• Attendance

    November 2011
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  • The “Class”

    Avery, Naim, Aaron

  • Subjects

  • Portfolio

VH, Birthday Parties that almost weren’t, Stranger Danger

VH-

Avery went to Little Villagers and except for refusing to do the art project, did well. He is getting more comfortable with the routine (when to clean up, etc.) and he likes it.

Discoverers seemed fine, too. All they ever tell me about that is that they played.

Measure for Treasure had cooking science and more gak that Aaron brought home.

Naim continues to enjoy drama. They did this day by themselves, said Nik. He did not see either one till the end of the day there.

Here is the note from Measure for Treasure.

We will spend the next two weeks of class doing some classroom “cooking” in class.  We will make more gak, some play doh, bubbles, and other fun recipes.
Next week, please bring two “servings” of your child’s favorite fruit.  We will put all of the fruit in a bowl to make a Friendship Fruit Salad.  Please bring the measurements for your contribution to the fruit salad (ie. 1 cup of diced apples, 5 Tablespoons of kiwi – the measurements are up to your child – encourage creativity!).

Enrollment for winter term is next Monday. We are already pre-enrolled in everything , but I should double check Naim for Bookworms.

On Tuesday, they are having an entrepreneur fair. This is the kids, not the adults that will have booths and sell things. I’m going to take the kids because they always want to make money but they never like my suggestions for doing different housework projects around here or for D. So I thought this might give them (and me) some ideas.

I spent the ENTIRE DAY at D’s doing attendant work. Well, I actually came back home for an hour or two here and there but went back two more times. It was his birthday and so I made sure I got there early (9:00 am being the definition of early for him) so we could do something with him. Aaron wanted him to spend the day over here. I thought that might be possible as they would not be home until 2. But I could not get him going. I offered to take him out, or come there or have him come here. By almost 7:00 pm, we were finally done with breakfast, getting ready for his BP, which took 3 hours, then rests in-between all this stuff, then getting him up and dressed. He finally got up at just before 7. Kids were hungry and anxious to eat and give their pictures and things to D. So I suggested they come to his house and he wanted to order pizza, so that is what we did. We only stayed about 1 1/2 hours, and he was spaced out or stoned or I don’t know what. He got a bit better after eating pizza, but I was so tired, and I don’t know what is going on there. Is it physiological? Is it long-term narcotics use that is damaging his brain? Is he depressed? I’m not sure, and not sure what to do about it. Nik and I are spending our lives over there, and he never leaves his house EVER. He backs out of seeing the kids frequently and they are starting to notice. There is so much “keeping him alive” that his quality of life seems to be quite low right now. It is hard to know how much of this is out of his control and how much of this is him just checking out.

I told him about going to Stubb Stewart and that the bus we rode had a lift. I said we could go out for a day trip and stay on the paved trails. He is having battery issues with his chair so I suggested that he could go manual and I would push him. But then he goes off on going camping out there together. I’m not against that, but that is a whole other ballgame. And I’m like, I can’t even get you out of the house and down the street to the corner park. Lets take some baby steps here. But then I realized, this is all just fantasy for him. Going for the day, camping, just as far out of his reality, so he just goes off on something that doesn’t make sense. It is weird to have conversations with him now. I will have to think more on this. Should I talk to his dad? Should I call his nurse? Craig Hospital? A counselor of some type? I’ve already tried to talk to him and get nowhere. Part of my job is to monitor his “with-it-ness” and ability to manage himself. I don’t think we have fallen off a cliff yet but we are moving closer to the edge.

It makes me incredibly sad. Its like watching someone slowly fade away and not knowing if there is anything you can do about it. I guess I talk about it here because it does affect the kids most of all and it is something that I am going to have to deal with as a parent. Mostly, I try to be honest with them about what is going on. But it is hard when I don’t completely understand it myself. We have been using iMessage on the iProducts now, and when(if) I get a new iPad 3 next year, we will all be able to do video stuff, so maybe that can help us find new ways to stay more connected.

But, I think there is a few picts on Nik’s camera:

Not the best pics, but we were really crowded in and Nik got a few.

Three candles on a cupcake, for 37? It worked.

One of the few times the six of us (8 if you include Kai and Sully) were together, awake, and in one place. It was gonna happen, even if we didn't get him up till 7:00pm

One more thing, when we left from D’s, it was dark and I sent Naim with some trash to the dumpster, which is only a few meters from his apartment. He didn’t come back for forever, and so I went to look for him. I found him in the hallway of the apartment building next to D’s. They all do look alike. He got lost, he knew he wasn’t in the right place so he decided to stay where he was at. Which is what we have told them to do if they ever get lost.

This led into a discussion about Stranger Danger. Grampa Fred told them not to talk to strangers, which is just not practical when you are a kid riding transit with disabled parents and a guide dog. They/we are a source of curiosity for the public and they have to learn how to manage that. Being the center of attention all the time and also sometimes having to ask strangers for information, it is just not realistic for us to not talk to strangers, and we are always out in the public eye.

Besides, experts like Gavin deBecker and others say that telling your kids not to talk to strangers is stupid and ineffective anyway. It is much better to teach your kids HOW to talk to strangers and HOW to deal with an interaction when it goes bad. Mainly this involved giving them the right and the power to say NO and to tell you what happened and to ask for your assistance in dealing with it. So, we have gone over that, but it is always good to go over it again. My dad telling them not to talk to strangers was confusing for them. I just told them it was an old fashioned thing to say. They actually do handle the multiple interactions with the public that they encounter daily quite well. And have also appropriately referred to us when things got weird. (i.e. a woman on the Max freaked out because they were traveling with Nik and not their mother. At first they answered her, but then they said, “Talk to my dad about it.” They tend to call him “dad” in public, but refer to him as stepdad at home. So they get context and making interactions easier on themselves.)

They also are extremely transit savvy. They know how to identify a bus stop sign, they know which stop things are at on the Max. They understand that TriMet personnel are-whatever the term is-“mandatory safety officers” so that if they ever should get lost and have stayed in their spot longer than is comfortable to wait to be found, they can go to any bus stop or flag down any bus (or press the emergency button on the train) and tell a trimet employee that they are lost (and then give them our name and address.)  We always make sure that we do a count before and after getting on and off any bus or train, but there is always the small possibility of getting separated on transit.

But, I think they are well equipped for their age and are far ahead in maturity about this than many of their car-driven, public schooled, able-bodied so they blend in, counterparts.

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