Monday, September 22, 2008


James has a mind of his own. Many times, he's an easy-going guy. But occasionally he wants a certain thing. A very certain thing and not what Mommy/Daddy wants. Look out! We are loving it, too.

Sometimes, James will go to his closet and point to a shirt and say "Dis one." Sometimes, Mommy gives him choices. If we have lots of time, choices of 3 for shirt, pants, and shoes (well, only 2 kinds of shoes, but still, I offer him a choice). If time is scarce, a choice of two on shirts and shoes. It's a great way for him to work on his colours and appreciate the power of spoken words.

Also? He has a much better dress sense at this age than his sister did. She goes for bizzarro. James has his favourites: orange shirt, orange striped shirt, and the green gecko short-sleeved shirts. He prefers the red, white, & blue striped long-sleeved shirts. He adores his striped blue polo shirt, but it's so nice I hesitate to send him to school in it -- they do a lot of finger paints - Yiiii!

His favourite things to watch are also clearly stated (hooray!!!): "I. want. George/Red/Bear/Green/'Side-down." Translation: Curious George, Shapes: Talking with Dog (in a red library VHS case), Baby Einstein: Baby Mozart (Bear on case cover), Baby Einstein: Baby Shakespeare (Green lizard on case cover), The Upside-down Show.

His favourite books: "I. want. din'saur/caps sayuh/shapes/fwog/li' kak/E'mo." Translation: Does a Donosaur Get Sick?, Caps for Sale, Book of Shapes, The Rainbow Frogs, Little Quack, Elmo's Book of Babies.

He is doing imaginative play with cars and airplanes right now. He still loves things that spin and spinning them. He is starting to ride a tricycle! He engages with us (and occasionally his schoolmates) for playing.

And his newest friend is WALL*E.

Go, James!!!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Dining Out Challenge

Oh for the days when James just sat in a chair in a restaurant (few though they were).

My kingdom for a phone!One hot & feisty weekend afternoon I decided I was not going to cook dinner. So we brought my daughter's Summer Reading pizza coupon to the local Round Table and I packed a PB&J for James, who has decided he does not like pizza anymore.

My daughter had a ball eating her pizza prize. I am a big pizza fan. We could have spent a good 2 hours there, nibbling crunchy, cheesy goodness, enjoying the a/c, a different room, and our cold drinks. Oh, and making up silly songs. It's a family thang.

James went through his "sanwish" and was *done* with sitting on the seat. In desperation, I gave him my cell phone. He figured out how to set up speed dial (which I have yet to do) and added a new contact to my phone: @.-.!

Their phone number is 1-555-124-1155-555522####6*85##*#327#

When he started downloading ringtones, I had to wrassle him to get the phone back.

How do others cope with restless child syndrome? And sorry, mom & dad. I can guess now what my brother and I put you through l those many years ago!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

School, and a Rant

Wow, it didn't seem like there'd be a lot to do for school with James this year, but there was! Back to School

First day back was August 18th. Yikes!

Same school, room, and teacher. The new assistant for his classroom was his favourite SHAPE assistant from last year. Yay!!!

James is excited and engaged. Talking in phrases and sentences. Looking at peple and trying to talk with them. Doing some imaginative play and using the tricycle. Actually using the classroom swing for the First Time Ever. Starting on patty training Big Time. Awesome!

The school bus system, however is new. The school district brought that inhouse, to save costs. I know that there are going to be bugs in a new system, but the first day was so bad that I don't ever want to do it again.

First, the bus never showed up in the morning. At 9:00, I just threw in the figurative towel and drove him to school. I found out later that the bus had broken down and the bus arrived 2 HOURS late. Note that I found this out from James' teacher; the school's transportation people never bothered to call and tell me this, let alone apologise for the delay. Oh, and school is 3 hours long. Way to go.

Going home, the bus was a good 10 minutes late getting to the school. I know because I called his teacher at 12:25 to find out where he was. School lets out at noon, and we live *maybe* 10 minutes from the school. Last year the bus was never later than 12:15. I knew there were only 2 other local kids on that bus, and one of them lives down the street from us.

So I tried calling the bus coordinator. No answer. Left message to please call me because I want to know where my son is. I repeated this at least twice more. I guess they were out to lunch. In more ways than one. At 1:05 someone finally picked up the phone. She asked me to repeat myself ... someone was talking to her in the background and evidently it was more interesting than me. Then I was told no one knew where the bus was, and put on hold so she could call the driver. At 1:10 the bus pulls up *next door.* I am still on hold, so I hang up.

The bus driver could only shrug and tell me they were driving around all over. The wrong addresses were given and my son should have been first off the bus, not last. I said "Really, so you have been driving for an hour all over town?" (which, BTW, is small). He thinks for a minute and laughs and says "Yeah."

Un-friggin' believable.

So I canceled the bus service. I had to do it over via message machine because ... no one was answering the phone at this point. MUCH later in the afternoon, I got a call back saying they got my message. Would I want to try again next week? Not bloody likely. Oh.

Are these people for real? A busload of Special Needs kids, 2 of 3 who have trouble talking, goes missing for an hour and oh-that-shouldn't-have-happened-but-it's-the-first-week-you-know is the best they can do? I will never know what happened to my son on that bus. I am hoping that it was nothing except a lot of driving. But I will never know.

Oh, and if they know it's a new system and things happen in the first week, why did they just walk away during the homeward route and leave the transportation line unmanned? Especially considering their less than stellar performance that morning? If their lunch break is more important to them than getting my son home safely then I will never use their system again.

Has anyone else gone through something like this? I am not a panicky mom (worried and stressed, you bet, but call-the-cops-my-kid-is-missing, no) and I was on Red Alert.

Oh, and I am staying tuned on what SHAPE will look like for him this year. He only has 2 of 5 days a week covered. And he keeps wanting to take naps because that person can only come later in the afternoon. Then there is the CATS program to consider. Hopefully I should hear in a few weeks what that will look like.

I think I will schedule him for a class that I can take him to on either Friday mornings or a weekday afternoon. Sitting and waiting is not my forte.