About Me

I am a captive caretaker of three small terrorists and an exotic petting zoo. I try regularly to sneak college courses so one day I can leave this place.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The science experiment

Violet will be 9. Some days I feel like she is going on 29. She can really be an odd duck. For instance my little biologist wanted bugs for her birthday. What kind of kid wants bugs for her birthday? Mine of course. And not cute little butterflies either, no she wanted millipedes. Millipedes. I might as well open up a lab in my house. Hope I can get a discount on that mass spec. I think they are like 100 K. Maybe she can start small with a stereo microscope and some pH strips. I think I saw a soil testing kit at Lowes. It's really tough living with these little scientists, you really have to think out of the box. Last night we dissected a sunflower. It all started when I established a bird feeding station in my yard. Through birdie taste tests we determined that our birds (cardinals, chickadees and tufted titmouse) like the black oil sunflower seeds the best. So then came the question, 'where do sunflower seeds come from?' "From sunflowers" I said. She said, "I know but where are the seeds in the sunflower." I tried to explain but she just had more questions so we decided to plant the birdseed so I could demonstrate. I told my honey the next day about the conversation, but he had never plucked sunflower seeds out of a sunflower and didn't know what I was talking about. Fast forward a few months when the seeds finally flowered, it was sort of a thrill for him to see how it worked too. I guess not everyone has these experiences. I guess not everyone does science exploration. I figure Violet is a walking science experiment. She'll probably make me go broke in the process of filling up that noggin of hers (millipedes are 39.00 at Carolina Biological-which is where we order all her 'specimens' ie meal worms, crickets, darkling beetle, painted lady butterflies, and lady bugs). But still, I can't wait to see what she does for this world!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Back to school!!

It's coming!! Just hang in there. All will be right with the world when the small people get back on their yellow busses and disappear into the morning. Not a single peep until the return at the end of the day, piled high with papers and books and stains on their clothes. Ode to minivan meetup where excited munchkins pile into your car with their backpacks and complaints about lunches, mean kids, and teachers who play favorites.
How I will miss sleeping in. How I will miss my two hour coffee break on the swing outside my house.
It's back to the grind: cold cereal, packing lunches, a.m car loop, bus, pm car loop, homework, play, shower, dinner, clean up, bed.

Sleep fast wee ones, for we will do this all over again tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The need to be right.

I admit it. I have an insatiable need to be right. Uggg. It's so annoying.
My son is in the process of being assessed for Aspergers. Everyone at school (the ESE teachers, the school psychologist, and the principal, the speech teacher, and the OT) tells me I am wrong and he is not an Asperger kid. I am now taking him to a specialist to be diagnosed. The new therapist, after a few sessions, tells me that it's not really necessary to have a diagnosis as it will not change anything for him educationally. He is right. But I don't care. I want to march into the school and hold a paper in my hand and say "SEE!!! I was right. He does have Aspergers, and I am a better diagnostician then all of you!!!!" I don't know why I have that need. It's annoying to my friends and family. I wish I didn't have it, it's those darn emotional receptors in my brain, they crave it, it's not my fault I am a victim of my own neurological makeup.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Proactive Parenting

I just taught a class on Proactive Parenting, so I am all wound up. I have these fabulous families who want to adopt children. Except there vision of children and the DCF version of children that actually exist, are very different. So each week little by little I leak information about our kids and see if they run screaming from the room. So far no one has. Which could mean a few things: they are not getting it, they don't believe me, or are too dumb to know what is good for them. I am kidding of course. One couple is very scared now, this is a sign of intelligence in the DCF world. See, if you are scared sh#*less and you keep coming anyway then I know I am doing my job.
Here's a little of how I explain it in class.
The definition of Proactive parenting is planning how you will handle behaviors and it is the opposite of reactive parenting.
Proactive parenting is not to be confused with plotting against your children.
Now I tell my families this, and they all look at me like I have a screw loose. This is because they haven't met our kids yet. In a year, I will say the same things and they will laugh hysterically because they will remember nights where they stayed up late plotting a really great punishment for some sort of misbehavior. Here are few different scenarios of different parenting styles:
scenario 1 proactive parenting:
You have little Johnny at home and he loves to jump on the bed. So you tell little johnny that jumping on the bed is not allowed. The consequence of jumping on the bed will be that he won't get to enjoy dessert with the family this evening, and that would make you very sad.
scenario 2 reactive parenting:
Little johnny goes upstairs and jumps on the bed, you take away his mattress and all of his blankets and stuffed animals and he sleeps on the floor.
scenario 3 plotting:
You go to home depot and get plastic runners for carpets cut to the size of the bed, then you purchase a large 3x5 sheet of wood. You go home, put the piece of wood on the bed with the carpet runner upside down (so all the little plastic spikes stick up) and then you cover the bed with a thin sheet and tuck it all in and make it nice and neat. You pick up Johnny from school and you remind him that he is not allowed to jump on the bed.

Now in scenario one, Johnny jumps on the bed and then has a tantrum all through dessert because he didn't get any. which ruins your evening and makes you angry.
In scenario two johnny pitches a fit at bedtime and keeps you up for hours, which makes your crabby and angry the next day.
In scenario three, johnny yells 'ouch' and 'what the F#$%' as you run into your bedroom cackling to your spouse about how funny it was. You feel revitalized and Johnny is now suspicious.
Now the few of you who read my blog and have difficult children will identify with the plotting. We do it for therapeutic purposes. We don't always carry it out, but just find enjoyment and stress relief in designing it.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Real packrats can't hold a candle to my Violet.

I am from a family of pack rats and hoarders. Although I like to consider my self the least packing of all rats, my husband still accuses me of hoarding. I know it's in the DNA because I saw it with my own to eyes. The other day we were rearranging Violet's room. We had bought her a new mattress for her bed as she was sleeping on the smaller trundle mattress. As I started clearing off her bed I found a plethora of non-sleeping items: CD player, open Cd's and cases, gum wrappers, 4 books, assorted stuffed animals and dolls, extra pajamas, a shirt, plastic toys, and some art work. Which seems like a lot but maybe she just doesn't like to put stuff away. Then I started to pull up her mattress, and I could see right through to the floor: loads of socks, sheets and toys trapped under the trundle. Needless to say we spent the day emptying her room, then rearranging and now we are still putting things away. You never knew this kid could hide so much crap in that little tiny room. She keeps everything: favors left over from birthday parties, stories she wrote in Kindergarten, McDonald's toys, gumball machine toy coverings(without the toy) assorted rocks, plastic animals, American girl catalogs, magazines, 200 glue on gems, 10 bouncy balls, 3 candles, lotions, and 5 lip glosses. Which most of this would have been fine if it was organized but no, it was just all thrown in her closet in boxes and plastic containers. Every container I opened had another 'treasure'. She also can't bare to part with anything! The waterworks turn on at the mere mention of tossing. I tried to pry some PJ's out of her little paws, they were size 6 she wears a 10 in PJ's, but she fell apart because they were Tinkerbell!! And you don't want to say, don't worry I'll buy you some more. It's just simply better when I send her off to camp and then empty out her drawers. Hoarders need our help to free them of their things. Mom, watch out you are next!