to be.  "Will, what's this?" I asked him.

He took it from my hands, put in on top of his head and said, "hat."

I forgot that it was Dr. Seuss' birthday last week.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Seconday Cook

Background:  I made spaghetti for dinner tonight because I didn’t plan ahead and I knew that no one would complain about eating it.

Jake walked in the kitchen, saw what I was making, and exclaimed, “Mom, you’re a great secondary cook.  I think you’d agree that dad is the best cook and you’re a secondary cook.”

After listening to Jake’s monologue for several minutes, dad was promoted to chief, I to primary cook and secondary cooks were described as producing barely edible food.  I didn’t disagree because he was trying not to hurt my feelings and admittedly from his perspective I probably make barely edible food such as scrambled eggs, or waffles on Sunday nights all the time! (It’s as if I didn’t know that waffles are BREAKFAST FOODS and it is probably ILLEGAL in several countries to serve them at night!)  I also cook non-Mexican foods on occasion . . . Wow, the more I think about the foods I actually expect him to eat the more I think I should be relegated to a tertiary level of cookery.

But, and I’m very serious here, I don’t understand why my husband is regarded as my cooking superior because, after all, he makes curries, Indian foods and greens which Jake never touches.  Jake merely eats the accompanying rice with an obscene amount of soy sauce dumped on top! 

It’s not as if I want to be the primary cook.  I’m looking forward to my husband’s retirement when he shall truly become the primary cook.  Unfortunately, that day will not come until all, ok three out of the four, of our children move out and he will not have to listen to years of disparaging cooking comments leading him to hate cooking and contemplating cooking oatmeal with boiled raisins for breakfast every morning, followed up with liver and onions for both lunch and dinner!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

on your holiday 0352

Will loves to listen to music on the computer formerly belonging to all the children but alas, now almost completely taken over by Will.  It’s to the point where we call it Will’s computer.  Bri is now trying to push me off mine.  She claims she is doing homework or writing her book but I know she is really tending to her Facebook farm or watching fish in her aquarium.

The other day Will was listening to Five for Fighting’s 100 Years.  I was curious what he had renamed it so I checked . . . naturally he’d relabeled it on your holiday 0352.  Yes, he named it after a Wiggles’ song.  When I told one of his teachers at MyGym she said his future career is obviously to be a DJ.  

Sure, but can you imagine the range of songs he’d play within a couple of minutes!
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