We sure do have some stories, don’t we?

stories

Last month I wrote a post All the….small things, based on a conversation with a friend of mine that included snippets from an old website we used to run. It turned out to be my most popular post in April.  As I was trying to get a few posts written and scheduled ahead of time to run while we were away on vacation and for the very busy week I expected after we arrived home, I decided to go back to the old website and post a few more snippets on an array of different subjects…. but mostly just plain funny stories.

“Some of the following blurbs are mine (DC was very young at the time) and some are from friends of mine”  but all of them show us that yes, we are all crawling in the dark at times – we certainly were back then and really still are to some extent – but there is always humor to be found. We might at times learn something valuable – but most of the time it is just plain funny.

More on Clothing Issues:

You don’t wear your clothes in the pool. If Mom says it’s okay to go in because we forgot the bathing suit (meaning it is okay to go in with your shorts on) you take off all of your clothes (in front of more than 20 people) faster than she can get up to stop you – and go in naked.

 You don’t wear your shoes in the water, so water shoes are out of the question.

You don’t go outside with your Pajama’s on, not even just to step out on to the porch to hold the door open for someone as they are pleading with you to hold the door while carrying the largest poinsettia plant ever grown. – Forget it if there happens to be a fire!

 Literally Speaking:

 My 6 year old plays on a T-ball league for children with special needs. The Coach, in his infinite wisdom, coaching a bunch of 6 year olds who have probably never played baseball before – continued to yell “Choke Up”. My son proceeded to clear his throat each time the Coach gave this direction!

A Kindergartner whose family was moving out of the school district mid-year, wrote a good-bye letter to her teacher. She wanted to tell her how much she will miss her. They had been working very hard on sounding out words in class so she sounded out her letter to her favorite teacher, Mrs. Sheat. She began with: 

“Deer Mrs SH#T”(use your imagination)………

 My son and I were in the kitchen picking out one of those little boxes of cereal to take on a long car ride.  When we came across “Honey Smacks”, he wondered out loud, “Why don’t they call those butt smacks – those hiney smacks…..?”  Needless to say I could not speak – I was convulsed with laughter – I had never realized that he thought the word “Honey” was “Hiney” all this time.  But I could see how he came to that conclusion after examining the picture of the cereal on the box!

butt2

 Random Funnies:

While driving to church at Christmas time, my daughter decided it was not fair that Christmas was only one day while Hanukah was eight full days.

“Mom, why can’t we be Jewish?”.

My second daughter piped in immediately “We can’t be Jewish! We’re decaffeinated!”

My son likes to help. At times he can become overly helpful……..like the time he removed all the bamboo stakes from the tomato plants (all twenty of them,) and put the stakes back in the shed where they belong, vines and all.

or…. the time he decided to “weed” the vegetable bed and pulled everything out – weeds, veggies, everything green –  then proceeded to dispose of them in the swimming pool…clumps of dirt and all.

He will also dismantle any rock wall I construct and move the rocks to their original pile in back of the shed.

Recently while grocery shopping I asked my son, to get me some orange juice. Feeling so proud that I would ask him – off he went (with his older brother just a few short steps behind him). As his brother watched in amazement, my youngest son climbed up into the cooler and stretched his arm out so far as if he was searching for something. When my oldest son came to his aid he asked “what are you doing in the cooler with your hand stuck in there?” His reply was “I’m trying to reach Florida”  – TV Strikes Again….

My son was dying to be in the Christmas play at our church. He got the part of one of the Three Kings.

Apparently he did not understand that he had to stand on the stage in front of the whole church when he took the part, until the night they were getting ready to perform. He tried to beg out at the last minute, but his father insisted that he perform.

My son searched for the largest crown he could find. When he took the stage, he stood there with the crown down over his face to his neck, throughout the entire play.

crown

Many thanks to all of my friends that contributed so many years ago.

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Clarification, The Mighty and Airport Security

airport

A little over a week ago as I was preparing for a trip to Paris and London, I wrote a post about the preparations and the issue we had with my son during a security check on one of our recent trips. The original post, “Off we go….. almost” can be read here.

At the same time, the Mighty was asking for travel, airline and airport stories. I submitted a portion of the story I had just written about DC and the TSA Agent at the Charlotte Airport back in October. I did not submit a photo because really, what kind of photo would I have to go with that story? The Mighty replied and said that the photo would not be a problem – they would just use clip art.

The Mighty article posted the following day, with the title My Son Did a Great Job at Airport Security. But This Guard Did Not. The clip art they used was one of a little boy holding his passport looking up at a TSA Agent. At the time I thought nothing of it. I know they use clip art. I assumed most people knew that the Mighty often uses clip art.

But then…… I started reading some of the comments! People were outraged that the TSA would send a child through the body scan. It was only then that I realized that the photo used was misleading people into thinking that a small child was forced to go through the body scan AND then grabbed and patted down.

This was partially my fault as well. I am used to writing for MY readers, all of whom know that DC is an adult. The stories I submit to the Mighty are usually excerpts or edited down versions of an original story I have already posted. It does not occur to me to add additional detail. (It will certainly occur to me going forward).

I did feel the need to reply to the comments that were there and explain that my son is an adult. The Mighty, in turn saw my comments and immediately updated the photo and wrote a clarification

The Mighty Hi, Mighty community. We used a stock image for Vickie C.’s photo; her son is an adult with autism. We sincerely apologize for the confusion. As Vickie C. explained in her own comment, “They did not search a child or make a child go through the body scan. They also did not treat my adult son with respect.”

and an apology to me. I know this was not intentional on their part as I said earlier,  I really didn’t think anything of it until I read the comments. The facebook post photo would not update but the clarification was there.

Having said all of that, even after the clarification, my point that my child (Adult son) was treated like a non-person seemed to be lost in the body scan outrage.  My point: I first was confused by their treatment of him knowing he has Autism, actually confused by their treatment of him under any circumstances. After thinking about it and realizing that the fact that he has autism probably was the reason they did not even bother to speak to him or tell him what was going to happen is just plain wrong. This is a problem.

Since the article was posted I have received a few tips regarding airport security and accommodations. I will share them at the end of this post in the event they might come in handy to anyone that may be reading.

I don’t generally look for accommodations for DC. I do always want him to try before looking for an accommodation. If it is something that I know he cannot or will not be able to do, then yes, of course I will check out alternatives. If he is capable to doing it, I want him to do it. Accommodations are not available everywhere, they should be but they are not, so if he can, he will. The only accommodation he needed in this case was enough time for the process to be explained to him without getting too much direction from anyone other than myself – too much direction would only confuse the issue. We had that time, he did well, he listened and went through with no problem.

The treatment on the other side of the scan was totally uncalled for. Putting aside the wrongness of it for a moment, this kind of treatment can actually cause a problem where none would have existed. What if DC lashed out in fear? When he is confronted by a dog (he is afraid of dogs) his first instinct is to kick. What would have happened if, in fear he decided to kick or push or run? DC has never been violent, he has never hurt anyone but one does not know how he will react if frightened. He is a big strong boy. What would have happened then? I don’t want to think about it.

So I’d like to apologize for any miscommunication, but my point was not that DC had to go through the body scan at all. My point was that there was no reason for the treatment he received. The treatment he received could have escalated the situation into something far worse. NO ONE should be grabbed and patted down without a word or an explanation, no matter what age.

Below are some of the tips I received that you might find useful:

Check out The Arc of the US Wings for Autism program that gives families the opportunity to practice at the airport and trains TSA staff about people with disabilities. http://www.thearc.org/wingsforautism

The Arc | Wings for Autism

Is Wings for Autism coming to your city? Keep checking the schedule as more dates are announced…

thearc.org

and TSA Cares:

 Vickie, just read this post and while we haven’t had this exact scenario, separation for us (during the checks) are traumatic. We have had great success using TSA Cares and making prearrangements. We are met by a supervisor, who has a description of our situation and needs / concerns ahead of time. The supervisor escorts us through and stays with us until released after check point. We’ve even had some take us to our gate and ask what else they can do. (Can you say personal escorts with clout.)

I’ve even had a friend use TSA Cares to have his special needs child travel by himself. That boy is not much different than my son and parents were able to go to the gate with this child, and the meeting parent at other end met him at the receiving gate. They were completely satisfied and happy as well and love TSA Cares. It may be a well kept secret but we’ll worth our efforts and money well spent by our government.
We use it every time we fly.

(Please excuse the more-than-average amount of typos – I wasn’t intending to write anything today and this was written very quickly while talking on the phone and looking at proofs – multi-taking is also not one of my strengths)

Happy Lost-aversary #LOST #WeHaveToGoBack

Lost

It has been 5 years – 5 years since the LOST series finale. May 23, 2010 – Five Years! It does not seem that long.

LOST was one of the handful of TV shows that I always made a point of watching in real-time (Eureka and the Walking Dead are the others). First thing in the morning when I arrived at work the day after a new LOST episode *Al and I would discuss the entire show from beginning to end – theories, theories, theories. As soon as lunchtime hit, *Dustin would be in my office and we’d go through the whole thing again. *Al commented more than once that we needed a support group –  and looking back on it- we all probably did. Out of the office, the conversation always turned to LOST after our monthly Human Services Committee meetings with at least one and at times two of the Town Staff that were in attendance.

May 23rd – LOST-aversary, as it has come to be known is celebrated every year. Greeting cards are mailed and LOST gifts are presented.

This year I am away on vacation. I don’t know at the time I am writing this what kind of internet or phone access I will have.

So…. it is the 5th annual Lost-aversary and……

There will be no annual “Make Your Own Kind of Music”  and “Shambala” voicemail messages to kick off the day.

The greeting cards were not mailed because they would arrive much too early.

But….. the gifts have been purchased and this post has been pre-scheduled so with any luck *Cracker will see the post and it will remind him make his deliveries.

I am sorry I am missing it, but at the time this post is scheduled to publish, we should be having a Dr. Who Experience which almost totally makes up for missing the 5th Lost-aversary.

Many things, good and bad have been said about the way this show ended.

The only disappointment for me was never hearing or seeing Libby’s full back story and…… was Hurley’s imaginary friend Dave, really Libby’s dead husband? His name was David and…… it sort of looked like Libby was seeing him at the table with Hurley at the institution …… Yes, I still obsess and go right back into “theory mode”, when the subject of “LOST Unanswered Questions” comes up.

I haven’t watched the series again since it ended. I haven’t wanted to. There are some television series I can and do watch over and over again, like Eureka, Firefly, The West Wing, Homicide; Life on the Streets and Angel – all of which I absolutely love and there are others like LOST that I have no desire to watch again, not because I didn’t just love every single minute of it (with the exception of season two, The Tail Section season) but because I want to remember it the way I remember it. Maybe on the 10th Lost-aversary, but not now. I have watched the last episode over a good many times, though.

Say what you want about the way it ended, but……

(spoilers!!!)

These people left the island and went on to live their lives. One by one as in real life, they died – all at different times and at different ages and stages of their lives. Afterwards, they moved into a sort of ‘holding pattern’ where they lived completely different lives (Flash-sideways) oblivious to the life they once had and unaware that they were there, in this new life waiting for each other. They lived their new lives until all were there, united and were ready to remember – to remember their previous life, the most important part of their life and the people that they loved. They lived these lives until they were ready move on into the light….. together, as it should be.

Christian Shephard to his son, Jack: “Well, there is no “now”, here.  This is a place that you… that you all made together so that you could find one another. The most important part of your life was the time that you spent with these people on that island. That’s why all of you are here. Nobody does it alone, Jack. You needed all of them, and they needed you.”

And I just love that.

“See you in another life, brother”

IMG_9189

5th Anniversary gifts

Blog Titles…. Don’t ya know that I love my music?

Music

This is just going to be one of those posts that is fun for me and really not “autism-related”, except to say that much like DC, I always have music in my head – always. And also much like DC, I can pull out an obscure or very old song or just a line from a song and actually think people will recognize it.

You may (or may not) have noticed that I use quite a few song titles, lyrics or variations thereof as blog titles. I do this because music is always the first thing that pops into my head when giving a title to a blog. Once it is in my head, it’s there and even if the actual song has nothing to do with the post itself, I have to use it and I have to type it the way I am hearing it in my head – e.g.  All the……small things.

Yes, I do understand that most or maybe all of you are not reading it the way I am hearing it, or you might just be to young to even recognize some of the song titles or lines. So now, as DC would say ” Sit back, relax and enjoy the music in Mom’s head”:

(The linked text above the videos are links to the actual blog posts)

“Ooh you’re a holiday… every day …such a holiday” – Happy Mother’s Day

Bicycle races are coming your way…. (How the times have changed)

All the…. small things

Gimme head with hair

Take the long way home……. #1000speak

You wear it well….

I can see clearly now….

“And those whose names were never called when choosing sides for basketball” #1000speak

I got the music in me….

The ice, the grass and other things…..

(The Rain, the Park and Other Things)

So there you have it…

I’ll save the rest for another time…

(This post and one or two others were pre-written and pre-scheduled before we left on our vacation – I am not sure at the time I am writing what kind, if any internet access I will have once there or just how costly it will be to use. So have a wonderful week to 10 days and we will “see” you when we get back)

Off we go….. (almost)

plane I just finished reading a post from Autism-Mom, PREPARATION AND PANIC about the preparations for their big trip coming up – or should I say the “mind-race while one is trying to sleep” -preparations she is making for her family trip.

I had to laugh out loud as I have been doing the same thing. Our trip is just  a couple of days away and along with the “mind-race” and the anxiety about being the absolute worst packer in the world, there is work to contend with.

“We are leaving on Friday, so my last day in the office will be Thursday”

“So you need everything on Thursday?”

“Nooooooo, I need everything before Thursday so I have time to actually finish everything before I leave on Thursday”

We’ll see how that goes…..

We will be traveling to the same place as Autism-Mom and we did compare calendars to see if we could have coffee in London, we discovered we were close but no cigar – we would not be there at the same time.

Packing issues:

As many lists that I make and as many times as I go over everything in my mind, I always forget something. Once, being so proud of myself for not forgetting the one thing I was sure I’d forget, I discovered when we arrived that I did not pack a single shirt for DC – not one!

Then there is me:

I do not have many clothes that fit me because I have gained some weight – shhh. I will not go out and buy new clothes because that would be admitting defeat…. So I have to wait until the very last minute to pack all of my clothes because, you know, I have to wear some of them until we leave.

Flying:

The flight is also making me anxious. I am not one who can ever sleep on a plane, ever. I can’t sit still in those seats. DC, on the other hand is very good on airplanes – now, not so much when he was young – but he is really good now.

DC has flown quite a bit, but this will be his longest flight so far. Security is always a bit overwhelming for him, but he gets through it. As many times as he has flown before, he never had to go through the body scan until our trip in October to North Carolina’s Mountain of OZ.

There were a few times over the years when the security lines were not very busy and I wanted him to go through so I could explain it to him without holding up the line, but as soon as I mentioned “Autism”, they whisked him though the old walk-through before I had the chance to finish my sentence. That was fine, but I really wanted him to do it once in case there was ever a time that we weren’t given the choice. Of course I do explain it all to him while we’re in line and make him watch what everyone else is doing, just in case but as you know, no amount of explaining can take the place of doing.

Heading home from the Charlotte airport – it happened. He had to go through the body scan. As always I explained and showed him what he had to do while waiting in the line. Doug went through first as always and waited on the other side. I was behind DC. The security people saw us giving him instructions and the woman let me get up close so I can show him exactly what to do. He put his feet on the foot prints and raised his arms and waited for them to tell him he was finished. He did a great job.

He turned to walk out of the body scan when the guard on the other side near where Doug was waiting, grabbed DC with absolutely no notice and without saying a word and searched him! It happened too fast for either of us to react! DC was now screaming “Not all right! Not alright!” while I was trying to get through the scan to get to him. Both security guards saw us giving him directions. I told the woman he has Autism. I thought that they ‘got it’. There was no way they could not have seen that maybe they should approach with care or at least say something to him before he was grabbed and patted down.

I finally made it to the other side and DC was still yelling and really could not function – he couldn’t get his shoes and other items off of the conveyor belt – he just continued to yell, fists in the air “Not all right!”. Now all of the other security people in the area were watching as I tried to calm him down. I was praying that none of them would say anything or try to approach him and make matters worse. He was really causing a “disturbance” in the airport. This went on for a good long while. I had him sit down and tried to explain to him that he did everything correctly. The man should not have grabbed him without letting him know first. This was not his fault and he had every right to be upset. Eventually he did calm down and there were no aftershocks on the flight home.

People do at times overlook him completely and direct their questions to me instead of talking to him. I do always ask him the question myself and make sure he gives the person the answer himself. I mentioned earlier in the post that I thought that there was no way on earth that the security guards did not understand even before I explained that DC has Autism.  Now as I think about it, I wonder if they actually did understand and decided that due to his Autism, they did not really need to talk to DC directly at all…… and THAT is a problem.

***

Versions of this post were also published:

On the Mighty: “My Son Did a Great Job at Airport Security. But This Guard Did Not.”

and at The Behavior Station

“Ooh, you’re a holiday… every day …such a holiday” – Happy Mother’s Day

 

“Now it’s my turn to say….. and I say you’re a holiday”

mother's day

The day before Mother’s Day 2014, I wrote a post about my obsession with a Macaroni necklace. I thought that it would be my post for Mother’s Day, but on the following day on Mother’s Day I just HAD to write an update.

Since I am still in awe about the ‘updated part’ and the progress my boy has made – I am re-posting both of those posts together today. I am blessed with this wonderful child and he is absolutely a holiday to me, every day…

DC is spending tomorrow with his friend BB at the circus. BB’s Mom bought the tickets ahead of time not realizing it was Mother’s Day and I said that he could go ahead of time, also not realizing it was Mother’s Day.

-insert sad face-

So we will be going out for Mother’s Day breakfast and apparently there is at least a card involved. Never able to keep a secret, DC, when he walked in the house on Thursday night made it a point to announce, more than once that he left Mom’s Mother’s Day card in the car. After breakfast DC will have a good time at the circus with his friend. I’m sure we will get to spend some time together later in the evening.

Wishing you all a very relaxing and happy Mother’s Day!

Mother’s Day and The Macaroni Necklace

Macaroni

My only Mother’s Day gift wish when DC was little was a macaroni necklace. You know, the macaroni necklace that every child makes for their mother eventually, for some occasion or holiday or for no reason at all. I think I remember making a few of my own when I was a kid. I really wanted a macaroni necklace! Unfortunately,  there was no one that was going to help him do this, with the exception of me, of course,  but that would not be the same. In other families if there was not another parent or sibling to make the suggestion and help with the project, eventually the child got old enough to come up with the idea as we all did when we were young, on his own. I knew that this was also something that was not going to happen in the foreseeable future, at least.

I know it was an odd thing to be fixated on, with so many other things to worry about, but it really made me sad that  my son was never going to make and present me with a macaroni necklace. I talked about it all of the time. Whenever my birthday or a holiday came around, my friends would have to listen to me whine about the fact that I would never have that cherished macaroni necklace. In my mind it was the “right of passage” of parenthood.

Now, yes of course I realize that this necklace that I wanted so badly was just a representation of the many ways our life was and would continue to be so very different from the way I had imagined when he was born.
I know that very few people end up with the life they imagine, but I knew ours would be very different.

DC was in school, but at this point in time, they really hadn’t done many of the “school gift” projects that most children come home with around the holidays ~ probably because the projects would not  make it home in one piece ~ therefore my hopes for a macaroni necklace were dwindling.

One day, the Friday before Mother’s Day, when DC was 6 or 7, I opened his back pack and found a package labeled “Mom”. I called DC over and asked if this was for me. He signed “Yes”.

I opened it and there it was,  a macaroni necklace! Made with HEART SHAPED macaroni, no less. Also included was a photo of DC and his aide stringing the pasta.

This was absolutely THE best Mother’s Day gift! Of course, he didn’t really understand that he had to give it to me, I had to find it in his back pack, and of course the writing wasn’t his, but there was photographic evidence that he had made it himself!

I wore it all day on Mother’s Day and  to work on the Monday after Mother’s Day. He seemed to be very pleased that I was wearing it!

My office mates were happy too, believe me….. I specifically remember one saying “Thank God you finally got that macaroni necklace, I was about to make one myself!”

Now-a days DC is no longer oblivious to holidays. He knows when they are coming, he knows what they are about for the most part. His mind still doesn’t go to “Hey let’s make Mom a card or a gift for Mother’s Day”, but he now has some help for that.  But he does remember to give them to me, usually early because he is too excited and can not wait. He does make the connection with the holiday and the gift and he is very, very proud of himself when he gives me a gift. Such a difference from the boy who didn’t know it was a holiday or to know that he should give me the gift he made at school sitting in his back-pack to the “man” who just can’t wait to make me happy with his gift!

There is nothing that makes me happier than seeing him proud of what he’s done and accomplished.

So, Happy Mother’s Day!

May your jewelry box runneth over with pasta and your day be filled with joy!

 

 

Mother’s Day update

DC loves to draw and he does draw quite a few pictures for me. His favorite subjects are flowers, cakes and once in a while,  pizza. He draws pictures for me for no reason at times but usually his “Flowers for Mom” drawings are reserved for the times he thinks he is in trouble and the times he IS in trouble. When you see “Flowers for Mom” pictures laying about when you walk into my house, chances are DC is in trouble for something. He never draws for a holiday or birthday, unless it is suggested to him.

Less than 12 hours after I wrote..

“His mind still doesn’t go to “Hey let’s make Mom a card or a gift for Mother’s Day”, DC woke up and the very first thing out of his mouth was, “Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!”.

We went to the kitchen and I started making coffee,  I turned around and there was DC at the table drawing.

He stopped when he saw me look at him as if I wasn’t supposed to see; “Sorry, Buddy, I won’t look”, and he continued on.

A few minutes later he presented me with this picture, with no prompting and no one to tell him it what a good idea it might be!

Happy Mother's Day!

Less than 12 hours after I wrote…..

Such a difference from the boy who didn’t know it was a holiday or didn’t  know that he should give me the gift that he made in school sitting in his back- pack to the “man” who just can’t wait to make me happy with his gift!”

there was more…………….

Happy Mother’s Day!

***********

Ooh you’re a holiday , every day , such a holiday……

Now it’s my turn to say , and I say you’re a holiday ~ Bee Gees

 

 

Perception, Hula Hoops and a little bit of Firefly….

fire

Last week I was talking to my friend Geri at work and somehow we got on the subject of hula hoops. I proceeded to tell her that I was quite the expert hula hoop-er when I was a kid. I could hula hoop 4 at a time, I could do all of the tricks. I could start at my wrist and hula hoop to my neck, waist, hips to my knees and all the way back up again. I could walk down the street while hula hooping. I was pretty good, if I do say so myself.

Later, back at my desk, Al rang my extension to tell me that he had been in Target that past weekend and he noticed that they had a few Firefly characters on the shelf, “You know, that guy that you like with the Hawaiian shirt”.

“That would be Wash”

“Why is he holding a dinosaur?”

“[sigh….] ‘We will rule over all this land, and we will call it…This Land’ “ – He did not get it. I e-mailed him a clip, he would not watch it.

After only watching for 20 minutes a year ago (he insists it was more), Al has determined that he HATES Firefly. With every ridiculous reason he gives me, it becomes only another reason for me to make it my mission to get him to watch it.

I told him I had planned to stop at Target on my way home anyway so I would check it out.

I stopped at Target as planned and looked in the toy department for the Firefly figures. They were sold out. – What does this tell you, Al? I would not have stopped in the toy department if it were not for the figures but while there I happened to notice hula hoops. On a whim, I bought two, one for me and one for DC.

I brought them home and DC was not impressed at all. I tried mine out and much like anything that is different to him – as my first pair of glasses that he insisted that I “Take off glasses, NO!” or anytime I happen to put my hair up “Mom! Hair! No!” – he did not like it at all. He kept grabbing it to make me stop. I finally got him to stop grabbing it and hula hooped for about 15 minutes. It was exhausting, because, you now – I’m old, but it was also kind of fun. It was so exhausting that I wondered if this could actually be a workout – I googled it and yes, there are quite a few hula-hoop workout videos on you-tube. So I’ve found my new workout routine. We’ll see how long this lasts.

This story (I really am going somewhere with all of this) is really about DC’s perception of things, many things. The way he sees things and how difficult it is for him to process what he is seeing at times.  I can never take for granted that what he sees and how he processes what he sees is same way I see it.

His elementary school O.T. pointed this out to me. For example, when DC saw and wrote the letter X, he did not see it as two diagonal lines intersecting

X

– he saw it and wrote it as two V’s (or arrows) connecting.

V

When he first started riding horses he had a very difficult time figuring out how to get on the horse. His inclination was to put the foot closest to the horse in the stirrup which just ended with his foot in the stirrup and the other leg dangling at his side. It took him a long time to understand that he had to put the opposite leg, the one farthest from the horse in the stirrup and swing his other leg over. He got it eventually, but it was not second nature to him, he had to learn it.

For years when he went swimming, he would walk around the pool stroking with his arms. He thought he was swimming because looking at it from outside or above the water, he thought that was exactly what everyone else was doing.

So after I completed my 15 minutes of continuous hula hooping the other day, DC decided to jump on the band wagon. He ran into the living room with his hula hoop and yelled “Hey watch this” and proceeded to spin the hoop. But instead of the hip action it takes to keep the hoop going, he spun himself around. Of course the hoop fell, but this did not stop him, he thinks he is doing it correctly.

“Hey, watch this” again and again.

We are working on this……..

*****
Just for fun……… EVERYBODY SING!

Everything is related – Willy Wonka

In a few weeks we will be leaving for our trip to London. One of the items on our agenda, other than Cardiff and the Dr. Who Experience……..

Let’s just pause for a moment……..

YEEE HAAA!

Okay, I’m back.

One of the items on our agenda is going to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – The Musical at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane. DC is so very excited. Willy Wonka has been a favorite of DC’s since I can remember.

Wonka through the years

Wonka through the years

In honor of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – The Musical – here is the third installment in the “Everything is Related Series” – you can find the first and second here and here.

Among the many other reasons:

  – Everything being related, has helped him to move on to a more diverse realm of TV shows and movies (while still loving all of the originals he has loved since he was a baby). When attending an ARC movie activity or even just a movie night with friends, for instance, a Disney or animated movie may not be the choice of the others attending. Relating one movie or actor to another has helped him to be more open to watching something that may not be Disney-based.

For the first time so far in this series, we do not begin with Disney. DC, for some reason decided that Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, even though not a Disney Movie was just fine with him. He has been watching it for years. I’m sure I had to bring it to his attention originally but this one he actually liked the first time around (this is not always the case – he hated Shrek – refused to watch it for the longest time. Now he is Shrek’s biggest fan).

Yes I do realize that Willy Wonka does not have much to do with London, but I am going with it anyway.

It is entirely possible that Jack Albertson had something to do with DC green-lighting Willy Wonka. Jack Albertson was “the voice of” Amos Slade in The Fox and The Hound…..

and there it is…..

the Disney connection.

DC knows “the voice of” just about any Disney character you can name. His love of the original Willy Wonka brought him to the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory movie and to Johnny ‘Deep” (DC-speak). For quite awhile after that version came out, I did hear quite often that it was “Not ‘Jen Wonder’ (Gene Wilder)”, but I think he just felt the need to tell me that. It did not deter him from watching. Johnny ‘Deep’ opened up a whole new world for him, some Disney based…

DC as the Mad Hatter

DC as the Mad Hatter

..and some not – but he was instrumental in getting him to watch other types of movies. As I said in the first post and above – it is important for him to be open to other movies when he is attending an activity or out with his friends.

When DC was younger he did seem to like the Harry Potter movies. The books were just too much for him at the time. I was always on a hunt for Harry Potter type books that were a little less intimidating for him. I was really never successful, but I did come across the Spiderwick Chronicles Series. I bought him all of the books that were available at the time and I discovered that there was even a movie out on DVD. I tried desperately to read these books with him every night and I tried and tried to get him to watch the movie. He was not having any of it.  So, after years of them sitting on the shelf collecting dust, I finally gave up and got rid of them.

It was only a year or two ago that I was flipping channels in the living room, not really paying attention when DC ran in screaming “Freddie Highmore, Freddie Highmore!!!” – I had no idea who that was or why he was screaming.

“Charlie Bucket! Charlie and the Chocolate Factory!!!”

The Spiderwick Chronicles was on TV and he was so excited. He watched the entire thing – which is a big deal since it was a weekend and he was giving up some computer time to watch – and yes, we did have to go out and buy  the DVD and the books all over again. This movie that I tried so hard to get him to watch when he was younger is now among his favorites.

The original Willy Wonka is by far his favorite version. Meeting the real Mike-TeeVee saved him from an anxiety attack at NY ComicCon a few years ago.
mtv

But , Johnny ‘Deep” has broadened his horizons.

DC’s latest obsession is the latest version of “Into the Woods” with Johnny ‘Deep’. He does have the original version from the 80’s or 90’s but this new version is without a doubt his new favorite movie.

He randomly will announce to me that ‘Merue Strip’ plays the wicked witch, just in case I have forgotten……

Meryl Streep………yes! I can work with that!