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Jun 02
2011

Chillin the Most

Posted by Brett in terrible twosparenting

 

Bodie is the most even tempered 2 year old, at least when contrasted to the other two mood swinging kids in the house. He's got this uncanny ability to take things in stride, and just go with the flow. The other day at the swimming pool, his Earth ball disappeared, and Bodie didn't throw the slightest fit. He just kept looking for it everywhere, and now and then he'd say "We can find it Daddy." My other 2 boys would have been frantic with distress. We never did find the ball, by the way. He decided it would be easier to find one at Target later on. "We can go to Target after dis," he announced. He adjusted his goggles, then continued his romp in the shallow end.

Bodie has picked up on some of his older brothers' emotional outbursts, however. It's just learning by osmosis.  Actually, their eruptions haven't been so bad lately, since we started the Feingold diet and cut out the food dyes. It really works! Food dyes are pure evil, it turns out. Do your own research.

Anyway, Garrett is especially funny when he's mad, like a furious little Donald Duck. Last weekend Garrett was super tired, crabby, and ready for bed. Out of the blue, Gavin scared him from behind with a loud noisemaker he got from a party. Garrett spun around and went off like a pack of firecrackers on Gavin. "I'm wilwy, wilwy, wilwy, wilwy ANGWY at you, GAVIN! UHHH!" Poor kid. I know the feeling. I get crabby too when I'm tired.

When Bodie gets mad at me for something like helping him get undressed for the bath, he only yells a little bit. He'll say "I wanna do it, Daddy! I WANNA DO IT" To which I'll calmly respond "Are you mad at dad?" mainly because I love his response of late, which is "I'm not mad, I'm just ANGWY!!"

Really though, Bodie is just content to glide through life with a mischievous smirk on his face most of the time. His terrible two tantrums are few and far between - I hope I'm not jinxing it - but he almost always does what he's told the first time I tell him. Now, what kind of two year old is this? It's really mind boggling. I'll say "Boys, get your shoes on and climb in the Jeep." And 3 minutes later, Bodie will be standing by the Jeep with shoes in hand (since he struggles to put them on). Gavin and Garrett will most likely be ignoring my directive until they hear me say "Goodbye guys, we are leaving."

Getting him to eat is a different story, however. He thinks everything is yucky, except for french fries and chicken nuggets. I don't know how he survives, since we don't make his food of choice more than once or twice a week. We don't give in to his demands. We want our kids to enjoy all types of food. Sara is an incredible cook, and she'll be darned if she's going to waste her talents with frozen nuggets. Bodie usually eats a good breakfast, at least, mainly because he's famished from his rejection of the previous night's fare. Hopefully he'll get past this picky stage like his brothers did, without it stunting his growth! (Can that really happen?)









Apr 22
2011

Story Corps

Posted by Brett in parentingautism

Gavin and I did a Storycorps interview yesterday afternoon. Storycorps is a non-profit organization that travels the country recording conversations between two people who have a special relationship. I've been listening to the Storycorps stories on Friday mornings on NPR for a long time, and I'm always moved by the interviews. They feature a 5 minute segment of a conversation that is consistently inspiring and thought provoking.

The format is just a 40 minute conversation. One person usually interviews the other and tries to guide the conversation, but I really wanted Gavin to ask me some questions too. I knew he could probably ask me some really wacky and potentially embarrassing questions like "Dad, did you know that your singing in the car doesn't sound nice to my ears?" Or worse.

When Storycorps came to our town, our friend and local "Surfers Healing" organizer John Pike suggested that Gavin and I do an interview. "Heck yeah!" I said, and we signed up. Gavin would make a great interview, since you never know what to expect out of him. His thoughts are sometimes deep and many times off the wall. He is still in a place in childhood where he believes anything is possible i.e. "Dad, lets get some wood and some metal from Home Depot and build a rocket so we can see Saturn better…"

I also wanted to get some serious thoughts out of him on autism.

Well, the date arrived and we were both very excited. The Storycorps recording booth is an awesome Airstream trailer with a soundproof room and an office space built into it. Really cool. We went through the initial waiver signing process and explanation of the recording equipment and how it all works, etc. It took quite awhile to get started, at least for a kid with autism. Gavin started getting really nervous and antsy during this pre-recording process. The recording booth was small and dark, very comfortable for me actually. To Gavin, I think it was a little overstimulating. The microphones were huge and expensive, so "Please try not to touch them," our gracious host advised. Of course, that is really all Gavin had on his mind the whole time. There was this giant black foam ball virtually floating in front of his face, and he couldn't touch it? Yeah, ok.

Aside from that, Gavin was also distracted and mischievous to the point where he really wasn't listening or thinking at all about talking with me. He had ants in his pants. I got a few good comments out of him about what he thought his future would be. He plans on being married and living in an apartment in England by the time he's 26, (news to me) drive a monster truck to work and explore the solar system to get paid. Not a bad gig, I figure.

His thoughts on autism were just that "It's not good." No revelation there. I tried to bring up a few of the benefits of autism, like being able to remember lots more than other people, but he wasn't buying it. That line of questioning ended with him under the table, trying to untie my shoes.

The interview was supposed to last 40 minutes, and ours went 35. Way longer than I anticipated, actually. If nothing else, it'll be something we can listen to throughout our lives and get a chuckle. They take your picture at the end and give you a cd recording of it, and the interview is archived at the National Library of Congress in DC.

I was hoping for an awe inspiring dialogue that would have people weeping in their cars on the side of the road all across America one friday morning when it aired, but somehow I doubt it's going to get any airtime.

19 years from now when Gav is driving me around England in his monster truck, we'll play back our interview and give eachother a high five. That'll be good enough for me.













Feb 14
2011

What Did Helvetica Tell You Today?

Posted by Sara in snugfits

Helvetica Documentary

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