An Open Letter to Kids’ Cable Channels (I’m Looking at You, Nick)

Recently, you changed the schedule. Spongebob had been coming on all summer at 7am.  And then all of a sudden, it wasn’t.

Can I just ask one thing?

Why is it that you give adults all kinds of warnings when you are going to move an adult show to a new night or time, but you give absolutely no warning to the kids?

TVMaybe your test-markets are saying to try something new.  Maybe you think kids actually want to watch some cheesy disney-esque sitcom at seven in the morning.

All I ask is that you give us a heads up.

When you don’t, we spend a week dreading mornings.  The Boy refuses to go to camp or school, or quickly packs up his stuff and takes it out to the truck, insisting that he and The Man leave an hour early because Nick changed the schedule, and Spongebob isn’t even on anymore.  Ever.

(And could I even hope to try to find it on On Demand? Nope.  Then after a week, it suddenly appeared on On Demand, but 2 of the 5 episodes were in Spanish… So helpful, Time Warner Cable.)

Miraculously, Spongebob came on again at 7am after about two weeks. And then… just as fast, it wasn’t anymore.

All I know is that if NBC did this with Grimm on Fridays in season, or if AMC had done this with Mad Men, they would have a riot at their doorsteps.  Why is it fair to do it to kids?  Especially kiddos on the spectrum who depend on their schedules to help them make sense of this world.  When you change things on them, when they can’t count on Spongebob to be on at 7am like always, this world can be a scary place.

All those child psychologists on your payroll, and not a single one of them could figure this out? You’ll have a much more lasting impact on your audience if you actually treat them like real people.

Camp’s End

Today is The Boy’s last day of summer day camp, and he said yesterday that he will miss it.  We’ve come a long way from it not being just like ESY, and the battles to get him out the door because he couldn’t use a computer there.

With the end of his summer routine comes anxiety, both the good and bad kinds.  He is excited to start school, and we meet with his new principal next Tuesday to see the school and get a feel for how his days will run.  Of course they are still working on his schedule and reviewing his IEP to see how they are going to have to meet it, for 30 days at least…

His dad will most likely not be taking him for his summer visitation at all, so The Boy has two weeks until the new school routine starts.  He wants to get in last trips to the water park, the beach, and all of those activities which require free time.  We’re also going to be looking at some used bikes this weekend, so he can continue to ride around the neighborhood with his new buddies.

And of course, I have anxiety about this new school and whether or not they will be able to meet his needs.  Will we be able to work out our work and school schedules?  What will they try to change when the 30 days is up, and how hard will I have to fight?

Deep breath…

Whatever comes, we can handle it.  He didn’t like camp at first, and now he is going to miss it.  Me too.

hanging out

How Our Lives Have Changed: 3 Weeks

We’ve been in our new state, our new town, our new home for a little over three weeks.  In that time, we have moved in, started summer camp, and gotten married.  And we have settled in for the most part.  The Boy rebelled a bit for awhile when his camp turned out not to be exactly like his usual ESY experience, but he found some activities to love, and now looks forward to it each day.  I am desperately trying to find some form of employment, and unpacking and getting the house in order in the meantime, checking things off of my to-do list which has grown to several legal pad pages.  I have also been battling government offices to get my name changed, and to just get a driver’s license.  These things really shouldn’t be so hard when you are clearly a law-abiding citizen, but I digress…

The Ocean is Just Down the RoadOne of the most pleasant changes in our lives has been the proximity to Grammy and Poppy.  Besides being fabulous grandparents, they are also awesome parents, and great friends.  It has been exceptionally nice to have a girl’s afternoon with my mom here and there, and The Boy has enjoyed hanging out at their place in the afternoons, after camp.  As a former single mom who was never able to leave the house alone without the aid of a babysitter (and the requisite money involved), The Boy’s regular Saturday Night Sleepover at Grammy’s still brings tears to my eyes because I am just so grateful.  Every couple needs time alone, and this weekly respite is already oh-so-special.

The flip-side of this is that there are a lot more people in our lives on a daily basis, and this has taken a bit of getting used to.  We have to check with people now before we make decisions, and more compromise and flexibility are necessary every day.  This isn’t a bad thing, and it isn’t unexpected, but it is an adjustment.

We miss our friends, and I miss having adults to talk to, but this is no different from any other summer, for me.  I’m starting to have a hard time with not having something to do each day — I’m one of those people that needs to feel like I’m accomplishing something, and organizing my desk and hanging a few pictures just don’t qualify as “accomplishments”.  I’m trying to practice patience and perseverance in the job search.  Trying.

All in all, we are very happy.  The Boy is counting down the days until school starts, and is very excited.  I’m loving the summer sun and heat, reveling in the proximity of my loved ones, and enjoying being a newlywed.

Cheers! 😀

Got Your Summer Booked Yet?

One of the biggest anxieties The Boy has about moving is that he will miss his ESY program (that’s Extended School Year, if you weren’t aware).  ESY is a service that public schools provide to children who would otherwise take a drastic step backward in their academic and behavioral progress if they did not continue a type of school structure through the summer months.  Many districts keep this service on the down-low because if parents don’t know about it, and don’t ask about it, and they don’t happen to mention it at the IEP, they don’t have to have a program and pay for it.  I know districts that do this on purpose, intimately. Some districts even go so far as to tell parents that their children don’t need it, just so that they don’t have to have a program…

But The Boy’s district has a fabulous program, although it has scaled back even in the five years The Boy has attended, I’m assuming due to funding cuts.  In any case, he digs it.  Looks forward to it, and collects the T-shirts (even from years before he attended, thanks to an awesome gift from his amazing ASD teacher).  It’s like really, really laid back school.  But it’s structure, and school-like, so The Boy can’t get enough.

The Pink Shirt

Now, when we move, from what I can tell, there is nothing like that where we will be.  Plan B is a summer program offered either by the Boys and Girls Club or the City Parks and Rec department.  If it isn’t Boy-friendly (i.e. they’re not used to having special needs kids participate…), it soon will be. I can guarantee that.

I just hope we can get him in a daily program with enough structure that he will enjoy it, and maybe meet some new friends.  It breaks my heart that he won’t be able to attend ESY, but I hope with a little planning and forethought, we can find him the next best thing.

Wish us luck!