Spring Training for the Charliad (#258)

I heard the rain when I went to sleep last night and–along with Charlie chattering–when I woke up this morning. When I was Charlie’s age, rainy Sundays meant a cozy day in which I could finish a book and maybe wheedle another out of my mom. Rainy days with Charlie–especially after such a warm and sunny Saturday–have traditionally been tough, from the boredom of being stuck inside to the effects of humidity on Charlie’s system. My mind would jump from one scheme to the next: Okay, we’ll draw out breakfast and then watch a video and then try to play with a toy and then go out to Toys ‘R’ Us though I’ll have to drag him out of the video/DVD aisle…….
Rainy days were marathons with all of us all too frequently doubling over with cramps and swollen feet around the 19th mile.

So as I got up today, I readied myself for yet another Charliad, in which events of Olympic pain and struggle might occur.

I am happy to report that not only did Charlie announce “bedtime” at 8.30pm, tell me (“bye!”) he wanted the computer with the photos turned off, and fall asleep in our bed as Jim and I watched The Sopranos with the sound turned down so low we had to sit six inches in front of the TV–but also that today’s rain-streaked Charliad involved a Decathlon that called on him to complete in the following challenges to body and mind.

1) Theory of Mind (TOM) test. Charlie asked Jim to get the blue blanket, which was in the washing machine in the basement. Jim had been eating a bagel for breakfast and, soon as Jim went to get the blanket, Charlie poked into a bag of bagels (which he is not supposed to eat, as he has celiac disease). “So much for those Theory of Mind theories,” Jim shook his head to me from the porch, while I noted a certain orange-shirted boy behind him, skipping towards the kitchen.

2)Spontaneous Speech. “Charlie, you’ve got your shirt on backwards,” Jim and I said. 30 seconds later, Charlie said “Shirt is on backwards” and pulled it over his head, twisted it around, and put it back on, front side in the front.

3). Spelling Bee. Several rounds of Boggle Junior with an engaged and laughing Charlie (and Mom).

4) Swimming. 6 laps, 2 with the swim noodle and 4 on his own.

5) Bike ride. One hour, 4+ miles. (Jim and I watched the sky closely and, soon as it was clear, Jim ran to the shed for the bikes.)

6) Weights. At Target, Charlie picked up two 20-pound barbels for about 20 seconds when I asked him to “pick it up.” “Uh, Charlie, I meant the other bag!” I said.

7)Cognitive Hurdles. In that other bag was the game Cariboo. We were in Jim’s office in the Bronx and, after Charlie and I had put the balls in the three holes and reviewed the rules, he took right to playing, to looking for which card had the color blue or had three objects or had something that started with the letter b.

8. Catch. With Jim, with the football my sister gave Charlie several years ago.

9)Hand-eye coordination. Charlie asked to see the photo of “ferris wheel Blake” on the computer and clicked on the mouse twice after I had positioned it.
10).Acceptance Test (of things being different from what he might insist on). “Daddy sprinkles! Guacamole!” were Charlie’s requests for a take-out dinner. He settled for homecooked vegetables and a hamburger; after these he wanted “takea bath” and saw an old Sesame Street DVD, curled up on the couch pillows.

It was a lovely rainy Sunday my eight-year-old–my eighteen-year-old-self would have not at all been able to imagine. How much time got “wasted” standing in the wrong line at Target due to a disagreement over the sale price of a bottle of lotion? Or the minutes in the rain waiting for Charlie–who likes to let time move slowly–to put his shoes and socks back on so we could go to the indoor pool?

It’s not just Charlie but me too–me, really–who is in spring training for the most important event of our lives and of our times, the Charliad.

2 Responses to “Spring Training for the Charliad (#258)”
  1. MommyGuilt says:

    Wow! Hooray for Charlie! What a great day he had. Those rainy Sundays can be difficult for anyone to handle, but for our ASD-ers, those days bring on Cabin Fever like crazy. You’re right, going out to do “stuff” usually results in meltdown or, at the very least, a crash and burn.

    Charlie rocked! I’m so proud of him!!! Now all we need is the energy that our 18-year-old-selves once possessed, and we’ll be good to go!

  2. squaregirl says:

    That’s wonderful! Charlie seems to be doing quite well with his Spring Training for the Charliad.

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