Thursday, August 17, 2006

Off to the wilds...

...of western Pennsylvania tomorrow. Strangely enough, I am not frantic. I am tired, because we worked really hard today, baking & packing & organising. But I feel pretty good about it, which is pretty unusual for me. I do not travel well. As much as I enjoy seeing other places & sharing them with my family, I hate being uprooted from the familiar. Maybe I'm not terribly worried about the final push to get on the road tomorrow because we've been to this cabin in the state park (or one just like it) 3 times before. I know what to expect, down to how many bunks are in each room. Or maybe it's because we're not in any particular rush to get on the road since it's just 4 hours-ish away & we can't check-in until 3:00 pm. B seems to be sharing my calmness about this trip. Like me, he prefers familiarity, & this cabin in the park stuff is old hat for him. He picked out the dvds, stuffies, legos, & games to take with him. The pokemon card decks & paraphenalia are ready to go. We found his travel book, with the fun games & songs. We have an adaptor for the laptop so, if all fails, he can watch "Jirachi Wishmaker", his newest pokemon movie, in the car. I haven't seen all of it yet, so I'm looking forward to watching it with B while we're away. There's also 2 Harry Potter movies packed (playing the Sorcerer's Stone computer game has gotten him back into HP- even the HP legos have been unearthed), plus more pokemon dvds. I have packed the next 3 books in the "Young Jedi Knights" book series he's reading & the next book in the series I'm reading to him at night, to fall asleep to. He convinced dad that he really wants to take the body pillow with him on vacation, although dad can't quite figure out how B & the pillow will fit on the bunk... :) The main thing is to have plenty of distracting/comforting things with us so that if B gets uncomfortable or overwhelmed, we can redirect him. He's looking forward to a corn roast over the weekend at his grandparents' yacht club (visiting them is the reason for the trip, & the reason we have the cabin in the state park thing down to a science), & to having s'mores when we have a campfire some evening. We will also go sailing as much as possible, & B has decided to ask grandad to fly the spinnaker when we sail on the Lightning, since B has never experienced this (our Snipe is too small to have a spinnaker). Perhaps the reason I'm so calm right now is that I know we have as many bases covered as possible & that B is looking forward to this trip. So, it's no big... :)

Today while grocery shopping, B made a couple of revelations that startled & delighted me. At one point he kind of hesitated as he was walking along & I asked if he was ok (I thought he had stubbed his toe or something). He informed me that he was ticcing, & that he had figured out a new sort of tic because the old one was no longer working to reduce the OCD stress. The old tic was a shoulder jerk followed by a loud exploding noise. The new tic is a quiet grimace, so rigid that he practically shakes, but not really very noticeable. I was blown away by: the matter-of-factness of his bringing it up, the fact that he had realised that the old tic was making things worse (he said the OCD made him do 8 more, once he had done one of them), that he had figured out a new & usable tic (stress-reducer) on his own, & that he found a tic that was practically unnoticeable (since he has been worried about calling attention to himself). Talk about presuming competence... (...& it will be there)! I recovered my breath & told him that I was very impressed by his taking charge of the situation & of the OCD. Inside I was jumping up & down in delight (but didn't want to embarass him by making too much of it). A bit later, as I was picking out some mixed hard candies for the car trip, B enthusiastically recommended the ones wrapped in wrappers printed to look like fruit. He told me that he loves the soft insides & that he thought I should try them. I was surprised that he even knew about them, since he's only been able to safely eat hard candies for the past 3 or 4 years & so doesn't have much experience with them (he prefers gum). Before then, his oral-motor differences caused him to automatically swallow hard candies, which could be very scary for all of us... I asked him where he had had the fruit candies & he said that he & his psychologist share them at their appointments sometimes. I knew that Dr. M has been using candies to help B learn about making decisions & sharing in social situations- sometimes B even brought me a butterscotch from his meetings with Dr. M. It was fun to hear B wax enthusiastic about these candies & want me to try them, & fun to learn something about my own kid that I had not previously known.

During the day today B & I baked shortbread & chocolate chip cookies for vacation (I posted the recipe today over in Jedi Workshop). B was a great help, doing most of the mixing while I threw ingredients into the bowls of dough. We listened to his new fave cd "Weird Al Yankovich's Greatest Hits" while cooking. Weird Al was, of course, the logical next step from Dr. Demento, even though B has never heard the original songs that he's parodying. C & I just crack up, especially when we hear "Like a Surgeon" & "Living with a Hernia" (gotta love that medical humour). Oddly enough, B's absolute fave is "Fat" which is a parody of Michael Jackson's "Bad". We've had the cd for 2 days now & B has most of the song memorised. At first thought, it's an odd choice for a kid who's self-conscious about his weight, but C & I have decided that maybe this song, by poking fun at being fat (with a tinge of pride about it) diffuses B's worries somewhat. To be honest, B's been off music for a while, so I'm just enjoying hearing him singing around the house again :) This evening I brought up B's new tic strategy at the dinner table, so C would be aware of the change. B showed us what the tic looks like & C commented that the look on B's face made him think of someone with constipation (!), which B just loved... hooray for bathroom humour :)

Well, the last load of laundry is dry, so I should bring it up & go to bed. We're nearly as ready as we can be. Off to the woods! We'll be back on Thursday the 24th, so bye till then :)


At 7:51 AM, Blogger Kristina Chew said...

Happy vacation! Sounds like things are off to a promising start.


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