Saturday, September 17, 2011


Frank got a trampoline, Christmas, I think, last year.  It's one of those small, individual sized ones, with a grip bar.  We basically told him that we were not putting it together for him until he was using the potty: "Trampolines are for big boys who don't use diapers!"  Fast forward to now. 

The trampoline has been in the box, in his closet, this whole time, and the other day, for the first time since he conquered the toilet, he noticed.  "Mommy, I want to use my trampoline!"  Uh oh.  I will be the first to admit my husband is way better at Putting Things Together than I am, and I did not know if we'd have time this weekend to do it.

However, it turned out, we did have time, this morning.  Darrel and I put it together, and the kid LOVES it.  Most kids, after they jump like crazy on a trampoline for a bit, are all revved up, but, like many SPD kids, not Frank.  He'll jump for a bit, and then flop down on the couch and zone out.  (The zoning out may have more to do with his cold he currently has, though.  We'll see as time goes on!)

In other news, he is taking vitamins now.  He swallows these gummy vitamins whole, instead of chewing them, but they get in his body, so I really don't care. :)

Thursday, September 8, 2011


Yesterday was the first day of kindergarten.  Frank is going to the same place he's gone to daycare since he was five months old.  It's a full day, as opposed to our home district, which is only a half day.  Also, this class has only 13 kids, and a teacher and an aide, whereas he could have 25 kids in his class at our local elementary school, and one teacher.  We figured that, with the SPD and the fact that he won't be five for another two weeks, lots of attention would be good.  Also, with the SPD and difficulty with transitions, this gives him another year to mature before we throw him in with a whole bunch of new kids.

He got a bit teary-eyed yesterday when I brought him to school.  He told me on the way in that, "I hate new school years.  I hate going to a new class.  It's so stupid.  I did fine in my old class."  Well, you can't really fault his logic, I guess.

Much to my pleasure, the aide from his class last year is in his class this year.  He saw her and yelled out her name and gave her a huge bear hug.  That alone helped a bit, I think.  I wonder if it was just a natural switching thigns around, so things don't get stale, or if the director switched her for Frank's sake.  They've been awesome all along with all of his quirks, so I wouldn't put it past them. 

Frank was and probably always will be the first to arrive in the morning, which can be difficult, because there was nothign to distract from the fact that OH MY GOD THIS IS A WHOLE NEW CLASSROOM AND NEW TEACHER.  When this sawned on him, less than a minute after he'd hugged the aide, he began to weep and threw his arms around me.  I picked him up and began to wander around the room, pointing things out to him.  He eventually calmed down, and perked up when the teacher said casually, "Hey, Frank, let's turn on the computer."  Frank loves to play games on the computer.  He immediately slid down from me and ran and sat at the computer, where he and the teacher discussed games at his favorite websites.

I left after about a half hour there.  I have first period off this year, which is nice, because I'm not as rushed in the mornings, so I could take the time to help him settle in.  I called in mid-morning, and the teacher reassured me he was fine. 

When I went to pick him up, he was exhausted.  He was ornery adn cranky all evening, and went right down at bedtime.  He woke around 6:30am this morning, which is late for him.  Right now, it's ten minutes to eight at night, and I put him to bed around 7:15pm.  He didn't complain.  This new kindergarten routine must be exhausting!

So, all in all, the transitionhas gone well.  I can now start to worry about first grade, next year, in a whole new school.  That, my friends, is going to be the real culture shock. was your first day of school?

Monday, September 5, 2011

New School Year

Frank and I did some back-to-school shopping today, specifically, for clothing.  (Note to self: Never ever do this on Labor Day again.  Ever.  It's like shopping for presents on December 23rd.)  He's got plenty of t-shirts, but I was looking for long sleeved shirts.  Target didn't seem to have much out yet, which is fine.  But it occured to me while we were shopping that things I do as part of routine might seem odd to others.

For example, I picked up one long-sleeved shirt.  I felt it, and then said to Frank, "Hey, how does this feel to you?"  Most mothers would ask their child how the shirt looks.  Frank truly does not care how a shirt looks.  You could put anything on him, and so long as it covers his body, and doesn't itch, he's good.  It doesn't have to match his pants, either.  (He's started picking out his own clothing in the morning.  The results have been interesting at times.)

He was very matter-of-fact about my question, too.  He ran his fingers over the inside seam in the neck, and said, "Feels good to me."  I bought the shirt in every color they had for this style, because, as the SPD parents all know, when you find something the kid approves, this is what you do.

Some brands of shirts, I can buy without him accompanying me, because I know from past sizes that they feel good to him.  But new ones, I always have him approve for me, because the last thing I need is to be faced with, "I don't like that shirt- it itches!" on a school morning. 

We had to skip OT last week, and will have to skip this week as well.  I don't like doing that, but that's how it goes, I guess.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Disney World!

We are back from Disney.  Overall, it was a good trip.  We did, however, hit some snafus along the way:

1. Sleeping arrangements.  My mother in law (MIL) came with us.  The way the suite was set up at Animal Kingdom Lodge- Kidani Village, we decided that Frank and MIL would sleep in the same room.  MIL would have the queen-sized bed, and Frank would have the pull-out couch, which was far closer to the ground.

"Can't you take the mattress and put it on the floor?" the boy asked me.  Um, no.  There was not enough floor space to take the double-sized mattress and put it on the floor.  The first night, he had a bit of a hard time sleeping, but by the second night, he was fine.

"I can't sleep without someone in here with me!"  Yes, it was a different sleeping enviornment, with no night light, and different noises, and different shadows on the walls.  Fortunately, I guess, we pretty well wore out Grandma each day, so she was perfectly happy to go to bed when Frank did.  And we left the bathroom light on all night, which sufficed as a night light.

2. Meals: We booked a Character Breakfast the first morning we were there, and a Character Dinner close to the end of our trip.  The dinner went over far better than the breakfast.  The Character part, you see, was great both times, but Frank has only recently started eating many typical breakfast foods, so when I got him some Mickey-shaped waffles and a couple of pancakes, he took one look at them, and...

"I don't like these.  They're different from mine."

Now, our plan that day was to eat, take the obligatory pictures, and then go right to a park for the morning.  We were not going back to our room, and in any case, we did not have any food in our room.  We got him to eat a bite or two of the waffle, even threatening him with, "If you do not eat that waffle, you are getting nothing until lunch, and it is a LONG time until then!"  Yes, SPD parents, I know: very counterproductive. 

I resorted to desperate measures: "Try a hash brown.  They're like French fries and you can drown them in ketchup!"  There was some hesitation, but he eventually tried one- SCORE!  He liked it, and ate two.  Okay, whatever, the kid ate something, let's go play.

Later that day, Darrel went food shopping and bought the neccessary supplies for the week: chicken nuggets, fish sticks, and frozen waffles.  Oh, and tea bags for Mommy.

3. The Heat and Humidity: Frank takes after myself and my father's family in this regard.  Father's Family does not handle heat well.  At all.  This, I assume, is why we always headed north to the Adirondacks during summers when I was a child.  The first day at Disney, after walking from the parking lot, Frank began to whine about how hot it was, and he was sooo tired, and could we pleeeeease carry him?  My husband and I are quick learners- we rented a stroller for him after that session.  Best.  Thing.  Ever. 

The kid still whined about how hoooot it was, mind you.  But we didn't have to carry him while he did so.

I also ended up buying him an $18 fan/water squirty thing combo.  He whined for four days how much he wanted it before I gave in, though.  (That counts for something, right?)

All in all, he had a great time.  Frank LOVES crazy roller coaster rides.  This suits me just fine, because Darrel loves them, too, and now he has someone to go on these rides with.  I do not do well on anything faster or more spinning than a Ferris Wheel.  (Or Star Tours.  I loved Star Tours.  I suspect the Star Wars geekdom is strong enough to overcome the vertigo.)  I get really bad vertigo.  (Hmm...vestibular issues?)  I am the one who's perfectly content much to the surprise of others, to hold everyone's stuff while the rest of my party goes on a ride.  Big Thunder Mountain Railroad?  The boys went on it six times altogether.  Star Tours- I think Frank went on it ten times altogether.  The only big rides he did not go on at Disney were Space Mountain and Tower of Terror. 

He also loved the characters.  For those who have never been, most of the characters you meet are in costumes that make them between six and seven feet tall, which can be intimidating to some kids.  Not to Mr Personality, though- he ran right up and hugged Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, et al.  The characters in costumes do not talk, either, but they communicate very eloquently with gestures.  (Well, at least to me- maybe it was easy for me to understand because of all the signing I do?)  Frank would start up a "conversation" with the characters...continuing even after we'd taken his picture and the character was trying to inch away gracefully and go on to the next kid:

"Goofy, I really like the pizza here!  I eat pizza now, do you know that?  My favorite pizza is Hometown Pizza, but I like yours a lot!  I ate three pieces of this pizza!  Did you eat some, or do you just cook it?  How many kids do you talk to every day?  I saw Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, and Doald before!  Do you remember me from breakfast?"

Darrel turned to me and said, "Only our kid could have a complete conversation with a character that does not talk back."

The trip home left a bit to be desired.  Thanks to Hurricane Irene, we ended up driving home instead of flying.  20 hours in a car is more fun than any human should be allowed, trust me.  We drove as far as Charlotte, NC, Sunday night, and crashed with my cousin and her family.  this is the same cousin whose son and Frank were thick as thieves in Delaware, so they were delighted to have an impromptu sleepover.  Then, we got up Monday morning and drove the rest of the way home, arriving at about 7pm that night.

I'm still exhausted.  Darrel wants to go back in three years.  I wonder if seven year olds can fit in those strollers.