So many PECS…so little time

I sleep with a notepad next to the bed. When I was younger this served the purpose of allowing me to jot down whatever inspired thoughts streamed through my creative mind…  Now it’s more like jotting down things that I KNOW I will have forgotten when I wake up.  That I don’t turn on the light when these flashes of “oh, I need to remember this tomorrow!” attack me results in a jumbled mess of notes and words that scramble over each other.  So instead of reading “remember to call the office about the leak in the basement,” “buy more velcro strips,” “research air travel for training trip,” “ask teacher about end-of-school-year thank yous for mentors,” and “check batteries in remotes” I read remember to call velcro ask teacher about end-of-school year strips and batteries for mentors training.”  It can get pretty sordid if I have a lot streaming through my middle-aged, addled brain.

This morning I found that I’d been scribbling half-awake all night.  I’ve printed six pages of PECS already (well, what passes for PECS around here) and a recipe my neighbor requested for a dessert I dropped off last week.  She says her family loved it and wants to take it back to Saudi Arabia with them…I am wondering if they will recount to their friends and relatives how one crazy Puerto Rican woman made cheese crème caramel so bad that it could have started an international incident.  Maybe my recipe was well-intentioned in the same way that cautionary tales tend to be.  But a promise is a promise and there it is, printed and ready to go…

The PECS have taken me all morning.  (I just noticed it’s nearly ten a.m. and I’m still in my nightgown and surrounded by paper!!!)  J is demonstrating his snack-making skills today.  Off he went with tortilla chips, pizza sauce (the squeezable bottle as I’ve seen what messes can be achieved with a glass jar and a wooden spoon,) and two bags of cheddar cheese.  He can totally do this without supervision, but he needs a reminder of the right temperature for the oven.  Also, if he decides to act helpless and distracts the others, the cheese will be consumed before anyone realizes where it’s gone.  And J, cheese shreds dangling from the side of his mouth, will do his utmost to look innocent…  I am bracing for that phone call.

The new schedule board for the mornings seems to have worked well.  I need, however, to add a few more PECS to it, and J will be a little clearer on what to do without any assistance or reminder or supervision.  When it takes an individual a little longer to break down a process, the person teaching them what to do has to break it down to the most basic nuts and bolts; a brain that works in the most common and ordinary manner tends to take for granted certain things, and the brain that works in the alternate manner sort of corners the other brain into seeing things differently…

In other words: I can’t think like myself when I’m planning things for J…I have to think like J.  When TGG was born and developed the first spurts of potentially dangerous mobility, I got down on all fours and crawled all over our flat, looking at things the way he would.  I couldn’t think “oh, he will tug at the cord for this lamp”…I had to think “oh, this looks awesome and I want to tug it.”  Assuming that he’d think “lamp” would immediately send me into thinking he’d understand it would be heavy and breakable, so I had to divest myself of all adult thought and simply look at what was attractive regardless of what it was attached to…that is: I had to go back to the innocence displayed when I’d heed someone’s instructions to pull their finger.  I didn’t know then, as I do now, that this was some crude game involving farting…

So I try to view every task as J would.  This is a long process because, by nature, I am so accustomed to skipping steps or taking them for granted, that I have to use the same skills a technical writer would in order to break down any task so that any person could perform it with the instructions given.  In other words: when I break something down for J to do, it has to be as graphic as IKEA assembly instructions, but even more detailed…less room for error involved.

My brain, as it were, is already fried for the morning…

There you have it…my philosophical meanderings for today.  Changing my clothes and taking a shower have become necessary…plus I have to cut and laminate and cut again and Velcro.  And I am almost out of Velcro…I should have invested in Velcro when I had the chance, right?  It would be self-sustaining wealth…sigh…

OK…enough chit-chat.  Off to break down loading the dishwasher step-by-step in pictures…and cleaning the bathroom, and getting dressed, and going to the doctor…and…once the med is gone, all this will serve the purpose of focusing J’s attention so that our transition is successful…

No pressure, right???



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