The best laid plans of mice and men…

And here we are, starting the Second Day of Christmas with a chuckle and wink.  I’ll give you a hint: if at first you don’t succeed?  When you fall off a horse?  Yup, all that malarkey.  Rather than a bang, we got a fizzle last night…

Gift Number One (drumroll, please, and make it peppy!): red rugby helmet.  It was received with as much enthusiasm as J could muster.  J couldn’t muster a lot of enthusiasm.  I could almost hear Louis Jourdan’s “it’s a bore!” rejoinder to Maurice Chevalier in Gigi

Oh, well…on to the next thing!!!!

I’m not deflated.  A little obnubilated, maybe, but not deflated.  I know I’m treading over a minefield loaded with disappointment, boredom, shoulder shrugs and -hopefully- enthusiasm, enjoyment and random spontaneous celebratory cartwheeling.  I’m hoping for at least a big laugh, but it’s not essential.

Perhaps, I told my husband as we sat down to watch The Big Bang Theory, next year we should just buy him more clothes and less random items.  (And we think Sheldon is a verbal version of J…Knock, knock, knock, PENNY! three times?  Come on…that’s “noodles,” “no” to a different beat!)

My hunt for new PECS for the Twelve Days board was successful, and I got them ready with plenty of time.  I had to re-design the board because of a Velcro scarcity, but it works nicely just the same.  We now slide the PECS in and they stand on the board, so it can rest on a table, an Advent calendar of sorts…or a dessert menu at a diner.  Either way, it works.

Tonight it’s “same gift night”.  Every year we get the kids something they can use together.  Like 2008’s  Nerf guns that they used to relentlessly shoot at each other while the grown-ups were out.  Foamy ammunition under tables and behind doors gave them away; our oldest son tells us that J likes to shoot him in the back and is tickled pink when the reaction to the “shot” is in slow motion.  This, from what we’ve heard (because we’re not “cool enough” to witness it), provokes gales of rolling-around-on-the-floor laughter.  Because now their rooms are side-by-side and they do have a bit of a good-natured “territorial sibling feud” going on, they’re both getting Airzookas tonight.  This item, my friends, can be found under Cube Warfare at

So, all in all, last night was a bust, but I’m sure that -eventually- J will decide to wear his helmet.  Perhaps this means that red is on its way out as the “It” color?  Maybe he’s been leafing through fashion magazines and he’s realized that Anna Wintour doesn’t wear red?  I don’t know…I cannot tell you what his take on this is, but I can tell you that (although I feel a little incompetent right now) I’ll survive this small setback and shrug it off before the day is over.

Do I wish I could figure him out a little more easily?  Yes, of course!  I don’t think Autism is fun or enjoyable for anyone…I don’t think adolescence is fun or enjoyable for anyone either (from the parenting side…kids are miserable because they’re supposed to be.)  But we are sailing, slowly, between the Scylla and Charybdis and, like Odysseus/Ulysses, we’ll have to do it gingerly, but we’ll get to the other side somehow.

Last night they were showing the ten-hour version of White Christmas (with Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney and Danny Kaye,) we refer to it as the ten-hour version because of the many commercials this particular channel shows.   I’m a Christmas movie junkie, I’ll have you know.  We’ve already watched Elf  (twice,) A Christmas Carol (1951 version with Alastair Sim,) and The Shop Around the Corner (James Stewart, Margaret Sullavan and and excellent supporting cast!!!!)  We’ll watch every Christmas movie that comes our way, and if there’s singing involved J will be sitting there, his eyes lighting up when the music starts.  He sings Christmas carols on the way home from the bus; yesterday he was fascinated with Silver Bells, which means I now have to find The Lemon-Drop Kid, a movie that is usually sold out as soon as I find it online.

But back to White Christmas.  I know I digressed.  (SURPRISE!!!!!!)  As a child growing up in a tropical climate, the idea of a white christmas sounded tremendously appealing.  You don’t see “palm tree,” or “sand” globes with Christmas scenes in them.  No, you always see small, quaint villages surrounded by pine trees, perhaps a sleigh, children playing…and snow.  That looks wonderful to a kid spending Christmas in 80-degree weather.  And the Christmas cards depicting snow usually had glitter…insidious, pervasive glitter that -again, to a child- seems wonderful and magical.  (You know how Scrooge says to the Ghost of Christmas Future “I fear you more than any specter I met tonight?”  That’s how mothers feel about insidious, pervasive glitter.)  Once you have to shovel, drive and get homebound…that’s another story.

The surprising thing is that, while I loved the song and what it conveyed as a child, it is Cole Porter’s Count Your Blessings (Instead of Sheep) that means the most to me now…

Last night, as I was drifting off to sleep, I thought of that song.  Nerd that I am, I’m willing to confess that every night when things haven’t really turned out as I’d like them to (red scrum cap included…) I think the same thing:

When I’m worried and I can’t sleep
I count my blessings instead of sheep
And I fall asleep counting my blessings
When my bankroll is getting small
I think of when I had none at all
And I fall asleep counting my blessings

Yeah, it’s trite but you factor in the mellifluous Rosemary Clooney and Bing Crosby…a little less nerdy now?



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