Samson the Therapy Cat

The Monster and Samson, April 2016Just to get it out of the way: Sammy’s old.  Like… older-than-the-hills old.

I’ve had Samson since he was a kitten.  Friends of mine found him sitting on the trunk of my car nearly twenty years ago, looking pitiful, and asked me to hold him until the no-kill shelter had a spot in a few weeks.  They’ve not yet told me when the opening at the no-kill shelter will be free… Continue reading

Go With The Flow

I will be the first person to admit that I don’t always know how to get the Monster to do things.

I mean, sure, we do plenty of things with behavior modification, like any parent.  He gets jellybeans for toileting appropriately.  He used to get M&Ms for eating food at dinner (and still does sometimes for letting us clip his nails).  But those are easy, concrete things.

What about the more subtle behaviors? Continue reading

Missing an Opportunity

I honestly don’t get it, sometimes.

Being the parent of a child with special needs is hard work, and the rate at which we burn ourselves out is probably legend.  I hear complaints – constantly – through many of my groups about how tiring it is, and how they wish they could get some relief.

And then… no one shows up when there’s relief offered. Continue reading

Mommy-Free Zone

R and the Monster at BJ's, April 2016Every so often, there’s a boys’ day around here.

Long-time readers are aware that I’ve taken a lot of “me” time this year – I’ve been putting some real effort behind another passion of mine (curling) and taking time to pursue it.  This has had me gone for a couple of weekends, leaving the burden on her to watch the kids, and so turnabout’s fair play. And while she won’t take a weekend to herself, the least I can do is take the kids for periods of time on the weekend to give her a breather. Continue reading

Better Than Expected

I’ve entirely forgotten to talk about something important – the Monster’s annual IEP review.  I mean, I talked about the prep meeting, and then entirely dropped the subject.

Most parents of special needs kids that I talk to, talk about how horrible the annual process is.  To be honest, ours has usually been just a tedious process, until last year’s huge drag-down, knock-down fights.  So anything’d be an improvement, right?

Right. Continue reading


Kids and TroubleOne of the Monster’s goals on his IEP is social turn taking, in the context of a game with other children.  This isn’t a new goal for him – it was on last year’s IEP, and I think it was on the year prior’s – but this year’s was redefined to be more achievable.  Specifically, it allows for more adult guidance/redirects to keep him on target.

Which anyone who plays with kids will tell you is a good and necessary thing.

Continue reading

Life is a Circus

Monster at the CircusThe wife decided we should take the kids to the circus this past Saturday.

Setting aside that I’m not a fan of the circus – I just find them boring, I don’t have anything against the circus – we’ve avoided taking the kids to a lot of these kinds of events since we don’t know how the Monster is going to respond.  Yes, we’ve taken him out to the Science Center, or to other places where there are going to be crowds, but the circus (or any show) is really very different – it’s a sustained period where he’s going to be in a seat in a darkened room, where a meltdown of any kind will disturb others around us.  So I get very hesitant when we’re talking about this kind of thing… Continue reading