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Hello, let’s talk mainstreaming

Hello my lovelies! It’s been a while since we’ve talked. Never fear, I’m still writing.

I started taking writing classes and it is definitely keeping me on my toes. It has a secondary affect, which could have been adverse. My 11 yr old son is being mainstreamed in English Language Arts (ELA) and math. I am hopeless with math, but English? Who Ohio! I’ve got a degree in that!

This is important. If you have a child going from Special Ed to Mainstream you need to listen carefully.

His teachers are phenomenal. But most classes in the SDP range are focused on reading, writing and spelling. Parts of speech, well… So we have a child that has fought his way through everything and is ready to cross the threshold hold but doesn’t know half of what’s being asked of him. Not because he’s dumb. Not because of bad teachers. But because the program that got him this far didn’t teach him those particular things.

He also has a problem with short term memory. Don’t feel bad though, his brain goes so super fast, he’s able to convert to long term memory. It might take him a bit, but he’s able to do it. Pre Mommy taking classes it was no problem.

With me taking classes it is a problem. There’s only so much time in the day. Also, my kid will be a turkey with me:crying, pouting, fit throwing, you know the drill. Our kids will push us to our limits of patience, but will be perfect angels for everyone else. This just childhood, nothing to do with dyspraxia.

But a tutor? And a person he already loves to death? Who also happens to be card carrying member of the Grammar Police? Oh yes, that will do. That will do nicely, thank you very much. No crying, no fits, just lots of learning. And that is a wonderful thing.

Now, I’m off to do your own homework. Ack! I promise, tho, no crying… well. I won’t throw a fit…. no. I promise to do my homework. How’s that?

A Different Kind of Christmas

My son nickel and dimes me to death. Video games, in-app purchases, toys, soda, chips…. It seems like every day there’s a new thing that he needs me to buy for him. Sometimes I say yes, but I often say no. He’s a pretty good kid, and there are never any fits or tears over my not wanting to be a walking wallet.

               A few nights ago, that changed. Not about things though. He misses doing things with me. Simple things like playing 2 square, crafts and playing with his Legos. Little trips going to places we love. “We never do anything fun anymore!” He cried. Not for things, but for me.

               I was a little confused, as we had just been up to Sacramento for a fun filled weekend. Back in September, we went to Monterey, and on the way back stopped at Pea Soup Andersons. We might not do fun things every weekend—but I don’t have him all the time. He spends Saturday afternoon to Sunday morning with his dad.

               We had the conversation. I needed to know before the Black Friday deals disappeared. “Do you want things, or do you want me to buy tickets for us to do stuff through out the year?”

               “I want to do stuff with you,” he told me.

               “Ok. That means you’re not going to be able to be with your dad every weekend.”

               “I miss you, Mom.” Way to break a Mommy’s heart, kiddo. I miss you too, but I wanted you to have that opportunity to build a relationship with your dad. Now, though… Well. Mommy’s back in the driver’s seat and we’re going to do this!

               I still surfed the ads bought him a few things for under the tree (thank you wifi!). But I also started my evil plan.

               Boomers:  This weekend, the year pass is only $39.99 It doesn’t cover the arcade or food, but it is something he loved doing with his dad. It’s also something that I can just as easily take him to, let him go Go Kart racing, climb a wall, all sorts of fun stuff. The pass also works for the remainder of this year. Hmmm…. To give early or not?

               The Exploratorium He loves science and tinkering and there is no better place than the Exploratorium. I’m still debating between a yearly family membership and just buying one time tickets. We travel a lot with my sister and her son, so they would be on the pass as well. One huge thing in favor of the pass is that I don’t have to drive there. We’ve taken Amtrak down to Pier 39 before: it’s an economical, fun way for us to get into the city and back home again. In 2 visits, the pass would be paid for. I almost did it last year and regretted passing.

               The Winchester Mystery House: My son is 11 years old and has been asking to visit “Sara’s House” for at least a year. He’s fascinated by why she would build the way she did, all the little oddities. I’d like for him to experience it in real life, instead of via YouTube.

               In addition to the above, I’m looking at both science and art kits for us to do together. There are a ton of them out there, including some that come as a monthly subscription. I like that more for the science than the art. For art projects (which we’ll start on Sunday when he comes home), I can go to any number of local stores. There are plans for experiments on the Exploratorium website, and I could probably find kits online and just buy one or two. I have time to figure it out, though.

               The sad part about the list above is that coupled with what I snagged online for him, I’m not going to spend a whole lot more money on Christmas by doing this. There will be a lot less Christmas clutter, and I’m going to have to get creative on how to wrap and present these gifts.

               But before that, we’re going to go out back and play 2 square together.

               In the end, I’m giving him the gift he wants. The gift of time. With me. 

The Princeling’s Dream

So my son, like many a 10 year old has multiple things he wants to do. One of them is being a video game designer. When I saw the library having a class about coding and making video games, well… He’s all signed up. I found someone to drop him off, and I’ll go meet him at the library.

He also wants, very desperately, to be a YouTube star. I don’t understand a lot of what he’s asking for technologically speaking, but I do understand desire. Creativity. Putting yourself out there.

Yes, he puts himself out there, talking about video games. Sometimes, the video is of us, or of a field trip to Mission San Jose. He regularly creates these videos, and they are important to him.

He’s my kid, and he’s pursuing his dream.

Mommy is following suit.

See, right here? This post? Written earlier, and scheduled. I know I’m going to be gone over then next week, but I also know that I want to be more regular on my posting. So.I am doing as the Princeling does, and working towards it.

If you feel like giving the boy a hand, you can go see his videos on YouTube, under Weare We

He’s being brave, and creative…. and I’m proud.

Sadly, Saturday Night

And I’m at home, sitting on my computer, talking to you.

But that’s ok. I like talking.

Saturday nights are almost always a little melancholy for me. My son is off with his father, catching up on bonding time, which is needed. He deserves to know his dad, to spend time with him. I’m not a big dater, tho… and so often the Princeling is my sidekick.

So. And so. Nothing new with single parents out there, right?

Earlier today, the Princeling and I had a blast. We went up to Sac to attend a Kids Day event at Madison Avenue Baptist Church. Lots of giggles, and fun to be had there. I had a nice conversation with the pastor, talking about what I feel is my calling versus what people think I should be doing. (That’s another post— maybe tomorrow)

Then it was the long ride back, and to the mall. We went to the book store, where I buy cards. Yes. I buy my cards that I send letters in at Barnes and Noble. So far, they have the best selection that I’ve found. I may have also found a book or two to keep me company this weekend 🙂  Then we went to Best Buy to exchange his tablet– great customer service there, especially when you consider I had lost the receipt (shopping tip: use your card at this store– they can find your purchase by scanning it again).

But then, after hours of fun time, it was time to drop him off with his dad. It’s a holiday weekend, so I won’t see him until late Monday night. On the way home, I went to my brother’s house and went out to dinner with his wife.

When I got home I took a nap. Sadly, Saturday Night does not call on me to go out to bars, out on dates, or such like it does others. I need a place to go…. you know that Facebook meme, about an all night bookstore? I could go for that. Or maybe a mom’s Saturday Night writing group— sadly not one near me. I could try and start one… but then when I would write to you? And I do tell myself that I will write on Saturday nights… but it’s a lie I tell myself.

Sunday morning. When the world is bright and happy again. I’ll probably go to my library, which is open on Sundays. Maybe down to the river… who knows?

I do know that the Sadly Saturday blues are only temporary. They will fade when the sun breaks over the horizon and I’ll be back to my normal, cheerful self.

For now… I’m going to watch some Disney Movies (Wreck it Ralph currently, then maybe Frozen) and see….

 

Are you a single parent? What parts of it make you melancholy?

 

 

To the Woman Dating My Ex….

Please know that what I have to say has little to do with jealousy. The man I left is not the man you are dating. That being said, there’s a history between he and I. And when it comes to our son, it informs my decisions. I try to make all my decisions be the best for my son. That’s why I have never bad talked his father to him, or allowed people to do so in The Princeling’s presence. I have always tried to keep that door wide open, so he could have a positive relationship with his father.

However.

You might be the sweetest person in the whole world, the re-incarnation of Mother Teresa, and still I would say: I should have been consulted before my son met you. Period. That should be the end of the story, because really. It’s a fact. But I’ll let you in on a few secrets.

When most people see my son, they see a bright, happy friendly kid. The Princeling can make friends no matter where he goes. He is not shy, my son.

I get to witness the tempest, try to navigate its waters. You see, the Princeling has a neurological condition called Dyspraxia. And while many people look at him and see the surface, or only the bobbles of the motor skills… I get to deal with all of it.

Like the fact that he sobs uncontrollably for twenty minutes after his dad leaves. Don’t believe me? Ask his family. It’s happened over there. He feels, deeply and profoundly… but those feelings are not tempered by a normal neuro child. He has chased after his dad’s car. He has started to jump out of my car when his dad passed us. Poor impulse control, coupled with an emotional base that is not on par with his years. Welcome to dyspraxia.

Then there’s the sensory processing disorder. When things get too loud, he shuts down. He has gone to the ER with what was essentially a panic attack from a movie that was too much for him. I have held him to me, one ear pressed into my chest and the other ear covered by my hand. This is not something that happened to him, something that he learned. A semi-truck or motorcycle going past the house was enough to make him scream as a baby. We’ve learned ways to cope. He also has a weird reaction to pain: sometimes he doesn’t even feel it. And sometimes, no one knows because he will power through and save it for when he gets home. For me to take care of. His safe place. Which is why when he falls, and he will fall, you need to check him over.

Princeling is smart as a whip. I’ve had him tested, so I know. But he has problems getting it out, and doesn’t learn the way most do. Coupled with short term memory loss (please don’t ask him to remember your name), it makes learning a challenge for him. He’s also at the stage where being in that class is making him feel vulnerable, less than other kids. Add to that the fact that his speech is getting sloppy again, and he’s drooling just a bit again. Which leads to more teasing, which he has a hard time coping with. He keeps it all inside.

Yah. It isn’t easy being a dyspraxic.

Go to http://www.dyspraxiausa.org and poke around. Warren has a lot of great information on the site. Because dyspraxia is a great big grab bag full of wonderful chaos. If you’re going to be around my son, he deserves nothing but your very best effort at understanding him.

It isn’t easy. Even some family members don’t get it.

But that’s ok, with them. Because he has me, and other advocates in the family that have taken the time to learn about dyspraxia and deal with him

But when it’s just the four of you?

You’d better be on board. For his sake.

Because he’s worth it.