Autism, Apologies and Spiced Rum

Clever lives in my home.

It does and if I didn’t always know this before, I am coming to understand lately just how immense the levels of clever really are that surround me.  What I learned today, with one apology letter, is that clever and resourcefulness walk hand in hand with autism.

As I told you several weeks back our family has,despite all kicking and screaming, gone “electronics free” this summer.  Sounds simple but it has been a bit more eye opening than I’d expected when I first reclaimed the electronics in my house and decided to ask my teens to reinstate their social skills and actually interact with people once again.  Once upon a time, when kiddos were younger and mom declared our lives electronics free, GREAT things happened.  Kids played, kids built, kids explored.  It was beautiful.  Not so much this time as, sadly, teenagers are different creatures.  Electronics-free-lives are NOT easy to live and teenagers without electronics are a whole other level of parenting.  I truly believe that a “free-and-unrestricted-use-of-electronics” parenting policy is the easy way out.  I now FULLY understand why no one EVER declares their teens lives electronics free.  It’s NOT pretty, my friends.

When I fixed my tea and headed out to sit on my patio swing this morning, playing I-Spy was the farthest thing from my mind.  It’s not something we do anymore.  My children are teens and one tween and they no longer indulge mom’s remember-when kid-kind-of-games.  So, sitting on my swing, I found myself reluctantly engaged in an unexpected game of Solitaire-I-Spy.  Yeah.  I was playing I-Spy alone.

Innocently swinging with my chai tea,  I was watching my boy scootering by at a distance beyond the pool and this was supposed to be the zen part of my day. Reluctantly, the I-Spyer in me spied what appeared to be a rectangular shaped bulge in the right front pocket of his hand-me-down Volcoms.  Please remember all rectangular metal devices have been confiscated by the mom and are bagged up and in the top of MY closet…or so I thought.  Apparently, with the level of clever that surrounds me, I should have bought a lockable safe.

Discovering I had not chosen my hiding place well at all went something like this:

(I refrained from any “I spy with my little eye” verbiage because the boy is now 14 and that would only irritate the moment even more)

  • Mom: Buddy, is there something in your front pocket?
  • Spectrum kiddo: No there isn’t.
  • Mom: Buddy.  I can see from here there IS something in your pocket.  Let’s think about this before we start digging our hole deeper with a lie.  Is there a Nintendo in your pocket?
  • Spectrum kiddo: No, Mom.
  • Mom: Buddy.  You need to empty that pocket.  Please tell me you didn’t take your Nintendo out of my room.
  • Spectrum kiddo: Well how is it stealing anyway when it already belongs to ME?

He then pulls the Nintendo out of his pocket.

Wonder Souls, never doubt that electronics are an addiction.

All of this is simply back story for this apology letter my boy was asked to write.  Let me say in his defense, his writing suffers when he is angry and he was angry that he had to write.  And, in my own defense, as many of you know, I’m not a drinker but I AM a baker and I make an excellent bread pudding with rum sauce but that bottle has been in that top cabinet for four years.  Let me also say, the spectrum kiddo is apparently quite skilled at getting the last word in AND changing the subject.

Skill level= MASTER.

autism sparkles-102

I personally blame Martha:

http://www.marthastewart.com/286017/bread-pudding-with-rum-sauce

Lessons learned this week in my home: Clever lives in my home, electronics ARE an addiction, and I apparently hide the rum about as well as I hide the electronics.

Sparkle On, my friends.!

A Love Letter to Nintendo…

Game On

I understand there is a very popular philosophy these days that says electronics and video games are evil and that Nintendo and wii are ruining today’s youth. Yeah, I don’t always agree but I get it. I personaly wonder if the grown-up-blame-throwers ever calculate how many hours they themselves spend in front of screens texting, Facebooking, and all day binge watching multi seasons of television shows . Kids are no different than adults, in my opinion, their screens are just smaller.

But…here’s the thing…

I seriously need to send Nintendo a thank you note. No, really, a ginormous thank you.

For years, nearly a decade, my boy and I have battled over electronics.  My wanting him to get outside and play and him wanting to stay in the cool house and play Nintendo and wii.  Don’t worry, I always win because, as the adult, I can confiscate the electronics.  But, after many years, you get tired of having to force the child to go outside.  It gets tiring to always be the bad guy, always being the one to take the electronics away or severely limit them.  After a while, you’d like to not fight about electronics.

And that is why I am writing today.  I honestly need to thank Nintendo for bringing a new found peace to my home and to my parenting game.

It appears, in a crazy turn of events, that Nintendo’s games, Sonic Generations and Street Pass, actually require “play coins”. Play coins!! And do you know how you get “play coins?” You have to play!!! Yeah, after my glue-the-face-to-the-screen-while-sitting-on-the-couch boy went outside to “scooter” in the SUNSHINE for half an hour on three different occasions, I asked him what was going on. Not that it bothered me but, after years of couch sitting and mom having to force the outdoor play, I will admit it confused me.  So, like I said, I asked him what he was doing.

My boy then informed me, “I’m scootering to get play coins.”

Thank you, Nintendo.

Sincerely, from the bottom of my heart, thank you. You didn’t have to write that into your game program but parents everywhere are thankful <3. There IS method to the madness <3.
Sparkle On, my friends ❤

Beware The Happy Parent Moments

That happy-parent-moment…after you have tucked your children into bed and their rooms are dark…life is content and you have this overwhelming emotional need to rush back into their room for one last hug and to tell them just one more time how much you love them and how lucky you feel to be their mother and you push open the first door… only to suddenly be a little confused by the sight of his face, all lit up by the unmistakable glow of the Nintendo he is PLAYING that he had hidden under his pillow while you said goodnight the first time… and the happy-parent-moment…it’s GONE…and replaced by something entirely different.