Thursday, May 31, 2012

People on Facebook...

It started with a question from my friend Tara. Well, no, it didn't. It was an entire day of me totally overreacting and not being successful whatsoever at watching my mouth because everyone was rubbing me the wrong way with everything they said and did. I have a sneaky suspicion that I could possibly be PMSing. I never know because I lose count and I'm all over the calendar anymore anyway. The only thing that tells me it's coming is psychotic rage. I'm not quite to that point but I feel I'm 2 steps from it. Honestly, I'm still kinda irritable this morning so I'm not sure it's the best time to be talking about this but whatever. I can bomb a post ever now and then, right? So, after several instances of things that got to me, I get another one. (Thanks, Tara. You know I'm going to blame you for whatever comes next, right? It can't possibly be my fault ;) ) Ok, so...

Tara posted:
after getting a message about ME using MY fb page to put up posts about AUTISM i was told to stop posting and was told its annoying. i went off.was i wrong? 
I am leaving the typos and such for this reason- "thank you everyone excuse my spelling as my hands are shaking and my tears will not stop.ty evey one."

Her writing shows the impact this woman's words have on her. I will not take that away because she is entitled to her emotions, but we'll get to that.

Then Tara shares what the woman had to say to her about posting on her own wall...


and now, let's get this party started...

There are SO MANY ways I would love to respond to this woman. There are so many things I would love to say to her but I don't know her. Unfortunately this situation is not unique to Tara. This is an ongoing problem on Facebook and many other social media sites, not to mention in public. this is actually a pretty common issue for Autism Parents. So, let's break it down...

"EXCUSE ME BITCH!!!"    Ohhhhh... That's an awesome way to start a letter. I would like to say ...and the horse you rode in on but that would not be very nice so I will say, Excuse me, honey... your "class" is showing. The way you open with what you have to say really has *me* open to listening to what you have to say. Thank you so much for treating *me* with the respect you expect in return. This shows me what a *truly amazing* person you are and how *wise* it was of *me* to add you to my friends list.

"WHATEVER YOU POST ON YOUR PAGE, GETS POSTED ON EVERYONE ELSES PAGE."   Ummm... yeah... that's kinda the point in *social* media. You send friend requests to people you know and want to keep up on. You share on your own wall the things that are important to you and your friends see it and respond. What is a friend, you say? well, let me tell you... friend (fr nd). n. 1. A person whom one knows, likes, and trusts. If you do not wish to be *my* friend, there is a button for that. Let me just tell you, all of the posts on *my* wall going to your news feed? it's a two way street. Your posts go to *my* newsfeed. If sometimes you have a post that *I* don't care to see, *I* skip over but also don't feel the need to tell you what a "dumbass" you are.

"YOU DON'T HAVE TO CONSTANTLY ADVERTISE IT THAT YOUR SON HAS AUTISM." actually, yeah we do. Otherwise, we get uneducated people who don't have the first clue about autism giving us hell over the supidest things. Oh, wait. we have that anyway, don't we? hm. maybe you need to hear from more than one autism parent in order to understand. So, maybe we should all keep talking until we are heard.

"BIG DEAL THAT HE HAS IT. HE'S NOT THE ONLY ONE IN THE WORLD WHO HAS IT." No, he's not. he's 1/88 and the number is growing. If we don't speak, we don't share, how will others know what to look for? How will others in our social media circles know they are not alone if they spot signs in their children? What about that single guy or girl who finds a single guy or girl who has a child with autism? Because of what they see in their newsfeed they can say, Oh! I have an idea of what that is because I have a friend who has a child with autism and she  cares enough to share her life with me! 

"WHY DON'T YOU TALK ABOUT THE DAUGHTER WHO DIED!!!"    No one's problems are more or less heartbreaking than your own. My problems are no more or less serious than yours. Your problems are not more important than mine. You have every right to mourn your sweet baby no matter what is going on anywhere else and so do I. You mean to say that we are "lucky" that it's "just" autism? Try living it yourself. You sit there and cry when your boyfriend dumps you or your best friend betrays you. You sit there and cry when things don't go your way but I need to think about the death of someone's child before I can have a right to cry over my problems? Fuck. You. You are entitled to your grief. I am entitled to mine. You are entitled to your anger and your frustration. I am entitled to mine. You have a child then to "lose" them in any way is devastating. You don't get to tell me what I should be feeling. Even if the "someone's child" who died was my own... it doesn't change much. Brittany was not my own but she was my husband's. We talk about her whenever the opportunity comes up but guess what... we talk about the ones we live with every day more than we talk about the one we only see in memories.

(and if my husband could see that, he'd be very disappointed in my language. and that just ticks me off more.)

"IF ANYONE IS SICK, IT'S YOU!!! YOU'RE THE ONE WHO IS TWISTED CONSTANTLY ADVERTISING THAT YOUR SON IS SICK."    ... ... "sick"? offensive. "Different, not less." Autism is not a sickness but if you had paid attention to the posts you're bashing, you would have known that. Guess we should just keep posting so MAYBE someone will actually read them.

"THAT'S SOMETHING THAT YOU SHARE WITH FAMILY, NOT ON A SOCIAL NETWORK!!!!"  I don't know about Tara, but probably 98% of my facebook friends ARE family... but even the ones who aren't family are polite enough to just not respond.

 "THANK GOD YOU TOOK ME OFF YOUR FRIENDS LIST. NOW I HAVE MORE SPACE FOR IMPORTANT THINGS!!!!"   OH! Soooo.... You have more important things than the "DAUGHTER WHO DIED!!!"? Please, enlighten me... waiting... waiting...

"OH, BY THE WAY, NOBODY FEELS SORRY FOR YOUR DUMB ASS."  Good. That would be sad. Our goal is education and acceptance. Not pity.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Story Time at the Library.

Ok, so there may have been a few things I didn't take into consideration before deciding that Story Time at the local Library was a fantastic idea...
I'm thinking next time maybe I ought to phone ahead a warning that I'm bringing a vocal stimmer with me. Or I could see if there are more appropriate activities to take him to...

One of the other issues being that the Goofy child is totally incapable of shutting his trap for more than a few seconds at a time. We didn't hit the 5 minute mark before another Dad got up to move his kid away from Goofy because Goofy was talking to him. I would have noticed myself and been able to correct the Goofy child if...

I had not been caught up in the wild one who also didn't hit the 5 minute mark before throwing his rubber hippo at the lady a few seats over, protesting loudly that he did not want to be where we were and dropping to the floor to whine and hum. When the ABC song caught his attention, I thought maybe... no. so at the 10 minute mark when the Goofy child found a new kid to talk to, and I thought maybe Alex was just mad that he was in the seat while all of the other kids were in front, so we moved by the Goofy child. Nope. Even my hand over his mouth wasn't quieting that child. When the Lady who was reading looked at us in confusion (I assume that was the look on her face), I took the wild one to the hall and left Walter to watch over Goofy and the Little Dementor. Alex was throwing toys left and right, pacing, trying to open doors and knocking on the outside window saying "goodbye? goodbye?"... a few minutes later, Walter was mouthing that the Little Dementor was sleeping. Well, there's not much I can do about it. Leaving in it's self was a big scene. Oh, man. Goofy was running ahead "Goofy, stay close. Goofy, wait for us. Goofy, not that door. This way. this way. this way. GOOFY! STOP." You are not suppose to yell in the library. :/

We leave there and I figure I have enough time to take them to run some energy off to make up for making them sit for 30 minutes so we head to the school... Alex hummed all the way there.

He hummed while he ran.

He hummed his way home.

He hummed watching TV.

I had him trying to calm down in his room while the baby played in the floor and the kids played with play-doh so he didn't trip over the baby in his need to run-pace and throw himself into walls and knock on every available surface and he didn't eat the play-doh.
Goofy and the L.D. played with play-doh so they would be occupied during the time I could not be outside with them. I'm half tempted to take a razor blade to that pool so I don't have to explain 10,ooo times WHY they can't swim alone even if it is just right there and even if they do really, really want to.

after I put the baby down for a nap...
He hummed playing outside. while they splashed wildly in the pool annoying Walter who was trying to get a tan. (Dude, you're Mexican. You don't need to tan!)

He paced.
He hummed.
He practiced walking backward.
He paced.
He hummed.
He said "goodnightgoodnight."
I said "Hell, yeah!"
Nap time.

Then he hummed himself to sleep.

Then the L.D. threw the Goofy child's Red Ranger over the fence into the neighbor's yard so the Green Ranger has been taken hostage until the L.D.'s dad gets home.

I swear, if someone's dad doesn't get home quick, both the Red Ranger and the Green Ranger will be hung in the entry way by their necks while the Goofy child and the L.D. sit and watch them dangle. I'd threaten to hang Ernie too, but Alex wouldn't care.

On the bright side, I made rice milk and it's not bad :)

And my brother's home!!!

Crazy Kids...

I must say, my shining moment of the day, the one I am most proud of my genius thinking had to be lunch time. I lost the picture but I did take a picture because it was THAT awesome. Anyway, this is what happened...

I lined up 5 plates.
I placed 2 pieces of bread on each plate 1-5.
I put jelly on the bread 5-1.
I put peanut butter on the bread-3,1,5,2,4.
I spread the jelly 2,4,3,5,1.
I put the sandwiches together 4,1,5,2,3.

No arguments :)

Have you noticed that when you need to go somewhere, it takes longer to pack up than to actually be gone? Coffee and water and sunscreen and diapers and getting dressed and shoes on and... you know.

Packed, loaded and outta here!

Sunscreen tickles :)

They had a good time on the Kindergarten playground, the only one that has a building on 3 sides so one person can guard the only way out. Brilliant people built this school. Alex saw several people he HAD to go say "Hi there! Hi there! Oh, Hi, [how are] you you you?" to through the windows while they waved wildly with big grins on their faces. He went to this school for grades 1-3 so he made a few friends before switching schools.

Then Walter took the 2 small ones to another playground with the warning "If you can't see me, I can't see you and I need to see you at all times..." following them. and. they. listened. It was great. When Alex started getting too hot we came home to cool down...

While the other boys were all 3 outside cooling down, I had Alex inside cooling down and the next thing I know...

"Who did this!?"

"I don't know."

"Wasn't me."

Dads dealt with them while I took off to have a good laugh and a hot bath :)

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day

With it being a holiday, a special holiday- considering my Grandpa was Air Force, My uncle- Army, my other uncle- Marine, Big Daddy's Dad was Army, His brother- Army and I want my kids to wear the uniform as well. and since we normally take the kids out on grocery shopping day, we started by taking them to get something to eat. Steak 'n' Shake, of course.

and Alex stole my food. again.

Then, with Memorial Day usually being the day that kicks off summer, we went to Wal-Mart to get the supplies we needed to kick it off our way. Tradition, man.

We left Wal-Mart to take my boys someplace special. The place where they can see with their own 2 (6, but you know what I mean) eyes some of the people who have fought for our country, Some of the people who cared enough about each one of them to sign up to defend their rights as American Citizens. Men and women who put the uniform on with pride to stand up for what was right. Each picture is a different section, no tomb stone is repeated in any of these photos and these few photos are just the beginning, not even an accurate idea of Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery.

I can't say what this sacred place means to me, I cannot describe the emotions looking at the 150,000 graves already there and knowing that number grows every day.

After answering questions and hearing Walter's heartfelt declaration of his intent to join when he turns 18, we went to the grocery store for the rest of the great summer kick off...

 Then came home to get started. Some time after this picture...

the Goofy child lost a fight with the sidewalk and turned into a Drama Queen at the sight of blood. He is his mother's child, after all.

And it starts...

For supper, Big Daddy's making mostaccioli followed by our traditional watermelon :) Pretty sure it will be an early night because we are ALL whooped.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Happy Birthday, Alex!

Follow the logic here... Rubber Ducky fanatic... Bathtub... Water... Blue.
Blue is also the color I see when I think of Alex.
Blue is also Autism Awareness.
Alex has autism.
right? Ok.

Big Daddy did the balloons and the door.
Walter did the Autism Pride Puzzle Piece back in April
for Autism Awareness Month.

Mommy and Daddy came for the party
 and brought Alex's sister.
Who promptly tore most of the decorations down
so she could throw them down the stairs.
brat :)

They also brought a cake :)
How perfect is that?

He was kind of confused because as far as I know,
he's never been invited to blow out the candles.
Fire is dangerous, man!
Please excuse the chaotic background,
that's just how we roll.

He's been dying to get his tongue on that duck since he saw the cake.
 He even said "My Duck",
which I missed but Mommy told me about it.

We've got the Little Dementor this week.
We missed him.

Didn't even bother trying to encourage Alex to use a spoon or a fork.
Didn't even bother offering one.
It is HIS party, after all.
He can eat with his fingers and paint the table if he wants to.
Right? Ok.

Love that girl!
Every time she sees me, she likes me just a little more.
Today, she likes me a whole lot more because
she went home with a weighted blanket Alex refuses to use.
(Mommy says she doesn't care if I use pictures)

I made Daddy do all of the "hard" stuff.
Hahaha, that's what you get for showing up :P
This ball has been lick tested and Alex approved.

Elmo is always a sure bet.
Don't worry, I one upped grandma with Ernie.
and Mama wins.

He's so pretty.
However, Mommy and Daddy one upped Mama with a helicopter that makes noise
AND feeds his nesting obsession.
Whatever. Mama's still way cooler.
and Mama loves to watch Ooga and Elmo,
BUT, he really likes that toy.
A lot.

Then he started thrashing around and throwing toys so I decided to have mercy on the boy and let him go to his room. alone. with no one else. just him and his new toys. and Sesame Street on the TV.