Life According to Kate

When I was 1, I didn't have no teeth.

When I was 2, Annie was zero.

When I was 3, I get a Honda Odyssey.

When I was 4, I goed to Disney.

When I 5, I get a lost tooth.

When I 6, I ride the bus.

When I 7, I will whistle.

When I 8, I will do ju-nastics. (translation-gymnastics)

When I 9, I will get a really lot of lost tooth.

When I 10, I will go on stage.

When I 11, I will play soccer.

When I 12, I climb a tree.

When I 13, I will wear a bra.

When I 14, I take a shower.

When I 15, I will climb on things.

When I 16, I will poop on the potty.

When I 17, I go on bigger rides.

When I 18, I get a bathroom in my room.

When I get a mommy, I ride in the front.

When I 98, Annie beed 96.

When I 100, I beed really big.


My First Meme

Kristen from From Here to There and Back tagged me for my very first meme. I've been blogging for only 3 months, so this is a new experience for me.

Here are the rules:

1. Link back to the person who tagged you

2. Share 7 random facts about yourself

3. Tag 7 random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs

4. Let each person know they've been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog

Here are 7 random facts about me:

1. Believe it or not but Delilah is not my real name nor is Gonzo my husband's. Delilah is a nickname that was bestowed upon me during college. Some guy I knew through a friend started calling me that because of my tongue-twister of an Italian last name. It stuck. Gonzo was derived from my husband's difficult to pronounce Polish surname, which I inherited when we married.

2. I was one of the founding members of my college soccer team. I scored the first goal ever in the team's NCAA history.

3. I was a special education teacher in my former life. I loved working with the kids. Their parents, not so much. I was quite intimidated by them and dreaded phone calls, conferences, IEP meetings. Funny how that job prepared me for life with Kate. Funny how being a special education parent will make me a better teacher when I return to the classroom some day. I now "get it".

4. I recently subscribed to this magazine in an effort to conquer my ongoing battle with clutter and disorganization.

5. I am a hobby enthusiast whose enthusiasm wanes rather quickly. My house is littered with remnants of hobbies gone by: scrapbooking supplies, stamps, yoga mat, rollerblades, tap shoes, photography equipment, musical instruments, crochet needles, yarn, cross country and downhill skis, cross stitching crap. You name it, I have tried it. I believe #4 and #5 are closely related.

6. At age 26 I went through what I refer to as a quarter-life crisis and pierced my belly button. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but after 3 kids, all that remains is a nasty scar. I was in the middle of Target one day when I overhead a young girl telling her friend she wanted a piercing. I shamelessly whipped up my shirt and made her look at my scar to give her something to think about.

7. The summer before my junior year of college, I was mirandized. Yep, as in "you have the right to remain silent," etc. Before you go and think I'm some kind of criminal, please let me explain. Two friends from high school, who are now ex-friends, came to visit me at school. After a night of partying they thought it would be funny to break into people's cars and steal their stuff. And bring it back to my apartment. Which is how I got involved. My ex-friends were arrested. The police called me in for questioning. I was read my rights and was told I could be charged with aiding and abetting stolen property. I told the truth, that I had no idea what my ex-friends had been doing that night, that I was asleep when this all happened. They let me go, and I never spoke to those ex-friends again.

I feel way out of my league with this whole tagging thing, so I am going to sit this one out!


My Daughter the Comedian

In the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving Kate became enamoured with A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and could be found scripting entire scenes at a time. Her favorite scene was the one in which Charlie Brown prepared a feast consisting of toast, popcorn, pretzel sticks, and jelly beans for his friends. Gonzo's mom heard about Kate's fondness for this particular scene and thought she would surprise Kate with a feast of those items.

Upon arriving at Grandmom's house, Kate announced that she was hungry. She made her way over to the table and eyed up the spread. Within earshot of the entire family Kate exclaimed in a startling accurate rendition of Peppermint Patty's voice, "What blockhead cooked all this?!"

The entire family, Grandmom the Blockhead included, roared, thus reinforcing the behavior. Therefore, "what blockhead cooked all this" has become a favorite phrase, uttered over and over and over.


Lies, Lies, Lies

After the trauma of birthing a large baby, I took comfort in a comment I heard from everyone: Bigger babies sleep through the night sooner. I heard this little nugget of wisdom so many times I thought it was a irrefutable fact. Four months into this baby thing I can now say with confidence: You are all liars.

Bigger babies have bigger appetites and need to spend more time eating and less time sleeping is more accurate.

Little Fella wakes at least once, sometimes twice, during the night. He's not just hungry, he's ravenous. Now I'm hearing from those same people: Let him cry it out. He's big enough. He doesn't need to eat. Sounds great, but I don't think crying it out makes hunger go away.

So, here I am, four months into this baby thing, not sleeping much and lugging around an 18 pound giant baby. At this rate, I'm going to lose my mind from the lack of sleep, become addicted to caffeine, and need some serious physical therapy to correct the damage in my muscles and tendons.

Now, I'm off to pour my third cup of coffee for the day.


A Mortifying Playdate

I arrived at Lori's this afternoon to retrieve Annie from a playdate with Jane. Immediately I noticed that Annie was wearing different pants than the ones she wore to school. Pants that were not her own. Oh. No. This could only mean one thing.

I turned my wondering gaze toward Lori. "Um, Annie had an accident," she said, answering my silent question. My heart skipped a beat.

"Pee?" I asked hopefully.

"Um, no," she answered.

Oh. No. So, poor Lori, who just finished writing about her pooping saga, poor Lori, who has been going through a difficult time, had to clean up the mess. I am so sorry, my friend. If it's any consolation, Annie peed all over my kitchen floor as soon as we got home.


Buckle Up

For quite some time now Kate has been buckling herself into her car seat. Having expressed the desire to be a big girl and buckle herself in, I allowed her to do so. This skill was a source of pride for her, something she could do without my help. And so the routine of climbing into the car countless times each day and fastening her restraints became, well, routine. Automatic. Never a power struggle. Something she did as naturally as blinking. Until one day.

Kate climbed into the car after school and dutifully arranged herself in her car seat. I proceeded to pull away, assuming she was properly restrained. I glanced in the rear view mirror only to see her sprawled across her seat sideways. Unable to pull over, I demanded that she buckle herself in at once.

"What will happen?" she asked curiously.

Well, honey, if I were to slam into another vehicle, the simple laws of physics dictate that you would continue to move at the rate of speed at which I was traveling, at which point you would be ejected from our vehicle through the glass windshield, causing catastrophic, most likely fatal damage. Basically, you would be killed upon impact.

"You would get very hurt," I answered, without going into any detail.

My answer further piqued her interest. "Will my eyeballs fall out?" she asked breathlessly.



No problems since that conversation.


A Memory from Long Ago

"Remember I was 3, and I cry at Miss Marci's?" Kate said to me recently while driving to school.

Do I remember? How could I forget?

The summer before Kate was to start preschool, we enrolled her in a social skills group for children on the spectrum with the hope of combating her habit of screaming and throwing herself on the floor. The group was run by Marci, a licensed psychologist and movement therapist. Every Wednesday evening that summer we would drive 45 minutes for Kate to "participate" in this group. I say "participate" because Kate would spend the entire session rolling around on the floor, alternating between screaming and crying. Eventually, though, Marci was able to woo Kate through music and dance. By the end of that summer, Kate was a willing and happy participant, following Marci's directions and interacting a little bit with the other children.

"Yes, I remember," I replied.

"I cry a lot," she added.

Sensing that Kate was interested in having this conversation, I probed a bit further, hoping she wouldn't shut down, which often happens when she feels pressured. "You did cry a lot. Why did you cry at Miss Marci's?"

"I wanted you, Mom."

Those words made me want to turn the clock back two years, pick up that screaming toddler, and hold her close to my heart. Those screams weren't about non-compliance or defiance. Those screams were simply a little girl telling everyone she just wanted her mommy.


The Joys of Traveling

Traveling with a child on the autism spectrum can be a challenge. Traveling with a child on the autism spectrum who has a dreadful fear of the toilet can be a nightmare.

To prepare Kate for a weekend getaway in the mountains, we essentially outlined the entire trip for her. School first, then lunch, then long car ride, then check-in at front desk at mountain hotel, then go to mountain hotel room, then unpack, then go swimming... and so on. You get the idea. We showed Kate pictures of the resort we were staying at and talked about the activities we would be doing. We brought some of her favorite toys from home, and of course, her potty seat.

It should be noted that Kate is quite particular when it comes to toilets. To date she has used only five different toilets. Our powder room toilet, the toilet in Grandma's powder room, the toilet in Grandmom's powder room, the toilet in Jane's powder room, and the toilet in the right-hand stall at school. She has never used a toilet in a public restroom, which presents obvious problems when leaving the 2-mile radius around our house. In Kate's world, toilets must meet certain standards- they must have lids, they must have "big water" (meaning a full bowl of water), the water must stay up, and the flush must not be loud. If those criteria are not met, anxiety abounds, and a full-blown tantrum and wet pants result.

It should also be noted that Kate has yet to have a bowel movement in the toilet. Even the mere suggestion of using the toilet for that function instead of a diaper further ratchets up the anxiety level, causing her to withhold her bowel movements for up to a week at a time. That, however, is a story in and of itself and worthy of its own special post.

Fortunately, the toilet in our mountain hotel room met all of the necessary criteria. However, Kate had a great deal of anxiety using it the first time. For over a half hour Kate danced and twirled and flapped around the bathroom, repeatedly asking if the toilet had a lid, if it had "big water", if the water would stay up, if the flush would be loud. Yes. Yes. Yes. No. Finally, the desire to go swimming beat out the toilet anxiety, and we had success. Kate's peeing repertoire has now been expanded to six toilets.

It was hit or miss the rest of the weekend. By Sunday afternoon, our hotel bathroom was littered with eight pairs of wet and/or soiled princess panties, two pairs of pants, one pair of tights, one pair of pajamas, one pair of socks, and one pair of shoes. Needless to say, I am glad to be home. Home is where Kate's favorite toilet is. And that means a happy, dry little girl.