Monday, June 28, 2010

leave your jokes in the comments

I was reminded today of a story from my childhood, a story that may explain a lot about my son. I attended Vacation Bible School (VBS) every summer from probably age five through age twelve. Well, during one of those younger years, the theme had something to do with 'Running the Race.' Every morning all of the kids met in the church sanctuary for a skit and an inspirational speech from the main person in the skits.

Well, this person kept going on and on about running this race. Running to the next city over and how we were going to train for it all week and how it was a seven mile run and how he knew we could all do it.

And see, I'm sure he tied it into God's Word somehow, but I was so caught up in RUNNING in the HEAT that I didn't hear any of that. And I didn't ask anybody. I just sat in my pew, petrified.

Finally, on Wednesday, during a group activity outside with another class, I felt dizzy just thinking about all of that panting and gasping for breath while I ran and sweated and I just lost it and ran over to the nearest VBS volunteer, who I had never seen before, sobbing uncontrollably. Even after they took me inside and let me have cookies and juice, I never told them about my fear. I just reiterated my need to GO HOME THAT MINUTE.

I remember my older sister, who also attended VBS, and my mom explaining later that afternoon that the man wasn't really serious about running seven miles. In fact, I wouldn't have to run at all.

I can't say this for sure, but I know I thought, "Well, then why did he SAY that? JERK."

Saturday, June 26, 2010


Punkin is a very literal thinker, and I try to be mindful of that at all times. There's a scene in Toy Story 3 where Woody is climbing on a toilet and you better believe I leaned down and whispered, "Punkin, your Woody doll should not do that." I pointed to the two cowboys sitting on his lap and said again, "He does not climb on the potty."

I often say these things during TV shows as Punkin is prone to copying his favorite character's habits, both good and bad. This is how the barking thing started. But I also think it's where many of his play schemes come from.

So far no toys have climbed on the toilet. But a few days later we came home and I told Punkin to go potty, "But don't take your clothes off" because we were leaving again in a few minutes to go swimming. Yep, you guessed it. He sat on the potty and peed right through his shorts.


Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Punkin's mornings start off with a "HI MONNA!" and a sweet nuzzle as he crawls into bed with me to watch "tartoons." Sometimes his morning starts at 2am (twice last week this happened) and sometimes it starts at 6am (Oops! Better hurry up!), but generally it's about 5:00. We always have to follow the same routine: snuggle hello, watch tv, yell "get up!" to a very drowsy mom, ask for food, get rerouted into the bathroom, point to the box of "Fosted Fakes," scurry off to the bedroom to make sure he hasn't missed any Handy Manny, and scurry back when his table is set up in the living room.

When it's finally time to leave for school, his energy level has started to rise, which means his limbs have begun to move independently of the rest of his body. Having him dress himself is amazingly difficult at this point; nine times out of ten I end up doing most of the work while he flings his body backwards to snag more spoonfuls of cereal.

By the time we leave, we're searching for which toy to bring in the car. Thank goodness these past two weeks it's been his two Woody dolls; before that he would dump out and then sift through nearly thirty small cars, searching for just the right ones. "Dis one? Dis one? Dis one?" He'd end up with half a dozen in his hands, throw them down the stairs, start barking as he went after them, and then just as we would gather them all together, threaten to start the process anew. My neighbor actually opened his door one morning as if looking for a dog. I'm certain that he was certain a Cocker Spaniel had made its way inside.

Now we're at school. I've unleashed Punkin from his carseat and managed to avoid a fatality on our way inside. While I sign in and put my lunch in the fridge in the office, he's picking up the phone, "YUYOH!" typing on the computer, tearing copier paper, and trying to drink out of empty Mountain Dew cans.

So by the time we make it to the classroom and the other students arrive for the hour long morning program that I work with him, wound up does not even describe his bodily state. He is ready to wrestle. But see, you aren't really encouraged to wrestle at school. His teachers keep repeating, "gentle touches" and "no throwing toys." Silly teachers!

The other teachers and I try hard to calm his engine with brushing and other sensory input, but it's hard to do those things when his limbs are moving like a windmill. Hence the bruises on my legs.

Enter: Miracle Toy. Mr. Potato Head. This plastic piece of perfection has moved in and out of the top five favorite toys for several years. And I would personally like to applaud Pixar and the makers of Toy Story 3 for staging a comeback. You rock, Spud. You rock.

(And yes, once the Ritalin kicks in, he is 100% more controlled. It's just that first hour that is tricky. I can't give the meds earlier or he ends up having behavior issues during the core school day. Life is all about compromises!)

Saturday, June 19, 2010

i couldn't convince him to wear his costume

Toy Story 3 was awesome, guys.
And the popcorn was huge.

He was pretty wiggly until he saw Woody and Mr. Potato Head on the big screen. Then he froze and Miss Sackie (I know!! She came with us!) whispered to me that he was grinning.

The movie was smart, fun, and heartwarming; I can't wait to go back with Oma and Opa -- maybe he'll wear his Woody costume next time. =)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

the kid is brilliant

Punkin's Woody dolls have made many a trip and even enjoyed a few bites of bacon during one of them. The original Woody is actually no longer viable, as Punkin went through a rather nasty oral motor stage and chewed through his boot and jeans, causing a cascade of tiny white beads onto the floor of a neurologist's waiting room. He now carries two of them -- because pairs of things are always better. DUH!

I just love the way that he treats these two dolls like babies. He does the same thing with the two Elmo dolls in his classroom, although there's been a custody dispute as of late between him and another boy. He holds them over his shoulder, covers them in a blanket, pats their backs, and says, "oohhh, nice."

The other morning I let him bring them in to school for a little bit; I mentioned Woody might be a little hungry, so them fixed him a snack.

They insist on traveling with a fleece blanket no matter the temperature so they can sleep in the car, because who can sleep without FLEECE? And every night I give all three of them kisses after prayers. I'm pretty sure Buzz Lightyear is in there somewhere, too. Notice the Woody couple have their own Woody blanket for bedtime.
And here I was afraid he wouldn't be excited to see Toy Story 3!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

mommy, again now?

Oma and I visited a friend's yard sale today. She had a few racks of VHS tapes, so Oma picked up a couple including The Rescuers. The kid has not stopped giggling. I think the best is when the mice are hiding inside the pipes of the organ and the mean alligators pound on the keys, blowing them up in the air. You just can't beat a good belly laugh. Also, it's 5pm and he's not flipping out.

I called Punkin's pediatrician last week about his behavior issues. It's becoming rather overwhelming for me. For the most part he can hold it together at school, but once 2pm hits, he starts to break down. And then each half hour after that wields more issues -- tears, throwing toys, defiance, banging his head, hitting, kicking, pinching -- until he ceases to be able to function at all and ends up in a ball on the floor, arms and legs flailing in every direction as I attempt to calm him.

Most times it requires me laying him across a therapy ball and bouncing him as hard as I can for at least five minutes. Other times, if he's stopped throwing objects or isn't self-injuring, I can set him on his bed. But if we're out? Forget it.

And I never know what might set him off. Might be the respite worker coming over. Or, it might be that he doesn't like what I cooked for dinner so he throws his plate, dumps his milk, cries because he knows that's bad, hits me when I put him in time out, bangs his head because hitting me is bad, cries because his head hurts, and then refuses to take a bath because he can't calm down and think straight.

The point? The point is the doctor suggested increasing his afternoon dose of Ritalin to 10mg. I brought up giving him three small doses, but we decided to go this route first to see how it worked in order to avoid any issues with meal times and bedtime. I am NOT messing with bedtime if I don't have to! That is one thing we, for the most part, have conquered.

He's had the increased dose for two days and he's doing fine. It's hard to tell on the weekends, honestly. Next week will be the real test. I know he's having a few issues at school in the special education room, but he's not having any problems in the integrated room. I know there are other children in his special ed room with behavior issues and other kids who require A LOT of attention, so I'm wondering if that is some of the problem. It's also more comfortable in there for him -- kind of like home is more comfortable than school, so he acts up more at home. In the end, I'm wondering if his evenings become calmer, it might smooth out the rest of his day as well. Keeping my fingers crossed!

Monday, June 7, 2010

miss sackie

Another episode of Spongebob ends and I decide it needs to be our last for the evening. Punkin isn't thrilled with the decision, so I coax him into his room and try to engage him in some play.

"Want to do playdoh?"
"We could paint."
"OOooh, there's cars!"
"NOCARS!" He sneaks in a hint of teasing.
"Nolegos!" Definitely giggling now.
"Want to play a game?"
"We can cook."
"No cook!"
"Bucket?" He points to the shelf.
"You want your pumpkin bucket?"
"Yes! OKAYEE!"
"Okay, I'll take the Toy Story bucket," as he snatches it out of my hand.
"Shoes on."
"Where are we going?"
"Inna car."
"Where is the car taking us," I ask as he pulls open his sock drawer.
"Go inna car." Now he is collecting small cars and trucks and putting them in his buckets. "Hold 'em?"
"You want to take the cars with you?"
"Yes, okayee."
"Where are we going?"
"Inna car."
"Well, where will the car take us?"
"What do you want to do?"
"Maybe your bus knows. Hey bus, what do you want to do?"
"See da chicks!"
"Oh, I see. You want to go bye-bye in the car?"
"Where will the car take us, Mr. Bus?"
"Miss Sackie's house!"
"Bus, we can't see the chicks anymore. They went back to the farm. I am so sorry if that makes you sad."
"Miss Sackie's house."
"You want to go to school and see her? We can't go there right now." He puts one sock on.
"Go inna car."
"School is all done for today, Mouse Monday. We will see her at school tomorrow, on Turtle Tuesday." He puts the other sock on.
"Wook! I did it!"
"Honey, we are staying home." He puts one shoe on.
"Wook a' me!" He puts the other shoe on. "Let's go!" He grabs his pails, full of cars, and heads to the door, "Miss Sackie's house."

So we called her instead and he even said, "I love you." It was pretty cute. It made up for ten minutes later when he got mad at me again and threw my $20 prescription face cream and my $10 makeup in the toilet.

to finfinity an meeyoonnnd!

10 minutes he did this.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

looka i got!

There have been a few exciting developments this week, the first of which was the discovery of the red vacuum in Punkin's bedroom that has gone untouched for months; he scurries off to get it every evening when I plug in the real vacuum to help me clean up all of those "Fosted Fakes."

During one of these cleaning sessions, I pulled the loveseat out from the wall and found myself in an interesting situation. There sat the Christmas At Home vintage cartoons DVD; I had a choice to make -- tell him or silently walk to the garbage can. Of course I enjoy torture, so I happily relayed the news, "Look what I found! It's Christmas!"

When Punkin is excited about a movie, he runs around the apartment, closes all the doors, shuts off all the lights, wiggles his hips into his space on the couch while flapping his arms, and announces, "ready!" The look of pure joy on his face was worth hearing those awful, high-pitched voices again.

And finally, yesterday Punkin's Godfather stopped in town to see us and gave him a lunch box that he picked up when he went to the Indy 500 over Memorial Day. He was pretty impressed, calling it a "box, wow." This morning he put his new semi truck in it and carried it to school to show his teachers. I'm pretty sure they were all jealous.