Spectrummy Mummy

Asperger's, Allergies, and Adventures Abroad

Posts Tagged ‘kids

Wordless Wednesday 08 Apr 15

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Happy Easter!

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April 9, 2015 at 12:41 am

Wordless Wednesday 03 Dec 14

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Recoleta SM

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December 3, 2014 at 3:36 pm

Summer Bucket List

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We’re now 9 days away from the mega non-stop flight in economy from Johannesburg back to the USA. A flight so long and tortuous, I need a distraction! So instead, I’m thinking about getting to see old friends, and spending time with family. Still, we have two months of no school, and an awful lot of free unstructured time on our hands.

Spectrummy Daddy will be occupied with language training, so we’re looking for things to do. Luckily, there are lots of free museums to get reacquainted with, and I’ve found a park and a library within walking distance of where we’ll be staying.

But what else? My kids have spent most of their lives living on other continents, and as I’m foreign-born myself, we could probably use a tip or two about how to spend our summer. We were lucky enough to be able to take our two R & R trips to the UK this tour, so we got to eat cornish pasties, take tea at Holyrood Palace, visit Stonehenge, and roman baths, and eat fish and chips on the beach. So now we have to even things up and remind them they’re half-American again…just before they get whisked off to South America!

There is one all-American thing I know is at the top of my list: making s’mores. And this time around, I don’t even have to worry about making them from scratch this time around.

So, please, give us some tips on what we need to do, and I’ll add them to the list. Extra points if they are sensory-friendly and accessible to all (July 4th fireworks are probably still a bit of a no-no for us).

Here we go…

1. Make s’mores

2. Kinetic Sand, suggested by Lisa S. on the Spectrummy Mummy Facebook Page

3. What To Do With Kids In Washington D.C., huge list linked by Emily.

4. Mom in Two Cultures has some great ideas for sensory boxes: How To Survive Winter Vacation.

5. Buzzfeed has great list of 33 Activities Under $10 to Keep Your Kids Busy All Summer.

6. American History in a box from After School Plans.

7. America: The History of US DVD set.

8. Pudding would definitely add another meal at the American Girl bistro.

9. Drink a malt in a diner.

10. Veggie chili-cheese fries from Ben’s Chili Bowl

11. Watch the Nats play baseball, and constantly remind Spectrummy Daddy that it is just like rounders.

12. Ride the carousel after checking out the Smithsonian museums.

13. Take in a county fair or town festival.

14. Enjoy a movie at a drive-in – I still can’t believe I have never done this!

15. Disney! Our home leave point is Florida, and the grandparents have already promised Pudding a repeat breakfast with the princesses, and pirates for Cubby. Disney has changes its policies for guests with disabilities since we were last there, so I’ll be sure to report back on our experiences.

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May 22, 2014 at 1:46 pm

Wordless Wednesday 01 May 13

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Earth Day


Taking a well-earned break after working hard at a nature reserve for Earth Day.

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May 1, 2013 at 8:20 am

I Can Cook!

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It was one of those lazy Sunday mornings. We were watching kids TV, a British show called, “I Can Cook,” in which a perky (they always are) TV presenter and a few stage kids make a meal together.
They make food together, and there is never any fighting or tantrums. Then they all eat the same meal and talk about how much they enjoyed it. They use words like “delicious” and “scrumptious” that make me think they are indeed child actors reading from a script written by a 40 year-old woman. But I digress.
Cubby was riveted as he curled up with me on our oversized bean bag chair. Pudding actually put down her iPad to watch. The presenter and child actors made it look so easy that they actually tricked me into thinking this was something I could do with my kids.

Pudding poking holes
A little later that day we’d collected all the ingredients to make cheese and vegetable pasties. I asked the kids if they wanted to cook like on the show, and was greeted with an enthusiasm rarely seen outside of all things Hello Kitty.
Cubby, my little literalist, decided he was going to be Arthur, one of the stage kids on the show. On I Can Cook, the presenter began by sprinkling some flour on the cooking mats for each child, as they carefully coated them in preparation for the pastry. We began by recklessly spreading said flour all over our clothes, hair, the floor, and even (in Cubby’s case) up his nose. We repeated step one, and this time I did not turn my back to put the flour away, and it mostly stayed on the table. Later I would come to regret not immediately putting the flour away, but I’d learn that lesson later.
Next came rolling out the pastry. In I Can Cook, each little chef has their own perfectly-sized utensils, and I think that is why there isn’t a blood bath on the show, which is my kind of reality TV. In our house, we have just the one rolling pin, which is great for adults. Actually, we may have a kids rolling pin that is gunked up from when I made play dough wrong and could never get it off again. But I digress.
Poking holes in pastryTaking turns is almost as difficult for my children as sharing, so here I knew I had no chance of success. But nobody was hit with the actual rolling pin, so we somehow made our way through Step 2. Simple step 3 was the not-so-simple task of gently prodding the pastry.
This time I had a fork for each child. What I didn’t have was kids with the ability to grade their pressure. Instead of gentle prodding which doesn’t quite pierce the pastry- fairy steps in the words of Perky Presenter- we made big giant troll holes, which we then had to reseal, roll out the pastry again, fight over the rolling pin again, and repeat. So eventually we kind of, in a fashion, sort of accomplished step 3.

Tearing Spinach
Foolproof stage four was ripping the spinach. Pudding loved this task- she loves a good rip. Cubby’s fine motor skills weren’t up to the task, and he very quickly tired of this job, trying to pass of whole leaves of spinach as ripped up. If this kid doesn’t become a lawyer, I’m not sure what he’ll do with his skills.
Then we get to the fun part: filling our pastry. I’d pre-made the ratatouille filling, so the kids just had to spoon it on, add their torn-up spinach, and sprinkle in the cheese. Cubby was good with all of this.
Pudding, however, does not do cheese. “You must not eat cheese, “ she likes to solemnly intone. Now she was faced with a dilemma: if she added the cheese, her mother would try to trick her into eating it, which she can’t do. If she doesn’t, she will miss the tactile sensation of (rolling, squeezing, and then ) sprinkling cheese, and she wouldn’t be making the pasties just like in the show. In fairness, we also hadn’t grown our own spinach in our hippy garden, or collected a salary for our efforts, but I digress.
She made the first one with no cheese, but then opted to conform to our pro-cheese agenda. I allowed this, against my better judgment, as I thought I was in with a chance of getting her too eat cheese. When will I learn?!
Of course, we completely overstuffed the pasties, but that was okay. In our house, we believe pasties come in all shapes and sizes. We’re rebels like that.
In 15 minutes they were cooked, and 10 minutes after, I deemed them ready to eat. They weren’t. They were like molten lava inside. We all had burnt tongues that made us mad at pasties. But they were so “scrumptious” and “delicious” that we ate them soon after.
At least Cubby and I did. Pudding happily ate one until she encountered some cheese, then ripped them apart to try to pull out the offensive ingredient.
But, as Cubby announced just like those pesky paid-up members of Equity- “I Can Cook.” I Can! Even with my spectrummy pair helping out. And, you know, they tasted SO good that I might even do it again. But no cheese this time!

So we might watch that show again. It isn’t as easy as they make it look, but we did have a lot of fun and practice some skills. Shame we didn’t have anybody filming though- our surreality TV is far more entertaining with a not-so perky presenter and the quirkiest of kids.

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

February 14, 2013 at 8:59 am

Wordless Wednesday 11 Apr 12

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I’m slightly cheating with this one.  Click below for Pudding and Cubby’s (almost) Wordless Wednesday.

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April 11, 2012 at 5:54 pm

The Library Book

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Library book shelves

Image via Wikipedia

You know the Mommy Wars, right?  The Stay-at-Home Moms against The Working Mothers.  Then there was the Tiger Moms versus Western Moms.

If you have More Than One you look down on the Only Child parents (unless you have as many as The Duggarts, then you’re too busy counting your kids to bother with anybody else’s).

The Single Parents have twice the workload and half the support of the Smug Marrieds, of course.

As a Special Needs Mother I admit to occasional feelings of jealousy towards the Moms of Typically Developing Kids.

The Multiple Moms must want us to shut the hell up with our easy-peasy single gestations.  And let’s not forget a gender fight when it comes to parenting.  It goes on and on.

It is time for all parents to stop fighting and unite against a common enemy.

The Library Book.

Now, I don’t hate library books per se.  In fact, one of the things I miss most when I’m living overseas is a decent library.  Free books is right up there in my list of good things.  If it hadn’t been such a hassle to join the local library here, I probably wouldn’t have resorted to downloading the victorian mathematical fantasy Flatland, which bewildered me with gender inequality throughout the dimensions.  (What do you mean I’m just a line?)

Cubby’s preschool has a library, and each week he brings a new book home.  One time it was a book about a bear and colours.  No plot, nothing of interest for the little man, who decided that in the absence of a story it would be better for him to just chew on it to spare other children having their hopes dashed.

Sometimes there will be a story, but in Afrikaans, which we don’t speak.  He gets bored of my inability to translate, as do I.

This latest book was about dinosaurs, and I still have pronunciation problems.  No matter how I try to linger on the pages for Tyrannosaurus Rex and Triceratops, he always flips to the pages I struggle on:

Cubby: “Mummy, what does that spell?”

Mummy: Op-si-tho-co-eli-cau-dia.”

Cubby: “No, I don’t think that’s right.  Try again.”

But it doesn’t matter wether the book is beloved, or discarded, the same thing happens each week.  The morning the book is due back, it goes missing.  I don’t know where it goes to, but it is the same place any letter home from school hides.  And then we are united, because all over the world, already late for work, millions of parents are searching for lost books.  I won’t have time to get dried after taking a shower, I’ll be out of breath before 7 am.  But I know I’m not alone in this, and Natsuki’s Tiger Mom in Tokyo, working single mother Sarah from London, and Vladimir’s stay-at-home father in  Moscow are all going through the same thing.  The Duggarts twenty times over.  All thanks to the malevolence of library books.

When asked, Cubby reverts to his default tactic of blaming his sister for taking it, even though she has her own mini-library of about 10 books that she has memorized and no interest in adding any others to it, would that she did.

Even though we put our books in storage, we haul the kids’ books around the world with us.  We add to them whenever we move.  You could say we have our own library.  I could loan them to the entire school, and then could be the one to frown disapprovingly at the parents who’ve forgotten to return them, yet again.  I don’t need any more of your books, okay school?  You’re just bringing me more work, and that totally puts me off my reading!

Eventually, I’ll find it, in some place I’ve already looked.  And while I’ve been searching, the kids who were ready for school will now have spilt milk or squished blueberries into their clothes.  Often Cubby will need another diaper change, because I think he is waiting until he learns to read before he can go to the bathroom so he can be Just Like Daddy.  There’ll be no time to dry my hair, or fasten my buttons properly, and forget make-up. Then we’re so late that even if we avoid the Stares of Shame for forgetting the book, we get them for interrupting circle time, which Pudding is keen to point out is not actually circle-shaped.

I’ll shake my fist at the great librarian in the sky and vow that next time I won’t even let him see the book, and just hide it in the car until I return it.

But this time when I finally found the book locked in a sensual embrace with the missing PTA letter, I learned that they were raising money for more library books.  I think they are actually trying to push me over the edge, until I read on and discover that they are raising money for library books for a local orphanage.

And then my heart lurches as I think of all the times we’ve snuggled up together with books.  Whether it is the sweetness of Pudding’s voice filling in the last part of each sentence, or the earnest look of concentration on Cubby’s face as he learns and anticipates what comes next.

That is something all of us parents have in common; we’re so incredibly lucky.  To hold our little ones close, to read to them, to nag at them when they lose something, to see them live and grow.  And our babies have people who love and cherish them.  Who will take the time to read to them, and help them learn in turn.

We’re just so fortunate to be here, each and every one of us.  Even the wet-haired, bedraggled, perpetually late mothers of absent-minded book-biting boys who can’t yet read, but love the library anyway.  I suppose he got that from me.

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

March 12, 2012 at 10:32 am

Wordless Wednesday 28 Dec 11

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They share a mutual love of fountains.

Happy Wordless Wednesday everyone!

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

December 28, 2011 at 1:51 pm

The Goat’s Cheese Store

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On Tuesday morning I was in a hurry to get the kids to school and return home for the delivery of our household effects. The usual route to Cubby’s preschool was heavy with traffic, so I opted to go a different way.

Cubby: I want to go to the goat’s cheese store!

Me: What?! [I am the only member of our family who eats cheese, and even I don’t remember the last time I bought goat’s cheese.]

Pudding: Goat’s-cheese-store, goat’s-cheese-store.  The goat’s cheese store, Mumm-eh! [Pudding is now pronouncing Mummy in a weird way.  Not sure why.]

Me: Thank you, Pudding.

Cubby: The goat’s cheese store!  I want to go to the goat’s cheese store.

Me: What do you want to do at the goat’s cheese store?

Cubby: Buy goat’s cheese.

Me: [Of course.]  I don’t know where there is a goat’s cheese store.

Cubby: I fink it’s around here some place.

Me: Oh, okay.  But, anyway, we’re going to school now.

We come to an intersection where the Pick n’ Pay hypermarket is located.

Cubby: There it is, Mummy.  The goat’s cheese store!

Me: Aah, I see!  You mean the grocery store.  Say “gro-cer-y store.”

Pudding: Grocery store.

Cubby: Gross-er-cheese store.

Me: Hmm. Or you could call it a supermarket.

Pudding: Supermarket.

Cubby: Su-per-mark-et.

Me: Yes, that’s right.

Cubby: Mummy?

Me: Yes?

Cubby: I don’t want to go to the supermarket.  I don’t like soup, Mummy.

Funny that, he usually likes soup.  Maybe, just maybe, he likes goat’s cheese now instead.

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October 7, 2011 at 4:35 am

Wordless Wednesday 07 Sep 11

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I was showing Cubby the different flowers in the garden and telling him the real names.

Me: This one is called a lily.

Cubby: That’s not a lily, Mummy.  That’s called a privates!

Yeah, I can see his point too.

Happy Wordless Wednesday everyone!

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

September 7, 2011 at 12:50 am