Saturday, March 17, 2012

Knitting: Blah Blah Blah

Sorry about not having posted a knitting post for quite some time.  As we say in the True Blood knitting group on Ravelry, I've lost my knitting mojo.  I have been experiencing a serious case of the knitting blahs. 

It all started when the temperatures began to rise.  Here it is, the first day of spring, and we're consistently getting temperatures in the 80's all this week.  It didn't help that my current project, the Shipwreck Shawl, was such an absolute pain in my ass.  Section six, the third lace chart deceptively called Madeira, was kicking me up and down the block.  I ripped back to halfway through the chart on a Friday evening, and it took me until the following Monday evening to catch up to where I'd been before I ripped back, because I kept hating it and ripping back again.  I might need a shot of fortified wine after that.

Now, I'm at the very easy k2tog, yo section... with beads.  This is my first beaded shawl attempt.  If you follow the instructions exactly, you must pre-string the beads.  All 5,000 of them.  I have Asperger's, and therefore am incredibly patient and focused on tiny details, but that's just insane.  The required beads measure about a half a cup.  I started threading beads, and after two hours I had barely made a dent in the pile of beads.  I did some measuring and math, and I will have strung thirty-four FEET of beads onto the yarn by the time I'm done.  I don't even know where I'd put a thirty-four foot string of beads on the end of my couch.

I am also rather uninspired by my color choices.  I do plan on doing a fancy dye job when it's done, but right now it's just gray.

Friday was payday, so I ordered myself a battery-powered bead spinner.  It swirls the beads around, so you can just stick a curved needle into the bowl and they magically pop onto the needle.  It will arrive Tuesday afternoon.  Hopefully my mojo will come back with it, somewhere at the bottom of the spinner's bowl.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

AoA: Family Dynamic

This is less an anecdote about Asperger's, and more a "tale from the trenches".  And believe me, an Aspie mother with an Aspie daughter?  Sometimes it feels like war.

We had been having problems with CC lately in school, mostly related to procrastinating on aspects of her homework.  She'd lose a library book she needed for a report, she'd never say anything, I'd just get an email from the teacher a week later saying the project is late.  Or she wouldn't fill out a reading log for weeks.  Or she'd forget to print a report that's on her flash drive.

So her counselor at school said we needed to use her currency to motivate her.  Limit her computer time, and offer her more when she did good with her homework and chores.  I resisted.  This had been brought up at her last ARD review, and I didn't do it then because I knew what would happen if you imposed limits onto something that my kid has been using without restriction for pretty much all of her thirteen years... there was going to be a shit-storm of a meltdown.  Well I finally bit the bullet last Monday.

I was right.

I had wanted to discuss it with her on Sunday, and implement the parental controls (thank you Vista) on Monday, for the first school day of the week.  My husband, dear, sweet, non-confrontational man that he can be when it comes to his daughter, put it off and put it off until it was finally 9pm on Sunday and we still hadn't talked to her.  I warned him, and I was pretty angry that he'd procrastinated, because now I was going to have to tell her alone, right when she gets home from school, because she usually hops into her chair two minutes after she gets home.

"Expect tantrums and tears still going on by the time you get home," I said.  What I got was waaaaaaay beyond anything I could have imagined.

She cried, but she flopped on the bed sobbing, and got this weird grin on her face at the same time.  No, not just lips pulled back in a grimace, a true grin.  I was reminded of the fucking Joker-- not an affable Jack Nicholson Joker, either, more like Heath Ledger.  Tears rolling down her cheeks, big grin.  It seriously freaked me out.  This lasted about an hour, while I tried to talk her into a more stable emotional state. 

I was really calm, and composed outwardly this whole time.  I was quite proud of myself.  Normally her crying will eventually cause me to lose my temper.  I think I was able to maintain my cool because I knew it was coming, and I knew it would be bad.  I finally just went on with my day, knowing that eventually she would stop being upset.

By the time her father came home, she would still burst into tears every once in a while, but the freaky part was over.  She proclaimed between fits that I'd "ruined" her computer, and that she wasn't going to touch it ever again.  She began using my old laptop (which I'd forgotten about, duh) that she uses for drawing, but miraculously she was sticking to the imposed time limits on her own.  She'd power it down at 9 pm without being prompted.

I warned her that if she went beyond the limits, I'd put the restrictions on the laptop, too.

Wednesday, she went beyond the time limit by an hour.  She'd turned in a paper that had been weeks late that day, so I allowed it.

Thursday, I downloaded a game we both loved that was web-only up until then, and started playing it.  She kept wanting to hop on my computer and play.  I said I would buy her a copy and she could play it whenever she wanted... provided she used her own desktop computer.  She refused.  She said she wasn't touching it until "it was fixed".  Progress! 

Friday, I had a dental appointment, and was not a happy camper.  When she started trying to help me play my game, I again brought up the fact that she could play it herself, on her own computer.  She said "Yeah, but it's 9:30, I couldn't play anyway."  Progress!  I told her that non-school nights had a later cut-off time, and I'd log in the parental account and give her a little bit more time on Friday nights, for tonight only.  She played for an hour before bed, no tears when it was time to go.

Success!  It took almost a week, and there was a lot of moaning and crying and attitude all week long.  But it eventually worked out.  Here's hoping it's an effective tool towards her success.