I have moved over to WhittereronAutism.com. Please follow the link to find me there. Hope to see you after the jump! :)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

One makes a difference

I prompt them from the calendar, the speech calendar from school that provides a daily prompt, as much for me as for them:- “so…...…what do you know about your grandparents dear?”
“Dey are nice and dead.”
“Nonna next door, she’s only napping dear.”
“Oh……I meaned…......….deaf.”

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The true price of love – in the nick of time*

Weddings are such a complicated business. But that’s one of the great things about growing old, you have the chance to step into the shoes of the previous generation. Now I will be a mother in law, mother of the bride. I have the chance to experience the very same angst that my own mother must have experienced a long time ago, or close enough. I distinctly remember being close to collapse by the time my own wedding arrived, a true challenge to my organizational skills, as the only way to command a cheap wedding is to do it all yourself. Hence, at short notice, a mere two weeks, I attempt to do likewise for own my daughter as she marries Mr. B, but I have other far more complicated hurdles to jump this time. Those hurdles consist mainly of explaining the concept of marriage to my children with their many and various perspectives upon life. My son takes the news the hardest, close to tears because weddings are a very emotional time.
“But I don want Mr. B to marry her.”
“Oh dear. Why not luvvy?”
“Coz he is my friend.”
“Yes he is, but he’s her friend too. You can have more than one friend. Just because they’re getting married doesn’t mean that he won’t be your friend any more.”
“It won’t be dah same.”
“Is he gonna leave?”
“No, they’ll both say here with us, a big family of 8, so you’ll still see him every day.”
“But then they’ll be the babies.”
“What babies?”
“They’ll have babies and then he won’t love me no more.”
“Oh there won’t be any babies for a very long time, you don’t have to worry about that, babies come later, much later.”
I hope.
“Besides, you love babies, so that won’t be too bad.”
“Yeah but you can’t love babies and your friends.”
“Believe me, there’s enough love for everyone, you definitely don’t have to worry about that one.”
“It stinks.”
“What does? Babies? Babies nappies?”
“No! Getting married stinks.”
“Actually, you know I’ve been thinking.”
“When they’re married, Mr. B will still be your friend, but do you know what else he’ll be?”
“He’ll be your brother in law.”
“Brother in law.”
His skull hits my sternum like a medicine ball as his finger tips dig into my flesh, overcome, wordless and ecstatic.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Doggy droppings - bonus

Life in a foreign country is both an adventure and a learning experience. I find that even though I have lived in California for 14 years there is no end to list of things that I do not know, just on that one topic, California, or even on an even smaller topic like San Jose, or even on an even teenier topic such as what occurs between my own four walls.

With only a few days to go before the wedding I nip out to the garage to restock with a six pack of paper towels and dump the recycling but as I hear yelling from within, drop them all and dash back inside. Inside I find my sons squabbling, loudly. I listen carefully on a fact finding mission prior to dispensing justice, assuming that they are unable to resolve their differences alone, “but I have being injured my toe, I am need of my sock for protectiveness dumbass!”
“Dat was years ago, it’s o.k. now, take off dah sock I wanna make another puppet.” I am about to open my mouth to speak when both boys coo, “oooooo!” as their gaze follows something moving in the garden. The thing that is moving in the garden is Thatcher, the dog, leaping and bounding through the air with abandon as he kills toilet rolls, merciless. As paper falls like confetti through the air the sprinklers start up. A papier mache garden was not on my ‘to do’ list. As I watch, my daughter approaches to add her oooos to the chorus.

“Geez mom, the whole garden looks like it’s been teepeed!” I turn to look at her face of glee. My face is not in the least bit gleeful as I have discovered something else that I don’t know how to do. “In what language are you speaking?”
“Teepeed, dontcha knowit?”
“Indeed, I most certainly do, but my knowledge is limited, and in this instance it is limited to Native Americans, a structure of poles covered with animal hides for protection and shelter.” A take a deep breath of rarified air with a hint of damp dog.
“No mom, dontcha know nothin?”
“So it would appear.”
“How come you don’t know this stuff when you’re so old….er…. I mean mature….um…..”
“Adultish!” offers her brother.
“Verily.” I am without functional brain cells. I wait for my daughter to put me wise.
“Teepeed is like, you know….‘toilet papered.’”

So I have two more unanswered questions:-
Why is the smell of soggy dog so all pervasive and how do you remove six shredded toilet rolls from a lawn after it has baked to perfection in the Californian sun?

I may have no choice but to return to the convent from whence I came.


Slurping Life

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When we first took Rascal to the vet as a kitten we were told that he had
‘bonding issues and behavioural problems,’ Nonna was most amused at the time. Here you can witness his issues as he guards the boys at night, from 8 o’clock sharp he starts to yeowl for them to come up to bed and then he stays there, up and down the ladder, checking, in-between nips next door to check on my daughter. He’s usually pretty tired by the morning, it’s a nocturnal thing of course, perfectly natural in a cat.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Age of Reason

The great thing about having older children is that you can begin to reason with them. Parents can drop the bribery tactics and move swiftly on to persuasion, trading and tit for tat.

“Tell you what?”
“What is it now mom?”
“You make your packed lunch and I’ll make you supper?”
“Great I get to pick out my own food!”

“Tell you what?”
“You make your packed lunch and I’ll make you supper?”
“Why? Because you need to learn to become independent and do things on your own.”
“Because then when you grow up and leave home you’ll be able to look after yourself properly.”
“O.k. I get dat.”
“Where are you going?”
“What about your packed lunch? What about supper?”
“Das o.k. mom I ain’t gonna be leavin home.”

“Tell you what?”
“You make your packed lunch and I’ll make you supper?”
“No? Hang on a sec, where are you going? What about your packed lunch? What about supper?”
“I’m gonna die of malnutrition.”

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Share and Share Alike

We explain important human relationships to the boys, kith and kin, blood ties, legal ties and the thing that is about to happen to change their lives.
“So of course you understand that once they’re married things are going to be very different.”
“Yes. You’ll have one more person to share with in the family.”
“More sharing?”
“Indubitably. And what is the most important thing that you have to share?”
“Computer time?”
“Dats o.k. den. We can be sharing everything else.”
“Good. I’m glad to hear that you’ll be able to share your chocolate pudding with Mr.B.”
“Never!” he howls making a fine impression of wolf.
“Well you have to start somewhere. Look around the table.”
“Tell me which person you could start to share with?” Each person watches him as his eyes travel from one to the next, steadily, silently, round and round and round. It appears that we are all of us inadequate for such an honour. Then we witness the decision maker spark as a very bright idea occurs, as they so often do, given time. “I know! I am choose mum.”
“Ahh thank you dear. You are so kind and generous.”
“Yes but also I am knowing.”
“What do you know?”
“You are not liking chocolate pudding.”
Well that would make the decision easier of course.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Well spotted

5 Minutes for Special Needs

He saw it first!

If you enjoy caption competitions and photographs, you may wish to nip along to"DJ Kirkby" over at "Chez Aspie" and test your brain power.

"Nonna" always welcomes visitors.

MckLinky Blog Hop

Monday, September 14, 2009

Sock Puppets

Tackle It Tuesday Meme
Try This Tuesday

Only teeny tiny this week as I have a wedding to arrange for Sunday the 20th and so all my energies are otherwise tied up.

It's a kit for children aged 3 and above which I've had for an awfully long time.

Although it's 'glue free' ours needed a little bit of help.

With great results though. What's more they have played with the end results, way out of our comfort zone.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Tongue twister

Hosted by "Tracy" at "Mother May I," but the photo-picture below will whizz you right there with one click.

Just call me snap happy.

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What is it?

I'm so glad you asked:-

A fossilized, flat, four footed, platypus skeleton. Don't try saying that in a hurry. It would appear that the tactile defensive amongst us have mastered tape.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Notable quotes

I watch his performance, robotic dancing and in time until he collapses in a sweaty heap, “sighhhhhh!
“You are such a fun guy.”
“Wot did you be callin me?”
“Fun guy?”
“Ooo…..I thought you be said fungi, nevermind, I am liking fungi betterer.”

Friday, September 11, 2009

Three little monkeys

Slurping Life

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Say "hi" to "Nonna" for me.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Caring and sharing

On Labour Day afternoon after another nocturnal phase with my older son, we are determined to wear them all out in the pool. It is immediately apparent that the water is one degree cooler than on the previous day. My youngest son, in his wet suit, shrieks as his toe touches. Only 18 lengths to go. I do not know how many breaths the average person takes per minute. I do know that every breath equates to one 50 decibel shriek of agony interspersed with cries of “I gonna freeze into an iceberg.” Despite the protests he persists and doesn’t escape from his watery end, but continues to persevere and decrease his average length time. I’m sure that all of our neighbours also enjoyed the experience of his progress as they certainly couldn’t fail to hear the running commentary.

Afterwards he is calmer, spent and in a much more malleable frame of mind, which is just as well as we thrash our way through the evening meal:-

“All I’m saying is that perhaps, just this once, you could share your chocolate pudding with your brother and sister?”
“I would raver die!”
“Come along now, it’s not really fair that you get two desserts every night is it?”
“It is justice for the poison one.”
“Well if it Queen’s Pudding scored a 3 then it’s not really in the same category as poison, is it? Could you give it a try, just this once? I just didn’t have time to make dessert tonight.”
“O.k. but only a very teeny tiny one, not dah whole darned puddin.”
“Ah thank you dear, that’s so sweet of you…..so mature.”
“Dis is dee manifestation of adultishness.”
“For you…..that is most probably quite right.”

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Health and safety at play

“I have an incredibly brilliant solution to the problem,” he announces as he dives into the stationery drawer to rummage around. “I have invented safety improvements.” His toe still bleeds. The supply of band aides is running low. He reaches for the tape dispenser and reels off strip longer than his own arm to wrap around the band aid on his toe. “Dere you go! If life gives you lemons make bloody beef stew.”

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Halloween practice well in advance

5 Minutes for Special Needs

The artist sets to work with her little brother as model, caught by the throat, one handed life drawing. Miss Incredible, who can extort the required behaviour without apparent force.
“Ugh you have dog breath,” he squirms.
“Grrrrr sit still you little mongrel or I’ll eat yah fer breakfast. A dogs’ breakfast!”
His older brother watches, cautious in his Vampire suit, “can’t eat Vampires anyways.”
“Shut up Mister, your turn's next so take those teeth out…..I said now!

If you enjoy caption competitions and photographs, you may wish to nip along to"DJ Kirkby" over at "Chez Aspie" and test your brain power.

"Nonna" always welcomes visitors.

MckLinky Blog Hop

Monday, September 07, 2009

Two for one

Tackle It Tuesday Meme

Try This Tuesday

Only tiny ones for us after our four day weekend.


Read and weed some, so that the pile goes down.

And two:-

Each child to reproduce a picture of 'cat' to inspire "Nonna" to get on with her commissioned portrait of next door's moggy

= done.

That's about all I can manage for "today."

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Sunday, September 06, 2009

Je m'appelle Funny Bear - Full French Version

Hosted by "Tracy" at "Mother May I," but the photo-picture below will whizz you right there with one click.

Just call me snap happy.

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I have made a Bakewell Tart and a couple of loaves of fresh bread but I am completely incapable of filling in the rest of the menu for the night as my brain has been numbed by twenty minutes of the sing songy exchange:-
“Come to the dark side.”
“The health inspectors are here!”

I don’t know from whence it has come, but I sincerely I hope that it doesn’t stay too long as the Boris Karloff maniacal laugh that accompanies it, is far too realistic for peace of mind. Frankly I do not consider this an improvement on Axel F sung at 50 decibels in chorus, even though once upon a time I did find the theme song to Beverly Hills Cops quite jolly. I remind myself that it is just a phase, a phase during which we are quite likely to starve to death as the noise level interferes with what little brain activity I have left. For those unfamiliar with the updated version of this song, which depicts as ever so slightly "demented frog" with a foreign accent who continually punctuates bars with the ditty "bing, bing, bing," in a thoroughly electronic tone of voice. So I’m just saying, a word to the wise, do not allow your children access to U-tube, no matter how virally popular something might be at school when that video is linked to the "Gummy Bear” contagion with the same electronic voices, you may soon find yourself as a parent with a serious brain infection. I do not know exactly how many languages this has been translated into thus far, but I do know that this is not the ideal way to learn French or Japanese. You have been warned. The only up side to the current nightmare is that my son has decided that robot dancing is the way ahead. He exerts enough energy to make a small dent in his energy reserves after his 30 minute limit. That said, now I come to think of it, I think I have the perfect recipe for dinner………frogs legs.

Spare a thought for "Nonna."

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Saturday, September 05, 2009

Notable Quotes

Speech delays are curious things. If you combine them with a smattering of echolalia, sprinkle with scripts and stir in a penchant for colloquialisms, you can end up with a very special recipe. So if you also find that you can't remember the name of an actor, or that the name of the movie is on the tip of your tongue or you can't remember the right word, try these strategies instead. Don't say 'er, um, actually....'


“We’ll be right back……after these messages.”


“I have short term memory loss.”

Be imaginative and try alternative strategies to solve unusual problems:-

“If your dog doesn't have a leash use the dog’s tongue instead coz they’re better by design, inbuilt.”

Appreciate expanding social awareness:-

"Elders" are takin over dah world!"

Always try and keep your sense of humour well oiled:-

“It’s called butt kissing.”

Friday, September 04, 2009

Family Time

Slurping Life

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Full of activities so my productivity is more or less zilch.

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Thursday, September 03, 2009


Child abductions are rare but currently in the news, as are a rash of sex offenders. These things are on my mind when my son unlocks all the locks on the front door and bounds out into the garden at 7:40 in the morning. He dashes down the path all legs and limbs like Bambi. He stops at the gate and hangs on it before he glances back at me to give me a thumbs up sign. He gives me another thumbs up sign because he knows that I am old and may not understand the hand gesture of the young and hopefully hip because he’s considerate like that. He argues with himself for a few moments, debating. I watch him debate as he weighs the matter up, both sides before his better side sighs and stomps back to the house, to me, his mother, who is waiting. He takes the 'yell through the open window' option, “iz o.k. mom……I’m waiting for dah bus.” I beam, “I guessed that!” He flaps a hand in my direction a dismissal and a whatever before his feet turn to propel him back to his waiting position, his body follows a nano second later.

Too many ‘firsts’ to count.

He does press ups on the gate post to pass the time of day. His body is precarious as it wobbles to and fro over the top of the gate but he doesn’t topple over into the street. His cat waits with him winding in and out of the picket fence posts. I watch from behind the window as a humming bird darts in and out of the flowers in the forefront with the back drop of my son, my much larger son. He gasps as the cat departs and flits across the road. I watch him resist but impulse control is always a trial. I know he’d fall for that one:- ‘here’s a picture of my kitten, can you help me find him?’ We’ve talked about it with all of them but there will always be a new line of temptation for the unwary. Children by their very nature are unwary. Parents see them grow and learn, we are wary, worried and watchful because we need to nurture their independence without paying a higher price. He vaults into a victory dance, opened mouthed silent yelling as the bus pulls in.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Hide and seek

I enjoy another pointless conversation with my children now that we have conversations, pointless and otherwise. “Come on you two, let’s play hide and seek with Fred.” My older son looks pleased at the prospect, his younger brother thinks I am a fool, “why we play hide and go seek wiv a tortoise? Are you nuts mom?”
“Not at all. Come on it’ll be fun.”
“Not fun.”
“Yes it is. Anyway it’s not fair as Fred’s already hidden himself and unless you go and find him he’ll be hiding for ever.”
“Dat’s not good…..if no-one comes lookin for ya.”
“Right! So come into the garden and see if you can find him.”
“He is losted?”
“No he’s hiding.”
“Oh…dats o.k. I already seened him when I came home from school.”
“Yes but now he’s in the pen outside but you won’t be able to find him as he’s hiding.” They’re less enthusiastic than I would wish but still compliant. I wax lyrical, “it’s quite amazing how he’s camouflaged himself, in the grass, he’s invisible. We peer into the pen to see four square feet of grass and no tortoise, or at least, I can’t see him. “May be he sneaked up the down pipe like the incy wincy spider?”

“He ain’t no spider mom. Anyways up down……he’s dere. We found him. Wot now?”
“You can see him, already? Point to him. Show me where?”
“Can you see him too?” I check with his brother.
“Sure! He right dere.”
“Point to him dear.” He steps over the fence, reaches in and pulls out Fred, just like that! “Iz o.k. mom wiv your old and mold eyes.”

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Diamonds are some girls' best friends

5 Minutes for Special Needs

Other girls make other choices

If you enjoy caption competitions and photographs, you may wish to nip along to"DJ Kirkby" over at "Chez Aspie" and test your brain power.

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