Thursday, September 3, 2009

New Toys!

This morning I wake Maya up – in our little game of cooing and waking up I remind her that Nonni Cheryl and Grandpa are coming tomorrow. She jumps up, squeals and basically yells, “Demetrius, Nonni Cheryl and Grandpa are coming tomorrow! It is one day away!”

Demetrius yells back from his bedroom, “I know, NEW TOYS!”

Say it like it is, Super D.

Posted by Jerry in 21:19:27 | Permalink | Comments Off

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Chart

Will the Reward Chart Work? We'll know after 20 or so days....

Will the Reward Chart Work? We'll know after 20 or so days....

Homework with Demetrius can simply be painful. He dawdles and he runs off and then if it gets to a point where you have to take something away, like, say, dessert – meltdown city.  It’s even worse on days where he has therapy.

Tonight was that special occasion where you feel that at the end of the night you are just going to stare at the wall and contemplate that another day of this and we’ll know the real reasons the good lord taught the Irish and Scotch to make whiskey many moons ago.

I decided to take all the good advice and ideas out there in ‘autistic dad blog land’ and create a chart of rewards for Demetrius, that’s long to achieve but focused on homework.  IF he does his home work without fits/crying/yelling/throwing things/telling Mommy he hates her – he gets a check off of one of the number boxes. After 20 checks, he can go to Chuck E. Cheese, then we do it again and we can get a DS game.  Same with Maya.  He’ll hopefully model better if he sees she’s in the same boat for her rewards (Gattitown/American Girl Outfit).

My hope is she doesn’t run away with this and he ends up frustrated, that he can keep up and hit the Chuck E. Cheese reward pretty quickly.

Kim and my reward? Not having to spend the moolah that would have gone to the rewards on the whiskey.

Posted by Jerry in 02:12:48 | Permalink | Comments Off

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Photos For S&#(s and Giggles

Posted by Jerry in 21:20:22 | Permalink | Comments Off

Saturday Change Of Plans

We decided this weekend that we’d turn Mommy loose for that antiquing day (you know, the one she didn’t get due to the fish) and the kids and I made big plans: breakfast out, walk around the the arboretum with Buddy, Chuck-E-Cheese…you know, big plans. Well, one down and two to go…maybe.

Once we got back from Magees Kim pointed out that the Volvo has a flat tire.

Great.  So I’m banging away at the keyboard while the kids moan about maybe not going to Chuck-E-Cheese as we wait for Triple A, and I tell them – its not you that suffers, it is Buddy not getting to go to the arboretum.  He’ll just have to do a regular around the neighborhood walk/bike ride.  Riding bikes? Not bad, but really, lets get down to it. We are still going to Chuck-E-Cheese, right?

Drive on that spare Dad, priorities. :-)

Posted by Jerry in 15:12:43 | Permalink | Comments Off

Friday, August 28, 2009

Nervous Energy

Tonight the kids had an ‘open house-PTA-cookout’ at the school, where we could come and find out how to get involved and the kids could run around and act like monkeys.  Though at about 4pm, Kim calls me and tells me the kids are acting out – Maya had been sent up to her room and Demetrius was pretty much on his way.

The long and short of it all is this is the first full week of school (Mon -Fri) and the kids are tired, they don’t have any friends of the sort yet where they can just drop their backpack and run to play at so-and-so’s house, and other nervous energy/I just moved/angst and apprehension fears (ex: Maya wants a little girl to come to our house and play, but she won’t go to her house to play because she scared of not knowing the parents or the neighborhood, etc…).  The pandora’s box kind of just opened up this afternoon and tonight.

I watched them run around the playground as the cookout was obviously outside, they didn’t really socialize with any kids that I could tell (I kind of expect to herd cats with Demetrius, but Maya’s shyness is a bit surprising for both Kim and I), but they played hard. That in itself is a good sign, it is only a matter of time before Maya finds another wild one to run around with, and Demetrius did attempt to talk to a few kids, but he was just more interested in being able to run at will (he did at one point join another group of boys who all took their shirts off.  Why, I don’t know, but a gaggle of us parents swooped in to put an end to that!).

The patience part of finding a new friend(s) is the hard part, but by this time come next May, I would expect the playground scenario to be a bit different, as they make a few friends and the energy they have won’t have to be spent because of fear of the unknown, rather, it will be spent having a blast with some good, ‘relatively new’, friends.

Posted by Jerry in 02:12:22 | Permalink | Comments Off

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Unaffected

As Grandpa so aptly put it on the phone yesterday, you could have cut the nervous energy in the house with a knife the past few days.
Why? Well, we started school this morning.  New school. New teachers. New kids.  New fears and concerns.

Maya, will any girls like me? Will I make friends? Will I be the lonliest child in the history of lonely children? (Yes, quite dramatic, but we are good at that.)

Kim, IEP, IEP, IEP…what do the teachers need to know that I haven’t told them? What if…fill in the blank.

Demetrius? Well nothing really from him.

Me? Shit, I just wanted to stay out of trouble with Kim and Maya, mostly. But I was nervous if it wasn’t going to go well, what the ‘spillage’ might look like with the Grassos and the school.

So I bought some special ice cream, cherry pie, and other comfort foods to help…but that’s enjoyed, and then the worrying sets back in.

This morning, after I ran the dog, Kim popped out of bed at 5:45, very determined and very worried.  Maya popped up not long thereafter, chatting non-stop. Nervous chatting.  Filling the quiet space, and quiet space allows concerns and worries to crop into it….

Demetrius came downstairs with a comic book, singing a song from Willy Wonka.
As we got ready to leave for school, Super D turned to me and said, “Daddy, you don’t need to come, I’m fine.”

Okay, to not ruffle feathers, I stayed home. Gave some kisses and hugs, and the van pulled out of the driveway.

Surprisingly, Kim was home soon after? They kicked her out already? ☺ No, in fact, when Demetrius got to his classroom he turned to his Mom and said, “Mom, you can go now. I am fine.” And waltzed right into 3rd grade.  Maya was a bit more complicated…a bit.

So that nervous energy has floated out of the house….

Hopefully not to return any time soon.

Hope your first days were as uneventful as ours.

BTW – had dinner at restaurant called AP Roots tonight, very tasty.  D had two plates of French fries, so clearly school did not affect his appetite….

Posted by Jerry in 02:10:11 | Permalink | Comments (2)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

And Another

Kim and the kids came over for lunch today, they love the cafeteria here at Lexmark. Maya was en-fuego, she was talking about how she could have whatever she wanted, pizza, sandwiches, salad (for Mommy), hamburger and french fries (she opted for pizza, grape flavored water, carrot sticks and cookies) and they had food on D’s diet too!

There is also a Java City coffee stand in front of the cafeteria. To this Maya commented, “And Mommy can have coffee when she’s bitchy!” Very nonchalantly and matter-factly at the same time. Booyah Maya Marie.

Posted by Jerry in 19:53:08 | Permalink | Comments (2)

The High Dive

I took roughly a week off from blogging, tweeting (and during it a huge DDoS attack) and a smack of FBooking, but really man cannot live online. And if he does, well, he probably will live literally alone.

It is also the last few days of summer break for the kids, so we’ve gone for ice cream after work, wrestled some, took Buddy for walks…and I went to Boston for a few days for the job, which was warmer than Lexington (weird summer).  I enjoy that city.  There is nothing in particular about Boston I could tell you I love specifically, I just like the vibe from Copley Square, to Cambridge, to even out towards Framingham, etc…I just like it.  I’ll probably never live there (the only area of the country we have yet to live in is the Northeast), but I like to visit.  (Sorry Katherine Rooks!  Booked from sun up till sun down or I would have called and/or visited…)

One of the fun things I had not yet done in Lexington was go to the ‘Pirate Pool’ at Woodland Park.  We spent a few hours there on Sunday afternoon.  As we were wrapping up, Kim told the kids to go off the low diving board and do a dive.  But what fun is that? With Mom and Dad picking up towels and the like, why not head over to the high dive, which is much more fun!  And since one of us is literal, “Mom told me to do two more dives”…well, we walk to the edge of the board, put our hands together over our head, lean forward….

At this moment, Kim and I fall immediately into stereotypes.  Kim, covers her mouth and then yells, “Demetrius just jump!”  I stand up and say at the same time, like Rob Schneider in the Waterboy, “You can do it, D!”  Since our voices combine to make even more white noise at a public pool on a 90 degree day at a public pool, he dives in.  I kind of give the out of shape dad jump at him doing it, and Kim ages at least another year, immediately.  He swims over and gets a few high fives from Dad, and I shuffle him to his Momma Gorilla, cuz ain’t no way she’s going to let him jump again. Once was enough for her.

But not to be outdone is his always aware, always watching and listening little sister on the ladder behind him.  “Daddy, watch me!”

Now, one to thing to know about Maya.  Like many kids, rough and tumble about many things, and completely chicken about others.  Like her dad, Maya is completely scared of heights (and spiders).  She goes to the edge, hands over head…and she looks down.  That is a long way to go head first.  She looks up, gets a bit of a panicked look, and just jumps.  I meet her at the ladder on the side.

“Dad, I’m little, I got scared” (when we chicken out, sometimes the ‘I’m still little’ excuse card is played).  “Maya, how many other seven year olds are jumping off the high dive, do you think?” I ask.  “Some, but not many.”  “And how many are seven year old girls,” I follow up.  “A couple.”

She did the math, and became a bit more proud of herself…without taking another two years off the back end of her mother’s life.

—–

A few more humorous moments from the weekend.

We went to get Demetrius his soccer cleats for his US Soccer TOPS Soccer league.  I acutally didn’t get him cleats, we got him Puma indoor soccer shoes. This way he can run around and not eat it on the cement, etc…he didn’t like cleats when he wore them before, and I don’t see the need to actually get him a pair. But I did want to get him a ‘real pair’ of soccer shoes, so we went to the Soccer Center (store) here in Lexington.  We got a sweet pair of Pumas (see photo).   A couple of interesting exchanges.  I showed Maya a pair of Adidas Copa Mundials, which were my preferred cleat when I played growing up.  She looked at them compared to the models with different colors (in fact many aren’t even black and white anymore).

“Daddy, they are old fashioned, your old shoes.”

“Maya, I prefer to think of them as classics.”  This point of differentiation was lost on her.  Nor did she really care, as the ‘girl’ helping Demetrius was more interesting, as she plays soccer in college!  Wow!

Demetrius let her know she smelled like french fries. She was eating lunch when we came in and the store smelled like McDonalds.  I’m not sure she recognized it as the compliment it was meant to be.

And if that exchange wasn’t enough, as we drove away we called Nonni and Grandpa to talk about soccer shoes (Grandpa loves this, of course) and Daddy’s ‘old fashioneds’.  Just after we hung up, Demetrius wanted to know if I still had my old cleats ‘in my closet’.

“No Demetrius, I don’t.”

“So they don’t give you ouchies (blisters)?” (This is a big worry for Demetrius, the last pair did, big time.)

“No Demetrius I didn’t get ouchies because they fit right, you have to tell me if your new shoes hurt, okay?”

Maya: “D!  Daddy didn’t get ouchies when he was a boy. He played soccer alot. Anyway, he was skinny then so he ran faster.”

So after I almost hit the car in front of me….

About two hours later Demetrius and I are at Valvoline getting the oil changed in the min-van, and he’s watching Attack of the Clones on the DVD player.  When the technician cuts the power:

“Hey, what the hell are you doing!?!”

I think we need to cut back on the PG-13 movies…..

Folks, gotta go get ready for work.  Have a great Tuesday and see those new kicks we got Super D below….

Demetrius' Sweet New Kicks

Posted by Jerry in 11:58:34 | Permalink | Comments (2)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

House Cleaning Item…

Maya was telling me she really likes the house.  Her room is purple.  It has a lock.  A lock I say!

Maya: “Yea, for when I get bigger.”

Daddy: “Why do you want to lock your door when you get bigger?”

Maya: “You know, to keep Demetrius out of my room, so he won’t play my DS!”

Right, that’s why you are going to lock your door….

Posted by Jerry in 06:35:56 | Permalink | Comments (1) »

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Tricksey Maya

I fear Maya’s teenage years on many levels, for many reasons, but one that is emerging is her love of the cellphone.

She has well mastered how to dial Mommy’s phone when she’s not looking, and she’s always sweet talked when she’s done so, “Hi Daddy, I miss you, come home….” but now, at the tender age of almost eight, she’s taken to crank calling her Grandpa (my dad) on Kim’s phone. Only she’s not quite got the sequencing right. This is what makes it cute.

She dials Grandpa and he answers (of course, excited to receive a phone call from his granddaughter!):

“Hi Maya!”

“Hi Grandpa, yes, you’ve reached Maya’s voicemail.  Please leave her a voicemail message and she’ll call you back.  By Grandpa.”

She actually does hang up periodically.

She did this the other day, so proud of herself and her ‘tricksey’ mind. She told me that she thought that tricking Grandpa this way was pretty easy.

Of course, I think it is pretty darn cute.  I just hope she doesn’t start asking if the refrigerator is running….

Posted by Jerry in 22:00:23 | Permalink | Comments Off