Monday, January 26, 2015

And So the Journey Begins

If you have read the book I wrote about Kalisha, you know some of my feelings about her moving out and living on her own.
It scares me to death, makes me sad and a bit uncomfortable.
Last year, I invited my grown children to come to my house and discuss some "Kalisha things" with me. I wasn't interested in having any of them sign a paper stating they would take care of Kalisha after I died; I just wanted some input. The meeting never happened. That should give me some insight into the future..right? If you can't find any time to discuss it, you probably can't find any time to be a part of her life, either. (They all suffer from the ridiculous theory: 'You will be here forever, Mom.')
 Really? That's a classic case of denial. They did, however, give me some advice. They all believe she should move now as opposed to when I die. The reason being my death will be traumatic enough for her without the added stress of having to move.
I think a small glass of wine is appropriate here.

Okay, moving on...Kalisha has, at various times, expressed a desire to have her own apartment or share one with a friend. Many times, it was when she was upset or thought life would be much better if she was 'on her own.' I have always talked her through it because that isn't the right reason to move.
Now, however, I believe we have reached a new level. We have been rationally discussing what she would have to learn before she could live with a roommate.
These are her lists and I was quite impressed with them:
 1) reading aloud would need to be in my bedroom
2) I wouldn't be able to do everything they did
3) If they went somewhere or got something new, I couldn't be jealous
4) I need to learn more housekeeping things
5) I would have to be able to cook

We discussed all this and more at the quarterly meeting of her providers this morning: case manager, behavioral consultant, Bethesda manager. I asked a lot of questions and received a lot of answers.

We have set a goal of one year. She will work on her goals and I will help her. I have to work on some things also. I will either have to take more writing jobs or I will have to move. Kalisha and I share the expenses of this house and I cannot afford it on my own.
Perhaps it is God's way of pushing me to do what I need to do.

I am so proud of her but my heart is breaking. This is, undeniably, the hardest thing I will ever do. In fact, I am crying while I write this, but as always, I will do what is best for Kalisha.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Retaining History

I realize you may be tired of reading about football teams, but today we are traveling a different road, although we start out with a football team.
Yesterday, (out of the blue):

 Kalisha asked, "Are we Patriots?"

Me: "Patriots? Patriots? Really, Kalisha, what kind of question is that? I know the Colts are playing the Patriots on Sunday, but have you suddenly decided to be a Patriot fan?"

Kalisha: "No, I don't mean the football team. I mean are we patriots?"

Me: (a but confused) "I guess that depends on what you mean by a patriot."

Kalisha: "Well, in the American Girl story and movie about Felicity, she and her family were patriots. But they couldn't drink tea because that was what the people loyal to the king drank. And Felicity couldn't be friends with her best friend anymore because her friend's parents weren't patriots."

Me: "Yes, the book takes place before and during the Revolutionary War. Some people wanted to be free of England and some still wanted to be ruled by England. The Patriots supported their country and the fight for freedom."

Kalisha: "So....being a Patriot is a good thing, unless it's the football team."

Me: "You make me think and laugh, Kalisha."

Kalisha read that story 10 years ago, but remembered the fundamentals. I'm sure the football team, the New England Patriots brought the thoughts back to the forefront of her mind, but she has a great memory, is curious about what words mean and absorbs much more than what I sometimes give her credit for.

*Caution, Parents: If Kalisha retains what she reads and sees in movies, you need to be ever vigilant about what your kiddos are watching and reading.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The Colts Kid Is Back

If you read this blog occasionally, you already know Kalisha is a huge fan of the Indianapolis Colts football team. She has shirts, pants, gloves, hats, Christmas stockings, jewelry, hair accessories, winter coat, shoes, windbreaker, get the idea.
Some time this fall, she became enthralled with Hello Kitty and everything that entails. I posted a picture of her Christmas list with 2 pages of Hello Kitty things she wanted. She has been carrying her HK wallet inside her HK purse and wearing the HK hairbands.
A few weeks ago, I noticed some Colts gear was being used again. Last weekend, when the Colts played the Broncos, she was definitely all dressed in Colts clothes.
Today, before we left for a doctor appointment, she was switching everything from her HK wallet and purse to her Colts wallet and purse. I teased her about putting the "cat" in the closet and getting the "horse" back out.
"Oh yeah," she said. "It's time to be a Colts fan again. We play the Patriots on Sunday." (As if I didn't know that)
I took these pictures of her outer layer of clothes and then the next layer of clothes. That's as many layers as we are going.

It makes me laugh because somehow, if she supports her team with every piece of Colts gear she has, it will encourage them to play better, I guess.
She changed her FB profile picture and cover photo also. She is drinking out of a Colts cup.
She is ready...I hear the Kitty crying in the closet, but for right now, it's COLTS all the way. I love seeing her this excited and if you think she doesn't know the players, their numbers, positions, the plays and how it is scored; think again. She definitely does.

Now if she could just count change...oh well.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

The 'Grosey' List...What Aisle Is That In?

I wrote earlier on FB that I asked Kalisha to write a grocery list for me today. I would tell her the items and she could write them down, since I was busy working in the kitchen.
Kalisha is a voracious reader but she is a notoriously bad speller. I had a language consultant explain it to me a long time ago; she said Kalisha hears dominant sounds in each word and that is what she writes.  She has spelled her sister's name incorrectly for 25 years and probably always will. She spells KARI as KAIR. The K and the R are dominant sounds to her and she puts one in the front and one at the end.
This really doesn't bother me too much; I am very good at phonics and have had lots of practice figuring out the words she writes. I have had a lot of laughs over this too but today was the best.
I told her to abbreviate the words I was giving her and I would figure them out when we got to the store. I am certainly glad I tried deciphering it before we went or I might have been rolling around on the floor in one of the aisles.
We had the grosey list. As you can see, spinach was spinch and condensed milk was con milk (I added the 'd' so I would know what I was looking for), lettuce was letcuess, peppermint sticks were pempint stiks, balsamic vinegar was bals vin and evaporated milk was vaep milk.

The best one was 'man organ.'
Now I have to tell you, my first thought was, "I wonder what aisle those are in"  and "I didn't realize Kroger sold those."

It took me a minute but I finally deciphered it as: Mandarin Oranges.
Maybe next time I won't tell her to try and abbreviate.

I had to share so you could laugh as much as me.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Easy For You....

As you know, Kalisha is a bit stuck in 'Hello Kitty' mode. She desperately wanted a fleece, tie blanket with Hello Kitty on it. Each time we entered a fabric store, she looked at every bolt of Hello Kitty fleece.
I tried my best to talk her out of it; "You have 2 Colts blankets" "How many blankets can you put on your bed?" "Christmas is coming" "The fleece with a name is more expensive." It was to no avail.
Last week, she told me the fleece she wanted was on sale for $5.99 a yard and the plain color for the underside was even less. She knew that because she was sent a notice on her phone, of course. She purchased the 2 yards of Hello Kitty and 2 yards of plain pink.
I didn't have time to cut and tie right away. She kept insisting she would tie it. I really did not think her fine motor skills were good enough to tie the edges.
So, we started.....I cut the corners out and tied 4 cuts on each side of a corner. Then I made 5 cuts and tried to show her how to tie them. She just couldn't get the hang of it. Finally, I told her to get her shoe and untie the laces. Then I asked her to tie them. She could do that, so I asked her to tie the strips just like the laces. She kept wanting to make the bow part of shoelaces.
After several attempts, she could do the strips correctly; not exactly the way I do them but the end result was the same. Woo-hoo.
I stopped cutting for a while and when she needed to start again, she had to get her shoe to help her realize how it worked. Soon she was tying faster than I was cutting.
I told her she was done with 2 sides and she could finish tomorrow, but I forgot for a minute this was Kalisha I was talking to. The person whose motto is, "If it's started, let's git 'er done." (That only applies to things she wants done, of course.)
She stuck with it and of course, she finished it.

I was so very proud of her. At the same time, it makes me a little sad; not for her, but for how often I tend to forget just how difficult some things are for her. When I was trying to help her get her fingers in the right places, it seemed so simple to me; but my fingers work fine.
How frustrating it must be to not have your fingers do what you want them to.
I am surprised she is as calm about not 'getting it' right away, as she is. I would be throwing things, I think.
Kalisha is aware and accepting of her limitations, but it is still a very hard thing in her life.


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