Friday Haha – The Football Game

I recently went to my first college football game as part of a writing assignment. We don’t watch a lot of sports in our house, so the first thing I had to do was convince my little guys that this was going to be super fun. When I enthusiastically told them about our plans, they both looked at me with blank faces. Lief simply said, “Nah, that’s okay. I will stay with Dad.” August just wore the same face I would wear sitting through a quantum physics class: pure confusion at the most basic level. Footwhat? It was obvious I was going to need help when I proudly declared that the seats were by “the front of the goal line or something” so I invited my mother-in-law as a “cultural translator” so to speak.

I can’t give away spoilers for the other piece I’m writing, but I can tell you about Lief’s take on the evening. First, we convinced him to go with the promise that it’s the one place that encourages you to be LOUD. For a child who needs a constant reminder about using his inside voice, he was sold. What we failed to point out to our brilliant and quite literal thinker was that it didn’t mean that you walked into the stadium and basically battle-cry nonstop until you leave.

The moment we sat down, the shouting started “OH YEAH BAY-BEH! OH YEAH BASKETBALL!!!! I MEAN FOOTBALL!!!!! GOOOOOOOOO! WHOOOOOOOOOOOO!” We had 40 minutes before the game started. The team was stretching and a few people were meandering around the field.

I tried explaining the art of the shout, but it was too late. “You said this was a place I can be loud and I am being loud” he protested. Fair point. My mother in law pointed out that if he screamed the entire time, he would lose his voice. Logic is the way of the Lief and it helped for about 10 rock solid minutes.

By the time the game actually started, Lief had cheered for stretching, a mascot, a man in a banana suit, a few commercials on the big screen, the national anthem (during and after), the flags, a baton twirler, both bands, a picture of the Ghostbusters logo,  the cameras, both teams, and a handful of other things I’m sure I am missing. My mother-in-law showed him when to put his pointer finger in the air and yell, “OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO” (or something like that?) and quickly put his arm down when it absolutely *wasn’t* the time to do that. Through it all, Lief cheered and shouted and rallied. Our team was up? HORRAY TEAM! Our team was down? HORRAY OTHER TEAM! I was truly shocked he kept his voice and didn’t sound a bit raspy the following day. His vocal chords are impressive, for better and worse.

Besides walking away from the game and realizing I would absolutely do that again in a heartbeat, I also reflected on my loud-mouthed love. He is *everyone’s* greatest supporter and cheerleader, in and out of the stadium. He cheers on his brothers, his friends, and really anyone that crosses his path. When we went trick-or-treating, he complemented passerby’s costumes. He told some big boys in terrifying killer-clown masks that they did a good job scaring him. The boys just said, “uhhhhh thanks”, and Lief walked on, a kick in his step.

We constantly are reminding him to turn down his voice. Sometimes, he is so loud that I’m sure my ears will start bleeding. If I think about it though, 9 times out of 10, he is simply being happy, enthusiastic, and excited about whatever adventure he’s come up for the day.

The next time you have some tedious task to take of, channel your inner Lief. He will rally you through it all. “GO PAYING BILLS!!!’ “WHOOOO HOOOOO ROOT CANAL!!!!” “OH YEAAAAHHHHHHH BAY-BEH, CLEAN THE TOILETS”!!

You’ve got this.

lili

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Friday Haha – Treasure Hunt

I’m going to do something a little different today for Friday Haha.

We are going on a treasure hunt!

My silly story will be on the facebook page, today. You can get there by following this link.

So why am I doing this? Wellllll, I got a very good question in the super-duper-confidential email yesterday. I will be posting the question on the facebook page sometime this weekend, and I would like as much feedback as possible before writing up a post for #TuesdaysWithAutism. This question, in my opinion, will need a lot of experiences, feedback, and tips and tricks from both parents, professionals, and self-advocates. I would love to hear from you so that we, as a village, can answer this question.

As for the story, it’s short, quick, and should at least bring a smile to your face.

Enjoy!

Friday Haha – The Car and the Horn

Last week, I featured a story about one of my childhood cars that would make 21st century parents clutch their children and scream in horror. Now, the Friday Haha’s will not turn into Car Talk, but I would be remiss if I didn’t also share the story of *my* first car. The story ends with me hysterical crying and an old lady in a track suit flipping me off, so trust me when I say, buckle up and enjoy the tale.

I had no interest in driving as a teenager. I was good with catching rides with friends, hopping on the bus, grabbing a cab, and jumping on a train. This was early aughts in Dallas, so this was a time consuming cluster, but it kept me from behind the wheel, so I was fine with the arrangement.

My mom finally convinced me to get a license once I had my oldest. “What if there’s an emergency and you need to get to the hospital?” Fair point. I got my license a day or two before my 19th birthday. Still, I needed a car. I took everything from my Teenage Parent Budget and sorted out buying a car for a cool $250 from my older brother.
giphy

I have no clue what kind of car it was, except gold and Chrysler-looking. The steering wheel looked like it was better suited for a go-cart, and you had to drive it the way people “drive” in old movies – shaking back and forth at 10 and 2.
I don’t remember this, but my mom is pretty sure that I had to hit the starter with a hammer to get the car going. It could be true, because I *do* remember finding a mechanic who worked on my car quite often for the low low cost of a six pack and some smokes. It was a beautiful arrangement.

I’ve gotta hand it to my Ma, this did make going to school and work *much* easier. In fact, I ended up getting a job much further away than I ever would have without this beast. After school, I would drive from Coit and 635 towards Irving and make it to work in about 25min. Breezy. However, driving back into Dallas took much longer, especially on Fridays. I usually left an hour early, sat in bumper-to-bumper traffic, and did my homework.

One particular rush hour, I was sitting there, probably doing some Comp II assignment, and started hearing someone honking. There was literally no movement on the road, so this was irritating at best. They did not let up. Other cars started honking back and finally the screaming started. “EFF YOU!!” “MOTHERBLEEPER!!” “KNOCK IT OFF A-HOLE!!!” And really, it was all called for because who the hell honks NON STOP in a traffic jam….I do. It was me.

You know those moments that cameras zoom in on a face in horror/realization? Yeah, that was me as I looked up and saw people screaming at ME. I turned down the radio, and I heard it. It was The Beast. The car had gone full-on Christine on me and started honking….and honking…and honking….I think it wanted me to die in a road rage accident. I’m sure of it.

There’s no where I could go. I tried turning off the car, and it kept honking. I finally threw my hands up in the air so that people could see that I was NOT doing this and hopefully, spare my life from disgruntled commuters. I wasn’t quite at i-35 yet. Folks, I sludged down 635 like this for nearly an hour. I couldn’t pull over because I had to get Phoenix from the babysitter. Every minute I was late, was a $1. By the time I got to my exit, I was hysterical crying, hands in the air, and managing to drive mostly with my knees. When I pulled into the babysitter’s neighborhood, an old lady power-walking in her track suit smiled and waved. I responded by aggressively honking and tearing down the street. She flipped me off – I forgave her immediately.

I threw money at the babysitter, who was having none of this Horn Excuse, loaded up Phoenix, and drove to his dad’s apartment. It took him all of a minute to disconnect the horn. “Eff that car, I’m never getting in it again!” I declared.

And I didn’t. I straight abandoned that car in his apartment parking lot where we watched it sit for a year. Sometimes, I would walk by and kick it or spit on it. Every time I looked at it, I began cussing as if I were speaking in tongues to Jesus Christ himself. I don’t remember why I didn’t sell it or really whatever happened to it in general, but I know for a fact, I never, ever, stepped foot in it again.

I knew I was not meant to drive.

How does your first car compare? Do you have a crappy car story? Sound off in the comments!

Friday Haha – The Car and the Hole

This will be the first in a series Titled: Cars of my Past, A Tribute.

CARS OF MY PAST: A TRIBUTE  – The Car and the Hole

21st century car seat warriors, this piece may not be for you. Let me stress that I survived the perils of car-dom in the prehistoric times of the 80’s and 90’s where terms like “double-buckle” didn’t set off a bat signal to child protective services.

In the early years of my kid life, we had a lot of cars. They were the cars you could buy with whatever cash you had on hand so that my mom could make it to the store, get us to school, and wouldn’t have a car payment to worry about. The cars typically ran long enough to save up enough money for a “new” one. The cars were old, not cool antique old, just old.

During one stint, we had this incredible mustard yellow car. I want to say it was a 1980 Mustang, but I can’t be sure. I was of an age where “and a half” spoke volumes about how old I was. Seven? A mere child. Seven and a half? I am a mighty warrior woman that was much closer to ten than the day before….may as well split the difference and call me a teenager. I was a delight. But I digress….

This car had two bucket seats up front and I believe two seat belts in the back. This did not mean that it accommodated four people total. No no no, see? It was the 80s. If we had friends that needed a ride home, not a problem! Just double buckle. For those of you with your heads cocked sideways, this simply meant you used one seat belt to buckle two people. Sometimes, we would triple buckle. One person sat on another persons lap. Pull the seat belt over the both of you *PLUS* the person next to you. Voila! Safety!

If there were a bunch of us heading somewhere, my mom was again the one offering to do the driving. She was the pinnacle of stay at home mom/car pooler/ snack maker/ friend welcomer (to this day, she is friends on Facebook with people I knew as a teenager….I am not). If the seats got too full, we just used one of the floorboards as a seat. The only rule she had was to “avoid the hole”.

I haven’t mentioned the hole, have I?

The Hole was a rusted hole in the floorboard behind the drivers seat. It wasn’t huge, but it wasn’t small. A baby could have definitely fit through it, but we knew better than to put babies in The Hole. When we needed to hold our petite three-year-old sister in our laps (double-buckled, of course!), we never once threw her in The Hole. Again, it’s all about safety folks.

We didn’t need screens to keep us busy in the car because that entire concept never occurred to us as that sounded too much like a sci-fi futuremobile. We stayed occupied in our own, special way:  dropping pennies down The Hole while my mother shuttled us around town, running errands. It was like our version of Hansel and Gretel except instead of making our way to a witches candy house, we usually wound up at Albertson’s talking to Elaine, the manager.  I remember being especially excited when it rained because we could get some splash-back from the bigger puddles through The Hole. It was like our own, personal, Yellowstone Geyser experience!

Legend has it, my dad eventually “sold” the car to my uncle for a nice set of golf clubs. Bartering at its finest – take that Kelly Blue Book!

I spoke to my dad, and asked him if he remembered the car. He didn’t at first, but when I mentioned The Hole, the memories flooded back and he started laughing. “You had to be careful since the exhaust fumes would come through The Hole, right?” I don’t remember that whatsoever, so I guess the answer is a resounding and noxious yes.

Ahhh, the late 20th century. It was a simpler time.

Haha Friday – Storms

It’s 4am. We just had a fantasically loud thunderstorm with more to come during the next few days. At the beginning of the storm, a dog who shall not be named peed on the tile. I guess that is better than anywhere else, right?

In the thick of the storm, lightning and thunder crashed, setting off the car alarms in the cul-du-sac. While I frantically tried to turn ours off (chase finally fixed it) not one, not two, but THREE of the kids woke up. Phoenix thought his car got struck by lightning (spoiler: it was not), Aiden was completely disoriented, and Lief was terrified by the loudness of the ordeal.

As I tried explaining thunder and lightning to him, I realized I know shit about weather, scientifically.  No, I know weather like a farmer. “It smells like rain”, “It’s pink outside – gonna snow”, “It’s green outside – there’s gonna be a tornado”, “Animals are acting weird – storms are coming” – these are just some of the things that I say out loud as the gospel truth. However, tonight, “Thunder loud go boom” was basically all I could muster before I realized I sounded like a complete idiot. I finally just let him sleep next to me and told him we could learn all about it in the morning (because I need time to study and save face).  Aiden refused to go back to his bedroom. He has found comfort passing out on the couch, snoring, and occasionally kicking me in his sleep.

I’m pretty sure Calista-the-other-dog is one nervous fart away from the devil. I’m actively trying to debate optimal dog poop time vs storms vs sleep. Like, it’s a real dilemma in my head.

Augie is asleep in his room like a champ, so I’m just going to assume he has peed all over the bed because why not?

Now I’m wedged between a clingy six-year-old and a snoring 13-year-old on a couch while I hide under the blankets to avoid the smell of dog farts, fretting about dog poo and kid pee.

And this, folks, is the story you tell in a sex-ed class.

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.
truth.
– 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!

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.