Spectrummy Mummy

Asperger's, Allergies, and Adventures Abroad

Posts Tagged ‘routine

A Life Less Ordinary

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I haven’t blogged much lately.  Ordinarily I don’t have much time: I’m a working mother raising two extra-ordinary children overseas.  But then the last few weeks have been far from ordinary.  In case you missed my last Wordless Wednesday, we had a visit from President Obama.

Leading up to that weekend, our regular life was put on hold, and working late and weekends became the norm.  We’d flown in the grandparents to take care of the kids, but even that is a change of routine.  All the things that typically punctuate our everyday lives were temporarily suspended.

The kids handled most of the disruption well.  Indeed, I’m always surprised when Pudding gets described as inflexible.  She handled the disruptions to her routines far better than her brother did.  I dare say far better than most 6 year-olds would. 

When my event was over and I gratefully shook President Obama’s hand, I was the one who wanted things to get back to normal.  I craved just spending time with Pudding and Cubby.

 When I asked Pudding what she wanted to do, she told me she wanted to go away on holiday.  Lately she and her brother have become interested in maps of the world: Botswana has become a favourite, for reasons they haven’t shared with me.

Cubby also wanted to do something different: to go to the movies.  We hadn’t done that since living in the US, where sensory accommodations meant it wasn’t just comfortable for us, but a place where we belonged.  Without sensory-friendly showings, I wasn’t sure we could get through a whole film.

We went to see Monsters University, and deliberately picked a 2D showing as early as possible on a Sunday morning, and as it turned out only one other family had the same idea.  I loaded my bag with the ear-protectors, snacks, drinks, and a Nintendo DS.  If you were watching me pack, you’d swear we were going a lot further than to the local mall.  

Once inside, I’d asked the kids to behave like they were on a plane.  It occurred to me that our children have flown many, many more times than they’ve been to the movies.  Somehow, our routines are the extraordinary.  We move every 2-3 years to a new home, school, country, even continent- and we take that in our stride.  Yet somehow every day activities are challenging to us.

Pudding was not at all interested in the movie, but she mostly sat, and was mostly quiet.  This particular movie was very loud, but she soon discarded her ear protectors, as did sound-sensitive Cubby.

We made it through the whole film.  Cubby loved it, and Pudding even watched parts of it in between playing her Hello Kitty game.  Spectrummy Daddy and I felt that we had earned a celebratory coffee at a nearby place that had just opened and we hadn’t tried before.

This is where Pudding baulked.  All her reserves were used up, her tolerance at minimum.  She wasn’t going anywhere near the café kiosk.  Believing the discomfort to stem from the noise of the machines, I offered her back the ear protectors, but she threw them in disdain, and the meltdown became very public.  Was this an autistic child being inflexible?  Or was she communicating to us that she has had enough?!

Spectrummy Daddy led her away to soothe her, while Cubby and I placed our orders to go.  Pudding returned and told me she didn’t want to go home- caught between enjoying the change of routine and not being able to handle it.  She really is my girl…

Thrilled by the excitement of a Presidential visit, I’m much happier to have it over and done with. Unable to go to a new coffee shop, she is perfectly happy to go on vacation to an entirely new place.

Maybe our routines are about living the extra-ordinary life, and we have to find our own ways to get comfortable with them.  Once again, I can’t help but notice that we are a lot more alike than we are different.  One adventure over, we are ready for the next.

 

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

July 8, 2013 at 10:10 am

Making Changes

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You may have noticed my new look.  My birthday is next week, and Spectrummy Daddy asked what he could get for me.  All of my other suggestions were preposterous, so he granted my wish of my very own domain name.  From now on, I can be found at spectrummymummy.com like a real website!  Old links should still redirect (I hope) but please let me know if you have any problems accessing any content and I’ll do my best to find someone with the time who can fix it.

Apart from a new coat of paint, everything remains the same.  As we get closer to moving, I’m working to get as many things as I can into order.  Unfortunately, my kids are intent on creating as much disorder as they can.  Spring Break and the lack of routine has taken its toll on us.  Pudding’s sleeping gets worse, and I’m struggling to find the energy to do everything I need to at the moment.  I need to make changes there too.

Speaking of paint, one of the casualties of last week was this house we are renting.  Cubby has discovered the joy of writing on walls.  Pudding also went through this phase up until about a year ago.  She was compulsive in her need to spread her art, but eventually we convinced her to only draw on paper.  She has taken up the activity again with a passion.  We are witnessing the evolution of her lying skills, as I catch her in the act and she blames her brother.  There is no sophistication yet to her subterfuge, but she is getting plenty of practice.  I’m sure with the dedication she puts her into her efforts that she will master the art before too long.  We only buy washable crayons and markers, but between them they manage to find more permanent instruments of destruction.  It looks like painting will be our only option, if I ever can find time alone to do that.

Every single day for the next three weeks contains an appointment.  Things I couldn’t schedule with both kids around that I need to attend to now.  Spectrummy Daddy mused that they call it Spring Break because that is what it does to the parents.  As we struggle in the aftermath to restore some order, I can’t help but agree.  It might be a few more weeks before our house is back in harmony, but not all changes have to be bad.

I hope you like the new site – the only thing this control freak can get to have her way!

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

April 26, 2011 at 7:27 am