Doing For Vs. Doing With

9 06 2008

I’ve learned an important lesson this week: Doing something for my son is not the same as doing something with him. Frankly, it doesn’t even come close!

My time is spent doing things for my family– growing my garden, re-doing the playroom, organizing schedules, making meals, cleaning, washing and shopping… but, what really matters is the time I spend doing things with them…

Yesterday it was hot. J was planted in front of the TV, my husband was at his computer, I was playing hearts. We all hibernated into our own personal spaces and were wasting the day. I’m not sure why I did it but all of a sudden I rallied the troops: “Put on your swimming shorts– we’re going to play!” And, off we were to the kiddie pool on the deck. It was raucous, loud and we wasted a lot of water. But we were together.

People talk about families having dinner together as a great opportunity to talk. It is… but, frankly at our house that’s work. We prod and pry and push to get J to tell us what he thinks, wants, did… He’s always in a hurry to get away from the table and it’s just not quality family time so we don’t do it very often.  Playing is what works for us.  The trampoline, the kiddie pool or a good pillow fight are the best family times we have.  J ends up making some great sentences and there isn’t the “work” that’s involved in dinner conversation. Maybe the success of crazy play time has to do with his need for deep pressure. J’s autism seems to melt away during physical play.  He doesn’t care for organized sports but dutifully hollers “Go Purdue!” when prompted.  He doesn’t stick with games despite my efforts to get him to play to the end. But he can’t get enough of crazy, disorganized raucous playtime.

It’s important to do things for my family. It’s good for all of us that I’m growing a garden and that there is food in the house, clean clothes to wear and the playroom renewal project is a good thing but J won’t remember what color the walls are or what white food I bought in a particular month.  He will remember whether I spent time with him. I guess that’s all that really matters.



Evil Step-Mothers

5 06 2008

Let me start off by saying that I don’t have a step-mother. My mom is alive and well and we had lunch together today.  My best friend since college (that’s almost two decades of huge phone bills) has an evil step-mother.  This woman is nasty.  She has managed to turn my friend (Chola) into a pariah within her family… she yelled at her at Disney World! How much worse can you get?

Let me back up a little. Chola’s mother passed away suddenly from complications after a minor surgery.  Mom Jones was a wonderful woman! She checked in on me from time to time just because I was Chola’s friend. She cried with me when I found out that J has autism. She was a surrogate mother when my own mom was overseas for most of the last 20 years.  I miss her and her daughter really misses her. 

Dad Jones is from that generation (or is it just a culture?) that expects men to be taken care of my the women in their lives… first his mother, then his wife.  So, when Mom Jones died he went lookin’ for a new caretaker within a couple of months.  So, he marries this woman who he really doesn’t know and who turns out to have lied to him up one side and down the other and pretty much cuts Chola out of the picture because Becky the queen B#@*! doesn’t like her. Ok. I’m over simplyfying but the whole thing was just so immature that it’s barely worth remembering let alone writing down. 

Chola has resigned herself to having a very superficial relationship with her father… she is resigned to her own daughter not having real grandparents… She is coming to my family reunion this year and I know her daughter will be spoiled and loved on and treated like one of our own by the whole clan.

Here is an article that Chola sent me with this note “I can’t tell you how many times I wish she’d go away or get hers but even when she does … it doesn’t change anything does it?”

I pray that my Mom lives forever…

Another Follow-Up on Daytrana

4 06 2008

Apparently the Academy of Pediatrics and Cardiology people are having a little tussle over whether kids on stimulants like Daytrana should have an EKG. Peds say no– Cards say yes.  Our Pediatrician says yes; Better safe than sorry. So we went in for an EKG earlier this week.

We went armed with a bag of books and the Leapster– amazingly I hadn’t even finished filling out the cardio questionnaire when we were called (I love this Dr.’s office– and the Dr.!) and went through the normal motions height: 45.5, weight: 45.5 (My kid is symmetrical!)

The three of us– J, Dr. K and I– talked about the benefits of Daytrana we were experiencing and  J’s skin irritation.  Dr. K said that Olive Oil will help with the skin irritation. We haven’t tried this yet because J likes the “blue lotion” (Bath and Body after sun with lidocaine) so I can’t say based of personal experience if it works.  I trust Dr. K with my kid and if he says it works it does.

Anyway– the EKG was no big deal (although the nurse had no sense of humor…) She put a bunch of stickers all over him and attached cables. (“I’m an Alien!”) He laid really still and she got the few seconds she need without any drama.  I showed him the printout of his heart going Ka-Thump, Ka-Thump and we decided that was pretty cool.

Dr. K said he’d call only if there was a problem but J didn’t show any signs of having issues.  YEAH!!

Our next stop was the library where he announced to Ms. Joyce the children’s librarian that he was an alien and just had a “Eeky.” She gave him a sticker.