Category Archives: spelling

H-A-double-L-O-W-double-E-N Spells Halloween!

Not surprisingly, Dylan’s been asking me to spell Halloween a lot lately.  I can’t help but respond by singing, “H-A-double-L-O-W-double-E-N spells Halloween!”  Then he looks at me like I’m the crazy one.  Geesh.  Do you remember this song?  Halloween old skool.  (And I feel old.)

Moving on…This status has been floating around Facebook for the past few days:

With Halloween upon us, please keep in mind a lot of little people will be visiting your home. Be accepting. The child who is grabbing more than one piece of candy may have poor fine motor skills. The child who takes forever to pick out one piece of candy may have motor planning issues. The child who does not say “trick or treat” or “thank you” may be non-verbal. The child who looks disappointed when they see your bowl, might have an allergy. The child who isn’t wearing a costume at all might have a sensory issue (SPD) or autism. Be nice. Be patient. It’s everyone’s Halloween.

I don’t know who started it.  I just know that I like it (and I “liked” it on Facebook, too).  It’s an excellent description of how Halloween played out in my house for a few (long) years.  Sensory processing disorder made Halloween (and many other occasions) a challenging time for us filled with stress, anxiety, and if I’m being honest, sadness.

You wouldn’t have guessed it from last year’s Halloween celebration…

Finn McMissile & Lightning McQueen

Or this year’s…

Optimus Prime!

Obi-Wan Kenobi

Long sleeves.  Long pants.  100% polyester.  A robe.  A belt.  A hood!  A mask!

(I swear those are my kids.)

To any parents out there in the trenches of a tough Halloween with their sensory (or developmentally delayed or sensitive or picky or grumpy) kids, just know that it gets better.  That is, until your young daughter wants to wear a sexy nurse, sexy jailbird, or sexy bumblebee costume.  Then, I imagine, it gets worse.

Now my biggest problem is the candy.  So. Much. Candy.  Thankfully, my kids are still excited about the Candy Fairy.  After eating and saving a few of their favorites, the rest will be left by their beds and exchanged for a toy while they sleep.

If your kids laugh in your face after you explain the whole Candy Fairy thing, you can always check out the Halloween Candy Buy Back or Operation Gratitude.  Or, you can send your extra candy to my husband.  He’d be thrilled.  Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are his favorite.  In fact, just a few nights ago he looked at me accusingly and said, “What happened to my candy?”  It was really rude of him to blame me for tossing his secret stash of candy, except for the fact that I’d just thrown it all out.  (Doesn’t that stuff get stale?  And beside, he needs to watch his cholesterol.)  Anyhow, message me on Facebook for a shipping address.  (Ha! That was a joke…the part about shipping candy to my husband.  The part about visiting my Facebook page, however, wasn’t.  Have you “Liked” my Runaway Mama page?)

p.s. Harry the Bee!


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Filed under Halloween, Harry, sensory processing disorder, spelling, Uncategorized

Spelling B-e-e

When I was in the first grade, I was the only kid in my class who spelled “horse” correctly on a spelling test.  Everyone else spelled it like “house” so it came out like this: “hourse.”  As a result of this early (and brief) spelling brilliance, I was selected to represent my class in the school-wide spelling bee.

On the day of the spelling bee, I stood on stage in the auditorium/gym/cafeteria in front of the entire school, including students, teachers, administrators, janitors, the Mayor (well, maybe not the mayor), and the local media (well, maybe not them either).  In any case, there were a lot of people from my six-year-old vantage point.  I don’t remember if I was nervous, but if I were asked to participate in a spelling bee today I’d be petrified, so I’m guessing I had a few butterflies in my stomach.

When it was my turn, I stepped up to the microphone and the judges gave me my first word: “I.”  Yes, that’s right.  My word was “I.”  My word had one letter.  I don’t recall how they used “I” in a sentence, but it was probably something like this: “I like ice cream.”  Or, “I can spell.”

I took a deep breath and said, “I,” and then – are you sitting down? – I was eliminated from the spelling bee.  Why, you ask?  Because I didn’t say “Capital I.”  I quickly left the stage, sat down on the auditorium/gym/cafeteria floor surrounded by my “hourse” spelling classmates, and felt like a hourse’s ass for getting eliminated from a spelling bee for misspelling “I.”  It’s quite possible that this singular mortifying moment in my childhood caused the future emergence of Nervous, Anxious, Crazy Mama.

Flash forward to today.  Dylan is teetering on the edge of reading! He recognizes words!  He reads signs!  He puts easy words together in sentences!  Every time he reads a word, his eyes twinkle with pride!  I can see his confidence building right before me!  It’s amazing!

But, he’s making me spell everything.

Cat.  Hat.  Mat.  Bat.  Yogurt.  Hannah (a girl in his class…makes me want to say “Hannah Banana” every time!).  Lynn (my middle name).  Nathan (Riley’s middle name).  Purple.  Airplane.  Television.  Okay.  3D.  Ice cream.  M&M’s (not an easy word to spell!).  Nalyd (Dylan backwards).  Yelir (Riley backwards).  For the love of God, he’s making me spell backwards!  Anakin.  Obi-Wan.  Hondo.  Bumblebee. Optimus Prime.  My friends, the spelling doesn’t stop.  It’s not that any of these words are difficult to spell (except Optimus, which took me a few extra seconds), but I feel a little bit like a hourse’s ass every time I do it.

On Monday, we reached a high point (or a low point depending on your viewpoint).  “How do you spell pain?”  “P-a-i-n.”  Then, “How do you spell ass?”  Pain in the ass.  My son wanted me to spell pain in the ass.  I didn’t want to do it, I really didn’t.  But, in the end, I did, because according to, an ass (noun) is: a long-eared, slow, patient, sure-footed domesticated mammal related to the horse, used chiefly as a beast of burden.  And if Dylan is ever called to service as a representative of his class in a school spelling bee, I want him to be better prepared than I was when I had the great misfortune of having my hourse’s a-s-s kicked out of the spelling bee for not saying “Capital (b-l-e-e-p-i-n-g) I.”  Sigh…deep breath…sip of w-i-n-e.

Editor’s note:  After spelling this inappropriate idiom for Dylan, I told him not to say it again.  Except in a spelling b-e-e. 

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Filed under Anxious Mama, Crazy Mama, Nervous Mama, spelling