Off to a good start…

J’s happy mood is definitely contagious in spite of the dreariness of the weather.  He is in definite “vacation mode” and, when summoned to do chores, helps enough to fulfill an obligation but then laughs his way back to his room.  If he didn’t have such a sunny disposition as he leaves me mid-task I’d be very upset, but since I know he’s happily tucked in his room I’m ok with cleaning bathrooms by myself.

As J stepped off the bus yesterday, his aide handed me a bag and told me “it’s a bowl he made for you.”  Light as a feather, I assumed I was adding to my papier mâché collection and, although I was excited to see what he had made, I was not particularly careful transporting the bag home.  I was more concerned with the Easter eggs I was told were in his backpack.  (The smell of hard-boiled eggs was revolting to me when I was pregnant, and I avoid it like the plague…opening windows and airing out rooms when hard-boiled eggs are performing their strip tease is a must in this house.)

J removed his hat as soon as we got home.  Fifty minutes he went bareheaded as he had his snack, changed into his at-home grubbies and we put the hard-boiled eggs in the fridge.  The bowl remained wrapped in its protective shawl of two plastic bags and several layers of paper; it took us about twenty minutes to get to it…

What I had thought was papier mâché turned out to be pottery.  Beautiful pottery!  This, Dada said when he saw it last evening, was what the aide at school meant by “the bowl that, as J was painting it, he painted over her fingers because she was holding it.”  The color is absolutely gorgeous and the gloss is AMAZING!  Fired in a kiln, this bowl is a thing of beauty and we are madly in love with it…J is proud as punch, I must say, and loves the attention HIS handiwork is getting.

Spring Break has started on a high note.  I told TGG yesterday that I am saving J’s outing to the store for later in the week because I don’t want to run out of things to do too early.  The outing to the store will happen on a rainy day; while the sun is out, we’re heading to the great outdoors…at first for short hatless periods, by Sunday for longer periods.  A girl can dream, can’t she?

The only snag in the fabric of this plan is the leak in the laundry room’s ceiling.  How, you may ask yourselves (as we have,) can a basement-level laundry room have a significant leak in the ceiling?  Beats me!  We’ve been dealing with this problem since September (when we first experienced significant rainfall) and this morning we discovered a puddle that, we believe, resulted from last night’s rainstorm.  We took pictures and e-mailed them to the property manager’s office…this might mean a constant in-and-out of workers while J is holding court in the family room.  Oh, joy of joys!  Because the leak seems to run into the base of the light fixture, we are working with a floor lamp for now…or, rather, a desk lamp propped up on a barstool.  J thinks this is an unusual arrangement and I’ve explained to him that I’m not particularly happy with it either, but laundry waits for no leak.

TGG and Dada are out test-driving vehicles.  I am hoping TGG makes up his mind sooner rather than later because, quite frankly, our gas usage has significantly spiked since he’s been driving the family van.  Nothing checks gas usage like having to ALWAYS pay to fill the tank, and TGG is pretty good about chipping in, but he’s also very given to driving rather than riding the bus.  This is what comes from not having lived through the Carter administration and its long lines waiting to fill a gas tank.  (If that sounded a little like an old person talking about The Great Depression, my apologies…those gas lines are to us fortysomethings what The Great Depression was to  an older generation.)

The weather today is an echo of last night’s rain and thunder…it is a day to be indoors, cozying up to a book or a movie, drinking tea and napping.  None of these activities are in the cards for me, though.  I have bathrooms to attend to, and other assorted chores that cannot be put off ‘til tomorrow.  The neighbors’ cat needs looking after as they’ve gone away for a family trip until Monday.  I am not complaining…I am merely stating that cuddling up is not on the schedule for the daytime hours.

Hard as it is to believe, it is now the eve of April.  We have navigated Fall, Winter and now Spring…the trees turned blazing yellow and orange, stripped to the bare gray branches and are now sprouting green.  Where has the time gone?  Tomorrow morning we will be starting a new month, edging closer to summer and J’s next IEP where we will determine if he is going to summer school (pleasepleasepleaseplease) for four hours a day, four days a week.  We are edging closer to his next appointment with the psychiatrist and figuring out if we should go ahead with the proposed plan to cut his med in half.  The log I’ve been keeping has registered more “hatless time” than tantrums, attention-seeking behavior (which I still don’t know what it could be…don’t teenagers seek attention CONSTANTLY?) and crying spells.  One crying spell…that’s all  I have…on Thursday afternoon, for less than twenty minutes.  That’s not bad, is it?  More hatless time than “bad” time!

Well…

The rest of the house beckons.  I have toilets to clean, laundry to fold with the help of my lovely assistant, and I need to go look in on the fuzzball next door.  He is a lovely cat; quite large and distinguished, and the only problem we have in communicating (aside from his being a cat) is that his owners speak to him in Arabic so I will pat him on the head, scratch behind his ear, feed him and coo at him in Spanish…

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