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Welcome to My New Year’s Eve Party! December 31, 2008

Posted by hopeauthority in Autism, humor, Parenting, special needs.
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Happy New Year to my bloggy friends!

I knew you’d be here tonight. After all, where else would you be?

It’s a big party night for the rest of the world. You know the one I’m talking about. The one with snazzy suits and fancy dresses and snooty up-do’s, $125/per person tickets (plus $100 for the sitter) entitling you to dance to the Commodores “Celebration” in too tight pumps, eat an under-cooked, mass-produced, rubberized steak, and toast a room full of 472 strangers at midnight. Then navigate your drunken butt home without killing or being killed by the other inebriates. 

Well Cinderella, we didn’t get invited to this ball. We are the beautiful people who stay home in our rags cleaning. There’s laundry to clean. Poop to clean. Noses to clean. Or, if we’re too tired to clean, there’ something… or someone… else that needs our attention. There’s no fairy godmother coming to whisk us away to the life we dreamt we’d have.

But we’re home being great moms to kids who need us so much and who we never knew we could love so much.  And even with the challenges, I have to admit there’s no contest when I compare reading a book tonight with ‘C’ to the cheesy New Year’s Eve party I am missing. I’m sure you guys agree.

So, Happy New Year to my blog world friends/moms of special needs kids who are home tonight for all the right reasons.

And in your honor tonight, I will play Gloria Gaynor’s 80’s classic, I Will Survive , and do a dance for all of us. And I hope you will all do the same with one of your old favorites…and admit that you did! (And for those who miss my party tonight, I hope you share what song you would have danced to … along with your convincing explanation for blowing me off! LOL)

I wish you all peace, peace, peace…and some freakin sleep…in 2009!

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Mom Overboard! December 28, 2008

Posted by hopeauthority in Autism, Children, special needs, Uncategorized.
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The sea was angry last night, me hardies. Argh.

The down side to all these holiday miracles we’ve been enjoying with ‘C’ over the past few weeks, is the inevitable resurfacing of the familiar side of autism. And when you let your guard down, it’s harder to handle it.

That innocent-looking “Pirates in the Tub” toy that made its debut in ‘C’s bath last night was really a nightmare waiting to happen. It consists of  3-three dimensional pieces (2 pirates and a cannon), plus a ton of 2-dimensional foam pieces that either stick to the wall when wet, or piece together to make floating boats or islands. 

First, he didn’t want the 2 pirates to be removed from their places at his ever-growing “concert” of little figures. Fine. Let’s just play with the other stuff. After all, there’s 6 other 2-D pirates.

When I tossed those into the overly full tub, ‘C’ practically dove in after them … as if they were drowning and he was the lifeguard. In a nanosecond, all 6 were safely cradled against his chest.  Out flew the floating palm tree island with treasure chest. 

Out came huge waves of water.  I’m talkin’ a white squall here. He was tossing and turning and flailing in the tub like a whale fish on a hook. I was soaked and at a total loss as to how to regain control.

We had to towel dry the poor little pirates. Sadly, they will never see the high seas again for their captain has decided they will be landlubbers. No pirate treasure adventures for anyone.

He cried and/or sobbed on and off for about 12 hours a  half hour, while trying to go to sleep. It was so frustrating to try to understand what it was that set him off and how to comfort him. And then the guilt of figuring that …whatever it was… I either caused it, or exacerbated it.

I was enough to make me want to walk the plank. Argh.

Christmas Recap December 26, 2008

Posted by hopeauthority in Autism, Children, Family, Uncategorized.
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It’s all a blur. A good one. But a blur all the same.

Lots to do. Little sleep to be had. Got to bed 3am, then 5am, then 2am–7 hours of sleep over 3 nights is pushing it even for me. But so worth it in the end.

Our Christmas Eve tradition is to have good friends…the ones who understand autism best and have a real relationship with our son… over for an open house luncheon from  noon til 4:00, but they never leave by 4:00 … and we’re glad to have them for as long as they’ll stay.  They’d be welcome to stay til morning! About 10 minutes after the last guests leave, the inlaws arrive for the evening festivities. So its one big celebration. The only thing that stinks is the fish..literally. ‘C’ was great with all of it…very relaxed with all these people.

Christmas Day began with the usual tradition of gift trashing unwrapping. But this year, ‘C’ was pretty focused. The Batcave was right there front and center without wrapping. ‘C’ made a bee-line for it and said some appropriate verbals for the camcorder. Sister was loving her Wii Fit and all the other stuff. 

One of the nice things about Christmas …and its traditions…is that it’s a good gauge of ‘C’s progress over the year. Some noteable gains include that ‘C’ made a list this year (with some assistance from me and the toy catalog) and wanted to go see Santa (where he spontaneously asked for the Batcave). He also unwrapped his presents himself and was able to continue with the unwrapping instead of just stopping to play with the first thing he opened. And he spoke into the camera a bit…a big plus.

And let’s not forget the true test of being “typical” which ‘C’ (though far from typical) managed to pass for the first time ever… After all the gifts were opened, he said “I want the fire house.” Note that the freakin firehouse in question has not been available in the entire state of New York for two months, he hasn’t mentioned it since first putting it on his list in October, and it costs 4x the list price if you buy it online from Amazon (and that’s before shipping costs!). So, can someone just pull the knife out of my heart, please?

At Christmas Dinner at Uncle Mike’s, he didn’t stim continuously on the doorbell/front door (just two second’s worth upon arrival), didn’t spend the whole night down in the basement with only me or hubby for company (he went down for some old toys and brought them up to play in the den). He was relaxed enough to actually eat a bit of food (though he still prefers the kitchen to the crowded dining room). All big things!

And the cutest thing of all…he went up to everyone (16 people) without prompting or arm-twisting and said “Merry Christmas (name)” and either hugged or kissed them (or bent his head forward for them to kiss him). Once on arrival and then again for good-byes!

Now, he wasn’t perfect, of course.  But what kid is, right?  There’s the sharing of toys problem (he’s awful) and he won’t yet play with the other little kids (just beside them).  And of course, he still tries t get to the many candy dishes full of treats he can never have.  Yes, the family continues to put them out anyway.  

About the worst “scene” we had this year was when ‘C’ emerged from the basement with me just about 3 steps too far behind him.  In a split second, he got a bit too close to the glass fireplace doors and the wall of heat practically singed  his eyebrows. A quick scare. A bag of ice just to be sure. No damage.

The evening continued and…for the first time ever…we left a holiday celebration at the very end of the night. Not our usual scoop ‘C’ up in a huff, quick departure after some kind of major scene. Not the usual feeling like outcasts among family who don’t understand or care or offer to help.

Was it really only one year ago that we left the same home abruptly after ‘C’ had gotten an M&M in the two freakin seconds I turned away to help unmold someone’s hideous jello mold? Why was I helping out when no one offered to  help us watch ‘C’ all night so we could eat while the food was hot or join in a conversation? I was so frustrated.

And they heard me exclaim as we drove out of sight, “Can’t they push their fat asses away from the candy, just for ONE night?”

What a difference a year makes. One of us is really making great progress…

Have you noticed the progress in your little one between last year and now? Go on, brag about it…

Discovering Santa … Despite Autism December 24, 2008

Posted by hopeauthority in Autism, Children, Parenting.
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I got my present a little early this year.

It’s been different around our house this year. First of all, so much time (and money) has been  spent on  ‘C’s hyperbaric oxygen therapy HBOT that it has added to the stress level around here. Yet on another hand, the HBOT seems to be healing ‘C’ and…as it does that…we are seeing so many miraculous things. Tonight was another example…

This idea I had tonight had all the makings for a Christmas disaster. ‘C’ had already gone through a full day of school…complete with stressful holiday party with all the food he can’t eat and the distribution of his 402 teacher’s gifts. With only 30 minutes of down time after school, he was hustled back into the car and endured the hour and a half in the HBOT tube and the 2 hour roundtrip on the road. But I felt the need  to take him to see Santa. Tonight. Right now.

You see, for the first time in, like, forever, ‘C’ seemed to “get” the Santa concept this year. He made a list and spoke of the “35 presents” that Santa was going to bring him (though the list itself had only 5 things on it). He also… on two occasions… said “I gotta go see Santa”. Did he really mean it?

I live about one half mile from the mall. At this time of year, that means about one minute’s  hour’s drive to wait on a line for 3 days  hours… So, the mall Santa was obviously out of the question. But what about the Santa in the woods? I had to try.

Our Girl Scout Council hosts a Winter Wonderland where you drive through trails in the woods of the campgrounds and look at beautiful light displays. Pile everyone in…its just $12 per carload. But there’s also a Santa photo op if you park the car and go into the main event center.

We arrived in the woods at 8pm..along with the rest of the population of Long Island. ‘C’ was tired and starving and crabbing about wanting to go home. We almost turned around when we saw the long line of cars.  So I asked him if he wanted to see Santa or go home. He said “Santa”. Hmmm…

At the first chance, we pulled off the Field of Dreams line and into the nearly-deserted lot of the center where Santa awaited. It was almost closing time on the last night that Santa would be there. Hubby and I exchange pessimistic glances. Surely this thing must be L-A-M-E…

We walked into a magical place. With only one kid ahead of us…Yes, just one kid…not the 257 at the mall wearing stiff frilly clothes… we step up to meet “Santa’s Helper”. He was a wonderful, big man taking the $15 pictures. He immediately engaged ‘C’ by smiling and asking about the small car he was holding.   WOW. Things sure have changed since I last tried a  photo with Santa about 4 years ago. Have you ever met a nice Santa’s helper before?

Then there was Santa himself. And I mean Santa. This was the real guy. No imposter here. He too engaged ‘C’ right away. No “pity engagement”. It was real and effortless. Warmth oozed out of this jolly guy. Tons of  “I’m so glad you came to see me” ‘s. With no hesitation at all. ‘C’ went up to him and stood there enveloped in his arms and took the photo of his life. Then, they encouraged..well actually insisted… that the whole family get in on a photo (no extra charge).  Did you hear me… a family photo?

Santa’s helper jingled his bells and got ‘C’ to look at the camera. Through his magic, the photos came out perfect. ‘C’ was relaxed and smiling and looking straight ahead. And.. despite me having “tank hair”, no make-up on, and still being in my scrubs from the HBOT… our family photo came out great too. I’m telling you,  there’s magic in those woods. 

Hubby and I are standing there waiting for the photos to be developed, barely even able yet to process the moment we were living. Then the real miracle happened…

‘C’ turned around and calmly walked over to Santa (who had not yet taken another kid on) and looked right into Santa’s warm eyes and said:

“I want the Batcave. Please Santa.”

Thank You, God.

Merry Christmas to Everyone! May you all enjoy the magic of this season.

The Kidnapping of Father Time December 23, 2008

Posted by hopeauthority in Autism, autism diet, Children, humor, school, special needs.
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Don’t you just love the way all the classic horror movies have the dumb teenager walking toward the killer instead of running away screaming?  And the way nothing good ever comes out of a dark alley? There’s always a murder or a mugging going on in the alley. You can count on it.

With autism, you can’t count on a lot. Much of life is unpredictable. Often chaotic. But there is one thing you can count on around the holidays…

There is no freakin time.

Seriously, its like someone mugged Father Time in the back alley. Which just adds even more stress to the generally high level of stress that the holidays bring (See 12 days of  Christmas post for refresher).

While my keyboard has been gathering dust (along with the rest of the house), I’ve been desperately trying to do all the crazy last minute holiday prep that normal people do…and they have the nerve to complain about how hard it is for them (don’t ya love that?) 

But then I have to add stuff like creating a new treat for ‘C’ for his party at school tomorrow so he won’t feel sad and frustrated over his special diet. Why else would I be up typing this post as the experimental gingerbread man cookies are filling the house with great smells at friggin 3 am?!

Oh, I meant to get to this earlier tonight, but I was busy wrapping and tagging the 402 gifts for my kids’ teachers, aides, busdrivers, etc. And I have to be at a closing tomorrow this morning in about 6 hours. Not to mention that daughter has dismissal at noon and I have to swing by to get her on the way to ‘C’s party at school at 1:00.

By 3:30 tomorrow today, the endless vacation will have begun. Two weeks without services. What is that? Like 3 years in real time?

Time.

Right now, there’s not enough of it to get ready for the holiday. Like somebody mugged Father Time. And we need to get him back right away.

Time.

There’s too much of it when school’s out and there’s no vacation planned. 

Note to his kidnapper: Please return Father Time ASAP. He is seriously overdue for a butt kickin’ for messin’ with my life.

So…what’s the one thing you know you won’t get to on your “to-do” list this year because you ran out of time?

The Autism Christmas Miracle in the Church December 18, 2008

Posted by hopeauthority in Autism, humor, Parenting, religion, special needs, Uncategorized.
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For the record, we’re Catholic. Typical daughter goes to Catholic school. Autistic son to public. Both are in the perfect place for them. (I won’t get into how ridiculous their different vacation schedules are…)

Do we go to Mass every week? No. Every month? No. On holidays? Does running the Girl Scout cookie booth sale in the church lobby on Palm Sunday count?

Hey, my daughter gets her religious education during the school day and she goes to Mass once a week with her class. That’s something, right? It’s not really that I’m lazy. I just think that burning in hell for eternity would be less painful than suffering through an hour in church with my little angel boy.

And God gave our family autism, right? So He presumably understands. And hopefully forgives. But I digress…

So, last night was our daughter’s Christmas concert and she is in the choir. We have never taken ‘C’ to any of her concerts, so as not to overstimulate him or embarrass/upset her with the inevitable disruption. Never, that is, until last night…

Picture this scene. Long aisle in the church. Choir on the altar. Hundreds of people. Hubby took daughter ahead of time. Inlaws arrive first among the masses so we have seats in the very first pew. The plan was for me to arrive just before the concert started so ‘C’ would not have to wait any longer than necessary.

Did I mention I am always freakin late for everything?

So, I swing open the church doors … like someone about to object to a marriage or something… and the whole place looks at us as the first song is in progress already. I looked up at the big 25 foot tall crucifix over the altar and silently said “Dear Jesus, please let ‘C’ walk quietly down this freakin football field  aisle without being noisy, digging in his heels, running away, or throwing a tantrum.”

And, like a miracle, he did.

Then, he sat right down in the front pew and quietly, peacefully…dare I say typically…watched this concert for over an hour! No food, drink or toys (other than one hot wheel in each hand which he just held onto). Not a peep. Not. one. peep. He sat there taking it all in, loving the music. And for some unexplainable reason, I didn’t feel that ever-present fear I usually feel as I wait for the bubble’s inevitable bursting at a time like that. I didn’t feel that stress that ruins every outing, even when the outing does go well.

As time went by and he got tired, he’d rest his head against my arm. As his bedtime came and went, he began to yawn. I began to worry. But he just looked up at me at one point and said quietly “Time to go home now. Thanks. See ya next time.” Too adorable.

Against my better judgement, and knowing from past experiences that it was the wrong thing to do, I pushed my luck and didn’t leave. I told him gently that it was almost over and we’d be leaving real soon and I was so proud of how good he was sitting. And you know what happened next? NOTHING. He just kept being perfect.

At the end, he patiently got up and walked slowly behind the throngs of people ahead of us (front pew remember?). He patiently tolerated the happy stares and small talk from my daughter’s classmates’ parents… who gawked at my son and his remarkable behavior. Surely they imagined him shackled in the basement for the past 5 years since they last saw him… in a stroller!…at a school function. He got in the car and asked for his sister’s goody bag (a little gift we’d bought her). Instead he got the toy we’d bought just for him when we dared to dream that the night would go half as well as it actually did.

I got the rarest and most precious of gifts that night… a glimpse of the awesomeness of being a typical family. If only for an hour or so. An hour that felt like forever.

May you all experience such a Christmas miracle this season.

Autism’s 12 Days of Christmas Song December 15, 2008

Posted by hopeauthority in Autism, humor, special needs, Uncategorized.
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Ok, I’m in a punchy mood today. And sometimes, if you don’t laugh, you’re gonna cry.

So, for the over-stressed, exhausted parents of the cute, but challenging ASD kids… who need a laugh…this song’s for you (you know the tune).

The 12 Things at Christmas that Suck with ASD

The first thing at Christmas that sucks with ASD: He’s pulling down the Christmas tree.

The second thing at Christmas that sucks with ASD: He’s taking all his clothes off …and he’s pulling down the Christmas tree.

The third thing at Christmas that sucks with ASD: The photo card disaster…he’s taking all his clothes off; and he’s pulling down the Christmas tree.

The fourth thing at Christmas that sucks with ASD: The Santa visit meltdown…the photo card disaster, he’s taking all his clothes off, and he’s pulling down the Christmas tree.

The fifth thing at Christmas that sucks with ASD: 5 HOURS OF SLEEP…the Santa visit meltdown, the photo card disaster, he’s taking all his clothes off, and he’s pulling down the Christmas tree.

The sixth thing at Christmas that sucks with ASD: GF/CF Baking…5 HOURS OF SLEEP. The Santa visit meltdown, the photo card disaster, he’s taking all his clothes off, and he’s pulling down the Christmas tree.

The seventh thing at Christmas that sucks with ASD: Can’t go on vacation… GF/CF baking, 5 HOURS OF SLEEP. The Santa visit meltdown, the photo card disaster, he’s taking all his clothes off, and he’s pulling down the Christmas tree.

The eighth thing at Christmas that sucks with ASD: Age-appropriate presents…can’t go on vacation, GF/CF baking,  5 HOURS OF SLEEP. The Santa visit meltdown, the photo card disaster, he’s taking all his clothes off, and he’s pulling down the Christmas tree.

The ninth thing at Christmas that sucks with ASD: No one comes to visit…age-appropriate presents, can’t go on vacation, GF/CF baking 5 HOURS OF SLEEP. The Santa visit meltdown, the photo card disaster, he’s taking all his clothes off, and he’s pulling down the Christmas tree. 

The tenth thing at Christmas that sucks with ASD: Two weeks without services…No one comes to visit, age-appropriate presents, can’t go on vacation, GF/CF baking, 5 HOURS OF SLEEP. The Santa visit meltdown, the photo card disaster, he’s taking all his clothes off, and he’s pulling down the Christmas tree.

The eleventh thing at Christmas that sucks with ASD: The Barney Christmas tape, repeatedly…Two weeks without services, no one comes to visit, age-appropriate presents,  can’t go on vacation, GF/CF baking, 5 HOURS OF SLEEP. The Santa visit meltdown, the photo card disaster, he’s taking all his clothes off, and he’s pulling down the Christmas tree.

The twelfth thing at Christmas that sucks with ASD: He’s lining up the damn nativity…the Barney Christmas tape, repeatedly, two weeks without services, no one comes to visit, age-appropriate presents, can’t go on vacation, GF/CF baking, 5 HOURS OF SLEEP. The Santa visit meltdown, the photo card disaster, he’s taking all his clothes off, and he’s pulling down the freakin Christmas tree!

Happy Holidays to all!

Curse of the Photo Gods December 12, 2008

Posted by hopeauthority in Autism, humor, Parenting, special needs.
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Okay. I’ve had it. And I mean HAD it. Enough is enough.

I have been living in my own version of  double whammy PHOTO HELL for the past week.

First, there’s the “ever-freakin elusive Christmas card photo”  fiasco. And then there’s the “I can’t find one friggin family photo for my daughter’s Christmas craft day at school” dilemma.

For the past week, I’ve been trying so hard not to kill the teenage manager at my local Walgreens photo department over their poor excuse for customer service. One of my bloggy friends has heard this tale of woe, but it won’t go away, so now you all have to hear me rant.

Loser me hasn’t fixed/replaced the digital camera in months. Loser me has bought and used 4 disposable cameras. Loser me never developed them over the months that they’ve been gathering dust, so I had to put them in ONE HOUR processing last weekend. Because, I just suddenly HAD to have them that very day, right?

Enter the JackAss Manager from Walgreens. “Oh, the machine broke…yada, yada… ” So, it took 3 DAYS and 30 calls to get the ONE HOUR pictures processed. And all of this is just to hope to find a decent photo of the two kids to use for the holiday cards. I actually did get lucky with one of,  like, 125 photos…I can’t even imagine what a nightmare lies ahead in trying to order the damn cards…

Then, photo disaster number 2. My daughter needs a family photo for a Christmas craft that her class makes each year. And its due today.  Sounds easy, right? Sure, for normal folks maybe… 

Let’s look at the obstacles for us…and many special needs families…when it somes to something as simple as taking a family photo. Well, for me I’m starting off without the friggin camera. But even getting past that, we never have anyone over to take one for us. (I have plenty of shots of the kids, or of any combination of 3 of the four of us.) 

On special occasions and holidays, you ask?  Well, if I’m hosting, I look like death and often have my hair in a towel when the first car pulls up… And since people rarely ever offer to help out, I’m too busy being the cook, busboy and dishwasher to think about pictures.  If I’m not hosting, I usually still look like death… but warmed over, at least.  But then, I’m too busy… running around shadowing ‘C’ so that he doesn’t swing on a chandelier, eat a forbidden food, or simply open the door and run away…to think of taking a family picture. I tried to get one on Thanksgiving at our friends’ house, but my well-meaning, photography-challenged friend got us in only about 25% of the frame…and only took one shot before ‘C’ refused to cooperate further.

So the moments pass.  The years pass.  And then you come to today… and you need something for the freakin Christmas craft. And you have to hand your 10 year old daughter a 5 year old picture of her family from a wedding that divorced 4 months later.  And then tell her lamely in one breath that its always been a favorite picture of yours, but then offer hopefully that if there’s a way to update the photo after the craft is done, we can do it together. Like its any consolation.

So, I’m off to Walgreens again today…to try to order the freakin Christmas cards this time. But here’s the thing: I have to bring the whole family to wait in the car.  So if it doesn’t work out the way I hope, I’ll at least have a way to solve the Christmas craft dilemma…

When I murder the manager in the photo department, the newspaper reporter covering the story can get me a great professional shot of my family for the craft project. But I guess my hubby will have to help my daughter switch the photo.

I’ll be doing time.

Anyone care to share their stories about trying to get a family photo? Or one for the Christmas cards?

But you have to hurry. I don’t know if I’ll have computer access in the joint…

In My Father’s Eyes… December 11, 2008

Posted by hopeauthority in Autism, Children, Parenting, special needs.
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Not my typical post today. Today would have been my dad’s 74th birthday.

 In the past 12 years without him, my life has been completely transformed. The most noteworthy change being that the grandchildren he never got to see were finally born to his only child.

It wasn’t a “Leave it to Beaver” kind of house. In fact, my life was more like a made for TV movie plot. But, no one’s perfect and I’ll spare the gory details. He made some bad choices, but believed they were in my best interest. And he adored his little girl.

And because he was my dad…he was perfect in my eyes.

Any unresolved feelings toward my dad melted away the day my son was born. On the very day.  It was like an awakening. Like the slate was wiped clean. Some kind of strange and awesome payback or bonus to make up for anything I could ever have thought of holding against him.

My son was a gift. A gift from my dad. No doubt about it.

He looks like my dad…twinkling green eyes and a devilish grin. Fair-skinned and fair-haired recessive Irish traits emerged over competing Italian darker ones. Slim and tall in a family of stocky and shorter men. An athlete with a special talent for basketball, like his grandpa. A wicked sense of humor that refused for even one minute to be repressed by autism. Smart as a whip.

Happy Birthday in Heaven, Dad. Thanks for sending a piece of yourself down here for me to love each day.

I Put Out a “Hit” on Little Bear: A Cry for the Return of Vintage TV December 10, 2008

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“Be careful what you wish for”, they say…

No, I didn’t get CNN in the HBOT tank when we resumed treatment on Monday night.  And I didn’t get either of the two often complained about Dora DVDs, that he watched for the first 10 dives. I got something worse. Much worse. Intolerable, even…

I got Little Bear’s Rainy Day Tales.

I freakin hate Little Bear. Really. He’s right up there with that whiny turtle Franklin, the ever-creepy Teletubbies, and the ever-annoying Barney. Actually, its BJ and Baby Bop that bug me more than Barney.

I’ve been on a non-stop run with these shows since the birth of my daughter almost 11 years ago. When she lost interest, ‘C’ came along, and the tapes just kept running. Thanks to autism, their appeal hasn’t yet worn off for ‘C’.

And of course, we’ve added new friends to the list.  Like the Wonder Pets (hate them) Backyardagains (hate them, too) and the freakiest phallic fest: Yo Gabba Gabba (WTF!).

Now, I’m not totally against kid’s TV shows. I have my favorites, like most moms.   Among the newer offerings, I like Jack’s Big Music Show and can tolerate Wow Wow Wubzy. 

And… truth be told… I have a crush on Anthony from the Wiggles. So I wasn’t too thrilled when they messed with my show and snuck in that new yellow Wiggle…don’t they realize there’s fans who’ve been watching them for, like, ten years now? Sheesh.

So, it got me thinking. (Which is about all I can do while stuck in that HBOT tank each night for almost an hour and a half.) And I was thinking back on the great quality TV shows I grew up with. And it made me smile.

So I thought that if I got you all to think back…and share some of your favorites…it’d make you smile too.

Here’s some of mine… to inspire your brains to go back to that happy time. But, I’m probably older than many of you (46), so, if you don’t want to be rude, don’t post if your all time favorite show was, uh, “90210”!

Here goes:

The Partridge Family, The Brady Bunch, The Addam’s Family, The Munsters, The Beverly Hillbillies, I Dream of Jeannie, Love American Style, The Courtship of Eddie’s Father, Dark Shadows, F-Troop…

Ok. I could go on forever. But then I’d take away all your fun. If you’re inspired, share up to 10 of your favorites, trying not to repeat any that have been mentioned.

Oh, and as for the Little Bear DVD?  Well, Little Bear had a little “accident” on Monday night. I don’t think he’ll be  boring   bothering us again anytime soon. Last night in the tank, I happily sang along to Dora’s World Adventure…

But in my heart, all I could hear was “Here’s the story. Of a lovely lady. Who was bringing up three very lovely girls…”