Sunday, October 31, 2010

Running Around Like a Headless Chicken

(This was my Friday) I decided to buy a piano, I’d been considering one since Monday.  Now lest you think this is a spur of the moment decision and I have somehow become impulsive; I will state that Bri has been taking piano for over five years and practicing on a keyboard.  Yes, I realize that is pathetic.  Whatever.

I called my friend Pat Friday morning and said I’d buy it.  She said I needed to pick it up by Sunday.  I called a piano mover, then another one.  We set up a time for between 5 and 6pm.  The only problem was that Bri had an orthodontist appointment at 4:30 and I had to take her and a teammate to a swim meet at 5:30.  Ok, I’d work it out.

I called the orthodontist to reschedule her appointment.  2:15 was available.  Yuck, I’d have to pick her up from school and drive her directly to her appointment.  This was probably only the 10th time she’s ridden the bus that I paid for. (Seminary in the morning and swim team after school.)  I know it doesn’t matter -- swim team ends soon and she can ride the bus home most days.  But still.

I called her school twice to make sure she got the message to not take the bus.  I asked my husband if he could take the girls to the meet.  It was after his high stress phone call with the CEO so he said sure.  I call Pat to arrange to pick up the piano.  Great everything is set.

The piano movers call back.  They have great news.  Then can come between 2 and 3.  Ummm, great?  That’s better but . . .  I call back the orthodontist to reschedule Bri’s appointment for 4:30.  My husband is thrilled that they will be here during his phone conference.  That time is better for Pat. But I don’t want to call back the high school and say “never mind” after two phone calls and probably sounding like a crazy lady.  So, I decide that the construction that is everywhere won’t be a problem and I can pick up Bri and get home before the movers get here.

I start calling Bri as soon as school is out in hopes of catching her before her bus leaves.  I call her again after I park.  “Yeah, I got your message.  I’d rather ride the bus home with Caroline.”  Do you think she got either of my messages from school?  No.  Wasted trip.

Watching the movers haul that piano upstairs convinced me never to go into the business of moving pianos.  I heard a couple of colorful expressions.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Because it can’t be called anything but brilliant to buy an autistic 11 year-old an expensive piece of hardware and then let him play with it without supervision of any kind

Update:  Will, obviously reads my blog.  I'll have to be careful about what I post.  For instance, I will not tell you my new and improved hiding place for gluten.  Or write down directions to Disney World, or my credit card number.  Arggg, I think I'm going to go touch the forbidden cabinet door in front of Will!  Maybe the anticipation of that horrific event will discourage future reading!

Thursday, October 28, 2010


Jake came up to me and very seriously said, “Mom, I asked Will three questions:  What is your favorite color?  What is your favorite shape?  And what is your favorite letter?”  The answers were purple, a triangle and M mmm, monkey.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Because it can’t be called anything but brilliant to buy an autistic 11 year-old an expensive piece of hardware and then let him play with it without supervision of any kind

Step 1:  Replace cracked iPad   Status:  Awesome

Step 2.  Protect replacement iPad  Status:  In process/Ordered Otterskin Defender Series case to place inside Hard Candy Case.  Then I plan to duct tape the iPad to my child’s hand.  Currently the iPad is hidden in a chest under a blanket.  (I think it’s safe . . . unless Will reads my blog.)

I almost kissed a twenty year old today.  I thought he might throw up in his mouth if I did, so I refrained.  I was in the apple store last week with a cracked iPad and was told it would cost 300 bucks to replace it.  It was $200 to send it away for a new screen.  I thought about it for a week then decided to replace it.

But, BUT when I whipped out my credit card to pay for it.  The twenty year-old said it was still under warrantee.  “Really?”  I questioned.

“I can double check.”  He offered.

“No, no please don’t.”  I begged.

Then when he walked away for a minute I high-fived a friend I’d happened to meet there.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Sad Cat Lady

Apparently I just don’t get it. I’m sure that doesn’t surprise anyone. Marcy asked me what I was doing for my birthday. I said nothing. She said “well, at least your husband will get you a cake.”

“No, I make my own cake.”

Shocked she blurted out, “No, only sad cat ladies make their own cakes.” 

“Exchange the cat for children.” I retorted.

She baked me a cake. It’s gone now . . . and I miss it.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Entrance: Denied

It’s some weird autistic thing.  Will has decided that no one can open the cabinet the TV in the playroom sits on.  We put some videos in that cabinet and the kids like to watch Book of Virtues on Sunday but Will doesn’t want them to watch that either.  I’ve seen him run in the playroom saying, “No book of virtues!” and chase the kids out of the room.  They leave because he pinches.  (They’re smart self interested that way!)

Then over a week ago Jake had the bright idea to teach Will how to play tag.  He thought how can I motivate Will to chase me?  And naturally thought of the cabinet in the playroom.  He taunted Will by touching it them tried to run out of the room before Will could pinch him.  I told him it wouldn’t end well and wasn’t a great idea, but Jake is 13.

And now no one is allowed in the playroom unless Will is distracted.  Will even tried to get me out, but mama doesn’t play that game!  And I use my “you will not pinch me” voice and say “you will not pinch me.”  And that works about half the time.

Great, another thing to fix – but on the bright side it’s not in the bathroom. 

(A la my facebook post September 1st:  William + chocolate syrup + a cream colored sofa = 1 unhappy mama; then while I was scrubbing the floor, couch and coffee table, Will stuffed a plastic bag, a tube of sunscreen and soap down the bathroom sink drain. Now I believe he is naked in the backyard. I know the question on your mind -- a cream couch woman? My only response -- well, I wanted to match Marcy.)

Friday, October 22, 2010

Will in Action


Looking up from my computer induced stupor I notice two things.  1.  It’s almost 8:00am and 2.  William’s bus is here.  Ack!  I run downstairs and notice that the front door is cracked open.  I run outside and ask the bus drivers if Will is on the bus.  They said no – which saved me from my second question … “is he wearing pants?”

I found Will in the backyard and no, he was not wearing pants.  I put some on him, added some shoes and pulled a fleece over his head.  He wandered outside while I frantically tried to make his lunch and save myself a drive.  I didn’t have enough peas in the freezer upstairs so he only got about half a cup.  Usually he gets more than a cup.


I hit the snooze button on my alarm this morning because I was tired.  Thus I was ten minutes late with everything.  I was hurrying downstairs carrying two shirts for Will to choose from, a pair of socks, Will’s communication notebook, his lunch and a spoonful of applesauce topped with Will’s vitamins; when I noticed the front door was wide open!  I hurried outside.  Will had just got in the van.  He was 1. Wearing a shirt. 2. Wearing flip flops and 3. Carrying his fleece.   (He already had pants on.)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Ok, whose fault is this?

I called my sister to complain that I was driving to Stop and Shop at 7:16, Thursday night to buy butter because I needed some for frosting.  “Why?” She asked.  

“It’s Lizzy’s fault.”  I started to say.  Then I stopped.  No, I didn’t think it was.  I actually started this whole chain of events last week.  Last Saturday, I took Bri to Target to buy shoes.  She actually bought purple slippers because that is apparently what teenagers wear.  Odd . . . moving on.  While at the store I threw a package of a Halloween candy mix of Indian candy corn and mini pumpkins into my carriage because I LOVE CANDY CORN!  

Once home, Lizzy saw the package on the counter and asked the natural question.  That being, of course, may I have some.  I realized that due to my appalling lack of control, if she opened the package I would eat whatever remained while the kids were at school.  So, I told her no, that we would instead make sugar cookies and use the candy to decorate them.  Thus in a blindingly brilliant outpouring of words I somehow gave her the expectation that 1.  We would make sugar cookies and 2.  Once the cookies were baked we would decorate them.

Well, on Sunday we had people over for dinner.  Monday is MyGym.  Tuesday Will started a music class.  Wednesday is therapy, swim lessons, piano (William), scouts, young women’s, and activities days (others’).  I deflected Lizzy’s requests.  As the week worn on those requests became more demanding.  By Thursday afternoon I decided I should just make the dough and let Lizzy help me roll and cut shapes out later.  After the cookies were baked Lizzy asked to decorate them.  “Umm, I think we’re out of butter.”  I answered.  “How do you feel about cream cheese frosting?”   

And I found myself driving to the store.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Conversations with my husband

I called my husband after getting his message; catching him at the airport just before his plane took off.  “When are you getting home?”  I asked.

“Tomorrow night after 10pm.”

“I thought you had jury duty tomorrow.”

“No, I have it on Thursday.”

“Where are you going?” 


Pause . . .

“Where are you right now?”



Monday, October 18, 2010

Apparently I’m a little Grumpy

Or a lot.  My husband mentioned that I’ve been grumpy since school started.  It’s not surprising since I’m getting up at 5:30 to take Bri to seminary.  When I get home I get back in bed and try really hard to fall back asleep but it doesn’t work very well.

My husband said, “I think you’re sleep deprived.”  I agreed.  Then he told me that he thought I just didn’t like him for a couple years when the boys little, now he realizes that  I was just a sleep-deprived grump.

That’s me.  Apparently I don’t do well when I don’t get enough sleep.  Since Bri can’t drive for two years I should try to think of some kind of strategy to deal with my ill temper.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Because all of my plans always seem to work out

I’m sure that nothing could possibly go wrong with our latest plan.  Yesterday morning must just have been some odd aberration and not in any way foreshadowing that my husband and I are making an awful mistake and that the universe is gathering to pelt us with pestilence and/or scoop out the little section of earth we are buying.

We, like most parents of kids with special needs, worry about our kid’s future: how to fund a special needs trust, where he will live, what he will do, who will take care of him.  So, we decided to buy a house, rent it out and hopefully in a few years have an asset we can use to either fund a trust, or use that money to buy a house for Will to live in.

This morning I went to the bank to get a cashier’s check for our earnest money.  I waited in line. When I got to the desk I was told their machine that prints cashier checks was broken.  When the teller saw the look of panic and horror on my face, he suggested that I drive to another branch which I did . . . through all the construction.  My realtor told me who to make the check out to and for how much.  Naturally, the teller at the other branch asked me what the initials stood for . . . ??? . . .  She said that could be a problem.  It was.

I tried calling my realtor.  She didn’t answer.  I tried calling my husband.  He didn’t answer.  The bank teller looked up the phone number of the company doing the financing.  They transferred me to another branch, which gave me the cell phone number of the woman doing our paperwork.  She didn’t answer.  I called our lawyer.  She answered but had no idea what the initials stood for.  Fortunately she called me back five minutes later with a pretty good guess – that ended up being correct.  So, an hour after I arrived at the first bank I dropped off the check at the realtor’s office.

I am trying to fully prepare for the bank to drop kick us.

Thursday, October 14, 2010


Will got in the van that drives him to school.  “Hi America, Merixa.”  He reached for the Toy Story Book conveniently located on the floor in front of him.  “Power please.”

“Oh, do you play music for him?”  I asked.

“Yes, sometimes he’ll say number 1, number 13.”  America told me.

Hmm, not a bad ride, no?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Unfinished Projects

Now that I have new couches in my family room, I need to fix up my living room.  I want a couple of rugs, some end tables and a desk. If I went crazy I’d say I want a picture or some sort of decoration but since I lack a decorating gene (genetic predisposition) I’ll settle for the furniture.  However, when I consider my dithering nature it might be a while. And I want a new dining room table but since ours is just fine I probably won’t buy a new dining room set for ten years … sigh.

I have two new projects.  I saw a drop leaf table by the side of the road and two mid-century modern chairs out with my neighbor’s garbage.  So, I sent my husband out to get them.  I’m going to refinish the table and maybe reupholster the chairs in leather.  Everything is in the garage right next to the cat scratched mid-century modern chair I spent $5 bucks on at a garage sale two years ago that I planned to reupholster but haven’t and now my husband won’t take to the dump because he likes to taunt me with my procrastination.  Evil huh?

Pause . . . maybe I should come up with a new project – garage sale?

Monday, October 11, 2010


I think Will has a sliver in the bottom of his foot.  (We all turn to my husband for help for slivers because he is the best sliver remover in the world!  Seriously – even I ask him because I hurt myself more trying to remove it than he does.)  So, I had Will lay down in his bed and held his foot down while my husband attempted to remove the sliver.  Will was almost a trooper.  It hurt so he pinched me in the same spot on my arm four times.  It still hurts.  We gave up.  My husband muttered “I think we should try it when he’s asleep.”

“Feel free to hold him down with your extra arm.”  I responded.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Should I turn up the heat?

The other day I noticed Lizzy was wearing two pairs of pajama pants to bed.  “Are you that cold?”  I queried.  She was.  I added another blanket two days ago, and another tonight.  So that child is wearing two pairs of pajama pants, socks, a long-sleeved top and a fleece to bed; and sleeps under six blankets.

I just added a second blanket to my bed yesterday.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Spending Money

Did I tell you I bought new couches for my family room?  Leather, of course, for reasons that are clear to many parents of kids with autism . . . ah, I dream of the day I can have a fabric couch.  To make room for the new couches, my husband had to haul the couch in the family room upstairs to the living room and haul the well used living room couch to the dump.  Even though my former family room couch isn’t very old it is kind of messed up.  Will walked on the back of it and ripped out the stitching.  My husband suggested that I could sew it up because I have mad sewing skills.  (Just so you know – being able to sew a Halloween costume does not translate into being able to sew leather couches.)  Because I am a procrastinator I predict that by the time I get around to calling someone to repair the couch I will decide it is too old and I should replace it.  Then approximately three years later I will replace the couch and will have saved myself a couple of hundred bucks due to my procrastination. 

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

I just sent an email to my son’s therapist that seemed a little obscene

I started typing the email . . . then paused.  I tried to think of a way to phrase my request so I wouldn’t feel like a 15 year-old hormonal boy alone on a computer at 3 o’clock in the morning.  Then I just gave up and sent the email.

Dear William’s therapist,

Will you please print out a picture of a naked woman with labeled body parts for Will just like the male one you printed up for him. 


From a completely normal and not in any way inappropriate mother

We have the picture of the naked man with labeled body parts taped in the shower because we’re trying to teach Will how to take a shower independently.  

Because these kinds of things are normal in our house!  

I didn’t really think about my 14 year-old daughter, my 13 year-old son and my 8 year-old daughter seeing that every time they took a shower.  Because, come on, there’s also a strip above the sink explaining how to wash hands in case they forget.

But as I sat by the computer feeling like a pervert I realized that my friend’s son had slept over two nights a week ago.  He’d taken a shower both nights and . . . never . . . said . . . a . . . word.  I can’t even say that I think he didn’t notice the picture because it’s right there in black and white – taped on the wall at eye level.

He had to realize that it was for Will, right?  I mean the picture is right next to a list of 19 tasks involved in taking a shower.  It says innocuous things like wash your right arm.  (Of course, it’s male specific and says to wash other things as well but anyone completing the task analysis would definitely be clean after he finished.)

But I need the picture.  I wrote Will a social story about why he should wear clothes and what parts of the body should be covered and I need a visual aid.  After I get it, I promise I won’t tape the picture of the naked woman in the shower and for that I’m sure that my fourteen year-old is grateful.

Monday, October 4, 2010


On Saturday we went to the Fall Festival at Will’s school.  There was a policeman there.  I assume because of some Massachusetts Police Union reason and not because the town feared a mass uprising of autistic kids taking over the government.  Naturally, I went over to chat with him.

Overview:  He admires parents of children with autism a lot.  He has a two year old daughter.  I said I was glad he was there because the more familiarity police have with autism the more likely they are to appropriately interact with them.  I mentioned that Will is going to be huge and I worry about policemen misinterpreting his behavior as threatening.  He looked at Will.  “Eleven.  Yeah, he’s going to be big.”  He agreed.  Then he waxed poetic about how much better tasers are than batons or bullets.  Which, yes, I grant him but just the thought made my head explode.  Then I refrained from saying that anyone who tased my son was in for a massive amount of grief.  Are you proud of me?

Saturday, October 2, 2010

One of Those Days?

Have you ever had a day that starts off great, then ends up like this?

Friday, October 1, 2010

Sometimes I am remarkably like a man

I called my sister.  She asked me what I was doing for my husband’s birthday.  “Thanks for reminding me!”  I said, “My kids get testy when he doesn’t get a cake.”  Later on that day when I talked to my mom she causally worked his birthday into the conversation.  “Oh, yeah, I have something planned.”  I told her.  And I did . . . now that I remembered.

I don’t buy my husband any presents because if he wants something he buys it himself.  But if I was going to buy him something this year, I would have bought him a blender (truly – hand raised; look, I also give bad man gifts or money) . . . I broke our blender making green smoothies and made him a little sad).   

Hmm, perhaps creativity is not one of my strengths.  For the first ten years we were married I bought him socks every year for his birthday and occasionally for Christmas.  But don’t feel too sorry for him because last Christmas he bought me a ladder.  Seriously, and I didn’t ask for one or anything!

And every year on my birthday and Christmas I remind him how lucky he is to be married to me because other women might get really upset if they got a ladder from their husband of 18 years!

BTW, Eileen please remind me two days before my anniversary, thanks.
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