Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Pretty good start to the day

There are parts of my life that go easier than they should, or at least a lot easier than they used to.  Getting Amanda ready for school is at the top of the list.

It used to be the equivalent of putting a feral baboon in children's clothes and hoping for the bleeding from the scratches and bites to stop before I went to work.  It was simply the worst part of the day and possibly my life.

But now, well time heals all wounds.  She gets up in the morning and hugs me.  Says she is going to have a "Good day" and gets ready without too much difficulty.  I don't do her hair because I haven't the first idea how to do it so that battle is a Tina story.  Tina doesn't blog, write letters or essays so you will just have to take my word for it that the battles used to be epic.  But Amanda is even good for that now.

Now here is the best part of the whole morning task.  Amanda's school is a half mile from our house.  We hear one song in the morning and I drop her off right in front of her classroom to her teacher.  I'm home before Tina knows I was gone.

We have one more year at this school before I have to drive across to the middle school. 

Monday, April 26, 2010


I am hyper sensitive to noise. I cannot stand tapping, clicking, dripping, thumps, grinds, tinkling, crunching, creaking, smacking, slurping, ticking or tocking. I also do not like to hear ANYTHING when I'm concentrating other than my own thoughts or background music of my own choosing. I do not want to hear conversations, bits of conversations, a TV show, a talk radio program, music that I did not choose, sneezing, coughing, throat clearing, laughing, sniffling, or snapping.

At times this sensitivity makes me very unpopular at work, at home or any other place I may be. People do tend to like it when I close my door and wear a set of headphones with my Pandora jazz station playing as I work on a bid or letter.

So because karma has a cruel streak about as wide as the Mississippi River during a spring flood, Amanda does not have what you would call an inside voice. It has taken her years to develope speech equal to a four year old, and she now speaks loud and proud.

I will tell her to use her in side voice and she will whisper, "ok." Not thirty seconds later she will sound like a drunk in the audience at a club yelling "FREEBIRD!" to the band.

My wife, who happens to be a rather noisy person, at least by my standards, has noticed it too. She also believes it is my fault simply because I complain too much about noise in general.

job descriptions

While getting Amanda ready for school this morning I commented on how tall she was getting. She is now almost 4'10" so I said, "I think you're tall enough to change the light bulbs in the house."

Her reply was, "not my job."

So I asked her, "Well, what is your job around here?"

And she promptly said, "Look cute."

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Not what I planned

Saturday morning Amanda asked, "What do today?" I had a plan, I told her, "I'm not doing anything but watching the Masters Golf Tournament."

Well, two days, twelve contractor bags, 6 bags of mulch, a gallon of lawnmower gas and about 30 yards of weedeater cord I heard the Phil Mickelson won the tournament. But on the up side, the yard looks great.,

I also learned a few things this weekend. I like that I am continuing to grow intellectually, it makes me feel better as a person. What I learned was this: a cheap bottle of red wine, and I do mean cheap, has a bottle cap that can be broken if over tightened. Next I learned that to get all of the red wine cleaned up out of the fridge, said fridge must be dismantled. I also learned to not only take the draws and shelves out of the fridge, I learned to put them back in.

So, all in all, it was a good, yet exhausting weekend.

Gold isn't free

Training for the Special Olympics

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Hello out there

When searching for blogs about special needs parenting I was surprised that I could not find another father who blogs about this subject.

Granted not all of my blog is about my SN daughter, but for the most part it is. I'm not organized enough to publish multiple blogs so the hodgepodge that is Thoughts From The Bench is comprised of most of my own mental stew. At least the parts that are fit to print.

But, if anyone knows of such a blog I would appreciate a link. Sometimes it's tough being the only guy in the room.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

No group today

I really wanted group therapy today and by group therapy I mean golf. But it's Wednesday in east Texas so it's raining. In fact as I write this I just received an email from the weather channel telling me there is a storm warning until 4 PM. Yep, that is just the way it goes.

I need an enemy other than the weather, something like a large angry toothless possum.

I have a question

For months now I have been getting up at 12:30 to take Amanda to the bathroom. This has worked well and is allowing her more dry nights than every before. It also lets her sleep later in the morning because she is more comfortable.

But lately I have been working on a couple of projects in the evening. And yes, one of them is Call of Duty. The other is a writing project that has kind of mushroomed into keyboard therapy for me. So I've been staying up after Tina goes to bed. At midnight I take Amanda to the bathroom. Now the mystery is this, how come when I take her to the bathroom at 12:30 her pull up is dry and when I take her to bed at midnight the past four nights she is soaked?

And before you blame the noise from the video game, know that I play it on mute. It's more difficult but I have proven up to the challenge. Seriously, if you play Call of Duty online with a Wii and you have to go up against Johnnyc, you are in big trouble.

My own theory is that Amanda just likes to mess with me. What do you think?

Monday, April 5, 2010

Please hold for Amanda

Today I got a call from Amanda. Yes, that is correct, Amanda. She has been learning to speak on the phone and today she had something very important to tell me. After months of stress and effort, she has finished with the Texas state educational assessment test, alternative version.

Tina said she was literally dancing in the car. This test has caused Amanda a great deal of self imposed stress. She knows how important it is for the mainstream students to pass it and she just knew it was equally important for her. She also knows she has a hard time counting to ten because she doesn't say the number seven. The days of the week are difficult because she doesn't acknowledge the existence of thursday. But now the test is over and she is one happy kid.

It is my hope that her good attitude about this continues for the rest of the school year. Sadly, we are looking at school being finished in just seven weeks.

The one thing I am wanting this summer is near drought conditions. Last summer was so wet we hardly had a chance to enjoy the pool. I would prefer to be a near amphibian this year.