momtuition

This is a guest post by journalist Liane Kupferberg Carter. It looks at an issue I’ve often thought about. Many of you know that Kuba loves plush toys and I sometimes wonder how we’re going to mange it if he does not grow out of it – He’s eleven now and I see we get the side-eye from onlookers sometimes. In this post she gives us her perspective on her 21 year old son Mickey who loves plush toys.

 

On a trip to Arizona three years ago, my son Mickey asked to visit the airport gift shop. He rummaged through a display of stuffed animals. “Hey there little fella,” he said, clutching a small stuffed bear to his chest. For the next hour until it was time to board, he walked through the airport gripping his new toy.

For years therapists have urged us to encourage more “age-appropriate” interests. We have. But at 21, Mickey is still drawn to Sesame Street characters. His bed is piled with so many plush toys there’s no room to roll over. He sleeps with a large Sponge Bob pillow.

I’ve come to wonder if wanting him to be more age-appropriate says more about our comfort level than about Mickey’s development.

Professionals tell us he has a “spiky” profile: test scores show an uneven scatter of strengths and challenges. His interests are spiky too. He does have what would be considered age interests suitable to his age: he loves watching sports. He enjoys hanging out the mall, eating at the food court and buying t-shirts at Banana Republic (which he calls “The Gentleman’s Store.”) He wears Beats headphones to listen to music—Raffi as well as rock. We encourage his interest in championships, players, team rankings and game rules, which gives him conversational currency with peers.

But if carrying a small Sesame Street Grover beanie in his pocket makes him feel safe, why shouldn’t he? Don’t we all have our transitional objects, or habits and rituals that reassure? How many adults panic at the idea of leaving home without a smart phone? Why do we expect our children on the spectrum to be paragons of age-appropriate maturity, when we ourselves frequently choose age-inappropriate activities or interests? One of my husband Marc’s favorite movies (sorry hon, I’m outing you here) is the animated Pixar flick “The Incredibles.”

Instead of focusing on having age appropriate interests, wouldn’t we all be better off focusing on teaching our kids the appropriate times and places to pursue those interests?  Listening to Muppet music on an iPod with ear buds is fine; carrying a Muppets backpack is not. I don’t want anyone bullying him.

When Mickey was a toddler, he was evaluated by Dr. Stanley Greenspan, the architect of Floor-time Therapy, a developmentally-based intervention that stresses following your child’s lead. Dr. Greenspan taught us to enter into Mickey’s interests. “Those passions are the window to your son’s emotional life,” he said.

Last night when I poked my head in his room, Mickey was engrossed with his iPad. “I’m watching Snoopy,” he told me. “He’s for everyone. Come see.”

I sat beside him. “Looks like Snoopy is doing his happy dance.”

“Yes!” he said. “I’m getting ready for my play date with Jake this weekend. Jake loves Snoopy.” I shared that with Jake’s mother. “Aw,” she said.

“I struggled for years to come to terms with him skipping down the halls and singing Barney songs.”

The bottom line is this: Mickey works hard all day to meet other people’s expectations of suitable behavior. If he wants to watch blooper reels from “Reading Rainbow” and outtakes from “The Muppets Movie” when he gets home, that’s fine. Why shouldn’t he seek out things that comfort or amuse him? We all do. Marc and I have watched so many “Seinfeld” reruns we could do a responsive reading of the dialogue. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.)

It’s his leisure time, not ours. Mickey gets to choose. I respect his choices because I respect him. I’ve stopped caring if his interests don’t fit someone else’s idea of appropriate.

As long as they’re appropriate for him.

 

This article was originally published on Autism After 16 by Liane Kupferberg Carter. Liane is the mother of two adult sons, one of whom has autism and epilepsy. Liane is a journalist whose articles and essays have appeared in more than 40 publications. As a community activist, she has worked with both national and local organizations.

 

Light It Up Blue for Autism Awareness Month“Light It Up Blue” is a global campaign that sees thousands of iconic landmarks, cities and towns around the world turn blue on April 2 to recognize World Autism Awareness Day. The campaign highlights the pressing need for greater public education and awareness of autism in our community.  

I’m proud to have initiated Antigua’s participation in this campaign for the first time – BUT – I need your help to make it a success and for us to send a strong message to everyone that the Antiguan community is united in our efforts in supporting and celebrating people with autism and increasing awareness about this disorder. 

Need some inspiration?  Here are a few ways you can ‘Light It Up Blue” on April 2! 

  • Get your school involved: Host a “Blue Day” fundraiser at your school.  Blue cake stalls, wear something blue, blue face painting, blue art day – The ideas are endless! 
  • Get your workplace involved: Ask clients and colleagues to take part in a “Wear Blue” fundraiser for World Autism Awareness Day.  Get creative and have some fun!
  • Promote this “Light It Up Blue” campaign via your social media!  Share stories (news or personal ones).
  • Light up your Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, BBM profile: Change your profile photo to the “Light It Up Blue” logo or any other Autism Awareness graphic – Check out Google Images, there are tons!
  • Take lots of photos of any awareness activities/events you host: Share photos on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. Would so love if you could tag me (@sackr) in them! You can also email your photos to salma.crump@gmail.com.
  • Purchase autism awareness merchandise and wear/use it proudly! A great range of products available online.
  • Contact your MP or anyone running for office and tell them all about World Autism Awareness Day/Month and why it’s so important to you! 

See… It’s so easy to get involved. 

It’s not only awareness that is being raised when our FB profiles are lit up. We are also helping build understanding of what it means to be affected by autism and building compassion for those with autism and their loved ones. 

On Wednesday, April 2, 2014 (and throughout the month) together – we can unite the world in their honor and for their benefit.  

NOTE: Any funds you raise can go towards an organization of your choice that supports the advancement of kids/adults with autism or help start a program in your neighborhood school, a more inclusive kiddies program in your church… It’s totally up to you!

I’ve been to the Ministry before and nothing has become of it. The promises which were made in 2011, 2012, and 2013 are still the same promises made in 2014. Has the Minister forgotten that she’s a public servant – working on behalf of the people? What misguided boldness! Such utter nonsense being publicly aired by a Minister of Government! That I, as a parent, knows where the Ministry is. Clearly suggesting that if I have any issues I should take my concerns there! Honorable Minister, I think it’s important that you understand that in government, there are going to be decisions you make (or actions you take) whose effects are likely to outlast the government of the day – And those, in my humble opinion are worthy of being addressed in public. Also, please tell the good public that I’ve been there (to your office) and done that! Tell them about the emails I’ve sent sharing my views and suggesting ways that the Ministry could possible get things done. Tell them about the discussions I’ve had with you and other members of your team about this very topic. But as Martin Luther King once said…  “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” So, get off your high-horse and stand! This sort of superior attitude is what makes the public despair. There is a huge problem with regards to the provision of special education in this country. These deep systemic problems we’re faced with are not mine alone – And they are bigger than the speeches, the openings and the photo-ops we sometimes clamor for

Regarding the Minister’s comments about my supposed attack on the members who sit on the Special Education Council… For those who missed it, here’s an excerpt of what I said:

“A Special Education Council was put in place… Good move: An advisory council could potentially assist the Ministry with drafting policies/programs/plans/reviewing budgets and giving guidance (relating to special education) on how to put those plans into action. Where I think you went wrong: Instead of looking as far as the eye can see with regards to assembling a diverse group to sit on this council – You, looked outside your office door. That‘s the only conclusion I could arrive at to explain why you would elect a senior executive within the Ministry as the Chair of this council – Added to that the other members (with the exception of one) are all Ministry execs.

By all means, this is not an attack on the competencies of the individuals who sit on the council but they are Ministry staffers and are conflicted, therefore, in providing independent advice to you. The council is unlikely to recommend actions deemed unfavorable by you or criticize any decisions that have been made by the Ministry. Therefore you and your team cannot receive the objective advice needed in order to make intelligent decisions. This clearly demonstrates a lack of understanding of the processes of thoughtful planning which the provision of special education services requires.”

I’m not attacking the competencies of the individuals as you suggest. Actually, it’s your competency I question. You’re the one who has made the people doing the work both the doers and the advisers. How can you expect no one to question this? The actions you take have a direct impact on things and it baffles me that you’re unable to see this conflict. So, please do not confuse my right to be critical publicly with anything else. Don’t make that vulgar mistake that I’m somehow persecuting you or anyone else just because you’re being challenged.

Instead of working with the press to help the public understand what you are doing and why, you chose to defend your lackluster record where special needs education is concerned, on the grounds that you’re standing up for others. Give me a break! Quit trying to rationalize your phoniness into some sort of noble act. You’re not standing up for anyone! You’re using them as a shield! By the way, NO ONE! I repeat… NO ONE! Can be more hurt than the parents of these kids! At the end of the day you switch off your lights and leave your office. This is our ALL DAY EVERYDAY! So if you’re hurt, keep it to yourself! Use that energy to put the proper programs and policies in place to make the education system better for our children. It’s so ironic that it suits you now to say that every criticism is a broad-brush approach. In a quote from an article posted on Caribbean News Now in 2013, you said: “This particular area of education has not been done justice over the years”. Were we to believe then, that the same folks you accuse me of disregarding now were being disregarded by you when you made those comments? Come on Minister… Give us all some more credit than that. No right-thinking person would assume that’s what you meant. Also, we agree with you! That’s what this public conversation is about! Plus, at the end of the day, don’t you think those same people want better, more meaningful change too?

Here’s some advice… Don’t campaign on an issue, make empty promises, and take the job of Minister of Education, if you don’t want to be held accountable for it. We’re not accountable to you; it’s the other way around. This is our tax dollars you’re spending! It’s not only at election time you have to come to us – But you have to come to us every time! Get it right! I do not profess to have all the answers, after all, like you said I’m a “just come”. But I would love if at least once, after giving your excuses, you could tell the public what your plans really are and explain to us why the promises you’ve made have not been kept.

When the 2014 Education Week launched with a call for greater commitment – Again, what are you asking us to commit to? Can’t be blind commitment? Which, as far as I’m concerned is intellectual suicide – And I cherish my independence too much to allow that. But you know, I once came across a quote which said: “The trouble with most of us is that we’d rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism.” So from me to you…

I will continue to be critical, because no government gets it right all the time. So stop treading on dangerous ground with your archaic views – This notion some politicians have where they want you to come to their office to bare your soul. So sing to the media and cry inside these walls. Perhaps it’s because of how I was raised and the fact that I probably watch too much MSNBC, that I find it difficult to accept that crap.

As I’ve said before, I’m an ordinary mom. The only special interest I have is for my son and others like him to have equal access to an appropriate and adequate education. I’m proud to be able to speak up and out for them and even more determined not to stop. So you see… Honorable Minister; I’m not asking for anything that you yourself haven’t asked for, said we needed. All I’m saying is: Talk is not all that matters…

My open letter to the Hon. Minister of Education, Dr. Jacqui Quinn-Leandro…

I’m saddened and distressed by the state of affairs with regards to special education in this country.

We hear “It’s a priority” so often and still nothing gets done so I’ve now become numb to the promises made. I guess one thing can be said – There’s been some consistency where this issue is concerned and that is, nothing gets done. How tragic.

This year I made a special effort to listen to the Hon. Minister of Education, Jacqui Quinn-Lenadro’s speech regarding the recent budget. At one point, the Minister expressed how painful it was for her to see an unfinished structure at the Antigua State College campus for such an extended period. Painful! It pains her to see an unfinished building – that I may add – she’s right, it should be finished – BUT – perhaps I missed this, but I’ve never heard the Minister sounding this pained when she talks about special need children and how they continue to be shortchanged by the education system. Children! Not blocks! People! Or is it just the parents who should feel this pain? Newsflash! We’re feeling it! Newsflash! We can’t take it anymore!

So, since we’re on the subject of pain. Here’s what pains me…

The way the authorities run to their back-up responses of arts and crafts, vocational when the subject of special education comes up. Arts and crafts/vocational, though good is not the be-all and end-all of our children. Are we as parents to assume that that’s what it means to you – And – that is the breadth of the experience they will have in the system?

I am saddened that you and too many others continue to apologize and make excuses for the lack of any real, and thoughtful plans to address the needs of these students – actions that continue to be disastrous for so many. Quit holding out the “Coming Soon” carrot stick! We’re not rabbits! After all, at what point should we get fed-up of hearing “We’re working on something” or “We’re looking at it”. So you’re looking at it, we’re looking for it and our children get absolutely nothing from it. Just great! Words don’t help our children. Good programs/policies that are enforced do.

Here is your record…

You started out by saying the Ministry of Education will be making special education a priority. Every time I think of this I remember a quote from Mahatma Gandhi which says; “Actions expresses priorities”. My interpretation of this is that people take action on the things they deem important. I guess in a sense the Ministry’s inaction has pushed me to keep fighting for my child’s (and others like him) educational rights. So I’m going to keep demanding, over and over and over again for better more meaningful change. “We don’t have enough money” is no longer acceptable or defensible for bad education policies and programs.

You then said that you will be setting up a diagnostic center: We’re still waiting for this to even start. By the way, should we be concerned by the track record of the new public library? In a Daily Observer article on November 19th, 2011 the Minister stated: “Our fine team at the Board of Education has just completed an estimate of the cost of converting the building (referring to a building on Nugent Ave.) into a functional child-friendly centre, and we have included this expenditure into the 2012 budget,” – What happened Minister? Ok… You missed the ball in 2012 and again in 2013 – But… Believe me folks it will happen in 2014! Give me a minute please because I’m gagging on this giant-sized pill I’m being fed now. I’ve said this before – But – year after year we hear of an education budget but it’s difficult to say whether there is any correlation between the amount spent on the education system and its ability to be effective in responding to diversity. So you don’t have enough? Let us see what you’re doing with what you have. It’s your responsibility to tell us.

A Special Education Council was put in place… Good move: An advisory council could potentially assist the Ministry with drafting policies/programs/plans/reviewing budgets and giving guidance (relating to special education) on how to put those plans into action. Where I think you went wrong: Instead of looking as far as the eye can see with regards to assembling a diverse group to sit on this council – You, looked outside your office door. That‘s the only conclusion I could arrive at to explain why you would elect a senior executive within the Ministry as the Chair of this council – Added to that the other members (with the exception of one) are all Ministry execs.

By all means, this is not an attack on the competencies of the individuals who sit on the council but they are Ministry staffers and are conflicted, therefore, in providing independent advice to you. The council is unlikely to recommend actions deemed unfavorable by you or criticize any decisions that have been made by the Ministry. Therefore you and your team cannot receive the objective advice needed in order to make intelligent decisions. This clearly demonstrates a lack of understanding of the processes of thoughtful planning which the provision of special education services require.

More teachers have been trained in Special Education: This is absolutely great! But Minister, please explain why this benefit hasn’t trickled down to the point of making more of a difference for our children who are in the classrooms now. How do these new specialist teachers entering the system fit into the overall plan? What is the big picture? Is there a big picture?

The ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: The new political ping-pong – Politicians climbing over each other to see who can be the most politically correct and use the most buzz-words. To that I say; “How convenient.” We don’t address it for years then all of a sudden it shows up in a budget speech. Did we just find the conscience we lost? When Antigua signed on to this convention in 2007, put in place by the United Nations, were we doing it for the betterment of our citizens or was it just for show?

The Ministry has managed to do very little because many parents/advocates either can’t, won’t or don’t know how to challenge them. I have to be honest though, sometimes I feel like I’m being ignored to the point of exhaustion (didn’t know this was possible) within a system that is so inherently flawed that the authorities think nothing about being satisfied with the status quo. It’s embarrassing, the awful reputation our public schools have when it comes to special education. How can we change that?

These children may have a disability and they may need accommodations to access the educational curriculum but they are worthy of the same high expectations that is placed on our typical children. So hopefully you agree that we must have high expectations of education authorities. After all it’s the high expectations that we have today which will prepare them for a life of independence in the future. I refuse to raise a child for a life of dependence on social programs and dollars! Or worse! I very much doubt you, or any other Member of Parliament, would be happy with that situation for your own children, yet so many in government are complicit by their silence on the issue. I’m not wishing for any MP to have to raise a child with special needs but perhaps you would all feel somewhat differently about the matter if you had to.

Here we are, celebrating Education Week under the theme “Every Learner Achieves: A Call for Greater Commitment” but from where I sit it does not appear as if we truly believe in that theme. That every learner can achieve – And when the authorities call for greater commitment. Who is this call going out to? Commitment is not a one-way street. Education officials are always quick to tout the importance of the involvement of parents as stakeholders in the education of their child but when parents do get involved it appears as if your involvement is only wanted on their terms. So we’re “good” once we’re singing from the same hymn-sheet but once I challenge you… Now, I know there are some who have no tolerance for this sort of emotional honesty in communication – But I refuse to give unthinking respect to anyone/group/thing. It’s not happening!

So, no more phony consultations to provide window-dressing for progress. We don’t want that! We want real dialogue that asks all partners to help define the barriers and consider how they can contribute to solving them. I’m ready to do whatever it takes. What about you?

I know I’ve been a bit tardy with my posts but in my defense… I do have a lot of stories to tell you but they just sometimes come to me at the worst times when I’m not able to write any of it down. For me to get something out I have to drop everything and just focus on writing or else you’re just going to get crap – And you know that would be a big step down from the literary masterpieces you’ve grown accustomed to.  You’re welcome but no need to thank me it’s the least I can do.

You know that in my posts I’m either pissed-off or funny – But – I’m trying to mellow out because I’m getting older and somehow I never remember the funny stuff after they’ve happened. So in honor of my birthday I’ve decided that moving forward I’m going to work on striking a balance. So, as a part of the process I need to first confess a few things.

1. Ok… Let’s start off with what you know is one of my biggest fears, which is to be seen in faded underwear. I’m happy to confess though that I’m over it. Now, I worry about being taken to the ER in my spanx. Shhh… Sometimes it’s full-body spanx. It will be a couple hundred dollars down the tube if they have to cut it off of me. My mom is to blame for all this nutty behavior. One day I was stripping in front of my mom… SIDE NOTE: Get your damn mind out the gutter cause this ain’t no freak shit.

Back to what I was saying… So I’m taking my clothes off and she shouts out “Oh my God! How much clothes do you have on? Try nuh tek-een dung de road. Translation: I hope you don’t faint/pass-out when you get to where you’re going.” Now I can’t stop worrying. SIDE NOTE: I no longer watch the ER Trauma shows. Now I want everything that happens to me to be a surprise.

2. I think I’m ready to try my hand at being a lawyer or maybe being a cop. I’ve been binge-watching Law & Order all year.  Actually this is not really a confession – Just wanted you to know about the new skills that I’ve acquired. I can spot a perp anywhere.

3. Ok… I’m no longer day-dreaming about quitting my job and cutting coupons so I can appear of TLC’s “Extreme Couponing”. I now realize that I need my job – BUT – I want my own reality show. Who wants to get paid to be my friend on it?

4. I’m way past my annual check-up. Because of my job, I’m having difficulty finding a gynecologist who does not know my name, recognize me or both. So now I’m back to wanting to quit my job. Some background… I went through a lot to trouble seeking out a doc that I’ve never been to before for my last check-up. So, I get there and I’m in plain clothes.  SIDE NOTE: OMG! I tell you I could be a cop… Plain clothes (Not exactly what plain clothes means for me though).

Anyway… I walk into the lobby and immediately think, “Shit! I know all the staff here. Not good.” So I do all the preliminaries – At one point I thought that my blood pressure reading would be off the charts because I’m going a little nut-so hoping that the doc doesn’t walk out, see me, and start a conversation as if they know me. I would have passed out for real – And I wasn’t even wearing any spanx. I know… Totally nut-so.

That didn’t happen and I wait to go into the exam room. So it’s now my turn. The doc introduces himself to me and we exchange some pleasantries then the doc directs me to a room where I can strip… SIDE NOTE: Man! This is the second time I’m talking about stripping in one post. That could be good (suki suki) or bad (still suki suki…?) Back to the story… So I strip and put on a gown. SIDE NOTE: Yes, I think seriously now I want to quit my job because I need to spend some time coming up with a design to replace those gowns. Maybe crotch-less pants or… I don’t know but… If you’ve ever been in one (patient gown) you know what I mean.

So, I get back in the exam room and get up on the bed the doc starts asking me questions about myself, family history etc. At this time I’m still just sitting on the exam bed. Then the doc says to me, “Lie back and put your legs up. SIDE NOTE: The doc is about to go take a look at the best view in the world. 

Still talking to me, I guess in an effort to make me comfortable. So… Pause… Exam for a minute or two then, out of the blue says; “Oh, so you’re Salma Crump!” I was like, “F ME DEN!” To myself, to myself, I said it to myself! Translation: “F ME! Nothing else, that’s it. The word “den” is just our way of vocalizing an exclamation point.

After that it was like my knees had a mind of their own because they were closing like a vice grip. I swear, I was told to relax about ten times after that. There was more talk after that but I would be lying if I told you what it was about. I couldn’t process anything else other than the Queen Victoria Expose which was unfolding right in front of me. And that is; ladies and gentlemen why I’m way past due with my check-up. You see, I just prefer when my doc gets to know Queen Victoria before they get to know Salma Crump. Please… Don’t judge me.

5. When your kids ask for toys; don’t make any assumptions, just check the toys out before you say yes. So, leading up to Christmas Kuba has been asking for the Animaniacs toys. He’s been into this cartoon lately. He would say to me (at least 5 times a day): “Mom, I want the Animaniacs plush toys for Christmas – Yakko Warner, Wakko Warner and the Warner sister Dot.” Yes, my kid is very specific. As it got closer to Christmas I decide to go check out the toys online.

I go to Amazon first. My search returns only one of them. I try all sorts of different searches but still the only one and it was about $45. I’m thinking to myself, “What the hell is wrong with this seller”. Anyway I go to ebay now. I get a few results but not as many as I think and I notice that the prices are along the same lines and some even more than 45 bucks. Then it occurs to me that I haven’t seen a description which says “new” yet. Folks, the toys are collectible items. The three stuffed toys are about to cost us about 150 bucks. What the hell did I get myself into! And it’s just like my kid to want vintage toys. It’s not that we’re opposed to spending this amount – But – on stuffed toys? Aren’t these supposed to sell for like 5 bucks? Now that is a bill I would support. So, the moral of the story is; check out the toys before you say yes. Your pocketbook will thank you. We’re suckers though… We bought the toys. SIDE NOTE: Even PayPal sent me an email after the purchase saying: ‘Come on man… Really!”

6. I’m still eating things (albeit less of it) which had a face prior to hitting my plate.

7. Ok… Never wear black pants or black underwear on planes. Actually stay away from black while traveling. For the second time in my life I bared my ass while traveling. This time it happened after I got off the plane. I take that back. I’m really not sure when it happened. All I know is that Kuba and I had just got off the plane after a long day of travel, numerous lines, escalators, and thousands of people – Only the have my sister greet me in arrivals, give me a hug then say… “Turn around, yuh nuh wan hole in yuh batum?” Translation: “Turn around… You know there’s a hole in your bottom?”

SIDE NOTE: Guys, think about that for a second. This is what we call a double entendre, which, in literary terms means that what she’s just asked me could be interpreted in two ways; especially one having a meaning that is indelicate. And I don’t know about you but I consider all the holes on my body to be very delicate and any reference to them should be done with all sensitivity.

So what do I do? I reach for my ass. Long story short… It had turned into a city with a drug problem.

Imagine the horror. The first thought was Kuba. My only son, who came forth from my loins the one who had traveled with me ALL DAY! By the way, does loin mean vagina or womb? SIDE NOTE: I call Charlton to ask him. He’s like my ghost busters. You know… Who you’re gonna call…

Me: What is loins? Is it my vagina or my womb?

Charlton: Loins… What is this about?

Me: I’m trying to figure out where Kuba came from

Charlton: (silence)

Me: You there?

Charlton: Really?

Me: You know when folks say he came forth from my loins. What do they mean?

Charlton: It’s mine. He came from me

Me: How do you know?

Charlton: That’s what it means. My seed

Me: (silence) – I’m thinking that whatever I say could potentially give this convo new meaning

Me: I thought he came from my loins? So it is my bowels then?

Charlton: Yes

Me: Yes… He came from my bowels? Why does it have to be my bowels?

Charlton: He came from your gut right?

Me: Well… I guess

Charlton: Ok then

Me: So because he came from my gut that means he came from my bowels?

Charlton: I’m pretty sure it’s that but I’ll go research it

Me: I’ll go research too

SIDE NOTE: It’s on like Donkey Kong!

Anyway… Where was I again? Ok, right here… So my ass is ripped. Not “ripped” like “ripped” – I am working on that though – But – “ripped” like the seam broke and it’s “crack city” baby. One sec, back to loins for a minute … If Charlton is right –although I’m still researching, and Kuba came from his loins then I guess my dad’s own was a bit watery. Because if it wasn’t then maybe I would have more (literally… more) of an ass that is “ripped like ripped”. Sorry mom. But you were right when you said that we stood in the “bubby line” too long. Translation: “breast line”.

SIDE NOTE: I know; I have a serious problem with staying on topic. I’m working on it.

So my one and only son who came forth from my loins (yes… whatever… my research is not complete), the one who had traveled with me ALL DAY said not a word! Guys, we literally went up escalators where there were folks behind me whose head was in my direct fart line. And it was “Silent Saturday”… They wouldn’t have seen it coming at all.

SIDE NOTE: My apologies Princess. Everyone, I’m friends with a real Princess and she frowns when I talk about farts. She says it’s not becoming. So I’ve promised her that I will no longer talk about it here. So, from to the ones who are turning up your noses right now but you know you’re a closet fart lover. Here’s one for old times’ sake…

8. I think most people get farts all wrong. Too often they’re misinterpreted. I think they’re just a non-verbal way for you to say; “hey, you’re cool, I like you” or in the case of a stranger a nice “hello there”. I’m about to share something very special with you. Cause you’re my homie. It’s a day-of-the-week calendar that I’m considering printing and sharing with all my friends, which includes you. I know… No need to thank me.

Ok… Here goes the Fartdar.

Monster Mondays: Not what you’re thinking. It’s all noise and no real action

Time Bomb Tuesdays: These just escape like at all the wrong damn times. You let someone in your car; you’re in a full dressing room at Khols with your son the fart police.

Wicked Wednesdays: Run for your life

To Be Named Thursdays: Seriously… These could fit any profile

Funky Fridays: How it affects the senses is anyone’s guess

Like I mentioned Saturday’s are “Silent”: …………………………….. Deadly!

Savor the Sundays: Just let it out man. It’s just a gentle breeze. When it happens your… Hmmm squeeze…

SIDE NOTE: Feeling a bit sad now. Think I just lost a friend. 

9. Ok, I’m no longer going to deny it. I naturally walk like I’m about to kick someone’s ass.  However, I desperately want to learn how to walk sexy. There is no mood-killer worse than walking towards your man doing your sexiest stride and he asks you; “What did I do now? What are you upset about?” Little does he know that it’s because I’m concentrating so hard on walking and wining that my face is all scrunched-up and added to that my arms out at the sides, that I look mad.

10. The one checkup that I was looking forward to most after giving birth was… Ok, wait a second. This is just between us. Ok… What I was looking forward to most was my six week postpartum check-up where my doctor said…

“You’re free to resume sexual activity now.”

Thank you Jesus! I can take off the “Gone on Vacation”, “Extended Leave”, “Laid Off” sign off my vagina. I tell you… It couldn’t have happened soon enough. Any day I would have started to hump Charlton’s leg like a dog. I think I started humming something from Marvin Gaye right in the doctor’s office.

It has become one of Charlton’s “remember when…” moments. To this day when Queen Victoria “acts” dead he says… “Remember when…” 

11. Sometimes I forget how old I am. Someone asked me the other day how old I was going to be on my birthday and I was… “Ahhh… 2014 minus 1977 – Seven from four… You can’t – Go over to the one and borrow one…

I eventually did the all the calculations in my head. Took me only a few minutes. Then I said 37.

Happy birthday me! Was actually a few days ago… I’m working on my timing.

I think it’s still cool to say Happy New Year. Happy New Year to you!

For the past week Kuba has been pretending to arrest me. He’ll walk up behind me and say; “Turn around. Put your hands behind your back. You’re under arrest woman!” Then he would proceed to put on the handcuffs – And as he’s “pretend hand-cuffing me) he’s saying to me; “What are you going to do now… Huh?” Almost every night we go through this. Fast forward to just the other day…

And so it goes (as told by his dad).

Charlton and Kuba are on their way into the city. They get stopped by cops during a random police check-point. Charlton gets out; Kuba stays behind in the car. He’s driving my car and the tint is DARK for days! SIDE NOTE: In case you’re wondering how I get away with such dark tint. Your guess is as good as mine. I went from one day not having any tint – drove like that for over a year – to next day Charlton saying that my seats are going to get sun-damage and I need to  put on some tint. I went from sunlight to blackout in one fell swoop.

Anyway, Charlton is outside talking to the cop. I guess answering the usual questions. Then one of them noticed some movement in the car and asked if there was someone still in there. He told them yes, his son was. So the officer says:

Officer: Ask your son the exit the car

Charlton (opening car door): Kuba, come out of the car

Now; take a guess at what “star-boy” aka Kuba did…

Nope. Not that.

Kuba exited the car with his two hands up in the air.

All professionalism went out the door after that because everyone was laughing out so loud.

Now tell me…

SIDE NOTE: Perhaps we watched too much of the Trayvon Martin coverage. We haven’t even had “the talk” with him.

Great news guys… Kuba told me he loved me the other day.

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I’ve tried but HR has already said “no” THREE TIMES to me wearing this outfit to work

Usually when I would say “I love you” to him he would just say “I love you” back to me. He still has both immediate and delayed echolalia, so I never really knew if he was just repeating what I said or not. I was working late at the office a few days ago and he called to tell me that he wanted Subway pizza… Yeah, I told you he’s very specific. Anyway at the end of our talk I said “I love you” and he said… Wait for it…

“I love you too”.

Witness me having an out-of-body experience…

I saw big cartoon hearts fading into little cartoon hearts. I think Adam’s ribbed cracked a little because my heart grew like twice the size. It was late, so it was just me and the cleaning lady. So I was able to fall apart with just a “side-eye” from her and not under the microscope of my colleagues. 

I could have just died! Although I would prefer for it to be in my sleep and not by a stab wound or gunshot, or anything else that would cause me to feel pain. Just saying…

But seriously guys… I had no doubt my kid loved me but it’s difficult for me to put into words what it felt like hearing him say it. He will be eleven years old a few weeks from now, so I’ve been waiting a long time.

I came right home to give him the biggest hug and kisses.

Thank you God for sparing my life to hear those words from my child’s lips! I’m a happy mama… My heart is filled with immense joy!

“Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life.” – Omar Khayyam 

“I’m happy for this moment. This moment is my life.” – Salma Crump

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