Thursday, October 31, 2013

No Hitting

Last night, Youngest Son and Middle Son were playing in the living room after dinner.  I was putting dishes in the dishwasher when I heard My Beloved Wife telling Youngest to stop hitting Middle.  She was not happy with his response and asked me to come deal with it because she was too irritated with him.

I sat down on the couch with him and asked him how he feels when his brother hits him.  He got a serious look on his face.

Very quietly, he said "sad."

"How do you think your brother feels when you hit him?"

He looked away and whispered "sad."

"Do you want your brother to feel sad when he's with you?"

In a very small voice, with his face buried in the couch cushions, "No."

"So what do you think you should do?"

"Not hit him."

"Yes, that's right.  You shouldn't hit your brother."

With that established, we moved on to the particulars of the incident.  I asked why he had been hitting Middle.  He said because Middle wouldn't leave him alone.  I asked if hitting had helped, and he said no.  I asked what else he could do.  He hesitated.  I suggested that he could as me, or Beloved, or MomC, or Oldest Son to help.  I also pointed out that Middle is much bigger than him and very strong.  If he hits Middle enough times, Middle might get annoyed and hit him back, and that would hurt.

In that conversation, I felt like a very good parent.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Not Getting Up

In spite of being at our house, Oldest Son did not get up early.  In fact, he slept late.  As did I.  I ended up driving him to school considerably late.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Getting Up

Oldest Son told me after diner that he wanted to spend the night at my house.  Normally he goes to MomC's on Sunday nights.

Why I asked him why, he said that he needs to be at school early tomorrow, and he's more likely to get up and make it to school early if he's at my house than if he's at his mom's.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

More on Blocks

I was looking at photos on my computer.  I found some for Christmas of 2011 of Youngest Son playing with the blocks that I'd given him.  The same blocks he was playing with today.


This afternoon Youngest Son wanted to use the computer. We told him not now, but he could have a turn later.  A few minutes later I heard from the living room "Where are my blocks?"

We now have little block towers are over the living room and hallway.  It's nice to see him still doing child activities, like playing with blocks. 

Friday, October 25, 2013


Middle Son had another seizure this afternoon, before I got home from work.  A short one.  He was pretty much konked out when I got home, and stayed that way until I went to bed.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

For Want of a Shoe

I was trying to get the Middle Son and Youngest Son ready for school this morning.  Middle's bus picks him up at 7:45, then I drive Youngest to school.

Middle came out of his room wearing 1 shoe.  I told him to get the other one.  He goes in the bathroom and comes out with one shoe.  He goes into his room and comes out with one shoe.  He lies down on the couch.

I go in his room and look for his shoe.  Can't find it.  I look in the bathroom.  Can't find it.

The bus comes, still no shoe.  The bus leaves, no shoe.

FINALLY, after the second or third time I check his bed,  I snap the blanket extra hard.  The shoe falls out.

And I load both Middle and Youngest into the car and drive the to their respective school.


Last night Middle Son and Youngest Son were watching TV.  They were sitting on the couch.  Youngest was lying on top of Middle, which is not unusual.  He had his feet on Middle's chest.

As I watched, Middle took hold of Youngest's feet.  He started bumping his chin with Youngest's feet.  And Youngest didn't even seem to notice.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Still Qualifies

Middle Son's DDD caseworker came to my house this morning for his annual re-evaluation of eligibility.  We ran through the questions.

Some questions were about him.  How much assistance does he require for eating, dressing, bathing?  He requires some assistance with those tasks.  Can he handle money?  He has some practice with the process of buying something--take it up to the counter, give them money, get change back.  But he doesn't have any concept of how much change he should get, and he sometimes leaves the change on the counter.  Does he know what to do in an emergency?  No, he does not.  Does he engage in dangerous behaviors? Yes, he wanders off if given the opportunity.  Does he engage in inappropriate but not violent/dangerous behaviors?  Yes, sometimes he takes his clothes of in the middle of the living room.

Some questions were about me.  Does caring for him have an impact on my career and ability to work?  Yes it does.  Does caring for him impact my mental/emotional health?  Yes it does.  Does it impact my physical health?  Yes it does.  What is the financial impact of caring for him on your family?  I spent $45K a year on care-givers to keep him safe while I'm at work.

And finally, could you continue to do what you are doing now in order to care for him for the next two years?  Yes, I can, provided I maintain a sufficient level of income to pay for the caregivers.  If I have a big drop in income for some reason, all bets are off.

The final outcome was, unsurprisingly, that Middle still qualifies for DDD services.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

If I Were the Mom...

Normally on Thursday mornings, I drive Youngest Son to school in the morning.  Last Thursday I had a training seminar that started at 8:30 in the morning, in Seattle.  Since Youngest's school starts at 8:30, I wasn't able to drive him.  Fortunately, My Beloved Wife was able to take him.

When I got home she reported that, when she took a turn that Youngest thought was not on the best route, he said to her "if I were the mom I would've gone THAT way."

Friday, October 18, 2013

Talking and Listening

I'm taking a Leadership seminar this week.  Yesterday we where talking about language and the process of communication.  The seminar leader said that when you are trying to communicate with someone else it is very important to "listen to their listening."

It brought to mind an experience I had with Middle Son some years ago.  I was teaching him to put his clothes in the dresser.  We put all the shirts in the drawer, and the I told him to close it.  Middle looked at me in bafflement.  After a moment it occurred to me that he might be having trouble with "clothes" versus "close".  So I told him to shut the draw.  And he did.  By listening to his listening I learned to avoid homophones when communicating with Middle.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Boy Halloween

I was talking last night with MomC about Halloween.

She and Youngest Son had been discussing costumes.  Youngest wants to be Batman for Halloween.  Not a surprise, he dress like Batman several days a week already.  She said she had suggested to him that he dress as Peter Pan.

He said no, that's not a good costume for a boy.

He is the first of our children to be aware of gender roles and expectations at this age.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Middle at the Wedding

My Beloved Fiancee became My Beloved Wife last month.  We had about 60 people at our wedding in Seattle.

As he had at my aunt's Jubilee, Middle Son showed a desire to be part of the group during some of the high points.  During the toast Beloved and I were sitting at our table down front.  While everyone was listening to the toasts and watching us, Middle came and sat down in her lap and hugged her tightly.  We actually had to peel his hands off of her to get him to stand up.

During the dancing Middle came out on the floor.  I think he wanted to participate but wasn't sure what to do.  He ended up climbing on my back for a piggy-back ride.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Washing Hair and Showering

I discovered something interesting this week washing Middle's hair.

Normally he HATES having his head touch.  I pour some shampoo onto his head, and them he rubs it for a while, and then I wrestle with him to get it rinsed.

I got a new lofa for him for the shower.  He had a lot of shampoo on his head, so I wanted to get some of it onto the lofa.  And having the lofa touch his head seems to bother him considerably less.

And then I had him take the lofa to wash himself, rather than me scrubbing him down.  He really enjoyed washing himself.  He was squealing and giggling. I had to keep pointing to body parts to remind him what needed to be scrubbed, but he got himself really clean.

Sunday, October 13, 2013


On Wednesday, Middle was up and moving around in the night.  The refrigerator was not locked tightly enough.  He got into it.  In the morning we found an empty tube of refrigerated cinnamon rolls on the counter.  We assumed the he had eaten them all.

When I got home from work, my Beloved Wife (!) showed me the pan that she had found in the oven when she started dinner.

Photo: Ok. So this morning the kitchen was a mess. Ethan had gotten into the fridge and I THOUGHT he had eaten a whole tube of Pilsbury Cinnamon rolls.  Well I just found this IN the oven. I am assuming that he tried them and then realized they needed cooking. 

Quite impressed with his deduction skills.

Middle decided to cook them.  Fortunately he didn't turn the gas on.  If I wasn't worried about him turning the gas on in the middle of the night and blowing up the house, I'd start teaching him to cook.

Part of the Group

I wrote this post in late July, while the boys and I were in St Louis for my Aunt's 50th Jubilee.


Twice during our trip, Middle Son showed a strong interest in being part of the group.

On Saturday night, a second group of cousins arrived.  They filled up the guest house.  They were all drinking wine and talking loudly.  Middle made it clear that he wanted to go.

We went back to the hotel.  About 90 minutes later, Middle brought me his belt.  I asked if he wanted to go outside.  He signed yes.  I thought we would just go talk the dog for a short walk.  We got the dog and went outside.  Middle went straight to the car.  I asked if he wanted to go for a ride.  He signed yes.  I asked if he wanted to go back to the house.  Again, he signed yes.  So we drove back to the house.  By this time the second wave of cousins had all gone back to the hotel, so it was quiet again.

Middle seemed very happy.  We stayed for about 40 minutes, then went back to the hotel and went to sleep.

The second time was during the Jubilee Mass.  The church was very crowed, and it was going to be a long service.  My aunt had arranged seats for us at the very back of the church.  That way we had a little more space, and could easily get up and go outside if Middle got overwhelmed.

Shortly after the Mass started, Middle did get up.  We wandered down the hallway, then back into the church proper.  Then, to my surprise, he headed down the aisle towards the front of the church.  When we got to the pews where the rest of the family was sitting he stopped.  We leaned against the wall for a while.  Middle sat on the floor with Willow.  After 10 minutes or so he got up and returned to our seats in the back.  A little later he went back up with the rest of the family.

I was moved by his desire to be part of the group and involved with the rest of the family.  I had never seen him do that before.  I suppose part of that was because he's rarely in situations where there is a large group that he can move in and out of.  I will have to work on creating more of those opportunities for him.

Back to Blogging

After a long hiatus, I am back.