I recently lost my phone and returned to using my laptop.
Frances: What are you doing?
Me: I’m just trying to restore some functionality to my digital world…
Frances: It’s been an hour!!!
#asd #autism #aspergers
Just in case you’re wondering what the Pink Cup Family does on a Saturday afternoon (after returning from the barn), I provide you the following glimpse.
Apparently, we just laze about in the living room discussing things that have little or no relevance to what any of us is actually doing, and Frances’s wit simply thrives in that kind of environment.
For example, though I don’t know how we arrived at this topic, there was this exchange between Pink Cup Sister (16) and myself.
Me: Many people who deal drugs don’t actually do drugs themselves…They’re in it to make money; they know if they get hooked, they won’t make money.
Pink Cup Sister: Are you saying drug dealers are smart?!
Frances: We’re saying they’re a •cut• above. (She is smiling, looking down at her iPad, probably waiting for us to catch up.)
This made me laugh aloud, but how would she know anything about the language of recreational drug use or the hierarchical structure of that kind of activity? She’s twelve! (Well, she does watch reality police and medical shows at night before bedtime.)
I do, oftentimes, catch Frances covering her mouth while silently giggling and walking away; it’s usually because she has detected something that a kid her age wouldn’t normally catch.
It’s a new behaviour this year, and I’m loving it.
I’m not saying that Frances doesn’t have her moments, but this kid is just all kinds of wonderful.
#asd #aspergers #autism
Every summer, we have the opportunity to have a support worker, through a local non-profit organization, take Frances out into the community for fun activities and maybe to socialize.
It is, of course, considered respite for the family, and we’ve never told Frances. I really do think of it as a great opportunity for her to do the things for which I seem to lack energy these days.
At any rate, Frances met her worker, Aida, today. All week, my 12-year-old daughter has been referring to her as “the woman you pay to take me off your hands for a few hours every week.” 🤦♀️
I’ve actually had to ask her to stop saying that in public! She is expressing her dry sense of humour by highlighting what she thinks is the bottom line that nobody talks about.
And all morning, I kept my fingers crossed that Frances wouldn’t say that to Aida during their outing.
(Mental note: Ask Frances not to say that to Aida.)
Figurative language can be a struggle at times for Frances; sometimes, it’s a product of her young age, but at other times, it’s the struggle that many people with ASD have.
Frances has a great sense of humour, so when the following happened recently while watching an ad about the benefits of spending more time outside, we both immediately had a really good laugh.
Narrator: Return your loved one to nature…
Frances: What?! What does THAT mean?
Me: Not what you think it does!
The weather here has been ridiculously cold. We’ve all bundled up under extra blankets for windchills in the -20s and -30s.
We’re approaching the end of January, and, unfortunately, Frances has been pretty sick for much of the month which has prevented her from enjoying the snow whenever it appeared.
In fact, my highly active, super-humanly energetic child has been lethargic and disinclined to do much besides watching her documentaries and playing iPad games.
She keeps asking, “Mummy, why do I feel so sick?”
Because it’s winter. Because it’s cold-and-flu season. Because the flu shot isn’t 100% effective, but it’s best to get one to lessen the impact of the flu. Because you’re young and you haven’t been exposed to many viruses. Because kids at school are sick…
And so unfolded our Thursday conversations throughout the day (once I returned from Pink Cup Sister’s appointments).
The good news on this particular Thursday is that I finally took the ornaments off the Christmas tree. I had been preparing Frances for this event for some time, but she was still a little shocked and perturbed as I carefully packed up our glass ornaments.
There is usually a meltdown when Christmas decorations slowly disappear throughout January, but Frances has done well.
Things have been insanely busy around the Pink Cup House, but I wanted to catch you up.
Frances, at nearly 11.5 years, is changing.
For one thing, she has become very tall and lanky, and she’s starting to appear more teenager-ish.
For another thing, she is now likely to share facts with people as a way to connect, and she takes advice about how to interact. The risks she takes often pay off. Recently, I overheard her approach a group of adults and say, “Hi. My name is Frances.” People spoke positively about her to me frequently throughout the evening.
Moreover, she now combines honesty and humour to affect someone. For example, with all four of us in the car one recent evening, we had the following conversation:
Me: One day, girls, we’ll get a new car.
Frances: When Daddy finally agrees to spend some money…
We all laughed out loud.
As I mentioned before, her teacher has described her as “delightfully sassy.” The other day, I asked Pink Cup Sister to go to the basement for a step stool. She came back empty handed because all she could see was something that looked like a bench. Pink Cup Daddy went down to the basement and grabbed the stool. At this point, Frances said, “Don’t worry, Mummy. You won’t have to be disappointed in me: I know what a step stool is.” 🤭
So, “ribbing” her sister, her father, and, sometimes, me has become second nature to her.
She still plays with horse dolls, skips from place to place, but she is growing up.
Me: I’m so lucky to have you. Thank you for being you.
Frances: Who else would I be, Johnny Depp?
Frances has officially finished Grade 5. Her report card was excellent, and her teacher described her as “witty and sassy and delightful.”
Frances’s teacher and I actually discussed my child’s humour which she described as dry beyond her years. It often does catch me (and her teacher) off guard.
Take, for instance, the other evening. Frances and I were watching one of our favourite documentaries about a specific tornado — which she takes very seriously — when, during the segment of interviews with people who experienced the destructive event, her brows furrowed and she asked:
“Why do they keep putting ‘Survivor’ under their names? It’s not as if they could have used dead people…”
I’m so glad I wasn’t eating at that moment because I would have choked!
Anyway, she truly meant no disrespect — it was merely that the editing of the video had struck her as illogical and, therefore, funny.
And, well, I am still laughing…😂