Wednesday, October 27, 2010


I am a great problem solver. At work, all day long I fix things; I help people, I give clear direction, I have the answers. I am confident that if I cannot solve the problem I can find the person who will. I know what to do. I create good outcomes. At work.
I'm lucky, I really know this. I don't complain often.
It's so frustrating though to come home and feel so lost, so confused, so unsure, so unprepared for this thing that is my life.
Can I tell you about sometimes? Do you know about sometimes?
Autisim sucks.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Halloween. I loooooooove Halloween. Being an (resting) actress I have, shall we say, a flair for the dramatic. I love that on Halloween the world belongs, for just that one day, to the Freaks. My people.

I trick or treated until my junior year in high school. I remember this last pilgrimage with relish. We'd laughed so hard! Making so much of the fact that we were getting away with participating in what is largely seen as an activity for small children. The comments from the people giving us the candy asking "how old  are you?" made us howl. I did get the message though. I was too old to go door to door and ask for candy, at my age it was viewed as begging. I continued to dress up every year though, and quests for candy turned into party hopping.

My costumes became less gruesome and more clever. I was a cereal killer wielding a box of Grape Nuts and a fake machete. I queried the host of every gathering asking if there were any Fruit Loops about. I often would get so into the character of my costume I had an accent or an affected way of speaking and would relate to everyone all night as whatever character I had adopted. This soon became my Halloween tradition, the costume with a story. I couldn't just dress as a woman from the renaissance nooo. I was Inga and I had lost my cow and he was brown, and so I spent the night asking strangers where he could be,  introducing myself and asking" have you seen my cow?". In a Barret and tight sweater I was Lulu the french girl, new in town with no idea what this holiday we call.."'ow you say? 'alloween?" ( french people don't pronounce the H). I was so convincing I fooled many many people that night. The anonymity. The feeling that we were all participating in a shared commitment to the holiday; made me bold.  I would approach any stranger and I used this feeling to approach boys. The cutest of boys, and they were charmed by me and it felt soooo good.
Why wouldn't I love Halloween when it transformed me in this way?  I especially love it here in my fair city of freaks and weirdos. This town throws down with the Halloween spirit like nobodies business!

After I had Piper this all changed, of course. I was thrilled with the idea of soon being able to go trick or treating again. I would reclaim it like an item from the lost and found. Her first Halloween we attended a party like we'd always done before. It was great for the first hour or so we were dressed gardeners and Pie was a pumpkin (haha a pumpkin Pie). I spent the first hour showing off my prize "crop" and making, what I am sure were, witty puns about what I "grew from seed", saying "she's organic!". Then one of the party goers arrived with a dog in costume. She had already seen another dog wearing a cape but this one had on a man' s shirt and for some reason it completely upset her! She was terrified and I couldn't soothe her so home we went!

The second year we stayed home and passed out candy. I was rainy and cold and I figured we would attempt trick or treating when she was a bit older and could enjoy it more. Her third year she refused to wear her costume. The one she'd begged for and worn all week. I was frustrated but just put a Halloween tee on her and we passed out candy again instead of trick or treating.

It just all seemed like too much for her. I decided to scrap the whole idea and learned to let Piper guide me. I wouldn't emotionally commit one way or the other. Would she wear her costume? Who knows! Will she enjoy the party? Maybe!  Will she have a meltdown? Could be! I would just shrug my shoulders and accept. With my new attitude I was ready to face another Halloween.

I would embrace a different way of thinking.

Guess what? It totally worked. We made adaptable plans with some friends in the neighborhood to meet at our house and if Piper felt like dressing up, we would. If after visiting with her friend, she felt like walking with them around the neighborhood, we would. So we did, and it worked, and Mom was happy!

This year armed with my new attitude and plan for action we will be celebrating again. Bring it ON!

Friday, October 22, 2010

See you at the Pancake Breakfast!

We recently made a trek to the coast to enjoy a little r&r. We camped at a KOA which was AWESOME! So many cool activites and an indoor pool. Piper LOVED it. There was even a daily pancake breakfast that was included in our cabin rental (that's right we "camped" in a cabin with beds. bliss).

Piper is socialy motivated. She wants to interact with everyone. EVERYONE. Once we began unpacking the car and loading in, she was already ramping up. Our cabin was located on the end of the row near the bathroom. This meant everyone on our row had to pass our camp when they needed to use the bathroom. As soon as she saw people passing Piper was at hand with the invites : "Do you want to come roast marshmallows with us?". I could see where this was headed and after a long car ride I just wanted to veg, not facillitate. In a moment of quick thinking I assured her that we would see them the following morning at the pancake breakfast and suggested she come join us by the fire. And so it began.

Now instead of inviting people to our camp she had a script and simply greeted every person that she saw with "I'll see you at the pancake breakfast!" in her litlting tone. I must confess; I giggled. For three nights and four days she greeted every person we saw at the KOA with "I'll see you at the pancake breakfast". 

On our last night there one family made thier way to the bathroom and Piper said her greeting and then 10 minutes later on thier way back she was ready to do the same. I stopped her. For four days I had been listening to this exchange and this group of invitee's wasn't finding it amusing and my patience had worn and well I'd had enough.  I leaned in close to her while they approached said "Piper you already invited them no need to say it". At this moment they began to pass us and Piper opened her mouth to speak and instead whispered like a creeper "I'll see you at the pancake breakfast". I laughed. Out loud. It was so absurdly funny, by trying to modify I had actualy made it worse! She sounded like a serial killer!

Ahhh the lessons this kid teaches me; leave well enough alone.