The little things

I took Frances and Pink Cup Sister to see Moana this afternoon with their aunt and cousins.

Frances had a great time and really enjoyed the movie, the popcorn and the chocolate.

An added bonus? The chair easily allowed Frances to rock when she needed to do so. 

It was a great way to spend the day after Christmas!

Before the recital

We were waiting for Frances’s school recital to begin last night, and Frances was running all through the auditorium to get out some energy.

Frances has the most energy of any child I’ve ever met: she doesn’t seem to experience sleepiness. (This will come in handy at university if she’s staying up all night to finish essays.)

I do joke about it sometimes because it’s good not to take things too seriously (and we make sure she gets enough restorative sleep.)

There was only one other parent waiting with us before the recital. I’m quite comfortable with this mother as we’ve both had children at the school for some time and she really likes Frances. She’s got a great sense of humour as well as very active kids, and the following exchange occurred as Frances ran around.

Other Parent: Frances is still very active, isn’t she?

Me: Yes…but I saw her yawn once. ­čÖé

She actually did yawn this past autumn, in the car, for the first time that either Pink Cup Dad or I could remember. 
It’s just who Frances is and the way things are. She may experience being tired more as she ages, but who knows? For now, she’s our very sweet bundle of energy.

Some reading material…

While waiting for an appointment on Friday, I glanced down at a magazine to see what Frances happened to be reading: 

The article is actually a synopsis of sorts of a book of the selfsame title, but, at first glance, I was a little shocked.  ­čÖé

(A teachable moment: I spoke with her about the extreme language of the book’s title, about publishers trying to grab the attention of potential readers etc., and she understood.)

Lots of time 


Frances loves routines in general, but there’s one that she dreads: waiting in reception areas to see a medical professional. 

From occupational therapy, behavioural therapy, developmental pediatrician, speech therapy, and ABA sessions to private social group, dentist, and the good ol’ family doctor once in a while — we’ve had dozens of appointments since Frances was diagnosed a few years ago.

In the waiting rooms, sometimes there are toys, sometimes there are sense-oriented equipment, but often there are only books and magazines. So, we usually just bring our own entertainment to help pass the time: Barbies, baby dolls, or an iPad.

There are days when I know that waiting will be too hard for Frances regardless of her travel activities, so I don’t even sit down when we arrive at the reception area. I just follow her around, and my engagement seems to be enough to distract her.

Some days, something out of the ordinary will occur, such as a hospital testing its emergency alerts, and I have to try to keep Frances calm by holding her ears (alarms) or her eyes (flashing lights).

Mostly, waiting simply involves keeping Frances occupied to avoid boredom and tears.

But, it’s all good. We do what’s necessary when necessary. We just do a lot of it!

Christmas 2016 update

I spend much time sketching, and I end up filling more than one sketchbook in a month. 

My sketching is often just comics featuring my family or whatever I happen to be thinking about. (This morning, I sketched all of the CBC journalists that I could remember because I was listening to a Canadian news programme called The National.)

All this to say that I haven’t written much about Frances this week.

But I would be remiss if I failed to mention that Frances recently received a letter from the North Pole because she had written to Santa on November 9th. Her own missive to her favourite holiday figure was written using a free stationery kit that Toys R Us distributed last month, and we sent it to the North Pole.

The list was so long that she used both the English and the French pages.

Well, I’m finished Christmas shopping now: Santa won’t be delivering a horse (or a pony) this year, but I’m certain that Frances (and Pink Cup Sister) will be happy with what appears under the tree on Christmas morning. 

As for our next writing/Christmas project: we like to choose one news story that features a child who wishes for something for Christmas (such as cards or homemade art), and we try to honour that wish. This shows Frances, I hope, that there are different ways to connect with people, and I’m hoping that it helps to show both girls the importance of thinking of others.

A horse is a horse, of course

As it turned out, this week, Frances decided to ride another horse (B) for her lesson. She told her instructor that she wanted to try a smaller horse and, actually, she really has wanted to know what riding another horse would be like.

B’s a very responsive, energetic horse who is very much unlike the horse that she has been riding since the start (A). Whereas it would take much effort to get A to move, let alone trot, B required no such work.

For the first time, and quite ahead of my expectations, Frances did her first full jump! She said that, as B trotted, she just leaned forward to hold on and over the full cavaletti she went (under the guidance of her instructor).

In general, B gave Frances a better riding experience than A usually does.

I’d say that B actually inspired confidence in our little equestrian, dear readers, and it was wonderful to see throughout the lesson. (Apparently, it can take anywhere from three months to three years to learn to jump — I’m glad that she felt confident enough to do so at this point.)

Sadly, as Frances went to visit A before leaving the stable, A turned to face the back of the stall. She moved into the adjacent stall to try to pet him, but he then turned his back to her again. So, there is some relationship work to do (much to my surprise).

Frances was disturbed by this turn of events, but I later explained that A has to learn that it’s okay for her to have other horse friends, that she doesn’t like A any less. Next week, she can bring him some carrots and apples. 

Unlike other activities, horse riding doesn’t break for Christmas — so she’ll have lots of opportunity to show A that they’re still good friends even though she wants to switch horses.