Check Out My Space Suit.

Hey look! I have a blog!

To be honest, I’ve not been as attentive as I’ve needed to be, because the Captain’s first year of school has been very difficult, and it’s required much TLC and fancy footwork, and other words that begin with the letter F.

I cannot remember how much I’ve discussed it on the blog, but my son has special needs. When in school, this can become tricky. You see, he has fairly severe ADHD and SPD or Sensory Processing Disorder (previously known as SID/Sensory Integration Disorder) He’s also quite gifted. This makes things even more tricky.

I know most of you have never heard of sensory processing disorder, let alone know someone affected by it. I’ll do my best to succinctly explain it. There are two types of SPD, Over-feelers and Under-feelers, though most children with SPD exhibit aspects of both, with one side being dominant. Over-feelers tend to shy away from highly sensory activity, aren’t particularly physically affectionate, may or may not have issues with fabrics/clothing/touch, etc. Under-feelers are precisely the opposite. They touch everything–firmly. They tend to love highly sensory activities, and are very physically affectionate.

The Captain is very much an underfeeler with a few feely-quirks thrown in.

Imagine going through your day in a space suit. This is essentially how it is for him. Because he feels things so subtly, he has a tendency toward inappropriate behavior like stomping, mouthing, yelling, hugging too hard, touching everything, etc. He also loves his showers HOT and his food SPICY (not a sweets fella…his reward for not fussing over the polio vax? wasabi peas) he loves lying in his undies on shag rugs, and frequently bounces up and down or wrings his hands just to feel the friction and grounding it provides. His “feely” quirks are on the range of skin issues. He hates socks, shoes, gloves, and hats.

Because he doesn’t feel things in the manner of most of us, this makes his manual manipulation very poor for a boy of his age. His handwriting/buttoning/zippering/shoe-tying are a few years behind his peers, whereas his mental acuity, problem solving, reasoning, and logical skills are several grades above his peers. (I pity the poor fools who will one day play him in Warcraft.)

As you can imagine, this makes it difficult for him in school. Throw the ADHD on top of that? Yeah, it can be a cluster fuck. Right now it’s a bit of an uphill battle to keep him in the classroom he loves, balanced with the needs that he has. More than once, the man and I have turned to one another, completely confounded as to what to do. Do we homeschool? Move him? Keep fighting against the tide where he is currently? There are seldom satisfying answers to any of these questions.

Because of this, I spend a disproportionate amount of my time researching everything I can about how I can make his life just a little easier. Mostly, I’m also wringing my hands, because I get so frustrated for him.

So that’s where I’ve been. Yesterday, when I should’ve been posting Sunday Sweet, I was intermittently hyperventilating and trying not to get upset in front of the Captain, because he was having a very rough day, and I was worried it would bleed into the school week. He was off-the-charts excitable and was having an especially “low-feeling” day. He was mouthing EVERYTHING, and stomping everywhere, and I eventually spooned red pepper flakes onto his spaghetti, just so that he’d eat it.  I was so worried he’d have it rough today, and I was feeling guilty, because I felt like I was neglecting everything and everyone else just so that I could focus on his needs. Thank all the gods he’s had a great morning. (and that no one cares that I’ve neglected the vacuuming!)

Now that things are, *fingers crossed* starting to settle, I too can begin to once again form a solid routine. More than anything, I just want the Captain to be able to relax a bit. No five-year-old boy should worry about school as much as he has.

If only I had a magic wand.

I have cookies, though, and that’s close.

Browned-Butter Vanilla Bean Sugar Cookies

photo 2 (83) photo 3 (80)

Browned-Butter Vanilla Bean Sugar Cookies

by Cat Bowen

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Keywords: bake dessert cookie

Ingredients (3 dozen cookies)

  • 1 stick butter, browned (cooked on medium until brown)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, scraped
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate, melted


preheat oven to 350F

brown butter on stove on medium until brown and clear

remove from stove and whisk in sugar until lighter

when cooler, whisk in eggs

scrape vanilla bean into mixture

sift in dry ingredients

set chocolate aside

bake 10-12 minutes or until crackly

drizzle when cool with dark chocolate (melted in the microwave)

Powered by Recipage
Tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Check Out My Space Suit.

  1. Amy says:

    you had me at browned-butter.

    Also, you are such a great mom. I’m pretty sure that in the long-term your family won’t say “That Cat, she was alright, but sometimes she neglected the vacuuming because she cared about her kid too much.” :) Priorities, you haz them.

    (Sidenote: I went to vote in the GoodReads 2013 book awards because Ilona Andrews told me so, and the Paranormal Fantasy section was TOO HARD!)

  2. Sorry to hear things have been so rough. At least the school week is off to a good start.

  3. Look if there’s ever a time to neglect vacuuming and you know how I feel about vacuuming, this is it. Take care of the Captain and the rest will hopefully follow.

    I can very much relate to your “No five year old boy should worry about school as much as he does.” Just replace the five with 36 and the SPD with severe anxiety. Hence my need to always cook him all the foods. Foods will make him happy, stress less, etc.

    Thanks for sharing this.

  4. Heather says:

    I too spend a lot of time wondering if the decisions are right for my boys. I have one who has ADHD and the other who has two different forms of bilateral hearing loss. One day I feel like I have it all together and the next not so much. As parents, we make the best decisions we can at any given moment and some times we have to shift courses.

    You clearly love your kids and would do anything for them. The vacumming can wait. Personally, that duty has been long ago given to my husband.

    When all else fails, I spend 30 minutes in the kitchen cooking/baking by myself and for some reason all seems right with the world. Or I at least am ready to tackle it head on.

  5. vacumming? what’s that? is that some weird behind-closed-doors type of act? ….. oh it’s housework? we don’t do that around here anymore either ;) Love the captain as fiercely as he loves spicies. I’m going to have a spicy-food off with him and cry when he beats me. Cause duh.

  6. Tracie says:

    My daughter also suffers from SPD but she is the opposite, everything is painful to her. Find a good pediatric occupational therapist that specializes in SPD. At age 6 my daughter still would not wear jeans, shoes that tie, anything that would zip or button or had tags. She will now wear most of those things. Of course, she still has bad days but nothing compared to what they were.

talk foodie to me...