Monday, February 20, 2012

Spider web

A spider has built a large sheet web on top of the window just inside the front door. We live in the woods and get wispy little spiders that look almost like the web. Gabe has seen the web. "We have to vacuum this web!"
"We will get it in a few minutes. I am busy right now," I say.
Gabe surprises me with what he says next. "But Angel, it's her web."
"What?" I ask.
"The web belongs to Angel. She made it," Gabe says.
Angel bursts out laughing and we all laugh. "Gabe," I say, "Spiders make webs. We are going to vacuum that web and it's little spider too."

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Gabe and Angel

Gabe and Angel sitting together.


We have a Sunday morning ritual - Gluten free pancakes for Gabe. He always wants to help make them. This is a challenge for me. He has preconceived notions about what needs to be done. He has watched me some and just wants to do it himself. He KNOWS how - just dump in some powder (mix), slop in some water, smash in an egg, and move it around with a fork for a moment, dump it in the pan and 6 perfect pancakes miraculously appear.
Over the weeks I have been allowing him to help with various parts of the mixing process. I want him to watch carefully as I do the rest. I explain what I am doing, but he really doesn't listen and watch with a learning attitude. A while back we started with the egg. He wanted to put in the egg. He grabbed the egg and smashed it against the side of the bowl. More egg went down the side of the bowl than into the bowl. Also lots of shell went in. "Ohhh," he whined as could not believe that it didn't work perfectly.
"It takes practice," I said. He has decided not to do the egg. He wants to add the water and stir.
This morning he added the water and gave a little stir. He just wanted me to hurry up and dump it in the pan. There were many lumps, big and small. "We have to get the lumps out first," I said. "They won't be good with lumps. Lumpy pancakes are nasty. When you get the lumps out then they are good." I started to show Gabe how to smash a lump against the side of the bowl with the fork and then stir. I have shown him this several times before but 'it is too much work for him'. He's "so tired he just can't". As I start to show him again this morning he tries to bolt from the situation. I stop him and tell him he has to try. I have decided that we are not going to run away from little problems. We are going to learn to work through them. I insist that he watch carefully and try. He whines some but gives it a try. His hand co-ordination is interesting. He can tie intricate knots and other things like that, but he has trouble getting the last bite of food from his bowl or with things like the specific stirring process that it takes to get lumps out of pancake batter. I think that part of it is the thought process that it takes. He is sooo tired after 30 seconds or less of trying to do something 'hard'.
I have him smash out a few of the lumps and he whines as he tries. I finish, but I make him watch.  As I pour the batter into the pan he says "You gonna make me 6." I assure him I will make 6 pancakes. He wants 6 every time. The pan will fit 2 medium size pancakes at a time. I check the first 2 but they are not quite ready to flip. "You gonna flip them?" Gabe asks.
"In a minute. They are not quite ready," I answer.
"Go ahead, you can do it. Just do it now," Gabe coaches.
"They are not quite ready," I say again.
"Just do it, I know you can," Gabe's coaching has a bit of insistence to it.
"Do you want pancakes that are made right or slop?" I ask.
"I want s..." Gabe trails off as he looks at me. He has realized that he hasn't listened as well as he needs to. I am impressed. He usually just fires back some answer that often makes no sense. He is thinking at this point.
I say again,"Do you want pancakes that are made right or do you want slop?"
"I want pancakes that are right," he answers.
"Ok," I say, "then let me decide when to flip them. If I do it too soon they will just be slop." Gabe does not whine. He watches as I flip them, because by now it is time. "See they're just right." Gabe nods.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The spoon

Every school morning I pack Gabe's lunch while he eats breakfast. I take out the dishes from the day before and make sure the pack is clean. Every time I take out yesterday's spoon Gabe demands, "put that back!" I have told him repeatedly that I will put a clean one in. Yet we have to go through this every day. He used to do it with the sandwich box too, but stopped that. He just won't stop with the spoon though.

Just Drop It already!

"Why did you break the green plate?" Gabe suddenly demands in an accusing tone. For a moment I have no idea what he is talking about. Then I realize that he is talking about my green mixing bowl. I accidentally knocked one of my favorite bowls off of the counter last week. It shattered when it hit the floor. I really don't want to be reminded of this unfortunate event.Gabe begins to lecture me, but I cut him off quickly.
"That is enough. You will not mention the green bowl again." I say. It is not his job to lecture or discipline me. About a minute later he is ready for a second helping of the beans and chips that we are having for dinner. "Susan, please get me some more beans." Gabe asks in a somewhat demanding tone.
"In a minute," I say.
"I said now!" Gabe responds in a demanding tone.
"Excuse me. I have been working all afternoon while you have been playing." "SO," Gabe buts in.  "So I am going to sit here and enjoy my food before I get up again."
"Do it now," he persists.
"I will get them in a minute," I respond. Gabe continues to whine about seconds every 10 -15 seconds.
    This day has sure had it's ups and downs. It started out rough. Gabe began arguing and whining as soon as he got out of bed. He was upset and confused because we were going to the doctor - for me. I had an inflamed cyst removed from my back. Then we were dropping Angel off at the dentist and continuing a few blocks down the street for an intake appointment for counseling for Gabe. He repeatedly asked the same questions and said the same things. "I have no school? You going to the doctor for your back? You can't go to the doctor! I'm going to the doctor not you! I'm going with Dad on Wed and you can't go! I already did eat breakfast! (Not one bite yet) Why do I have to eat breakfast? You didn't give me my pill. Why do I have to take my pill?" All of these statements or arguments are said with a clearly defined whine or as demands and each was stated several times. While I'm trying to get him to come to the table and eat (we have to leave in a few minutes and all of the arguing has put us behind) he is putting on a pair of thin cloth shoes that Angel gave him. He has been told to put his boots on after breakfast, but he is determined to wear the shoes. "Angel said I could. She said I have to!" Angel has not said anything to him about the shoes.
"There is snow on the ground and you need to wear boots." I say. "Those cloth shoes will not keep your feet dry today. When they get wet, they will be cold."
"So!" is his response.
Finally we get out the door. As we pull in the parking lot of the doctor's office Gabe exclaims, "This is not the hospital!"
"It's my doctor," I explain.
"No it's not!" he argues. I ignore this statement as we get out of the van. At the doctor's office he is sweet and polite. He helps Angel carry Maree's bag. He also becomes very concerned for me. I have an infected cyst on my back. It was a sore on his mom DJ's back that put her in the hospital where she died. (The 'sore' was actually cancer that was all through her body. Gabe does not understand the difference between big and little hurts). I assure Gabe that I will be okay. The doctor is going to cut out the sore and it will hurt for a few more days and then it will be gone. As we leave the office Gabe needs to know if I got a shot. "Oh yes, about 4 or 5 of them," (numbing) I tell him. "But I'm just fine." Gabe is afraid of shots. I want him to know that people just get them and then go on. Everything is okay.
Next we dropped Angel off for her dentist appointment. As we pull away Gabe notices that Maree is still in the van. "She forgot the baby," he says in a panic.
"Remember, Maree is going with us," I remind him. "She can't go in to the dentist."
"Just give Angel her baby back now!" Gabe demands.
"She's with us," I say as I am driving. A few blocks from the dentist is Taco Bell. I quickly change the topic as it comes into view. "Would you like a snack. One thing from Taco Bell?" Breakfast was quick and light. Given the number of things we are going to do today, lunch will be late. At Taco Bell Gabe can have a crunchy taco with beans lettuce and rice. No gluten or dairy. He loves tacos.
At Gabe's counseling appointment he is once again very helpful with Maree. He carried her bag and even held her for a few moments a couple of  times while I dug out paperwork. He can only hold her for a few minutes at a time. She wiggles to much and he starts to loose her. He does not have the co ordination or the thought process to figure out how to reposition her without dropping her. He wants to help, but he does not want her to cry. It is only a few blocks from Angel's dentist so we are expecting her to show up during the appointment. When Angel shows up to get baby Maree, Gabe wants to go with her. He does not want to stay in the room with the counselor. However, he stays without argument.
After the appointment we stop at the store. Gabe just wants to go home. He whines about shopping for groceries. Soon we are on our way home. Honestly, shopping is so much easier without him. He hangs on the cart in such a way that it is hard to steer or go around to the next aisle without running him over. He whines when I ask him to let go. I am trying to teach him to walk a few steps behind me. This is hard for him. He has such a 'me first' attitude that he always want to be out in front leading, even if he doesn't know where we are going.
At home he is calm until supper time. Then it starts all over.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Wipe out

Gabe absolutely loves the TV show Wipeout. Watching people fall makes him laugh like crazy. This bothers me a bit. Yes they show it and make fun of the contestants, but it is the way that Gabe laughs and the fact that when we are somewhere else, he will laugh the same way if someone falls or drops something. It that setting it is very rude. I don't let him watch Wipeout all of the time. He has to promise to be good and to get out of bed the next morning without issue. No sassy rude comments or he will not get to watch Wipeout the next time that it is on. It is one thing to laugh at things people have taped just for the fun of it to make people laugh. It is another thing to laugh and/or be very rude during or for hours after the show. It seems that the sillier the show is, the more rude behavior we see for a day or more afterward. For this reason we limit these types of shows.
On a totally different note, while Gabe was watching the show tonight he kept talking about when he played Wipe out. He wanted to know if he could do it again now. Can we go there? Well the answer to that is quite simple. It is not there right now.
Last summer during a neighborhood event that we were involved in I rented Inflatable Fun. At first Gabe wouldn't try any of it. Then for some reason he decided that we were playing Wipe Out and he got in line for turn after turn. He is so sure that he was on Wipeout. Any attempts to tell him different were met with argument.