Life On The B Side

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

Perfectly Imperfect Holidays January 2, 2019

So how was everyone’s Christmas?

I know it’s January now and people are talking about New Year resolutions and the like, but I have some catching up to do.

 

Our Christmas did not go the way we had planned. Does that mean it was good or bad? Continue reading to see.

 

On Saturday, December 22nd, we had tickets to see a play. It was to be a cute show; geared towards kids; about Santa and his elves. Everyone was up, fed, dressed and in the car on time. Then we hit traffic on I-95. Not just any old traffic. Major, not-moving, all the roads including side roads were jam packed traffic. The GPS initially said we’d be 10 mins late to the show. “OK”, we thought, “that’s not so bad”. Fifteen minutes later, it climbed to us being 20 minutes late and forty minutes later when we were not even half way there yet, the GPS said we would be 35 minutes late.

The show was not going to happen. Ugh!

We were disappointed about the wasted money but more so about missing out on the event that we thought would kick-start our feel good family Christmas weekend. The kids took it in stride. They said it was fine and that we shouldn’t worry about it and suggested we go to the movies. So we did. We even splurged on movie theatre snacks which you know is a treat because they are not cheap. We watched Bumblebee and everyone thought it was good. (The kids mostly). Yay!

Following the movie we made a stop at the cell phone store to see what options he had because the day before Ace had dropped his in the toilet. Ugh! FYI – It turns out that putting your phone in rice for a couple of days really does work!!! Yay!

The next stop was a Jamaican restaurant that we patronize when we’re in the area. I made a comment that was just meant to be funny but it led to us being gifted a bottle of sorrel – which really was very good. Yay!

All in all, even though it wasn’t the day we planned, it turned out pretty good.

 

On Sunday, we had plans to go horse-back riding. Once again, everyone was up, fed, dressed and in the car on time. As soon as we pulled out of the drive way, we got a call saying we needed to reschedule because the area was too wet/muddy due to all the recent rain. Ugh!

We spent the entire day being lazy. I mean, there was some light tidying up, but besides that we watched lots of TV, including a Christmas movie. We watched A Christmas Story – the one with the “leg lamp”.  I had never seen it before which apparently is blasphemous.  The kids were excited because it was Christmas Eve Eve which was cute. It’s such a great feeling seeing them be happy. The day may have been totally different than planned but it turned out pretty good.

 

 

To be honest, that’s kind of how the entire holiday week went. Things not going according to plan, but then being imperfectly perfect just the same.

Even our New Years Eve plan didn’t work out.  I had bought us tickets to an event which ended up being cancelled on Dec 28th.  My money was refunded and Shaunie and I spent the day/night reading and eating left overs and generally having the best time at home just relaxing.  At 10 pm on New Years Eve we both said how glad we were that our event had been cancelled.  I made it to 12:05 or something like that.

 

Ultimately, over the past week or so, we went to Church and spent time with many loved ones and yes, Santa was good to us.  We did make it to 2 shows.  The Harlem Globetrotters on Dec 26th and on Dec 30th we saw Hip Hop Nutcracker.  It was a really lovely way to end 2018.

All that’s left is to send everyone lots of well wishes for a happy and healthy 2019.

xoxo Deens.

 

My Favorite Parts December 27, 2017

Filed under: ADHD,Autism,Family,Life on the Jay train,Special Needs Kids — The B Side @ 10:55 am
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I’ve been trying to think about what my favourite part of the Christmas holiday was.  It’s difficult to pinpoint just one.  We had a really great long weekend.  This is a good problem to have and I feel incredibly blessed.

 

 

My first favorite moment was hanging out with the boys at the mall on Saturday.  It wasn’t too crazy there and we were not in any rush.  We strolled around holding hands and looked at things and ate food court junk and laughed as we ran through the rain to get back to our car.

 

There were a few favorite moments on Sunday, the 24th.  After the kids had gone to bed on Saturday, Shaunie and I put out the rest of their Christmas gifts.  Poor Ace had been sweating about his lack of gifts.  He was so excited when they all appeared on Christmas eve.  Shaunies Grandma, who does NOT celebrate Christmas, called to ask if our chimney was clear and ready for Santa.  I love her.  We let the kids open their Christmas cards and they were happy to get some Christmas checks.  We went to church and baked cookies and play wrestled and watched some holiday TV and played a board game and took silly pictures with filters and I even got to take a relaxation bath.   Couldn’t have asked for a better day really.

 

Christmas day did not disappoint.  In fact, the word the kids used to describe it was “spectacular”.  That made me smile ear to ear.  It had all the stuff.  The calls and messages from people near and far.  The gift opening and the time to play with the new stuff.  The no stress visit to family and food and drinks (including *sorrel).  The seeing of people you don’t see often but enjoy spending time with and loving how beautiful it is that you’re having Christmas dinner with Christians and Jews and Muslims.  I think my for real favorite moment of the day though was when I got to tell my Auntie that I’d be seeing her soon.  Shaunie booked me a trip to Jamaica so I could spend my Aunts 90th birthday with her.  The change in her voice when she heard the news made my heart swell.

The card from my boys deserves a mention too.  In it Jay wrote:

I love you because you always smells good“.

It also contained a gift-card to Wawa with a note from Ace that my next cup of coffee was on him.  🙂

 

After all of that, the weekend ended in the best way.  A relaxing day at home; where Shaunie and I watched 3 non-kid movies and the boys played with all their toys and even discovered some things they hadn’t previously noticed really such as Jays shoes with pizza’s all over them.  When you’re 9 or 11, shoes don’t get much attention at the height of the gift opening process.  Roblox toys and video games do.

 

As I was tucking him in last night, Jay wanted to know what the plan for his birthday was.  (Jan 10th).  Sheesh!  There’s no rest for the weary mama.

 

I hope you all had a really great holiday – whatever that means to you.

 

 

 

*Sorrel is a drink made from the flower of the sorrel plant and is a traditional Jamaican Christmas time drink because that’s the time of year that the flowers blossom.  It’s delicious – if you like sweet, tart, gingery and mixed with rum 🙂

How to make Jamaican Sorrel Wine – JA$2500 for 5 1 Liter Bottles of Sorrel Wine goes well with Chocolate Christmas Cake1

 

Mean Moms December 19, 2017

 

christmas-tree-with-presents

(Not our tree)

 

It started by accident.  One of Jays gifts was the first to be wrapped and put under the Christmas tree.  Then one showed up there with my name on it.  The kids started to get excited.  Jay more than Ace since there was actually one there for him.

A couple of days later we wrapped and put the ones for Jays teachers and the boys tutor.

Everyday Ace would check to see if there were new additions and everyday there would be at least one – Still none of them had his name on a tag.

He half jokingly/half nervously asked why there weren’t any gifts under the tree for him as yet.

That’s when the “mean mom gene” kicked in and we decided to make it a thing.

 

The next day one more showed up for me and then a couple for Shaunie.

Everyday Ace would complain and we would crack up laughing.

Jay got concerned and suggested that maybe we (the parents) didn’t know what to get for Ace and maybe Ace should help us out.

 

“But I wrote a list.  A LONG list!”  Ace argued.

We laughed even harder (to ourselves) and asked if he had been good all year.   Before he could even answer Jay jumped in to say yes he had.  He even provided a specific example to support his argument.

 

It’s been over a week since this started and every day the number of presents under the tree grows and still there aren’t any with Ace’s name on it.

 

I know it’s awful of us to do that to him – But it’s just so funny to watch him squirm.

 

At the end of the day, in his heart, he knows we’re just messing with him and he knows he’s not going to get jipped.

And I think he’ll love the feeling of seeing all his stuff magically appear all at once – But it’s still giving him some anxiety in the mean time.

 

Maybe we’ll let him wake up to all of them on Christmas Eve.

 

 

Unbroken Streak Charlie Brown December 4, 2017

How was everyone’s weekend?

Good?  Good.

Ours was also.

 

It started on Friday when Jay came home from school, brandishing an invitation to a birthday party.  It’s the first time he’s ever been invited to a party that wasn’t for a family member.  And it’s not a situation where they are in kindergarten and there’s a rule saying the whole class needs to be invited so as to avoid hurt feelings.  This is a legit friend from his before/after care.

Jay is so excited to go.

Jays Mom is so excited that he got invited.  She’s excited that he is doing well in school on a social level and that he has friends and that this party is at a pool (a place Jay loves).

I made sure to RSVP quickly and then I asked Jay what he’d like to get his friend as a gift.  He suggested Roblox toys.  I had to let him know that when you’re shopping for someone you should choose something THEY like, not something YOU like.  🙂

 

On Saturday we got to see my friend (and everyone’s fave), who agreed to babysit in the evening while Shaunie and I went to a sip and paint birthday party for one of Shaunie’s friends.

On Sunday Jay finished up a science project for school and then we put up our Christmas tree/decorations.  I love it.  The house looks great.

 

We closed out the night with cuddles on the couch, some Charlie Brown and a short Welsh Christmas movie.

 

OK, wanna hear something?  I’ve never seen any Charlie Brown episode (or movie).  Not Halloween.  Not Christmas.  Nada.

I thought last night was going to break the streak, but we let the kids start watching while we ate dinner and by the time we were finished eating, they were just about done with Charlie Brown – I Want a Dog for Christmas.  Then we put on that short Welsh film.

There’s still time for me to get some Charlie in my system before we get to Christmas day so we’ll see how that goes.

 

Christmas 2.0 And Beyond December 30, 2016

It was hard Christmas Eve night not setting out cookies and milk for Santa.  The kids know, but still, it’s tradition.  It was hard waking up on Christmas morning and not being harrassed by excited children waiting to open presents.   I didn’t get to say, “OK, I’m up, just let me brush my teeth first“.  I didn’t get to take one minute longer than they want because I also brushed my hair so I didn’t look too crazy in the “present opening” pictures.

It just didn’t feel like Christmas at all.  I mean, we grabbed a to-go breakfast at Wawa.  Imagine that!  On Christmas!

I probably wasn’t in my cheeriest mood that morning.  I hope it didn’t show though.  I try not to let those kinds of feelings dominate; especially when I’m with people who don’t deserve to deal with a grumpy Deenie.

It got better later in the day.  A loving, understanding spouse and fun with family and friends will do that to you.  Every time!

 

Typically, I am ready to take the Christmas decorations down and get back to normal as soon as the festivities are over.  They rarely make it to the new year.

It’s December 30th now and our stockings are still hung, our tree still has a small mountain of wrapped presents underneath and there are holiday cards that came in the mail – addressed to the kids – waiting to be ripped open.

 

On New Years Day 2017, we will have Christmas Two Point Oh.

The kids will be back and we will be able to see their faces light up as they open their gifts.

Speaking of gifts … This year marked a noticeable change.  They didn’t ask for Hatchimals – (thankfully since apparently many of them didn’t hatch and those consumers are pissed).  They didn’t ask for any noisy or clutter causing toys.   They didn’t ask for ANY toys actually.  Ace’s wish list included a leather jacket, video games  and trendy sneakers.  Jays list included art supplies, bow ties and a laminator.  (I’m pretty sure he wants to laminate his drawings to keep them safe; not go into the fake ID business as was suggested by a friend.  LOL!)

I hope they don’t get teenagery on me and ask for cash or gift cards next year!  I’m not ready.  Then again, they will probably want I-Phone 25’s or whatever the hot phone is next year.  Geez.

They are growing up right before my eyes.  It happens so slowly but yet so quickly.  It’s like magic.   I know we’re not unique.  All parents get caught in this magic trick.

 

I’m really excited to see what 2017 will bring for us.  2016 certainly was interesting.  Lots of new things to learn or get used to.  Lots of good things.  Some set backs.  Isn’t it always like that?  You get some of the good and you get some of the bad.  You roll with the punches that are thrown.  You laugh hysterically.  You stress over things you can’t control.  You try to be your best.  You complain about first world problems like your automatic car starter not working so the car is cold when you first get in it.  You get phone calls telling you that you will soon become an Auntie (so exciting!) and you get phone calls telling you that your Grandma (in-law) is being rushed to the hospital.  You don’t admit it to anyone, but you begin to appreciate a new genre of music because they play country music ALL THE TIME at your job.  You get inundated with news about celebrity nonsense such as Drake and JLo’s “relationship” and you pretend not to care but you kinda like to know what Kanye or The Royals are up to.  OK, maybe not Kanye.  But definitely Harry and Meghan.    Princess Meghan?  We’ll see.

New year, same old life cycle events.

 

Through it all, at this moment, life is good.  I am enjoying my work; it’s challenging at times, but I am well supported and I definitely feel like both my professional success and  my personal life are important to them.  That makes me want to work hard.  My boys are happy and they’re well-adjusted.  They are damn good boys.  Not perfect; even through my rose coloured “mother eyes”; but they are damn good.  I love them fierce! and hard! and tender!  My relationship is healthy.  I love her and I know she loves ME; not the me she thinks I am.  I have let her into all the realness.  No pretenses.  No secrets.  No hiding.

 

I wish you all a very Happy New Year.  Be safe.  May next year bring way more happy events than difficult ones for all of us.

xoxo and as always … One Love!

 

 

 

What Have We Been Up To? December 27, 2016

I have no idea where to start.  It’s always like that when I don’t write for a long time and then try to pick it back up.

*Taking a deep breath and diving In*

 

We dropped the littles off with their Dad and went on a cruise to Mexico.  It was a first for both of us.  (Cruising and Mexico).  First of all, it’s true what people say about the bathrooms and the food on cruises.  The bathrooms are small and as for the food, it is ABUNDANT and CONSTANT.  We had a great time while on ship and at our ports of stoppage.  I could rattle on and on and on and on ….. But I will spare you.  Here are the cliff notes.

Shows. Relax Time. Rock Wall. Flow Rider (YouTube it).  Excellent service. Mayan Ruins. Swimming. Kayaking. Pina Coladas. Beach Side Massages. Dune Buggies. Tanning (and peeling).  Tequila Tour (including tasting). “Live Fish Eating Your Dead Skin” Pedicures (Yeah, really!). Formal Dinners (which we like cause we like a reason to dress up). Casual Dinners (which we like cause we like to be comfy).

 

Post Cruise, we hung out with the other halfs family.  There was more eating and drinking and some shopping.  There was talking and laughing and singing along to old school reggae.  It just felt really good to be a part of that.

 

Post hanging out with the other halfs family, we hung out with my FWAF.  (Friends Who Are Family).  Yup, even more eating and drinking.  But also, Christmas Crackers.  (Those things you pull at the ends and they contain silly/fun Christmas hats and treats inside.)  Jamaican Games (Ludi and Dominoes and Kalooki).  Calls and messages to and from family all over the world.  Jokes. Teasing. Seeing childhood friends who were visiting all the way from Qatar and Switzerland.

 

Above all else … the past couple of weeks have been full of fun and LOVE!

 

I miss my boys an awful lot.  T-Minus 5 days till they come home.  I have spoken to them and did a video chat on Christmas day and they seem happy so that helps.  If I hadn’t had all the other stuff to keep me feeling good, it would have been a miserable Christmas.  THANK GOD for good friends and family.

 

And with that, I am signing off.  I feel like this is not a great post, but oh well.  I do have a pretty neat video that I’m gonna try to upload here and I may drop a few photos at some point.

Until then, I gotta go.  I came back to work and there were over 120 emails waiting for me.  Plus, with it being the end of the year this is my busy time.

Did I mention that I seriously need to go on a diet?  Don’t believe me?  I had a hard time zipping up my boots yesterday and there were witnesses.  LOL !!!  I’m wearing elastic waist pants today.  That’s not ok.

 

Lemme just take 1 second here to say how pleased I am with myself that – for the first time in ever – I mailed out Christmas cards/pictures to people.  AND, they got to the recipients before Christmas.  Go me!

 

Oh wait … I have 1 last thing … I’ll really close out by saying that while I’m pretty sure the experts would say it’s not a good idea to get your significant other any type of appliance as a gift, I was stoked to get a brand new sewing machine.  Is that considered an appliance?  I’m not sure.  Either way, I love it and I’ve already turned one of my pants jumpers into a shorts jumper and hemmed up some pants for my love.

 

I truly hope everyone had a great time doing whatever they did for the holidays.  I love you all so much for reading the things that go through my head.

 

Split Christmas December 27, 2014

It’s been my experience (and that of my friends) that no matter the reason for the break up – or the current state of the relationship between the two people involved – or whatever else is going on – or whoever else is in your lives – the splitting up of a family is difficult.  It’s difficult on the two people involved and it’s difficult on the children.  Nobody starts a family wanting or expecting it to fall apart some day.  There are no complete winners when that happens.  Holidays are especially hard on the heart and it’s hard to know what the right thing to do is.

On the days leading up to Christmas I kept myself busy with work and shopping and gift wrapping and end of the school term shenanigans.  I didn’t make any time to think about how I was feeling or how I would feel when December 25th finally rolled around.

It wasn’t our first Christmas as a split family but it was a first.

The kids and I spent Christmas morning with a family that we have become close with.

Christmas day itself was good!  I don’t want anything else that I say to take that away.

As far as I’m concerned it’s all about the kids.  It’s about making sure they are happy and that they feel like they are a part of something special and magical and spiritual.

I think that was achieved.

In the afternoon the kids and I went to see my sister and her future husband and mother-in-law.  Jay was a little (ok a lot) cranky at first but then he pulled it together (somewhat) and we ended the visit better than we started it.  Luckily for us, my sister is marrying into a really welcoming and understanding family.  All 2 of the people in it that I know 🙂

We left there and it was time for me to take the boys to CC’s house.

I was surprised at how dropping them off there affected me.  I watched the 3 of them walk inside and a sadness fell over me.  I don’t know how to explain it.  I was sad that the kids had to go from house to house that day and I was sad that CC and I had come to that. I felt badly (for him and them) that he missed the first half of the day with them and I was sad (for me and them) that I would be missing the 2nd half.

At the same time that I was having these feelings a friend of mine was texting me to tell me about her particularly emotional and partly sad Christmas due to her son having a split-family Christmas.  I cried for most of my 20 minute drive and felt unsettled for a long time after that.

I suppose these are the things I need to get used to.  I’m assuming it will become easier.  I hope more than anything that the kids are processing everything ok and they’re not being negatively affected by living this split life.  I really do try my best to stay upbeat for them and to only speak positively and to let them know that they can talk to me about ANYTHING without worrying that they may hurt my feelings.  I tell them that they may not always get what they want but that their feelings and opinions DO matter.

The kids are back with me now.  And as I think about the evening we had they seemed happy.  OK.  Content.  Well-Adjusted.  I think they would say they had a happy and good Christmas this year.

A work in progress; that’s what we are.  But we ARE making progress.

This was difficult to write.  My hope was that getting it out would bring me some comfort.  I suppose it has.  Maybe it even has for someone else too.

My wish for the coming year is peace.  Real true, inner peace.  For myself, for my friend, her son, for CC and for my 2 amazing boys.

 

One More Thing December 17, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — The B Side @ 9:59 am
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xmasmoviepresents

I was feeling quite proud of myself.  After all, I didn’t have to do any last minute Christmas shopping this year.  With over a week to go, all the presents were bought and wrapped and placed under the tree.

That is, until I heard Jay asking Ace if Christmas was on 25.  (Meaning December 25th)  “Why yes it is” Ace confirmed.  Then Jay asked how many more days there were until 25.  “9 more days” Ace replied.  They both ran over to the calendar and counted down the days together.  There was a certain sweetness in both their voices that I don’t hear often.  I’m used to the loudness and the angst and the urgency that accompanies most of the things they say.  This exchange was different.  I lingered in the bathroom – out of sight – taking it all in.  They were having a real life back and forth conversation.  There was an air of peaceful excitement as they moved from the calendar to the tree.

That’s when Jay said “We get to open presents on 25 (?)”.  It was a little difficult to tell if he was asking a question or just making a statement.  But Ace told him yes and reminded him that there were only 9 days to go.  I finally emerged from my hiding spot and Jay pointed to the tree and said “Mom, little Thomas is there.”

Ahm … *thinking really hard about what he could mean* … “What baby?”

He said it again, quite unphased by my lack of understanding, “On 25, little Thomas is there.”

Ace pulled me aside and whispers to me, “Oh Mom, I know what he’s talking about.”  Ace told me all about the toy catalogs that the kids have been browsing through since before Halloween and about how every time they look through them Jay points to a small Thomas The Tank Engine toy and says he wants that for Christmas.  I couldn’t believe it.  The boys haven’t been into Thomas for some time now.  Years actually.  Unlike previous years, there were NO train toys under the tree this year.  There are animal things and Power Ranger things but no train things.

But I can’t let my boy down.  Not when I have waited so long for him to be able to tell me what he wants and not when he’s doing such a great job of patiently waiting for “25” so he can get it (over 2 months) and not when it’s clear that Ace so badly wants his brother to have his wish.  He even wants to be the one to wrap it for his brother.  He actually feels badly because he knew all along that Jay wanted that toy and he forgot to ask Santa for it on his behalf.

The good thing is that I can pick up a Thomas toy pretty much anywhere and there’s no need to go to the mall and battle with people over parking spots or the last of the popular toy on the shelf the week before Christmas.  There will definitely be a little Thomas under the tree for Jay on 25.

 

Minty Delights December 8, 2014

There was 1 little hiccup while we were putting up our Christmas decorations.

 

No, it wasn’t when I first took out the tubs of stuff.

 

20141130_163437

 

That was great.  The boys were excited and both announced that they wanted to help and they DID.  I kept having to ask them to move a little more slowly because they were taking things out at a much faster pace than I was putting them up/together/in order.  It was great seeing them pull out item after item that they hadn’t seen in almost a year.  Memories flooded back from previous years.   Jay piling strings of silver beads on his head and driving Thomas trains on the tree branches.  Ace singing Jingle Bells and writing up cards for his classmates.  The cat climbing the tree and knocking it over; actually breaking it.

 

20141130_163506

 

We also didn’t have any issues with the stringing of the lights.  No problems with the lifting of the TV to put the red tablecloth underneath.  It was no sweat hanging the decorations onto the tree.  Jay was happy to hang the ones that come with a built-in hanger-upper-thingy.  Ace was happy to hang the ones that needed hooks attached.  They didn’t fight over who should put the star on top or which tree skirt we should use.

 

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They (mostly Ace) were happy to pose for pictures and Jay, who is not usually very far away from his iPad, drew us a picture.

 

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I don’t know why I look like I go to the same tanning place as the Grinch and Shrek.

 

Nope all that was fun.  We ran into trouble at the very end.  When it was time for the candy canes.

Look at these things.  Don’t they look innocent?

candycanes

They’re so pretty and yummy and festive.  We even have candy cane covers to make them even MORE fun.

CandyCaneCovers

Except that this year Jay didn’t want to use the cute candy cane covers.  He REALLY wanted the candy canes to be naked.  Which would have been fine had Ace not REALLY wanted to use the covers.

Que the yelling.

Candy Cane Covers.

That’s what put a wrench in our Christmas decorating wheel.  If I wasn’t in the thick of it – getting pulled in 2 different directions – I’d almost think it was funny.

 

Jay wasn’t 100% happy about it but we managed to find a compromise and get past that snafu.  Also now, whenever Jay gets to eat a candy cane from the tree (about one a day) he discreetly chooses one that has a cover and leaves the cover “hidden” behind our TV stand.  Ace hasn’t noticed as yet.  Well played Jay, well played.   Ace doesn’t like candy canes so he doesn’t get to pay Jay back by eating the naked candy canes.  We’ll see how it goes the next time I buy a new pack of the minty delights.

 

Calming December 26, 2013

Filed under: Autism,Family,Special Needs Kids — The B Side @ 4:58 pm
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Picture 090 Picture 059

(It’s been just about 2 years but I’m still not even close to being over the fact that Jay will pose for pictures)

 

 

I don’t want this post to get misinterpreted that there was mostly overwhelmed feelings and frustrations.  Not at all.  There’s a lot I could say about the birthday parties that the kids and I went to last weekend.  There’s also a lot I could say about Christmas.  Lots of good good fun happy stuff.  Not the least of which is that my sister witnessed Jay taking a bite of a slice of pizza and said to me “Is that the first time?” and when I said yes, she followed up with “Don’t cry.”  🙂

 

The big picture this week, where the boys are concerned, is one of a good winter break.  But today, I do want to zoom my lens on the effort that Jay has been putting out lately to calm himself when he gets overwhelmed or frustrated.  He’s also really been trying to verbalize his feelings more.  I think mastering those things will have the biggest impact on his day-to-day life and ability to function.

 

Take for example …

We were at Chuck E Cheese.  Jay made his way over to the ride that he likes the most.  Someone was on it and there was one person waiting.  Now, this could easily have gotten ugly.  When the kid that was on the ride came off, Jay started to move forward.  I held him back and told him that the other girl was there first so it was her turn and then it would be his turn.  He calmly waited until she was finished and then got on.  Once he was on, the ride didn’t even work properly but he held it together beautifully and moved on to something else; like that’s something he’s always been able to do.  It has not.  But I noticed the improvement and was very proud of him.

 

Another example …

We were at a lavish 8th birthday party for a girl in Ace’s class.  We had been there for about 3 hours when Jay started to get hungry.  Bad mummy that I am, I had totally forgotten to bring him anything to eat.  While all the other kids were eating hot dogs and fried chicken, Jay began to come undone.  He was hungry and he let me know that he was ready to go.  The dilemma was that Ace was having fun and I hate when he gets short-changed because of Jay and especially because of poor planning on my part.  The kind mom of one of the other boys offered to keep an eye on Ace for me while I went out with Jay to get him something he would eat and then we could come back.  I suggested to Jay that we go.  He wanted no part of that.  I told him that Ace was still playing but we could go get cereal bars and come back.  He very nicely used his words to tell me (and all the other guests) that he was not leaving without Ace. Then he pulled 2 chairs together and lay down across them and pouted.  It was the most beautiful and loving thing in a sense but it made me sad because I know he was uncomfortable.  Too much going on.  Lots of kids and the loud music and the games and the dancing.  The battery on his tablet had died and he was famished.  Oh how he tried.  He even joined in with the other boys for a game of tag and then sat back down and asked me if it was time to go.  At that point he had pushed himself about one hour longer than he wanted to and I knew he really couldn’t take anymore.  I asked Ace if he would mind us leaving and he said it would be fine as long as he got a cupcake and his goody bag first.  The birthday girls mom obliged and we headed out.  Disaster averted and both boys satisfied.

 

Finally …

It’s Christmas day.  We spend the morning at home opening gifts from Santa, family and friends.  Happy happy joy joy.  Around noon we pile into the car to go to my cousins house.  I know it will be fairly loud and there will be a lot going on and Jay will likely get upset about something at some point, but we’ve been there numerous times before and I wasn’t worried.   As it turns out, the thing that caused the frustration was a Polar Express train that my cousins had around the base of their Christmas tree.  Jay-boogie wanted it to run but it kept coming off the tracks.  He got loud.  My cuz tried to fix the train but he would’ve had to stay there all evening constantly readjusting it so I told him not to worry about it.  Jay tantrummed a little bit as the other very well-behaved kids looked on.  I tried not to look at them.  It’s easier for me that way.  Then Jay told me to “sit there” and pointed to a nearby chair.  Note:  I didn’t say he asked me to sit.  He TOLD me, and he wasn’t quiet about it.  That may sound rude to someone who doesn’t get us, but whatever.  I sat down and Jay climbed into my lap, leaned into me and pulled my arm around him positioning it just how he wanted it.  Then he said “I so sorry.  I sad.”  I hugged him and told him that I was sorry the train wasn’t working and that he was sad and I asked him if he’d like some juice or a candy cane or a nap or to go outside.  But all he wanted was to be held … so I held him.  After just a couple of minutes sitting like that, he was better and the rest of the evening went pretty smoothly.

 

These things do not come easily to my baby.  He tries so damn hard and I am amazed at his growth.  Really and truly amazed.  We have come such a long way this year.

As I read about other children who are younger than my own and are in a place where we were a year or two ago, I want their parents to know that it can and probably will get better.  And to the parents who have children older than mine, I want to say thank you for sharing your stories.  They do help to keep my hopes high and that’s a gift.

I’m a day late, but I hope everyone had a very happy Christmas!!!