Posts Tagged ‘Oompa Loompa’

After being separated for a little more than two years, I received final divorce papers in the mail on Saturday, complete with Judge McN’s signature dated Christmas Eve, 2013.   I have a thing with dates and would have preferred one less easy to remember… less, well, holy.  The joke’s on me, I suppose.  Oh well.  For the judge it’s just a piece of paper he has to sign.

I’m lucky that Andy and I get along and are friends, because it makes everything a whole lot easier.  As if underscoring the unimportance of our official split to him personally, Jonah ran around for a while yelling mamadaddy!  mamadaddy!  That’s right, Boo.  Mama and daddy love you so much, no matter what.

Andy called me earlier today;  school’s closed for MLK Jr. Day and so he’d picked Jonah up for a visit.   He told me Jonah wanted to talk to mama on the phone.  This is kind of a new thing because he was never much interested in the phone.  Even with his new willingness to hold the magic plastic piece while speaking and listening to invisible mama, I have to do most of the work.

Hi Boo!  (silence.)  Are you watching Oompa Oompa yes.  Can you say “I love you mama?” I love you mama.  I love you too Boo, mama loves you so much.  Be good for daddy, okay?  okay Bye bye sweetheart.  bye bye.

It’s the closest thing we get to conversation, but light-years beyond how it was years ago.  It’s part of why I keep this blog — so I can look back and measure progress, both his and my own.  Andy also said Jonah was being exceptionally good today, and I’ll talk to him later to see how long it lasted.

On Saturday I wanted to take a couple new pictures of Boo, but when I ask him to smile, he turns all silly and gives me a hammy, angelic grin:

I changed it a little in my photo editor to make it look even creepier.  :-)

I changed it a little in my photo editor to make it look creepy, for fun

I think it’s much cuter when he doesn’t know you’re taking the photo, like here at his improvised bathtub/swim-up bar:


Most of what happens regularly every weekend happened again.  The endless requests for grandma’s house? and, of course & most especially, car ride?

It’s a 90 minute car ride each way to him, and then I take two car rides with him, Andy drives, my mom stays back at the apartment and either struggles with the Internet (I am trying to be more patient as I teach her the simplest moves of the mouse) or watches QVC or FOX until we return.  Always on our car ride, Jonah wants music and he wants it loud.

We know this not because he tells us turn it up, but because while the music is already playing he will say music on!?  over and over until it is at his desired level, which means that for Andy and I to have a conversation, we have to raise our voices.  We don’t want to hurt Jonah’s hearing of course,  so at about the halfway point we tell him “this is as loud as it goes” as if he understands what we are saying.  Maybe he does, but still he asks for “music on?”

This is what it is now, our strange little family, usually interrupted by Jonah’s dissolving into tears and sometimes an aggression or two.  Practice radical acceptance, they taught me in the hospitalDBT:  Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) combines cognitive and behavioral therapy, incorporating methodologies from various practices including Eastern mindfulness techniques.

It would serve me well to read through the notebook I kept there.  Eight days of wisdom-teaching does not a wise woman make.

But I’m facing forward, moving slow…forging ahead…

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World English Dictionary

— n
1. The act or process of disclosing something previously secret or obscure, esp. something true;

2. A fact disclosed or revealed, esp. in a dramatic or surprising way;

3. Christianity:

a. God’s disclosure of his own nature and his purpose for mankind, esp. through the words of human intermediaries.
b. something in which such a divine disclosure is contained, such as the Bible.

– 0 – 0 – 0 -<3

It has been a week or two of revelation.  Jonah, sprouting up tall and learning self-calming techniques from his teachers and caregivers, is almost a different child.  Yet Boo keeps it real always, never letting us forget he is and may always be what I half-jokingly refer to as a “punk ass.”

Consider this photo taken yesterday while on car ride:

his arm raised to hit, boo narrows his eyes and sucks his thumb like it's the bad-assest thing a kid could do

his arm raised to hit, boo narrows his eyes and sucks his thumb like it’s the bad-assest thing a kid could do

The difference is he did not hit that time.

I just turned back in my seat and ignored him, knowing my picture-taking, even sans flash, may be pissing him off.  He did not ratchet it up – no pulling my hair or Houdini-ing himself out of the harness.  No dissolving into tears or throwing reachable items from the backseat into the front.

I think he just wanted to enjoy his car ride, unfettered by attention or expectation.  We are beginning to understand one another more, in a strange way I can’t quite explain.  He is getting older, and learning independence skills.

Yesterday he cleaned up after himself like a pro, going overboard like only a child with autism can:  Upon deciding lunchtime is over, Jonah picks up his plate and any surrounding napkins or garbage, opens the garbage can lid, and carefully throws it all away.  (And instead of using the garbage can as a perch/stool…


…like he used to, more often than not now he will sit at the table).

Then he grabs the potato chips and returns them to their rightful place – in the right-hand cabinet on the left-hand side of the second shelf up.

After that he comes back to the table, grabs up mama’s half-drunk teeny sized can of black soda, grandma’s just-opened can of white soda, and places them gently on the counter next to the sink.


After pausing a moment to regard their placement, he rearranges the cans so that each faces exactly front and are perfectly next to one another.

“Oompa Oompa?” he asks next, and I start his now-favorite movie, Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, on the DVD player.  Jonah first arranges and straightens the 3 remote controls on top of the TV, then reaches both hands out to similarly straighten the VCR and cable box.


Andy brings him 2 plates, one with cut-up banana on it and the other with cheese and chives cracker.  Jonah happily sits on the floor next to the coffee table as the movie, at whatever point we stopped it before, starts to play.  My eyes fill with tears.  They don’t fall, but everything blurs as, for a few minutes, he is just a boy having a snack, watching a cool movie.

For a while he got up on the couch and I asked him if I could scratch his back, and he said yes in his cute small voice.  I asked if he wanted me to scratch over or under his shirt.  Under shirt? he requested, so gently I scratched his back.  Kisses? I asked him.  More kiss, he replied, which also means “yes, kisses.”  And so I kissed his head and his cheek and his foot, and we laughed together, and I thought about all the words and concepts he is learning, and how incredibly amazing it all feels.

Yes, last week when he was standing on the bed and I leaned in for a kiss, he leaned in too – and smacked me in the face.  But I’ll take it, if it means the pendulum is somehow holding itself in a mostly good space.

Some more pictures:




Jonah and his daddy, who loves him very very much.

All good, this time of revelation.

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