Thursday, November 29, 2012

17. The Voice of Reason...

I stop at a drive-thru to get Michael a chocolate shake. He loves chocolate shakes.
I see they also have sweet potato fries and I order some for myself.
I drive off and stop to pick up the mail.
As I am leaving the parking lot, I have to back up the truck.
I am eating a fry with one hand, and attempting to drive with the other.
I put the truck in drive and push on the gas. It does not move, but makes a very loud 'vroom' sound.
I realize the truck is in neutral, not drive.
Michael asks, “Mama, what is that noise?”
“Oh, mama can’t drive sometimes,” I respond.
“Well, put the French fry down and use both hands.”

My conscience... sitting in the back seat.

16. Girls, girls, girls...

I was lying down next to Michael at bedtime. 
We were talking and I asked him, “Michael, do you like girls?”
He just smiled.
I then asked, “Michael, when you grow up, are you going to chase girls?”
I was expecting a simple yes. That is not what I got.
“I wanna chase girls when they’re naked.”

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

14. Apples and... Camels

Michael has been causing trouble at school during his afternoon class at recess He is great in his morning class, and at autism school.

I am so frustrated that this morning I asked him, "Michael, why do you cause trouble in Mrs. Blondin's class but not in Mrs. Seymour's class?"

I did not expect his answer, "Because Mrs. Seymour and Mrs. Valenzuela are BEAUTIFUL."

(Mrs. Valenzuela is also his morning teacher).

I'm thinking... what's that got to do with the price of eggs?

"Well honey... you don't listen to me either. What does that mean?"

Michael thinks about this for a second, then digs his way out of it, "Mom, you are beautiful."

That's my boy... I think...

But I still don't know how to make him behave in his afternoon class.

Friday, November 23, 2012

13. Ask a Silly Question...

Michael talks. A LOT...

He has talked to much today that I got tired. It is a miracle if he takes a breath between questions.

Before I went to bed, I asked him, "Honey, why do you talk to much?"
Without missing a beat, "Because I have a lot of questions."

Ask a silly question...

12. Whaaaat?

One day, when I picked up the boys from ACI, we came home on the freeway. As we were going over the Garden of the Gods bridge, there are these deep bumps in the road.
Every time we drove over one, we would sort of glide up and down; the boys would say "Whoa!!!"

After about four 'whoas' Michael says, "That makes my penis feel salty.'

I was sure I did not hear him right, "What did you say?"

Sure enough, he says, "That makes my penis feel salty."

"What do you mean your penis feels salty? How do you KNOW it FEELS salty?"

Michael is frustrated, "MOM, when we go over the bumps, we go fast and air goes inside my penis and it makes it FEEL salty?"


Monday, November 19, 2012

11. Curiosity May Kill the Mother

Michael is very interested in factual, scientific things.
He loves to watch open heart surgery on youtube.

His father and I promised we will try to always give the boys truthful answers.
We may have done this without realizing the repercussions.

Michael asked me one day, "Mom, how did I get in your tummy before I was born?"
I was not surprised by the question, "Well honey, mama has eggs and papas have seeds. The seed goes inside the egg, the egg hatches, and it makes a baby."
I did not want to say 'sperm.' I was not ready for my, then 4 year old, to know the term.
You  may think I explained it to him in a strange way, but it was the best I could do on such short notice.

Michael was satisfied with my answer.
I was, however, praying that he would not ask me HOW the seeds got into mama's eggs.

Fast forward about a year.

Michael asks me out of the blue, "Mom, how do the seeds get into mama's tummy to make a baby?"

I am literally thinking, "AAARRRGGGGHHHHHHHHH!!!!"

I do not even remember my answer; but for once, changing the subject and not giving him an answer actually worked.

Michael has not asked me the question again, but I dread the day because I know it's coming.

10. Common Sense

Michael has a new book about snakes, lizards, and frogs.

We were reading it when we came across a frog where her babies live inside pouches on her back.
VERY disgusting and freakishly weird.

Anyway... as I am reading to Michael, I say, "Eww... this frog has babies living inside her back. That's disgusting."

Michael is puzzled, "Why is that disgusting? They're living in pouches."
My response is still, "It just looks icky and disgusting. Eww!"

(it really is disgustingly sick)

Michael then says, "But Mom, I lived in your tummy. Was that disgusting?"
Mom (thinking), 'uuuhhhhhh...'

THAT left me speechless. I certainly did not think of that, "Of course it wasn't disgusting."

Thank goodness he dropped the subject.

9. A Humble Individual

Over the weekend, Michael got a great haircut.

Michael walks into his classroom this morning and one of his teachers says to him "Michael I like your haircut. You look great."

Instead of saying "thank you", my humble son responds: "I know."

Sunday, November 18, 2012

8. The Art of Eating Cake

May not copy, share, or distribute without the written permission of Olivia Owens. Copyright 2012.

May not copy, share, or distribute without the written permission of Olivia Owens. Copyright 2012.

7. Stating the Obvious

Michael loves to snuggle and sit in my lap.
One day, as Michael was sitting in my lap, he says “Oh, that was a little fart.”
Surprised, I asked, “Did you just fart in my lap?”
“No, I farted in my butt.”
That, my friends is true. I never thought of it that way.

6. Mothers Can Do Anything

I made the mistake of giving Michael some Robin’s Eggs candy when he was about three years old.
“Mama, hatch the egg,” he says handing me a Robin’s Egg.
I was shocked. I had been asked to do many things in my lifetime. Hatching an egg has never been one of them.
“It’s candy,” I said laughing.
He clearly thought I was refusing to use my hatching abilities because again he said, more emphatically this time “Mama you hatch it.”
I have done many things for my children; I was not about to attempt to hatch an egg.
Not even a chocolate egg.
Not even for fun.
Though, if I thought I could have been successful, I could have taken out a full page in Ripley’s.
“You sit on it and hatch it,” I said, really not expecting him to do it.
I really should not have been surprised when Michael put the Robin’s Egg candy on the floor and promptly sat on it.
I decided to be a good parent and not tell him he could not hatch an egg either.

5. The Power of Stink

I read that a child’s sense of humor needs to be developed. This came as a surprise to me.
As a parent, I have always goofed around with my children.
I do not consider myself particularly funny, but I do seem to have a natural knack of making people laugh.
Being receptive to Michael’s silliness has clearly helped his sense of humor.
One day, as I was putting on deodorant, Michael asks me “Mama, whatcha doing?”
“I am putting on deodorant. I don’t want to get stinky armpits.”
I then asked, “Do you have armpit stink?”
Michael thinks about it for a second, “I have butt stink.”
Now what do I say to that? After all, it is true.

4. You're Killing Your Mother

Have you ever been asked so many questions that you ran out of answers?
I have.
Usually by the time I finish my answer, Michael’s next sentence is completely out of his mouth. And I have to know the correct answer. I am not allowed to say, “I don’t know.”
Michael will promptly inform me that I “have to know.”
How Michael knows when I do not give him the right answer is a mystery to me.
Most of the time, it feels like an inquisition.
One day, when Michael was about three, he was asking questions faster than I could answer them.
Exasperated I said, “Michael, you’re killing your mother!”
He quickly responds, “No, you’re killing YOUR mother.”
I tried very hard not to laugh; really, I tried.
I quickly walked away and I just burst out laughing. I knew at that moment, I had lost not only the battle, but the war.
I looked at Michael hoping against hope that he had not noticed my amusement.
On his face was this small smile all to himself as if to say, “I got her.”
He had.

3. From Dad

Hi Bruisie,

Tomorrow is your big birthday!
You mom and grandmother have put a lot of time and energy into putting together a party for you.
Frankly, I do not know why.
I mean hey, I love you and all, but you could have been raised by wolves for the first four years of your life and you would never remember a bit of it.
But women, as a species, are strange this way.
They have no sense of what is practical and their version of reality is, shall we say, a bit “different” than what you and I might perceive.
This is not to say that men, by virtue of their grasp of reality, practicality, and logic are therefore superior.
Well, yes it is, but ignore that for a moment.
For, were it without women, the world would be a very bland and harsh place. Women have a knack for finding and creating beauty.
Many, but definitely not most, are quite beautiful in their own right.
Women have the ability to create a sense of warmth, of belonging.
Women, largely, are singularly responsible for making a house feel like a home.
Ahh, but the frustrations they cause!

 “Blessed are ye, who have no sisters. For ye shall inherit peace.”

Well, I think Jesus said something like that, I don’t really know.
Anyway, there is lots that could be said about women.
Many lessons to be learned.

Love ya, you little brat –

May not copy, distribute, or share without written permission from Olivia Owens.

2. Sibling Rivalry

Michael, or Bruisie, as we often lovingly call him, is now five years old.
He knows it all and he will never miss an opportunity to let you know. The abundance of his material is memorable.
Of course, it may only be memorable because I am his mother and truthfully, I cannot be impartial even if I tried.
Is manipulation a science, an art, or instinct? Is it taught or is it nature?
I always thought manipulation was learned.
I am wrong, clearly. Teenagers are manipulative but I never imagined a toddler would know how to manipulate. I do not know if he is aware of what he is doing, other than he does it so he can get his way.
I appreciate the complexity of manipulation. Without it, Michael would not be who he is today.
Michael’s first act of contention came when he was about two years old.
We just brought Robert home from the hospital.
I was holding Robert while he was sucking on a bottle. Michael’s dad held Michael up to Robert so he could get a good look at his new brother.
We were hoping for something special. A look, a touch, a sense of a deeper meaning; a bond between two loved ones.
Michael saw Robert’s bottle and immediately snatched it out of his mouth as if to say, “That’s mine.”
Let the sibling rivalry begin.

May not copy, distribute, or share without written permission from Olivia Owens.

I made a promise to my husband that when our children become teenagers I would embarrass them on purpose. I would pull out the naked baby photos when the girlfriends would show up. Now you are probably thinking why would you want to make your child miserable?
It is simple. Payback.
Payback for all the speechless moments my children have caused their father and me.
Payback for all the manipulations we have endured and will continue to endure.
Alright, maybe, just maybe I am just trying to unsuccessfully justify my desire to embarrass my child. This is where my unusual sense of humor comes in.
I am glad, however, for the speechless moments and the manipulations.
For they begin early and are priceless.\

1. Brusie and Spudnik

Out of twenty-two girls in my family full of cousins, and sisters, I wanted my children to be boys. 
I had anything against girls; nothing at all. I just thought it would be fun to have two boys.
Now that I have them, I am not sure I should have wished for what I wanted and clearly got.
After a bout of rare cancer, following two children, I got “fixed.” No more children for me.
I suppose there is adoption, and surrogates, should I really want another child, but I am pretty sure at thirty-eight years old, my patience has decided to take a vacation and there is a very good chance it is not coming back.
I still find it fascinating when I visit a doctor, even though I tell them the only way I could possibly be pregnant is through Immaculate Conception, they still make me pee in a cup. Doctors, an untrusting bunch.
Perhaps they have a good reason for doing it, but I do not like to have my honesty questioned. But, maybe that’s just me.

Michael (aka Bruisie) and Robert (aka Spudnik) were born thirteen months apart. We wanted them to be as close in age as possible, short of having twins, which I had hoped for.
They were both born with autism.
Michael is higher functioning than Robert.
Robert, at four years old is developmentally delayed and barely speaks. Academically however, he tested at kindergarten level. Please do not ask me how that is possible. I often wonder myself.
Before the boys were born, I began a journal for each.
I wanted to memorialize the things they did, the things they said, and their milestones.
I did not care whether this seemed a little nuts. I have never really felt “normal” anyway.
As they say, I am unique, just like everyone else in the world.
Little by little, we began writing in the journals, hoping that one day they will enjoy reading about their childhood adventures, as much as we enjoyed writing about them.
Anyone who had a story to tell, or observed unconscionable, immature, juvenile, or funny acts of innocent, or not so innocent, accomplishments was welcome to write about them. We have parents, grandparents, and aunts writing in the journals.
Everyone’s perspective is recorded and nothing is made up.
The stories are funny, sad, precious, and silly.
I do not know if the things my children do or say are “normal.” I do not have anyone to compare them to.
As an individual, I have a warped sense of humor. It certainly does not help that I married someone whose sense of humor is even more twisted than mine.
Reading my children’s journals however, I wonder if a sense of humor is genetic.
I certainly hope not, otherwise as a parent, I am in a great deal of trouble.


Hey Bruisie -

It is 3 a.m. and only the glow of the TV screen is available to guide me. But I just could not resist the opportunity to tell you just how much I love you and how much more meaningful life is, now that you are here.
You are getting so big!
Yesterday, I had to adjust your jumper because you had gotten taller. My, how you love that thing! You jump so high and smile so wide when you are in there.
Sometimes you swing around in it like you are using a hula-hoop. But right now, you are sleeping peacefully with a bottle in your mouth.
You are so cute!
Granted, you have had a great deal of gas tonight, and my enchanted visions of you are frequently interrupted with loud “toots.”
But that is okay. You take after me in so many ways.
When you are awake, I like to feel your knees – they are so soft.
You have not yet started to crawl, but once you do, your knees will never be like that again, so I try to cherish the moments while they are here.
You have really amazed me in the past week or so because you are becoming able to stand up on your own. Yes, you need a little holding from your mom or me – we either hold your hands or your hips; but then, you do all the rest.
You lock your knees, plant your feet, and look around. You seem quite proud of yourself and so am I. The only problem is that when I exclaim “Good boy!” you get excited and go kerplop, right into my lap.
We all had our pictures taken the other day, and you were so funny. The photographers were trying to get you to smile and you refused. They tried everything. They used muppets, toys, funny voices, and funny faces and the whole time you just looked as if to say, “lady, what the heck is wrong with you?”
I asked them to let me try; I did the “I’m gonnnna getcha, getcha, getcha!” and you smiled so big. We are going to have some great pictures of you.
Now that the weather is warm, you are going outdoors more.
Boy, are you fascinated by the outdoors! Indoors your attention span is only about fifteen minutes for any given activity.
When you are outside, and are sitting on my lap on the patio, you want to look around at everything and take it all in. We can be out there for thirty minutes or more and you are so content just watching the trees sway in the wind and listening to the birds chirp.
You also like to watch our pugs, Petunia and TaterTot. It is hard to know for sure, but I would not be surprised if you grow up to love the great outdoors.
Well, it is now 3:35 am and you still have that bottle in your mouth, and there you go again; farting up a storm. That’s my boy!

Love you kiddo –