Sunday, December 30, 2007

I can cook. Sorta. [modified just for Aunt Piggy]

I'm pretty sure people think I can't cook. I rarely bring a homemade dish to family or friend get-togethers, holiday functions, or dinner parties. I buy something. And I bring that.

On the rare case that I decide to make something, I usually ruin it because I decide in my manic haste to try something new and squeeze the making of the new dish in between bathing and dressing the boys and myself, yelling at Hubby to get dressed, and organizing all that needs to travel with us 20 minutes before it's time to go.

The latest catastrophe was the roast carrots I brought to a Thanksgiving meal. I roasted baby carrots instead of full-size carrots, because that's what I had. The picture on the Internet had semi-shriveled carrots delicately placed on a bed of greens. They looked healthy and hip. Who knew baby carrots would not look so healthy and hip when they shriveled up, especially after being accidentally overcooked.

I brought them anyhow since I thought it was worse to show up empty handed (I was wrong) and displayed them in all of their shrunken glory among the sliced sweet potatoes and vats of corn and green beans. Those carrots still tasted good, nicely tossed with olive oil and rosemary and some other herb that I can't remember right now. But I doubt anyone gave them a chance. I know that people were all nodding their heads and silently thinking, "That's why Ange normally buys her side dishes from the store. The poor girl can't cook."


But the truth is, I can cook. I really can. I make a mean lasagna. My dad swears it tastes just like my mom's (I use the same recipe modified from Betty Crocker), and although I think my dad would say that even if I served him Stoufers, my lasagna is really good! I swear.

The thing is, I can cook, but like many things nowadays, I'm out of practice. So I am trying to teach myself, remind myself how to cook. Well at least cook other things besides roast chicken, crockpot roast, and Ragu spaghetti.

I have managed to not get sucked into the Rachel Ray craze up until this point (she annoys me about as much as Oprah does), but thought maybe there was something to the hype. Cooking a yummy meal in 30 minutes sure sounded good.

I don't know if Rachel Ray has children, but it's obvious that her time estimates do not account for the 5 minutes it takes to locate the necessary cooking tools and scrape the playdoh off of them nor does she account for the scattered minutes of interruptions including calming one child who is still refusing to do homework and chasing another child from the kitchen while yelling "I'm making dinner! Stay out of the icebox!" (Yes I call the refrigerator an 'icebox.' I don't know why.)

So last week I made some fancy pork chops and I did it in 30 minutes. Never mind that I made instant mashed potatoes rather than peeling and boiling fresh potatoes and that by the time I was finished, my kitchen looked like a war zone. And I was so damn crabby that the food didn't taste good to me. The boys, however, ate like pork was the new white meat (oh wait, it is!) and even ate the potatoes and apple sauce (freshly made from a jar).

It took me 4 days to clean my kitchen--more time unaccounted for. I am still scraping the mashed potatoes (otherwise known as paper mâché) from under the table (a la Moosie). But I persevered. I planned my week of menus and made a shopping list (even more time not considered in the meal preparation). I utilized respite for the boys, and I went grocery shopping.

I spent over $200 on Rachel Ray's ingredients, half on produce that I can no longer identify now that it has been removed from the labelled grocery bins. I think I am the proud consumer of Belgian endive, radicchio, shallots, and various other items that have never occupied my kitchen. I was supposed to purchase arugula, but I never did find that, even after scouring the special produce book for a picture. As far as I can tell, it is a type of green, so hopefully substitution is OK.

So wish me luck. I will most likely be bothering my sister-in-law Aunt Piggy (Midwestern parole officer turned Northwestern culinary chick who is cool like pie*) quite a bit. I like her a lot more than Rachel Ray, though I'm sure she would be similarly disappointed that I am using herbs from a jar and commercial chemically fertilized produce.

So here's to eating healthy (sorta), cooking (sorta), and apparently going even further into debt (definitely). I'm still buying crap for other people to eat though. It's cheaper. And takes less energy.

*According to, she is not a hipster as I originally carelessly declared but rather a chick who is cool like pie. Although supposedly only people in Calvert County, Maryland will get how cool she really is.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Happy Birthday Moosie!

Every year on Moosie's birthday, I watch a video of the instant he was born into this world. This year, in the wee hours of the morning, I celebrated Moosie's 4th birthday by watching his delivery. Since my dad gave me a laptop with a firewire connection, I can finally have some fun with my now ancient video camera (we bought it and a PC firewire card that never worked right before Bubba was born 8 years ago!).

Moosie's actual birth day.

The beginning shows part of the c-section so it may gross some people out, although I don't see anything but my stomach and Moosie. If it bothers you, just close your eyes until Johnny Cash stops singing.

I played it for Bubba and his little nostrils started to quiver and he said "It's making me wanna cry." The boy loves his brother (and is 'affected' by music just like his momma.)

Moosie at 4 years old:

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas 2007

We survived Christmas! (Pictures are from Christmas Eve at Grandma and Grandpa's and Christmas morning at our house.) Boy have the boys grown! We didn't practice Christmas first this year, but there weren't too many issues. Moosie was very fond of shrieking "Me don whan dat!" [Me don't want that!"]

One birthday down. Two more to go!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Little Shits

I was driving down the road minding my own business when...


Something hit the side of my car so hard I felt the door vibrate. It scared the shit out of me, and of course since I am a person of high anxiety, I thought for sure a kid rode his bike into my car and I had left him dying in the street with blood oozing out of his nose. So I turned around and...


Some kids were throwing ice balls at passing traffic.

So I pulled over, put on my hazard lights, and jumped out of the car. The culprits took off between the two houses they were stationed in between. I rang the doorbells of both houses, but no one came to either door (even though all of the lights were on). So I wrote down the addresses and last names from the mailboxes so that I could visit them tomorrow. I felt like ripping up their cute little blow up Santa and spitting on their holiday candles flickering ever so innocently in the windows.

The little fuckers put a nice ding in my door and took off some paint.

It's official. I have become my father. Lucky for those little bastards I was too tired to run and I didn't have a belt handy.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Tis the Season

Everyone in this house now has a head cold.

What Bubba does with a head cold: The same thing he does without a head cold! Playing and whining about being bored, but also grossing us all out by making nasty juicy nose-sucking snorty sounds every few seconds.

What Moosie does with a head cold: The same thing he does without a head cold! Following his brother around, writing on stuff he shouldn't write on, but also grossing us out by using the little divid under his nose to channel his slimy green snot directly back into his person.

What Mommy does with a head cold: Clean house (including washing dishes, sweeping floors, wiping counters, vacuuming, laundry, scrubbing stinky toilets); make breakfast, lunch, and dinner; return Christmas gifts to some stores; purchase new Christmas gifts from other stores; wrap gifts; yada yada yada. (And, um, talk to my aunt, sister, and friend inbetween running errands, and hide in the office to blog.)

What Daddy does with a head cold: Sleep, bitch, and moan. And watch TV.

I suppose I bitch some too. But at least I accomplish something as I'm doing it.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Best Present

I haven't received it exactly, but I have already gotten the best present ever. The other day Hubby said in a reserved, depressed tone, "I have to tell you something."

Now normally that is not a good sentence for a spouse to say. It generally means bad information will follow, like "I just ate all of the cookies and candies you spent weeks making" or worse yet "I just tasted all of the cookies and candies you spent weeks making and they tasted like ass. I must now vomit."

But then Hubby repeated it again in tooting-his-own-horn fashion, "I really have to tell you something. [They] said you would be mad and that I should tell you."

Now, I wasn't born yesterday (or the day before). Hubby can't keep secrets and tries to leak out clues just as obvious as he leaks out evidence of having eaten out for lunch again. But he stretches out the "I should tell you..." comments for a good minute or so until I tell him to get to the point.

"I got you something for Christmas."

My eyes instantly well up. We decided we weren't buying each other gifts this year. Not even a "we-need-a-new-[insert mildly expensive household item]" combo gift. So I am emotional not in anger or in happiness, but in guilt. What is it with me and guilt already?

So I say nothing. And Hubby pushes onward, batting his sweet impulsive eyes, to give me the best gift ever.

"You told me not to get you anything for Valentine's Day. You told me not to get you anything for Mother's Day. You told me not to get you anything for our tenth anniversary. You told me not to get you anything for your birthday. Well screw it. You deserve a present. A real present. I'm tired of not getting you a present. We're already in debt. So too bad. I spent money. I bought you a present from me and the boys. You do so much for us. You are taking the damn present. The girls at the office told me to tell you. They said you'd be pissed if I didn't tell you."

So thoughts really do matter. That rambling mess of a statement from my mess of a man was the best present ever.

I don't know what he got me and I'm trying to ignore his "patting-himself-on-the-back" clues. Maybe the office ladies offered the biggest clue of all, maybe I will be pissed when I actually get the present.

But, since Hubby is constantly poking me and reminding me of his thoughtfulness, I don't have time to ponder the possible material present nor my overwhelming feelings of guilt and uncertainty of how to respond to his gesture of appreciation.

"You know, your eyes were kind of tearing up when I told you about your present..."

"Oh stuff it. Seriously. I take it back."

Cookies and Candy

If I give you cookies or candy this holiday season, they are made with fucking love damn it!!!! Even if they look and/or taste like shit.

Merry Christmas.

Happy Holidays.

Or whatever.

Monday, December 17, 2007


Recently we qualified for 'in home respite care' (babysitting). And I feel guilty. By some point system that makes my older son sound like a monster, we are reimbursed for a set amount of respite care this year from our Regional Center (services for people with disabilities). And I feel guilty.

Why do I feel guilty?

This morning we started off Christmas break by me making the bad bad bad mistake of taking both of the boys to their yearly well visits at the pediatrician's office. Both boys. By myself. To a doctor. Who demands they undress for inspection. And tries to question me at the same time thinking I can focus and provide relevant, useful information. On a Monday morning.

Sometime in between the screaming and throwing of shirts, shoes, and pants...

Sometime in between the bribing with stickers, restraining of hands and feet, and chasing impulsivity down the hallway...

Sometime in between the doctor looking exasperated and me wanting to crawl under or dare I say hurl a chair...

Sometime during the 15 minute never-ending appointment...

The doctor made sure the boys' hearts were still beating, their penises were still attached at the right places, and their lungs were still clearly expanding and contracting. At least that's all I could tell she actually accomplished.

Sometime after the examinations, the doctor told me that maybe I should suggest moving to a higher dose of Bubba's medication to the developmental pediatrician we see soon (who monitors the more, um, complicated part of the boys).

Sometime after the doctor tried to blackmail the boys into dressing themselves, she asked me how I managed to accomplish anything. And as one of them bolted out of the office, I proclaimed, "It isn't always like this!"

And after all of that, someone watched the boys (or rather played trains with them) for a couple of hours while I cleaned the kitchen, went to buy a new belt for the vacuum cleaner, and did various other pointless chores that have already since been 'undone.' And I paid her. With money that was basically given to me.

And I feel so flippin' guilty.


And now Bubba is crying because he lost a teeny tiny bolt from a toy. Convulsive sobs. Snotty tears. If it is anything like yesterday when it took me over an hour to convince an emotional Bubba that no matter what he did, Christmas Eve would not come right then, I am out of service for awhile. So much for that $1 store toy occupying him while I make more frickin' Christmas cookies.

Respite lady? YooHoo, Respite lady! I need to buy some more guilt.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

First Snow

Moosie found a creative way to deflect the nippy wind while he was hard at work shoveling snow. He was not happy when the little girl next door took his shovel.

Bubba was up bright and early ready to play in the snow. We held him off until late morning not realizing it would take 2 hours to get several layers of snow-smart clothing on!

Bubba and Moose invited themselves to the neighbor's lawn, and the Little Shit neighbor kid kept telling them to go away.

Daddy (lucky to be off of work today!) was very proud of his snow man that he built all by himself. Note the brussel sprout eyes, carrot nose, and light saber arms.

I ran out to retrieve the red light saber from the deck, and noticed my tracks were much larger than the finches. (I hate wearing shoes!)

And when the boys were finished outside, we made our own snow to go with the half-assed gingerbread houses I helped them build (according to their demands) and they decorated (according to their whims).

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

I just can't say it any better

I have been reading about the NYU Ransom Notes Campaign, and the ads have me boiling. But as usual, I haven't been able to formulate a post to deal with the emotions. Then I saw this post and I was glad... because it says nearly everything.

Pity and stereotypes don't help people. Raising awareness that makes my kids seem like lesser (or super) human beings is not OK just for the sake of raising awareness. I have really been grappling with the whole "price of awareness" issue (among other things). It hurts my head... and my heart.

The Mother of All Bad Ideas

Baking Christmas cookies and "occupying" the boys with shaving cream seemed like a good idea at the time.

Until Moosie started doing his happy dance and flinging shaving cream all over the place.

And Bubba was driving shaving cream-covered crap all over the kitchen.

Bubba asked that I take a picture of his train "parked at the dock" and this is what he did when I said "Put your head by the train so you'll be in the picture too."

Maybe I can pass off the shaving cream dollops on the cookies as meringue?

Containers R Us

Who needs to buy castles for Christmas? Apparently storage containers are all the rage these days. I have an unhealthy addiction to storage containers, and Bubba's use of said containers really stresses me out. Yes, his creative use of containers gets an A+, but think of all the crap that is dumped out all over my house!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Poor Planning

Because of Spring Fever or some such madness, not only do we have Christmas to deal with, we also have birthdays coming up for two little greedy, commercial-brainwashed consumers.

When you have no money, but do have two kids who don't understand the concept of money and are poster children for the concept of "immediate gratification"... well you have a tough combination. And when you use the phrase "You can ask Santa for that..." each and every time your children just have to have something, but you refuse to buy it, it can backfire.

So this afternoon I purchased each boy a gift from Santa and a Christmas gift from mommy and daddy. We already have a birthday gift for each boy from mommy and daddy (a kid version mp3 player for Bubba and a kid version digital camera for Mooser). I have contemplated for weeks to get just the right gifts--gifts that are a little more expensive so other family probably won't buy them, gifts that are durable with minimal removable pieces, gifts that are appealing to both boys and somewhat even in their appeal. But most importantly I looked long and hard to find gifts that have the opening-present excitement value but also the long lasting play value.

So from Santa, Bubba will be getting the two things he has asked for from every single Santa we have seen this month (we have seen many!). An aircraft carrier (I got the last one after panicking since it is no longer available online!) and an International RXT. Well if I win the bid he'll get the truck that is the closest that I (Ahem, Uncle LegoMan) could find. He told Santa he wanted the actual truck, but this will have to do. I can afford $10. From us, he'll be getting a castle.

Moosie will be getting the pirate ship and a green truck from Santa. All the boy wants is a green medium sized die cast pickup truck and I can't find one damn it. I really don't like this whole eBay thing right now. Too much out of my control! He'll be getting a crash and go speedway from us. I think he'll really like it, but I'm not sure about the durability. We actually had something similar for Bubba when he was around Moosie's age, but we ended up passing it along to some other lucky family because it took up so much room. But I couldn't find the Thomas the Tank Engine mining town anywhere. He would've loved that, and no construction or exorbitant amounts of batteries needed! But, alas, it wasn't meant to be.

So I am now done with the boys. I spent more than I was planning, but who says credit cards can't buy happiness and a little peace and quiet for mommy and daddy? This Christmas shit is really making my quest to make my life simpler difficult.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum

If you are interested in agenesis of the corpus callosum (one of Bubba's definite diagnoses - missing the part of the brain that connects the two hemispheres of the cerebrum), I thought I'd share a site that will have online episodes airing in Jan 2008. It looks pretty interesting if you're into the human brain.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Meeting 2: Progress, Regression

After meeting 1 came meeting 2. Imagine that!

The meeting opened with the fine motor and adaptive skills evaluation results. I wasn't surprised that there had been lack of progress, but I was surprised as to how he had regressed and not progressed in grasping, visual-motor, and self help. He was evaluated as "average" in the areas a year ago and now is two standard deviations below age level. Some skills have not moved forward or have stayed at "appear to be emerging" while other skills have regressed.

I won't go into it all because it's really not important to you what he can and cannot do. You love him anyways just like we do. This stuff shouldn't matter to you. I'm not even sure if it matters to me.

I have long believed that what impacts Moosie the most is his motor planning. Heck, it influenced why he wasn't verbal, why he didn't play, why he prefers to watch rather than do. It's a complicated process, that motor planning! And when it impacts your whole body, well, it impacts everything.

But here's the thing. He has made so much progress with language, speech and the resulting social participation. He is confident, excited, he has a repertoire of many things to pull from now. It makes a lot of sense that he would regress in other areas since he's using his energy and resources for other areas.

But now, because he is falling again and having difficulty navigating his travel path from one place to another, many of the team members were concerned that he regressed in gross motor as well. So we decided to do another evaluation in that area (get results in Meeting 4).

The sensory evaluation wasn't complete, so we got the results of that in Meeting 3.

The rest of Meeting 2 was updating Moosie's present level, which is the part of the IEP document that states his current level of functioning, parental concerns, and such. I made sure to have that Moosie regressed in fine motor even though these were skills he was exposed to and taught in the preschool environment four afternoons a week for the past year. Since I knew we were having another meeting, I decided to process everything over the weekend and be prepared with more concise thoughts for Meeting 3.

This meeting reminded me of the hardest job as a parent--being responsible for the shaping of your children. What do we address? What do we just let be? What is part of who he is? What part of him can he not get to because of a stumbling block we're not addressing? But my BIG BIG concern is that I don't want either of my children to have to fail over and over again to get the support they need. I am not talking about losing a game or realizing that they can't sing so they learn the lessons of perseverance or that they can't be great at everything. I'm talking about being allowed to fail in multiple areas again and again to the point of having no self worth. So with Moosie, with his motor planning difficulties so pronounced, what do we do? Or not do? How do we know the difference between whether it's a skill he doesn't want to know or do versus something he just hasn't been taught and can't do?

Meeting 1: New evaluations

We have had three IEP meetings for Moosie so far this past month and one more to go next week. At least I hope we only have one more to go. I'll try to break things down to give everyone an update. I apologize that it is more of a 'dump' than organized writing.

This post is only regarding meeting 1.

In less than a year of early childhood special education, Moosie has made amazing progress in the areas of speech/language and social emotional.

This was him around February. More sounds were coming, but signing was still his preference.

This was him in May. We used "shaping" a lot. Once a sound would enter his repertoire, we would work it into words. He was doing a lot of signing at this stage, to the point of passing me and daddy up.

This is him now. He still signs some words, but it has become obvious that vocalizing is his preference. Sometimes he falls back on signs and gestures, which is great, especially since his intelligibility is heavily dependant on contextual cues! (And yes, that is the laundry couch in the background.)

Our goal this past year was to increase Moosie's functional communication. We used a multimodality approach--meaning he communicated with pictures, sign language, gesture, and vocalizations---to communicate whatever and however he needed to. Once the sign language started coming, the vocalizations started coming. No one was expecting this, with the "severity" of his verbal and oral motor apraxia. The little guy has an amazing attention span (1:1) and great problem solving skills to compensate.

So with four days of afternoon preschool in a small group classroom (children with no known disabilities and various disabilities)--including 15 minutes of speech therapy (using the methods that were right for him), 20 minutes of 1:1 intensive therapy (teaching signs/words for expressive language and monitoring receptive language and preacademic skills), and some occupational therapy to help with the choking/stuffing--Moosie has flourished.

But more importantly, with the love of his mommy, daddy, and brother he has flourished just as most three year olds (almost four!) do. With our understanding that he is not broken, that he doesn't have to be fixed, that he needs opportunities, experience, guidance, and compassion to continue to develop along his path.

But with his progress in social/emotional and speech/language, there was concern that fine motor seemed to not be moving along. It makes sense. He still has no hand preference, prefers to finger feed, and enjoys fisting writing utensils etc. Knowing about the motor planning issues, the issue for me has always been what to teach and what to accommodate. Since he is happiest in a 1:1 setting learning new skills, I often opt to teach first if they are skills he is ready to embrace, but accommodate other skills until he is ready for them.

Also, as Moose enjoys participating more in the classroom now, sensory needs were creeping up--hand chewing, crashing into people and objects, and such. Again, when it's harmful for him or others, I consider other options. I firmly believe letting him experience the sensory needs, but finding a way that isn't harmful (like chewing something that won't get infected!) So we decided to do formal evaluations in these areas. This led to Meeting 2.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

5 seconds of fame

Moosie used up 5 seconds of his fifteen minutes of fame.

He bounced his way into a local TV show. I of course forgot to watch the show, but I found an online version. We were at the Botanical Gardens yesterday morning checking out the train display while the filming was apparently wrapping up (we asked them why some creepy dude was filming our kids).

Moosie is the one in Denver Bronco colors (blue pants and orange shirt). Yes, he's the one jumping up and down at the beginning and end of the clip, looking somewhat excited and badly in need of a haircut, and with paint stains on his shirt. All the other little boys were clean cut and in sweaters. No one told me that this particular train show had a dress code. Good thing the boy is naturally cute.

Moosie showing me his favorite train, the Santa Fe.

Moosie doing his jig. HE loves those trains almost as much as I despise them (B-O-R-I-N-G!). I do love watching the Mooser be happy though.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

There is hope

The afternoon didn't start off well. I tried to get a jump on the homework, and in either impulse or retaliation, Bubba locked me out of the house while I was getting Moosie off of the bus. The little shit locked the storm door in the front and the door in the garage. Luckily "the count down from 5" is ingrained in his little brain and he couldn't stop the compulsion to do the right thing and unlock the door when I shouted "TWO!" through the door.

The rest of the evening didn't fare well either. I had a baked clay school craft hurled at me (I think it was a seahorse) in between trips to the "sensory room" for "time out." The rest was just, well, kind of typical of what happens during a meltdown. Moosie poked in from the sidelines, but was generally content with the "Mom and Bubba" show.

And the worst of it? I cancelled the inexperienced babysitter that was supposed to come over and play with the boys while I attended the monthly PAC (Special Education Parent Advisory Council) meeting. And to top that, I forbade anything electronic for the rest of the evening (this was at 5:30!). No TV. No movies. No computer. No XBOX. Nada. Nada. Nada. What in the Hell did I do that for?

And because I was crabby, or maybe just because I had nothing planned, I said that St. Nicholas probably wasn't coming tonight. I never remember when St. Nicholas is supposed to come, but Bubba remembered and would not stop asking about him.

But nighttime came with promises of relief. Dinner, bath/shower, minimal crying about being bored and being left alone (I finally figured out that he thought that when I said the babysitter wasn't coming over that I was just going to leave him home alone while I went alone to the meeting). And then he was asleep by 9PM. And Moosie, still processing the evening's events, let him sleep.

A short time later, I found a raggedy, worn shoe strategically placed by the TV, above the stockings. Even in an afternoon and evening full of explosions and tears, Bubba, in his innocence, thought St. Nicholas just might come. Just maybe.

I think St. Nicholas might just stop by with something small. Every kid deserves magic, don't you think? And while I am strict (when it matters), I will never purposefully crush Bubba's spirit. There are enough people out there who won't think twice before doing that.

Maybe Bubba put out his shoe just hoping for a gift like greedy selfish little children do this time of year. But I believe in hope, and that is a gift I will always choose to give no matter what.


We are in the dip of the curvy road of what is Bubba. While last week was resistance, this week is explosion. Last week was sensible schedules, somewhat completed homework, homemade cookies, and sleepy bathed children snuggled in bed by 9PM. This week is schedules that aren't clicking (implementation hasn't changed, just the reception!), ripped homework, a dirty kitchen, and stinky overstimulated children with scuzzy teeth who are wide awake at 10:30PM.

I don't know what started it all, but the downward slide has begun and I imagine we won't be back on track until the weekend (once the boys have sometime to catch up on sleep).

Last night, Bubba was apparently inventing ways to stay out of bed. This wasn't clear to me until he said, "How about I can't sleep because my toe hurts?" (He cut it the other day.) "Yeah, that sounds like a good one." His voice sounded quite pleased.

Moosie on the other hand, was not pleased when Bubba was finally asleep. We were keeping him out of the room to let Bubba settle down. Moosie kept exclaiming, "Macaroni! Macaroni!"

This would be difficult to understand for the untrained listener, but I--being the manipulating mommy that I am--knew Moosie was saying "Ack lonely!" [Ack is how Moosie says his brother's name.] You see, when Moosie wants to sleep with us, all I have to say is that his brother will be lonely, and the dear little boy toddles into their bedroom to hold a vigil for his big bro until both of them are sound asleep.

And as always, these things tend to backfire.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

The good and bad of visual timers

Bubba and Moose were going to play at the neighbors' house while I went to a meeting. I tried to time it right so that Bubba had the motivation to do his homework, enough time for any possible meltdowns, but not too much time so that we had hours of "Is it time yet?" or random bolting out of the door.

Once the homework was completed, it was clear by several attempts to flee the house, that me saying "We will go at 6:15, when the big hand is on the 3" was not working.

So I set the visual timer.

Waiting...after trying to move the time forward and me failing at my attempt to again explain the abstract concept of time.

Still one point turning it upside down and tapping it.

Still waiting, but finally distracted by the Charlie Brown Christmas special...

And you better believe when the red disappeared from the visual timer, he was out the door before I could blink.... without saying a word, without a coat, and with his brother running behind him screaming "Wait! Wait!"