One Week Down

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Dear Addie,

Summer is here! A time when most kiddos look forward to taking a deep breath and getting a little “chillaxing” time (as Clara and Gabe call it) away from their day to day school schedules. While I’d love for that to be the case for you, in our little autism world, it becomes more like “operation avoid anxiety and chaos from the abrupt end of our familiar routine” time.  So, here we go!

I’ve learned my lesson from years past that chillaxing is not exactly in your best interest for the whole summer. No worries though, I planned ahead this year and have scheduled some fun and structured activities, sprinkled with some unplanned “fly by the seat of our pants” days. You see Addie while structure is your jam, it's important to expose you to unpredictability to help work on and learn better coping in anxious situations – remember the whole “exposure is key” thing? Don’t worry you got this!

Burning the midnight oil most of the year, it’s always my hope that we could catch up on some much-needed sleep once school is out. You on the other hand seem to have a difference of opinion on this. Your summer wake up schedule starts at 4 am crawling in bed with us. It’s never a surprise though because we have the world’s greatest alarm system - Ruby your trusty K9 companion.  She never fails to alert me the minute your door opens! Running to my bedside, scratching the mattress and licking me feverishly until I’m awake as if to say – game on mama! You'll snuggle in with us, and talk about letters or whatever else is on your mind at a volume people don’t usually hear at 4 am. Eventually getting bored with our unresponsiveness you’ll climb off the bed and in our half awaken state we wait to see if you head out our door to the right (going back to your room) or left (headed downstairs). Go right! Go right!

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A couple more times of crawling in and out of our bed and you end up heading left, so up we are for the day. Only after I have my first cup of coffee and am well immersed into the morning news will you come back over to snuggle on the couch so quiet and still – sure now you're tired.

Those snuggles won't last long and you’ll head out to the backyard rain or shine, hair all a mess in mismatched jammies (hey you have clothes on that’s a plus) for a good solid swinging session before breakfast. This will be the start of the first 100+ times that you will go in and out of the house for the day.

Around lunchtime you’ll make your way upstairs and gather some sort of bathing suit combination bringing it to me requesting a “kick, kick, kick”, meaning I don’t know what the rest of you are doing but I'm ready to swim now! This whole scene will last about an hour because your bathing suit combinations are never quite right. It’s either two tops, or two bottoms, or a full one piece and a bottom – while it may frustrate you, each time I send you back up to try again for a new match because I know you can do it. You just have in your head that bathing suits have two pieces, so you grab the first two pieces you see! 

One day this week, this scene played out to a “T”.  You finally mastered the art of the perfect swimsuit combination, and we headed to the pool only to find out, unfortunately, the pool would be closed for the next few days (now that puts a damper in the pool plans for the week) due to some people going in after hours with glass bottles, resulting in broken glass littering the pool. Insert a very angry MADdie and the pool having to be drained and cleaned - not exactly a quick or easy task.

After a mini meltdown about the pool being closed, we retreat to our backyard for some good old fashion watering hose (or snake as you call it) fun. You have recently taken a liking to having someone spray you (preferably on the mist setting) while you're swinging. Not exactly my cup of tea, but to each their own. The mist on a sunny day makes beautiful rainbows that you love to see, in addition to keeping you cool from the summer heat! As I stand there hosing you down, listening to you squeal with joy over the rainbows, I can’t help but think if “Queen Addie” also needs to summon a sibling to come out and fan you with palm leaves? It’s quite a sight baby girl, but your obvious sounds of happiness and smiles are all worth it.

While most of your days this week were spent in the backyard, we did take full advantage of a day of gloomy wet weather leaving a damp neighborhood playground all to ourselves. You certainly didn’t mind the wetness and it was a very welcomed cool down in the weather for those of us who spend about 90% of our time outside.

As the week went on only then did I see signs that the familiarity you were used to was maybe starting to affect you. I didn’t hear much difference than the usual words and sounds you make in the beginning of the break, but by the end of the week I noticed you spontaneously speaking more of the days of the week, random rhythming words “dish, fish, wish” “mat, cat, bat” and singing about stomping your feet and clapping your hands – all things that seem to be directly from school. I think you finally started to realize that this wasn’t just a long weekend and your routine was indeed off.

I know I’ve said this before but there is so much to be said for time. With an abundance of smiles out weighing the few disappointments, I’d say our first week of unscheduled fun was a success. You seem to be handling changes better and better every year. We only had one mini meltdown this week and anything else that maybe would’ve warranted a similar reaction in the past either didn’t have one or you only showed some visible agitation. Progress in the right direction.

I think this is going to be a great summer Ad! I just know it!

Now, how about some sleep?

Love,

Mom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Addie,

Summer is here! A time when most kiddos look forward to taking a deep breath and getting a little “chillaxing” time (as Clara and Gabe call it) away from their day to day school schedules. While I’d love for that to be the case for you, in our little autism world, it becomes more like “operation avoid anxiety and chaos from the abrupt end of our familiar routine” time.  So, here we go!

I’ve learned my lesson from years past that chillaxing is not exactly in your best interest for the whole summer. No worries though, I planned ahead this year and have scheduled some fun and structured activities, sprinkled with some unplanned “fly by the seat of our pants” days. You see Addie while structure is your jam, it's important to expose you to unpredictability to help work on and learn better coping in anxious situations – remember the whole “exposure is key” thing? Don’t worry you got this!

Burning the midnight oil most of the year, it’s always my hope that we could catch up on some much-needed sleep once school is out. You on the other hand seem to have a difference of opinion on this. Your summer wake up schedule starts at 4 am crawling in bed with us. It’s never a surprise though because we have the world’s greatest alarm system - Ruby your trusty K9 companion.  She never fails to alert me the minute your door opens! Running to my bedside, scratching the mattress and licking me feverishly until I’m awake as if to say – game on mama! You'll snuggle in with us, and talk about letters or whatever else is on your mind at a volume people don’t usually hear at 4 am. Eventually getting bored with our unresponsiveness you’ll climb off the bed and in our half awaken state we wait to see if you head out our door to the right (going back to your room) or left (headed downstairs). Go right! Go right!

A couple more times of crawling in and out of our bed and you end up heading left, so up we are for the day. Only after I have my first cup of coffee and am well immersed into the morning news will you come back over to snuggle on the couch so quiet and still – sure now you're tired.

Those snuggles won't last long and you’ll head out to the backyard rain or shine, hair all a mess in mismatched jammies (hey you have clothes on that’s a plus) for a good solid swinging session before breakfast. This will be the start of the first 100+ times that you will go in and out of the house for the day.

Around lunchtime you’ll make your way upstairs and gather some sort of bathing suit combination bringing it to me requesting a “kick, kick, kick”, meaning I don’t know what the rest of you are doing but I'm ready to swim now! This whole scene will last about an hour because your bathing suit combinations are never quite right. It’s either two tops, or two bottoms, or a full one piece and a bottom – while it may frustrate you, each time I send you back up to try again for a new match because I know you can do it. You just have in your head that bathing suits have two pieces, so you grab the first two pieces you see! 

One day this week, this scene played out to a “T”.  You finally mastered the art of the perfect swimsuit combination, and we headed to the pool only to find out, unfortunately, the pool would be closed for the next few days (now that puts a damper in the pool plans for the week) due to some people going in after hours with glass bottles, resulting in broken glass littering the pool. Insert a very angry MADdie and the pool having to be drained and cleaned - not exactly a quick or easy task.

After a mini meltdown about the pool being closed, we retreat to our backyard for some good old fashion watering hose (or snake as you call it) fun. You have recently taken a liking to having someone spray you (preferably on the mist setting) while you're swinging. Not exactly my cup of tea, but to each their own. The mist on a sunny day makes beautiful rainbows that you love to see, in addition to keeping you cool from the summer heat! As I stand there hosing you down, listening to you squeal with joy over the rainbows, I can’t help but think if “Queen Addie” also needs to summon a sibling to come out and fan you with palm leaves? It’s quite a sight baby girl, but your obvious sounds of happiness and smiles are all worth it.

While most of your days this week were spent in the backyard, we did take full advantage of a day of gloomy wet weather leaving a damp neighborhood playground all to ourselves. You certainly didn’t mind the wetness and it was a very welcomed cool down in the weather for those of us who spend about 90% of our time outside.

As the week went on only then did I see signs that the familiarity you were used to was maybe starting to affect you. I didn’t hear much difference than the usual words and sounds you make in the beginning of the break, but by the end of the week I noticed you spontaneously speaking more of the days of the week, random rhythming words “dish, fish, wish” “mat, cat, bat” and singing about stomping your feet and clapping your hands – all things that seem to be directly from school. I think you finally started to realize that this wasn’t just a long weekend and your routine was indeed off.

I know I’ve said this before but there is so much to be said for time. With an abundance of smiles out weighing the few disappointments, I’d say our first week of unscheduled fun was a success. You seem to be handling changes better and better every year. We only had one mini meltdown this week and anything else that maybe would’ve warranted a similar reaction in the past either didn’t have one or you only showed some visible agitation. Progress in the right direction.

I think this is going to be a great summer Ad! I just know it!

 

Now, how about some sleep?

 

Love,

Mom