Alex threw a basketball at the basketball hoop, it bounced off the rim, clipped Quinn on the side of the head and knocked him over. I was laughing so hard I could barely check to make sure he was okay. He was. I wouldn’t have laughed so hard had he not seemed so unaffected by it. He was totally blase. And the great thing is, he saw me laughing, assumed that something was hilarious, said, “funny,” and started laughing himself.


It’s good to laugh that hard even if it is at the expense of my lovely, trusting child. For, like, 20 minutes afterward, the poor kid had this big clod of dirt on the side of his forehead where the ball hit him.



Worst Case Scenarios

So Jack’s Child Find assessment was today and it went pretty well. The outcome of the assessment was that now he needs an evaluation. (Maybe after the evaluation he’ll need an appraisal.)


Any assessments or testing I’ve ever had done have been in my house so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Turns out the way they do the initial testing is to set up a bunch of different stations (speech pathologist, occupational therapist, hearing and vision testing, concept learning) in a giant room with a “play table” in the middle of it. Several families were there at the same time being rotated though each station with stops at the play table between stations. At the end of it all, the specialists sit the parent down and talk about the results.


When I first walked in I felt entirely overwhelmed by the situation, but by the time I left I was happy with the process. Each specialist, other than the vision and hearing people, agreed that Jack needed further evaluation in their area. When I mentioned autism they all nodded their heads and gave me little smiles.


Two months ago I would have said that my worst case scenario would have been to have Jack diagnosed as autistic. It’s interesting to me that I feel relief today that others agree with me that Jack may be autistic. Today’s worst case scenario would have been if he scored high enough to not qualify for more services. At least now I’m not alone in figuring out how to help Jack.


Not that I was alone before. Thanks to everyone who has given us kind words of support and encouragement in the past month or so. I can’t tell you how much it means to us. I guess the real worst case scenario would be to be without all of you.



Growing Up

This morning we went to Sam’s kindergarten orientation. I have to be honest, I’m not sure I’m ready for Sam to go to kindergarten for many reasons, one of which is that until recently I was not sure if it was spelled “kindergarten” or “kindergarden.” I know. It’s totally awesome how smart I am.


Orientation went pretty well. I liked the classrooms, and each room had its own bathroom. All the teachers seemed nice and Sam seemed happy to be there. Each class starts the year with only fifteen kids, which is good, and they seem open to parents volunteering in the classroom. They play outside a couple times a day and they get a snack in the afternoon. All in all, for sending my eldest son to the wolf-filled forest that I imagine public school to be, it looks like it’ll be okay.


Sam planted a pumpkin seed to take home and read 18 out of the 25 sight words they gave him. He was able to draw a picture of himself, write his full name, count, and identify the letters. (Apparently this comes from Alex’s side of the family. See above.)


I guess the thing is that Sam still seems so small. He’s tall and he’ll be six in October, which will make him one of the older kids in the class, but he still seems so damn little. They gave him a cookie before he left, so we were standing out watching the (big) kids on the playground and Sam, my child, my guy who seemed so big until this morning, stood there with chocolate cookie crumbs on his face blowing dandelions into the wind.


I love his innocence and I know that innocence is fragile. I also know that to survive he has to outgrow it. But it is beautiful to see and pops up here and there when you least expect it. This morning it was evident in a smattering of food around his lips. I wonder where I’ll see it tomorrow?



Scooby Doo, Scooba Don’t

The other day I tried to mop. Or rather, I tried to Scooba. But every time I set him up and tried to push “clean”, the thing said, “bwonk” and the yellow “check tank” light lit up. Sam, who doesn’t quite understand that if something doesn’t work five times in a row, it probably won’t work the sixth, seventh, or eighth time either, made me keep trying again. Of course, you’ll note that I don’t understand that if it doesn’t work the first two times, it probably won’t work the third, fourth, or fifth time either.


So Sam kept returning to Scooba every five minutes or so saying, “Can we see if the robot works?” and Quinn kept wandering around it muttering, “Robot! Robot!” So much dismay over a quiet robot. My answer to events such as this is to leave everything exactly where it is, make a complaining phone call to Alex at work, and then wait for him to fix it when he gets home. Which is pretty much what I did. Although I was able to locate and remove a game piece from part of Scooba’s machinery. This was apparently completely superfluous to the “check tank” light though because taking it out didn’t change anything.


When Alex got home, he couldn’t fix it, so we turned to the source of all things good and fixable: the Internet. Here we found instructions on what to do should Scooba malfunction in the way that he did.


Therein we found some of the best information I have ever seen on how to fix a gadget: “…using the flat of your hand, strike the robot near the charging port to try to restart the pump.”


Kick ass! All these years I though I was acting out in frustration and further breaking my electronic equipment by trying to whack it into shape. Turns out, though, I was fixing it.



Finally, a Success!

Today was our field trip to a plant nursery. Remember? With all three kids in tow? It wasn’t too bad. The actual field trip was pretty cool. All the kids got to plant pansies and take them home.


There was fun with dirt and gravel and water. Sam got to take a friend and the teacher in the car with him, so he was totally happy. The very nice teacher, who got a little taste of what life will be like when Jack is in her class next year forced Jack to fold his arms and not touch things. I strapped Quinn down in his stroller. All was well.


And then we got to our planting station and I pretty much had to let Quinn out. He liked the flowers a lot. And he liked the gravel a lot. And he liked to throw the gravel at the flowers. Which I don’t think is precisely what flowers need. Once he found a giant, empty pot that he could put gravel in to his heart’s delight, all was well.


Jack also loved the gravel, but was coerced into planting a flower. He loved watering it too. Again and again and again. Then he found the buckets, one full of soapy water, one of clear water, for hand-washing. And then I was able to relax. Quinn played with the gravel and a bucket. Jack played with the water and two buckets. Sam did his I’m-a-perfectly-well-behaved-child thing that he does every once in a while. I ignored the children that kept reporting to me that, “Sam’s Mom! Sam’s Mom! Jack is playing in the water!”


When we got back to school, Jack hung out with us in Sam’s class. At the end of the day, totally unprompted, he walked up to me and said “I had a good time.” (Violins play, birds sing, my heart glows…)


And no plants were injured. (Mostly. Quinn did rip a couple of petals off. He’s a fast little dude.)



Dying of Cuteness

I, as part of my endeavor to start up my videography biz, am creating a sort of video yearbook for Sam’s preschool class. I figure it’ll give me some experience, it’ll give me a sample to show to people, it’ll give me something else to add to my resume. It, at $5 per child, will give me $75. Oh, wait, $65. I’m not going to pay myself, and even though she has two kids in the class, I don’t think the mom of twins will be buying two copies.


Lesson One: Accidentally and severely underpricing your services. Check.


At least I’ll have a nice memento of Sam’s last year in preschool. Anywho… Today I “interviewed” 15 four- and five-year-olds about their favorite animals, favorite foods, favorite things about school and what they want to be when they grow up.


Lesson Two: Four- and five-year-olds? Really funny.


The one who called the teacher, and I quote, “a whacko,” said that his favorite food is a “big bowl of plain sugar for breakfast.” Most of the kids liked chocolate, ice cream, or chocolate ice cream. Some liked chicken nuggets. Sam’s favorite food? “Meat.” Whaaaaat? “Meat. Pig.”


We had a couple kids who want to be scientists, one entomologist, an archaeologist, and a mom (only girl babies, please). One wanted to be a train driver or firefighter, but probably not a firefighter because “I could get burned.” Sam wants to be a doctor, his buddy wants to be an inventor, oh, and we have one future princess. Dress color TBD.


When I asked them what their favorite things about school were, a lot of them said they liked playing or homework. One quite adorable girl said quietly, “Learning.” (That’s our entomologist.) Interestingly, several of them said they liked math best. Alex, after watching one girl profess her love of math three times in a row yelled at my computer: “Neeeeeeeerrrrrrd!” Yep. That’s my husband, ladies and gentlemen. I do believe, however, that he would be more supportive to the girl’s face. I think.


Lesson Three: Think before taking Alex to preschool with me. [Love you, sweetie!]


I haven’t even shot all my footage yet, and I see the video from start to finish. I have the music in my head. I have my last fade out nailed down. I have my first fade in imagined. All I need are 15 quite cute children to fill in the details.


Lesson Four: I love my new job!