Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Tastes Like Chicken

It’s always a joy traveling with me.  Everybody loves it.  My escapades usually involve the Buick Beast:  barreling down the road, coffee stains all over the floor, randomly dehydrated French fries strewn about.  Just the usual.  On my last outing, I left the swagger wagon at the house and took the dog in another vehicle.  About midway through the visit (that cost about half of what I sold my last car for), I remembered I had a frozen treat left in the trunk of the Beast.

I called my babysitter, who gets paid waaaaaay too little, and began what I consider to be the most unexpected conversation I never thought I’d have.  The gist of my side sounded something like this, “Hey, can you get the frozen deer meat out of the van?  It’s in a garbage bag.  Uh huh.  Yes.  Oh, and there may be a squirrel in there, too.”

In what lifetime did I think I’d have a saran-wrapped frozen squirrel in the back of my mini-van which I swore I’d never drive?  Ummm, never. 

It just goes to show ya, you may plan for one thing, but what you get may taste juuuuust like chicken.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

I'd Rather Have An Outdoor Closet

John 8:7  “When they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.”

I realize that my “closet” is more like a yard sale rack of clothes, hanging out in my front yard for all skeletons to be seen.  Some people’s are tucked discreetly away, with a ‘do not disturb’ sign on the door. 

The good thing about having my skeletons out is that I have nothing to hide.  But, as with autism or anything else in life, remember that no one is sinless.  When you feel that you're in a position to judge others, let me remind you that you are NOT. 

The End.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Camp! Camp!


I'm happy to report that I didn't manage to run off my previous guest blogger, Jeff Stimpson.  Yet.  While my children have spent a great majority of their summer circling their prey (picture me laying on the couch), there's not much more to report.  I'll continue laying on the couch while Jeff does my work for a short while.  Take it away, Jeff...

 ~Autism's (Exhausted-Taking-a-Hiatus) Bitch  
















My wife, Jill, and I think it’s time for our son Alex (13, PDD-NOS and solidly on the spectrum) to spend more time away from his parents because A) he seems to want, as best as we can tell, to spend more time away from his parents; and B) We want him to spend more time away from his parents. Other efforts aside, we recently again sent Alex away to a sweet week of overnight summer camp.

“Camp? Camp?” he started saying days ago. This was Alex’s fifth year at his overnight camp, single weeks we’ve come to treasure for the unbroken sleep and the silent lack of Elmo. And all signs were positive at Alex’s bus pick-up. He sat and waited with Jill while I stood in the endless line; he waited in line without bolting and said “piano” as the counselor strapped on the ID bracelet.  

“Do you have a piano at camp?” I asked her.

“We do!” she said.

He said good-bye to Jill; he waited for me at the bus door. “Daddy. Camp,” he said, kissing my arm. Then he vanished inside.

“Camp? Daddy? Mommy?” he said during his first phone call with us. It was much like a real phone talk. “How are you, Alex? Are you having a good time?” Hard to know if he was or he wasn’t.

A few nights later we call to speak to the young woman who’s "shadowing" him. “He’s having a pretty good time,” she says. “We’ve taken walks down to the lake. He’s ridden horses, and today he said ‘Horse! Horse!’ He likes to run, but I keep after him. He’s been saying, ‘Daddy? Mommy? Bus...”

He’ll see that bus soon, and when he returns we’ll hear the Elmo and wake in the middle of the night or at dawn, and again we’ll fight the pressure to make any decision that sends him away for much, much longer.



Jeff Stimpson lives in New York with his wife Jill and two sons. He is the author of Alex: The Fathering of a Preemie and Alex the Boy: Episodes From a Family’s Life With Autism (both available on Amazon). He maintains a blog about his family at jeffslife.tripod.com/alextheboy, and is a frequent contributor to various sites and publications on special-needs parenting, such as Autism-Asperger’s Digest, Autism Spectrum News, the Lostandtired blog, The Autism Society news blog, and An Anthology of Disability Literature (available on Amazon). He is on LinkedIn under “Jeff Stimpson” and Twitter under “Jeffslife.”


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Are You There, Karma?


Yesterday, I managed to burn my GFCF peanut butter fudge.  How does one burn peanut butter and casein free margarine, you ask?  It got out of control.  Or maybe I got out of control.  Who knows.

Next, in a second attempt to ignite my microwave oven (subconsciously, because those things are baaaad for you), butter provoked quite a large fire in my frying pan.  Butter.  Yes.

I'm stuffing my face at a restaurant yesterday (thanks to the fact that I should stay far, far away from a kitchen), and then discover the battery on my ghetto sled is dead.  Fabulous.

Now, this has all happened within the last 24 hours.  By the time I got on the phone with an unnamed satellite TV company this morning, I was feeling a little frazzled.  Understandably so, because I was better able to comprehend "Who's On First" than the operator I so unfortunately had to speak with.  For the love of carbs, seriously, is it really that hard?  "Dan" from the Texas call center (clearly from a place I can only infer might *really* be Indonesia), says otherwise.

The good news?  With the lemons I've received as of late, I now have lemonade.  Bitter.  Strong.  But lemonade, nonetheless.


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste


 
I'm a little forgetful.  I'm pretty sure that's my right as a single mother of a child with autism, a terrible "two-ddler," and an infant.  But today, I realized how bad it really is.  I looked for five minutes for my purse...which was on my shoulder.  I sniffed around for my cell phone for so long I finally had to call it from the house.  Found it.  It was on the DVD player, along with half a lemon and a cup of curdled goat's milk. 

THAT'S when you know it's time to start taking gingko.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Roses Are Red, Violets Are Blue, This Card's From Hayden, So F#%$ You

As a parent of a child with autism, I sometimes wonder what Hayden will grow up to become. Perhaps he'll recover and go on to find a cure for autism. Maybe he'll become a professor since he's good at bossing people around.

Tonight I learned what he's NOT going to become. I can say with great certainty that Hayden does not have a future as a Hallmark card designer. You see, his grandfather had surgery yesterday. As Hayden spoke with his father about the situation, I heard him say, "I talked to Pappow today. I told him, 'Don't worry, you're sick.'"

Concern, yes. A way with words, no. Anyway, get well soon, Pappow.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Words on The Street

Since I'm a lazy bitch, I can foresee myself inviting guest bloggers over to my little domain of cyber world. It just makes my life easier. Today is the first of these days.

Introducing Jeff Stimpson, proud father to Alex, who happens to have autism. I hereby crown Jeff as Autism's Bitch of the Day. He will receive an "e-tiara and house coat," just because I'm feeling generous.

~Autism's Bitch


My son Alex is 13 and has been watching Elmo and "Sesame Street" most of his life. "Sesame Street" has several characters; the voices of all of them drill into our skulls. "I want," says my wife Jill, "to kill Zoey."

With all our hearts we wish Alex wouldn’t watch "Sesame Street" in the mornings before he shaves and uses roll-on; it chills me to think he might be watching the show in a day program (should the funding for those even still exist) into his thirties.

One educational (and I admit it is educational – just wish it didn’t have to educate my new teenager) segment of Elmo involves babies. "Know ya baby!" says the deep-voiced lady who probably coaches field hockey. "Here’s what to know!" Crying. Sleepless nights. Spitting up. Tell me about it, coach.

To be fair, nobody except those who work at "Sesame Street" are supposed to listen to the these lines for so many years. That doesn’t help when Baby Bear cuts loose. "And looks, a wee little kitten up in a twee." Baby Bear pronounces every R like a W. Isn’t that cute, like the tender note to an old girlfriend that a sniper might leave before climbing into the tower? Baby Bear draws a character of his own, a superhero named Hero Guy (“What a hero! What a guy!”). Hero Guy fucks up getting the kitten out of the twee. Figures. "As a hero guy," he laments, "I have failed. I tried to get the kitty out of the twee but I … I … I couldn’t do it!" Cats get themselves out of trees, loser. Get into the tower.

Lately we’ve spotted Alex watching stuff other than "Sesame Street" on his iPad: Arthur, Bear in the Blue House, even "A Charlie Brown Christmas." We would welcome the sound of these words in our house. I’m afraid the words on "Sesame Street" are why we bought Alex an iPad. It’s also why we bought him headphones.

Jeff Stimpson is a native of Bangor, Maine, and lives in New York with his wife Jill and two sons. He is the author of Alex: The Fathering of a Preemie and Alex the Boy: Episodes From a Family’s Life With Autism (both available on Amazon). He maintains a blog about his family at jeffslife.tripod.com/alextheboy and is a frequent contributor to various sites and publications on special-needs parenting such as Autism-Asperger’s Digest, Autism Spectrum News, the Lostandtired blog, The Autism Society news blog, and An Anthology of Disability Literature (available on Amazon). He is on LinkedIn under “Jeff Stimpson” and Twitter under “Jeffslife.”