As we all grow in life, we learn to recognize the sound of things that happen and what to do.   Such as when you hear a banging sound and you realize that it is the sound of a book or item falling, so you get up to look.  Or you hear an unmistakable sound of glass breaking.  In which case, you get up RIGHT away and look.

With that in mind, after last week I need to add another sound to my list of recognizable ones and its name is called Nacho Chips Falling.

I know it is a weird name but so befitting when you hear the story.  So settle in….

It was about 7:30 at night and Elizabeth told me she was getting a snack, so she headed to the pantry to get it.

Now let me paint you a picture of our pantry.  It was originally a coat closet that we made into a pantry by buying  plastic bookshelves that are 5 feet tall and that have 3 shelves each on them.  We pushed them into the closet and along with the already mounted top shelf and we had a pantry.

The snack Elizabeth got were nacho chips that were in a  plastic container on the TOP shelf.  She served herself the chips. And since it was the time of night when no one was really paying attention, she simply put the container away .  Usually I mention to “shut all the corners” ,but not this time. Now keep in mind, her dyspraxia can make doing fine motor skills challenging, and it also challenges her organizational skills at times as well as her ability to initiate the steps to do a task.  Some days more than others and some days it’s not a henderence at all.  Dyspraxia is not something one can count on to be any one thing all the time.

So with that all being said, I head into the pantry to get a coffee pod. I open the door a crack ,and I am not exactly sure of the physics here, but apparently that was enough motion to make the mentioned chip container slide off the top shelf. It was positioned in such a manner as to fall sideways BETWEEN the book shelves and with a lid NOT attached well. Therefore, all of its contents rained down between the bookshelves…

on the book shelves

on the food on the bookshelves

on the floor of the pantry, while still amazingly remaining wedged sideways.

If it was not so horrible, it would have been quite impressive.

So after a few moments to get upset ( and I did!)

Stare at it in amazement

And make a plan to clean it up.

We began the teachable moments.

I say this about teachable moments because Elizabeth did not initially do anything to help.  It was like she was frozen.  I have seen it before and know it is her dyspraxia.  So after I told her to get the sweeper, I started telling her that when something happens, remember to ask how you can help.  Because we know that once she is over that initial hump of not knowing what to do, she usually helps well.

I told her again about telling us or  her “go to” person ( the agreed on person to go to for help or assistance in any situation).

I then reviewed again with her the need to SECURE the lids of all things.

I also once again, reviewed the skill of pressing down on all 4 corners of lids until she feels or hears a “pop” to then know they were on.

I have to share stories like this because it is real life.  We are still working and are a work in progress.

Maybe it will help someone to know that because  as parents and caregivers to these special needs children, the world holds up a mirror to us. It is often hard to look into the mirror and know you are working hard for your child but is it enough?  Should they be “DONE” with a skill by now?

I share this because we know how hard Elizabeth works and all she has accomplished and we celebrate all the successes.  And we use the struggles as teachable moments….still.

I know I will  recognized the sound of raining nacho chips…probably forever!

Hope my story made you laugh and helped a bit.

I wish everyone a peaceful week.

Michele Gianetti author of “I Believe In You: A Mother and Daughter’s Special Journey” and “Emily’s Sister