This delightful fellow comes to me from my blog sister and guardian angel, Sister Wolf, who, on a recent trip to San Francisco, scoured the alleys of China town for me to find these treasures.

Can you tell what they are?

Yup, Kid's Chopsticks. The little silicone man on top holds the choppies at the right width to allow a little hand to pick up, in this case noodles, like a big pair of tweezers. Genius huh?

The chopsticks are slightly smaller than usual so the balance between the squeezing end and the picking up end is perfect.

You see, we eat a lot of noodles and such in our family and while Mr Hammie and I are pretty adept, it hasn't been easy to teach The Boo.

The way I learned to use choppies (as described on the Teppen Yaki Chopstick Packet) was with a pencil grip for the first one, (if you have a pair practice holding one and writing your name now) and then sliding the other one under that; to sit firmly against the base of your pointer finger knuckle,and the end of your ring finger. The second chopstick just stays firm, while the "writing" chopstick does the moving and creates the pincer grip for picking up.

I learned this at an early age, and with 6 people at the table whenever we had chinese; you had to be quick to get the last prawn.

So I thought it was simple enough. But No, not if you can't hold a pen properly.

Autism comes with a range of challenges, with motor co-ordination and planning not the least of them. A lot of the kids never learn to write at all, as they miss out on the early occupational therapy needed to develop an adaptive grip and start scribbling. We had a reasonably early consultation, and thanks to a diet of upper body exercises, tailored motivation and a special "Trip Trap" chair, Boo began draw and write; legibly. Just. (He types at 150 words per minute so, no biggie)

Not so easy to transfer that skill to using chopsticks and since I didn't want to put him off eating, he used a messy combination of fork and fingers, until now.

Which is where this guy came in. I put this photo in because it looks like he is sternly judging me for even thinking of trying to change my kids. He even has a quiff, look.

So instead, I just gotta stand back an take a look at my environment, and figure out what I can change about that.

In this way I have adapted my life to fit my kids. Not the least of which was giving up all the people and places that took more energy than they added.

Some people's idea of normal is about a million miles from what I can comfortably fit in with, and trying just causes me heartache, stress and tears. Remember Last Christmas ?

And I have learned not to attempt playdates, or attend birthday parties in those Indoor playcentres, that remind me of a Hieronymous Bosch Painting:

I didn't learn this easily. Experience can be a bitter teacher. Like the first time I left out my Clarins Night oil in a little glass pot on my bedside table. And came home to find that Boo (age 3) had used it for chicken nugget dipping sauce.

These days my Make-up and skincare live in a tin like this:

I keep the key velcroed to the back and that way I ALWAYS remember to lock it. Learned that trick after I came upstairs to find Boo in full make-up. Eyes, Eyebrowsers, cheeks and lips all done with a spray of Chanel Allure to finish the look.

The box may not look very dainty or pretty, but it sure beats finding your Benetint cheek stain has been used to paint ones eyes, cheeks and bedspread. And don't ask me about the time he found red nail-polish and thought it was benetint - !!!

(If it happens to you, try acetone free nail polish remover followed by a swipe of aloe vera)

See, Adaptation. We learn, We adapt, We survive.



ROTFL...I've got such a great visual of you sitting around the dinner table in the 'da rat'. It involves a coogie knit, stone wash denim and a perm!
K.Line said…
OK, I'm 38 and I can't figure out chopsticks. And I couldn't tell time till I was ten. But keep that to yourself. Oh, and I have issues with left and right. OK, enough about me. Love the choppies. Love the makeup case. The Clarins oil story is hilarious (but painful, I know). And I have that same shade (it's lillium, non) of Stila blusher compact.
Skye said…
I learnt to use chopsticks with kiddy chopsticks too (I think I was about 8?) - they looked just like big eyebrow tweezers. Very nifty work SW!

I probably should keep my makeup in a locked tin, there have been a few incursions. I always think of Lollipops Playland here as the Seventh Circle of Hell - it is decidedly Boschian!

PS. 150 wpm - that's spectacularly speedy!
Elizabeth said…
That's a clever little chopstick man. It's nice that you can use him in your eating plan, because he can make things fun.

I couldn't believe some of the things you wrote about the wild things that have been done with your cosmetics in the house. My eyes got wide!
Sister Wolf said…
I love the quiff, too!

I also love how you are able to distill wisdom from everyday experience.

It is just so Hammie of you!
Lisamaree said…
Mattie: we lived in Haddon. Coogie was for people from the big town, I had a homemade Fair Isle. (but Guilty of Stone wash tapered jeans and coil perm)

Oh My K!`If I couldn't use chopsticks I would have starved! (well filled up on cereal instead of sweet and sour pork) But I still don't know left or right. And I CRIED For my clarins. CRIED.
You can imagine I kept the Eve Lom in a safe.
Skye: The word count is ridgey didge. He also uses stuff on Word that I have never heard of to type credits and DRAW logos like the American Humane Association for the end of his movie credits. If I leave a page open he types credits on the comments page of all your blogs. Once did the Gladiator Credits on Imeldamatt's blog ABOUT GLADiATOR SANDALS.
(I copied and pasted it into an email, it was HUGE)
Enc. I can't believe it when I visit people who have all their pretties on an open shelf in the bathroom. I have to do recce's and then watch Boo like a Hawk. Hence Not Visiting Anymore. But it is not just an Autie thing; my nephew once gave Elmo, the Count, Ernie and all their friends a facial, with my Mum's Visible Difference.
And Boo is really very good with the make-ups. Gets it all where it is supposed to go and HE LOVES Halloween. Capt' Jack Sparrow wears a LOT of eyeliner.
SIS: couldn't do it without you. xx
Sesame said…
I feel I'm missing out never having had occasion to use chopsticks..wouldn't have a clue how to either..but now thanks to ur quick lesson with my quiffy I'd give it a lash..excellent therapy for Babs too..well done Sis Wolf
Seeker said…
I don't know how to use chopsticks :(
Just one time when I was in London our friend toke us to a chinese restaurant and he teached me how to, and I was so happy because I could managed them, but after that I forgot :(
I think that those kiddy chopsticks are great, funny and pratical.
The make up case is so cute and nice.

Hope you're feeling better darling.
Dizzyness is soooo unconfortable.
Please get better soon.

Also thank you so much for your words about my health.
I'm much tiered, stressed and overwhelmed, so to prevent a breakdown I must slow a bit.
I think I'm not stopping blogging, I'm too addicted to it, but I would spend less time blogging, so visiting blogs will not be on a daily basis as I was doing.

Sending good vibrations from an island to another with much love for you!
Take care dear.

Anonymous said…
I LOVE the little chopsticky man. Has he already been tried out? What was the first choppies/Boo/noodle encounter like?
Seeker said…
I gave you the closeness award.
If you’ve already done it or you don’t want to do it, feel free.
Gracie:) said…
Awww man my Son would love that little guy.

Im off to find one on the internet.....
Does this make me a 'must have mom'?
Nan P. said…
Hammie, that little man is SO cool. I love him. I can use chopsticks, in fact I would not eat any asian food without them - it just does not taste the same without them and a top of jasmine green tea (the REAL thing, with leaves and flowers floating).

I hope that I can pass this on to Cathal when he is a little older... right now, the war is still raging between him and "solids" ;-) That little man chopstick-man will be a big help.

In the mean time, you are such an education for me, you teach me so much about your world, your life... I am hooked to your blog!

And yes, this ability we have to "adapt" is incredibly powerfull. And YOU seem Very Good at it!
I love that chopstick holder. He's just so stinkin' cute! I can use chopsticks just fine, but that looks like the kind of thing that I'd like to have in my kitchen drawer anyway.

PS did a short excerpt post on your "overload" entry. Hope you are well.

Songy said…
I remember the time when I used to told off by my dad at a dinner table because I couldn't use those damn sticks properly.. Asian family affair for you. Now I use chopsticks to eat my fried eggs.. go figure. :P

lol.. the makeup box story is endearing. Yes we learn these little things and adapt... such simple things can make our lives so much easier, right? And making our lives a lot more interesting.