I’ve started micro-blogging! If you don’t know what that is, go ask your kids.
I have the distinct feeling my kids’ lives will overtake this endeavor. More kids, less dad!
The foolishness happens at casadefear.tumblr.com.
Took the boys for a drive over the weekend. Just a quick jaunt around town with the top down on the Mustang.
They were mostly noisy and inappropriate (you know, normal young boys) but I was largely ignoring their foolishness and acting as chauffeur, enjoying the warm Southern California wind in my hair.
On the stretch of road back to the house, little Egg started a rousing chorus of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game,” except that he mostly hummed the melody, inserting the lyrics of “Farty Pants” where he could get them to fit.
I’m starting to think he may have a future in stage musicals.
They’re used to my bad fake accents when I read stories. I try to give every character their own voice, which forces me to dip into my shallow pool of accents. I’ve got three or four regional English accents, Australian, French, German, and some from around the US as well. Minnesotan, anyone? Or a nice Joisey? I’m still working on my Maine, ayup.
My kids think I’m nuts.
I lived a few years in Alabama, and my dad was positively fascinated with the local phraseology. “Slicker’n deer guts on a doorknob” was a particular favorite of his. Still is.
I realized the other night at dinner that, short of the character of Mater from Cars, Bacon and Egg have no real knowledge of how people talk “down south.”
So I started on a little lesson. “Do you know how they say ‘oil’ in the south?”
Bacon: “How, dad?”
Bacon: “No, that’s ‘All’!”
Dad: “That’s how they say oil there.”
Bacon: “Oh. So how do they say ‘All’?”
Egg: “Ha ha, that’s funny, dad!”
I could see this wouldn’t go well.
I tried again with “tire iron” (the one-syllable TAHRAHRN) but that devolved even further.
We’re still months away from the niceties like “How y’all doin’?” and “How’re the wahf and young’uns?”
And it’ll be next year before I introduce the good stuff. “Butter my buns and call me a biscuit!”
But they do get a daily dose of the daddy trifecta: “That boy’s about as dumb as a bag of hammers;” “That kid’s about as sharp as a sack of wet mice;” and “That guy’s as dumb as a bag of rocks.”
Not necessarily southern. But funny nonetheless.
What can I say? My oldest is my first. The big kid. The man of the house when I’m away.
Much to your brother’s dismay, we do have more history together. I took you with me all over Los Angeles the first three or four years of your life. We had grand adventures together, you and I.
You’ve got more photos on the wall. You’ve got more artwork tucked into drawers and cubbies and closets. You’ve had a three-year head start on your brother.
I take you to school every morning. As much as it may seem like a pain for me to wait outside your classroom every morning for that door to open, I love spending that “dead time” with you, just talking about school. Or life. Or clouds. Or nothing at all. Read more…
My youngest is a conundrum. In some ways, he’s a very typical five-year-old. A very BRIGHT five-year-old. But he loves his certain stuffed animals, he’s got the food he loves and the food he hates, and he’s got an opinion about most everything.
He also has Aspbergers.
My wife and I may be wrong, there, in our Dr Google-fueled diagnosis, but from what we’ve gone through in the last five years, and from talking to (and reading about) other parents with children who are later diagnosed as having Aspberger’s Syndrome, we’re pretty confident it’s just a matter of time before someone makes it official. Read more…
My wife, the woman I chose to spend the rest of my life with almost 20 years ago, used to be a preschool special education teacher. And I’m not talking Bill Cosby’s “Special Day Class.” Her classrooms were typically what make you think “Special Ed.”
She was darned good at her job. Among the best.
So early on I was steeped in Special Ed. Because of the population of kids she worked with, that label had a very specific “look and feel” to it. I think you know what I mean. If you don’t, consider yourself sheltered.
Let’s all agree that some people with “Special Needs” have to wear it on their sleeve. Or walker. Or wheelchair. Or what have you. I don’t mean that in a derogatory sense. It’s just that there’s very little question that they deal with a challenge, be it physical, mental, developmental, etc.
Reactions can run the range from mocking to shock to a desire to help. Or actively ignoring (what? A wheelchair? Oh, I didn’t even NOTICE it.). Read more…
The wife and I held it off as long as we could. But as we’ve been meeting with more and more people, we started to worry more about the questions and imagined fear from not knowing.
Let me back up a space or two.
Our house is in the process of foreclosure. Our credit dictates that we declare bankruptcy. SOON. And we’ve got two young boys who couldn’t understand any of that, even if it were in the form of a musical (that’s how they memorize EVERYTHING).
In the past couple weeks, I’ve been meeting with several people from an office that specializes in this range of legal nastiness. It helps that I’m good friends with one of the owners; they’ve been very good at accommodating our bizarre requests of when and where we can meet.
And so far, when the meetings have been at the house we’ve managed to
lock the boys in a back bedroom strongly suggest that they play Super Mario Bros on their DSs with headphones in our room. Brilliant, I thought. Read more…
Words of wisdom from the Egg this weekend:
Our five-year-old is fascinated with language, both written and spoken. He and his brother are currently obsessed with Ninja Warrior, a Japanese endurance-based game show from Japan on the G4 channel. Egg and Bacon believe they can speak Japanese, and at least Egg recognizes the written characters as what the Japanese use as written language (I’m not sure his older brother has made that association yet).
So we’re in the public restroom at our local grocery store, and he noticed that someone had tagged the ceiling with some fairly stylized graffiti. He pointed up and asked, “Dad, why did someone write Japanese on the ceiling?”
While he was relieving himself in that restroom, I was overcome with the need to pee myself. Once he was finished, I sent him to wash his hands and prepared to do my business. I tried to establish a zone of privacy, but this restroom was not designed with that in mind. The Egg craned his head around to look at my privates, and declared, “Dad, your penis is HUGE!”
Yeah, not looking for a five-year-old’s evaluation of my manhood. Still, good PR is good PR. I’ll take what I can get.
We went to our church to watch the Superbowl today (hey, three big screen TVs, a big pile of food to share, and plenty of people to talk to…why not??) and while Bacon ran off to play with his “girlfriend” (or future wife, he’s convinced) and the other kids his age, the Egg hung out with me.
Come half-time, he was mesmerized. Partly, he liked the music (Madonna: how can you go wrong? And no wardrobe malfunctions!), partly he liked the lights and the spectacle, and partly…well, who can really unscramble what’s going on in his head? But he was positively transfixed.
Toward the end of the halftime show, I asked him if he wanted to be onstage like that. “No way,” he told he. He was deadly serious. So I asked if he wanted to set up a show like that (whatever that means to his brain). “Yeah!” was his immediate answer. “And Bacon can sing.”
He so knows that his brother belongs onstage. And I’ve finally figured out how he can be involved in his brother’s future stardom.
I figure it’s about the only way we can afford to retire, is to get the two of them to make millions.
Especially since neither plans to move out. Ever.
Yep, our little 401Ks.
Have you ever talked to someone and had the feeling that a scene from a “Peanuts” special was being reenacted? You know, where the kids are in the classroom and the teacher is droning, “Waaah waaah waaah waaah waaaaaaaaaaaaaah. Waaah?”
Yeah. That was my afternoon.
We arrived at the school with kids in tow, and once we were acknowledged by one of the front office people, we were ushered into one of the conference rooms to wait for Bacon’s teacher and the principal. We got the kids situated in the far corner with DS games and headphones (the walls already have big enough ears!), and went over our notes while we waited.
The others arrived, and it went like this:
Us: here’s a concern, based on anecdotal, therapeutic, or medical evidence.
Them: he’s performing at grade level.
Us: here’s an issue, based on our observances and his own words.
Them: he’s a second grader. It’s normal. He’s performing at grade level.
Us: here’s our concerns for the future.
Them: he’s performing at grade level right now.
Us: look! The cafegymatorium is on fire!
Them: that’s perfectly normal this time of year. Also, he’s performing at grade level.
So, really, the fact that he admittedly is anxious, both in class (although his myopic teacher doesn’t notice it) and at home, the fact that he’s on medication to help him keep it together during the day, and the fact that he’s (and all of us, really) been seeing psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists, and other professionals for YEARS don’t enter into it.
Yeah, let’s wait for him to crack in a year or two, and then pick up the pieces then. And in the meantime, let’s focus on the fact that he’s performing at grade level.
The wife and I have a meeting tomorrow at Bacon’s school to discuss the accommodations that he should have in his second grade classroom. Mind you, he OUGHT to have had them all year, from the moment we pointed out some of his “issues” to the teacher.
But despite the fact that his report card points to some very specific items, nothing has been done. Imagine that.
And honestly, I don’t really have much hope for the remainder of this year. I could go into details, but on the off chance certain people come across this blog (cue Larry the Cable Guy: HA HA HA, now that’s a funny joke right there, I don’t care who ya are!) I’ll just say that things have fallen through the cracks. Through the big, school-bus-swallowing-sized cracks. Read more…