Spring break season is upon us. On the last day of school when Eli’s teacher said “See you in a week Eli!” I went into a mini panic mode. The realization hit me that I was going to be stuck in the house all day with two kids for 9 days straight. I immediately went into planning all the fun things we’d do to pass the time: go to the zoo, automotive museum, picnic at the park, splash pad. It’s now Thursday of spring break and guess how many of those we have done? ONE! The picnic at the park is the only thing we’ve accomplished so far; and I’m really not sure if eating Panda Express at a playground is necessarily considered a picnic.
Obviously I am in no position to give advice about what to do for spring break. But….who cares? I’m going to make a list of good ways to pass the time during your Childs spring break that I actually did do.
- Continue with education- Just because they’re on a break from real school doesn’t mean their learning should take a break too! As a parent YOU are your child’s biggest teacher!
2. Find them new friends- what better way to pass the days than to make new friends, right? They will spend the day getting to know each other and having fun!
3. Household chores- Oh, you’re bored? Well I’m doing 5 loads of laundry, vacuuming 4 rooms, doing the dishes, and cleaning the bathrooms. TAKE YOUR PICK!
4. Wear them out- personally this is the most important one. If you want your little shits to pass out at the end of the day then you need to get them outside and active. Nothing knocks a kid out better than long exposure to fresh air. 60% of the time, it works every time!
5. When they’ve done chores, played with friends, and ran around aimlessly for hours outside, it’s time for some more inside diversions. Popcorn movie party is the go to in our house. Here’s your apple juice, bowl of popcorn, and the remote; I’m going to go hide in my room until you come find me asking for a second bowl of popcorn.
6. When you’ve done all these and your kids finally pass out. It’s time to reward yourself. Whatever your vice is, indulge; you’ve earned it. For me, the answer is obviously wine.
Hopefully after doing all these steps your child should look like this and spring break should pass quickly. Before you know it your monster will be back in school.
Eli and I are are taking on a new business adventure. Well, really just me, but he’s my partner in crime.
Eli was never interested in books. The first clue for his doctor to give the Autism diagnosis was that he never wanted to play with me or anyone else. He preferred to be by himself. Because of this he would never sit down and read a book with me. I tried all the fun engaging books to no avail. Through therapy he became more interested in interacting with others. After many attempts he started becoming interested in bedtime stories. We made it a routine every night before bed. Part of the appeal was probably delaying bedtime; but after a while it’s something he looked forward to. He would pick out his favorites and remembered most of the words.
I was invited to an Usborne party over the summer and was drawn to the wipe clean books. We were trying to get ready for school and this would be perfect practice. He loved them, of course. Since then I’ve ordered a couple more times before deciding to become an independent consultant myself.
One thing I love about Usborne is the amount of early childhood learning books they have. They have books for speech development, fine and gross motor skills, sensory books, and even books for social anxiety. Everything I’ve learned from Eli’s therapy I can use to help other families find the tools they need to make their littles successful.
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A few weeks ago I took both kids to one of Eli’s favorite parks. As I went to a bench with Camille, Eli took off under a play set. There’s a table underneath the play set and he likes to pile up fallen gum tree balls (right). As soon as he walked to the table a boy around the same age dressed in a police uniform told Eli to leave. Eli got upset and came over to me. I told him this is a playground and he can go where ever he wants. He walked back over and the boy, again, told him he had to leave and that he was the police. Another boy holding a nerf gun grabbed Eli by the arm and walked him out from under the play area and walked him towards the sidewalk. Eli started crying and I yelled at the boys to let him go.
Now the boys weren’t just being cruel, to everyone else they were just playing pretend. He was the police and under the play area was where they were patrolling. Keeping out bad guys. However, to Eli, they were being serious. After the boys let him go Eli came over, still crying, and said that the policeman wouldn’t let him play over there and told me how the other boy grabbed him. I explained to Eli that it wasn’t a real policeman and it was only a kid pretending. I told him that the kids were just playing pretend, a game. The look on his face told me he had no idea they were just playing. I said if they try and do that again to just tell them that you are not playing the game and you just want to play by yourself. Eli stood up and started walking away; I asked where he was going and he said “I’m going to tell them that I’m not playing with them.” The boys at this point were long gone. I told him to not worry about it unless they tried to bother him again.
Eli is one of the most imaginative boys I’ve ever met. His whole life is one big imagination land. But for as creative as he is, he didn’t recognize when other kids were doing the same thing. If he’s in on the planning of the game, he is fully on board; but walking into this situation, not knowing what the other kids we’re doing, he was completely lost. He has always been a little slow on picking up on social cues. He doesn’t always recognize when someone is upset or not interested. He often times doesn’t take situations serious and thinks it’s a game (especially when he’s getting in trouble.)
One of my first blogs was about a time we were at a park (actually the same park as this story) and Eli thought he was playing a game with these other boys but they were in fact just running away from him. He didn’t recognize that they didn’t want to play with him until he turned around and they were all gone. That situation broke my heart and it still hurts my heart watching him struggle with other kids.
I do have my reservations about Eli starting general education kindergarten and not being accepted and liked by his class mates. I think he just needs more exposure to other kids to strengthen his social skills. As a military family, we move around a lot. He doesn’t always have other kids to play with, or when he does, we end up moving away from them. He’s in preschool right now with other kids just like him. When that is over I think he might do a few weeks of summer school so he is more than comfortable when he starts kindergarten this fall. Not all of his social interactions are this way. Yesterday we were at a different playground and he played with a pair of siblings just fine. They were all having a blast until the two kids had to go home. When I asked Eli where his friends went, he said they left. Then he started crying and yelling “I DON’T HAVE ANY FRIENDS!!!” lol. He’s a great kid and a lot of fun to be around. I have no doubts that he will be able to make good friends. Maybe we just need a little practice reading people. 😉