Monthly Archives: December 2012

Emotion #5: Embarrassment


Every had one of those moments where you wish you could crawl under a rock?  We get that a lot.  My skin is definitely getting thicker, but some moments are still really trying.

In trying to be the super-fun parents we like to sometimes think we are, we took our kids to a holiday themed exhibit to see Santa, get our annual picture together, and check out the activities.  I like to think that I am getting so much better at being prepared for all scenarios and what could go right/wrong/horribly wrong, and I totally missed the mark on this occasion.

In years’ past, we went near closing time, when most other families had gone.  This year, we went right after lunch.  Also in the past, we went earlier in the season.  This year, it was the last full week before Christmas.  Double FAIL.

We absolutely set ourselves up for the embarrassment that ensued when someone was flipping out about waiting in lines….LONG lines.  It took nearly 30 minutes to get to Santa, so he and my husband went and played while I waited with our daughter (who, even as a neuro-typical child was not thrilled to wait).  But, when it was finally our turn, he walked right up and plopped himself down next to Santa and gave him a big cheesy grin.  That was our moment of sunshine in this storm cloud of chaos.

The last thing we “had” to do was go down this big slide and the line was at least 100 people long.  This just totally knocked any semblance of composure out of our child.  He was screaming and carrying on much like a much younger child would do.  Here’s our “crawl-under-a-rock” moment.  Parents naturally judge other parents anyway, but when you have a nearly 4 year old who is very tall for his age, thus looks much older, who’s screaming and crying……judgey-eyes attack.  As a mom you know what most  of them are thinking: Can’t they control their child?/They need to parent better./I can’t believe they let their kid throw a tantrum and still get his way…..blah, blah, blah.  I’m totally guilty of it as well….which is maybe why I can let it roll off a little better than my husband, who was absolutely horrified.

So, we made it down the slide, got the hell outta there, and once in the car, and order was restored to our world.  I know that won’t even be close to our last embarrassing moment.  We have an airplane ride coming up soon.  It’ll be a toss up who causes more of a disturbance: our ASD son, or wily NT daughter.  I’m betting on my daughter.


Potty Training


Ugh.  This is is not something we were EVER excited about reaching….other than not buying one child’s worth of diapers anymore, of course.  I had moderately attempted to potty train over the summer when we had “all the time in the world,” but it did not go well at all.

So, the issue was tabled for a while.  I knew that the next chance would have to be during a break from school so that we’d have plenty of time at home with limited interruptions.  Enter Thanksgiving Break.  We are fortunate to be in a school system that is on a balanced calendar, so all breaks are full weeks, rather than long weekends.  So here we were with a full week before us and potty boot camp.

I have to say I am in LOVE with the way I chose to do things this time around.  Here’s the rundown:

A Few Months Before: read books on potty training.  I had already read a couple over the summer for kids with ASD and sensory issues, but I checked out a few others from the library.

1 Month Before: Check out many picture books and DVDs about potty training and read/watch them as frequently as possible.  Also take pictures of each step of the potty process (lift lid, put on potty seat, pull down pants, etc….), print them, and make them into a book that labels and helps visualize the WHOLE process…read this one regularly as well.

The Week Before: Add in lots of conversations about how he’ll wear undies every day and diapers are going to be all gone.

Potty Day 1: Put on undies with plastic undies/cover over top (this tremendously helped with accidents, though wasn’t foolproof).  Take potty breaks every 30 minutes and go through all the steps.  This is incredibly tedious, but helped us establish the routine.  Heavily praise staying clean and dry as well as actually going to the bathroom in the toilet/give rewards as necessary.  (we still use diapers at night)

Potty Day 2: Still try to stick to potty breaks every 30 minutes, but pay attention to when he actually peed or pooped the previous day and try to go around those times too.

Potty Day 3: Same as before, but start to break from the rigid, every 30 minutes plan.

So, the schedule continued to get more and more relaxed, but my little man still doesn’t often let us know that he needs to “go.”  We also hit a fairly large speed bump of a household full of flu, so we had to revert back to some diaper wearing for sanity’s sake.  He also was holding it those first few days because his routine was so shaken up, and since has gone back to his normal self.  Since then, he’s really resisted #2 on the toilet, but everything I have read has indicated that most ASD kids take a looooooooooong time to master that one.  Super.

So, in the meantime, we do mostly undies with a smattering of pull-ups when I’m pretty sure he needs to poo.  It works for now, and is immense progress from only diapers.

Here are the list of picture books we happened to read (mostly because it was what was at our library when we would go):

1. How to Potty Train Your Monster (DiPucchio)
2. Potty (Patricelli)
3. Pirate Potty (Berger)
4. The Potty Train (Hochman and Kennison)
5. Big Boys Go Potty (Richmond)
6. Potty Poo Poo Wee Wee
7. Once Upon a Potty (Frankel)
8. Danny is Done with Diapers (O’Connell)
9. The Potty Book for Boys (Capucilli)
10. It’s Potty Time! (Courderoy)
11. Ian’s New Potty (Oud)

We watched The Magic Bowl and The Potty Movie for Boys VERY often.  He love love LOVED the songs and still sings them weeks after the movies were returned to the library.