Friday, January 30, 2015


Our preparation for the Blizzard of 2015 consisted of packing our bags and booking a hotel room. I wasn’t taking any chances. I wasn’t really concerned about this storm until I received a robo-call from our utility company warning of power outages. You might remember that back in October 2011 we lost power for 6 days.

The following year we had a few pretty big storms. One in particular dropped a couple of feet of snow on us. We did not lose power but we were trapped for 4 days.
We live on a cul-de-sac. Usually the town comes to plow the road, but only to the edge of the cul-de-sac. Later a smaller pickup truck comes to finish the job but it is usually somewhat of a wait.  When day 1 came and went, I didn’t think all that much of it. On day 2 the town announced that all of the roads would be cleared by the following day. Day 3 – nothing – I started calling Public Works to a “full voicemail” message and finally no answer at all. We were left trapped in waist-high snow with no one to contact as the rest of the town offices were closed. Finally on Monday (day 4) I called the police, only to find out that they had our street marked “complete”.

I reasoned that if the power did go out the hotel should have a generator so at the very least we would have heat. If they did not have a generator, at least we would be able to get out of the place and not be trapped in waist-high snow for days on end.

I explained this to DC, leaving out the “power-outage” piece of the story.
As you also may already know DC usually loves nothing better than a hotel room. I thought he’d be excited.

On Monday morning we packed up what we thought we would need for the next few days and headed out to my office. DC loves to come to work with me so he was thrilled.
He was a tiny bit anxious about the snow but nothing really over the top. Doug came to meet us at work so that I could follow him to the hotel which was just over in the next town (someday we will talk about my sense of direction or lack thereof).

We arrived at the hotel and checked in. DC was getting himself set up at the desk as he always does, when he discovered he had forgotten the cord for his laptop at my office. I won’t go into detail about the chaos that followed, just believe me, it was a tragedy. Doug went back to get it before the roads got worse and DC, while continuing to perseverate about his cord, kept himself busy with you-tube on his phone. One would have thought Cinderella entered the room when Doug came back with that cord!

A couple of hours later he really began to get anxious, asking over and over again when he could go home. I realized that although I explained all of this to him and that this was certainly not the first time we left and stayed in a hotel due to an upcoming storm, he was still very confused. I thought about how different this ‘trip’ was from the last storm trip.
  • Our previous trip to avoid a storm (although I was sure we’d be sitting in a hotel room for 3 days) turned out to be much more of a ‘real’ vacation than just an  escape from the storm.
  • We packed, went to work and left from there – he didn’t get to go home first.
  • There was a travel ban in effect so there would be no dinner at a restaurant.
  • He was very concerned about going to his friend BB’s on Friday. It was on the calendar, you know.
I told him that I understood why he was a little bit confused. I explained that we were on a “Snow-cation”. We had come to the hotel so we didn’t get stuck in our house. I also explained that the hotel was very close to our house so he did not have to worry about going to BB’s house. We would be home before Friday (I wasn’t ready to mention a specific day for him to obsess over). I did finally have to mention the threat of loosing power as another good reason to be “Snow-cationing”. He liked the word “Snow-cation” and the threat of a power-outage seemed to do it for him.  “Confused” became the word of the day. He used it anytime he needed the explanation again. It was comforting for him to have a word to use to explain his feelings and he felt better about expressing his confusion because I had told him that I understood. So, even though I had to explain our “Snow-cation” a few more times, he wasn’t as anxious about it.
He was able to use his computer, he read and edited some books, he went to the gym and went swimming in the pool. It was like a vacation (of sorts) to him. He was much better and a little less confused about everything.
I’m not sure that he really understood how close to home we were. Even though it was only a 20 minute drive from my job. I think that the mere fact that we were in a hotel, meant distance to him.
He was concerned about his work and going to BB’s house. I did point out a few other places in this town that we visit often as a point of reference as to just how close we were to home, but I’m not quite sure he understood.
When I was relatively sure that all was clear, our street was plowed and we had electricity at home, I told him what day we would be heading home.
“My ‘Powers’ is back” – apparently all of the explanation I had given him only led him to believe that the power was out at home –
“Yes, DC, your ‘powers’ is back”
When all was said and done, we did not get as much snow as they predicted, some parts of the state did, but we ended up with a little more than a foot. Still a foot is a foot, and I would opt for the “Snow-cation” again and now that DC worked through his anxiety, I think he would too.

Monday, January 26, 2015

If you knew..... Peggy Sue

DC is not always a fountain of information. Most of the time it is very difficult pulling information out of him.
A few weeks ago, he left for his volunteer job at a local theater at 5:00pm (with his job coach, Mrs. H.). Volunteers have to arrive 2 hours before show time to put the programs together for that performance and to get their assignments for that evening. DC is almost always assigned as a greeter – he passes out the programs to the audience members as they walk in and recites his line “Enjoy the show”.
At the beginning of each season, when I have to pick the dates he is available to work, the name of the show is not available – probably because they do not want the volunteers to choose only by what show they may want to see. I also have to work around his schedule and Mrs. H’s schedule, so I am really just looking at dates and nothing else. This particular show, as it turned out was Alton Brown from the Food Network. When their beginning of the show greeting duties are over, many times the volunteers are able to sit and see a good portion of the show.
At 9:45 I received a text from Mrs. H. I assumed it would say that they were on their way home, but no…. it said “We’re still here”. They finally arrived home at 11:00PM – After being there for 6 hours, the only information he gave me was:
“A man making ice cream” – that was all he had to say…
My friend Bill responded to my non-information post with:
“I LOVE it, with all that Alton does and his wild energy, DC found the most memorable part of Alton’s show! You could start a new Blog called “DC’s Cliff Notes of Live shows at the theater!” I love how our guys and gals simplify what they see and hear into something that is truthful & concise!”
So true….. and I may just do that, but the reviews just may be very short.

DC, his best friend BB and I had tickets for the Buddy Holly Story yesterday. DC did work the performance the night before, but he was excited to see the show again with BB.
On Saturday morning, DC was concerned due to all of the snow that had already fallen (5 inches) when we woke up:
Despite the snow, we made it.
They both just loved the show. They had a great time.
buddy holly
This morning, DC was full of information and chatter about the ‘wonderful’ time he had yesterday. I was there but he was determined to tell me about it anyway, and I’ll take it…. it was unprompted information.
So in DC’s words, his review of his day:
I had a nice time last ‘even-ing’.
I went to see Buddy Holly Story with my friend BB.
We danced and danced and danced.

We had a scared of fright – jump up – PHEW!
America the Beautiful favorite song.
I went to dinner and Donna and John and Mom – me too!

“We had a scared of fright – jump up – PHEW!”
Fortunately we had box seats as DC jumped up as if he could not control himself any longer, to dance. I mentioned to him later that he scared me because he jumped up so fast. He was using part of his favorite phrase “You gave me a fright” from the Lindsay Lohan version of the “Parent Trap”.

“America the Beautiful favorite song”
DC does have a love for all patriotic songs. He even has a sign language dvd of only patriotic songs, but I suspect that he chose it as his favorite from the show because it was really the only song he was familiar with.

“I went to dinner and Donna and John and Mom – me too!”
Because the snow was supposed to be much worse than it turned out to be, BB’s mom offered to drop us off as her car is much better in the snow than mine is. We all went out to dinner afterwards.
So there you have it, DC’s review of his day. I know he had a great time as he is still talking about it.

As for the “blind scheduling” method for volunteers at the theater, I just received DC’s schedule for the second half of the season. The first show he is scheduled to work is “50 Shades, the Musical Parody”.

I think DC and Mrs. H will be hanging out in the lobby for that one………….

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

January re-runs – Scotch Tape, Salt and Some Good Old Fairy Dust

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I am still hiding pens, hiding scotch tape and keeping salt and pepper shakers out of sight – which means the Dr. Who salt and pepper shakers I received for Christmas are displayed on the shelf….. empty….. sigh


From February 2013:

Everyone needs a little “fairy dust”

Everyone needs a little Fairy Dust
Harassing my co-workers for their paper towel rolls for a project this week, made me think about the reasons I don’t buy paper towels myself. This then led me to think about all of the other things I don’t buy, have to hide or make adjustments to, around the house.
Shampoo: This is no longer an issue, but at one time and for many years if I forgot to take the shampoo out of the shower, most of the bottle would be used to paint a masterpiece and the rest went down the drain…… every time.
Paper Towels: Paper Towels are for shredding and only for shredding. On the rare occasion that I do buy them, they have to be hidden on top of the refrigerator. Hiding the paper towels makes them not very convenient for me to use and forgettable, so there really isn’t any point  in buying them at all.
Paper: Every single piece of blank paper in the house has a Disney character’s name written on it. Teachers, Camp councilors and  anyone else I have to write a note to, receives that note on our exclusive custom stationary. After a few weeks of notes to camp, the Director finally asked “Do you guys do ‘A Character a day or something’?” No, unfortunately nothing that creative, I just can’t keep the paper out of the hands of my in-house stationary designer.
Construction Paper: Construction paper is also used specifically for character names, BUT according to the rule made up in his head,  these sheets can not and will not be saved. They MUST be cut up into small pieces with scissors and spread out all over the floor. He must also write on each sheet of  an entire package of paper before he begins the job of shredding/cutting. A few pieces just doesn’t do it. A package of construction paper will only last an hour or two after it has been opened.
Old Grainy picture of DC surrounded by shredded construction paper.
He has been a bit better with the construction paper lately. He still writes his character names. He still will not save them as he does with plain white paper, but now at least, he rips them up, one at a time and throws them away. –  (say it with me….) Progress!
Baby wipes (or hand wipes): Wipes are used for “Cinderella chores” ; washing the floor and door. This could actually be a good thing if he didn’t use  20 of them to wash the same spot on the same floor and the same spot on the same door. We don’t buy wipes anymore.
Scotch Tape: Scotch tape can be used on anything and for anything. For the most part, it is used to tape up pages in his books. Some books require an entire roll for just the smallest tear. Scotch tape can also be used to build a drum out of a cup or a bowl. He covers the top of the cup or bowl with tape….. a two roll minimum of tape, and this is his drum. Yes, creative, and yes he figured this out by himself but now I have to hide my tape in the cellar if I hope to find any when I need it.
His very own scotch tape is now an item on all of his Christmas/Birthday lists. One friend in particular has been very creative with her gifts of scotch tape. He just loves them!
Scotch Tape: For the boy who has everything!
Pens: No matter how many pens I hide for myself, I can not ever find a pen. He has all of them…… somewhere, I don’t know where and he is not telling. He will return the pens that don’t work –  those are always readily available.
Buttons: If there is a button there, it needs to be buttoned. Years ago I thought I was being sneaky by removing the top button on all of his shirts so he would not insist on buttoning everything right up to his neck. I discovered I was not as slick as I thought I was one day when DC brought me one of his shirts to have the button removed. He knows there should be a button there and knows I’m cutting it off, but for some reason this is alright with him. Leaving it on and not buttoning it, is not.
Other clothes: All tags must be removed from all clothing. If he should find the smallest rip, tear or string, he will proceed to shred that article of clothing. It may take him all day, but he will make sure it can never be worn again. Just recently I mistakenly bought him a pair of jeans that had ready-made tears in them. When I realized, I was sure this would be a disaster, but for some reason, it was fine with him. He wears them quite regularly…….. figure that one out. I can not!
Salt: We do not keep salt or sugar on the table. Salt is used as fairy dust. If it is not being sprinkled on his food, then there is no other use for salt, except to be used as fairy dust. Crumbs, the cereal dust at the bottom of the cereal box, crushed chips and a number of other items can also be used as fairy dust, but salt is the ultimate in fairy dust.
I’ve been “Fairy-Dusted” many times, so has the kitchen, the living room, restaurant tables and his uncle when, a few years back, DC got his hands on some cotton candy sugar at a picnic (Cotton Candy Sugar = Pink and Blue Fairy Dust; what could be better!)  Delightfully he took a very large handful and “dusted” his Uncle’s head yelling;
“Think of a wonderful thought” 
Who doesn't need a little Fairy Dust every once in a while?
His Uncle didn’t get it……..
But really…..who couldn’t use a little fairy dust every once in a while?
(He is better with salt these days, but I  will not keep it on the table, it is just too much for him to resist)

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Everything is related - Mary Poppins

I threatened in an earlier post – a few of them as a matter of fact – I would someday write about how, in DC’s world, everything is somehow related to Disney or some of the other movies he enjoyed as a child and still enjoys now as an adult. Originally I thought this would just be a fun post to write, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized:

- Everything being related,  has, many times been used as a learning tool.

Everything being related, has helped him to move on to a more diverse realm of TV shows and movies (while still loving all of the originals he has loved since he was a baby). When attending an ARC movie activity or even just a movie night with friends, for instance, a Disney or animated movie may not be the choice of the others attending. Relating one movie or actor to another has helped him to be more open to watching something that may not be Disney-based. This was not always the case, but now he can go and enjoy a movie with his friends or at an ARC activity without issue. I can almost always find a “sixth degree of separation” from something he loves to something new ; at times it can be a stretch, but I can usually find it if he doesn’t find it for himself. These days, because he now knows that there is always the chance that something or someone just might be related to his favorites, and now that he realizes that his favorites are in many other movies than the ones he watches over and over again, he is much more willing to watch any movie with his friends, without the preparation beforehand. He has also discovered new favorite actors and movies that had not previously been in his circle of favorites.

-Everything being related, oftentimes just explains his love for a particular city, game, song or some of the many other things that he does or says. – This post is about just that……

So here is the first in a series of “Everything is Related” posts:

It all started with Disney…. Those little half hour Disney Sing-A-Long VHS tapes. You know the ones…
“Come right in, sing a long, with your favorite Disney song……”
They contained many songs from many Disney movies – old and new.
At about a year old he moved on to the full length movies.

Mary Poppins -

Mary Poppins songs and clips were  included in many of his sing-a-longs videos.

Mary Poppins= Julie Andrews

His love for Julie Andrews led him, through the years  to “The Sound of Music”, “Eloise at the Plaza”, “Eloise at Christmastime”, “Shrek 2 and 3″ (although he did develop a love for Shrek all on his own – Julie Andrews just added to it), “The Princess Dairies” (all)  and “Tooth Fairy”.
We were at a friend’s house for movie night one evening. The movie they chose to watch was  “Tooth Fairy”. His friends were excited to see this movie because of “The Rock”. DC on the other hand, was excited because it also stars  Julie Andrews . He did not know of or care about “The Rock”.
This soon changed when he discovered that “The Rock” was in “Race to Witch Mountain” – he has seen and owns all of the old original versions of the “Witch Mountain” movies and now “The Rock” and “Race to Witch Mountain” has been added to his collection.
- Still on the subject of Mary Poppins, we have – Dick Van Dyke
Dick Van Dyke led him to “Chitty Chitty, Bang, Bang” , Night at the Museum (s) , “Bye, Bye, Birdie” and most recently, “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day“.
- “Full House”
Just how is this related. you ask? DC loves Full House. He has every single season on DVD. He first came across the show on TV one morning – the episode airing just happened to have Annette ‘Fun-chew-lo’ (Dc-speak – ‘Funicello’) guest starring. Annette ‘Fun-chew-lo’ just happens to star in another one of DC’s favorite Disney movies  – “Babes in Toyland”, (can we say “worst movie ever”?)  also starring Ray Bolger from the Wizard of OZ (we will get to OZ another time).

He was a Full House fan from that point on. – But how is this related to Mary Poppins?

A few years ago we were watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. We turned it on just in time to see  a performance from the cast of the new “Bye, Bye, Birdie” revival – and who was playing Dick Van Dyke’s, ‘Albert’ in that revival? None other than John Stamos (Uncle Jessie)! Well….. of course we HAD to go – we were due for a day trip to New York anyway.

I will never forget DC sitting in the audience pounding his leg with his fist mimicking the “Jes-sie, Jes-sie, Jes-sie!” chant.  I did everything I could to get him to stop but he was “in the zone” and determined to continue. I could see,  he was finding it very hard to control himself.  I really thought I would have to take him out of the theater. He did finally get himself together and enjoyed the show quietly (as quietly as he could manage). – So “Full House” is related by both Disney as a whole and Mary Poppins.

Let’s not forget, Ann Margaret also from “Bye, Bye, Birdie” – who also plays ‘Cinderella’ in the 10th Kingdom. The 10th Kingdom starts out and ends in New York City, with the City being the 10th Kingdom.
10th kingdom
Ed Wynn (Uncle Albert in Mary Poppins) is also the Toy Maker in “Babes in Toyland” (again, I say…… worst movie EVER – who’s with me?) and the voice of the Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland. Not only does DC know all of these actors and their names, he can also tell you who was “the voice of” almost any Disney character.

His love of New York City stems directly from Eloise at the Plaza, therefore we must visit the Plaza just about every time we go.

Our trips to the Plaza now include a visit to the “Eloise Store” where items are ‘Rah-ther’ expensive. Of course now NY means so much more to him. It means Broadway and many shows, including “Mary Poppins”. It means ‘Set-tral Park’, Toys R’Us, Times Square and we can’t forget “West Side Story”.

He is without a doubt, my Broadway Baby, and it is all due to his love of Disney and more specifically,  “Mary Poppins”

Monday, January 12, 2015

Please pass the garlic bread

garlic bread
It is always funny when I realize something that has never occurred to DC,  until it does finally does occur to him.
For those that may not be aware – DC LOVES bread! Bread, bread, bread, bread and more bread.
Bagels, rolls, toast, breadsticks……BREAD!
He is very picky about everything else he eats – not that you would know that by looking at him – believe me he is very picky, but bread is one of the few constants on the very limited list of foods that he will eat.
One day in the grocery store, he spotted “Fried Breaded Ravioli” – but he saw “Fried Bread”. I will never forget the look on his face.
“MOM!!!! Fried BREAD!!!” – I thought the heavens would open up and the choir would sing. It was as if his life was now complete.
(Photo Credit -

I tried to explain to him that it was not fried bread, but fried ravioli. He does not know what ravioli is. He does not like pasta of any kind (until recently, he would not touch it at all) so I never attempted ravioli. I explained that it was pasta. He did not care, it was fried bread. That is what he read and nothing was going to change this in his mind.
He tried it, he loved it. Still, I can not get him to understand, while trying to get him to eat pasta, that the fried ravioli that he loves IS pasta.
DC also loves garlic bread. He looks for it on the menu anytime we go out to a restaurant. He will not miss an opportunity to order it. If mozzarella cheese is  an option, better still!
The day that my friend, Tonya* had us all over for dinner while she was creating our “Beauty School Drop Out” headwear, she made garlic bread to go with dinner. DC, always around when there is food, watched the whole process. A light bulb went off in his head, although I did not know it at the time.
The next day, he got the bread and asked for “garlic bread”. At this moment, I realized that he did not know that garlic bread is not just something that is available in a restaurant, we can make it at home!!!! This type of small thing; you can make garlic bread at home or you can open your eyes in the water with swimming goggles on, are not the sort of thing I always think about. It doesn’t always occur to me, still after all of this time, that I need to tell him that he is wearing the goggles so he can see and he doesn’t have to swim with his eyes closed while wearing them.
I've got it
From then on, bagels, english muffins, bread, anything he could use to make garlic bread, he did. Unfortunately,  he does not always understand what flavors may or may not go together – yet another thing that did not occur to me. I explained to him that  garlic on a blueberry bagel could taste pretty ‘dis-dusting’ and I went on to explain that he should use plain bagels, nothing sweet like blueberries or chocolate chips, raisins, cinnamon, sugar, etc. –  but the following day he had moved on to pumpkin spice bagels.
Although I really can’t say he wouldn’t just love garlic on pumpkin spice – I’ve seen him eat much odder combinations,
I really did have to stop him….

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

"Old-New" Friends

I know I have mentioned more than once how much I absolutely LOVE my Instagram friends. If you missed the earlier mentions here:
My Instagram account is not only first name and no location, but it is also private. 95% of my followers and the people I follow there are other autism parents and CharityMiles friends. Quite honestly, they are all wonderful people. There I see compassion, camaraderie and the support of each other, that I really don’t see anywhere else. We all seem to have different opinions, but we all seem to embrace our differences instead of attacking each other”.
or here:
(no offence, Al*)

I will say it again…… I LOVE my instagram friends!

One of the highlights of our recent vacation was to have the opportunity to spend some time with a family that I have been friends with for a couple of years now, via Instagram. “Pinky” is a friend that has been with me from almost the beginning. I’ve looked at hundreds of photos of her kids and she in turn has had to look at hundreds of photos of DC. I can never see too many pictures of her kids – they are both gorgeous, happy and always seem to be doing something or going somewhere fun and fabulous (and she doesn’t seem to mind checking out all of DC’s exploits).

When I happened to mention to “Pinky” that we would be heading in her direction during our Christmas vacation,  she messaged me to text her when we arrived.

Our vacation plan was to spend Christmas Day through the following Tuesday in Orlando and move on to FT. Lauderdale/Miami on Tuesday morning through New Years Day. As you all know, the plans we make and what actually happens are often 2 very different things.

DC got sick on Sunday night. He was up every half hour. He said he felt better on Monday morning but rested a good portion of the day until he insisted he felt well enough to go out. I could see that it was a battle for him to be out and when he fell asleep in a restaurant at dinner, I knew that it was time for him to get back to bed and rest. He didn’t argue.

Our plan (there’s that word again) was to leave the hotel early Tuesday morning and head for FT. Lauderdale, but DC – though feeling better, was still just exhausted. We left Orlando quite a few hours later than we had planned.

We arrived so much later in the day than we originally thought we would, we opted to meet for lunch the following day, instead of Santa’s Enchanted Forest that night. DC would have just loved that, but we just couldn’t do it.

We met at Dave and Busters, Wednesday at noon. Although DC’s photos are everywhere on Instagram, photos of myself are few and far between – I felt it necessary to text her that I’d be the one with “six days eating in restaurants, too much salt, swollen face syndrome” – she found us right away :)

We had a wonderful lunch, we talked as if we’d known each other for years – and technically we have.  “Super Kenny” who doesn’t like to have his picture taken by anyone but his Mom, even let me take a few shots.

After lunch we were off to the game room.


Motorcycle racing, goldfish bowl bopping, pacman (or something like it) – they ran around for quite some time trying out many of the games.

DC got a little bit obsessed with the fishbowl game and it was hard to pull him away from it – he did pretty well at it, though. I was impressed, and as DC explained to me, I was very proud of him.  :)

We all had a blast. I am so happy to have been able to meet, in real life – one of my favorite instagram friends.
I so hope we have the opportunity to get together again one day.

The following photo of Kenny and DC, I absolutely love! (I’ve stolen Pinky’s version – it came out better than mine) – I’m sure DC will remember his visit with Kenny for quite some time. He even mentioned Kenny a few times afterwards, which is not always the case with DC, no matter how much fun he’s had.  He will usually tell me what he’s done, but very rarely will he mention the name of anyone that was with him without prompting (except for his friend, BB). I did wonder, because he did mention him more than once,  if DC was aware in some way, of the connection that they share.

Look at these two #handsome #youngmen. Kenny and DC. It is so wonderful when family meets family. New England to Florida, my son was blessed to have met such a wonderful young man. Thank You, Vickie” ~ Pinky
Thank YOU, “Pinky” for taking time out of your day to meet and hang out with us! Please make sure you let us know when or if you are ever in our area!!!! It was an honor to meet you and your family – or should I say, it was a honor to spend time with “Autism Royalty” as another friend referred to you guys in one of my photos. In either case, it was an honor  and we all had a great time.

Friday, January 2, 2015

The Christmas Vacation Dilemma

A few days before Christmas, I read a post from another favorite blogger of mine, Mother O’ Jim, titled “When Delaying is Enhancing…” . The blog was about her son’s Christmas anxiety over a gift he knew he was going to receive (give it a read if you have a minute) and the steps taken to minimize his anxiety.

While I was reading this post I was thinking about DC. Although he does get very excited and anxious around Christmas-time, reminding me many times everyday that “Christmas is coming soon” – he does not seem to get as anxious as Jim from the blog.

I was a little bit concerned about this Christmas though. Everything about this holiday season seemed to be different. Thanksgiving is normally spent at a restaurant (the same restaurant) with DC, Doug, my brother and sister-in-law and at times, my niece. This year, my niece had moved out of state a few months earlier and Doug was away on a cruise with his sister and his father. The restaurant even seemed to be different, more crowded and much less organized.

DC’s Dad decided to go to Florida for an undetermined amount of time. He left in mid-November. He would not be here around Christmas for DC and for the first time ever, we decided to take our vacation a few weeks earlier than usual and were scheduled to leave Christmas morning. We had to leave the house by 8:30 in the morning.

DC does understand that now that he is an adult, Santa only brings his stocking. The rest of the gifts are from me (Mom). But, would he understand when he woke up on Christmas morning to only a stocking, even if he received the same big pile of gifts the night before? I explained this to him over and over again and he said he understood. This NEVER means that he really understands.

After reading the blog I spoke of earlier, I got a little bit more anxious about it. Jim was happy to get his gift early as would DC, but I know in his head, this would not – even if he agreed that it would – eliminate the expectation of the Christmas morning pile of gifts. I know this from the many, many times I have given him choices to do “this” or have “this” now instead of later or instead of doing or having something different. He agrees but then still expects whatever he traded away.

I realized that I would have to do more than explain it to him over and over again. I thought about showing him pictures, but then I realized that it would make more sense to him and he would not think he’s missing out if he saw the same pile of gifts just being given at a different time.

So I took a photo of our tree and another of the bookcase where Santa usually leaves his stocking and I usually leave his surprise gifts. Then I cut out photos of presents that I could move from one place to the other so he could see that he would be getting the same amount of gifts, just earlier than usual.

(Excuse the quality. It seems that every time I need to print – the ink just about gone)

Normally after opening gifts at my mother’s, we come home and DC opens the gifts that are already under the tree. There is usually only a few because he knows he’ll be receiving Mom’s hidden gifts in the morning with his stocking from Santa.
Gifts from Mom - Christmas Eve
Gifts from Mom – Christmas Eve
More gifts from Mom and Santa's Stocking

I had him move the gifts himself, from Christmas morning to Christmas Eve.

Christmas Eve. All of Mom's gifts
Christmas Eve. All of Mom’s gifts

So…..Christmas morning would be just Santa.


(Santa would surprise him with another stocking at the hotel when we arrived, but he was not aware of this yet)

We did this every day until I was as sure as I could be that he understood that he was getting the same amount of gifts… just earlier.

Still I was a little bit nervous about Christmas morning….

He was up very early as usual – this was fine since we had to leave early.
He saw the stocking filled with everything he’d asked Santa for. He was happy, maybe not as excited as he usually is, but he wasn’t disappointed – that had been my biggest concern.

There was enough time to use and play with everything in the stocking and enough time to watch the entire Peter Pan Live DVD he’d asked for.
He never made it through the 3 hour version when it was live on TV, but without commercials, it was only an hour and a half!
I am still not a fan….but this time around, DC really enjoyed it.
As DC would say, “Phew, I was very nervous about this!”
Fortunately, it worked out well and he had a Merry Christmas!