All or nothing

Disclaimer:  I’m going to have a lot of posts about Autism, how it affects Bugaboo and the impact that it has had, does have and will have on our family.  Bugaboo is one unique spot on a very large and diverse spectrum and I think by this point it’s a fairly widespread message that no two people on the spectrum are exactly alike and/or have the exact same issues.  Our journey is just one of many journeys and this is how we’re choosing to deal with it…or at least attempt to deal with it. 😉

There was no school today and days with no school are usually difficult in our house.  Bugaboo likes routine and structure and while I provide that to an extent, it does not even compare to the structure that his team at school has created for him.  There was lots of pushing his sister and melting down today, which resulted in a lot of time outs.  It was just not a fun day.

We were, however, super excited that Dr. Dad would be home for dinner.  So Bugab00 and I made a deal that if he could try to restrain himself from pummeling his sister for the rest of the afternoon and eat his dinner, we would take a trip to DQ for ice cream cones.  He struggled and I purposefully tiptoed around him, but he did it.  At one point he even gave himself a break before he melted down…something we’ve been working on all school year.  We ate a yummy dinner and headed out to DQ.

Princess Pea loves the DQ in our town because they put these cute  (or creepy?) edible eyes and tongue on the kids’ cones.  So we ordered two cones- chocolate with sprinkles and a face for Princess Pea and vanilla with a face for Bugaboo, specifically forgoing sprinkles per his request.  As soon has they handed me the cone, his body got stiff and I could tell IT was starting.  He stayed fairly regulated at first, calmly telling me that he no longer likes ice cream and that he never wanted it again. Ok…  I convinced him to sit on a bench while we waited for Dr. Dad and Princess Pea.  I thought he was calmed down and I handed him his cone and not even a millisecond later, he threw it on the ground.  We went around in circles of me asking him why he threw his cone and him screaming at me that he wanted ice cream.  Ok…  But I couldn’t get a straight answer.  The rest of us finished our ice cream (and no, we did not get him another ice cream) and we headed home.

Bedtime was one huge meltdown until Bugaboo was finally in bed with the lights off.  I cuddled in beside him while Dr. Dad tucked Princess Pea in.  Bugaboo seemed regulated enough, so I decided to try to press the ice cream issue again.  It went something like this:
Me:  Why did you throw your ice cream?
B:  I threw it.
Me:  I know you threw it, but why?
B:  I threw it!
Me:  Was it because it was vanilla?
B:  No.
Me:  Was it because it was a cone?
B:  No.
Me:  Was it because it had a face?
B:  Yes, ice cream doesn’t have a face.
So there you have it.  I tried to explain to Bugab00 that he could have just taken the eyes and tongue off instead of throwing the whole cone, but that had never occurred to him, because in his world right now, life is all or nothing.  It is a concept that we consistently work at with him, but it’s something he has always struggled with.  At this point, it is very hard and maybe impossible for him to picture what that particular ice cream cone would have looked like without a face.  He could not grasp that possibility and in his mind needed a whole new cone…one that never had a face.  All or nothing.  I definitely won’t forget for next time.

Small gesture in comparison

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Over the weekend I had the opportunity to attend a wedding right out of the pages of a bridal magazine.  It was the wedding of my husband’s uncle’s wife’s niece…I know, it sounds complicated.  A long, long time ago when Dr. Dad and I started dating, he introduced me to the amazing F* family, who he was “sort of related to, but not really.”  His family was 12 hours away and my closest family was two hours away and The F’s unhesitatingly took us in as their own…taking us out to dinners, letting us bum at their house on the weekends to escape campus, coming to our wedding, celebrating the news of our first pregnancy with us, coming to the hospital when they found out our newborn was in the NICU…yeh, they are definitely family.  There are two F kids–K and J–who are around the same age as Dr. Dad and me and they are just as great as their ‘rents.

I became particularly fond of this weekend’s bride, K, after Bugaboo was born.  Dr. Dad worked long, tedious hours at his job and transitioning from working 10 hour days at a busy doctors office to being a stay at home mom with a very needy newborn was really wearing on me.  K, who worked relatively close to where we lived, was my godsend.  She would sacrifice lunch hours to meet Bugaboo and me for lunch on a regular basis.  These lunches weren’t anything extravagant and they only lasted an hour, but they meant the world to me.  I felt like I was drowning and she was one of the buoys that kept me afloat and our lunches got me through until at least the next day.

All of the F’s are in the South now, but in March, we got to see them for the first time in years.  Somehow the story of how Momma F and K being around for me during my hard times as a new mom came up in passing, and they had no idea the impact that they had made on me.  This later made me think about how important it is to let the people who have invested in your life, know it.

I am incredibly grateful that with the help of Dr. Dad this weekend, that I was able to show my support to the awesome new life that K is about to start with her new husband C.  My presence there seems like a small gesture compared to what her and her family have done for us, but I hope that it was able to demonstrate how much we appreciate them.

Cheers to K and C!  We love you and wish you a marriage full of happiness!

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*used initials for privacy

Welcome to my 4th and final attempt.

Ginger Snaps is my 4th and final attempt at this whole blog business.  4th time’s a charm?

It’s not that I’ve failed because I can’t get readers.  I’ve had multiple people suggest I start blogging (albeit they are family members and my BFF…but still people) and my other failed blogs have gathered at least a handful or two of followers.  It’s more like, I am incredibly insightful, wise, and witty while driving in my car but when I sit down to type, I lose it all.

So this is it.  Blog or bust.  I am not quite sure what happens from here.  I have lots of mom stories about poop and puke and lots of autism stories about meltdowns and IEP’s and lots of wife stories about being married to a lifetime student and computer geek.  I’m sure (ok, absolutely certain) that there will be many posts about those things.  But I want this blog to be more.

I carry a multitude of titles (as we all do).  I’m wife, mom, grad student, jobseeker, volunteer, entrepreneur, dance mom, autie mom, etc. etc. etc.  But I feel like within all of those titles, I lose the THINKER title.  Sure, I think to myself on all of the chauffeur trips to dance, school dropoff/pickup, swim lessons (and the list goes on) that I take.  But by the time I find someone else to share my thoughts with…I forget what I was going to say!

Puke, IEP’s, geeky husband and thoughts.  Yeh, that sums it up.

Enjoy!