Spectrummy Mummy

Asperger's, Allergies, and Adventures Abroad

Posts Tagged ‘Family

Wordless Wednesday 24 Dec 2014

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Christmas_Spectrummy_Mummy

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December 24, 2014 at 2:01 pm

Wordless Wednesday 08 Jan 14

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Image

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January 9, 2014 at 7:20 am

Wordless Wednesday 21 Aug 13

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Spectrummy Family

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August 21, 2013 at 6:39 am

Wordless Wednesday 24 Apr 13

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family

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April 24, 2013 at 7:18 am

Wordless Wednesday 17 Apr 13

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grandparents

 

Take grandparents for a lunch with a difference…

elephants

 

you get to feed three very special (and very hungry) guests…

squash

 

Take a LOT of butternut squash.  Even this doesn’t come close to the almost 800 tons an elephant can consume per day!

 

deseeding

 

Pudding conscientiously removes all the seeds…

Pudding and Grandpa

 

Have Grandpa hold on just in case…elephants are vegetarians, but they are VERY hungry and impatient for their butternut squash!

trunk

 

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April 17, 2013 at 5:30 pm

Happy Holidays

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Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays- treasure your most precious gifts!

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December 25, 2012 at 11:18 am

Girl Cousins

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Only Pudding likes Hello Kitty.

We hear that a lot in our house.  It is an established fact.  A Pudding fact at that- nothing more irrefutable.  Going to England meant the kids were going to meet their British cousins for the first time.  Pudding has one girl cousin, and Pudding wasn’t going to tolerate any competition.  I thought a mutual love of Hello Kitty might bring the girls together.  I excitedly told Pudding that her cousin was going to have a Hello Kitty birthday cake the day after they met.  I thought she’d love it.  But I’d forgotten that only Pudding likes Hello Kitty.

So before meeting her, Puddings cousin was on notice.  Not only was she going to have the cake, but a birthday too, of all the rude things! Didn’t she know that Pudding likes birthdays?  And then there was Nanny.  Was this little usurper going to steal Nanny’s affections too?

This time around, Pudding had immediately bonded with her grandparents.  This is the tough part of foreign service life.  And the tough thing about autism.  For a child struggling with social interaction, limited time with loved ones doesn’t help.  We can’t predict how things will be.  When we visit family, I feel like I’ve just set off a soggy firework- it might fizzle out to nothing, or it might be explosive, and you don’t really want to be the one to risk trying to fix things when it could go off in your face.

This time with my mum it was like this from the first day…

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Which was awesome!  But I noted how Pudding jealously eyed her neurotypical three year-old.  Because Nanny is her Nanny too.  And every time previously, Pudding has only had to share her Nanny with Cubby, which is fine because she has to share everything (but Hello Kitty) with him.  But this was new.  And new can be hard.  And new people?  Even harder.

Jealousy may be ugly, but someone this beautiful should never be play the ugly step-sister role.

This little cousin already came with her own thoughts and feelings.  Pudding hadn’t allowed her to like Hello Kitty, or to have a birthday, or share Nanny.  This was hard.  Not just for Pudding, but for me too.  Well aware that the time we could spend with family was constantly trickling away, I wanted everything to be perfect for everybody concerned.  I knew it wasn’t going to be.

Then again, I could see that Pudding’s response was valid and true to who she is.  In fact, a perfectly normal feeling.  So I let her have it.  I stopped trying to force interactions.  I allowed her to be jealous.  If allowed is the right word- she certainly doesn’t need my permission to feel things.  But I acknowledged it.  Kids get jealous.  Even spectrummy mummies get jealous, we all do.

And just like any of we creatures on this planet fortunate enough to sense the range of emotions that make up the human condition, it abated.  Or dissipated.  Spent.  Probably a whole lot sooner than if I’d tried to facilitate the relationship.  And in its place…interest.  Fascination in another little girl.  Then, before we knew it- affection.  Love.

Her enemy turned into a friend.  When Pudding’s cousin balked at the idea of riding in a horse-drawn pink princess carriage, Pudding didn’t want to ride without her.  When she wore princess slippers,

Pudding squished her way-too-big feet into a matching pair.  And whenever they were together, the two held hands, and ran around giggling at each other.  Best of friends for their remaining time together.  Inevitably, of course, the two were wrenched apart, and we had to feel the pain and loss of separation.

Still, we have memories to last a lifetime full of love, friendship, and family.  But they don’t have to last a lifetime, just til next time.  It is something over families take for granted, but we know just how precious it is.

  When we return she’ll know there are people there who love her through good and bad, just as she is.  And if we’re all very lucky, they might even be willing to share their Hello Kitty cake once again.

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October 11, 2012 at 6:38 pm

R is for R & R

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Pudding reconnecting with my mum.

One of the benefits to living in (cue ominous music…) The Most Dangerous City in The World, is that the State Department grants us two R&R trips during our – assignment there.  Now, you know that we love Johannesburg, and what we have seen of the rest of South Africa.  But it is equally true that we need that break.  Back when we initially started planning that trip, we really needed it.

Then seasons change, and life alters, and you kind of get on with things.  Pudding has just started Kindergarten, and is doing very well.  I’ve only been working for a few weeks, and it isn’t the best time for me to be out of the office.  I adore Jozi in springtime.  The weaver birds are back, the weather is perfect, and it just feels lighter and happier there.

It reminds me of the early weeks when we first arrived, and just couldn’t believe our luck.  And then when, inevitably, the trip started to look like more hassle than a break, I wondered what kind of R&R it would actually turn out to be.

And then we actually arrived in England for the first time in almost four years, and it was all worthwhile.  It was Cubby’s first time here (outside of the womb) and he revelled in seeing double-decker buses and black cabs in London.  Both kids delighted in spending time by the sea- not the ocean.  And the kids got to meet their cousins, and spend time getting spoilt by their grandparents, and living, and playing, and being themselves.

We are having the time of our lives.  Or a time in our lives.  A time of many R-words.  We’re recharging, and reconnecting.  I’d even go so far as to say we’re resting and relaxing.  I knew we needed it, but I didn’t know how much.  I’ve taken lots of photographs here, and in almost every one, the kids are smiling.

Who knows, the kids might even start feeling so comfortable with their grandparents that we’ll even be able to have another elusive R-word: a few hours of respite.  Because just as we love Johannesburg, but need the occasional break…the same can be said of parenting high-needs children.

And if we can successfully Recharge and Reconnect, we’ll be Ready to go back to Routine.  And nothing to do but plan the next Rest and Relaxation, and make sure we don’t wait for four years next time!

This post is part of my A-Z series.  You can read the rest by clicking >here<.

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September 5, 2012 at 8:42 am

Wordless Wednesday 15 Aug 12

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Mummy, come here! I’m NOT going to squirt you…

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August 15, 2012 at 6:03 am

I’m NOT Batman

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Far removed from the terrible tragedy in Colorado, and insensitive media speculation that managed to both diagnose an individual without having met him, and demonize those on the autism spectrum, Batman means something else in our home.

Cubby, like his daddy, has taken a shine to Batman.  He likes other superheroes too, and knows all the real names and those of the villains.  Spectrummy Daddy even made up a superhero story for Cubby, and his alter-ego, The Neme-Sis (get it?).

A few weeks ago Grandma sent him some Batman nightwear (complete with cape) and a Batman action figure.  Spectrummy Daddy couldn’t fit in the pajamas, so Cubby was allowed to keep those.  I’m perhaps married to the only diplomat with a Batman toy on his desk.  Then again, Spectrummy Daddy showed up to the consulate yesterday in his Batman shoes, so I shouldn’t be surprised.  Don’t worry, he doesn’t wear them to his meetings- he has his Batman cufflinks for those.

Because I’m nothing if not an enabler, I taught Cubby to say, “I’m Batman” in the trademark growl.  It is obscenely cute.  It doesn’t matter if he is decked up like the caped crusader- my blond-haired, blue-eyed little bundle of mischief doesn’t make for the most convincing Batman.

Yesterday morning was a hard one for Cubby.  He opened up his bottle of whine before 5am.  Finally Spectrummy Daddy had had enough, and deemed Cubby not fit to wear the pajamas he so covets.

“Batman doesn’t whine,” he told Cubby.

So our very own Bruce Wayne lifted off his pajama top, and patting his belly growled at his Daddy:

I’m NOT Batman.”

That was the first time I actually believed he could be The Dark Knight.

Today he told Daddy that he could his Robin.  I’m not sure where Pudding and I fit into his scenario, but at least I know that when life in our own version of Gotham City gets a bit too much for us, we can always escape to Wayne Manor with a certain billionaire philanthropist.  Hey, my boys aren’t the only ones who can fantasize!

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

July 28, 2012 at 1:01 pm