Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Mercy Buckets and Mucho Grassy Ass

Sometimes I wonder what Audrey makes of foreign languages.  She has her hands full just trying to get by in English, so I'm not a fan of Diego nagging her to "Salta!" and go "al rescate".  And how many times do we have to say "Ni hao" to Kai-lan before she buzzes off already.

Audrey's exposed to French via her friend Fancy Nancy, who loves to throw around the merci's and the ooh-la-la's.  That's French right?

She also loves Tasty Time with ZeFronk on Disney Junior.  ZeFronk is a French chef who also appears to be a dachshund.  He doesn't so much drop French words as just have a really exaggerated accent.  He's always being bothered by his neighbor, a uni-browed cat named Dom who wears a track suit and looks and sounds like Ernest Borgnine.  Audrey was beyond amused to find out that one of her new classmates was named Dom.  She went right up to him the first day and said "Dom! You see-ly cat!"

One time weeks went by before I realized that Audrey had her DSi set to Spanish.  It's one thing if she hears foreign language words from TV shows.  Then at least she knows the correct pronunciation and I can decipher what she's on about.  But seeing them in writing -- on the DSi or in the Fancy Nancy books -- leads to some interesting misunderstandings.

I was wondering why she kept talking about "a spaniel", until I realized that the DSi shows the language selection as "Espanol".  And when I started hearing "Oy, oy" coming from the back seat as she played, it took me a while to figure out that she had changed it to French and this was how she was pronouncing "Oui oui".

Oy indeed.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Worry Warts and All

I am always a bundle of nerves.  Always.  Sometimes I will actually stop in my tracks and force myself to think, "What the hell are you so nervous about right now?"  And it will be things like:

"I don't have anything to blog about" or,
"I think my kitchen towel may be carrying scabies" or,
"Opening up this new bottle of hermetically sealed contact solution is going to make me .05 nanoseconds later than I already am." or,
"What if Beyonce has a baby girl that looks like Jay-Z?" or,
"Someday I'm going to die."

So you can imagine that when it comes to serious stuff that I'm not exactly grace under pressure.  In May I wrote about making the decision about Audrey's fall placement, and back in April about the push back that I was getting over wanting to hold her back a year.

I had to wait until just last week -- two days before the first day of school -- before we had our followup to the April IEP meeting.  I did decide on her classroom placement (partial self-contained/partial inclusion), but had to wait all summer to discuss retention and transition planning.

I came very close to puking before that meeting.  I won't go into the details, but long-story-short, I was able to get one of Audrey's teachers from her old school to go to her new school to help with her transition, as well have her inclusion be into a 1st grade rather than 2nd grade classroom.  The whole retention thing isn't a done deal and we will be revisiting it after the first quarter.  But at least we will start out that way and see how it goes.

There was also an open house last week for the self-contained classroom, which was the first time that I saw many of Audrey's new classmates.  As was the case for her two years of self-contained preschool, she is the only girl...this time amongst 9 boys.  But they all seemed like good kids.  If we make it through an open house without at least one kid prostrate on the floor with their fingers in their ears for the duration, I consider it a success.  And if said child is not Audrey, it is a resounding success.

I could have done without the one mother telling me that her son was expelled from his previous school for practicing his martial arts moves on his classmates -- seriously, why do people feel the need to be so honest with me? -- but other than that it was great.

Audrey had two full days of school after that, and she was by all accounts a rock star.  Someone asked her over the weekend how she liked her new school and she answered that she "loved it".  This is what all of the teeth-gnashing, gut-wrenching, hair-pulling, cuticle-gnawing, hand-wringing, and general out-freaking is all about.

I feel good about my decision and where she's at right now.  We are only two days in and I know how fast it could change and all go south, but for now I'll let myself feel a very unfamiliar feeling of (relative) calm.

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Teacher's Got Us Fawin' in Wuv Again

Whenever Audrey sings a song, I can't help but think of Eddie Murphy as Buckwheat singing "Meech out and dutch dumbody's and bake dis murla bedda pace, ip doo tan".

Her vocabulary isn't always wide enough to decipher song lyrics, such as these for "DJ Got Us Falling in Love".  She doesn't know what a DJ is, so she's either saying "teacher" or more likely "TJ" which is the name of both a former classmate and one of Lauren's cats.

This was taken while she sat in the back seat of a car in between her two cousins.  She keeps looking at them in a way that could say "And just what the hell are you looking at?" or "Stop hatin' on my mad steez" or "Don't leave me hanging out here by myself...start singing bitches!"  One of those.

Stay tuned for her attempt at a head bob at the end...

Monday, August 22, 2011

Keep Calm and Carry On

Check out my latest article on the Patch in which I discuss the summer of my discontent and decide that it's really the rest of the world that needs a social story to help them calm the eff down.

Click HERE to check it out!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Words with Friends

It's time for another installment of Audrey's famous texts with my friends.  In this case, it's with Aimee, the mother of her BFF Grace Anne.  Although in Audrey's defense, I think she thinks that she's texting Grace Anne herself.  Maybe because their contact information is saved under "Grace Anne".  Audrey's texts are in green.


Audrey recounts how her class got to have a pizza party because they did a good job on their tornado drill.

Aimee makes fun of her grammar.

Audrey doesn't realize that she's being mocked.

Aimee uses school-approved terminology (see this post).

Audrey has no idea why she's using a hash tag.

Aimee never tires of hearing Audrey talk smack about Grace Anne's nemesis.

That's the stuff.

Hipster jargon for "I agree".

Audrey scripting back Aimee's response when she last told her that Ryan is annoying.


Audrey proves that she earned that compliment.

And I got my phone back.


Friday, August 12, 2011

It's an Honor Just to Be Nominated

My wonderful friend Mindi has nominated me for a Parents magazine blog award for Best Special Needs Blog!

Mindi is sister to the famous and beloved Lauren, and their entire family have been supportive of this blog from the very beginning when not even my own family was bothering to read it.  Thanks so much Mindi and the entire, extended clan!

I haven't won anything since a 2nd grade spelling bee in which the prize was a mini-statue of the Virgin Mary, so I'm not holding out much hope.  But if you are so inclined, you can click on the button below and register your vote:

They make you log in or register for the site in order to vote, and I found it to be a little buggy to do so.  I haven't figured out what the secret is...if you already have a user ID at Parents, you may have to change your password or log in first or log off and come back in or consult the Rosetta Stone or sell your first born to the gypsies or rescue the Ark of the Covenant from Nazis...but c'mon after all I've done for you?  It's really the least you could do.  Besides, I heard that reaching Level 4 security clearance will unlock a pretty pink Easter egg...

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Scripts That Make You Go Hmmmm

Much of what Audrey says are scripts, and I can usually place the source pretty easily.  Like when she stubbed her toe and screamed "I INJURED MY FOOT WHICH IS A FANCY WORD FOR HURT!!!!!!!!!"  Anyone?  A Fancy Nancy book.

When my bloggy friend Kara starts up that autism TV network she's been talking about, I think Name That Script would be an awesome game show to add to the lineup, right between So You Think You Can Stim and Curb Your Eye Contact.

But sometimes Audrey comes out with things that I cannot place.  Sometimes this OK, but sometimes I obsess over what the source might be.  Like when she asked me about the meaning of normal...did someone say that word to her, as in "you're not normal"?  Naturally my mind goes to the worst case scenario.

A couple of weeks ago Audrey wrote out one of her self-composed social stories that opened with the line "Grace Anne is very difficult".  I know she would never say this about her BFF, so who said it?

But the oddest one was last week during an OT session.  Her therapist had her back to her and Audrey told her that she has a "cute bottom".  What the?  There's no way that she came up with that one herself.

For the record, we never use the "bottom" to refer to our butts.  And we refer to our butts a lot around here.  We prefer butt, dupa, bum, culo, keester, can, arse, caboose, cakes, buns, biscuits, heinie, or badonkadonk.  But never bottom.  Or fanny.  Never fanny.

"Bottom" seems to be the preferred term for teachers, as in "sit on your bottom", which I'm sure Audrey hears a lot of.  So now I'm left wondering if one of her teachers told her that she has a cute bottom.

Even if that's true, should I care?  After all, she does have a pretty sweet booty.  And somewhere there is an OT walking around feeling pretty, pretty good about the junk in her trunk, so I guess all's well that rear-ends well.  HA!  Get it?  Too much?  Fine.  My dimple dump is outta here.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

What Is Normal?

I can remember wishing and hoping that Audrey would talk at all, then that she would be able to string sentences together or ask me questions.

While still far from fully conversant, she has recently ratcheted up the new meaning to the phrase "be careful what you wish for".

Click HERE to read my latest article on the Patch in which I discuss one of the harder questions that she's ever asked me.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

She's Fonda Honda

One of Audrey's current obsessions is the make and model of people's cars.  As we're driving she'll notice a car that is the same as someone that we know but a different color, and she'll say the same annoying line every time.

"It's kind of red, but Blair's car is green, riiiiiyyyyyyyyyght?"  Like so:

This translates to:  "Look Mom, there's a Honda Civic.  It looks just like Melanie's car except that one is silver and hers is blue."  Which would be much more articulate, but on second thought just as irritating.  Who gives a shit, riiiiiiiiyyyyyyyyyyyyyyght?

I started kind of ribbing her about it, and whenever she would start the line I would chime in for the "riiiiiiyyyyyyght" part.  Which she doesn't like one bit.  She started throwing these lines back at me which were much more appropriate than the car shtick:

"Mom!  I've told you a million times!"
"Just ignore it!"
"How many times do I have to tell you?"
"Just worry about yourself!"

Whoa.  I have no idea where she got those.

Now on the occasion that she makes one of her hundred-times-per-day car observation and I DON'T chime in, I get "Mom, I like you're ignoring it."  Doesn't she just wish that the ABA-speak would work on me.