Life On The B Side

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

I’m Not Lying July 25, 2016

Over the last year or so I’ve written and said a lot about how great Jay is doing.  The amount of time I spend talking about his bad days or his meltdowns or my frustrations have dropped dramatically.  That’s partly because as he gets older I feel like it’s less appropriate for me to talk about his bad days in detail but the bigger part is simply that there is less to talk about.

He really is doing great and he rarely melts down anymore and he has gotten so much better about being in new situations with new people and he is doing a fantastic job of communicatiing effectively.

 

The thing is, though, Jay does much better in familiar surroundings and with familiar people.  Even if the people are familiar, he is not a big fan of crowds or too much frantic activity.  He likes calm.

That means there are times we go to someones house for a party or we go to a show or to the zoo or camping and Jay loses his cool.  There are people there who don’t see him everyday but they follow along with me touting his progress and then what they see doesn’t jive.

Sometimes, I wonder if people think I’m lying.  They would be justified to wonder.  The rare occasion they do see him, he has one (or a few) rough moments with yelling or crying or other difficult behaviours.  They aren’t there everyday to see his good manners and his sweet overtures to his brother and to hear him randomly tell me that he loves me or to get his hugs and kisses and to laugh with him and play with him in his most comfortable environments.

 

Recently, we went to a (not for a little kid) birthday party.  I guess it was more of a casual but delicious dinner, get together, talking and hanging out with yummy yummy desserts but no candles or singing but take a way containers so I could bring delicious lunch to work and now there is left over yummy yummy lemon meringue pie in my fridge, birthday celebration.

 

It was a Sunday evening just over an hour away from home.  Going would mean not sticking to our evening routine.  We would no doubt be out past bedtime.  There would no doubt be people there who we don’t see often.  There could be loud noises or strong scents or any host of other triggers.

 

Jay was wonderful from start to finish.

 

He greeted people with hugs and kisses on the cheek and he entertained himself and he told the other children they needed to be nice to each other when they weren’t getting along and he asked nicely when he wanted things and he answered questions that were asked of him and he shared his knowledge about what the sun is made of and he tidied up the toys when it was time to go and he followed the rules about only eating in the kitchen and he threw his garbage away without being asked.

 

A friend who was there told me repeatedly how good he’s doing.  How impressed she was by him.  How far he’s come.  She thought everything he did was cute and everything he said was funny.

 

It was really nice to hear that.  I mean, I didn’t NEED to hear it.  I know he’s awesome and smart and cute and funny.  I know the important thing was that HE felt happy and content and relaxed.  But it was nice to hear from someone else.

 

 

So Munch Progress July 14, 2016

One of Jay’s main issues has always been controlling his emotions.  When he gets upset, he gets REALLY upset.  It’s often hard for him to calm down following a meltdown.  He can hold on to grudges for a LONG time.  (Maybe that’s genetic … lol)  Seriously though, if he’s been “wronged” in some way, he has been known to stay mad for hours.  Some kid used his markers.  I (justifiably) yelled at him.  Shawnie pranked him.  Cartoon Network isn’t showing what he wants to watch at the moment.  Ace ate the last gummy bear.  He has been known to go to sleep seemingly happy and then wake up still mad about something that I thought had already been resolved.  He will not eat.  He will not talk.  He will not play.  He is a brooder.

Things are definitely better now than that used to be.  His meltdowns are way fewer and way less explosive and don’t last nearly as long.  We continue to help him come up with strategies to manage his day though.

 

The other day, he was on the laptop working in his current favourite website and he wrote the following and brought it to me so I could read it.

 

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Dear mom. I love you so much. When I said I hate you, do not say that. because that’s not nice. When you get upset, calm yourself down. You can take a deep breath, play something or anything. Me too. I have to listen to teacher, and counselor. if I need help, just tell a teacher or a grown up. 

 

This makes me so happy.  The progress is truly astounding.

 

Apparently Jay had a little rough patch at camp yesterday due to a pottery incident.  (I know because the counselor called).  I expected him to come home angry.  Complaining.  I was ready to hear all about the mug that he made and then decided that he wanted to make a vase instead.

When I saw him, he hugged me hello and went about his business.  He seemed happy and mentioned nothing about the mug, vase, fiasco.  He was more interested in when his grilled cheese sandwich would be ready.  When I couldn’t take it anymore, I asked him how camp was that day.  In his own words … “It was pretty good.  I went outside.”

 

Dude got mad, then went outside to get a breather and calm down.  Then came home happy.

Yup, truly astounding progress!

 

 

Update By Run-On Sentences April 20, 2016

Things are still going well.

 

There was that issue of Ace getting a fever when I had only been at my new job for 2 days and I had to leave at noon which didn’t feel awesome because who wants to have that conversation with a brand new boss but they took it well which may have been helped by my boss and his wife expecting their first baby this August so he is feeling soft and mushy about all things kid related and Ace is feeling better and that was that.

 

There is also the issue of Jay and homework.  He hates it.  He refuses to do it at his after-care place which means we are stuck doing it at home which we don’t get to until around 5:30pm after being up since 5:00am and everyone is worn out so as I’m sure you can imagine it’s not fun so I have added it to the list of things to talk about when we have his big 3 year evaluation/IEP meeting in June to see if or what we can do to help him with it.

 

As far as getting up at 5:00am goes, that’s new for all of us since we didn’t used to get up until 7:00am and while I will say it’s not great leaving my comfy bed when it’s still dark outside and driving out into the chilly night-time air and dropping my boys off at a before-care place before any other kids have been dropped off, it has gone smoothly and they have handled the transition like champs and have needed little to no direction once their alarms go off and so as not to be outdone I will mention that I’m proud of myself too because me and getting up early have a long-standing disregard for each other but it is what it is and it’s working so there’s that and I fully admit that it’s better to wake up at 5:00am than to get stuck in traffic and turn what should be a 50 minute commute into a 2 hour commute which is what would happen if I lost my mind and decided to work the 8 – 5 shift.

 

It’s allergy season and I don’t know what it is exactly that’s affecting us but 3 out of the 4 of us that live together are suffering tremendously this year … More than any other year ever I think and for me it’s bad but I’m used to sinus and allergy issues because I’ve had them my whole life although when I was living in Jamaica we called it hay-fever which isn’t a term I’ve ever heard used here in the US but it’s the same thing so I have a pretty high tolerance for congestion and needing to blow my nose on a regular basis and the people who have spent large amounts of time with me know and accept that this is just a part of being around me but my boys are not used to it as this is the first time in their lives they have had allergies and they don’t ever really get sick at all so they are really struggling to get through the days and nights of not being able to breathe easily which kinda sucks for them both but at least Ace will take medicine so it’s worse for Jay who refuses to drink liquid medicine and can ditect it in juice like it’s his freakin super power and who tried to swallow a pill but just couldn’t get it down but in the grand scheme of things it’s just allergies and it will pass so it’s fine.

 

So yeah, things are going well and we’re pretty much in settling in and ironing out the wrinkles mode which is a better mode than hectic and stressed and figuring out everything mode.

 

Oh and I signed the boys up for a swimming program to improve their form and teach them more strokes etc which I hope they will love since they love the water and swimming so much but it’s the first time in a long time that they will be a part of any formal group or program since none of the previous ones we tried went well (soccer, karate, choir, acrobatics, boy scouts, social skills groups) so I have shied away from any sign up sheets in the last year or two or maybe even three – They start the first week of May.

 

Off To A Good Start April 12, 2016

With day one checked off, I am happy to report that we are off to a good start.  If I was a pessimist, I’d say that means we can only go downhill from here but I’m not a pessimist so it’s all good.

 

First we went to Ace’s school where we were shown around the premises and escorted to his new classroom.  His teacher already had a student ready and waiting to meet him and be his “buddy” for the day so he wouldn’t be alone.  I thought that was pretty awesome.  It reminded me of when I was in the 3rd grade and we had a new student join us.  Their family had moved to Jamaica from Austria.  I had never even heard of that country before.  He didn’t speak a lot of English and our teacher stuck him in between my best friend and I.  Over 30 years later, that “new kid” is still one of my best friends.  His daughter and Ace actually share a birthday.  Kinda neat.

 

At Jays school, we were met by the Autism Resource teacher.  She had a very calming aura. She showed us around but Jay wasn’t very interested in that.  All he wanted to do was get to his class so he could get back to being a student.  I don’t know if it was by design, but his teacher put him next to students who really welcomed him in and seemed happy to have him sit with them.  He took out his book, hung up his bag, plopped himself down and never looked back at me.

He’s in a class with 17 neuro-typical students and has a one on one aide.

 

His school has an autism classroom with different stations for different sensory inputs and also has 2 small areas sectioned off if a student needs some alone time to decompress.

As if all that wasn’t enough to impress me, his teacher suggested that since it was his first day maybe it would be better if I picked him up 1/2 an hour earlier than normal so it would be quiet and calm and he wouldn’t have to deal with the loud excitement of dismissal time.  The understanding and respect shown to my boy has blown me away.

 

I was excited for pick up time to hear what both boys thought of their new schools.  But before I get to that part, let me just say WOW!  Things are so orderly and organized here.  Parents form a line in their vehicles and the students get called out to the curb in the order that the cars are.  It’s remarkably efficient and the line moves quickly.  Maybe this is not news to other people but compared to where we are coming from, this is … just … Wow!

 

So yeah, we are off to a good start.  The word Ace used was “awesome” and marvel of all marvels he found out that his school has a Lego Club.

In Jays words, “Everybody loves me and I was nice to my students.”

 

This morning we did the regular curb-side drop off line and just as she said she would be, Jays Aide was outside waiting for him.

 

I think it’s time this Mama got herself a mani/pedi and exhaled.  But first, coffee!

 

A Catching Up September 15, 2015

Now that school is back in session, everything else in our lives should pretty much also get back to normal and I should be able to write more regularly.

As usually happens when I’ve been away from my blog for too long I will do a quick run down of multiple things in this one “catching up” post.  Hopefully I don’t leave out anything too important.  Lets see …… No wait … Before I start catching up I need to go back and see where we left off.

OK.  I talked about our camping trip and Jays love of quills and Spongebob.  Got it.

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1. Ace turned 9, which in his words means that he’s no longer a kid.  He’s a pre-teen.  I wasn’t sure what new privileges he thought would come with that new title until the following week when he asked me to leave him at home by himself for the 1st time while I went to pick Jay up from school.  Jay’s school is only 5 minutes away so after giving him a much longer speech and many more rules than I probably needed to, I said ok.  It went well and he was very proud and pleased with himself.  I was a little freaked out.  This is my baby.  My 1st baby.  This baby growing up business is hard.

As seems to happen quite often, his birthday celebration lasted for several days.  There was cake and presents at Nanas house.  There was another cake and more presents at my friends house.  There was a water park and an indoor arcade (on 2 separate days).  On yet another day, there was park and playground and more presents with Aunty Juddles.  Finally the long (holiday) weekend was closed out by a visit from Dad and more presents.

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2. In this part of the country the kids don’t go back to school until after Labor Day which based on my Facebook news feed is late compared to most other children around the country.  Our year has gotten off to an interesting start.  For Ace, it’s been all good.  He’s excited about 4th grade.  He loves his teacher.  His best friend is in his class.  For Jay it hasn’t been quite so smooth.  There have been bus issues that had me yelling and cursing at the driver and the bus company.  Not my finest moment I admit it.  There have been issues with Jay and his lunch.  I don’t need to get into it all but – Jay no longer takes the bus to school and I am going today to buy him a container that will keep his food hot for a few hours.

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3. We went back to the zoo that we got memberships for earlier in the summer.  Why not?  We had a Saturday with no plans and we get in for free and there were exhibits that we didn’t get to see the last time.  It was a really nice day.  Face painting, touching sharks and sting rays.  Another ride on the train.  Following the zoo we visited with friends of mine from high school who I don’t see very often.  One of them lives here in New Jersey but one was on vacation from England.  It’s hard to believe that we go back 27 years.  Yikes!  The kids did an OK job on the visit.  They were getting tired and hungry so we held it together with some string and duct tape.  We managed to stay for about an hour and half before we told our hosts thanks but no thanks to the dinner invitation and high-tailed it outta there.

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4.  This week I became the worst mom ever.  I put back into effect the rule of “no electronics except for educational purposes during the week” rule.  I can’t properly explain the disgruntlement that followed my proclamation.  Their worlds all but came to an end.  What ever were there supposed to do?  Did that mean no SpongeBob?  What about The Avengers?  It sooooooo wasn’t fair.  What if they got all their chores and homework etc done and there was still time left before bed?

No, no and no.

Then it got worse.  I told them that even though it wasn’t a part of the school assigned homework for them to do nightly reading, I was giving them that assignment.

*WHAT???*

*WHY???*

But what followed was pure magic.  After the showers and the dinner and the other responsibilities we settled down to read a story.  Just the 3 of us.  In my bed.  Jay chose Finding Nemo.  The book is below Ace’s reading level and I thought it was above Jay’s level so I suggested that Jay read to us and Ace help him with the words that he struggled with.  As it turns out, Jay is reading at a much higher level than I knew he could.  He breezed through most of it and only needed Ace’s assistance with about 3 words.  It was really awesome.  They even admitted that it was nice.  They asked if they could alternate in the evening reading to each other.  I know that means only half the reading time for each of them but I think it’s an awesome bonding experience so I agreed.  They win and Moms heart wins.

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5. The last thing I’ll say is that I dropped some news on some of my family and close friends and they were awesome!!!  I don’t, and haven’t always, felt like I got the best draw where family is concerned but the truth is that there are a lot of good ones and I want to take some time to acknowledge that.

CC, Mom, Sis, Angel, Sun Man, Juddles, K-Poo, J-Cuz, Malico, Ted and others.  THANK YOU for your support!!!  I LOVE YOU ALL!!!

 

Camp Diary August 24, 2015

Friday, August 7, 2015

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Jay was so excited for our camping trip that he took it upon himself to write it on our family calendar.  “CAMP TUDAY”.  I’ve never seen him do anything like that before.*

We planned to leave home at 7:30 am since we had a 2:00 pm check in time at the camp site.  That gave us 6.5 hrs to get there.  Google said it was a 5 hour drive so I figured that was perfect.  And it was.  It gave me 1.5 hrs to run late and actually leave home at 9:00 am and also gave me enough time to stop for over an hour and show up at the camp site at 3:30 pm.  ON TIME by Jamaican standards.

Friday was full of greeting the 13 other people we were camping with, setting up tents, sorting out the food/drinks station, taking pictures and lots of talking and silliness.

The kids went to bed after we ate our hot dogs and hamburgers dinner.

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Saturday, August 8, 2015

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Ace was one of the 1st people to wake up.  That was a shock to exactly NOBODY.  My kids early rising is well known in my circle.  Well before 7:00 am he was roaming around looking for fellow early birds.  Eventually we all got up and did a lot of nothing.  That’s one of the best things about camp life.  There is a lot of work to do; but it never feels like it.  There is no time pressure, there is no rush, there are no schedules.  We get around to things when we get around to them.  You wanna stay in pajamas all day?  Go ahead.  You wanna eat junk all day and not comb your hair?  Knock yourself out.

At some point in the afternoon, after we had feasted on a big Jamaican breakfast, we went to a nearby beach.  Mind you, it was not exactly beach weather.  It was chilly and overcast and windy.  But guess who cared?  None of us.

The waves were HUGE and the current was STRONG.  To some of the adults in our group, that spelled nothing but danger.  To some of the adults in our group – and all of the kids – that spelled lots of fun.  The little ones were getting properly tossed around and knocked over and spun around and under and every which way by the waves.  The adults were on super watch keeping our eyes and hands on them and making sure they were all safe.  There were 7 kids under the age of 10 to keep track of.

Back at the camp site, we roasted marshmallows and the kids played sword fight with some plastic tubes and Jay harassed the other kids and I got attacked by a wild band of sword-wielding pirates and the kids got high on sugar from a giant bag of gum balls.

As you can imagine, it was a full day and once the kids were in bed, the rest of us needed a few drinks.

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Sunday, August 9, 2015

There was pulling down and packing up to do.  There was also a pool and a playground that the kids wanted to go to.  I ended up at the pool and the playground with the kids.  Cause who wants to do the work of pulling down and packing up if you can be at the pool tossing 6 year olds into the deep end.

Once all the hard work was done and the kids had played volley ball over our clothes line and lots of pictures were taken and one person who shall remain nameless was determined to use the timer on his camera to capture a picture of all the grown ups but failed and once all the hugs and kisses were dished out and all the “see you soons” and “I hope you have a great school years” were said, we all made our way out of Chincoteague Island VA.

 

Speaking of Chincoteague Island, can I just say that I had never heard of it before we chose it for our camp site but it’s quite an interesting place.  Next to a shop selling confederate flags and T-Shirts you might find a shop proudly sporting a rainbow flag and a little further down you just may see a giant Jamaican flag atop a brightly coloured, polka dotted boat outside of Woody’s Eatery which you would assume is a Jamaican food establishment but it will not turn out to be anything of the sort.

All in all, although there were some slightly rough patches – A little fussiness from kids, a bum tent for one family and too much wind to enjoy some of the games we had planned to play for example  – It was a very successful camping weekend and I’m sure all 17 of us who were there (for 7 of them it was their 1st time) would agree that it was a wonderful get together and we will all be ready again next year.

For me, without a doubt, my favourite thing was watching all the kids play together.  They even played freeze tag (or stucky as we called it), and sat with us learning dominoes, just as we all had when we were children growing up in Jamaica together.

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*He’s since written “ACE BIRTHDAY” on the Calendar – Sept 3rd.

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Some people actually do work and set tents up … Some people (me) take pictures.

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Cannon Ball!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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I was once this age; playing with these kids parents.  (Crazy!)

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Usain Bolt pose.  lol

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Hanging out, talking and watching the corns get roasted.  No I-anythings.  🙂

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Heads Up.  Volley Ball time.

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Early morning inside the tent.

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Told you I was attacked and made to walk the plank.

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The next generation – Learning the game.

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Just chillin and catching up with each other.  Not a care in the world.

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A restaurant, but not a Jamaican restaurant.

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Ignore the hair.  Focus on my boy helping to make johnny cakes on a charcoal grill.

 

Weekend – Part Deux – Church May 22, 2015

Another weekend is upon us and I haven’t even posted my part 2 about last weekend yet so here goes …

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Where my relationship with God and Church are concerned … the road has been very bumpy.  I have been burned.  I’ve gotten mad; both at God and at people who worship him.  Things are not fair.  I am a doubter.  A questioner of things that I know have no acceptable answer.  Every answer brings more questions.  More doubts.

I do think they have it right when they teach about everyone caring for their fellow (wo)man.  When they preach love and compassion and respect.  I think there’s something good about children growing up knowing about God and believing in something bigger than themselves; bigger than all of us.

Finding a Church to go to – albeit irregularly – has been a challenge for us.  So we stopped going.  But I always had a nagging desire to try again.  I want to have that strength and peace that comes from having faith.

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The other day I was browsing around on Google.  Looking for summer camps to fill gaps in my Child Care needs.  I stumbled upon a summer camp run by an Anglican (Episcopal) Church in my town.  I don’t know why I had never found this Church before.  We previously went to a different Anglican (Episcopal) Church in town and things kind of went up in a blaze of glory.

Everything about this camp that I could find online seemed like a good fit.  The hours, the price, the activities etc.

I decided not only to go speak to them about the summer camp but to also see if perhaps we could try being Church goers again.

Long story, short … We went – And it was good.

When we arrived, the rector came and introduced himself to me and my boys since he’d never seen us before and in general, there seems to be a good and happy energy among the congregation.

The boys played in the Childrens room and took part in Sunday School.  They paraded out with the other children to receive their blessing during Communion.  I was able to have some quiet, reflective time during the service.  Being there felt better than I expected.  The prayers, the hymns, the Creeds, the Confession, the Peace … it was all the same words that I grew up with and will never forget.  The familiarity felt warm and oh so comfortable.  Like being wrapped up in an old blanket.

The sermon was about people who want to be better.  It was about how Christians are no better than other people; in that they covet and they are jealous and they don’t always follow what Jesus would want.  It was about how the Church isn’t always a very welcoming place.  Not for people who need or ask for help.  Not for people who are “different” in any way.  As a result, we who are different or “other” get turned off.  There was a call for those who call themselves Christian to step up and BE better.  Be more open and welcoming and KIND.  There was a prayer for those who don’t yet believe or those who have lost their faith.  In a nutshell, the service spoke to all my feelings.  I picked the right one to attend after such a long hiatus.

We won’t be going every week and I’m not sure if the kids will be going to the summer camp.  But it is nice to know they are there as my faith and beliefs figure themselves out … And possibly build themselves back up.

 

Knowledge is Power April 8, 2015

Mostly I talk about my kids in the same way most other parents talk about their kids.  I talk about them being cute and funny and smart and messy and tiring.  I don’t make their diagnoses be the focal point in most conversations.  I don’t name-drop their disorders as either an excuse or a reason for most of what they do.  They’re just my kids.

But, I am open about Jay having Autism and Ace having ADHD.  My co-workers who I have any kind of relationship with know about both our struggles and triumphs and from time to time I mention something about it on Facebook.  I’m always willing to discuss how Autism or ADHD affect our family and what it means FOR US.

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I realize though that it’s not often that I get the chance to bring up Autism or ADHD when I’m around the kids so they are not familiar with the words or their diagnoses at all.  We don’t get a lot of guests at home or spend much time with other families who are affected by either one.  They go to school and I go to work, and in the evenings it’s just us so we go about our regular lives doing what’s normal for us.  On the weekends we mostly spend the time with the same set of people so there’s not much need to bring up Autism or ADHD.  How they/we are … just is.

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I kind of don’t like that though.  I want them – to the extent that’s manageable for them – to know what’s going on in their own heads and bodies.  I want them to know that they can talk to me freely if something feels “off” or if they feel “different”.  I think there is power in knowledge.

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The other day Ace and I were talking about the state tests he had recently taken.  I saw an opportunity.  I asked him if he liked taking the test in a separate room from the other kids.  He said he did because there were less distractions.  Then he told me that there are 5 of them who take tests together in the quiet room.  I asked him if they had ever talked about why they got to use the quiet room but the other kids didn’t.  He said they had not.  I asked him if he ever wondered why he got pulled out of class on Wednesdays to go to OT.  He said because he used to go to {A private social skills group} and now that he doesn’t go there anymore he does it at school instead.

Fair enough.

I asked him if he knew why he used to go to {The private social skills group} and he said no.  I asked if he’d like to know and he said yes.

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I told him that he had something called ADHD and we talked about what that meant.  How it made certain things more difficult for him than it was for other people such as focusing in class or sitting still but that it also came with some positives such as his adventurous spirit and how easy it is for him to make friends and how he always has energy and how creative he is.  He asked what ADHD stands for and if his friends had the same thing.  I answered the 1st question, which was a mouthful for him, and I told him I didn’t know about his friends.

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It was a fairly short conversation but I think it was a good step towards keeping the communication open and free-flowing.  I made sure he knew that even though his teachers and I knew things were hard for him and we put things in place to try to help him as much as we can, it’s not an excuse for him to get away with things and he still has to follow all the same rules as everyone else.

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I’ll have to keep at it so that when he’s older and someone asks him when he found out he had it, he can casually say “I don’t know.  I’ve just always known.  It was talked about freely in my home.”  I need him to be proud of and comfortable with himself.

I also need to find ways of bringing up Autism when I’m around the kids (without using it as a way to explain to Ace why Jay “gets away” with things that he cannot get away with).  I want Jay to be proud of and comfortable with himself too and I want Ace to understand his brother without viewing it only as something that made his life unfair/harder.

 

Dentist Appointment Hall of Fame January 19, 2015

 

If there is such a thing as a dental patient hall of fame, I think my boys both deserve to be in it following this mornings trip.  It’s no small feat to get them through a dental check up, including x-rays, cleaning, and God forbid, the fixing of a cavity.

 

Past trips to the dentist have not been terribly successful.  But I had a good feeling about this one.  Ace just needed to hear that he wouldn’t be getting any injections and I’d do all I could to prepare Jay and keep him calm and agreeable.  The key would be him knowing what to expect and things going according to that plan.  A couple of days before the trip I told him that on Monday, he’d be going to the dentist and then to Nanas.  I let that sink in and waited for the questions.

 

The dentist?

Yes baby.

No Mom. No dentist.

They’re just going to count your teeth baby and then brush them.  That’s it.  It won’t hurt.

No hurt?

Nope.  No hurt.

Just brushing?

Yup.  And maybe we can try to take pictures.  Will you let them take pictures of your teeth?

OK.  Then we go to Nanas?

Yup. 

Can I have a panda?

 

 

We arrived at the dentist and he repeated the same questions and got all the same answers.  He was ready.

 

Ace got his x-rays taken first and then Jay jumped up into the chair and let them put the vest on and let them put the film in his mouth and he stayed still until they pressed the button.  They took 4 different pictures.  Left.  Right.  Bottom.  Top.  Even though I had been hopeful, I still could hardly believe it.

When that part was over Jay was ready for the brushing.  That was the plan.  Pictures, brushing, and no pain.  As a general rule, knowing what to expect is so important in ensuring that Jay has a successful time with something.  He’s not great about having things be sprung on him.

 

After the brushing, Jay hopped off the chair and was ready to go.  The dentist wanted to put some vitamin coating on his teeth (which they called paint) and he protested.  I hadn’t told him about any teeth painting.  With a little help and coaxing he got through it.

Ace had 1 topical cavity that needed patching so they gassed him up and fixed it right then and there.  He was so good with the nose covering thing and the drill and the mouth shield and the water and suction.  He just sat there and they were done in like 5 minutes.

 

It really is astounding how far these 2 little ones have come.

I can’t stop thinking about it.  I’m so proud of them.

 

Of course when it was all done and I was going on and on about how proud of them I was Ace asked if he could get a treat and Jay wanted to know where the heck his panda was.  I told Ace “we’ll see” (which he hates because he says that’s what I tell Jay when I really want to say no but don’t want him to get upset) and I promised Jay we’d keep our eyes open for one.

 

Weekend Rewind (Part 2) November 5, 2014

I’ve already written Part 1 which really was part 2.  Here’s part 2 which really came before part 1.

 

Friday was Halloween.  The kids were very excited about it all.  They loved dressing up for school and parading and they couldn’t wait to Trick or Treat.  My friend and co-worker who grew up in the Philippines had never been so she decided to tag along with us.   It was lots of fun.  The kids got way too much candy and it was really nice for me to see them that happy.  The evening took a turn so we bailed on dinner with my friend at her home.  Jay cried the entire way home and it took a lot of effort to calm him down for bed that night.  When Jay has these meltdowns it’s difficult on Ace too.  He is torn between caring deeply for his brother and wanting to help in any way that he can and being mad that his day is being ruined or cut short.  I get it.

 

It’s hard to say for sure whether or not the day was a success.  I think it was even though I don’t like when our days end on a sour note.  It makes me wonder what the kids lasting feeling about the day will be.  Hopefully it’s the teachers who dressed like bottles of glue and made their school day fun and it’s the strangers giving them jokes as they handed out candy and it’s the wonderful decorations that they saw as they went from house to house.  Hopefully they remember how friendly all the groups of trick or treaters were to each other and how we stopped and chatted with an entire family of Ninja Turtles.  Hopefully they remember us joking with a little boy – who had some sort of special needs and who was dressed as a hamburger – that we were so hungry and would eat him all up and the smile on his moms face as we interacted with her son.  I hope they remember the warmth of the laugher we shared as we all said “Oh look ANOTHER Elsa (or Olaf )”.    Hopefully they remember being scared at some of the houses and how when Jay got scared, Ace (who tends to be a little scaredy cat himself) didn’t think twice about jumping into action to help his brother to “safety”.

I know that’s the stuff I will remember.

 

I’m taking it as a good sign that they’re already looking forward to next Halloween and have already decided that they no longer want to be super heroes.  For the first time, they want to be something scary; like zombies.  With the face make up and everything.