Saturday, September 19, 2015

New Material

I realize I haven't posted to this blog for nearly 3 months. It has been a busy summer, among other reasons. I have many new stories to share with you; involving Kalisha, the romance novels I'm writing, a party and drinking Jello shots, having teeth removed, plans moving forward to move out, hooking up the new cable box and some unfiltered phrases she used, but today, I will tell you about the most recent because I might forget. (What?? No, not me.)
It just so happens that I had a 'date' with a gentleman for coffee last week and I am going to dinner with him on Friday. This is new territory for Kalisha and she is quite funny.
She always sees her boyfriend, Daniel, on Fridays at cooking class and once a month, they go on a date. She was thrilled that she and I would both be 'going out' this Friday.
Then she asked if my friend was my boyfriend. I told her, "No. You have to see someone more than once or twice, to call them your boyfriend." (I understand the term BOYfriend may not be correct, either way, but she identified with it.)
Yesterday, we went shopping at the mall for a short time. She wanted to go, so while we were there, I looked for a new top to go with a black skirt I have.
Our shopping conversation:
Me: I'm going to look in my closet first because I don't see anything I like. But if I come back, I'll make sure you come with me because I need your...
K: opinion.
Me: Yes, that's correct. (I realize I'm taking fashion opinions from a person who only wears Colts and Tincaps shirts, but believe it or not, she is very good at saying the truthful opinion about my clothing choices.)
Me: I don't see anything that looks like something I would wear. They all look like night shirts I would wear to bed."
K: Are you planning on going to bed?
Me: What?!? No. That also takes more than coffee and a few hours of conversation.
K: Oh, okay.

This will be a great adventure, I can tell. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

New Phone

I know you have read a dozen posts about Kalisha and her phones; good and bad. She is doing so much better.
She started talking about a new phone a month ago; just mentioning she would like to have one, not insisting. The rule for any major purchase is she has to wait for 30 days before buying something.
Her sister got a new Samsung and said she definitely liked it. Now there was one Kalisha could get her hands on and she did. She liked the larger size, the 'feel' of it, all the things it could do (I thought her I-phone 5C did everything but wash dishes).
I reminded her she did not have the money to purchase one and since we are no longer Verizon customers, there was no upgrade available.
Wellll, the same sister told her about a Verizon plan that has no contract but you pay for your phone over a period of time with rebates on your bill each month...yada-yada.
You know, Kalisha was all over that like flies on well, you know.
She spoke to someone on the phone at Verizon, asked a gazillion questions and with my permission, did indeed order the new phone.
First, she had to wait for it to be delivered. In the meantime, she failed to keep a commitment which is an automatic consequence of "lose phone and computer for 24 hours."
In that 24 hours, she did get on her computer to renew library books and check FB and being Kalisha, immediately told on herself. Okay, now the consequence is you can't have your new phone activated until Monday. Do you know how hard it was to have the phone in her possession and not get calls on it?
When it arrived, it was partially activated: she could call out but could not receive calls. Then came the power outage and I couldn't raise the garage door so she would have had to wait until Monday anyway.
Monday arrived, she got on the bus and went to Verizon. I offered to take her, but she was going to do this herself. Ok.
The young man there told her she would have to call her current carrier to get her account number (that's another story for another day) and then it would be totally activated. She came home, made several calls, and finally was told it would take 24 hours to all be switched over.
Soooooo, my used-to-be impatient daughter has made it through waiting over a week from the purchase to being totally done. No meltdowns, no CONSTANT talking about it, no grumpiness...I would say that is big-time progress, wouldn't you?

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Consequences are Such a Pain

Kalisha volunteers every Tuesday morning at a Christian preschool in our city. She loves being there and obviously, the feeling is mutual. She gets to read to a certain age group and we all know how much she enjoys that.
When she first learned to read, she would read a few sentences and then turn the book around to show the pictures to an imaginary audience of children.

This week, her schedule became unmanageable for her. Her BC, who always comes on Monday at 8:30, could not come until Wednesday at 11:20. Kalisha knew about this change for 2 weeks and was good with it. However, when her staff person who takes her to the preschool on Tuesday, called about an auto problem and could not come until Wednesday, things started downhill.
She agreed to going at 7:45 so she would be home for the second app't. but I should have said, "Why don't you think about this for a few hours before you agree." but I didn't.
She chose to go to bed later than she should have but was up at 6:45 to shower and dress. So far, so good...but not for long. She texted her staff person, telling her she needed to be home by 10:30 (no, she didn't) and making various excuses why she needed to be here.
I knew a train wreck was about to happen and I did not want that at the preschool.
She simply did not go to the preschool (this was agreed upon by BC, staff, me and Kalisha) and waited for her BC at 11:20.
Consequences for not keeping a commitment are loss of phone and computer for 24 hours. Painful, really painful for Kalisha. However, she didn't object; only to ask if I could let it slide just this once :). I did not and before you think I am a heartless person, here is the reason: I have let consequences slide a few times, but I know the next time there are consequences, she is quick to remind me, "You let it go last time."
Yep, not going there. Sorry.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Berenstain Bears...Again

Kalisha is a reader..extraordinaire. She reads incessantly; every day, at various, pre-scheduled times of the day. Her schedule, not mine.
She vascillates between teen books and children's books. She rarely reads one 'stand-alone' book, but nearly always is reading a series of some kind.
I have told in previous posts how she will read 6 books at a time; reading a chapter in each one before moving on to the next one and always in the same sequence. Heaven help you if you knock her stack of 6 over and restack them in the incorrect order. She doesn't get angry; just gives you a look that says, 'I can't believe you just did that.'

A week ago, she decided to re-read all the Berenstain Bear books. First, she checked out all the library had. These were hardcover books.

Then she asked me to retrieve all her softcover ones from the box in the attic. Yikes.
There were 27 of them. I handed them to her and she immediately started reading them.
Did she read a few each day? Are you kidding? Noooooo. She read all 27 that evening.
Why? I have no idea. I asked but she said she needed to get them read. Do I care? No. Each one contains only approximately 700-800 words, but still 800 words times 27 books is over 21,000 words. That's half of a novel.
AND, she reads them aloud. In the morning, she asked, "Do I sound hoarse to you?"
Yes, but we have been here before.
If you are reading this post and feeling as though you have read the exact same thing before and wondering why I would write about it again, here is the reason: This blog is about living in an autistic world and that definitely includes doing the same things over and over.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Slip, Slidin' Away

Perhaps you don't recognize the title of this post as the words of a song from many years ago. I thought it was appropriate for the transitions happening in Kalisha's life; and mine.
In January of 2015, Kalisha and I and her BC discussed the various things she would need to learn and be proficient with, if she wanted to live in an apartment with a couple other girls one day. We even set the possible future date as the end of the year.
Guess what! Today is June 1, which means we are almost halfway to the end of 2015 and I don't feel as though I am dealing with this "letting go" very well.
You see, it isn't just Kalisha who has to make adjustments; it is me, also.

I have been holding on tightly since she was little and more so, after we knew there were always going to be obstacles for her.

I am having a hard time reminding myself she is an adult in so many ways and can make most decisions on her own. We attended a Memorial Day cookout at some friends' house. I asked if she wanted some lemonade and immediately poured a glass and gave it to her. Even in the middle of pouring, I was telling myself, 'Kalisha could pour her own lemonade. Why are you doing it?'
I am working on this and nearly every day I catch myself in mid-sentence or mid-action assessing her capabilities to do something herself. In fact, it has become a source of some amusement.
I asked Kalisha a few days ago if she really wanted to wear her new shirt on a "stay at home" day. As the words came out of my mouth, I immediately said, "Never mind. It's your shirt and you can certainly decide when you want to wear it."
Her response was, "Yeah, Mom, I can sit here in the nude if I want to."
(Well, I might draw the line at that.)
There are a million things (or so it seems) I need to realize she can do for herself besides the ones she already does.
We have become comfortable with the way things are but if she is to survive after she moves or after I die, I have to work on this.
As tightly as I once held on, I am learning to open my hand and let her pull hers away.
This is so hard. I cried all the while I wrote this. 


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