Monday, August 10, 2009

mom is great

We had a Bill Cosby comedy record when I was a kid. It had the routine about the football kickoff. It had his classic line about bringing his kid into the world and taking him out. But our clear favorite was the chocolate cake song. It's about a Dad giving his kids chocolate cake for breakfast and justifying the action because the cake has some ingredients from the four basic food groups. You might know the song: "Dad is great. He gives us chocolate cake."

The autism trainer we work with has suggested we work with Martin on life skills. We go to the park and work on making friends. We go to the zoo and try to look at the animals rather than getting obsessed about the sidewalks. And we cook.

Last night, we were going to make a chocolate zucchini cake. I'm sentimental about this recipe. My friends in Atlanta, Nate and Greg, once went through weeks of experimenting with chocolate cake recipes. This was the favorite. It's moist from zucchini and has just the right sweetness because of chocolate chips and sugar sprinkled on top. Like Atlanta, it was about 112 degrees in Ohio last night. So we put off cake baking until this morning. Martin helped me get out ingredients. He was so excited. "I woke up so I get to make cake."

The problem was that my recipe did not match his recipe. He plays a little online game in which you put some ingredients in a bowl to make a cake. The game has butter, flour, sugar, 3 eggs, and milk. Mine also had spices, cocoa, and zucchini. Mine only has 2 eggs. Martin flipped. He yelled that I had things in the wrong order. He cried and cried. The only way to soothe him was to let him abandon the task. So I found myself baking a cake at 8am all by myself.

Teaching Martin about life skills involves helping him deal with the fact that the scripts in his head do not always match what's going on in the world. The kid at the park might want to slide, but not swing. The zoo animals are really interesting. And there are lots of different recipes in the world.


  1. Wow, I found this one mind boggling.

  2. Wow, what's so odd is how many experiences I have had with my daughter so like this one. She is a typical child vs. on the spectrum, but she is not ordinary to be sure. I totally related to this!

    And, btw, what you write is eloquent...brings me to tears all the time.

    -Stacy's cousin Jennifer