Sunday, May 31, 2009

A Weekend Experiment: Dad plus 4 Kids

Today is the start of Day 2 with my kiddies.

Yesterday was filled with lots of playtime outside - we played football and baseball.

I carved out a 20 minute nap. While I enjoyed my nap, my daughter called my wife to let her know I was indeed taking a nap (busted!)

We had pizza at Big Y for dinner. Seemed successful - although I got a lot of sympathetic looks from the employees and other customers.

We watched the beginning of a movie - Night at the Museum I - while eating dessert. Kids down for sleep by 9 pm - a little later than usual :-)

We woke up bright and early by 8 am with 2 wet beds, one child who will remain nameless removed her diaper.

This morning started with a bath for 2 of the 4 kids. Then we ate Cinnamon French Toast, Apples and Juice. I got a cheer for "making the best French Toast in the world!!"

Day 2 brings along some nice weather and a planned trip to the pool at Nanna and Poppy's house.

Maybe I need some coffee?

Saturday, May 30, 2009

4 Days, 4 Kids, 1 Dad

I have completed 5 hours of spending 4 days with the kids......alone! (queue dramatic background music). So far we have made it through breakfast (donuts, organic waffles and fruit) and 3 spilled drinks.

I look forward to spending time with my kids. During the week I don't see them as often, so weekends are special for me. It seems every week I look to reconnect. This will be an experiment for all of us. We will try to balance fun and work (trying to get that coverage for Monday and Tuesday) and sunshine and playing and meals and naps and schoolwork. While we miss mom (she is in FL), we know she is spending 4 days getting refreshed and replenished after 40 years of life.

If you have empathy for me.....wish me the best.
If you don', wish me the best anyway.

I will keep you posted on developments through facebook and twitter.

1/2 day complete....7 more 1/2 days to go.....but who's counting (smile)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Thomas the Tank Engine Helps Autistic Kids

I have been thinking about autism a lot lately. I think it is because D is getting older. Concerns arise in my mind of a "tween" D and the challenges or opportunities that will bring. My heart and mind are hopeful there will continue to be progress. I know there will be pain too and I am not blind to that. But looking forward to continuing to connect with my boy.

Thomas the Tank Engine brings back memories for me. Especially memories of when D was younger and had an obsession with wheels (toy cars, trains, etc...). I suggest reading - "Thomas the Tank Engine helps autistic kids identify emotions". It's a good article & worth the read.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Joy and Pain

One thing I learned about being a Dad is that each day is filled with new opportunities as well as challenges.

The Joy....
Today JP had school orientation. New school for him and for our family. He told me he loved it "ONE THOUSAND PERCENT".

This past weekend, David celebrated his first Holy Communion. During the ceremony, he read the Prayer of the Faithful in front of the entire congregation...FLAWLESSLY. There were awkward social moments (sign of peace), but overall a successful event for all of us.

The Pain...
Yesterday was David's Poetry Tea at school. Each student took turns reading 2 short poems at the podium. For David...he approached the podium awkwardly. He held the podium and looked like he was going to start reading. Then he looked up at the audience (mistake) and just froze. He muttered, "this is embarassing" and completely froze. The other kids said "come on David, you can do it!" After 2 minutes, his eyes began to water. This moment was (and continues to be) extremely painful for me. I am deeply saddened by it. What hurts me the most is that in THAT MOMENT, I had NO IDEA how to help him. I can not forget the look on his face of despair, fear and anxiety. I did NOTHING. The teacher tried to comfort him while Rachel read his poems to the class to complete the poetry tea party. Everyone clapped! Folks went to eat cheese and crackers while in the corner David and my wife were crying. Within minutes, David is having crackers and fruit and interacting (in his way) with the other kids.

After school, David came home and asked "Hey Dad, want to play basketball?" We shot hoops together, we laughed and he made a basket.

It seems to be a small blip on his radar. Yet I am still sad.

I do know that I have not posted in some time. Maybe I was being complacent with his progress? This was a wake up call for me to push forward - for me and for him.