That’s the way it should be-eeee

 

grease 153IMG_3611A repost of an event from two years ago, in honor of my friends that always come through, put up with and go along with not only attending these events but my over the top, out of their comfort zone ideas.

They will not say that they did not have fun!

But really, they are the best!

From February 27, 2014 (Event Date)

“We go together………..”

…like Ramma lamma lamma Ka dinga da dinga dong
Remembered forever like Shoo-wop sha whada whadda Yippidy boom da boom
Chang chang changity chang shoo bop That’s the way it should be
Waooo Yeah!”

GreaseSR

These Kids Rock! They really do!

That was originally all I intended to say. I wasn’t really considering writing about this, but……. as I was thinking about just how proud I am of each and every one of them and just how much DC and his friends just rise to the occasion and always have a great time together,  I just had to mention the fact that not only does DC have the best friends anyone could hope for…. I do as well.

As I wrote in an earlier post:

***I am fortunate to have friends that are willing to go all out for something that DC loves so much; we all took a line from that song and dressed appropriately for the Sing-A-Long. He and his friends had a ball and I think after the initial embarrassment, my friends did as well.***

DC and I are very fortunate to have these people in our life. I am not just talking about the sing-a-long we just attended, but in general, these people are just the best, THE BEST!

DC and his friend BB love Grease. BB is a long-time fan, DC became a fan because of him. When I heard the local theater had scheduled a Grease Sing-A-Long, I knew we just had to attend. Everyone agreed to attend and then I proceeded to harass them for months about costumes. I will admit that I can be a little bit high pressure when it comes to costumes (just a little bit), but I am sure they expected it and if they didn’t, they put up with me anyway. I am sure the last thing the adults wanted to do was to wear a costume again (Halloween is over, can’t we get a break?) but they agreed.

But…. did they expect to be wearing toilet paper rolls? I doubt it. I think they actually thought I was joking when I first brought it up. They quickly realized that I never joke about costumes so the “roll collection” process began. BB and his Mom, Donna were not able to attend the Sound of Music event with us, so as BB was looking forward to wearing his “Grease Garb”, I don’t think Donna realized that she would also be in costume as well until about a week before the event.

We collected our toilet paper and paper towel rolls and headed to Tonya’s house one Sunday afternoon. Tonya being the craft genius and glue gun wizard, was able to figure out just how to do this.

Talk about “Above and Beyond”; she sat there for hours gluing toilet paper rolls to foam strips! All that we had to do was supply our heads.

Glue Gun Wizard

Glue Gun Wizard

They looked fantastic! They were unexpectedly comfortable too!

We headed out to the theater on Thursday night in single-digit weather – not wanting coats to muck up the costumes – it was COLD! We had 10 seats in the first row of the upper orchestra section. Coincidentally a friend of mine had the rest of the seats in that row! Together, we made the best row of costumes there (my opinion only, but I firmly believe this to be true 🙂 ).

We sang, we danced, we had many, many photos taken of us as a group and of us with strangers. We were interviewed and photographed by the local news paper. Those under the delusion they would not be noticed, were wrong.
The “kids” had so much fun singing, dancing and using the props provided by the theater. They just ate up all of the attention they were getting.
The adults had a great time, singing and dancing as well..

except for this guy……..

Except this guy - Grease Sing A Long - Beauty School Drop Out

Except this guy – Grease Sing A Long – Beauty School Drop Out

Those still under the delusion of anonymity, had that shattered when they were plastered all over the news on Saturday.

 

 

The Theater's Facebook Page

The Theater’s Facebook Page

The Theater's Facebook Page

The Theater’s Facebook Page

 

 

As the show was on a Thursday night and not on a weekend, we weren’t able to go out to eat in full dress afterwards – this had to be some consolation to the adults anyway……

But all joking aside, we did have a wonderful time. I can’t say enough about all of them.

Walking around in public wearing toilet paper rolls….

the truest measure of friendship….

Thanks to all of you!

*Thanks to my friend *Al at work, who always comes up with a fantastic photo of our outings

January reruns – Scotch Tape, Salt and Some Good Old Fairy Dust

In keeping with my winter rerun theme – remember back in the day when TV shows went into reruns during December and January instead of being replaced by something new? – I am re-posting an older blog from 2013, because, really…nothing has changed…..

I am still hiding pens, hiding scotch tape and keeping salt and pepper shakers out of sight – which means the Dr. Who salt and pepper shakers I received for Christmas are displayed on the shelf….. empty….. sigh

who

From February 2013:

Everyone needs a little “fairy dust”

Everyone needs a little Fairy Dust

Harassing my co-workers for their paper towel rolls for a project this week, made me think about the reasons I don’t buy paper towels myself. This then led me to think about all of the other things I don’t buy, have to hide or make adjustments to, around the house.

Shampoo: This is no longer an issue, but at one time and for many years if I forgot to take the shampoo out of the shower, most of the bottle would be used to paint a masterpiece and the rest went down the drain…… every time.

Paper Towels: Paper Towels are for shredding and only for shredding. On the rare occasion that I do buy them, they have to be hidden on top of the refrigerator. Hiding the paper towels makes them not very convenient for me to use and forgettable, so there really isn’t any point  in buying them at all.

Paper: Every single piece of blank paper in the house has a Disney character’s name written on it. Teachers, Camp councilors and  anyone else I have to write a note to, receives that note on our exclusive custom stationary. After a few weeks of notes to camp, the Director finally asked “Do you guys do ‘A Character a day or something’?” No, unfortunately nothing that creative, I just can’t keep the paper out of the hands of my in-house stationary designer.

Construction Paper: Construction paper is also used specifically for character names, BUT according to the rule made up in his head,  these sheets can not and will not be saved. They MUST be cut up into small pieces with scissors and spread out all over the floor. He must also write on each sheet of  an entire package of paper before he begins the job of shredding/cutting. A few pieces just doesn’t do it. A package of construction paper will only last an hour or two after it has been opened.

Old Grainy picture of DC surrounded by shredded construction paper.

He has been a bit better with the construction paper lately. He still writes his character names. He still will not save them as he does with plain white paper, but now at least, he rips them up, one at a time and throws them away. –  (say it with me….) Progress!

Baby wipes (or hand wipes): Wipes are used for “Cinderella chores” ; washing the floor and door. This could actually be a good thing if he didn’t use  20 of them to wash the same spot on the same floor and the same spot on the same door. We don’t buy wipes anymore.

Scotch Tape: Scotch tape can be used on anything and for anything. For the most part, it is used to tape up pages in his books. Some books require an entire roll for just the smallest tear. Scotch tape can also be used to build a drum out of a cup or a bowl. He covers the top of the cup or bowl with tape….. a two roll minimum of tape, and this is his drum. Yes, creative, and yes he figured this out by himself but now I have to hide my tape in the cellar if I hope to find any when I need it.

His very own scotch tape is now an item on all of his Christmas/Birthday lists. One friend in particular has been very creative with her gifts of scotch tape. He just loves them!

Scotch Tape: For the boy who has everything!

Pens: No matter how many pens I hide for myself, I can not ever find a pen. He has all of them…… somewhere, I don’t know where and he is not telling. He will return the pens that don’t work –  those are always readily available.

Buttons: If there is a button there, it needs to be buttoned. Years ago I thought I was being sneaky by removing the top button on all of his shirts so he would not insist on buttoning everything right up to his neck. I discovered I was not as slick as I thought I was one day when DC brought me one of his shirts to have the button removed. He knows there should be a button there and knows I’m cutting it off, but for some reason this is alright with him. Leaving it on and not buttoning it, is not.

Other clothes: All tags must be removed from all clothing. If he should find the smallest rip, tear or string, he will proceed to shred that article of clothing. It may take him all day, but he will make sure it can never be worn again. Just recently I mistakenly bought him a pair of jeans that had ready-made tears in them. When I realized, I was sure this would be a disaster, but for some reason, it was fine with him. He wears them quite regularly…….. figure that one out. I can not!

Salt: We do not keep salt or sugar on the table. Salt is used as fairy dust. If it is not being sprinkled on his food, then there is no other use for salt, except to be used as fairy dust. Crumbs, the cereal dust at the bottom of the cereal box, crushed chips and a number of other items can also be used as fairy dust, but salt is the ultimate in fairy dust.

I’ve been “Fairy-Dusted” many times, so has the kitchen, the living room, restaurant tables and his uncle when, a few years back, DC got his hands on some cotton candy sugar at a picnic (Cotton Candy Sugar = Pink and Blue Fairy Dust; what could be better!)  Delightfully he took a very large handful and “dusted” his Uncle’s head yelling;

“Think of a wonderful thought” 

Who doesn't need a little Fairy Dust every once in a while?

His Uncle didn’t get it……..

But really…..who couldn’t use a little fairy dust every once in a while?

(He is better with salt these days, but I  will not keep it on the table, it is just too much for him to resist)

“PLEEEEEEEEESE”

Please

(code word of the day – ‘Paper Towels’ = Toilet paper)

A few weeks ago, DC and I were on our way to a dance. I was planning on grocery shopping the following day but decided to stop at a convenience store to pick up a roll of paper towels – just as a little bit of back-up until I went shopping the next day.

I intended to pick up only one roll as I did not see any need to pay convenience store prices when I would be going to a grocery store the following day. It was no emergency, but I do know how quickly they seem to disappear in our house.

DC came into the store with me, hoping to pick out a treat. He went to the ‘treat’ aisle and grabbed his bag of  Combos – no surprise there. I went to the next aisle. We met in line at the register.

There was one person in front of us and another behind us. DC looked at the single roll of paper towels and said,

“No! Two! Please!”

He was very loud and adamant about it. Alright,  so he was nervous about running out of paper towels.  I did think that it was a  bit odd that he was so worried about paper towels, but not a big deal. We still had the one customer in front of us so I said “Okay, if you want two, go over and get ONE more, but you have to hurry”

DC went running over to the other side of the store.

This child, has THE best sense of direction of anyone I have ever met. He remembers how to get anywhere we’ve ever been. He always seems to know right where he is. He does NOT get this from me. I still get lost in the mall. For someone who has this type of directional sense, he just could not take direction to the paper towel aisle, even though there were only 3 aisles in the store and he had seen me go to the aisle only a few seconds before.

He was walking around, looking up in the air, trying to follow the instructions I was giving him from the line. At this point, the woman ahead of me had finished her transaction and not wanting to hold up the woman behind me, I called to DC and said “Never mind, we will get more tomorrow”.

The man behind the counter said, “It’s okay, I will just ring up an extra one if he really wants two” . He was ringing and helping to give directions to DC –  it was beginning to get ridiculous –  there were only 3 aisles, but I knew if he did not find the aisle soon he would become very upset and frustrated (he was already beginning to)  and this agitated  mood would carry itself over to the dance we were headed to. Just as I was going to leave the line to help him, the clerk said “I think he’s found them”.

Around the corner comes DC with not one, but an armload of at least 7 rolls of paper towels! I tried not to laugh and told him that we did not need that many, and to please put them back.

DC stood in the middle of the store, with his arms full of paper towels and yelled “PLEEEEEASE” “PLEEEEEASE” as if his life depended on it. He does not beg this much or this loudly when he wants me to buy him a book or movie. I told him to put them back but he just stood there, arms full yelling “PLEEEEEEASE!”

The clerk was now laughing, not at DC, but at the sight of him standing there with so many paper towel rolls.  The poor woman waiting patiently behind me said “He sure loves his paper towels, doesn’t he?”

“Yes, apparently, he does today.”

I had no idea what was in his head or why he HAD to have them right then, but for some reason they were very important to him in that moment. I promised him that we would get more the following day at the grocery store (and we did), so he finally put them all back except for the additional roll I had agreed to earlier.

He was still out of sorts when we arrived at his friend’s house, but fortunately, over it by the time we got to the dance.

I suppose, still, after all this time,  I do not always know just what is important to him or why it is important at any given time.  Just when I thought I’d be adding paper towels to his “Odd Gift List” ; the following day, in the grocery store,  he didn’t seem concerned whether we bought more or not, but for some reason, the day before, it was very important.

 (After thinking about it – a lot – because that is what I do;  and writing about it, because at times it helps me to figure things out* and after just writing that very last paragraph, the light went off in my head – I am wondering if it wasn’t the paper towels at all, just the fact that I was only buying one at the time and at the grocery store, we always buy a package? “Buying more tomorrow”, doesn’t make a lot of  sense in his world – at that moment in time, we were just buying one and this had never happened before)

**I was told long ago by one of DC’s first teachers, Mrs. T, that, with Autism, not all things can be explained and I might just drive myself crazy trying to figure everything out. This is true, very true, but it does not stop me from trying…..

 

“We Go Together……..

…like Ramma lamma lamma Ka dinga da dinga dong
Remembered forever like Shoo-wop sha whada whadda Yippidy boom da boom
Chang chang changity chang shoo bop That’s the way it should be
Waooo Yeah!”

GreaseSR

These Kids Rock! They really do!

That was originally all I intended to say. I wasn’t really considering writing about this, but……. as I was thinking about just how proud I am of each and every one of them and just how much DC and his friends just rise to the occasion and always have a great time together,  I just had to mention the fact that not only does DC have the best friends anyone could hope for…. I do as well.

As I wrote in an earlier post:

***I am fortunate to have friends that are willing to go all out for something that DC loves so much; we all took a line from that song and dressed appropriately for the Sing-A-Long. He and his friends had a ball and I think after the initial embarrassment, my friends did as well.***

DC and I are very fortunate to have these people in our life. I am not just talking about the sing-a-long we just attended, but in general, these people are just the best, THE BEST!

DC and his friend BB love Grease. BB is a long-time fan, DC became a fan because of him. When I heard the local theater had scheduled a Grease Sing-A-Long, I knew we just had to attend. Everyone agreed to attend and then I proceeded to harass them for months about costumes. I will admit that I can be a little bit high pressure when it comes to costumes (just a little bit), but I am sure they expected it and if they didn’t, they put up with me anyway. I am sure the last thing the adults wanted to do was to wear a costume again (Halloween is over, can’t we get a break?) but they agreed.

But…. did they expect to be wearing toilet paper rolls? I doubt it. I think they actually thought I was joking when I first brought it up. They quickly realized that I never joke about costumes so the “roll collection” process began. BB and his Mom, Donna were not able to attend the Sound of Music event with us, so as BB was looking forward to wearing his “Grease Garb”, I don’t think Donna realized that she would also be in costume as well until about a week before the event.

We collected our toilet paper and paper towel rolls and headed to Tonya’s house one Sunday afternoon. Tonya being the craft genius and glue gun wizard, was able to figure out just how to do this.

Talk about “Above and Beyond”; she sat there for hours gluing toilet paper rolls to foam strips! All that we had to do was supply our heads.

Glue Gun Wizard

Glue Gun Wizard

They looked fantastic! They were unexpectedly comfortable too!

We headed out to the theater on Thursday night in single-digit weather – not wanting coats to muck up the costumes – it was COLD! We had 10 seats in the first row of the upper orchestra section. Coincidentally a friend of mine had the rest of the seats in that row! Together, we made the best row of costumes there (my opinion only, but I firmly believe this to be true 🙂 ).

We sang, we danced, we had many, many photos taken of us as a group and of us with strangers. We were interviewed and photographed by the local news paper. Those under the delusion they would not be noticed, were wrong.
The “kids” had so much fun singing, dancing and using the props provided by the theater. They just ate up all of the attention they were getting.
The adults had a great time, singing and dancing as well..

except for this guy……..

Except this guy - Grease Sing A Long - Beauty School Drop Out

Except this guy – Grease Sing A Long – Beauty School Drop Out

Those still under the delusion of anonymity, had that shattered when they were plastered all over the news on Saturday.

 

 

The Theater's Facebook Page

The Theater’s Facebook Page

The Theater's Facebook Page

The Theater’s Facebook Page

 

 

As the show was on a Thursday night and not on a weekend, we weren’t able to go out to eat in full dress afterwards – this had to be some consolation to the adults anyway……

But all joking aside, we did have a wonderful time. I can’t say enough about all of them.

Walking around in public wearing toilet paper rolls….

the truest measure of friendship….

Thanks to all of you!

*Thanks to my friend *Al at work, who always comes up with a fantastic photo of our outings

Everyone needs a little “fairy dust”

Everyone needs a little Fairy Dust

Everyone needs a little Fairy Dust

Harassing my co-workers for their paper towel rolls for a project this week, made me think about the reasons I don’t buy paper towels myself. This then led me to think about all of the other things I don’t buy, have to hide or make adjustments to, around the house.

Shampoo: This is no longer an issue, but at one time and for many years if I forgot to take the shampoo out of the shower, most of the bottle would be used to paint a masterpiece and the rest went down the drain…… every time.

Paper Towels: Paper Towels are for shredding and only for shredding. On the rare occasion that I do buy them, they have to be hidden on top of the refrigerator. Hiding the paper towels makes them not very convenient for me to use and forgettable, so there really isn’t any point  in buying them at all.

Paper: Every single piece of blank paper in the house has a Disney character’s name written on it. Teachers, Camp councilors and  anyone else I have to write a note to, receives that note on our exclusive custom stationary. After a few weeks of notes to camp, the Director finally asked “Do you guys do ‘A Character a day or something’?” No, unfortunately nothing that creative, I just can’t keep the paper out of the hands of my in-house stationary designer.

Construction Paper: Construction paper is also used specifically for character names, BUT according to the rule made up in his head,  these sheets can not and will not be saved. They MUST be cut up into small pieces with scissors and spread out all over the floor. He must also write on each sheet of  an entire package of paper before he begins the job of shredding/cutting. A few pieces just doesn’t do it. A package of construction paper will only last an hour or two after it has been opened.

Old Grainy picture of DC surrounded by shredded construction paper.

Old Grainy picture of DC surrounded by shredded construction paper.

He has been a bit better with the construction paper lately. He still writes his character names. He still will not save them as he does with plain white paper, but now at least, he rips them up, one at a time and throws them away. –  (say it with me….) Progress!

Baby wipes (or hand wipes): Wipes are used for “Cinderella chores” ; washing the floor and door. This could actually be a good thing if he didn’t use  20 of them to wash the same spot on the same floor and the same spot on the same door. We don’t buy wipes anymore.

Scotch Tape: Scotch tape can be used on anything and for anything. For the most part, it is used to tape up pages in his books. Some books require an entire roll for just the smallest tear. Scotch tape can also be used to build a drum out of a cup or a bowl. He covers the top of the cup or bowl with tape….. a two roll minimum of tape, and this is his drum. Yes, creative, and yes he figured this out by himself but now I have to hide my tape in the cellar if I hope to find any when I need it.

His very own scotch tape is now an item on all of his Christmas/Birthday lists. One friend in particular has been very creative with her gifts of scotch tape. He just loves them!

Scotch Tape: For the boy who has everything!

Scotch Tape: For the boy who has everything!

Pens: No matter how many pens I hide for myself, I can not ever find a pen. He has all of them…… somewhere, I don’t know where and he is not telling. He will return the pens that don’t work –  those are always readily available.

Buttons: If there is a button there, it needs to be buttoned. Years ago I thought I was being sneaky by removing the top button on all of his shirts so he would not insist on buttoning everything right up to his neck. I discovered I was not as slick as I thought I was one day when DC brought me one of his shirts to have the button removed. He knows there should be a button there and knows I’m cutting it off, but for some reason this is alright with him. Leaving it on and not buttoning it, is not.

Other clothes: All tags must be removed from all clothing. If he should find the smallest rip, tear or string, he will proceed to shred that article of clothing. It may take him all day, but he will make sure it can never be worn again. Just recently I mistakenly bought him a pair of jeans that had ready-made tears in them. When I realized, I was sure this would be a disaster, but for some reason, it was fine with him. He wears them quite regularly…….. figure that one out. I can not!

Salt: We do not keep salt or sugar on the table. Both are used as fairy dust.  There is no other use for salt, except to be used as fairy dust. Crumbs, the cereal dust at the bottom of the cereal box, crushed chips and a number of other items can also be used as fairy dust, but salt is the ultimate in fairy dust.

I’ve been “Fairy-Dusted” many times, so has the kitchen, the living room, restaurant tables and his uncle when, a few years back, DC got his hands on some cotton candy sugar at a picnic (Cotton Candy Sugar = Pink and Blue Fairy Dust; what could be better!)  Delightfully he took a very large handful and “dusted” his Uncle’s head yelling;

“Think of a wonderful thought” 

Who doesn't need a little Fairy Dust every once in a while?

Who doesn’t need a little Fairy Dust every once in a while?

His Uncle didn’t get it……..

But really…..who couldn’t use a little fairy dust every once in a while?

(He is better with salt these days, but I  will not keep it on the table, it is just too much for him to resist)

Communication, Paper Towels and other nonsense

The battle for communication from the time DC was in the Birth to 3 Program has been a never-ending battle fought, for the most part, uphill.

When he was younger I asked –  begged, someone – anyone; his teacher, his IA, anyone,  to write at least one thing that he did that day that was specific to that day. I explained that I wanted him to understand the question “What did you do today” and to be able to have some sort of conversation whether it be in sign language (when he was young) or in just a few words (when he moved past sign and started using a small  words). I just wanted him to understand the question and give me some sort of response.

If I couldn’t get a response, at least I could list a few things I KNEW that he did, hoping that this would get the point of “today” in his mind. If I listed things that I thought he may have done and he answered “yes” and then turned out he didn’t do those things, we were missing the point of learning to respond to “what did you do today”. He will give random answers, or answers that he gave before, even if they are not correct. So I needed to KNOW.

“Fine Day overall” – my all-time favorite, was not what I had in mind.

Now he’s in a day/work program. It took a long time to find this program (which was the blog I was going to write today).  He works in their on-site Greenhouse which is open to the public. Communication is a little better about what he did that day, but other notes can be a little odd at times.

Judging from some of the notes I’ve received I really don’t think they understand him or the way his mind works.

 “DC refused to do a job that was assigned to him today”.

Now…… I am not one of those “Not MY Child” or “My child would never do that”, I know what he would or wouldn’t do and my child would not do that! Upon further investigation I discovered that they were phrasing their assignment, for example; “DC do you want to empty the garbage?” Of course he is going to say “No”! Who wants to empty the garbage if given a choice? Phrasing it as a question is giving him a choice in his mind. He’s not refusing, he’s answering a question.

I’m not going to get into all of the notes, but it’s clear to me that they don’t understand Autism, which I find odd in a program for special needs adults.

Note from yesterday:

“DC, when given some directions – a job I guess he did not want to do, banged his hand on the water barrel.”

That’s it.

It’s difficult enough to talk to him about something after the fact, never mind without specifics.

What was the Job? Were there too many directions?

He can follow directions but it has to be a step or two at a time, otherwise he overloads, shuts down and won’t hear any of it. Something they should know at this point.

And then:

“DC has been using up paper towels at work. I told him it’s a rule – One Towel only when you wash your hands. I made a sign that says “Rule – One Towel” for him. If you have a suggestion, let me know”

(This about a kid who more times than not dries his hands on his pants)

I went to have lunch with DC hoping to speak with her, but she was not there.

After lunch DC had to use the rest room and I waited (1/4 of my life is spent waiting outside the Men’s Room :). He came out, went to the sink, washed his hands, took one paper towel and threw it away.

And then there was this:

DC Rule 1 Towel

DC Rule
1 Towel

As I was leaving, the assistant said “DC do you want to work in the garden with the boys?” – and DC said “no”……….. – (heavy sigh)

And how was your day?

****

The sign with his name on it and the question (again) instead of a directive were both addressed …. but we won’t get into that.