Wednesday, 23 March 2016
Monday, 21 March 2016
We hit another milestone in Riley World.
Never in my wildest dreams would I have ever thought we would be participating in a weekend basketball tournament with either of the boys and yet here we were. Exciting, nerve-wracking, and for Riley World…stressful. Boy was it stressful! Lucky for us, one of R's support workers was able to come along because what 21 year old wants their parents sitting on the bench with them. ;)
A weekend of basketball with a record 29 teams. Athletes from all over the Lower Mainland and Island came to compete this weekend. The energy level was high. The noise level was high. The stress level was high. Chances of a meltdown were…well…high.
When you have a record 29 teams and only 2 gyms...waiting was a given. A surprise fire alarm after the opening ceremonies…was not. Thankfully we live ~10 minutes away from the venue so we were able to go back and forth during the breaks. Four times on Saturday to be exact. The day ended after nearly 12 hours with the melt-o-meter wavering extremely close to the red zone. McD’s on the way home for Riley and a McTini for me when we got home.
Where individuals with unique abilities are given the opportunity to be a member of an organized team.
Where individuals with unique abilities are given the chance to play and compete in a multi-day tournament.
Where individuals with unique abilities like Riley are encouraged to be the best that they can be.
Something that is not a given when you have unique abilities.
Riley first joined Special Olympics in September 2012 and each year since he has tried something new. We have seen Riley challenged and grow with each new activity.
Competitive would never be a word I would use to describe Riley. The word I think best describes Riley is Sportsmanship.
Sportsmanship is defined as ethical, appropriate, polite and fair behavior while participating in a game or athletic event. When a basketball player plays by the rules, is fair to his opponent and is gracious when he loses, this is an example of sportsmanship.
I watched as Riley clapped and cheered when either team scored whether he was sitting on the bench or ummm
standing out on the
floor. I watched as he passed the ball to the opposing team the two times he actually touched the ball because he didn't know what to do with it. I watched as he moved out of the way in order to let his opponent
have a clear line to the basket. Polite, Fair and Gracious...yup…Sportsmanship
was the word.
But by far one of the best things I watched…everybody and I mean EVERYBODY cheered for each other. There were no agruments about not getting enough play time. There were no screaming players/parents about missed plays. There was just encouragement and comradery.
And that is the beauty of Special Olympics.
Sunday, 13 March 2016
I’m sure you are all dying to hear how DST 2016 went down.
If you're new here this meme pretty much describes how DST usually goes in our house.
This past week was met with high winds and a few power outages. Riley World does not cope well with power outages. AT. ALL.
A Facebook friend suggested getting a clock with battery backup. I will admit this is not the first time someone has made the suggestion and as always I would have full intentions of getting one. Until a few days would pass and well…you know how it goes. You don't?? Here. Let me give you an example. Now be honest. Have you ever done this...Sees fans on sale in the spring. Thinks to yourself...I’ll wait to buy a new fan until closer to summer. Summer comes but it's not too hot so you still don't buy a new fan. Suddenly BAM...a hot spell hits and all the fans are sold out everywhere and you are left in a hot, messy, pile of sweat”…yea that.
Anyways…with the impending DST and the stress of 2 power outages and syncing clocks fresh in my mind…I actually went out to buy a new clock for our bedroom. One with battery backup.
Yesterday afternoon I attempted to set the clock. I read the instructions (because I’m a woman) and headed upstairs. It went like this…
R: What is it?
Me: I bought a new clock.
R: What are you doing with the new clock?
Me: I’m setting the time. Will you help me??
Me: *pushing buttons…ALL the buttons*
R: What are you doing with the new clock??
Me: I’m trying to figure out how to set the time. Can you go ask dad to give you the instructions please?
R: *yelling as he goes* Dad…you can give the instructions please?
Me: *continues to push ALL the buttons with a little more ummm force because we all know that helps*
R: *hands me the instructions* What are you doing with the new clock???
Me: *sweating* I’m trying to set the time. *sounding slightly agitated*
R: You’re trying to set the time??
Me: Yes. When I’m ready can you go tell me what time your clock says?
R: *runs into his room* It’s 8:18! *runs back into our room and looks at the new clock* It's wrong.
Me: Wait until I’m ready.
R: *runs into his room* It’s 8:19!!
Me: Tell me when it turns to 8:20.
R: …………IT’S 8:20!!! *comes running back into our room to check out the new clock*
R: *in his happy, relieved voice* We’re done. *happily runs off*
Oh and the “new” clock……it’s bright enough that I was able to make shadow puppets when I woke up in the middle of the night. I’m. NOT. Kidding.
Monday, 7 March 2016
Last Wednesday, Riley had his last session of Connects (a Canucks Autism Network social program for young adults). They went to White Spot (a local restaurant) for a windup party. As always we were a bit hesitant because as you all know, Riley generally only eats food items at Sushi places (his plain udon) or Pizza Hut when he’s out without us.
I had previously checked out the menu at this restaurant (more specifically the kids’ menu) and lucky for us they had a grilled cheese sandwich. Riley had been there at Christmas with his IWNS group and well…he pretty much picked the sandwich apart and left a heaping pile of crusts and grilled cheese bits.
We didn’t want to make a big deal about someone having to cut off the crusts for him so G just gave them the heads up in case they wondered why he wasn’t eating/picking at his food. When G went to pick Riley up, they said he ate the entire sandwich. Crusts and all! Whaaaaa???? Shocked does not begin to describe how we felt. Peer pressure for the win!!!
A couple of days later I decided to try this at home. I set a grilled cheese sandwich with crusts at the table and called R.
He started to eat without a second glance. Or at least I don’t think he did a double-take. I can’t be sure. I was avoiding all eye contact.
About 30 seconds later he finally commented “Like White Spot.” I poured on the positive reinforcement and even went so far as suggest perhaps he could also eat his toast with the crusts on. He replied with a resounding YES!
Then this morning I made R’s toast with crusts and put them on the table.
He stood there.
He looked at the toast.
He looked at me.
R: What’s this??
Me: It’s toast with the crusts on.
R: This is different.
Me: Yes. Like grilled cheese.
R: I don’t like it.