Spectrummy Mummy

Asperger's, Allergies, and Adventures Abroad

Posts Tagged ‘girls


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You know how it is when your child is on the verge of a new skill- you work on it and work on it until it is fully grasped.  Before the school holidays, Pudding was close to being able to use scissors.  It is testimony to how difficult a task this is for her, that she has been developing this skill in OT for over two years.  We used the pretend scissors for cutting play dough, so she could really get some proprioceptive feedback.  I printed out lots of worksheets for her, and she threw herself into the task.

We were getting somewhere.  It is still very difficult to attend to a task for long, but we made progress.  Now she is cutting, not neatly, not as well as a typically developing child; but she knows where to place her fingers, how much pressure to apply, and how to open them back up without removing her grip.  She can hold the paper in one hand while her other completes all these things at once.  It really isn’t until you sit down and try to teach these skills that you realize just how many components are involved in such a “simple” task.

It is hard for those of us who don’t struggle learning new tasks to ever remember a time when we couldn’t do them too.  It is hard to constantly be aware of all the factors that are at play preventing our children from acquiring these skills.  So we as teachers, guides and parents need an unlimited supply of patience.  This is always my stumbling point.

Last week in one of our cutting sessions, I didn’t notice until she finished cutting that the “safety scissors” had cut through Pudding’s new dress as well.  It was an accident, neither of us had noticed what was happening at the time, and I let her know it was an accident, and I wasn’t cross.  This was a clear teaching moment, and I earnestly lectured her about how scissors are sharp and dangerous, and we only use them to cut paper or card.  Right.

What I failed to realize, is that the teaching moment was for me.  I needed to social story the correct use of scissors.  I needed to set down rules and guidelines for using them only when I was around.  I needed to make sure they were under lock and (hidden) key at all other times.  But I’m careless, and I’m impatient, and I’m lazy, and busy, and a hundred other things that meant I needed a bigger teaching moment.  I had that today.

Pudding was upstairs and awfully quiet as I cleaned up the kitchen.  I had that moment of dread- I knew I had to get upstairs to see what was going on, but I stalled because I didn’t want to see.  I saw Pudding, safety (my ass) scissors in one hand, and her beloved Kelly doll freshly scalped in the other.  I didn’t see the resolution of all that skill-building.  I didn’t see yet further pretend play skills.  I didn’t see a rite of passage that all little girls (yep, even me) go through with the intoxicating feel of scissors through hair.

I saw a pile of hair, some human, some doll.  I saw a doll that cost way too much in the first place that was ruined.  I saw all my carefully cultivated patience run out.  I saw this:

Of course, now she won’t play with her doll.  She wants me to fix it, or get some new hair.  I have to decide if Kelly is just going to learn to rock her new look, because we’ve all had a bad style, and it builds character.  Or if she’ll go to Doll Hospital for a new head, which isn’t covered by our health insurance.

One thing I have decided: the more she develops, the less I feel cut out to parent.  Oh well, at least I’m pretty decent at cutting Pudding’s hair, and I probably got that way from chopping at my own dolls when I was her age.

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

December 20, 2011 at 4:36 pm

Topped Up

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On Wednesday night Pudding and Cubby got to spend time with our friend Courtney.  Although she’d met Pudding as an infant when we visited London, Courtney remarked that she felt a little


Courtney getting a hug from The Pudding!


star-struck at meeting our little blog celebrities!  The kids enjoyed meeting her t0o, despite the chaos of a play-date, the whole thing went pretty well.


My Energizer Bunny can charge up the flattest of souls


I’m just back from a visit to the coffee shop with Pudding.  With Grandma in town, I could put Cubby to sleep, then steal out, just the two of us.  Well, just the three of us, as Upsy-Daisy was in tow, of course.  Pudding was sent home sick from school (just a cold) yesterday, so I kept her home today too.  I actually don’t remember the last time we spent time together just the two of us, and I had forgotten just how much pleasure I get from her company when it is just the two of us.  Just half an hour in her effervescent company has topped us back up- it is like a relationship recharge.

Tonight I get to do the same thing with Spectrummy Daddy.  It is only our fourth date this year, and our third alone together.  I’m a little run down with a cold and bad allergies, but I don’t intend to miss out on tonight.  We also need to keep the charge topped up before we drain out.

I made time for someone else this week too.  Someone who often gets overlooked in the chaos of daily life- me.  This morning I had my first physical exam in over 5 years.  I hadn’t seen a GP since before I was married, and still living in England.  Way too long.  I’ve had some tests for some niggling physical problems that I’ve been ignoring, because I was too busy, or couldn’t make an appointment with the children around.  I know I’m not the only mother or caregiver to neglect myself in this way.  There is no way I’d ignore such symptoms in the rest of the family, and I need to remember that I’m a vital part of this machine.  If I get too run down, this whole thing won’t work.  Proper maintenance is most definitely in order, both physically and emotionally.

I’ve been thinking a lot this week about girls, and the example we set to them.  My bloggy friend Fi is facing the challenges of raising a spectrummy girl a few years down the line.  I think it is never too early to build up self-esteem.  As soon as Pudding is developmentally ready for it, we’d like her to receive instruction in a martial art.  I think it will be a great way for her to learn about her body being strong, powerful, and healthy.  We really need to get away from this fat/thin body image negativity.  Why are girls (and women) still doing this to one another?  Why are they starting even younger?  We’re doing something to give our daughters the wrong idea.  I need to remember that Pudding is always watching, and learning from me whether I realize it or not.  I need to take care of myself, and let her know that I do that because I’m worth taking care of.  I’m important, just as she is.  When you really appreciate who you are, you don’t need to drain the value of others to feel better.  Taking care of yourself is for the good of everyone- something worth remembering next time you feel drained and in need of getting topped up.

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

October 15, 2010 at 2:03 pm