Baby Steps

We decide to debate the topic.

Are they ready?

Is this doable?

If not, how can we wangle the odds in our favour?

It's time for the school fund raiser, the Walkathon, where the children walk around the field for as many laps as they can manage. Each year we have attended. The first year we just attended and did not participate. The following year we attended and participated, in a manner of speaking. This year, it may be time to step up to the plate and tackle the sponsorship form.

We are already practicing our 'trick or treat' skills through modeling, social stories and kinesthetic learning. This would tie in quite well. Go to someone's house. Avoid being squished by traffic. Use path. Do not walk on grass or flowerbeds. Avoid hedges, think of them as walls not hurdles. Find and ring bell, once. Wait for homeowner. Greet homeowner. Do not run into homeowner's house. Verbalize request. Do not whisper or bellow. Stay on topic no matter how fascinating the door mat or light switches. Remember, frantic movement and speech confuses your listener. Do not talk to the wall, talk to the person. Listen to their answer.

“Maybe we should take them one at a time, that would help?”
“Yes, but there's also safety in numbers and it would muddle the ‘trick or treat’ practice. They're working much better as a team, one fills in the blanks for the other, as it were.”
“So we think we're ready?”
“Definitely.”
“So who will we visit?”
“Just the two houses.” Two tries. Two attempts. “Opposite and to the right only.”
“Deal. You'll phone them first to warn them that we're coming?”
“On the list.”
“How long is this evolution going to take?”
“Ooo 30 minutes?” 50 paces to each house.
“30 minutes for each house?”
“Approximately, we have to allow for the unknown.”
“The unknowable.”
“I don't need to remind you about clipboards and pens do I?”
“Huh! Far too easy, I can take that in my stride.”

New post up on “Alien.”


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A Blight on my life

Of course there are several, but we'll start with an important one, namely shoes. All shoes should be comfortable, that should be part of the definition of a shoe. If a shoe fails to be comfortable it instantaneously transforms itself into another category entirely, namely a means of torture. Additionally, the ideal shoe should be red, in fact I think it should be compulsory that all shoes are red. I would sacrifice, that is to say 'trade,' red for comfortable. [translation = beware of women in comfortable shoes]

I expect it would surprise you to learn that my first ever pair of shoes were red? [translation = the newly hatched duckling fixates on the first visible object] I of course, am in a position of power, since I have the purse, which contains the means to acquire the shoes. [translation = greenbacks] I wield my consumer power, for my children and their footwear too, or I would do, if anyone would honour me with the chance to put shoe leather close to the soles of their feet. [translation = or it's synthetic equivalents]

Feet have many different qualities, few of which are truly appreciated. Until this current crop of children, I was unaware that feet have rights. [translation = we are in America afterall] Around these parts, feet have the right to be unfettered and free to pursue happiness. As with all things American, the feet have to learn that with rights, come responsibilities. The feet have the responsibility to be protected from themselves and the many textures of the world that are out to get them. [translation = do them damage]

As with most things in life, it's a trade off. The trouble with the trade off, is that no-one can decide how much to trade. [translation = the barter system]

Essentially the whole matter is a dichotomy without resolve – my feet must be free, my feet need armour. How does one resolve such internal conflict?
That's right! Very noisily.

Now that my children have advanced up the fine motor skills learning curve, to be able to deal with the vexatious issue of Velcro [translation = tactile defensiveness and noise abatement society, due to ripping sounds] they are able to put their own shoes on by themselves. Hallelujah! [translation = with prompting] Thank goodness for the end of the sock season.

It is a rare sight to witness a person in the midst of this quandary. [translation = is it?] The shoes are on. The shoes fly across the room. They are retrieved and screamed at, given a few slaps to teach them a lesson, then they're on again, and then they're in orbit. It would, of course, be very unkind to laugh at such a person. [translation = I recommend duct tape] If two people are in the middle of the same quandary, at the same time, it is probably better to leave the room and compose yourself.

On your return, it would be a good idea to remind your children of the many things that you have said many times before. Commiserate with your children. [translation = validate their dilemma] Concur with the willful conspiracy of shoes. Use all the tried, trusted and familiar phrases that you have been using for as many years as you have been using them.

Ideally, modeling the correct behaviour can be very effective. You probably realize that you are in a groove and might wish to add a dash of something new. [translation= take care, this doesn't work if you do it too often] Modeling or copying, as best you can, their behaviour, can sometimes be more effective still. [translation = take care, you don't want to come across as mocking or taunting them, timing is crucial]

Obtain your own shoes from the garage and join in the shoe fest. Berate your shoes before your children. For some reason, biting your shoes has a particularly positive effect. Worry your shoes and shout at them a lot. Cast them aside, being sure not to knock out any small people with your bad aim. [translation = and boat sized shoes]

If you're lucky, someone, maybe two people will each bring you a shoe and help you. When you hear little voices parrot back your own words, take care to swallow hard.

If you’re looking for some helpful advice on some of the many different therapies available for someone you know, here are a few from my good “pal,” because we are all trolling through a similar learning curve.

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