Saturday, October 30, 2010

Happy weekend friends! We made it through another week :) It was a little iffy at times, but we managed to make it through pretty much unscathed.

I'm sure you all know what happens tomorrow. After spending some crazy amount of money on costumes, accessories and enough candy to keep dental offices booked through April, mothers everywhere will spend the daylight hours holding the threat of NO trick-or-treating over their children's heads in order to get bedrooms clean, homework done and  maintain peace between siblings. We will force some kind of healthy (or at least semi-healthy) dinner upon our kiddos with the hope that it will somehow counteract the twenty pounds of candy they will be hauling home in pillow cases later that night.

The chants of "Is it time YET?" will start by noon. And when the evening arrives we will be chasing our broods down saying "Are you getting in your costume or not?! If we don't get ready now you'll miss the whole thing!" There will be multiple vain attempts at taking a picture that captures how incredibly scary/cute/fantastic they are in their Halloween garb with an eventual sigh by Mommy as she concedes it just ain't gonna happen.... and then we'll send out our crew with warnings of "don't eat ONE thing until I've checked it!!"

We will put on our best Mommy smiles while we answer the ringing doorbell. We'll ooh and ahh over the neighborhood kids costumes and give them handfuls candy, saving the "good stuff" for the kids we really like ;) And after about an hour we'll be counting down the minutes anxiously awaiting the end of the ringing doorbell.

We'll drag our own kids back home amidst complaints of not having nearly enough candy yet. We'll start the pj process, make-up removal and sorting of candy. We'll say they can each have 3 pieces of their candy haul knowing that somehow that will end up being 30 pieces. And when they are sufficiently full of sugar and excitement over their newly gained goodies we will utter the fateful words.....Bed Time!

We'll tuck our monsters, goblins, superheros and princesses into bed, knowing that in reality they are angels we are so blessed to have in our lives. We'll peek in after a bit to make sure they are in dreamland, safe and secure under warm blankets. And when we are sure each one is fast asleep, we'll dive into their candy like we are 10 years old again and enjoy the fruits of their labor :)

Yeah, while I'm sneaking Baby Ruth's from various candy stashes I'll be thinking Halloween isn't so bad.....

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

2:43 p.m. - My cell rings, playing the Death Star Imperial March music. That can only mean one thing - the middle school is calling to tell me my 11 yr old with high functioning autism has had or is having a bad moment and both staff and he need me NOW. You'd think after years of getting these kinds of calls I wouldn't automatically have heart palpitations and sweaty palms....

Today's issue revolved around his not complying with a teacher's request. When told that the consequence of his choice to continue playing on the computer instead of doing what the teacher asked was not being allowed to bring the teacher's Mr. Monkey stuffed animal home, he hit the floor, fetal position, crying.....full scale meltdown. Which then lead to him missing the now he's upset he missed the bus. "Can you come and get him off the floor and take him home?" Do I have a choice? Didn't think so.....

I'm in his classroom within 10 minutes, he's still on the floor. Let the Mommy Magic begin. "I'm counting down from 5. If you aren't on your feet by zero, you lose all video game privileges for today." He's standing up by the time I get to 3 :)

Now, the hard part - I have to piece together his version of what led to his meltdown and make it jive with what staff members have already told me. Then I have to help him recognize where his "bad choices" started, when he stopped using learned coping skills and why there must be a consequence for his choices. Envision a scenario similar to trying to get a dog to meow....yep, that pretty much sums up our first 10 minutes of discussion.

Luckily, this is old hat to me. This is familiar territory, and I know better how to avoid the potholes now. We walk down the nearly empty hallways side by side and I search for a distraction - something to talk with him about while he regains his composure. Success!! Within a couple minutes the tears are gone, yelling has ceased and he is back to "normal".

Tomorrow, I'll hoist him back into the saddle and and tell him to try again.  Tomorrow I'll spend time off and on during the day worrying about how his day is going, and waiting for the Imperial March to play. For today, I'll just be thankful that it wasn't worse....
Last night I got to do something which is a true rarity for me. I spent an uninterrupted 30 minutes with my 13 year old son. Granted, those 30 minutes were commute time to and from his 8th grade band concert,  but still....

We laughed A LOT. He was in hysterics over the rant I had while driving behind Grandma Moses. We joked and teased each other, listened to some Journey in the background and sang along. He was a pleasure and joy to be around. For 30 minutes we didn't butt heads, didn't become frustrated with each other and didn't talk about anything except what HE wanted to talk about - it's the best 30 minutes I've spent in weeks.

I'm ashamed to admit that sometimes I forget he's only 13. I catch myself thinking, "Why can't he just..." Well, DUH! He's a 13 year old boy - of course he's got a little attitude, a touch of smart mouth and can be stubborn as a mule. Isn't that the definition of teenager?! Last night was a reminder that he is also really funny, musically talented and a great kid.

It doesn't happen nearly often enough, but last night I got half an hour with my 13 year old son without interruption, arguing, or nagging. Today, I'm hoping and praying that those 30 minutes will be enough to remind him that even when I'm eye deep in meltdowns, homework help and housework I never seem to get done that he will always have a place in my heart that is his only - he is my firstborn, the child who made me a mother, and is truly a very loved, appreciated and wonderful son.

Monday, October 25, 2010

In My Spare Time...

Well boys and girls, I've decided to give the whole blogging thing another shot. Mostly this is for selfish reasons. I enjoy writing, and I especially enjoy free flow, off the top of my head, let me tell you about MY day writing. My hope is to keep you wonderful followers entertained and informed about the lives of the Owens brood.

WARNING: I have been known to use sarcasm - ok, so I frequently use sarcasm in my communication if we're being honest. At some point I may offend you; I apologize in advance and invite you to let me know about my (probably) inadvertent offense. You should be aware that there could be intermittent doses of whining in my posts. Don't knock it - sometimes a good whine, accompanied by a good wine, is the best therapy! If you're ok with all the above, please subscribe and enjoy :)

You should know from the get-go that this house is usually a crazy, loud place. It is always a loving place, providing respite from the crazies who live outside our four walls. You'll read about funny things my kiddos say and do, the not-so-funny things they do, and how we manage to keep our heads above the broth while we swim with letters like ASD, ADHD, and OCD.

So, grab a life jacket if you need one and jump into my Alphabet Soup! Swimming is always more fun with friends :)