March 9, 2018

Flashback Friday


Ready for a birthday growth montage?

Rerun, age 1:

Rerun, age 2:

Rerun, age 3:

Rerun, age 4:

Rerun, age 5:

Rerun, age 6:

Rerun, age 7:

And finally, Rerun, age 8:

*sigh*  He just won’t stop getting older.

March 8, 2018

Excellent Eight


Dear Rerun,

We have just wrapped up your first “kid” birthday party at Pump It Up, and you told me that “this was so awesome.”

“What part?” I asked.

“All of it.”

I really don’t feel adequate to trying to explain the changes of this last year (but it might be because I got a late email from your teacher telling me that no one in your class has allergies, so I can send in whatever treat you choose for your birthday, so I’ve been baking a double batch of gingersnaps – your choice – before bedtime and after this party), but I feel like your birthday letter is the best place to give it a shot.

Summer camp was a great thing for you.  It was also a great thing for me, because I finally got some parenting help in an ADHD support group.  Between that and camp, it really began to change how we deal with your ADHD (oh, and you got diagnosed with ODD as well this year – you are a regular alphabet soup).  It also began a new journey for us, as you were accepted into a medication study at Seattle Children’s (where you are now on a first-name basis with one of the psychiatrists, thanks to camp), and we spent lots of time and effort getting you assessed and then beginning a clinical blind trial of currently available medication to see if it had a positive effect on you.  The goal of the study was “smallest dosage for maximum effect.”

To make a long story short (because this took three months), the meds have a positive effect.  The best way to describe its effect on you is to say that it lengthens the fuse of your temper.  What was once a hair-trigger is now… not.  Between meds and behavioral modifications that we all learned at summer camp, I can say with great confidence that you are having a far more successful school experience than ever before.

That’s not to say that school has been perfect – and we were all deeply disappointed when you were made to change schools for the third year in a row, thanks to a district decision.  I know how much you had grown to love your school, and your teachers – and how much they care about you.  (They care about you so much that they have continued to check in on you via Facebook and visited you socially.)  But hopefully that will be the final change for a few years, and you can put down some roots and feel more at ease.  You have also been blessed with a one-on-one para who is invested in your success, and is the Jiminy Cricket to your Pinocchio.  I don’t know what will happen next school year, but I am going to do everything I can to make sure you continue to be successful.

Which leads us to last night – the first time you have invited your entire class at school to a birthday party.  Eleven of your classmates showed up, and it was a wild and crazy time.  It was chaos, but that’s why we had it at Pump It Up.  Chaos and jumping and running around like crazy people is their stock-in-trade.  I know you had a great time, even with the mob scene when you opened presents, and the feeding frenzy that happens with 7 and 8 year olds are given pizza.

You were the happiest kid ever.

Keep being happy, Rerun.  You are so incredibly bright and capable, you might just end up using your powers for good if you can just keep a positive attitude.  I love you more than you can possibly understand, even when I tell you “no” and hand out consequences.  I do that because I love you, and because I want to make you liveable for other people who don’t love you like I do.

But you have so, so many people who love you.  You are quite the charming little rogue.

So, happy 8th birthday (your “golden” birthday!), my too-clever-for-his-own-good, Angry Birds and science obsessed smarty pants.  I love you with all the snuggles in the world.


March 7, 2018

Art of the Week – Shapes


There has been an influx of new and younger students into art class, which is good (the class is slowly finding a stable ground after the tragedy of this fall, and adjusting to a new teacher), but it also means that these younger ones are in need of some basic instruction.

So there was a lesson on shapes this week, and how adding shapes together can make pictures.

Tad, despite being many yards ahead of this lesson, took it seriously.

I’m very proud of him, but he’s growing so fast and been in the class so long that he looks slightly comical alongside the new six year olds.  If his beloved teacher was still here, I wouldn’t be concerned about it (and Tad wouldn’t want to leave her), but we might have to start thinking about a class with a older set of kids next fall.

March 6, 2018

Thumper Imagines


Thumper, as a general rule, has not been very good at “pretend play.”  He is a very grounded little boy.  When he plays with a thing, it is whatever that thing is.  A phone is a phone.  A block cannot be a phone.  A spoon cannot be a wand.  Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

This was made painfully obvious lately when I sat in on a ADOS (autism diagnostic observation schedule) re-testing of Thumper (required for insurance purposes, because goodness knows that he might have outgrown his diagnosis and insurance MUST be convinced that his therapy is necessary…. but I digress on how much they suck right now), and during testing, the psychologist could not interest Thumper in the least about caring for the baby doll.  Or throwing it a pretend birthday party.  Or could be convinced that the Play-Doh was a birthday cake, and the little plastic stick in the “cake” was a birthday candle.

This is the same kid who sees a lit candle in the bathroom, and MUST sing “Happy Birthday,” because that’s what you do when candles are lit, right???

So no, he is not buying your pretend cakes and candles when he knows what the real things are like.  Pfffft.

Like his brother before him, it will take some time to get his imagination jump-started.  And it will probably take scripting and Star Wars to do it.

Because when you just want to recreate a fight scene, why not just do it yourself, all by yourself?

But this was the first time I had actually seen him do something like this.

Baby steps!