Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Notes from a plane on what we did in September


September has been a month of ceaseless toil and business trips( three business trips in one month and many 12-14 hour workdays in those business trips  )  .

 I am trying to gather up the memories of this month before I forget

Thankfully I took pictures which makes it so much easier ( what did one do before the camera phone ?)

Refocus on Floortime  

In some part of this month, I noticed  a dullness in the way R was.

A repetitiveness in all his passtimes and I was worried about this.

Its not just about screen- time.

DH and I don't worry too much about screen time because between school and therapy - his overall free time is very limited.

And because he works so hard - we really don't want to plan out every hour of his day

 (Like all of us- doesn't an autie - deserve to have a balance of work and what he considers play? )

Plus, I also think its okay for me and DH to sometimes just be lazy and watch some TV and drink cups of tea.

That being said,  I do worry about the quality of computer time.

 So its okay when he is looking for EFL videos and learning vocabulary or watching videos

But it does not feel  okay at all, if he rewinds and fast forwards the same video over and over again

I was discussing this with Miss Gypsi .

Her idea was that  we need to remind him of all the other stuff that there is to do!

At this, a light bulb went on in my head

( how many times must I learn the same thing over and over again? )

I dedicate an entire weekend to playing and high affect activities  and R is literally a different child

Real, high quality attention is like sunshine to R

I try to make every activity and chore fun

We do bubble baths instead of regular baths .

When he rejects my ideas of turning the bubbles into snow - I do exactly what he wants to do ( which is make the bubbles fly in the sky )

I try to  get him to notice aspects in everyday chores that I know will interest him. I want him to notice

Like,   pumpkin patches outside grocery stores


I get him to think about everything - when I make Pizza- I get him to make to help him spread the tomato sauce and cheese.


The trick, I think is to prevent the constant narrowing of the world that happens in times of stress ( as school and hard work are always great stressors ) 

Of course, the best thing to build in your child is the desire to open up their mind and explore their world and this can only happen if it looks like  fun.

So the rules are

Find new things

Make the new things  fun

Pretend Play 


I bring out all the Thomas the Trains and we read rhymes about them

( I am struck by how rudimentary his play is and how its stopped at what was taught to him.We formally stopped pretend play a few months ago to focus on the very important "Reading Comprehension"  - but then I also remember what a great gift it is that .1.   he retains the learning and 2. he is teachable )
We try and find other things that will interest him .

DH gets him a pin wheel which we have a lot of fun with .

I think R thinks that the pin wheel is a flower ( as the pinwheel we have in our house is stuck in the ground ) and he smells it carefully

I love the way his mind works

The focus back on Floortime and on R again has a remarkable effect on all of us I think.

DH and I are never happier than when we see R blossoming

I am always touched by how little it takes to make  R happy.

The other day he  asks for (yet) another set of foam numbers.

DH and I remind ourselves that its important to him - even though its a very childish toy

OMG he is so happy with these numbers.

My eyes fill with tears as he does his happy jig in Walmart after we check out with the numbers in the bag

I resolve to throw out the "appropriateness of a toy for his age" measure that I sometimes( thankfully not always )  have

When I see him dancing, I am simply ashamed that I ever thought dismissively of these 5 dollar foam numbers

Fall 


The first leaves of fall have come .. it maybe my favorite things in the world.

I spend as much time as we can outside - especially when we are at the cabin.




DH working on his various projects -

The torrential rain makes a great gaping hole in our front area and DH builds a retaining wall.

 Having an engineer as your husband is really super helpful !

DH works,

While R and I play and lounge about on Saturday- which I have firmly told DH is the day of no "shoulds"



Birthday 
I had a birthday in September .

I love the 30's.

I make the mistake of letting R choose where we should go. Since his criteria is based on which restaurant gets him the best color combination of crayons ( red and green for Coke and Sprite ) he chooses Applebees

DH gets me these lovely  lovely flowers.

  I have bought my official present earlier ( a handbag ).This is our procedure now - we get a gift that we want. But we also do something extra like card and flowers for me and card and candy for DH .

  This sounds unromantic but it really takes the pressure off thinking what to get for each other and really cards and flowers from DH are what I really want from him!

 Thank you to all of you who wished me on Face book
Business Trips

I feel like I always complain about traveling - but its really not all bad.

The long days while traveling - like yesterday, a day that started at 5 am and ended at 10.30 is quite brutal -

But its mostly my planning which results in this as I like to pack as much work into each day in order to minimize my days out of town

At the same time - I suddenly do find the time to blog.

In fact dear friends, thanks to the WiFi and the enforced free-time I am able to get back to my much loved blogging from a plane.

Plus I really do enjoy working while still missing my DH and R painfully at odd moments.

 While making a cup of tea, I will suddenly remember how my DH wraps the string of his tea bag round and round the handle of the cup.
 Sometimes I will use our unique family language and realize  that no one else gets the meaning.

Like I will use R-speak and say " its gone.. Oh no" when I cannot find something and realize that none of my colleagues know our secret language and are wondering why I speak with such melodrama

I end this post my dear friends.

 Please forgive me for its length and the editing errors as the ipad is really not an ideal tool for blogging.

I have missed you - promise to visit all your blogs soon !

19 comments:

TherExtras said...

Can't believe I am the first to comment!

Have to confess - I'm about to crash for the night - will read this post carefully tomorrow.
Barbara

Julie said...

It's so nice to hear from you (read a post from you) again! Something about your posts always gives me a lift!

You said: ( how many times must I learn the same thing over and over again? )

UGH! I have been struggling with that very thing lately. It is so irritating!!!! But one of these days I WILL learn and it WILL stick! :)

Þorgerður said...

Sweet september... and beutifeul pictures. I too have areally hrd time finding the time to blog...

Lizbeth said...

Happy belated birthday!! And I know what you mean with using the I-pad for blogging. Good in a pinch but not the real thing. I'm glad you are getting out and about enjoying things before the weather turns cold. I'm not ready for that quite yet!

Yuji said...

Happy belated birthday!

I wonder if your time away, even on brutal business trips, help to refresh and appreciate your time with R and DH.

So nice to read about how renewed you all were after refocusing on Floortime.

BabyWeightMyFatAss said...

I was hoping you had a good month. I had missed you posting. Happy belated birthday!

TherExtras said...

I am delighted to read about R's participation in cooking!

You make 30's look beautiful! Many happy returns!

Barbara

robin said...

Oh, how I love seeing R do his happy dance! You can't find that kind of happiness just anywhere! :) Sounds like you had a great September! Again, Happy Birthday!

lisa said...

I always love your blog, so many great pics and such honest and heartfelt words. I shared your blog with Susan W this week and I was reminded of our intro dinner at the Whitehouse Inn (I picked an awful drive for your first solo in East TN, now didn't I)...you continue to amaze me with your spirit. Love to you, DH and R.

jazzygal said...

Great to read a catch-up post from you! You are so in tune with your little boy...you do all the right things with and for him ;-) And yes, I toatally agree...they work so hard and deserve their down-time.

xx Jazzy

danette said...

So good to see an update, missed you!

The picture of R with his foam numbers made me smile, and the one of you and him on the hammock - such a sweet moment.

I totally agree about the free time, we try to make sure our kids have that too. They work so hard and deserve a break to just be kids :).

Di said...

Happy Belated Birthday (am very envious that you are only in your 30's!)
Lovely post!

Tanya Savko said...

"the constant narrowing of the world that happens in times of stress" - that is such a good way to put it, and something I definitely need to be aware of. Happy belated Birthday to you! It sounds like it was lovely.

Richa K Singh said...

Love the days synopsis. Do you ever look back and read this?

Rachel said...

You look ah-mazing. And I wouldn't have guessed 30's. You seem rather ageless to me, but perhaps it's the intentional happiness that does that? :)

I love R's delight over the foam numbers. I love that he danced. I am grinning with a happy heart.

Anonymous said...

You always make me smile...I love your words,I love the way the world works in R's actions and his sweet ways and reading it in your words is just a wonderful thing I enjoy..Sherrie

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Floortime Lite Mama

On my life as the mother of an adorable 5 year old with Autism and Apraxia