My husband has always said we would never own a minivan, and that he would never drive a minivan. There is that saying, “You should never say never,” right?
We only have two kids so we should be able to fit in a smaller car right? There’s only four of us. But we also have my son’s service dog Charlie who goes with us everywhere we go. He’s a Golden Retriever, so he’s not exactly small.
While we did technically fit in a car, it was a really tight fit for the kids and the dog. Add to that, that our kids are only getting older and bigger. They don’t come from a short genetic pool. Their legs are quickly catching up with mine. I expect that both of them will be taller than me one day soon.
Then there are all the health issues our son has. . . For many of them, what car we drive doesn’t matter. There’s just one really important one- Autism meltdowns. A meltdown in a car with him in the back seat becomes dangerous for his sister and dog. There is nowhere they can go to get out of his way. It is dangerous for all of us because his feet and hands can reach me while driving and I’ve dodged many a kick to the head while driving.
We REALLY, REALLY wanted to get a new SUV with 3rd-row seating. But when we tried them out, we discovered that that 3rd row is really hard to access except for a very few and those few were beyond our price range. We knew it was imperative for safety reasons that we have a bigger car and our only option was a minivan. (Did I mention that it replaced a Dodge Charger that has been my favorite car to drive to date? This was dream crushing.)
My husband still said he would never drive it. (Famous last words.) It is still his least favorite car and he would much rather drive our truck. But for us, the minivan works. Our son and his dog get the back row to themselves. The dog loves the minivan so much, that if we throw a treat back there and it misses him, he leaves it there until getting out of the car. And this dog LOVES his food! Our daughter sits in one of the middle captain chairs. This gives her some space from her brother. Should things really get out of hand, she can escape to the front seat when my husband isn’t along for the ride.
The storage room, um, AMAZING! I can do my monthly Costco and Winco trips together and could easily hit up a couple more stores if I wanted. Shortly after we bought our Town and Country, they came out with a new version that had a built-in vacuum- I was sorely tempted to turn it back in and get that one. Did you spill fries all over the car? Great! Vacuum them up before you leave the car! Sand from the beach everywhere? Vacuum your own row up! Oh, and there are buttons everywhere to lose and open doors. So much easier than the original minivans I grew up with.
One day we can have a car that is fun to drive again. But for now, utility wins.
This was written several months ago and I’m now pleased to say that we have a luxurious Buick Enclave and my husband is now happy. It still has the three rows of seating that make it work for us.
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A while ago I posted a rather long post about the state of long-term care for children in the U.S. If you made it all the way through, I commend you. It was long. . .
I want to clarify something about what I wrote in that post. That clarification is that I and other families are not just seeking a handout. Read more…
School is back in session and the dreaded “Homework” has begun. There is not much in my house that brings tears faster (both from me and my children). So I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Your kids don’t have to do it. . . At least in Elementary School. Or rather that is my opinion and the opinion of a lot of teachers I have spoken to. Let me explain.
In our home, we have learners with disabilities. Dyslexia, Autism, ADHD, Dyscalculia to name just a few.
When my kids were younger, we spent almost every day immediately after school going to therapy. We would get home just in time for dinner and bed. There was no time for them to do homework, let alone time to play and be children.
If we had a rare afternoon off I wasn’t about to make them do homework instead of taking the time to play and have fun. I did have them read for 20-30 mins a day either in the car to and from therapy or in bed at night before they fell asleep.
We have added into my son’s IEP at various times that no homework or extremely limited homework will be issued. It is a legitimate modification for students in their IEP’s.
Do kids sometimes need extra practice? Absolutely. But, to quote a Special Education teacher I know, “If they didn’t get it at school, they likely aren’t going to get it with 30 minutes of homework either.” They are going to need direct instruction. And I don’t know about you, but when it comes to Common Core Math? I can’t help them anyway.
Is it going to be a positive thing for your children or a negative one? Are they behind in a subject or on target? Is the amount of homework reasonable for your child’s age and personality? These are all things you should take into consideration.
So do yourself and your kids a favor and weigh the benefits of homework at your house.
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That child that hasn’t been nice to your child? Maybe give him a second chance? Maybe something else is going on than being a brat. Does this child look different? Does he sound different? Chances are that a lot of children with hidden disabilities don’t appear to have anything wrong with them. So they are judged for the things that they might not be able to control. They are shunned for behaviors that might be different from the norm. You never know what battle people might be fighting. Read more…