Friday Haha – That’s What He Said

Our house is in the middle of some exceptionally level 15 Tetris type autism. I think it’s the combination of the insane, too-hot-for-the-devil heat, last minute scheduling change, puberty, and just his general want to get back into school. That said, I’m going to pull my autism card and do some fancy cut-n-paste for Friday Haha.

A birthday is around the corner for Lief.  He enjoys being the center of attention, so today, I’ll let him be the “guest writer” so that I can try to survive the AUpocalypse and party prep. Without further ado, I give you some of my most favorite quotes from my biggest ham and sweetest soul.

me: i want to be asleep.
Lief: you not a Sleep, you a Mommy.
– age 3

“What are those?”
“My eyebrows”
“Waaaahhhhhh!!!! I want eyebrows, tooooooooo”
– age 3

“If I can’t play bideo games, I can only play with this apple….(pathetic toe “kick” and the apple moves an inch)….see, apple ball is just a snack!” Annnnd cue wails.
Lief: drama queen, bideo game enthusiast
– age 4

“The girls made poop tricks at me and I don’t like poop tricks…….hunter is my best friend, now. He’s a boy and not a dog.”
(Poop tricks, clarified, was a sing-song poop version of “nanny nanny boo boo”. He thought they were saying “nanny nanny poop poop”)
– age 5

Learning that his dog is a girl, not a boy, he looked down at her resting in his lap.
“Um, you think you can get this vagina off me?”
-age 5

“how was school, Liefy”
“It was fun. I was kind and I didn’t sniff anyone’s butt. Also, I showed RISE”
Good job?
– age 5

What are some of the off-the-wall things your kids have said? Share below!
Happy Haha Friday!

Tuesdays with Autism – Sensory Madness

I am on a trivia team, and we made it to the finals. I only joined a few weeks ago so I can’t take the glory. However, I did know about a cronut, Hole, Saturn vehicles, and celebrity scandals so, you know, I’m the brains of the outfit. #selfdepricatinghumor.

The finals took place north of us, at a restaurant none of us had ever been to. It had a very Hard Rock vibe: bright posters everywhere, muted music videos on tons of screens, and even more music piped through their PA system.

When we first arrived, we all commented on how cool the place was. We talked music, commented on all of the “stuff”, and prepped for the game. This was slated to be a 3 hour event. As soon as more people started filing in, it did sort of feel like the walls were closing in, the music got turned up even louder to make sure none of the teams could hear one another. Servers were coming and going, utensils were clanking, voices were sort of rolling through the air like a fog. About halfway through, one table got especially loud and obnoxious. I started to cringe. Between the rounds, I started walking to the bathroom just for a moments peace. Granted, it was still loud, just less.

At one point, it clicked. This is Aiden’s every day. I mentioned it to the table as I play with his special ed teacher and a few dads that are also special needs parents. We all agreed, this as your daily must be a nightmare.  I became aware that I was putting my head down a lot just to block out some of the sights and sounds. I got quiet because I didn’t want to add anymore sound to the cacophony that was already making me get incredibly tense. I realized that kicking over the giant metal chair next to me probably *would* feel good. It would at least startle people enough to be quiet for a minute. Yelling *would* make me feel good – a nice outlet for my overloaded brain. The difference?

I have the skills to follow social norms.
This is not my every day.
It was only three hours.

I thought of all the times I have been overwhelmed with Aiden’s overwhelmedness. I think I have actually asked him, “if you don’t like to noise, don’t scream and add to it”. Welp, perspective, folks. I sat in that room and kind of understood.

By no means am I speaking on behalf of the autism community.   I am not trying to be the voice of self-advocates, but until *my son* can advocate for himself, I am his. I am sharing this because I walked away with a whole new level of respect for my own kid and his friends. I scour blogs looking for people with autism that share their own perspective in hopes of understanding Aiden’s world a little bit more. Reading is one thing, but experiencing even a fraction of it is another.

I have a challenge for you. I want you to think of something that overloads you or perhaps repulses you (nails on chalkboard, the sound of a lot of people talking at once, people eating [Misophonia]). Basically, find something that unsettles you or makes you uncomfortable. Immerse yourself in that situation and see how long you last. Now times that by a lifetime. Yes, therapy and time help, but essential that’s what our loved ones are dealing with. Hold on to that thought the next time you see a parent trying to console a child melting down, when you see an adult having a fight or flight moment, or when you see a teenager sobbing and say, biting their arm. Set the judgment aside. Whatever is going on is much harder on them than it is you.

Friday HAHA – Parenting: Fantasy vs. Reality

This week has been incredibly hot and my kids have been incredibly, you know, kid-like. Currently, the teen is grumbling and muttering smarmy words in his room while he turns up Law and Order SVU as loud as possible because I asked him to make the ultimate self-sacrifice and stop touching his brother’s arm. Also, because autism and hormones. One is stuffing grapes in their mouth so they don’t have to share while the other *screams* about being touched on the arm insisting that THEY want to sing the Anxiety Song, our “CTFD song” in parent-speak. No one is allowed to sing-along or make any eye contact. It’s giving me anxiety.

Sometimes for funsies, I look up Job Porn. I look for a hot 40hr little slice that insists on travel to far away places like Fort Wayne, Indiana or a Madison, Wisconsin. I’d be pampered with my very own quiet and clean room at the local La Quinta. Maybe, just maybe, there’s even HBO. In my wildest dreams, there’s a free continental breakfast. I’m not picky about size, but a large corporation where I’d be mostly ignored and kept in a cubicle, alone, is a super enticing scenario. I’m also not too fussy about perks, but “mandatory overtime” pretty much seals the deal. I’d get to use the bathroom in a room free of toys, toothpaste smears, spit spattered mirrors and pee on the seats. No one would even watch me go!  I’d eat lunch in a room full of people that don’t burst into tears because they didn’t want a turkey club, they WANTED spaghetti!! NO SAUCE!! Trash would be thrown away and dishes would just magically disappear and reappear the next day, clean. Wizard’s Sorcery, I tell you. In all of this glory, I’d, of course, have a company car, or at least a rental. Maybe it’s red or blue or that golden-brown-vomit color, but it definitely doesn’t have any crumbs in the seats or boogers on the windows.  HOT.

By this point, the children realize I am actively ignoring them and have a twinkle in my eye they don’t often see. It’s freedom, kids. Free from your crazy. They somehow manage to remember how to love each other and interact with one another without us having to pay on our too-high family deductible in the ER. They say or do some small, mundane thing that makes me smile, and I decide I’ll give them one more day.

But I know Motel 6 “keeps the light on” for me…..just in case.

Tuesday’s with Autism: Selflessly Selfish

As parents, we give our all to our children. As special needs parents, we give our all and then scrape the edges and find more – like that last little bit of peanut butter in the jar. Somehow, you manage to make a sandwich, but let’s be honest. It’s not as good as the sandwich before. The sandwich with the ACTUAL amount of peanut butter you want. This so-called snack has a smear at best. Alas, you must eat, so you settle for this sorry excuse. Eventually, though, you have to get more peanut butter.

Make me a sanity sammich.

I think we are some of the strongest parents out there….for our kids. So many of us put ourselves last because, let’s face it, sometimes it feels like the only option. Sometimes it IS our only option. It’s not terribly healthy, though. If *I* am at my personal wit’s end, then I am admittedly terrible at handling the children’s wit’s end. Add autism to this? Oh boy. Add *puberty*? I’ll say it’s not exactly flowers and sunshine. As it turns out, Aiden can be much louder for much longer than me so it’s a losing battle from the get-go. A few days ago, he was upset about something or other. I was stressed out and had zero emotional availability to handle the issue like a sane and reasonable adult.  After snapping at him, he escalated and did his battle cry scream (Thank you, neighbors, for trusting that we aren’t in the murdering business. It can sound like that in our house on a bad day.). Later, in his room, he tearfully said, “sometimes hard to not scream”. I’ve gotta say, I felt that to my core. Sometimes it IS hard to not scream and I have a TON more coping skills than he does.

So what do you do? How do you refill your peanut butter jar, so to speak? I like to say I am selflessly selfish with Time For Me, and I highly encourage you to do the same. By that I mean I try and regularly step away from Everything, but I’m doing it so I can come back a better, recharged and refreshed parent. Everyone wins. It’s a hard habit to start. It can feel like things are going to fall apart if you step away for a few hours, but it’s gonna be okay. Hubs and I each have our own things that we do solo from the family. He has weekly game nights with friends. I just started weekly trivia nights, but also go walking with friends and meet up for bookclub every month as often as our schedules allow. Single parent? Been there. Check to see if there are any local respite services in your area. The one in our area provides free care for about four hours for people with disabilities through age 21 and their siblings through age 12. My kids LOVE going so it’s a guiltless drop off – BONUS!

And if you are still reading this and thinking, “That doesn’t work for me” let me encourage you to ask for help. If your family doesn’t “get it” and friends aren’t available, lean on your autism community. That is a super hero collective of resources that will help you save your sanity. My favorite events are those that are put on through our local autism groups. Why? Because no one is going to look at you sideways no matter what your child is doing. You can stand and talk to a stranger about poop, prozac, and whatever else is on your plate. They get it. We all get it. Sometimes, just having that piece of mind, that little exhale, is all I need to fill up that jar just enough for our next adventure.

What do you do for you? What CAN you do for you? Here’s to you and your spirit and staying strong for you and yours.


Friday Haha – Passive Aggressive Parenting Hacks

Quick Note: Also, plan on Tuesdays With Autism starting next week. I would have began this series sooner, but Ive been busy with, you know, autism. Ahhhh, Life. Anyway, Here’s to the weekend!

Do you ever have one of those days where you can totally understand why some animals just eat their young? Of course you have, you’re a PARENT!

Rather than eat my kids or abandon them in a barn, I rub my temples a lot, cuss in the garage, and get super duper passive aggressive…in the fun way! Below, are some of my favorite ways to get back at my most precious monsters.

– Hide vegetables in their food. Yeah, you think you’re getting a carby bowl of macaroni and cheese with no nutritional value, but guess again, Buttholes! I have ninja’d vegetables into almost a fine powder and you’re eating them. Oh yes, you are.

– Wash the windows with a high power hose and have them stand on the other side. Sure, in reality they are dry and inside, cackling at this fun “game” you’ve created, but there’s something incredibly satisfying about pretending to spray your kid in the face after they had a screaming fit over their socks for 15 minutes. Bonus: clean windows!

– Delete their favorite app off a device, unplug the TV and claim it is broken. Take that, spawn! You have to get along and use your imagination to be entertained!

– Hide the bubbles. You must slum it in a bubble-free bath tonight, tiny humans. Maybe next time you guys won’t fight over who *has* to clean up the mess you both made…..followed by who *got* to pick up that red car over there. No bubbles for you!

– Skip parts of the bedtime story. Oh, a new book that’s incredibly detailed and will draw out bedtime beyond the regular two hour charade you’ve already created? No. Once upon a time a person did a thing and then that thing was resolved. You don’t need 13 pages of details after the day we’ve had. You need sleep. So do I.

– Casually walk by and mention Santa in passing during a sibling war zone….in July. Hurried apologies come spilling out of their mouths as their horror-stricken eyes flash forward to a Christmas Tree void of gifts while you get to smirk in joyful silence.

Do you have any passive aggressive parenting life hacks you’d like to share? Sound off below!

Twas the Night Before Prime Day

Twas the night before Prime Day,

And all through the house,

Not a creature was stirring except for the mouse.

The screens were turned on, we muted the sound,

In hopes that good deals were soon to be found.

The children were mostly asleep in their beds,

While visions of super deals danced in our heads.

And Mom with the laptop and I on my phone,

Had a glimmer of hope for five minutes alone.

When we leaned in there was a sudden  loud clatter,

Groaned, we jumped up to see what was the matter.

Away from Windows, to see what’s the hap,

Pulled out my phone for the security app.

The sweat on my brow was a regular bummer,

But it is the cost of a hot, humid, summer.

When what in the world did I see with my eyes,

But a Prius in the driveway and stars in the skies.

With a bald-headed guy holding Washington Posts,

I knew in a minute it must be Jeff Bezos!

More rapid than expected, his drones started flying,

And with a sly smirk, Bezos started crying,

“Free shipping! Great deals! In a matter of seconds! At the tip of your fingers! The Prime shopping nexus!”

“We drop off on the porch, a mailbox, any spot”

“Now shop and shop and shop til you drop!”

My wife and I nervously glanced at each other,

As Bezos and drones went up and did hover.

And then in one moment, I heard on the roof,

The clicking of drones – we took pics for proof.

As I turned my head to mouth, “call the cops”,

Down the chimney Bezos went, with his virtual shops.

He was dressed in jeans and a button down top,

With a bag full of goodies for kids, Mom, and Pop.

His eyes how they danced, his behavior quite manic,

We gave him our card numbers, filled with a panic.

A roll of packing tape he held tight in his teeth,

packing and sweating in the hot summer heat.

As he marked off his list assuring fulfillment,

the wife and I nervously hid the kids in the basement.

A wild-eyed wink left me shaking my head,

But Bezos assured me, I had nothing to dread.

He typed in some code and the drones went straight to work,

Filling the house full of boxes, then turned with jerk.

And laying his hands atop of the drone,

He flew out of our house, wallets dry as a bone.

Jeff ran to his car, and we locked our doors,

Clutching each other, slumped on the floors.

I heard his fevered cry as he drove through the timbers,

“Happy Prime Day to all! Free shipping for members!”

Friday Haha – Ovaries For Breakfast

As I was making pancakes this morning, I remembered the very stupid sex-ed movie we had to watch in 5th grade (’91ish?). This girl gets her period at a sleepover, and all of the girls are like, “what’s going on, girl?” bc they clearly hadn’t read Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret by Judy Blume.

Annnnyyyywaaayyy- they run to the mom who’s making pancakes for breakfast and ask her. She says, “Luckily, I’m a registered nurse” and starts making the reproductive system out of pancake batter! So they eat ovary pancakes bc that’s not insanity and look at tampons and pads and are like, “ladyhood is amazing!”

Even as an 11-year-old, I realized this was nonsense, but was still slightly horrified. The most that had ever happened at a sleepover up until that point was making prank phone calls, and watching “shocking” movies (Sliver and The Exorcist come to mind). *Maybe* the parents dropped a bad word in front of us once or twice. The houses varied, and so did the songs, movies, and friends, but still, I could always count on breakfast: cereal. The parents catch-all for a ton of kids and not a lot of energy. Not in this movie. Wheaties? No. THIS is the breakfast of champions, ladies! ovaries and eggs! Mrs. Butterworth was proud, I’m sure. This made no sense to me on so many levels. I don’t think I even knew anyone that had full blown bra-boobies yet, let alone a period.

So. What’s your sex-ed movie story? Is it worse than fallopian pancakes? Don’t shy away fellas, Im sure the boy videos are every bit as ridiculous. I must know!

This is as close as I’ll ever get for having a foodie blog. Head over to Lacey’s blog for recipes and even more family shenanigans!