Birthday # 3: A “Frozen” one

So, it was time to put the party hats and frocks on again. This time, it was “Boo’s” turn to be celebrated. He has been counting the days, and weeks and months really. At the same time, I sort of wonder why, because it’s not like he plays with toys, has a long wish list for them and is anxiously awaiting to see what he will receive.

T. had to go off early in the morning as usual, so we couldn’t start celebrating till he got home from work of course. And “Boo” was too hyped up all day. When he is hyped up, he does not behave like his brother with ADHD. He gets irritated instead or should I say semi-aggressive? A behaviour which is difficult to put up with and it doesn’t really put you in a party mood. I had to remind myself all day that he was indeed excited, but did not know how to show it, and that he can’t help the way he is.

It made me think about the sad fact, that I never ever knew something was wrong, until three years ago. Up till the day he turned five, things were just fine. I gave birth to the smallest of my babies, through planned C-section, eight years ago. The baby they lifted out of me, was crying till he heard my voice, and then he calmed down and just looked at me with serious eyes. He was the cuddliest of babies and he got his nickname “Boo”, already the first day home, when he lay in my arms, looking up at the picture of the Temple, and after a minute or so, said “Boo”. Everyone was smitten with him in church, because he was such a cute baby. When he grew, we knew that HE was his own individual.

He did not follow the charts what so ever so we have this saying: “Boo” does things in his own time. And seriously, what is wrong with that, as long as things happen eventually? He did not start crawling when other babies do, he did not start sitting up when other babies do… He got his first tooth at eleven months. A friend gave us a walker so that he would get up from the floor and see what the rest of us was doing. But he was always happy and content. At 16 months he took his first steps. But he was never ever wild like “”Kitty” was. We could have him sit with a harness in his pram till he was 16 months old. Everyone was amazed at how he sat so nicely and did not try to get out. Which is why I seriously doubt that they can give him a diagnosis of ADHD in September! He is not wild in the sense that ADHD children are.

But when he became five years old, the troubles started at pre-school. He started to misbehave too much for comfort. He was not the only misbehaving boy, so he was not alone having to sit and be ashamed on the stairs. In my mind I always asked myself, why? The special ed teacher which started to come to the pre-school at that time, also alerted the personnel that his speech was so behind that they must make some sort of effort, to help him. He had been to a speech therapist already but I had not been given any practical help, apart from him asking us to teach “Boo” sign language. We tried but “Boo” refused to cooperate so, we just had to continue talking to him in the regular manner one does and hope that he would pick up the language eventually. During that final year at the pre-school, we went to the speech therapist every two months, so the pre-school could get tips on what to do with him, while we at home could not work on things the way a school does! He had to know that we accepted his form of speech whatever other people said.

Since he started zero-class, his problems have just amounted. The school ignored the warnings we gave it, and he has had problems in all areas. To be in the classroom, to listen, to concentrate, to participate, social contact has been disastrous, we have become hated by everyone. Because of him! And the testing started a year ago. The school psychologist did her tests and then referred him to BUP hoping they will find Autism or ADHD. We did not get called to BUP until January and then were told the testing would start in March. It started after school was out, 13th June! And we still don’t know what is going on. In posts to come, relating our holiday trip, I will go more in to his problems, but suffice to say, I feel very upset about it all taking such a long time. Not that it will change a thing. He will be the same boy the 11th September, as he is today, but we want answers. And we want to know what we can do, to stop some of the bad behaviour, if it is possible.

One of his problems is that he can’t play with other children. He does not function at all in a social situation. So he is confined to be with himself and his siblings. “Gubby” plays with toys as does “Kitty”, but “Boo” does not. When I had been with him to BUP one day, in June, we stopped by to get some miniature “Smurfs” for “”Cookie” and he started to show me everything he wanted for his Birthday. I stopped looking eventually since he showed me half the shop. BUT what made me very sad was that I had to tell him “But Boo, you don’t play with toys!”. Last year he wished for Lego Chima things, but he never played with them. He got thrilled opening them but the one who played with them was “Kitty”. I was just not going to do that mistake again. Everything I give him from now on, has to be practical things, physical things. And it is not easy to find things. T. and I spent a lot of time Saturday trying to find perfect things. A budget of 400:-/£35/€ 43,50 /$58 per child, does not help either. Things in Sweden cost a lot!

imageThis is what we were able to get actually, thanks to some fantastic sales at Danish BR (toy shop). Half of the money were spent on the kick bike, which had cost triple. Unfortunately, “Cookie” and “Kitty” became green of envy when they saw what “Boo” received, since they too want kick bikes, but they never wish for them when it is Birthday time, do they?? No, they give me long toy lists!

The rest of the money went to the pirate shield, that we bought together with a hook hand, at Legoland. The hook was his holiday souvenir, so now he can be a complete pirate next time he dresses up as that. E. gave him a pirate hat for Christmas two years ago, I bought a pirate outfit at H&M for “Kitty” four years ago, which he is has outgrown a long time ago, and “Boo” got a pirate sword two years ago, so the ensemble is finally complete! He has a printed sheriff’s T-shirt from Daniel’s time, so the sheriff’s hat on his wish list, was perfect. Only a rifle missing now. Christmas? Since I had 40:- left over and he loves “Monsters University”, I bought ‘Mike’ and ‘Sully’ at BR too. They  only cost £3.50/€4.35/$5.80 together so it was perfect and he was thrilled with them. Even if they might just sit on his bed. I know  someone who will play with them if he doesn’t!

So, when T. came home, the wait was almost over. He took them all swimming, minus E. and me, since we are afflicted with female issues this week. We had dinner when they got home and then delicious Princess cake, which we had the bakery in our village make, since “Boo” wanted a red one! Before we served the cake though, “Boo” ran out to the sitting room and lay down pretending to be asleep. We went out there and sang to him and he finally received the much awaited gifts! In the old days, when T. worked in town and had flex time, we always woke each child up on their Birthday morning, singing and giving the gifts. But since T. leaves at 06:00, we have had to change tradition the last 3 years. We no longer can start celebrating in the morning but everything have to wait till evening, unless the Birthday is on a Saturday or Sunday! Sad! But we can’t all get up at 05:30. It makes a too long day for some of us, since there is no going to sleep afterwards.

The children have spoken of and dreamed of watching a particular film and guess what, I secretly had purchased it. So everyone was over-excited when we turned it on. It was “Frozen”! And to be honest, now, afterwards, I do not understand what all the hullaballoo was about? It’s not THAT great! The songs were nothing to rave about. The story line was so boring in half the film, that I wondered if everyone who raved so much about it, had a screw loose. After finishing watching it, I guess I can see why some people thought it good.

For those of you with an Autistic child who is almost six years old and whose speech is not up to a six-year-old’s: He will not understand a thing! “Gubby” has watched the film two times now, and he cries when ‘Elsa’ leaves and does not understand why she is sad and can not stay with all the others. He does not want to see the film on his own since he finds it scary and very sad. I have to sit and explain what is happening the entire time, or rather explain their emotions and to tell the truth, I do not know if even “Kitty” and “Boo” understand. It is an awfully adult film!

image Princess sisters Elsa and Anna are happy children, but Elsa has a gift, everything she touches turns to ice or snow. One day while they are playing, wild Anna gets a little bit too wild and to stop her from getting hurt, Elsa knocks her over, with an “ice beam” to her head. Anna gets hurt, but their father, the King, in this Norwegian tale, takes her to trolls that not only save her life but takes away the memory of the accident. But life changes. To protect Princess Anna, the parents keep her away from her sister. And Princess Elsa is told to learn how to manage her curse. The truth is kept from Anna till the day they are both adults. And to make sure noone gets hurt or finds out that the heir to the throne has powers she ought not to have, the palace is locked and the staff kept to a minimum.

When the girls are still young, the parents leave on a journey and Disney chooses to show a storm, where in one moment the ship is there and the next it is not. I hate  these dying parts of Disney’s! Children don’t get it. Nor do they get the part where two children obviously grows up without any supervision at all. While others know how to behave, Princess Anna behaves like a clumsy monkey in a zoo, the day the palace gates are opened and her sister is to be crowned queen. Anna runs off like a hooligan and runs in to a 13th son of a far away King. They immediately fall in love and declare their engagement at the coronation ball. Elsa freaks out and her anger puts an entire ice age spell on the country. She storms off, to go live by herself and once up in the mountains, she creates an ice palace for herself. This is where my little son, cries and need serious comforting.

Anna leaves her fiancée Prince Hans in charge, while she goes after her sister, but knowing nothing of the mountains, she hires Kristoffer, a man who breaks ice and sells it, together with his reindeer Sven, to help her find Elsa. And usual Disney style, a snowman called Olof is thrown in for comic relief. Kristoffer tells Anna that one can’t get engaged to a person one has only known for a day, that you need time to fall in love and get to know a person. But Anna doesn’t believe him. Turns out, she should have. When she finds Elsa, her sister has no wishes to return to her kingdom. In the argument that ensues, Elsa once again sends out an ice beam against her sister and this time it hits the heart. She doesn’t realize it but Anna, going back down the mountain, soon realize that she will die. She has to be taken to the trolls again. Once with them, they assume that she and Kristoffer are a couple, something which has never occurred to themselves, as a possibility. But all adults of course have seen it coming along, the entire time. Deep sigh! Hollywood tralala! Anna is told that she can only be cured by an act of love, so Kristoffer takes her back to be kissed by her beloved fiancée Hans. But Hans is not the person she thought he was. He only came to the palace to make Anna fall in love with him, then he would kill Elsa and finally Anna, and be King himself. He refuses to kiss Anna and leaves her to die,while he goes to arrest Elsa. Once Elsa is captured and sentenced to death, it looks very  dark. But Elsa manages to escape and out in the harbour, it all reaches a climax when Prince  Hans tries to kill Elsa  with a sword and Anna throws herself in front  of Elsa, to save her. Anna freezes to ice, but only for a couple of seconds, since what she did was an act of love, and soon they live happily ever after. Elsa realizes that love can thaw the ice that she creates, so she melts all the ice. Anna realizes she loves Kristoffer. Prince Hans and others who tried to steal the kingdom, are sent packing. Honestly, I prefer the old Disney films to this.

If there is one thing children are not mature enough for, it is to understand grown ups’ emotions and this film was just too advanced. Controlling one’s gift or curse? Parents dying? Getting engaged in a day? Prince charming being a calculating villain? Maybe I am extra sensitive to what my children are not ready for, because many of them fall under the umbrella diagnosis autism spectra, but still? I see what my children prefer to watch over and over again and it is the less complicated stories. This film was basically made for a category of children who usually see themselves too old for Disney. Not being  cool to watch Disney, at a certain  age. So who is Disney’s target? Are they out of touch with reality? Or have they jumped on the same band wagon as all clothing companies, who have decided that childhood should be abandoned and children should become adults pre-maturely?

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