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Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Wading through Treacle

Let me just say at the beginning, that I have long been aware that my children, like many others, are not the kind of children that can be hurried. Although I have the standard stock of phrases at my disposal to engender hurrying, I have yet to detect any crumbs of evidence, that they are effective. [translation = in any way whatsoever] For some strange reason, I continue to use them, frequently. [translation = very old dog sticking with ancient non-functioning tricks]

Elderly brains are quickly confused. If the mother in question visually witnesses a great kerfuffle, [translation = children bouncing around the place] she may mistakenly interpret this as movement. A wiser mother would recognize this phenomenon as prevarication and avoidance. [translation = think zebra herd blending] No-one is actually going anywhere. [translation = circling the befuddled wagon]

Now you would think, where two sons have severe speech delays, I would adjust how I talk to them? [translation = I refuse to define ‘severe speech delay’ because it is meaningless] In my defense, I would point out their receptive language [ translation = incoming messages] is good, but their expressive language is poor. [translation = outgoing messages] That aside they frequently stumble over little hurdles. [translation = sabotage by mother]
“Come along now, get your skates on!”
When I think of the time I have spent translating this one phrase to my idiom blind children, I realize the many other, more positive things, I could have done in the alternative.
“Come on you old slow coach or we’ll never get there!”
Using references to other vehicles when you’re planning to travel in the family car, are not helpful. Translation into the local lingo ‘slow poke’ produces even more dire results. [ translation = of a more violent and personal space nature]
“No dilly dallying.”
I mean! Who invented that phrase? Why is it still stuck in my brain. How can I eradicate it’s usage?
“Last one in is a rotten egg!”
Obviously food references are lost on this rabble but allusions to anything that ‘rots’ does not engender the desired effect. [translation = move swiftly in the opposite direction away from the thing that rots]
“Get a wriggle on you lot!”
Perhaps if it was wriggle ‘off’ or wriggle ‘to’ it might work. [translation = perhaps I am clutching at straws?]
“Stop dawdling!” This has the same magical effect as shouting ‘freeze!’ But at least it stops the bouncing for a second or two. Thereafter two people topple over from the effort of balancing.
"Make it snappy!" only encourages some of the behaviours that we are trying to eliminate. [translation = gives a mixed message and provides a positive reason to bite]
"Jump to it!" [translation = they don't ask 'why' any more, they just 'jump,' which might be considered progress?]
Now that I am in America I have attempted to update my phraseology by using “come on already!” which I hear a lot, but I’m never sure if it’s ‘already’ or ‘alrighty’? Since neither version works, I’ve let that one slide.

I resolve that today will be different, better. I will do it properly. I gather the troops, hunker down, salvage as much eye contact as is available and sequence them through the steps in logical order-
“Bathroom, then socks, then shoes, out to the garage, into the car, seat belts on and drive.” At the signal ‘drive’ two people fall on the ground wailing. [translation = inconsolable] What! What? What now? I know they don’t like the car but really! There sister leans against the kitchen counter rolls her eyes, arms folded in disgust. I massage backs and wait for calm. [translation = restoration of the powers of speech] One sits up, the other props himself up on one elbow, “what dears?” I ask imploringly.
“We be crash. We be deaded…….er dead.”
“Dying den.”
“Dying, why dying?”
“Coz we crash dah car if you not open dah garage door!”


Joeymom said...

ROTFL (a common response to your delightful writing...)

I have the opposite problem with the car- my guys LOVE it (excet when we are backing out of the driveway; Andy doesn't like to move backwards). JOey is constantly on me right now: "Go white car! Drive in white car! Ride in white car! Get in car now...") Even when we've nowhere to go. Which isn't very often these days.

Domestic Goddess said...

Smart child! Very cute!

mumkeepingsane said...

I did laugh out loud at that one. *grin*

Haddayr said...

bwaaaaa ha ha ha.

I have tried photos of him putting on his shoes, his coat, his hat, his gloves, and heading out the door, on velcro so he can remove them at each completed task. I have tried a timer. I have tried idioms (and hijacked the entire morning, as you well know). Now, I follow him around all morning, making him more and more keyed up and tense by saying letsgoletsgoletsgoletsgomoveitmoveitmoveitmoveit.

Jessica said...

That was good, wow! They are very smart!

Jerry Grasso said...

Truly: they are keeping you on your toes.

kristina said...

I was thinking about all the idioms that Jim especially uses---

come on Cholly, we gotta shake a leg!
now we're cooking with gas

----and we are both fast talkers. Occasionally I borrom one from my MIL:


Melissa said...

Oh... I'm laughing... SO HARD!!! Love it!! :D

Frogs' mom said...

How Funny! I so admire you :0)

Here at the pond Little Frog has good receptive poor expressive and poor executive functioning/motor planning (Translation - knows what to do, but can't get organized to do it). Add to that Diva's typical drama queen response any time we begin to prepare Little Frog for the next transition "We CAN'T go yet, I need my coat and my shoes, and I need a drink of water and I have to use the bathroom” all the while running around like a chicken with it's head cut off (I don't recommend using that one with your boys!) The added nervous energy usually sends Little Frog right over the edge.

Lately, I've taken a trick from ENKI home schooling materials. I've picked a song for each transition. I hum the song, no words, and Little Frog knows what the song means. He is able to transition better and Diva is much less dramatic. We're still late, but we are not frantic!

Heidi said...

Ha! you were outsmarted. Your boys are very clever. Good tips, thank you - I am frequently reduced to raising my voice 'Car! Now!' as any number of come ons and hurry ups go in one ear, out the other...

Anonymous said...

I want to hear your stand-up routine live!

Anonymous said...

ROFL!! How funny. My children are very literal, though without the additional hurdles that your's face. I remember distinctly one day in the store when my 13 and 11 year olds were maybe 6 and 4. It had been a trying shopping trip and I was incredibly frazzled. i saw them eye-balling the candy in the checkout lane, and I said "Go ahead, make my day. Touch the candy." They looked at me as if I had 2 heads and touched. the. candy.

Luckily for all of us, I recognized the humor of the moment.

Stomper Girl said...

Geez! Fancy forgetting the garage door! I say Get a Wriggle On too. I learned it from mmy mother.

The luxury of being a Stay-At-Home-Parent is being able (mostly) to adjust to Kiddie-time, which is so much more fluid [read SLOW] than Grown-Up Time.

Admin said...

Ah, the literalness of children who march (or slink or dawdle or dance on their tippy-toes) to a different bagpipe player. I had one of those for 11 yrs. I realized if for the first time when he was about 18 months old and I said, "I guess I lost my head" about something stupid I'd done. "No," he said, very seriously, patting my cheek, "Head right here, Mommy." My other two children, who have ADHD rather than the multiple diagnoses Mike had, are much more whimsical and able to interpret subtle plays on words. But they're also much less practical than he was or I am. I well remember trying to get everyone into the car for a necessary doctor's visit when they all were younger. Most of the time, I just picked them up and put them into their car seats while covering their faces with kisses and uttering reassuring words, because they'd wail anyhow. This is also the time when they all wore sweats to bed so they'd be dressed when they woke up. Now if they don't show up when it's time to go somewhere, it's usually because they're looking for the book, art supplies, cd player, gameboy or snack they want to take with them. I love your stories about your kids.
Shine On,

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