Is Strapping The Boy Down Really The Answer? Apparently So.

This is my kidlet. He’s nine, he’s frickin’ adorable, he has Williams Syndrome, and he’s unruly on the bus.  He just can’t sit still.  Last year the bus had an aide and that was all that was needed, but this year transportation has gone completely insane.  The budget cuts are astronomical. It’s impossible to get an aide for him; I know because we asked.  Repeatedly.  We were trying to avoid the “Hello, Mama, the police brought me home!” thing again.

This is the answer: A weight vest.

At least, it’s what they call a weight vest, because that definitely isn’t what this is.  A weight vest is, of course, a vest that is weighted.  It can be specially made, or it can be a fishing vest with beanbags in the pockets.  The idea is that the extra weight will make the child feel secure.  And it works, because Niko has used weight vests for years and did very well with them.  This, however, is a harness.

The metal hoops on his shoulders clip to an apparatus that is securely fastened to the bus seat.  There are metal hoops on each skinny hip, as well. It zips up the back and buckles between his legs like a parachute harness.

Oh, he hated it at first! How he screamed! It was absolutely heartbreaking. As time went on, he became more used to it.  I’m trying to do the same.  It’s very nice to know that he’s secure in his seat and that he won’t be running pell mell on the bus, and it’s especially nice to know that the next knock on the door won’t be Las Vegas Metro handing over my little one.  It’s still very difficult to physically strap him down every morning. But that’s life, yes?  Take the bad and celebrate the good.  At least my son is so gosh darn charming!

*UPDATE* I wrote this post a long time ago (hence the coat. It’s a bazillion frickin’ degrees outside right now! A coat? No way!) and we’ve had time to adjust to the harness.  It no longer frightens him, and he actually seems to feel very secure wearing it. It took a few months to get to the point that we’re at now, but with consistency and adding it to his daily routine (“Go potty, wash your hands, and then we put on the harness!” we’re at a great place with it.  I’m glad we have it, especially since he’s been watching youtube videos on learning how to drive school buses.  Dodged that bullet!


I Interview Anthony J. Rapino!

And it was awesome.  Tony’s a frickin’ hoot.  Swing by and learn about the origins of Moon Hill, how Vampiress rules his world, and how he explains whether or not he’s possessed by imps.  It was a good time all around.  You can read that interview here at  Shock Totem.

As an aside, I apologize for being MIA last week.  I could write a story about it titled Miss Murder in Migraine City, but just know that I’ve cuddled up to my (despised) migraine meds and I’m functional.  Have a great night, everyone!

Warping Your Children on MOTHER’S DAY!

Which is even better than warping them any other day of the year, except maybe on their birthdays. Bwa ha ha!

Mother’s Day was very bittersweet this year.  I was able to enjoy my precious children (who were obviously possessed by imps today.  Sweet and adorable they were NOT, at least until after nap time).  That was very sweet.  But I very much mourned the loss of my daughters who passed away last year. It will be a year next month, and when you think your feet are finally under you, there are days when you emotionally faceplant. But we’ll discuss loss later in a different post.  Today is for celebration, for I have successfully warped my little ones!

First, here is a letter written by my son.  Niko is nine years old and has Williams Syndrome. He types very well on a computer, but struggles with handwriting due to muscular issues, spacial issues, and the fact that he is a lefty. We all know that lefties are going to hell, as reported by a million and one websites.  Which are serious about it.  Apparently I’m supposed to tie Niko’s left hand behind him and force him to write with his right, but I’m lazy and, um, NOT CRAZY, so there goes that.  Anyway, he did this:

So you see his name at the top?  Then he wrote MAMA.  I’m not ashamed to tell you that this literally brought me to tears.  I know how to turn your kidlet’s handwriting into a necklace, so I’m going to do that with this and wear it with pride.

My four-year-old did this picture:

She said, “That’s you on the bottom.  You’re scared, and I’m making you feel better.  And here’s a rainbow.  And a puppy.”   Do you see my mouth drawn in a round ‘o’?  Because apparently I am terrified of the joy that rainbows and puppies bring.

“This is beautiful and warped, darling,” I told my daughter.

She smiled prettily.  “Thank you.  And your hair is blue.”  Rock on.  I haven’t had blue hair since I was a newlywed, I think.

Yesterday she drew a picture of our turtle.  “This is Rush. And this is the shark that’s going to eat her.  And here’s Rush’s apples and celery, so she isn’t hungry.”

That’s my girl.

Happy Mother’s Day to you, my friends.  May it be all that you hope. 🙂


Movies That Make You Hurl

May the odds be ever in your…blech!

I’m not talking about movies with awful dialogue, horrible acting, or situations that are so unbelievable that the brain simply goes numb in self-defense.  (Because I LOVE this type of movie! I’m a huge MST3K fan.  Terrible movies are gold to me.)  I’m talking about movies with the horrible shaky cam that quite literally makes you queasy.

When I was in college, I asked my father to go to The Blair Witch Project with me.  Dad and I haven’t watched a movie together since ET came out in theatres, and that was so terrifying that I bailed halfway through.  So 15 years later, enter Blair Witch!  How fun! Daddy/Daughter bonding!  No, because (again) we bailed out halfway through.  Dad and I were so sick that we couldn’t make it through the movie.

Repeat this with Cloverfield.

Repeat this with The Last Exorcism.

Nearly repeat this with The Hunger Games until somebody makes an off-handed comment saying the filming made them sick.

WHAT?!  Now Da Man and I are going on a date this weekend.  (A date!  Woo hoo!)  We hardly ever go out.  In fact, we wouldn’t be going out this weekend except that my tiny daughter asked for our super fun babysitter in her evening prayers, and who are we to crush the hopes and dreams of our little girl?  But to zip out to a movie that will leave me retching in the aisle…well, that’s not for me.  We’ll be heading to Dark Shadows, thankyouverymuch.

The site Movie Hurl has given us a list of the top ten most vomit-inducing films, according to the ratings of their users.  They are:

1. The Blair Witch Project (no surprise there!)

2. The Hunger Games.

3. District 9

4. Hurt Locker

5. The Bourne Ultimatum

6. Cloverfield

7. Rachel Getting Married

8. Melancholia

9. Paranormal Activity

10. Chronicle

Nice to know that I can stay home and catch these babies on video, where my teeny tiny screen will shield me from the terrible SHAKY CAM OF DOOM.  Does anybody else have this problem?  Any other movies that made your just-eaten popcorn hit the street?

I Always Knew He Was A Goon

So yesterday was the conclusion of my Find-A-Goon contest.  I had twelve delightful names, and chose comment number 11.  Who is comment 11, you wonder?  So did I! Comment 11 was merely signed “-j”.  I clicked his link, and imagine my surprise and delight when I discovered that my new goon is none other than Jesse David Young, who only this week vowed to print my novel onto two ply and use it as toilet paper. I’ll make sure he has a fresh bullet wound.  😉

Congrats, Jesse! You’ll make a fantastic goon. Thanks for playing, everybody!