musings in mayhem

writer, mom, tutor, superwoman

Archive for the tag “asperger’s syndrome”

not exactly quiet

I know I’ve been pretty quiet on the blog lately.

The obvious place to start is with my grief over the loss of our dear sweet Lucy. It was so sudden, I think I’ve only begun to process it. I am not in a complete fog, walking through molasses and crying at the drop of a hat now. I think it piggybacked our autumn loss of Babette, which was within a week of the loss of my mother’s last living sister, and I couldn’t make it to the funeral. I lost a couple weeks of normal, quieter in some ways. In the meantime, we have been busier than usual in others.

Wrestling season ended for Captain Comic, but not before the number of hours spent in gyms across the Bay Rivers District increased exponentially.
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I am proud of him for trying hard, and always being game for a tough 1st season in the sport. Next year, maybe he’ll win a match from time to time.

Mr Cynic and I have been traveling to colleges and auditions for their music departments and Scholars Competitions, etc. and to have a look around. That has been a couple of adventures in traveling to Boston and to western Virginia.  That has been a bit of roller coaster of pressure, comic mayhem, not so comic mayhem, seeing good friends and my niece, sleeping on sofas, floors,  random beds and hotel rooms. We crossed many bridges, literally and figuratively.

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In the meantime, he has been involved in the Bay Rivers District Choir, and auditioned and won a spot in the All-Virginia Choir! The performance for that is the same weekend as his birthday in Richmond, at the end of April.

Toots is forever Toots, and a spark in our lives, and she apparently has a preschool boyfriend. I told her teacher on Valentine’s Day, that when I asked her who she loves after writing the family valentines, she answered, “D—?” sheepishly, knowing she should have said at least one family member in the context of the conversation. It was adorable. She also has been wanting to invite him over for sleepovers for a couple of months now.  The teacher cracked up and then told me she is always trying to get them to sit with other friends or at recess to play with other friends, but the two of them are stuck like glue everyday. I asked Toots at one point what she likes about D– so much and she answered, “because he is kind.” I couldn’t be happier, honestly, that she has found a best friend who is kind regardless of gender.

She has also been getting into trouble a lot at home, but she is approaching five, seeking independence or when we are preoccupied, seeking attention by plugging the sink, flooding the bathroom and soaking herself from head to toe. Or by poking the bear: Captain Comic, by doing the exact things she knows will trigger a negative response from him. Kazoos and pennywhistles she earns for good behavior in preschool are a big tool of torture for the noise sensitive Aspie.

But she is still our girl and how could we ever stay mad at this:

toots 2013.2.17

One day, I will remember to hold this smartphone horizontally while recording…

Meanwhile, in the writing department, I have started sending out queries to agents, and the rejections have started coming in. At least I’m starting at the top:

1st rejection

good girl

lucy

Lucy 11/1(ish)/2005-2/2/2013

 

Lucy was a good girl. We thought we would have a lot more time with her, but her immune system attacked her suddenly, and we said goodbye today. It is very surreal.

We lost our old kitty Babette not so very long ago, and suddenly, too.

Toots has asked already if we are getting another dog. Honey said to me separately, please can we wait a little while this time to mourn her. We adopted Sasha 10 days after we lost Babette suddenly a few months ago.

Mr. Cynic is presenting stoically, Captain Comic seems okay, and keeps coming over to hug me and make me feel better.

I’m just teary and a bit in shock.

 

 

bursting

Creativity is running rampant around here.

I got sick over the end of last week, and it laid me out pretty thoroughly on Saturday. My family was kind enough to cater to me in bed while I watched back episodes of Dr. Who on the Tablet.

But then, yesterday morning, I got down to business and cranked out

– composed over several hours with infinite interruptions because it was a day off from school and Captain Comic had to ask me a gazillion questions like, “Who do you think would win in a fight, Batman or Goku?” or tell me his next movie or comic idea, which was a new one about every minute and a half –

a query letter and sent the first ten pages to the first agent on my list. Today I plan to send it out to two more. Tomorrow and Thursday another each and that is where I will leave it for a little while.

I was invited to send this poem to a newsletter where a bunch of friends will see it.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Captain Comic drew this up for his coach (see #4 in this post) to approve before making a poster.

2013.1.17 chicken dance 021

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Mr. Cynic has loaded his next professionally produced song.

This song was his productive response to his brother being bullied at school last year. Considering some of the lyrics, I am really glad he has music for a creative outlet. 🙂 I remember well his reaction when he found out what was going on before it was resolved. Mr. Cynic looks like a pretty cool cucumber most of the time, but he is extremely passionate about any kind of injustice, and this was brother.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I don’t talk much about Honey’s work, but he designs staging and a bunch of his designs are currently being built around New Orleans in preparation for events surrounding the Superbowl.

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Toots is always bursting with creativity. She sings little ditties about everything. When asked if she made that up, or what’s that from? She responds, “I wrote it.”  She has worlds of imaginary characters she walks around the house acting out costumed scenarios with and she loves to draw and paint and dance around the house. She plays architect with anything she finds that she can put on top of something else in interesting ways, like Jenga blocks. Oh, to be four and a half years old again.

I couldn’t be happier about what my family is up to these days.

 

good news

1. Yesterday I completed the fourth draft of my manuscript! I am going to start submitting query letters to agents this week.

2. I wasn’t going to have any of my readers go over it again, but I had one late offer for a fresh eye to it recently, and after thinking I shouldn’t, I went ahead and sent it to him. He is someone whose opinion re: writing is one I value, especially one for humor and action elements. I suppose I wanted to be certain those elements were present after so much reworking over so long a time. I’m nervous, but it will be good to hear what he has to say about it. To paraphrase, I basically asked him to tell me if it was crap or not. I am not up for another draft at this point.

3. Captain Comic did not wrestle in last night’s home tournament, but he did last a good long time supporting his team in a loud gym, and he did a good job assisting setting up. Ear plugs helped.

4. One of the coaches asked him to draw up a poster concept of a wrestler hugging a cactus. He did two versions as soon as he got home. Both were good. He is an excellent artist with a lot of humor inherent in his work.

5.  While at the tournament, I was talking with another parent who suggested I contact the other closest high school in case a paraprofessional position opens up. His sister works in the special ed department there and he said he’d put a good word in for me.

6. I did. There is a little more to this story, but I have a good feeling about it and some things are best left to happen organically rather than discuss so much.

7. Mr. Cynic had a quick turnaround from his application to Berklee College of Music, his first choice, and his audition is in 10 days!

8. In the meantime, we all have colds, and it seems like it has been raining for eternity. The colds aren’t too bad, and the rain should help restore the water table from the recent summer droughts, and it hasn’t been a monsoon to flood, as how it usually seems to occur in recent years. But it sure would be nice if Mr. Sun would peak out from a cloud once in a while.

Things are moving right along for many in our family, and it feels good. The past few years, even with all the mayhem, has felt rather stagnant, and it’s nice to feel like progress can happen.

 

the epic failures

 

Captain Comic and friends when left to their own devices while their mothers were occupied elsewhere came up with this little gem. Not bad for 14, almost 13 and 10!

 

Yes, the mics are off.

Best little unintentional birthday present ever!

the amazing sasha

About 6 or so weeks ago, we adopted a kitten, Sasha, after our old lady Babette died. It took a while for him to come out of hiding because:

1. We locked him in Toots’s bedroom with all his accoutrement to acclimate to his new surroundings without having to deal with the Terrorizing Terrier.

2. We took a while to settle on keeping the outer garage pet door closed and just let Lucy out the back door when she needs to go, other than her walks, rather than blow $120 or more dollars on a magnetic door and collar for Lucy.

3. Toots and Captain Comic terrorized him with their love and curiosity. I’m just glad that didn’t kill him.

4. After I moved Sasha’s box and food to the garage beyond the inner pet door, he stayed out there in the storage stuff (we have no basement, living as we do, on a Coastal Plain) and we couldn’t find him, but his food disappeared and his box had regular evidence of use. I maintain, he became invisible for about a week or so. Cat’s have magical powers.

5. Lucy is still chasing him when he appears periodically anywhere in the house besides the bedrooms. That dog lives up to her breeding, even if she is a mix, she is all terrier. She chases anything smaller than her and some things that aren’t, Toots for instance.

There’s a cat in here somewhere, I can smell him!

6. So are Toots and Captain Comic. And loving him with a death grip that he weirdly relaxes into.

Anyway, he is starting to show his true playful kitten personality, and it turns out he is quite an active and clever cat, besides a stunningly gorgeous black ball of fluff with a tail bigger than himself. He has come up with some tricks.

I will wear a pair of jeans for a couple of days, if sticky peanut butter, etc hands haven’t left their mark. I laid the day old pair with items in pockets on my bed with my outfit the other morning, and Sasha deftly, and just for kicks picked my pockets.   He removed my lip balm first, and took it for a tour of the bedroom floor. Then he hopped back up and picked out the spare pair of ear plugs I usually keep on me for Captain Comic, when he needs to dampen the noise around him. I took it from him, telling him, no, he can’t eat plastic, while he was in the process of disemboweling the package to get to its guts. He immediately proceeded to remove, one at a time, two dimes and a quarter from my pocket.

I just wanted to get dressed, people. I did not think I was training a trick cat.

Last night, he came up with a new trick.

He hopped off the bed and closed the bedroom door, then he mewed and clawed under it like he wanted to get out of the room. I dragged my sleepy disgruntled self out of bed and opened the door for him, and tried to keep Lucy away from him, because, since the cat was on the move, the terrier had to be on the chase. Most nights they stay pretty well on the bed in different quadrants separated by two sets of human legs.

I managed to settle Lucy down back on Honey’s side of the bed. She’s really supposed to be in her crate right next to the bed, moved up from downstairs a couple of years ago because of the all night pleading barking and cage rattling she goes through periodically. We’re both suckers.

I got back under the covers, and almost had a chance to rewarm my pillow, when, sound of door being pushed closed, mews and clawing at door and rug. I got up, and here we go again. This time, I picked up Sasha and placed him outside the bedroom door, held Lucy back with my foot, so that Sasha might descend the stairs in peace, and he swished his pretty self back into the bedroom and behind the door. Settled dog, settled back into bed, wonder what that kooky cat was up to. Sound of door closing, mews, and scratching of wood and carpet.

By then, I wanted to kill him, I really need my sleep. But I would never kill a cat, especially one as clever and pretty as he.

I think we went through a few more rounds of what was clearly a game he was enjoying before I was able to get back to any semblance of sleep.

Clearly I have adopted a Trickster cat.

I needed that much more mayhem to bring me even more joy to my life.

 

off the rails

Since Captain Comic’s wrestling started, my schedule, as well as stuff for all of my progeny, has officially gone off the rails.

I’ve managed to hold the reins of the runaway train for a good long while and at least keep it on the track, but that time is over.

The horse power has run amuck. So amuck is that horse power that my train metaphor has turned into a wild stampede.

Yesterday, was a no school day, which SHOULD have slowed things down a little, but no.

I was going to take Captain Comic in for lab work early in the morning because he had to fast and so he would not miss school.

I told him not to eat anything at least 12 times between the night before and yesterday morning, then suddenly, from another room, my awareness grew of the sound of a spoon clinking rhythmically in a cereal bowl.

So that was out.

I was supposed to go to a preschool Parent-Teacher Conference for Toots at 9:30, but that went off my radar sometime before the lab work fiasco.

I took Captain Comic to see a dermatologist to deal with his acne, during which time, Grandma dropped Mr. Cynic off at work, which was after his driving lesson that I made him come home earlier from, because  I wasn’t certain when Grandma was due back in the house to look after Toots while I was the Captain’s appointment.

Then I had to drop off prescriptions, which weren’t going to be ready for lalala time, so then I drove Captain Comic to the late wrestling practice which was a workout equivalent to two days worth in two hours. It was awesome, and it completely wore him out.

This overlapped into my belly dance class I usually attend on Monday evenings, which was going to make me late for a one shot gardening class in another town which i really wanted to attend to help me with soil PH balancing, which is something I’ve been having a lot of difficulty with since my move south.

By the time I got home from wrestling and picking up the prescriptions, and stuffed some food in me, I knew there was something I was forgetting, but didn’t see the email that I missed the gardening class til this morning, which was around when Honey glanced at the calendar and saw the PTC appointment for yesterday morning.

It’s okay, though, because I still had to pick Mr. Cynic up from bagging groceries at 8pm, right in the middle of the gardening class. And then I was reminded that the few of us who are friends who were going to attend the class together had planned, at my inspiration, to go for margaritas after the class.

I was notified there was dancing.

So that was yesterday, which included the cat box being so neglected our new kitty has taken to using the space next to it to pee, which is under the desk in the garage where Captain Comic has his Art Studio, the floor of which is covered in tiny scraps of paper I asked him to sweep up last night. I need to hide the scissors from that boy again.

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So this morning, I woke up extra early (5:30) stuffed some coffee in my face, told Mr. Cynic to take the bus instead of walk to school before dawn in the pummeling rain, and drove the Capt to get his lab work done before school, hit Starbucks to get him some breakfast, dropped him off at school with a bottle of water and told him to refill it at least three times so that he might make calibration at wrestling this afternoon, and zipped home before Honey had to go to work, thank goodness, or he was going to drive Toots to me at the Labcorp near his office.

Then I started laundry, cleaned the cat box, the mess around the cat box and washed the dog.

Then I ate my lonely three hour old croissant from Starbucks while typing this and grinding my teeth from the latte after the two home mugs earlier, and now i am trying to sort out in my head how i am going to make it throught the rest of today, organize the Time Space Continuum in relation to my family, called Honey to tell him I may cry or have a breakdown today, and then there is college application process to stay on top of with Mr. Cynic, a new hygiene and med regimen for Captain Comic, a driving lesson, a bass lesson, and a parent meeting for the wrestling team when we usually eat dinner….

And nano? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAAahahahahaa….

wrestling

I should have done this years ago. I recently threw Captain Comic into wrestling. It seems just what he needs.

I spend my days grabbing him from the middle school to tote him over to the high school, because as an 8th grader, he qualifies for JV team.

Yesterday evening, they had a clinic with the local shipbuilders apprentice school, so all these huge guys came in to show the kids some moves. It was later than the usual conditioning practices we’ve been doing, and they worked him harder, so he kind of faded, but I could tell he was enjoying it. Besides, one of his peers, below, was really cool about continuing to practice stuff with him, where a lot of the Varsity guys, while good with him, tend to let him fade too soon, when things get a little challenging for him, right when he needs a push the most.

That’s  Captain Comic in orange. Of course, being the Tigers, everything is orange in the gym.

During the apprentice school’s Wrestle-off (to find out who is the starting wrestler in each weight class) after the clinic, he hit his limit- tired, hungry, in a crowd, off-routine,  the high pitched whistle, and a baby started to cry in the stands, so I pulled him out, besides, I was already late to another thing and he needed to study for a Science test. On the way home, we chatted about  wrestling in general and the evening’s events.

Captain Comic: Mom, I just don’t think I’m that into exercise.
Me: Really? Because the sensory feed from it is so great for you, especially in wrestling. It seems the perfect fit for you.
Capt: (Frankengroan)
Me: Promise me you’ll stick it out, til you learn your way around it better through the season?
Capt.: Okay, JUST for the season. ….How long is the season?
Me: Til February.
Capt: FEBRUARY?! Holy Crap!
Me: Please, Buddy? Just give it a try.
Capt: (Frankengroan) Okay…

Besides the exercise, I see him transitioning to the high school better next year…having some familiarity with the building, some friends there to show him around a bit. He’ll be less intimidated than he is right now. The benefits of team building and personal accomplishment from the sport, and its discipline will be great for him, too.  I think he really missed Tae Kwan Do, too. Wrestling is more his style.

children’s book in the making?

The New Cat

We adopted a half grown black cat with a big fluffy tail.
He blinks his stunning green eyes so very pale –
A shadow with lights that beam out of his face,
He hovers in corners with hardly a trace.
Until he opens those eyes and blinks once or twice,
Then he swishes his puff tail at the sight of fake mice.

My girl is four and exclaims in high pitch, “He’s SO CUUUTE!”
And “He’s da cutest fing I’ve ever seen in my life! MEW!”
She slides right in and pulls him from the under the bed.
She hugs him and squeezes him, I’m surprised he’s not dead.
But he’s gentle, subtle, likely absolutely terrified –
Yet he behaves as a gentleman, distinguished and rarified.

He has not scratched her in attempts to escape,
Nor has he attacked her in defense against squishes so great.
He merely peers those green eyes around the room,
Seeks a good enough opportunity to zoom
From her arms, and the nape of her neck,
She squishes and squeezes him, loves him, aw heck.

Her goofy big brother is rough on him, too.
Ceiling thumps and bumps signal he’s doing it, too –
Diving under a bed, and grabbing the cat,
Dragging him, pulling him this way and that.
But when they get him out, pin him and hold him too close,
Scratch under his chin, he loves it, and purrs the most.

That cat just puts up with it, and acts very demure.
He gives up after a few wiggles, and begins to purr.
I’m not suggesting that you treat a cat in this way,
That anything is proper in the way that he stays
And just deals with the tough love that they give –
But my goodness, when they do, he lives!

The dog, hold on, is still kept across a barrier,
After all, Lucy is the Terrorizing Terrier.
We close ourselves in with cat, dog claws at the door.
Poor dog, she barks at us to love her some more.
She barks at the kitty, “Arf! Arf! I can smell you in there!
ARF! Sniff! Trailing down the hall is balls of your hair!”

Sasha the cat is regal, beautiful and sweet,
Don’t call him a girl though, or you just might get beat
By a four year old demon who cuddles to death,
And her brother, the hugger of furry adopted pets.
They love him so much, and frankly I do, too,
He’s the lovingest cat we ever had in this zoo.

 

Not a bad start, especially since I was supposed to be working on my novel manuscript today.

mayhem, good

Again, we have had a lot – a . LOT. – going on around here, so I will make this short and sweet and add a gallery of a few highlights via cell phone pics.

Last week, I threw Captain Comic into JV Wrestling at the high school. He is taking to it better than a fish to water, his enthusiasm fills me with pride and joy. He is still awkward and funny as he is learning, but he is challenging the toughest biggest guys repeatedly during these couple of pre-season conditioning weeks. Even the Varsity guys are proud of him. The coaches are great with him.

Thursday was Toots’s Pumpkin Farm Field Trip with her preschool class.

This weekend we went on a Fellowship Retreat up in the hills at Pocahontas State Park. It was beautiful, we canoed, roasted marshmallows and froze our tuckuses in the drafty cabins in summer weight sleeping bags. We saw Great Blue Herons, turtles, and a snake climbing a tree. The snake posed best for pictures. Toots was talking about going fishing endlessly from before the trip, and I kept responding that I didn’t know if that was going to happen, maybe someone would have a pole she could use. As it turns out, she found a young boy and his dad fishing at the docks when we went canoeing. The boy was about eight years old and very patiently showed her how to hook a worm and repeatedly dropped a line from the docks, for her to watch fish nibble at the worm. He even caught a sunny at one point, and let her hold it. She was in seventh heaven.

Sunday, we came back in time for the Wrestling Team photo shoot. I didn’t realize Captain Comic didn’t even know what a singlet was. 🙂 I love that there is a girl on their team.

I took all photos with a cellphone. It should be in order of Pumpkin Patch, Pocahontas State Park then Wrestling, but I think things got a little jumbled in the upload. For instance, the yellow leaf on the step of our cabin should be horizontal, not a vertical shot. Toots and Mr. Cynic are sleeping in the car on the ride home Sunday morning, we canoed on Satuday afternoon.

A friend from my fellowship took my boys out canoeing Saturday morning, and brought back a tale of a killer beaver, GNAWS, parodying JAWS that he said the three of them came up with and laughed about the whole time they were canoeing. Apparently he GNAWS trees to fall on campers…It’s funnier when they tell it.

We had a great weekend. I hope you did, too.

 

 

 

 

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