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Back To School Time: Autism Mama Bear Talk

First day of school

6:30 am – Alarm goes off playing some funky music, louder and louder as I struggle to swipe the screen to turn it off (note to self: change the alarm tone to some soothing waves or a whisper!).

6:31 am – I realize it’s our Cubs’ first day of new school year! Mercy!!! Gotta get up, fix their lunchboxes (because cafeteria may be a bit floppy and unaware of all our food sensitivities, etc.)  6:32 am – tripped over my phone charger.  Phone flies across the room waking up Daddy Bear.

6:33 am – Panic! Unlocking kitchen door (yes, we have locks almost on all our doors, for Booboo reasons). Think, Ula, think! Breakfast, lunchboxes, smoothies, let Bonnie out, feed the cats before they wake up the entire neighborhood…

6:51 am – still staring at the blender holding rice cakes in my hand… My brain conveniently took a break. Wake up! “We’re running late, people!” – screaming to my family.

6:52 am – silence. Ah-oh! Not good. I told them they would be exhausted if they didn’t go to beds on (back to school) time! Love/ hate being right…

6:53 am – smoothies are ready, coffee brewing, breakfast almost ready. What on earth is Bonnie’s food doing in Booboo’s lunchbox?!

Back To School Time
Autism Mama Bear Talk -By Ula Tinsley

6:58 am – are they still sleeping?!!! OK, that’s it! Curtains opened, lights on, “school time, school time, get up, up, up, up, UP! GET UP! NOW!!!” – growling as calmly as I possibly can. My sleepyheads cover their heads with quilts and pillows, mumbling something in gibberish.

7:00 am – OK, Daddy, I need your help! Go get them ready. Michael needs a shower, she’s still flopping, refusing to get up. We need to leave in 20 minutes! New teachers! New school year! We need to be there earlier to walk them in. Hurry, please!!!

7:01 am – back in the kitchen. Looking around trying to remember what I needed. Going back to kids’ bedroom. Time for heavier artillery – my nightingale songs, aha! I start singing “let it go!” from frozen, as I pull covers from both of the kids, and they hold on to them tight.

7:05 am – quilts are on the ground. They are stretching and whining, keeping one eye open (each, lol). I start singing “Good morning song” from Singing in the rain musical. All happy and cheerful…

7:06 am – Miss V. in all seriousness: “Mama, your positiveness is scary. We have time…”


7:28 am – ready? Let’s go! Backpacks on! Grab your breakfast and you will eat it in the car! LET’S GO!!!

7:46 am – Daddy walks Miss V. to her new class – yay! Booboo is watching other students curiously, as they are being walked by their parents too. He pulls my arm and says “fop, I ho fop!” (translates: school, I want school). I reassure him we are going to his school next!

7:50 am – Daddy is back in the car. Michael beaming with excitement mixed with a bit of anxiety. Understandable

7:53 am – We’re here! Booboo skips like a puppy, eager to get in and go to his classroom. New teacher, new assistants. I am probably more anxious than he is.

7:54 am – Booboo’s classroom – spacious, well designed, very organized. Booboo (a known runner) is strategically located in the middle of other students, to prevent him from easy escape. Love it!

7:55 am – Michael’s teacher walks him to his locker and asks him to put his backpack in, shut it and walk back to the class to sign his name. Our boy follows instructions, smiling like a Cheshire cat

8:01 am – back in the car, trying to look tough in front of Daddy Bear… I can tell he is anxious too – sweaty palms, large pupils… “He’s gonna be alright. His teacher looks like a cool dude who knows what he’s doing! I feel good about it, do you?”, “yeah”

8:02 am – we need to focus on our work today or we will lose our minds

3:00 pm – late for pick up because Miss V.’s school didn’t open their gates till 2:58pm, instead of 2:45!!! I’m about to lose it!

3:08 pm – look at this handsome boy! Smiling, hiding his face all happy! My heart is overflowing with joy!

Through it all, it’s been a great day! Looking forward to the rest of our school year…

Shema Kolainu - Hear Our Voices

About Shema Kolainu - Hear Our Voices

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