1. Holy hot, Batman. We’ve been under heat advisory for much of the week. That hasn’t curbed the enthusiasm of anyone shorter than me to go to the pool as much as possible. So we go! The water is so hot it feels like a hot tub. It hit 113 and 115 degrees this week, and the weekend will be much the same. Holy hot! Meanwhile, when we’re not swimming, we’re loading up on popsicles, and working on inside projects. We tried the 2-inredient play dough recipe I’ve seen floating around Pinterest for ages (2 cups cornstarch + 1 cup conditioner). It was SO messy, but the kids had a really fun time making fossils and building houses for their dinosaurs and eggs (thank you Target dollar spot). A royal mess, but a fun time nevertheless!
2. We watched a movie!!! There are some things about autism that are really hard to explain if you haven’t witnessed or experienced yourself. One of those is our ability to watch tv or movies. You might be thinking “well, your children shouldn’t be watching tv anyway” or “you’re so lucky”. And I sort of get that, but what I’m talking about is an inability to be flexible in watching new episodes of a favorite show, or any movie. For two years (until last week!) we have only watched two movies as a family. Two. When we’ve tried to watch something new, Sophie either goes into a full meltdown for at least the duration of the movie, or hides in a closet or the pantry somewhere and is disregulated for hours afterward. And again, you might be thinking “what’s the big deal?” or “she’ll get used to it”. But she doesn’t and she hasn’t. For years.
Visually and from a sensory standpoint, it’s too overwhelming to watch something new almost ever. When I try to put myself in her shoes, I imagine it’s like watching a huge color and light display a few inches from your face with the sound turned up full volume. It’s overwhelming and unpredictable, and for a girl who needs predictability and stability to function, it can just be too much. And believe me (OH, BELIEVE ME!) we’ve tried.
Meanwhile, we have Milo, a perfectly typical little 2 year old who’d love to watch Frozen or Cars or Toy Story or Kung Fu Panda or ANY princess movie if only we could get past the opening credits without hysteria in the house. It sort of takes the magic away from watching a show when your sister is shrieking for an hour and a half or becomes erratic for several hours after the movie has ended. It’s also exceptionally difficult to have a family movie night (which Michael and I loved in our own homes growing up).
All that to say, we had a BIG accomplishment at our house: we watched a movie this week. The Jungle Book. Milo was completely smitten. Loved it whole-heartedly. Sophie did remarkably well! For weeks, we’ve been watching single songs on YouTube to get her familiar with scenes from the movie. That way, it wouldn’t be so overwhelming to watch the full movie. And, somehow, it worked this time!!!
3. Lounger. Forget lounge pants, Milo always finds ways to be comfortable. When he’s not shouting at the top of his lungs or running at full speed, he is a first rate lounger. He finds ways to rest or snuggle or adjust himself for ultimate comfort. It’s a skill.
4. It was a bittersweet therapy week. Sophie mastered some really important goals, and we had our last session with our (incredibly) beloved ABA therapist. Megan has spent more time with my kids than any of their relatives and more than anyone else in their lives (other than their parents). She has been exactly the miracle our family needed to help bring Sophie back to us and to help empower her to be so successful. We are forever in her debt, and we already miss her.
5. With my by myself. What do you do when you’re out of the house by yourself and don’t want to spend a million dollars (because you’re excitedly saving for a home purchase in the next few months)? Really, what do you do? Michael had a quick business trip this week, and I found myself out on a “date” alone when our regular babysitter arrived for date night. I’m always tempted to run errands, but I also had a fun time getting make-up tips at Sephora, picking up some fresh peaches, and watching The Hundred-Foot Journey again. If you haven’t seen that movie and you like food, please stop what you’re doing and watch it. It’s lovely.