‘Froggy’ Windows, Hearts and The Way He Looks at Things….


Yesterday while standing in front of the door waiting for DC’s transportation to come, I decided to draw a few hearts on the fogged up window. DC loves to draw on windows when they are all ‘froggy’ (DC-speak), so I asked him to draw a heart for me. He did, and in true DC fashion he started with a V and continued around in one stroke to make the heart, instead of drawing one side and then the other. I still find it amazing the way he sees something as simple as a heart. It still comes out the same way, but he sees the drawing of it quite differently than I do. It always makes me wish for that 5 minutes in his head to see, through his eyes the way he sees the rest of the world around him.

The heart reminded me of an earlier post about this very subject (and ummmmm…. full disclosure – the hula hoop is collecting dust in the same spot I left it back then).

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



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, Dud Gramley 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), Dud 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, Dud? 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


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


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!

Branches, Branches, everywhere..

DC fell asleep on the couch last night. I happened to notice a scrape on his elbow. I went over to check to see if it was actually a scrape and accidentally woke him from a dead sleep. I apologized and told him that I was just looking at the scrape he had on his arm. In his half-asleep/half-awake fog, he felt for it. I asked him what had happened –

and even in this not fully awake –  really mostly asleep state; his answer was the same as it always is. Already drifting back to sleep,  he  whispered,  “Tree Branch”.

From earlier this year:

Those pesky tree branches…

tree branch

I know that I have written more than once about DC’s inability to communicate to me or anyone else if/when something might be  wrong. There have been very few times that he has actually volunteered information to me when he was not feeling well or when something hurt or was bothering him.

Most of the times when he does communicate a problem to me, it is really just a ploy to cover himself in Band-Aids:

DC: “Mom, my leg is killing me.” (there was nothing wrong with his leg, I checked)

Me: “What happened to your leg?”

DC:”I broke my leg.”

Me: “How did you break your leg?”

DC: “Tree branch. Ouch!” (we are in the house)…

The lengths that he will go, to plaster himself in Band-Aids.

A tree branch seems to be the number one culprit in many of his injuries. This leads me to believe that at one time or another a tree branch was indeed the reason for an injury. When? I have no idea, but once he comes up with an answer he likes, it usually becomes one of his standard answers.

More often than not the answer I get is Nothing ‘wong’ or Nothing happened. Although DC almost never really gets cuts or scrapes – which I assume is the reason for his obsession with Band-Aids and really is not what I’d call accident prone, he does always seem to have an odd mark or “spot” somewhere or another. These “spot” mysteries oftentimes take a good amount of time for me to figure out. He is not always a big help in that area.

There was the one time that he came home from his senior class picnic with a red mark (scrape, but not really band-aide worthy) on his arm. When I asked him what happened, he told me that his IA (Para, to some of you) Mrs. G. pushed him into a bush and he fell down. Now, if I were a more paranoid person (hahaha, who am I kidding, we all know I am) I would have believed this because He Was Actually Telling Me Something, but I have known Mrs. G for years so his explanation did not hold water. Of course I did not tell him that I didn’t believe his story because: 1. He actually told me something and I didn’t want to discourage him from doing so in the future and 2. I assumed that he probably really did fall into a bush and Mrs. G was there to help him out. ~ It’s all in the translation. I spoke with Mrs. G the next day and yes, my version was correct.

Or the time that I noticed a large quarter sized mark on the side of his leg/hip one morning before camp. I could not for the life of me figure out what happened. He was offering no information at all. I asked the camp nurse to take a look at it. She did not think it was any kind of bug bite (I am always concerned about bug/tick bites when he is at camp). I asked DC again what happened he just kept saying “swing”

“Did you fall off of the swing?”

No, swing.

“Did you get stuck on something on the swing?”

No! Swing (he was beginning to get upset – so I had to stop because if I ask too many questions he thinks he is getting it wrong and changes his story).

After thinking about it for quite some time, I realized that he was actually telling me what happened. It was the swing. DC loves the swings at camp. He will spend any free time and all of the outdoor rec. portion of his time on the swings. He is a big boy. The swing was rubbing against his hip every day, causing something that resembled a very large healed-over blister. Once I figured it out, we just kept it covered with Band-Aids, so as not to cause so much friction. This was one of the very few times where Band-Aids were applied for a legitimate reason .

Then there was the big stripe down the side of his neck, which is a regular occurrence now, but the first time I noticed this mark, it scared the life out of me.

“Oh My God! What happened?”

“Tree branch”

He was in the car with me all day. He did not come in contact with a tree branch. Once again, it took me a while to figure this one out. When we are driving he rocks back and forth in his seat with so much force that it shakes the whole car (very distracting to the person driving). Because we had been driving so long, the seat belt was rubbing against his neck with every rock for a good long time, causing this large red stripe down the side of his neck. I do not think he even felt it. I have always believed that he does not feel pain the way we do or he does not process pain the way we do.  This and the fact that he is not always able to communicate what might be going on is and will always be a huge worry of mine. Verbal does not always mean communication.

Last week, I noticed a mark on the back of his leg. I asked him what happened. “Nothing happened”

He hates for me to look at these things because he is afraid that he will have to go to the doctor. After a lot of back and forth and ‘egg – guo – ing’ he let me put some anti-bacterial cream on it and he went on his way. He brought it up again the following day on his own as his way of apologizing for giving me a hard time the day before. “Feels much better now, Mom! Thank you! Thank you!”.

I asked him again what happened and he rattled off a list. I am sure the answer may be in there somewhere if I think about it long enough – and then again, maybe not… one never knows.

“The swing” (which would have made perfect sense as it looked similar to the swing injury –  if he had been on a swing.)

“A rock”

“A spindle – ouch” (my personal favorite)

‘The chair”

“Tree Branch”


Sometimes I do get the answer I am looking for albeit in a round-about way,

and other times…..

I am just left with a tree branch..