Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Make No Small Decisions

I'm over at the Patch today talking about my impending fall placement decision for Audrey, and how Gwyneth Paltrow is specifically responsible for paralyzing me when it comes to making big decisions.

This is the second Patch article in which I've mentioned her.  PALTROW!!!!!!!!  She has got to stop ruining my life.

Click HERE to read all about it.  You will feel downright well-adjusted compared to me...but you already knew that.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Occupational Therapy: Doing Overtime in OT

What percent of your life do you reckon you've spent looking at something like that? ===>

The old OT room.  Occupational therapy to those of us in the biz.  It's unmistakable, what with all of those brightly colored bouncy things and lack of sharp edges.  And lots and lots of swings...and their ropes, chains, ceiling mounts, and carabiners.

I wish I had a series of pictures of Audrey over the years on the platform swing, sort of like those "evolution of man" drawings.  Between 1 and 2 years old, she mostly just sat up on the platform with her legs stock-straight out in front of her, white-knuckling it on the ropes.  The therapists would have to sing "Brown Bear, Brown Bear" to keep her from seizing in terror.  She was petrified, even though the swing is just inches off the ground and they were barely pushing her.

She finally graduated to standing and gradually swinging higher and higher.  She's laid on the platform on her belly, crawled over it as part of an obstacle course, and now look at her...she can't fit under it when she stands up.  She's come a long way, baby.

For some reason, I've always stayed in the room with Audrey during her OT appointments.  It's the one appointment that I can drag myself to when I'm sick or exhausted, knowing that I can prostrate myself on any number of giant bean bags, water beds, hammock swings, and padded...well, anything and everything.

Audrey's had nothing but wonderful therapists over the years, all of whom I've gotten to know pretty well, because, let's face it, that whole swing portion of the program is pretty low overhead for the therapist, and lends itself to lots of shooting the shit.  Audrey's OT's have been uniformly young and cute, and over the years I've gotten to hear about social lives, boyfriends, destination wedding plans, and trips to Peru (hi Lisa!).  It's nice to live vicariously through them for those 45 minutes before Audrey becomes my sole responsibility once again.

I've sat in my share of waiting rooms over the years as well, but I guess I take after my daughter (or she after me) in my avoidance of certain social situations.  Sometimes I'm just not in the mood for the old Disability Story Swap Meet with the other parents, and I'd rather be curled up inside a padded barrel with some headphones on.  Now there's a bumper sticker for you.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Speilberg and Scorsese

As I've well-documented in the past, Audrey is obsessed with my iPhone.  I've been known to chuck it at her when I'm desperate to finish a call on the home phone, make dinner, or just to generally get her off of my back.  

One time, a certain friend-who-shall-remain-nameless-until-the-paragraph-after-next gave me crap for getting texts from Audrey at like 3:37pm.  She gets home from school on average between 3:30 and 3:35.  I'm certain that I was in the middle of a mission-critical task like wordsmithing one of my patented bon mots over at Big Daddy's blog.

When I get my phone back, it is always a treasure trove of Audrey-o-bilia:  texts to my friends, scripts written into the Notes app, an outbox full of virtual cupcakes and sundaes that she made with her games, and of course lots and lots of pictures and videos.

Lately she has started to text her videos to people, including her BFF Grace Anne's mom.  As it happens, Audrey's latest scripting obsession is a tall tale of Grace Anne's about "Grace from The Adventure and The Village and Luke, the baby leopard seal".  Or words to that effect.  So now Aimee is not only tormented with hearing this from Grace Anne, but she also gets to hear Audrey's version via texted video.  Thanks technology!

I have no less than 30 videos on my iPhone that are some variation of the following...

Not to be outdone, Aimee sent me one of Grace Anne's recent masterworks that she claims to have 58 versions of on her iPhone.  It starts out kind of oblique, but stay tuned for the plot twist at the end...

"Waaaaaaaaait a minute!"  That's my favorite part.  If "Crown In a Box" doesn't deserve to go viral, I don't know what does.  

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Choppers in 'Nam #2 - The Arts Edition

I've found a reason for me
To change who I used to be
A reason to start over new
And the reason is you

Oh Hoobastank.  You made a stanky time in my life even stankier.

Last week I wrote my first in a series of posts about certain things that trigger memories of that most difficult time in my life when Audrey was first diagnosed.  My first post was about the Nam-like flashbacks that I experience when I see those odious What To Expect books, with all of their milestones that mocked me every month that they went unmet.

For this installment, I'll cover the arts.  Who isn't brought back to specific places and times of their life by things like music and movies?  Timing-wise, I'm talking about the end of ought-5 and all of 2006.  Besides Hoobastank, the other song that seemed to be playing on a continuous loop was that annoying "you had a bad day" song.  At least that one nailed the mood.

I was pretty much in the depths of despair at the end of 2005, and my husband and I would take turns going to the movies to get our minds off of things for a couple of hours.

Instead of opting for escapist fare like Deuce Bigalow, European Gigolo or Saw II, I remember seeing a bunch of the year-end Oscar-bait stuff, one of which was Capote.  Hmmm...I wonder why this movie -- about author Truman Capote researching his grisly book In Cold Blood and bonding with a mass murderer only to see him executed in the end -- failed to cheer me up.  Go figure.

I remember sobbing all the way home and wondering whether it was worth it to be distracted for those couple of hours only to have reality hit me all the harder when the movie ended.

During this time, I was also in a book club and one of the books that we read was The Curious Incident of The Dog in The Night-Time which happens to be about a boy with autism.  I hadn't yet told the ladies in the book club about Audrey's diagnosis, and I remember being very quiet when we discussed this book lest I give away any expertise on the subject.

I was slightly less quiet when we discussed The Time Traveler's Wife.  I could not stop talking about how much I hated the book and its purple prose (yeah, I said that) and stupid sci-fi slash romance bullshit and who names their kid Alba anyway?  I owe you an apology, The Time Traveler's Wife.  I may have just been ever so slightly projecting my misery on to you.  Unless you really do suck, then never mind.

As the years go by, the sting of these memories gets duller and duller.  I no longer burst into tears at the sight of Philip Seymour Hoffman.  I do still feel a stabbing pain in my temples when I hear "The Reason", but that's another thing entirely.  And that guy who sang "Bad Day"?  His latest tweet:  "My new puppy is growing faster than I thought was possible. He is so funny. Watching him bark at a fire hydrnt."  What a difference 5 years makes.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Pass the Golden Hat

I recently read that actress Kate Winslet is going to be coming out with a book to promote autism awareness.  The book will be called The Golden Hat, and is based on the poetry of a boy with autism named Keli Ericsdottir.  Keli is non-verbal, and one of his poems is about a magical hat that allows him to communicate.

Winslet's book will include two dozen celebrity self-portraits from the likes of Ben Stiller, Meryl Streep and Ricky Gervais.  Each celebrity will be pictured donning a “magical” hat, and they will also speculate as to what their first words would be if they were suddenly “unlocked” after years of being unable to communicate.  It's not coming out until November, but I'm curious to read it and see what the celebrities come up with, especially since a few of my favorite comedians are in the bunch.

Audrey is verbal, but does have difficulty communicating her thoughts.  I mean, scripting lines from Handy Manny and Cooking Mama only takes you so far.  So what would Audrey say if she put on that golden hat and suddenly could tell me anything that has been on her mind for these past 7 years?  Here's my top 10 list...

10)  You know what you can do with your social stories?

9)  That shirt you wore on July 8, 2007 looked awful on you.

8)  Let me put this in terms you can understand:  When we go to the mall and you try to get me to stop stimming on the escalators and fountains, that's like if I forced you to pay full price at Gymboree, pass by Mr. Fuzziwig's bulk candy store without buying anything, followed by trying on bras and swimsuits for hours on end.

7)  They can invent a silencer for a freakin' gun, but they can't for blenders, vacuums, and leaf blowers?  Are you with me, people??

6)  Why do you say something "smells like ass" like that's a bad thing?

5)  Neuro-typical kids are stupid and ugly and and from here on out will be referred to as "nippicals".

4)  When we're in Target and you do that thing where you stop dead in your tracks and pretend to be suddenly engrossed in the instructions on a Swiffer box and then just as suddenly tear-ass to the other side of the store, everybody knows you just farted.

3)  No one's going to throw you in jail if I'm not in my car seat, drama queen.

2)  Let me put this in terms that you can understand:  Watching Baby Einstein videos for me is like for you if a shirtless Johnny Depp walked up to you with a Peanut Buster Parfait in his pants and told you that Xanax and red wine cures cellulite.  So climb off my ass.

And the #1 thing that Audrey would tell me if she could...
1)  I've already bought the www.autismarmygirl.com domain and I will get the last laugh.

How bout you?  What do you think your kid would say if they could?

Find out more about the Golden Hat Foundation at http://www.goldenhatfoundation.org/

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Strange Bedfellows: Audrey's Girl Cave

Remember the days when, for safety reasons, the place that your kid slept was supposed to be clear of all toys, blankets, and pillows?  Me neither.  The only thing missing from Audrey's bed is canned goods and she could probably survive today's predicted Rapture with no problem.

She's not really a hoarder in any other sense...just in the sense that she loves to squirrel things away in her bed.  In this picture we see a box of Kleenex (always), some miscellaneous social stories (light bedtime reading), and our cordless phone handset (co-sleeping with electro-magnetic fields will not meet Dad's approval).

Not too bad, right?

Business on top...

But then you lift up the pillow, and oh what's this?

...party underneath

2 headbands, a cupcake soap, emery boards (which she calls her popsicle sticks), an empty tube of Carmex, and a partridge in a pear tree.

Things that used to be there that have been removed:  two sets of swim goggles (prized birthday gifts, but perhaps a choking hazard), a cotton-candy-scented Smencil (waking-up-with-a-lead-pencil-embedded-in-an-artery hazard), and full tubes of Carmex and toothpaste (obv).

I'm not quite sure what all of these items mean to Audrey.  I understand some of them, but others...not so much.  Hopefully, these are all things that, for whatever reason, she loves and treasures.  And hopefully that will always be her criteria for having things in bed with her.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Flattery Will Get You Nowhere

Well, I hadn't planned on an addendum to my last post quite so soon.

Last night Audrey was up puking.  I kind of had a feeling that it was coming. She wasn't interested in eating anything, which never happens.  Especially when it's her favorite:  spaghetti.

She told me she felt sick when I put her to bed, and I was so convinced that she was going to puke that I put a towel under her head.  I went to bed  right after her, figuring that I was in for a long night.

Sure enough, before I could even fall asleep I heard her letting out a few of her patented warning groans.  By the time I got to her room, she was in full hurl.  I flipped on the light and did my best to catch what I could with extra towels that I'd grabbed.  Why is there always so much when it seems like they ate so little?  Hopefully you are not reading this over breakfast.  Oops.

Anyway, when she was in between rounds and finally realized that I was there, she looked up at me, with eyes at half-mast, looking like death warmed over, puke covering her hair, face, and nightgown, and said "I like your stripes, Mom".

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Flattery Will Get You Everywhere?

As we all know, social graces are not our kids' forte.  We've only just recently convinced Audrey that it's not good form to point at a kid and holler "He's gotta go!" whenever she encounters one.  We gave her some suggested options for opening lines that are slightly less belligerent, one of which was to give the child a complement.

Well, she has seized on this one with both hands to the point that before she's even gotten a good look at the kid she's all "I like your...", as she madly scopes them out for something to complement.

I like your pearls...
Her #1 go-to complement is hair-related, as in "I like your headband / bun / ponytail / clip / new haircut / curls."  Next are accessories, "I like your earrings / necklace / sunglasses / glasses / nail polish / scarf."  If all else fails, there's every article of clothing under the sun, "I like your shirt / skirt / dress / shoes / sweater / coat / jeans / shorts."

These are mostly doled out to females, and I'm not sure what she says to the boys at school.  One time we were outside and a man walked by with a dog, and I heard Audrey say "I like your earrings" but I couldn't tell if he was really wearing earrings.

Audrey adores her BFF Grace Anne, so I'm sure that GA is the recipient of many complements throughout the school day.  She being quite the fashion plate and frequent headband-wearer, Audrey probably slathers her with praise and is all out of complements by 9:30.  So tapped out was she one day that the following exchange was overheard:

Audrey:  "Grace Anne, I like your wart."
Grace Anne:  "Why, thank you!"

                           Equally fashionable

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I Was a Second Rate Wilford Brimley

Check me out over at the Patch today where I reveal that I was not Big Daddy's first choice to author the introduction to his fabulous new book Big Daddy's Tales From the Lighter Side of Raising a Kid With Autism.

I know, right?  Some friend.  Hmph.

I mean, just look at that guy    ======>

What does he have that I don't?  A bushy walrus mustache?  Got it!  Lousy with back fat?  Check!

But this is just the beginning of my beefs with the publishing industry.  Click HERE to read all about it!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Choppers In 'Nam #1

In a post called My Gym Makes My Sphincter Clench, I described the horrible flashbacks that I experienced when Audrey recently attended a My Gym camp, some four years after I tried to take her there as a toddler.  Just hearing the opening notes of their stupid "welcome" song brought awful memories flooding back of me trying to get Audrey to do what she was supposed to be doing along with the other kids in one of their classes.

In that post, I described it as like hearing the "choppers in 'Nam", so intense was my flashback to a really scary and miserable time in my life.  Every phase has had its ups and downs, but the years between when Audrey was about 18 months through 3 years were particularly sucktastic.

Various sights and sounds can take me reluctantly back to that time in my life, so I thought I'd post about them as they come upon me.  Maybe it will be a regular feature...or maybe I will stop after this one if I notice everyone backing slowly away from me.

Installment #1 are these little bitches right here:

Probably not cool to call little toddler girls "bitches", but they're just sketches right?  I can call sketches of typically developing toddler girls "bitches" if I want to.  Look at that one on the right.  Cuz I did, like every minute of every day for months and months as I picked this book up to check on Audrey's milestones.  Look at her ugly little Dutch boy haircut and overalls, and that smug little smile on her face that says "I'm developing totally normally!  Look at my precocious pretend play skills!"

Yeah, you're pushing a plastic shopping cart full of your toys, you bowl-headed ninny.  What kind of a store are you pretending to be shopping at where you can buy your puked-on teddy bear and dirty-ass truck?  Pfft.  You think you're so great.

But the inside of the book pushed me way closer to a nervous breakdown than the cover ever could.  Remember how it went through each month and broke down milestones by 1) what your child should be able to do, 2) what your child will probably be able to do, and 3) what your child may be able to do?

I would try to take heart if she wasn't doing the "probably's" or "may's", but then I noticed that those just got rolled forward into the following months' "should's".  DOH!  And then I kept re-reading the fine print that said she should be doing this stuff by the end of said month, and I would literally be counting days on a calendar from the 19th (her birth date) and not the 1st of the month...like it was ever gonna make any difference.  If I would have known then what I know now...she's 7 and we're still working on some of them.

Here's an example from the chapter on the 13th month, and my editorial comments about Audrey...

Your child should be able to:
  • Pull up to standing - She's not, but it's not the 19th yet so climb off my ass.
  • Get into a sitting position - What do you mean by "get" exactly?  Get from where?  If I put her down into a sitting position, she stays there with a Boppy pillow around her.
  • Cruise - What kind of a sick book is this?

Your child will probably be able to:
  • Put an object into a container - If the "object" is her hand and the "container" is her poopy diaper, then yes.
  • Use one recognizable word - YES!!!!!  Elation subsequently turns into despair when she loses it by the 16th month.

Your child may be able to:
  • Yeah, we're done here.

Feel free to join in on the misery fun and tell me about any of your triggers that take you back to those bad old days.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Just May For It

Like a lot of kids on the spectrum, Audrey loves to script lines that she hears from TV shows, video games, or just generally anything that she overhears that strikes her fancy.

Lately she's been very into listening to my end of phone conversations, which don't really make sense when she scripts them all run together without hearing the other side.  The scripts then turned into some cute pretend play with an actual phone.  There was lots of "Uh huh.  Mmmm.  OK.  Great.  Talk to you later.  Buh-bye" kind of stuff.  Then she started actually calling people in my contact list.  She got lots of outgoing voicemail messages and then she started scripting those.

But my favorite thing is when she mishears something, and then turns it into a Yogi Berra-type malapropism that she works into everyday conversation.  One example of this was a line she heard from my mother during a phone conversation that she was having with a charity arranging a donation pickup.

Quick tangent:  My mother spends half her life on the phone arranging pickups of charitable donations and the other half going through her stuff to give to said charities.  She turns no one down and digs up something to give to anyone who calls her.  Before you think she's some kind of Mother Teresa, it is usually total crap that they probably leave on someone's curb around the block from her.

Anyway, my mother took a call from Purple Heart Veterans or Viet Nam Veterans of America or St. Vincent de Paul or AMVETS or...you get the idea...and scheduled a pickup for May 4.  And Audrey hears this conversation as "Uh huh.  OK.  Just may for it.  Your welcome.  Bye bye."

So now she peppers all of her conversation with "may for it", as in "I'm gonna just may for it right now" or "so I'd better just may for it" or "when are we gonna may for it?"

She was kind of enough to even record one of her famous thigh-cam movies showing perfect usage of it...

Her other new phrase is "door thing", as in "This is an automatic door thing message".  I'm thinking voicemail, but she used that correctly in the previous video.  Outgoing?

OK, everybody, get off of your door things and just may for it!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Audrey Is Going to Gymnastics Camp and I Am a Terrible Friend

So after all of my talk about having a stop-and-smell-the-roses kind of summer, we had a camp fall into our lap that I couldn't resist.  Audrey had participated in gymnastics lessons through her school over these past few months, and the same folks that ran that are having a two-week summer camp in June.

Audrey seemed to enjoy the lessons, and I thought that if I could talk Aimee into signing BFF Grace Anne up, it would not take any arm-twisting at all to get Audrey up for it.  I had a few questions though...Audrey had done the lessons during the school day and I had never been privy to what she did or what the teachers were like, etc.  So I called the contact person to get more info.

When I explained to the woman who I was, she was all "Oh, yes, OF COURSE I remember Audrey!  OHMYGOD she was SO CUTE!  We would SO LOVE her to come to this camp!  She was SO AWESOME!  We had such a GREAT TIME with her!"

That's OK Grace Anne, I still love you.
Wow.  OK.  I related this story to Aimee, in the vein of holy crap they must be really desperate to get people to sign up for this camp.  Man, she was really laying it on thick.  Cuz really, my kid's not that great.

So then Aimee called her to get some of her questions answered, and here's how that convo went down:

Aimee:  "Hi!  I had a few questions about the gymnastics camp in Downers Grove.  My daughter Grace Anne was in the Gymkhana classes through CEP.  I don't know if you remember her..."

*Expectant pause*

*Bracing for a torrent of accolades*

Camp lady (tersely):  "Yeah, I worked with her."


Oh SNAP!  I know you did not just say that.  Oh NO you di-int.  My kid is so much better than your kid! ::Inappropriate hot dog dance in the end zone::  Oh that is COLD.  Woo hoo!  My kid wins!


Dear Readers:  OK, so she didn't exactly lay it on as thick about Grace Anne as she did to Lynn about Audrey, BUT she did go on to complement Grace Anne's mad gross motor and gymnastics skillz.


Speaking of summer plans, camps, and awful friends...be sure to tune in today for Autism WTF on BlogTalkRadio when Big Daddy and I will be discussing this very topic!  Click HERE at 2:00pm ET / 1:00pm CT / 11:00am PT and turn up your computer speakers to 11!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Another Norman Rockwell Holiday

I spent yesterday as I have the past four Mother's Days since I moved back home to Chicago:  taking my mother into the city for brunch with one of my sisters.  Fried chicken and waffle buffet.  Nothing but the best.

This is supposed to be a treat for me because I get to dine out without Audrey, and hence without worrying that if I take my eye off of her for a second she'll end up face down eating her way through a chafing dish of mac and cheese.

I made the mistake of joking to my mother that there should be some sort of statute of limitations on Mother's Day.  I mean, she's 77 years old.  Exactly how long to I have to fete her ferchrissakes?  She hasn't wiped my ass in at least 20 years.  I'm over it already.

Well, by the end of our lovely brunch she was declaring that this was the last Mother's Day that we would be celebrating, and that I was right, and 77 was definitely long enough, and what had she ever done for me really?  Oy.  No doubt she has already marked her calendar for one week before next year's Mother's Day so that she can call me and remind me that we needn't be planning on doing anything for her.

Meantime back on the home front, when the subject of Mother's Day came up earlier in the week, Audrey asked, "There will be cake?"  I told her what my plans were and that she would be staying home with Daddy and no doubt having an equally scrumptious brunch of kale and kombu succotash.

So every time that Mother's Day was mentioned yesterday, Audrey started screaming and running in circles with her hair on fire, "There's no food!  There's no food!  There's no food today!"  Seems any holiday that does not end up with candles, cake, and ice cream is just not worth celebrating.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Autism WTF - Tuesday 5/10 at 2:00pm ET

The next Autism WTF show is scheduled for this Tuesday, May 10 at a little later than usual time:  2:00pm ET / 1:00pm CT / 11:00am PT.  Click here at the appointed hour to join us!

With summer break looming, we'll be talking about how our kids deal with the free time.  Is it best to keep their schedule jam-packed so as to maintain some structure to their day, or give them time to stop and smell their armpits?

Does anyone besides me remember Mac Davis?  You've got to stop and sniff your aaaaaarm piiiiiiiits...take it away, Mac...


I mentioned on our last BlogTalkRadio show this whole "cha-cha-cha" business that the kids sing during "Happy Birthday" and how Audrey has been maniacally singing it ever since.

Well, here is some video evidence.  Parental Advisory:  There are some crotch shots involved, and, as it always does, YouTube will surely recommend some porn to you when the video ends.  At least this time it's kinda warranted.

Not sure exactly how those proceedings made me funny.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Memories of Merona

Audrey has very strong clothing-based memory.  Is that even a thing?  Whenever I put something on her, it's "I hit my teacher in this dress" or "I threw the ball at Mary in this shirt" or "Last time I had this shirt, Aidan hit Grace Anne".

As they can be, most of her memories are violence-based.

She also comments frequently on things that I am wearing.  But here's the thing:  I have very few clothes.  Actually, I should rephrase that:  I have very few clothes that I wear.  I have a closet full of clothes that either don't fit me anymore or I hate or don't fit me anymore.

I can't spare the money to buy clothes for every fat phase, and of course I keep thinking that I'll lose weight and then miraculously have this whole new section of my closet available to me.  Except those clothes are mostly from the late-90's.  Mama is not giving up until she can fit into that Spice Girls t-shirt again.

My winter attire consists of exactly 2 pairs of jeans and about 5 tops.  For summer, I have two pairs of shorts and maybe...hmmmm...I haven't seen my summer attire in a while, so I'm just gonna spitball and say...about 5 tops.  On second thought, I may actually be down to one pair of shorts this year because after we got back from Florida my mother-in-law was here and dried one of them all the way through.

Audrey is still growing out of her clothes fairly quickly, so we mostly just get one season of her back-stories-on-repeat until the stuff gets donated or handed-down.  Although we did give a bunch of stuff to Lauren's niece Emily, including the dress that Audrey famously hit her teacher in.  So that little misty-beat-down-memory may still have some life in it if she sees Emily wearing it.  Yeah, that would make for some awesome party conversation.

On the other hand, Audrey has seen me in any given outfit every 5th day for years.  So when I wear a certain shirt, I get "Mom took me to school in that shirt" and "Mom was at my party in that shirt" and "Mom wore those pants at the mall" and like 500 other things because I freaking always have the same things on.  It's like she gets on an infinite loop and can't stop herself because the memories are endless.  She eventually stops when smoke starts coming out of her ears or I whack her upside the head.

My clothes are so old - HOW? OLD? ARE? THEY? - my clothes are so old that my kid's memories of them include "Mom was in California in that shirt a long time ago" and "Mom had a baby in her tummy in those pants".  Not even kidding.  I don't know which is worse:  that my kid's memories of my clothes pre-date her existence (she's seen the pregnancy photos) or that I'm still wearing maternity sweats.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

What To Do Over Our Summer Vacation

My latest article on the Patch has me already debating what I should do with Audrey's summer vacation:  special needs camp?  regular camp?  no camp?  Should I jam-pack her schedule or let her stop and smell my sweaty armpits the roses?

Click here to check it out!  And let me know what you have planned for your kiddos...

Monday, May 2, 2011

Name, Rank, and Serial Number

Audrey received one of those coloring placemats at a restaurant recently, which also happened to be an entry into a contest that requested some basic information about the artist.

She didn't bother coloring the picture, but regardless felt it her duty to give them her deets:

NAME:  Audrey
AGE:  Best
PHONE:  Rodery

So much for me bragging about her savant-like spelling abilities.  But for reals, what 7 year old even knows that there used to be such a thing as rotary phones to misspell it?