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
If I’m not mistaken, around the time of middle school is when children seem to slow down. They stop “playing” at recess, and instead they stand around talking with one another or in groups. They may go for walks. It’s quite a change when it happens.
This hasn’t happened yet for Frances. She still plays, but yesterday she said that she might only play at home from now on in order to fit in. (More on this later.)
Her bouncy energy hasn’t diminished any either, and she will still skip, instead of walking, up to someone. I love it.
Yesterday, she returned from a sleepover (at the house of a great family that I’ve mentioned before): they know Frances very well, and the older son has Aspergers.
She had gone over on Saturday immediately after her riding lesson. I’m guessing that she was her bouncy and enthusiastic self when an activity was suggested because the mum said, “Frances, you just got off a horse!”
It was said with jocularity, and Frances giggled when she told me about it.
I do hope she retains this energy for as long as possible. Speaking as a mother of “advanced age”* (🙄),I’m always hoping for more energy.
Overcoming inertia gets harder for me by the week! 😂
* that’s how a brochure, that I had received from my doctor while pregnant with Frances, actually referred to me. I was in my 30s. 🤷♀️
I was explaining to 12yo Frances that, even though I’d once been in a cycling accident, I hadn’t ended up in hospital with broken bones.
She said, “See? You’re decently smart.”
Ok, but I…It’s just…I don’t know why she thought that might be an issue for me? 🤷♀️ 😂
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.)
I’ve attempted many blog posts, but something is happening: Frances is growing up and writing about her can be an invasion of privacy.
So, while I find the line between my story and her story, posting will be somewhat sporadic.
In the meantime, she’s still as funny as ever.
We had been watching a YouTube video in which a conversation regarding the limits of our knowledge had suddenly turned rather philosophical.
Frances: That guy confuses me
Me: It means we don’t know what we don’t know… Like, we don’t know that God doesn’t exist, right?
Her: Now you’ve got me thinking. Jesus…
It would seem that my posts have slowed down…But, don’t worry, I haven’t abandoned my posting. (Haha, see what I did there?)
Life does get busy here, but I do want to write more often. This is my goal!
Anyway, I’ve been wanting to share something that I’ve just noticed and which I think is cute: At the barn, there’s a policy/tradition/point of etiquette that, before opening an arena door, the person seeking entrance will loudly say, “door” and someone else will say “okay” or “no” in response.
(This avoids startling the horses and riders and also avoids someone getting run over by a cantering horse that’s really riding the rails. But that’s not the cute part; I digress.)
Recently, I’ve noticed that, before entering a room at home, Frances will knock and say “door” loudly; if she doesn’t hear “no”, she’ll go in.
It’s probably a good idea. 🤔 But I do believe that I will have to think about a way to encourage her to not open the door unless she hears “okay.” That would be more helpful for her.
I’ve also noticed a really very significant change: Frances, who has now turned twelve, will play outside! For hours!! By HERSELF!! This is absolutely huge — the trifecta that we’d long wondered about, waiting to see if it would happen — and I just can’t adequately express it.
#asd #aspergers #autism
So, recently, Frances and her class went to an art gallery. Pictures of the field trip were promptly posted online, and one, in particular, caught my attention.
Among her classmates, Frances is sitting opposite the presenter or guide for the tour. Quite clearly, Frances is speaking, and the guide is listening.
Out of curiosity, I asked Frances if she could remember what she had been saying. I mean, the photo suggests that it is an interesting conversation, and I love that someone had captured the precise point at which she was speaking, too.
Frances: The lady said that she was used to dealing with much younger children, and that we should tell her if she speaks to us as if we’re kindergarteners.
Me: Yes…But you were speaking. What did you say?
Her: I said, ‘Um, just to let you know — you’re speaking to us as if we are kindergarteners.’
(Her honesty, though legendary, is spoken in neither malice nor rudeness; she simply took the guide’s instruction at face value.)