Perfect Post

The Original Perfect Post Awards 07.08

Today I would like to nominate “Lonestar” for the perfect post award hosted by Lindsay at “Suburban Turmoil” and Kimberley at “Petroville.”

Her post on her blog “3 Running in Circles,” and “Everyday Adventures” is called “Can you name all the 43 Presidents?”

For me this is a perfect post [and also a video!] because it illustrates the amazing potential of children, any and all of them. I doubt very much, even if I happened to be a very good American, that could also achieve this feat.

Anyone interested in hearing me recite the Kings and Queens of England?

Pop along and test your skills, I won’t tell on you if you miss a few, or more.

Cheers dears

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Thoughty Thirteen

Thirteen Things about free advice

Here are a few words of wisdom that you may or may not wish to share with a child of your choice that I have received over the decades.

1. You my child, shall have a miserable and unfortunate life.

2. You really should try and smile more.

3. What’s the rush? Is there a fire?

4. Stop being such a misery guts and go out and do something nice for someone else.

5. If you can’t say anything nice don’t say anything at all.

6. Never trust a mumbler.

7. People will never remember you, but they will always remember your manners.

8. What is the delay? Do I need to put a bomb under you?

9. Just do you best, that’s good enough.

10. But you can’t go out without a clean hanky!

11. Blow your nose! Oh, it’s a freckle.

12. If I’ve told you once I’ve told you a thousand times, you’ll never get rid of them with a Brillo pad.

13. You’re a long time dead.

A long, long time ago, I would sit in the OBGYN’s office, waiting. On the wall was a framed “poem” which read:-

A Child Lives What He Learns

If a child lives with criticism, he learns to condemn.
If a child lives with ridicule, he learns to be shy.
If a child lives with hostility, he learns to fight.
If a child lives with shame, he learns to feel guilty.
If a child lives with tolerance, he learns to be patient.
If a child lives with encouragement, he learns confidence.
If a child lives with praise, he learns appreciation.
If a child lives with fairness, he learns justice.
If a child lives with security, he learns to have faith.
If a child lives with approval, he learns to like himself.
If a child lives with acceptance and friendship, he learns to find love in the world.

~Original Author Unknown

I thought it was a bit mushy at the time, but now I’m not so sure, maybe I like Anon afterall.

As for number one, in case you wonder if it’s true or who might have said such a thing or is this pay back time, I should explain? Someone did say this to me when I was very little, little enough to have to look up ‘unfortunate’ in the dictionary. Why do I mention it now? Because we all say and do things in the heat of the moment that we later regret. They’re impossible to take back. We worry about the damage we’ve caused and perseverate about it, often years after the event. What we don’t know, is that sometimes our words can spark quite a different reaction that we anticipated. For me at least, those words ensured that the opposite would be true, but I’m just obstinate all round, cussed rather than cursed. Perhaps you have a little funny gem of your own to share?

Ooo somebody “loves me!” “Yah/Boo”

For more useful advice you could nip along and visit “Miss Nelson” at “Meaningful Outcomes” especially this post here called “Raising a Sensory Smart Child.” She certainly makes more sense than I do and she’s a far better speller too.

Cheers dears

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others’ comments. It's easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

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Welcome Home

5 Minutes for Special Needs

She’s been sleeping in her sister’s old room for ten years. A blue room with white clouds.

During her absence the moths invade her space.

We decorate whilst she’s away…

Red paint is safest in the garage.

The boys add their own decorative touches.

To welcome her home.

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Whoops a daisy

Tackle It Tuesday Meme

Just like every other parent on the planet, I also have a ‘to do’ list longer than I count but that’s what ‘bullets’ are really for.

I make a start. I take a marker and draw through the first line which reads, ‘wake up.’ I cross off six more lines in a similar fashion. Already I’m am stunningly efficient although still in my dressing gown at dawn.

I whizz through my day in a never ending “circus” of productivity.

The first time it happens I'm caught off guard and grab the kitchen counter for support. I look down at my son who has wrapped himself around my knees for some unaccountable reason. “What are you doing dear?” He grins but scampers away, wordless. If I wasn't half way through chopping an onion I'd be inclined to investigate further.

The second time it happens I see it coming. “What on earth are you doing?” He cackles and flees. By mid-day, they're both at it, one presumably copying the other.

I am under siege.

Inbetween whiles, I make pertinent enquiries, the whys and wherefores of this developmental trend, to no avail.

I am deeply suspicious.

Surely it’s a conspiracy of some vile nature to foil my efficiency quotient for the day.

I notice, quite by chance, that whilst I sit on the carpet with them, I quell any further attacks. As soon as I stand, I am almost immediately struck down.

My ‘to do’ list calls to me from the kitchen, neglected if not ignored.

When their father walks through the door both the boys pounce on me at the same time, “well done guys!” he beams, “but she's supposed to fall down, you've got to try harder.”

My mouth drops open as he grins as me, “aren't they doing well?”

This is not a rhetorical question.

“What do you mean? They've been attacking me like this all day!
“Not attacking,……. tackling! I taught them last night!”


I think this should have a warning attached = don’t try this at home!

If you have a spare 8 minutes, nip along to the “Autism Acceptance Project” to watch a 10 minute video, because life is two short to read two minutes of credits. Then you can nip along to “Estee’s” blog and tell her that you too can only count to 7, maybe 8 on a good day, or maybe that’s just me?

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Manners maketh man, Manic Monday

Whilst Michael Savage storms into the spotlight to write off our children, the rest of us bimble along in the twilight shadows, busy and better than any microdot in his imagination.

I begin to type:-

'In principle, all children should be seen but not heard during dinner so that the other participants are to enjoy their meal. It's a very simple rule, one that I adhered to vigourously when I was but a wee young thing. It is essential that parents maintain scrupulously high expectations and standards, nay, tis their moral obligation to the rest of civilized society.' I pause in my piece for 'Ban Brats Daily' and gather the family for lunch.

In the 80 degree heat in the shade, we collect Al Fresco, as part of the ongoing ‘de-sensitization to outside’ campaign. These days, the underlying principle remains the same, behave in a kindly manner and hopefully you won't offend other people. For me, the unpublicized secret of good manners, is the skill to put other people at their ease.

We model 'sitting.' They approximate in return. We eat with knives and forks, their fingers work just as hard. Although there is a great deal of detritus over a three foot scatter radius, no-one purposefully throws food. During the meal we discuss a narrow range of subjects in depth, such as 'whether Chaotic cards are more desirable than Pokemon cards?'

During a pause my youngest shoots off like Billy the Whizz for no apparent reason, “hey! Where are you going Sunny Jim?” He stops, mid-fly, frozen, “er…..I'm done.”
“No you are not done! There's something you haven't done yet.” His whole body sags as he takes heavy steps back to his chair to take up the flop position, the nearest he's been to actually sitting in the last seven and a half minutes. “Please……..may I leaf dah table?”
“Beautifully said. Yes you may dear.” He scoots off on rewind back into the safety of the house.

My other son staggers off in his brother's wake, “hey! Where are you going Sunny Jim?” It takes a few more staggers before the message is processed. He turns, “wot?” he splutters, spewing crumbs. “Sit back down, you have a face full of food.” His hands fly to his face, whole hands on whole face, as they flutter for evidence.

“I mean……….your mouth is still full of food dear!” He stands rigid, stretches his neck, head back and gulps. A little shiver engulfs him before he opens his maw wider than a lion to demonstrate emptiness. “Very good dear, now come and sit down, you've still forgotten something.”

He returns to the table to perch on the very rim of the chair. He opens his mouth to speak, notices a discarded Ritz cracker and stuffs it in without thought, “pls……lif..table?” he sprays. He droops back into the chair, resigned to full munching, without a further word.

“Ooo, where's your Dad gone?” I say to no-one in particular. This is just as well since half my potential audience is hard of hearing and the other half finds it hard to hear. I scan the garden. Not a trace.

“Pleaz……may I lif dah table now?”
“Yes dear, well done indeed.”

Nonna's chair scrapes back as she heads off to dead head a rose or two. I sit at the table for six with the debris, in silence, apart from the sickly globuling sound of the fountain.

I swivel to see my son as he hovers around the strawberry pot and the algae covered fountain in the blistering heat. I watch his fingers travel to the one semi ripe bauble. He makes a valiant attempt at a pincher grip but it's more like a strawberry daiquiri. Little pick pocket!

I say nothing, as he hates strawberries.

“Hey mom!”
“Yes dear?”
“Look………what I…… found.”
“Yes……first this year.”

Same every year, same spot, same fruit, same familiarity although he never seemed to notice them before.

“Dya wannit?”
“Who me?”
“Yup!” he reaches over and uncurls his fingers from his palm. I take the red splat and pop it in my mouth.


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To Vicki Forman

“Kristina” helps spread the word.

To see for yourself go to “Flickr.”

Thank you to “Jennifer” at “Pinwheels” for guiding me through, and to “Shannon” for the “foresight.”

We are all “connected” in ways we never thought possible, even if the “words” are sometimes difficult.

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Connectivity – building community

I conduct an animated conversation with “Kev” whilst he is fast asleep in England and I'm wide awake in San Jose.

“So what seems to be the problem now then Madeline?”
“Well I just thought it would be nice if we could “connect” all the “nice bloggers” together.”
“Nice! I thought you banned that word?”
“Oops, true but you know what I mean.”
“Actually I don't?”
“Ah, well as I skip around the blogosphere I come across “like minded” bloggers and it would be good if we could all stay connected.”
“That's what the “hub” is for, we're already connected, you're a “member” remember?”
“Indeed, but there are other blogs, “friendly,” “positive” “autism” blogs.”
“That's what you have a side bar for.”
“I know but the Blogger one is all messed up and I just can't manage it on the WordPress thingy.”
“Nevermind! So what do you want to do?”
“I need a button.”
“Yes, a little button perhaps with a plus sign on it that I can just click on it and the new blog just gets added.”
“Why don't you just use a “reader?”
“I do, but they don't show up on my blog do they, so we don't get really connected.”
“True, they “cement” us together.”
“Yes but I’d prefer it if we could all be elmered.”
“You need to go on a course.”
“Which way?”
“Er…..Blogging for Dummies.”
“Is that a “plug?”
“Never! I”m far to PC.”
“Whatever Mac…… er……. Kev!”
“Peace, love and understanding! Are you really that naive?”
“Yes please! Anyway, I’m only a hop, skip and a jump from Santa Cruz, real granola head land.”

“Granola head?”
“Sorry, it’s just a little American term that we Americans use.”
“Muesli to you! So what happened to your “blogrolling” widget?”
“I mislaid it.”
“I'm not entirely sure. I think I clicked on the wrong bit whilst I was cleaning the keyboard.”
“You didn't stick it in the dish washer did you?”
“Ooo I never thought of that.”

“Well just re-install it.”
“Good idea. In the meantime a nice big one click button, would do the trick. You know, for people who need font size 24.”
“Clean your bifocals.”
“I would, if I could find them.”
“It would affect your loading.”
“Really? I did put on a few pounds in England, but that's actually good for me.”
“No I………nevermind. Anyway, there are already forums for that kind of thing like “wrong plant.”
“Too old.”
“There's “Vox” too, “Facebook” and other social networks.”
“Not the same thing at all, and all those logins and passwords are such a pain.”
“Not a lot of working memory then?”
“Sad but true. Then if we all had one we could all add nice blogs that we find.”
“All of us?”
“Yes, one click fits all!”
“I'll give you click missy.”
“If it quacks like a duck….”
“Anyway, I thought you were giving up blogging from your “Twitter” comments.”
“I’m exercising my “wimmins” right to “change” my mind.”
“I don't think you've thought this through properly, there could be all sorts of unintended consequences.”
“No such thing, there's always an underlying thread of “connectivity.”
“Er…..? Run that by me again?”
“You know “band together,” make ourselves “heard,” “everyone!” All over the “place.”
“I thought you were all for peace and “quiet?”
“I think I've fallen off my fence.”
“That can happen if you're not careful with your pedestals.”
“Oh good, so you'll do it?”
“It's not quite as simple as that you know, that's a lot of work you're asking for?”
“I'd have to (&#$% *(#)* the platform, regenerate the %^&*, add some #$%^ and probably &^)#@ just to be on the safe side, to say nothing of the graphics and the interface.”
“Is that all?”
“Are you listening?”
“Verily, in troth I doth listen to every syllable thy uttereth.”
“So you get my point?”
“Indeed! Sharp as a tack me.”
“Anyway I'm much to busy seeing to “Estee” at the moment.”
“Really! Now that is interesting.”
“Go to sleep woman!

Very well, I shall go and pester “Joe” instead, then I shan’t feel so “useless!”

Ooo look! “Genevieve Hinson’s” already done it!

Always be wary of any helpful item that weighs less than its operating manual.
– Terry Pratchett


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Brevity Blog Carnival

A ‘green’ message with no trash talk – he’s no wastrel.

“Single Sentence Movie Review” give it a go!

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Cart me off to the funny farm

I take my BRAT's [*] to celebrate Nonna's unBirthday at Chilli's, a delightfully noisy and sticky establishment.

Both boys lack any muscle function and lie splayed on the empty benches. I park one on my lap and clamp the other to my side.

As they are now quite large children, I have the distinct impression that I resemble a Ventriloquist, but that's paranoia for you. A group of young persons giggle and whisper behind their hands, wrapped in the public eye of exposure and embarrassment in equal proportions. “Dey are be rude?” he enquires.
“Make a U-turn if possible!” bellows his brother, fortunately muffled by the bundle of fleece jackets tucked under my other arm.
“Not really, they're just at that stage.”
“Wot stage?”
“Make a U-turn if possible!”
“Try and use your indoor voice dear! Er the stage when…….you are the centre of the universe.”
“Nevermind……they're not being rude, just……private.”
“You are say it rude to be whisper.”
“Make a U-turn if possible!”
“Quiet inside voice lovie. Er…..there's different kinds of whispering……ooo look the thingummy is buzzing, our table must be ready.” Perhaps we should all try and whisper?

Our party of five lumbers in the general direction of the table with only a few false starts and stumbles. Nonna fumbles for her glasses so I offer to read it aloud.

“Pardon! What you say?” she asks in her thick Italian accent. I detect that her hearing aides are also adrift.

The server appears for our drinks order. My eldest son makes a valiant attempt. I wait until she's left, “well done dear, very polite indeed. Next time shall we speak a bit louder so that she can hear you better in this noisy place?” He grins hugely, so grown up.

“What is dis?” asks Nonna pointing at a menu description. I guide her hand to the picture, “ah! I see.”

By the time the server returns, we have our choices ready, so does my youngest son who bellows “I want chocolate milk and fries please!” An extreme event for a neophobic! The server leans back from the blast but manages a smile.

Orders placed, server departed, I reach over to him, “great job young man! Maybe you can try and use your indoor voice next time?”
“You said….er……louder!”
“Yes I know I did. Louder for him, quieter for you.”
“You say no whisper!”
“I know but….” I am interrupted by the arrival of a group of servers at the next booth, who break into an even louder “happy birthday chorus.” Both the boys clamp their hands over their ears. My sons look at me, accusingly. They slip under the table to engage in their brand new interest, lumps of chewing gum. Ideally I should like them to sit on their hands. Alternatively, I would just like them to sit, preferably on the chairs.

The food arrives in a timely fashion. “What is dis?” asks Nonna tapping her country fried steak with her knife.
“What you say?”
“It's steak,” I add, slightly louder with precise diction and enunciation.
“Country fried steak.”
“Again please, I can't hear you properly.”
“ S…t…e…a…k,” I spell.
“Pardon me, again?”
STEAK!” I yell, turning ever so slightly puce in the face. The boys look at me, eyes like saucers, frozen. I hear him whisper “she is mad?”

Maybe I am, or very soon will be.

[*] Beautifully Rambunctious Autistic Tribe
Rats to you Mr. Savage.

Here is another blog that’s newish to me that you might enjoy, “The Funny Farm.” Need somewhere to start? How about here on her post called
Love me some Bean,”
coz you know I’m a little biased. Don’t forget to say hello to her!

In addition, here’s another new favourite that’s really an old favourite before I lost all my bookmarks called “Send Chocolate.” If this IS new to you then you might like to start here on her insightful post called “What I learned.” If that’s not community spirited then I don’t know what is!

There again, I think I could do a lot worse that sign myself up for “Julie’s” “camp.” I wonder if they have a height limit?

What was that?

Age limit?

Ooo you big rudey!

Cheers dears

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Comment of the week award

[Inspired by “Scribbit.”]

Goes to…………

“Shelia” from “The Crooked made Straight.”

Her comment was on the “Impartial” post.

She commented as follows:-

“He is AWESOME and the way you describe him is LOVELY. We see him and you and Dad! We are there with you in the moment. We get the humor, feel the frustration, and yet experience all of the beauty encapsulated in your lives together.”

I was already grumpy. I had also recently received an email from someone who claimed affinity with my perspective on autism. Someone who agreed with the title “Cold hearted empty shell.” Someone who is unfamiliar with sarcasm.

It played on my mind. I wondered whether I should drop the sarcasm? Maybe I should pretend that we live a charmed perfect life? Maybe I should moan about the miserable bits? Maybe I should stop blogging altogether?

Not everyone likes to comment publicly, some people email me privately instead, but it’s feedback that lets me know whether the message is coming through.

I don’t like crossed lines.

Very, very cross.

I came stomping into the house after fighting with a truculent tropical tree, when the fork broke. Shelia’s message came zinging through, loud and clear.

Maybe I should rename it as ‘Sanity Citation’ or a ‘Certificate of Sanity’? Either way, grateful thanks.

So if you are new to her blog, I would recommend that you could grasp the ‘flavour’ from this posting called “Turn the Other cheek.”

Certainly made me think.

Cheers dears

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