Je m’appelle Funny Bear – Full French Version

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I have made a Bakewell Tart and a couple of loaves of fresh bread but I am completely incapable of filling in the rest of the menu for the night as my brain has been numbed by twenty minutes of the sing songy exchange:-
“Come to the dark side.”
“The health inspectors are here!”

I don’t know from whence it has come, but I sincerely I hope that it doesn’t stay too long as the Boris Karloff maniacal laugh that accompanies it, is far too realistic for peace of mind. Frankly I do not consider this an improvement on Axel F sung at 50 decibels in chorus, even though once upon a time I did find the theme song to Beverly Hills Cops quite jolly. I remind myself that it is just a phase, a phase during which we are quite likely to starve to death as the noise level interferes with what little brain activity I have left. For those unfamiliar with the updated version of this song, which depicts as ever so slightly “demented frog” with a foreign accent who continually punctuates bars with the ditty “bing, bing, bing,” in a thoroughly electronic tone of voice. So I’m just saying, a word to the wise, do not allow your children access to U-tube, no matter how virally popular something might be at school when that video is linked to the “Gummy Bear” contagion with the same electronic voices, you may soon find yourself as a parent with a serious brain infection. I do not know exactly how many languages this has been translated into thus far, but I do know that this is not the ideal way to learn French or Japanese. You have been warned. The only up side to the current nightmare is that my son has decided that robot dancing is the way ahead. He exerts enough energy to make a small dent in his energy reserves after his 30 minute limit. That said, now I come to think of it, I think I have the perfect recipe for dinner………frogs legs.

Spare a thought for “Nonna.”

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The Family that reads together

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Nonna always enjoys a good giggle.


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I like tiny

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My children’s life, school life, is enhanced by the professional expertise of wise persons. The wise persons at their school are able to tap into their talents and extract similar abundance from the children, not just mine but all the other unique little individuals.

Recently it was my son’s turn, he with an eye for the minutiae of life, in all it’s glory. His pockets are always full of teeny, tiny, essential precious things. [when they’re not lost!] Hence all the children wrote lists of tiny things

and then drew a picture of one of the tiny things:-

Of course one of the other things that he’s frightfully keen on is long handled things but I imagine that’s a bit more difficult to manage in a school setting. What a pity those long rulers, belts and whips have been phased out.


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I’m in heaven

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He was asked to list and draw his favourite things:- chocolate pudding, goldfish crackers, peppermints and candy.

Then he flipped the paper over to draw this with the title above:-

Just look at that facial expression!


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Give us this day, our daily baby

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As the mother of two autistic children I have far more to moan about than many. One of the many things that I most enjoy moaning about is the wide variety of unco-operative domestic appliances skulling around the house. The top moaning slot is usually allotted to the cooker. The cooker is a huge great ugly thing that came with the house. It’s a commercial, if not industrial lump of steel, capable of catering to the needs of the average restaurant. However, during the summer months I am forced to ignore it even more than usual. This is due to the existence of constant cognitive dissonance on my part which roughly translates as follows:-

Mother nature already hates me for using the air conditioning during a heat wave but she’ll throw me off the planet if I turn the oven on at the same time.

The trouble with the oven, apart from it’s hugeness, is that once lit, it is happy to warm the entire house to 425 degrees centigrade as it belches out heat for several hours post switch off. It is truly the creation of the devil.

That said, my family’s need for sustenance, especially bread, averaging 3 loaves a day, is quite insatiable.

Hence I discuss my latest cunning plan with “Nonna,” cook extraordinaire back in the day, as I trip over multifarious swift moving children.

“So……..what about dis den?”
“I’m going to make bread, pasties and muffins all day long and then cook them all in one go late in the afternoon.”
“It is good to fill dah ting sometimes.”
“Yes……in theory……but easier said than done.”
“You’re doing pretty well so far I tink,” she adds as she prods the latest batch of rolls on the rise.
“It’s all in the timing……I hope.”
“You know I tink you could roast a “whole baby” in dat ting!”


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Welcome Home

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This is the first thing we saw when be tried to blunder in the garage door after a 12 hour flight:-

A big improvement on the tatty old aid memoires, check lists and prompts that are usually on that door.

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Don’t hold your breath

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I mean it’s not like they’re cast in stone but generally speaking a parent knows their children well. Over the years some things are just given. We know their likes and dislikes. Things that are possible and things that shall remain impossible, forever. On the whole, there is no point in perseverating over the impossible things. Far better to accept that the impossible things will remain impossible, forever. Better still to work on their strengths, to enhance them and encourage them.

Writing or penmanship skills would fall into the later category around here. I put my faith in technology. I accept that they will never willingly write anything, ever. It is a less preferred activity but fortunately keyboards are high on the preferred list. Luckily my children are growing up in an age where pretty soon everything will be digital. Even as I think about this I hear of new devices, assisted technology, voice recognition programmes, pens that record and transcribe, which make the whole writing issue a complete bust. I only wish that I had anticipated these developments a few years ago, as it would have saved me many a sleepless night.

You can dress it up in technical language but I have a shorthand version, ‘don’ts, won’ts and can’ts.’ It’s very important to be able to tell which is which. ‘Can’ts’ are the easiest, the child cannot do whatever it is because at the moment, it is too difficult. A parent can spend lots of time with ‘can’ts’ to help teach the skills to conquer. ‘Won’ts’ are more tricky as they generally cover aversive issues. They are brick walls that can be whittled down with time and a good de-sensitization programme. Lastly there are ‘won’ts.’ You could call it a catch-all category for everything else, but around here the key is a lack of motivation. They simply have no interest in whatever it is. They can be very broad, dressing skills, eating skills, toileting skills. They are very difficult to make interesting. This is why so many parents of autistic children are suckers for ‘themes,’ everything from dinosaurs, Thomas the tank Engine and Pokemons. Once you have an interest you can tie it into all the ‘won’ts.’ One day, some genius will produce themed toilet paper, wipes and soap, and all my troubles will be over.

But I digress.

Hence, early, oh so, so, early in the morning, I exist in my usual fog as I wait for caffeine to kick start my brain. My son has stolen down in the night to park his bottom in front of the computer screen. Eyes glued to the little pictures he provides a stream of verbal information that is too obscure to give me the slightest clue. Kirby? What on earth is he on about now? I rub my bifocals on my dressing gown in the hope that the clouds will clear, so that I may offer something intelligent in reply or failing that, something relevant.
“Mom?”
“Yes dear?”
“You have one?”
“Have one what?”
“Er…….a thing?”
“Which kind of a thing? A big thing or a small thing?”
“Small.”
“Yes, I definitely have lots of small things. Can you think of any more describing words about the small thing that you want?”
“Er…it is be have lines……it is be have curly wire…..it is be have…..a cover.”
“A notebook?”
“Yeah, yeah, yeah! You are have a small notebook for me?”
I pick my jaw up from the floor because I know that this is really a trick. What would he want with a notebook indeed? Whatever one might usually use a notebook for, I am quite certain that he has other plans, although I’m at a loss to guess what that might be. “Sure. Come upstairs with me to Daddy’s office and we’ll hunt one down.” Together we rifle through supplies until we find one that fits his purpose. But what purpose?

The notebook is now full. He requested another!


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Make your mark

This is quite a coup for the tactile defensive amongst us, to say nothing of the fine motor skills and the good old indefinable ‘motivation.’

I’m told that you can buy them “here” at S&S Worldwide, although I couldn’t spot them myself, or at “Oriental Trading” on “this page.”

I have spent a fortune at that shop over the years. I used to be annoyed that everything came in multiples, however as whatever it was used annoy my boys intensely, it usually took several or many tries before we were even in with a chance.

In this particular instance I have his Occupational Therapist to thank. Now there’s a woman with spectacular powers of persuasion!

And if you have a free mo, try out this test or better still persuade your small people to try it out. You can’t be too careful.


Test Your Eye Color Blindness TestClick here for more blooper videos

Or you can check it out over here on “Metacafe” which I accidentally read as ‘metcalf’ but sadly I’ve not come across a similar dyslexia test!

Hosted by “Tracy” at “Mother May I,” but the photo-picture below will whizz you right there with one click.

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And this Animoto feature, was pinched from “Susan” at “5 Minutes.” Thank you!


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Old dogs and new tricks

There are some lovely people around my neighbourhood and this particular bunch refer to themselves as ‘crafters.’ The term ‘crafter,’ is I believe, peculiar to America, as elsewhere, such people just have ‘hobbies.’ There are all sorts of subtleties that pass way over my head, as I prefer to remain close to the ground like the low life that I truly am. That said they’re a jolly and generous crowd, who welcome newcomers with interest and warmth.

As we age we become wise, or at least that is the theory. Personally I find that as I grow older, I become increasingly scatty, forgetful and what my son refers to as ‘random.’ I am prone to stereotype people, it’s shorthand. It’s one of my many faults but old dogs, mongrels, can still learn new things.

I find that I have learned new things and benefited greatly from attending three, consecutive, six week courses of puppy training. I only wish I’d completely the puppy training before I had the children. That said one of the things I learned, or rather had reinforced, is that many people dislike direct eye contact, far more than I had appreciated. It’s not just autistic people, it’s not just shy people, it’s all sorts of people.

I had this demonstrated to me recently when I attended a curiously American event, a side walk sale. A rough translation of ‘side walk sale’ is when sellers and crafters park themselves outside the shop on the sidewalk together with their wares to sell to the general public, face to face. I am told by those who know about such things, that the general public like to meet the people who make the things that they buy, although I’m a bit doubtful myself.

Hence, here is a picture of the lovely ladies meeting and greeting. Off to the side I am also poised, carving bowls. I’m side ways on, head down, absorbed. It is a non threatening pose that can prove very useful when you encounter unfamiliar dogs to demonstrate that you’re not an aggressive Alpha and just want to play. If I was Joe Public or the man on the Clapham Omnibus, I might step over the occupied woman and take a peek but I’d have a hard time meeting the ever so friendly and enthusiastic ladies, head on. It would just be too intimidating. I would feel obliged to make conversation and praise their work, which I may not like. I am a bad liar and I would be exposed as such. If I liked their work, then that would be great, but then I should feel obliged to buy something and money is tight.

So humour me? With whom would you feel more comfortable and why?

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Playing catch up

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I like to think that this tribute to Garfield is directly related to my son’s increased diet. Well……Garfield does have very winning ways.

If you’re looking for something different for Mother’s Day, then how about a “goat?” I just love “Oxfam.”

My daughter is safely back from Science Camp together with the “cartoons.”

If you’re in need of other freebies and giveaways then you could do a lot worse than to nip along to a new site that I recently discovered called “We are THAT family” where you can find a pleasant introduction to the “clan here.”

Please add your name to my two giveaways if you haven’t already as the end of April approaches:-

“here” or “here.”

Meanwhile the “Pi” dishes are still languishing in the kiln up at the studio but any day soon now……so if you don’t want to miss them you may wish to subscribe to my RSS feed at “Etsy” or “twitter,” as I do not blog in real time.

Mom Blogs

Yesterday I was over at 5 Minutes for Special needs Moms “here” at “Five Minutes for Special Needs Mums,” so if you’re willing to subject your blog to a withering “review,” just let us know?

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