Life On The B Side

Taking all that life throws at us one moment at a time

What’s Been Up? October 17, 2018

What should I write about?

I could mention that one of Ace’s friends was giving him props and said “You my nigga” to which Ace promptly responded, “No.  I’m not.  I don’t like that word.” And how proud I was of him that he spoke up even though it was from a friend and not intended to be demeaning or insulting and even though it had the potential to turn what had been a pleasant moment into something more serious and uncomfortable.

I could tell you that Jay came home complaining about another student and during his rant, he said among other things, “… he’s retarded” and I was completely taken aback by that word choice.  I let Jay finish and then we had a discussion about the word “retard” and that it’s not the correct word to use because it’s insulting to people who have an actual medical issue or disability.  I suggested other words that he could use instead and was very pleased when he said, “Oh yes, that makes sense.  I won’t use that word anymore.  Well, he’s a total jerk and you should talk to his mom.”

 

 

Ooh, can we talk about how Jay had a project at school where he was supposed to make a plant cell model?  At least, that’s what he told me the project was.  I spent time on the weekend getting necessary supplies.  I took a minute to complain about having to do a project on Facebook.  We built (what I thought) was an awesome plant cell and Jay took it to school.  ONLY FOR IT TO BE WRONG.  Ugh!  I got a call from the teacher explaining that Jay had not accurately understood what the project was so we need to do it all over.  There is a part of me that fully appreciates how willing the teachers are to give us more time and how they tried to not make it into a big deal by saying “He just took the assignment too literally and you know, once he has an idea in his head, he gets stuck on that.  We won’t grade his project until Thursday so you can work on it.  It won’t take too long.  And we’ll talk with him today and give him some examples and maybe have him look at some of the other kids projects to make sure he understands before he comes home.”  There is also a part of me that’s like “NOOOOOO.  NO MORE PROJECTS!!!!!!  How bad would it really be if he got a zero this one timeAnd seriously, who gives 5th graders nothing but verbal instructions on a project?  Not everyone processes the same way.  It would have been lovely if, in addition, to the verbal instructions given in class, they also sent home written instructionsPlus, I feel badly for him because he really hates not understanding things because it makes him feel stupid; which he certainly is NOT, so having to do the entire thing again will not go over well.”  (Spoiler alert:  I won’t actually let him get a zero.)  But this will make 3 projects in 5 days.  2 of which needed to be done the night before they were due so that’s no fun for Mom.

 

Let’s end on a high note.

The 15 minute commute is going swimmingly.  Yesterday, I got home at 4:30, and was able to take the boys to Chuck E Cheese for Jays school spirit night.  They had a great time, which means I had a great time.  We got home and were all ready for bed by 8, after having done homework, cleaned the bathroom, taken out garbage, had a very fun pillow fight, done nightly reading, talked on the phone, ironed clothes and tidied rooms.

This morning, I set my alarm for 7am, showered/dressed, hung out with the older boy a little bit while I made tea and then we both walked out the door together.  I made it to work at 7:55.  Simply wonderful!!!

Advertisements
 

Play Date For 2 September 17, 2018

Ace and Jay have never gone to the same school.  Mostly because they had different needs and the same school was never able to provide each kid what he needed.

 

In our area, there are 20 elementary schools that feed into 10 middle schools.  At the elementary school that Ace attended, the kids split fairly evenly between 2 of the middle schools based on where the kid lives.  At Jays elementary school though, the kids pretty much all end up at 1 middle school.  Jay will not go to that middle school.  He will instead take the bus with Ace and for the first time ever, next year, they will walk the same hallways and eat at the same cafeteria.

 

I say all that to say, when Ace began middle school last year, he knew a bunch of the other students already, but the one boy that he became the best friends with had come from the school that Jay currently goes to, so he hadn’t known anyone there prior to last September.

 

A couple of weeks ago Ace came home telling me that he and Nick wanted to hang out on the weekend so could I please speak with Nicks parents and arrange it.  Sure, no problem.

 

As the plans were coming together, Jay asked if he could hang out with them also.  He too knew Nick even though Nick was 2 grades ahead of him.  When Nick was at Jays elementary school they had both been in the same before and after care group.  They were friends of sorts.  Ace said he was ok with it.  Since the hang out was happening at Nicks house I made sure to clear the extra guest with Nicks parents.  We were a go.

 

At 11 am, we pulled up to Nicks driveway, made sure everyone was good, agreed on a 6pm return drop off and left.

All afternoon my phone was quiet.  That meant things were going well.  Right?

 

Just after 6, our doorbell rang and 2 happy boys waved their goodbyes to Nick and his parents and came bounding inside.

 

Later, I texted a thank you to the parents for having my 2 over and the reply said, “No problem!  They are wonderfully well-mannered boys and they are welcome at our house any time!”

The !’s and the “welcome any time” means the parents weren’t just being nice.  It means the boys really had all had a great time and my 2 really had been well behaved.  If the parents were just being polite the response would have said something like “You’re welcomeglad they had a good time.”  Right?  I think so.

 

I am so pleased that Ace has a good friend who seems to be a good kid from a delightful family.  I am so pleased that Jay had a good time with them and there were no attitude problems or meltdowns (I hadn’t told the parents about Jays autism).  I am so pleased that next year, Jay will know at least two students at his school – even though he will probably only see them in the hallways or the cafeteria.  Hopefully he will find his own Ace, just as Nick had.

 

“Can you send them out to play?” March 28, 2017

I pull up to our mailbox and am met by 2 little boys on bikes; Victor and Chase.  They live in our neighbourhood and are out enjoying the nearly 80 degree temperatures.  Everyone feels good when the temps start heading into the 70’s and 80’s after winter.

Victor greets me:

 

“Hi, what’s your name?  You live right there right?  I know your son.  Well, both of them.  Do you ever go to Tory’s?  My Mom works there.  Where are your sons?  Can you send them out to play?”

 

I tell him that once I get inside I will see what they are doing and I’ll let him know.  Chase, who is only 7, assures me that it’s OK for me to send them out, because he’s old enough to take care of them.  It makes me laugh.  Kids are the best.

 

Even though he had already showered and was already pajama’d, Ace was all in.  Jay thought the hassle of changing clothes and then re-showering was not worth it so he opted to stay inside.

 

Ace, now back in the clothes he had worn to school, grabbed his scooter and off he went.

Shaunie and I enjoyed our own version of the nice weather.  Dinner in the kitchen with the door open, cold beers and a quiet house.

 

After some time, Ace came in to say that the boys had decided to eat their dinners outside together.  At this point, Jay was half way through his own dinner, but as it turns out, eating outside > changing clothes and taking 2 showers, so he too, lost the pj’s, grabbed a scooter, his plate, his cup and was out the door in a flash.

 

*When did we get to the point where I could allow Jay to go outside and play without any adult supervision?  No, seriously.  Who are we?*

🙂

 

Despite the major shake up in the routine with the eating outside and the other boys still outside hanging out, while we were upstairs we heard Jay come inside.  He had come back to wash his plate and cup.  Because that’s what they do.  They eat, and then they wash their dishes.  And well … Autism.

Ace did not come home to wash his dishes and in fact, we realized later that night when they were already asleep that he never brought his stuff home at all.  So our neighbours probably have a plastic plate and a cup sitting on their front grass right now.  Because, well … ADHD.

 

THIS is what I like.  Simple, happy, days.  This is the life I want for my boys.  I love to see them this way.

Lucky for me, they all made a plan to meet up again this evening to have some more fun.