Friday, May 28, 2010

Boneheaded Friday

Stuff I spend more time on than writing and blogging.

Recently, maybe in the past month or so, life has caught up with me, and I haven't kept up with my blogging.  I've been doing the best I can at keeping the features going, but I need a little breather right now.  So this week, I'm not posting a Friday Feature.  One of the reasons why things have gotten a little crazy is because my middle son, you know, Superman--seeker of danger and excitement--has ramped up his level of activity.  Taking care of him and advocating for him in his school has become a full time job.  And it is very difficult to get OT out of a school system.  But, I'm fighting the good fight.  Anyone else parenting a sensory seeking child?  *fist bump* (it looks an awful lot like ADHD, but isn't.)


Superman is doing lots of crazy things right now.  I go to extreme measures to keep him safe.
Safe--behind bars (this was taken a few years back).

The crazy behavior reminds me of a contest that my family holds each year--The Bonehead of the Year Award.

The gist of the award is that smart people can do really dumb things.  My family tallies up all the dumb things everyone does, and somebody wins!  Weirdly, we all covet the award.

Nominated bonehead dumbness:

1. My step-mom once called 911 to report a possible bomb in a suitcase which she could see in the courtyard of her hotel.  She had watched the suitcase from her window, and nobody had been near it for hours.  After police inspected the suitcase, it was discovered that the suitcase was a suitcase statue, to compliment the man statue beside it.  One would think that the bronze man would have been a give-away, but no.  Bonehead.

2. My brother once spent all morning searching for the building complex in which he had a job interview, in Washington D.C.  He hadn't taken note of the last part of the address, and evidently there were four identical addresses in the city, in the North, East, South and West.  After visiting all four addresses, and completely missing his interview, he decided to not make a total waste of the day, so he went to a Staples, copied and collated his resume and cover letter, carefully placed the pages on the top of the car, and drove off, only to see all the fruits of his labor fluttering away behind him.  Bonehead.

3. I once pulled into a gas station to check and see if I had packed my wallet into the car for a trip.  The sun glare so blinded me, that I didn't realize that the gas station was under construction until I was dangling from my seatbelt--my car (and me) perpendicular to the road--in a ditch.  A cop, already at the intersection because of an accident there (due to sun glare), walked to my car, and offered to call my aunt and uncle to nominate me for the award.  You'll be relieved to know that I did, indeed, have my wallet.  I didn't even win the award that year. Bonehead.

4. I once gave up my seat on a tiny plane in the middle of the night in a Spanish speaking airport (I think we were in the Canary Islands) in order to not abandon my very scared, very non-Spanish speaking friend who hadn't made our flight.  I had no idea if they would allow me to take a seat on the next flight--I didn't know what the travel rules were there.  Other dumb stuff I've done abroad?  On Halloween night, in Paris, I picked a fight with a big burly guy who was harassing my friend.  He grabbed my friend by the arm, and I shoved him away. Loyal Bonehead?

So, share!  What dumb stuff have you done?  What incident would win you Bonehead Award?  Make me feel better as I try to keep my son from doing boneheaded, and possibly dangerous stunts!


  1. You know what is boneheaded about me. I can never remember good stories when I'm asked. I can never remember the most recent books I have read. I can never remember what I ate. I always think there must be some kind of disconnect between me and the past. Other peoples stories I'm better at. Now I will probably remember yours forever.

    You've had a tough week. Have you found other online resources for parents of sensory seeking kids? We have the writing community down. Now we just need to forage that one.

  2. Heather, seriously email me. Please excuse my dimwittedness but OT? I have a child with ADHD, one with Apraxia of Speech, and one whose had occupational therapy through the school. If you need to chat, email me. I so understand the riggers of raising children with needs. But then again, they all have needs.

    Love your photos,

  3. LOVE the bonehead award. We may have to institute our own ceremony. I would be a finalist every year.

    What is sensory seeking? I'm unfamiliar.

    I have an undiagnosed ADHD kid. (I've no plans to get him diagnosed. I know what it is and I know what we need to do.) He's hard to handle and I spend a lot of time advocating for him, as well. Mostly just letting his teachers know that I believe them, I don't think they are picking on my kid, and I'll support them. Then I give them tips on what works at home. So far we've been fortunate to have teachers that work with us.

    His "disorder" is really a personality spectrum that will be with him his whole life. It has some qualities that make for hard kids who turn into great grown ups if you teach them to use their strengths and control themselves.

    It's a huge investment and definitely cuts into writing time but hey, what are you gonna do? You gotta be a mom first, right? I don't suppose getting published will be nearly as exciting if I have to bail his felonious little highness out of jail on a regular basis because I spent all my time on edits and queries.

    A friend of mine emailed me a really cool link from an education expert. If I can find it I'll shoot it over.

  4. Our family has to come first! And what I've learned is that as parents we are our child's biggest advocator. We care the most. So we have to be willing to be obnoxious and get in there and fight!

  5. (before I had children) I went to see a friend in the maternity ward when I ran into a neighbor and knowing she was delivering that weekend asked her, "when?" and she said, "He's right there!" and pointed into the window of the nursery....she went on to say she still just looks pregnant......Bonehead!

  6. Tina--you're super sweet about remembering my stories. Maybe it's the repetition!

    I have found a few Yahoo groups that I find comforting.

    Sheri--(OT= Occupational Therapy) I am definitely going to email you. And I can't wait until summer when I have my little boy back--a whole summer to just let him be himself.

    Laurel--I haven't had my son formally tested either. I just know what works for him. The best resource if you want to check out sensory integration issues is The Out Of Sync Child. My son has always craved sensory input--jumping off high things, crashing into stuff, watching TV on his head, taking off his socks and shoes so he could "feel" his toys through the bottom of his feet. He must touch everything he sees. Deep pressure calms him down. Weighted Blankets are excellent. He's just like a motor, always running. He tests "at risk" on ADHD scales because sensory issues and ADHD have a lot of behavioral overlap.

    I feel EXACTLY this way, as well: "His "disorder" is really a personality spectrum that will be with him his whole life. It has some qualities that make for hard kids who turn into great grown ups if you teach them to use their strengths and control themselves." Thanks for putting that into words!

  7. He sounds like a classic kinesthetic learner, which has been proven repeatedly to be the most effective way to teach. It's just a lot more work. That's awesome that he is so plugged into his relationship with his environment.

  8. Laura--Children come first. The thing that drives me up a wall with advocating is that there is always this atmosphere of us versus them. (Not with my son's teacher--but with others up the chain) I would so rather us all be a team.

    Mary-LOL. I have definitely done that before. Oh, well...

  9. Laurel--I find the way he moves through the world to be fascinating. He teaches me things I would never, ever notice on my own.

  10. You're a great mom! And a mom's gotta do what a mom's gotta do...and that's a lot of work that never ends. It's wonderful that you recognize your son's problem and work to resolve issues. I know moms who refuse to acknowledge problems and the children suffer. AND I totally loved your bonehead stories. LOL!!! Thanks for sharing and have a great weekend!

  11. Thank you for sharing so many LOL moments. I think you know too many of my boneheaded moments already, so no need to share. Why not just create more in the future? Except on Wed, June 2.

  12. Ha! I have far too many bonehead times to list them. Taking on the Hell's Angels comes to mind. Luckily they weren't there. Luckily I'm still alive.

    And I've been mostly unplugged for quite some time now and still trying to catch up.

    Best of luck with your son (and your daughter - making sure she's not forgotten is also a full time job). Sounds like you're on the right track.

  13. Your pictures are cute. That's fine to put your family first.

    I can't think of a specific bonehead incident, but I've known I've done them. We all do.

  14. Keep being your son's advocate, Heather! I hope you see more teamwork in the future.
    Love the bonehead stories. My bonehead stories usually involve me getting lost.

  15. Those stories are hilarious!

    I know I've done a lot of boneheaded stuff in my life, but I'm drawing a blank right now!

  16. The wonderful thing about writing is that it's always there waiting for you. Take care of your kids! -- the writing will be there when you're ready. And you'll probably have loads of new ideas!

  17. Kittie--thanks for all the kind words. Advocating for kids can be a hard job--but I feel like I have a good sense of what my son needs, and hope to provide it for him whether the school rises to the occasion or not.

    J--I don't know, I'm sure there are bonehead stories that I haven't heard...

    Sarah! I want to hear the Hell's Angels story!! Share!! And, you're right--balancing the care of other children when focusing on the needs of one is so important! Thanks!

    Natalie--LOL. I think boneheadedness is totally universal. You're right!

    Kelly--Thanks. Some of my favorite bonehead stories are when someone gets lost. So much can happen! My younger brother once went for a run in Boston, but didn't take note of the address of the apartment he was visiting. I got a call from some Boston firemen, saying he was at their station, and needed to ask me for the address. Firemen were taunting him and cursing him out, and he was extremely frustrated--he had been searching for hours. His explanation afterwards, was that he had paid careful attention of how the Prudential Building looked from outside of the apartment. That was how he had planned to find his way back. (You can see the Prudential from almost every single location in Boston, so yeah, not the best idea in the world!)

    Jennifer--Hello! You probably can't remember the boneheaded stuff because you don't have family members reminding you all the time! LOL. These things become myths in my family.

    Kris--Thanks, and how true--everything that happens in real life affects my imaginary one!

  18. omg this is adorable AND hilarious. and if i were to list all the boneheaded things i've done in my life i'm sure i could write a book about it. hehe!

    but i totally understand -- sometimes we just have to find a way to keep up with the other important things in our lives.

    have a fabulous weekend, love!

  19. Hell's Angels? Hm.

    16 years old and living in the reality of my own making, I was The Star Killer Kid in short jean shorts and a jean vest (and that's all - not even shoes) setting out to rescue my mother from maurading bands of mourning Hell's Angels. They must have been on the other side of town. She and I walked home that night in peaceful silence.

    Scary to look back and think what might have happened.

  20. Holy Hell's Angels, Sarah. That is a short story waiting to happen. Do it! DO IT!

  21. AHAHAHAHAHAHAAHA! I laughed the entire way though. Thanks for a great bit of comic relief to brighten my day!

    I'm a bonehead every day. But like Tina, I can't think of specific stories. But they are there. Believe me.

  22. I think it's important to put family first. I hope you find the support you need. I've worked with many sensory seeking children. And I agree that you need to be your son's advocate. Often kids fall thru the cracks because of lack of advocacy. (At least that's been my experience working in the education and mental health fields for fifteen years.)

    I'm not getting much done on the writing front at the moment either. Taking some time to be with an older relative with a failing memory.

    Good luck with your son. And thanks for the bonehead moments. They made me smile.

  23. Tahereh--I can't wait to read that book! LOL. I bet you and I could talk brothers all day long!

    Sarah-- I second Laurel! Get that one on paper. Isn't it shocking what we do during those invincible teenage years?

    Marisa--I pulled the most bonehead stuff when my children were infants--driving away with coffee mug and wallet on top of the car, melting down my breast pump attachments when boiling them, losing keys and glasses... the list goes on. I'm so happy to have sleep back in my life!

    Paul--I think that next time that I see these special ed. teachers, I will let them know just how much background I have in this area--maybe they will take me more seriously. I have to say I wasn't impressed.

    Good luck with the care-giving for your relative. I'm glad you are able to be there. Happy writing, when you can!

  24. Heather,

    I know I'm late to this post (and by the way, hi! first time commenting), but it strick a nerve with me. I was a sensory-seeking child myself, and although I'm 38 now, I have pretty strong feelings about the educational system and kids like me. Eventually, I learned to deal with it, to sequester sensory-seeking behaviors into certain, identifiable limits, and it's done wonders for me. But I wish someone had come alone earlier and shown me some of this stuff.

    In a sort-of related note, I actually blogged about something close to this last week:

  25. Nice ... two spelling errors in one post. Sheesh.

  26. LM--If you don't mind me asking--when were you able to control your impulses and place your own limits on the sensory seeking? I'm wondering when I can help my son do that. Right now, I just make sure that he has tons of stuff to explore even from his desk at school. Feel free to email me (hegkelly at Thanks so much for commenting today. And you know that on a post about boneheadedness, errors are required! :)

  27. Oh, I have SOOOOO many bonehead award nominations backed up that like a few other people mentioned it's hard to pick just one. One that seems relevant, however, was the time when I was supposed to pick up a certain friend of mine from college at the airport on our way back to school after Christmas break. I called her several times to try to figure out her flight info, but kept missing her and each time I left her a message asking her to call me back. Round about the fourth time, maybe the day before the flight, having yet to receive a call back I was a little worried. That time her brother kindly mentioned to me that I had never given her my phone number, so she had no way to "call me back". Bonehead!

  28. Matt--it sounds like you narrowly missed a good bonehead moment. My older brother is the king of near misses. He once left his best suit on a plane, (which he needed for a job interview that day) got all the way out to his ride, realized he had left it, ran back through the whole airport, the stewardesses let him back onto the plane (!!) and he found the suit, hanging there. Yay for near misses!

  29. Matt--that wasn't me, was it? I never flew to school, did I? I think I always drove. Or took that horrible train...

  30. Yep, it was you, that's why I chose that one. :) You flew up to Portland, needed a ride the rest of the way and I picked you up there, though I very nearly didn't because of my boneheadedness. So yeah, hooray for near misses!

  31. Matt--we're very lucky, I think, that it was a near miss--with all the boneheads involved!! Thanks for the walk down memory lane!!!

  32. Last night, I remembered a particular boneheaded moment. My tea pot lid was a pain in the butt, so I decided to pour the water with the lid off. Took most of the skin off the backs of my fingers.

    Not fun, but I won't ever do it again. ;-)

  33. Ouch, Sarah! I have had problem with tea kettles before, so now I microwave my tea water. One time I forgot to hold the lid on, and it fell off mid pour. Splashing up boiling water at me...

    I won't do that again, either.