Back To School Again…

“You can’t win, you know.  You can’t lie in front of the bulldozer indefinitely.”  He tried to make his eyes blaze fiercely but they just wouldn’t do it.

Arthur lay in the mud and squelched at him.

“I’m game,” he said, “we’ll see who rusts first.”  ~ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (written by the sorely missed Douglas Adams)

Arthur Dent laying in front of the bulldozer

Arthur Dent laying in front of the bulldozer

That’s what I’m starting to feel like when it comes to dealing with the school systems.  Like I’m laying front of a bulldozer that is trying to knock down my house to make room for a bypass.

Only the bulldozer is the administration, and the house is my child’s entire academic future.

Am I being a bit dramatic?  Maybe.  It’s happened a time or two before.  But nine suspensions – NINE since Christmas is a bit dramatic as well.  Especially when you’re talking about a five-year old pre-schooler with autism.  Don’t tell me you “tried to implement the intervention behaviors” and then turn around and tell me you’re suspending him because he refused to go to music class!  Maybe it was too much today – maybe he was overstimulated and couldn’t handle the noise.  Who cares what the reason is at this point – stop suspending him!!

We’ve looked at other options – they aren’t feasible.  For both financial and logistical reasons.  Which really doesn’t even matter – my child has a legal right to be given an education by this school.  The federal government placed him in the school.  I didn’t.


So, now instead of cleaning out the garage – which is what I had planned to do while Mason was down for quiet time – I’m throwing on my glasses and I am going to sort through every single piece of paper with my child’s name on it.  I’m going to gather every bit of evidence and ammunition in my paperwork arsenal, and I’m going to prepare for battle.

Because I’ve finally had enough.  Congratulations administration – you woke a sleeping giant (and you probably couldn’t have picked a worse week to do it).  I have played nice.  I have gone through every proper channel.  I have climbed my way up the ladder and the chain of command like a good little girl.  I have requested all of the right meetings and all the right tests.  I have hopped, skipped, and jumped for you people, and I am done playing nice.

… There, now I feel better!

The Last Beat Of My Heart…

Let me paint you a picture (and no – don’t go getting all excited, this is NOT a Poopcasso adventure.  There will be no painting with poo.  Use your imaginary paint).


Kaleb gets home from school and is immediately arguing with himself.  Terrific.  This is not a good sign.  See – if you try real hard you can see me standing in the kitchen staring at the cabinet that holds the container of cupcakes counting to ten under my breath.

Now, Mason has speech therapy.  Thankfully, he’s happy today, and this is not a repeat of last week’s scream-a-thon.  However, while Mason is behaving in therapy, Kaleb is in his room building some village with his Lego’s – and arguing with himself.

Therapy ends – all is good.  Or is it?  Where did Mason go?  Oh, he’s looking at his fish.  Okay, we’re good.  I get halfway through the living room and Kaleb (who came out to play about ten minutes earlier) goes flying past me whining, grunting, and yelling at himself.  Oh jeez.  He held it too long.  Now he is going to scream the ENTIRE time he pees.  I turn around to follow him, just as I hear THE scream.  The high-pitched, in-.04-seconds-I’m-going-to-barrel-roll-someone scream.  I take off toward the sound, just as I hear him shriek

“NOOOOOOO Mason! Don’t touch!!  No!  You’re ruin it!!  Noooooo!”

Ahhhhh sh*t.

Here we go.

I run into Kaleb’s room, to find Mason holding part of a Lego car, tears streaming down his face, building up to an earth shattering scream.  While Kaleb, who had managed to get his pants half off on the way to the bathroom, is rolling on the floor, screaming, holding the other part of the Lego car (who was the king who used to cut things in half again?  Oh.  Solomon.  Right).

So, here’s Kaleb, on the floor of a room that was clean three days ago, surrounded by scattered Lego’s, pants around his ankles, screaming like a banshee at Mason.  And here’s Mason, finally letting out the screams of the century, crying hysterically clutching the little Lego wheels in his hand.

Well crap.  Mason is in trouble because he knows better than to be in Kaleb’s room – it always amounts to this.  Kaleb is in trouble for flying off the handle because Mason broke a rule.  And touched his Lego’s.  And now the car is broken.  Basically, they cancel each other out and now I have to suffer the fallout.  At least Mase is unhurt and unscathed.  In the five seconds it took me to get down the hallway that could have been a lot worse.  So I am left to deduce that Kaleb ripped away the car and dropped to the ground – ’cause it’s not like either one of them is about to actually tell me what happened.

Get the pieces from Mason, put them on the table, pick him up, step over Kaleb and carry him out before Kaleb comes back to some of his senses and goes after Mase for real.  Set Mason on the couch where he proceeds to scream and cry for ten minutes.  Go check on Kaleb, debate intervening – my currently unbrusied face thinks that’s a bad idea.  He rolls around holding the remains of the car (which are falling apart because of his grip by the second) kicking and screaming for ten minutes.  *Insert visual image*  Kaleb’s pants are still around his ankles, and all the kicking has done nothing but further entangle him.  So add in some extra oomph to the kicking because now he’s got himself caught in a fishing net of jeans.*  Until he remembers he has to pee – then it’s five minutes of a whole different kind of screaming and crying.

Finally, it stops.  It’s quiet.  Too quiet.  Oops.  Spoke too soon.  Kaleb comes out to the living room, where I’m sitting with Mason looking at a book.  He proceeds to drop to the ground (again), and start screaming (again).  This time because his legs hurt.  You THINK???  This is the third time in thirty minutes you’ve dropped your sixty pounds onto those knobby knees.  You’re darn tootin’ they’re going to hurt!

For the next thirty minutes I (and the entire neighborhood) listen to him scream, shriek, and whine – all at the same time – because his  legs hurt.  Won’t tell me why.  Won’t tell me what part of his legs.  Finally, I’ve had enough.

“Kaleb, get up.  We’re going to the gas station.”

Stops.  Sits up.  Sniffs.  Wipes his face.  Looks at me.

“Can I have gummy bears?”

“WHAT?!  No.  You cannot have gummy bears!”

~~> insert new meltdown here.  Ten minutes later…

“I’m serious.  Get up.  Right.  Now.  We.  Are.  Going.”


Why??  Because mommy is out of cigarettes and she’s pretty sure her blood pressure just reached dangerous levels.  Because at least in the car I can roll the windows down and drown out some of the screaming.  Because I’m your mother and I said so.

So… we go to the gas station.

And the entire way there, he’s playing with his new cash register (oh thank you Sho-Sho.  In case you were wondering – that’s what I was calling about earlier).  But he isn’t actually playing with it.  Instead, he’s just hitting the same, high-pitched button over and over again.




We get to the store, grab what I need, get back in the car and head for home.


Beep Beep!

Beep Beep Beep!

Beep Beep Beep Beep!

The faster he pushes this button, the faster my heart rate increases.  Until…

images (1)


Oh my.  Is this it?  Did I just flatline?  Am I dead right now?


Nope.  Not dead.  That’s a good thing – right?  Right.  Definitely.


Please.  Someone.  Just… punch me.

Get home.   Get dinner ready.  Feed the Monsters dinner.  Rather – spend thirty minutes making a dinner Mason feeds to the dog, and Kaleb deems ‘yucky’ without even knowing what it is.  Well.  The dog had a good meal.  Play with Mason.  Kaleb starts screaming.  Help Kaleb.  Mason starts screaming.

Bed.  Go to bed.  Go to bed right now.  Right now.

Mommy’s infamous patience has officially worn out.  I’m going to bed.  As soon as I’m done drawing up the plans for the velcro wall Daddy and I are going to install in the house.  We will get the kids matching suits to wear under their clothes.  Then we can just place them on the wall.  And wear our invisible noise cancelling headphones.  While I go play in Neverland.  Because I am all done being a grown up today.




Oh shut it.  


You Win Again…



First off, I want to thank Amber at “Normal” is the New Boring for nominating me for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award!!  I’m pretty inspired myself!!  Truthfully, I’m just grateful (and a bit surprised) every day when someone reads my nonsense – so this is awesome!  I’m really loving these “Pass it along” blogger awards – they’re an awesome way to help out fellow writers in this little blogosphere (there’s that word again – I’m still not sure it’s a real word), and duh – I’m pumped to be on the receiving end of one!

So, here are the rules:

  1. Display the logo on your blog
  2. Link back to the person who nominated you
  3. State 7 things about yourself
  4. Nominated 15 other bloggers for the award
  5. Notify your nominees by linking to their blogs so they get notified by ping-back.

Okay.  7 things.  About me.  You’d think I’d be really good at talking about myself by now, but I’ve actually been staring at this page for nearly two hours.  Shoot.

Here goes!

  1. I walk around 90% of the time with absolutely no idea what I’m doing.  In pretty much every aspect of my life.  My life has become a ‘fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants’ sitcom.  Just about every technique used in our house with the kids is a completely random idea I had while pacing around pretending to be productive.
  2. I pace.  A lot.  It drives people insane.  Especially when I’m on the phone.  I can’t sit still.  If I sit down, I start to focus on something in front of me, instead of what is being said to me.  So, for as long as I can remember – I pace.  Now, my kids get their pretend phones out, and they pace too.  I think it’s funny – but it’s probably going to send Daddy to the loony bin one of these days.
  3. The ringtone for Kaleb’s school is the Imperial March (you know – Darth Vader’s theme song?).  I was having a heart attack every day when my phone would ring in the middle of the morning and it would be the general tone – convinced it was the school.  So, I gave them a ring tone.  You know you’re humming it in your head right now.
  4. I’m still really paranoid about Mason’s fish.  He got a name by the way – his name is… Fish.  Yeah.  That’s the best I could get out of the kid who speaks his own language.  Anyway, I’m still checking on the stupid thing every hour or so to make sure it’s alive.  It’s been over two weeks, and I’m shocked it’s made it this long.  However, seeing Mason’s face light up every morning when he gets to feed the fish (my way of bribing him into getting a diaper) is totally worth it.  Plus, those pellets are tiny, and great fine motor exercize!!
  5. On that note, I could probably come up with a legitimate reason for every activity we do and toy we have based on some form of therapy.  Occupational, speech, behavioral, social – you name it.  I will find a reason why this thing here – this thing I REALLY want to do with them – is going to help them in some way.
  6. I’m constantly afraid to screw something up.  My kids, my relationships, the walk, Monster Marchers, you name it.  If you will read #1 again – that’s the reason why.  On the flip side of that, I can be really selfish sometimes.  It’s not the best trait in the world – but there are definitely days when it helps to save my sanity.
  7. I live in either jeans or pajama pants.  Don’t get me wrong, I like to dress up – but who really has the time for that?  Plus, I’m lazy, and I never learned how to match my clothes properly – so everything matches a pair of jeans and a Jolly Roger belt buckle.  EVERYTHING.  Fact.

Okay, my nominees:  I don’t know if I’m going to get all 15.  I’m stealing Amber’s excuse – I’m new!  However, I’ll certainly try!

  1.  The Return of The Modern Philosopher – This guy is nothing short of awesome.  First of all, he seems to be a bit off his rocker – and for that reason alone I’m a fan (plus, anyone who writes about Keyser Soze is clearly amazing).  He’s funny and random, and completely worth reading.
  2. Free Little Words – A blog written by a mom with two little boys the same ages as my Monsters.  She’s very sweet and honest, and it’s always a nice read.
  3. Cruising Through My Life – This one is all around interesting.  She covers a variety of topics that come up in her life, which are almost always easy to relate to, or thought provoking.
  4. Cristian Mihai – A young author who has a quite a lot of talent.  He’s definitely worth taking a couple peeks at 🙂
  5. Mom and Boys – A blog written by a creative and entertaining mom as she tries to navigate the waters of life, motherhood, and faith.
  6. My Eclectic Life – A homesteading mom of two who awes me.  She blogs about everything from daily adventures to great recipes, and I absolutely love her!
  7. Blowing Off Steam… And Other Cooking Adventures – Another awesome momma who seamlessly blends great recipes with great humor.
  8. Between Love and Chaos – This mom somehow manages to juggle her three kids alone – while dealing with the joys of raising a child on the spectrum.
  9. For the Love of Food – A mom I know personally as a super-star!  Here she shares some wonderful recipes that are absolutely worth checking out.
  10. The Adventures of Jaydon and Daddy – A photo blog written by a father of one wicked cute little dude about their daily discoveries and adventures.
  11. The Good Greatsby – This guy is just funny.  He doesn’t need any more introduction than that.
  12. Some Species Eat Their Young – A dad of four, somehow surviving parenthood while making people like me laugh out loud.
  13. Mom in the Muddle –  A mom-blog by a woman with a wicked sense of humor, and great insight into life with kids.
  14. The Jackie Blog – Once again, there really isn’t any intro needed – this chick is just downright funny.
  15. And last but certainly not least Life With Legos – an inspirational blog by a mom with two boys, who is wading the waters of the spectrum with the best of us.

Holy cow I did it!  These people are all great, and I absolutely encourage you to check them out and say “hi”.  On a similar note, there is another blog I’d like to mention that isn’t on wordpress, but is amazing nonetheless – Cam’s World With Aspergers  – this mom is everything I want to be and more!

So, once again, huge thanks to Amber – at “Normal” is the New Boring – you’re absolutely one of the best things I’ve encountered since starting this blogging adventure, and I would nominate you again if I could!

Now, I’m off to stalk 15 strangers blogs so they know I’ve nominated them!

Oh crap, first I’ve got to go get Mason off the window sill.

Shine On You Crazy Diamond…

I just read about this “flash-blog” – called Autistic People Should…

The premise of this is based on the auto-fill results when you type ‘Autistic People Should” into a Google search bar.  The outcome is downright disturbing at best.  In an effort to change this, a blog has been created, allowing others to post about what they think ‘Autistic People Should’ be…

I know they originally called for individuals with autism to be the posters – but as a mother of not just one, but most likely two autistic children, I feel the need to jump on board with this and throw my voice into the mix.  So, here goes.

Autistic People Should be cherished.  They should be treated like the kind of valuable gems that they are.

Autistic People Should be respected.  They face more challenges than most people will ever even know, and they will do it with the kind of grace that most of us should be so lucky to possess.  They thrive in a world of people who doubt them.  They shine in a world of people who try to hide their brilliance.  When we should all make it our goals to help them shine brighter.

Autistic People Should be recognized.  For the strength they possess, the wonder and awe they bring to those around them.  For the incredibly different way they see the world. For the joy and laughter they bring to the people they let know them.

Autistic People Should be taught.  Not to see the world like everyone else.  Not to conform to societal ideas of what it is to be “normal”.  They should be taught that it is more than okay – it’s wonderful to be different.  To set themselves apart.  To love the things that fascinate them.  To be who they are without shame, compromise, or feelings of inadequacy.

It isn’t autistic people who should do anything – it’s every other person in the world.  It is every person who does nothing.  It is every person who refuses to take five seconds to learn something about another human being.  It is all of the people who judge, and shush, and shun.  It is the people who work against, instead of with.  It is every system that has a fatal flaw in the design when built for “typical” people.  We have left-handed scissors and guitars.  We have wheelchair accessible ramps and bathrooms.  But we don’t have academics to suit our autistic children.  We don’t send our teachers to be trained on how to teach an autistic child.  We don’t have sensory friendly grocery stores, or playgrounds.

Autistic People Should be THEMSELVES.  Because that is what makes them beautiful, brilliant, quirky, life-affirming human beings.  They bring magic back into a world that long ago lost some of its luster.  They are nothing short of miracles.  And anyone who doesn’t recognize that, is missing out.

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Something Precious…

Kaleb’s bus driver brought out the secret in-my-head-wild-eyed-and-crazy.

He didn’t really do anything wrong.  It was an innocent remark.  “Wow!  That coffee cup could hold enough to share!”


Look dude, I like you.  You take my child to his place of learning (when he stays there long enough to learn, that is), and you bring him home safely.  You mostly show up on time, and you remind me of the monopoly man.  But that doesn’t stop the Gollum in my head from mentally hugging my cup and screaming “My Precioussssss!!”

Nuh uh.  I don’t share.  This cup is my fountain of youth.  It’s my ward against the evil little men who carry people off in white coats.  It’s my elixir of life.  No.

Oops!  Okay, I’m a bit crazy.

And, he’s right.  My coffee cup actually does hold two extra large cups of coffee.  But that’s why I love it.  Plus, it’s a total monstrosity that I made at a friend’s wedding shower, and it makes me feel like I have some form of artsy talent when I drink out of it.

The truth is, this mommy is a special kind of crazy.  The kind of crazy that is totally cool with my kids watching The Rocky Horror Picture show – but if you so much as think about putting on Sponge Bob you’re in for it.  I’m the hypocrite that has mandated that our children will not have soda under our roof until they are out of high school (I’m not stupid, I know they will get it elsewhere), while I rot my teeth out with how much Diet Pepsi I consume in a day.

I’m the “Do as I say, not as I do” mom.  I’m the mom who has (mostly) well dressed kids, but I can barely put two socks together when it comes to dressing myself.  I lose my phone, my coffee, my glasses, and a cell of sanity multiple times a day.  Yet I am astonished when my kids lose anything.  So, in truth, I’m basically just as nuts as all of you are.  I’ve just learned to embrace most of it…

Luckily, I’ve gotten relatively good at hiding my inner Smeagol alter-ego.  All the bus driver saw was me smile and laugh and say “I know!”  He had no idea how close to the crazy he had really come.


My monster Cup next to a ‘normal’ sized coffee cup (one that just happens to have Kaleb’s face on it!)

Mommy’s Little Monster…

I recieved a rare glimpse of how Kaleb sees me this afternoon.

A lot of the time I like to think I know how Kaleb thinks.  The truth is, I have no more idea how his brain works than I do that of an alien life form (ummm yeah, I totally believe in aliens – how can you not?!).  I do know I am fooling myself, but it offers comfort when I feel like the world is sliding out from under my feet – which is more often than I care to admit.  So, anyway.  Today I got one of those rare opportunities to learn how he sees me.

As a giant, mean play thing who supplies milk and food.



The first thirty minutes or so after he got home from school were fine.  Until the Great Lego Meltdown (part um… 17 maybe?).  It got to the point where I was ready to ban all Legos until he could control himself a bit better.  I understand the frustration of it crumbling in your hands bud.  However, if you weren’t so rough, and so frustrated it might work a bit better.  I spent twenty minutes on the floor with him helping to construct whatever it was that he was constructing (some form of vehicle, but he’d yet to define it) – trying to help him understand that it was top heavy, and if he didn’t add support it was going to keep collapsing.

This worked for about fifteen seconds.  Then he decided he didn’t like the way the ‘support’ looked and the whole thing fell apart again.  This very quickly turned violent.  I’m getting my butt whooped by my five year old.  Deep breaths.  Deep, deep breaths.  By the time he’s done with me, he’s using his blankie as a weapon, has completely demolished the living room, and has gone after Mason – who has discovered that he has speed to his advantage in these situations – which increases the frustration when Mason escapes time after time.

Over the course of the next hour and a half Kaleb screams at me.  Screams and screams and screams.  Sometimes nonsense, sometimes mean things.  At this point I’m so frustrated I am cleaning my house like a freaking Molly Maid.  By the time I get to Mason’s room, Kaleb is standing the doorway still screaming at me.  This is where my glimpse of how Kaleb sees me comes into play.  At this point I’ve been blantantly ignorning him for going on a hour, for fear of encouraging the behavior with my interaction.

Mason and I are cleaning Mason’s room (because Mason only cleans when I am – and when Kaleb is peeved about it).  Kaleb points his finger at me and says:

“You go!  I don’t need you here any more.  You leave!  I will do it all by myself!  Because you are mean!  And you are making bad choices!  You go away!  I will do the milk!  And I will cook the food!  And I will read the stories!  And I will sing the songs!  And I will drive the places!  And I will do the beach!  You just go away!”

You get the idea.  He went on for a good five minutes.  And I sat there trying not to let him see I am stunned.  Okay.  It’s time the kid get some chores.  Because seriously?  That’s all you think I do??  Okay.  I know he’s five.  And yeah, mommy takes care of pretty much everything when it comes to housework (albeit, not very well because mommy hates nothing more than dishes and laundry – except ants.  I really hate ants).  But that is how Kaleb sees me.

Though, if I’m being honest, a part of me is a bit happy.  Because at the very least, I know my kid will look back on his childhood and remember me (even when I’m ‘mean’) as singing the songs and reading the stories.  I’m kinda glad to know I’m the play thing.  That I don’t spend too much time working on this or that – that I spend enough time just playing that it’s how he sees me.

At the same time… seriously?!  Keep yelling kiddo.  Just keep on yelling.  Because I know you need to.  But I’m not going anywhere.  Mean or not – I’m your mommy, and I will be here.  To do all the things you don’t see me do – and all the things you need me to do.

Oh – and when the meltdown was over – guess who cleaned the family room?  One hint – it wasn’t me, Mason, or Milo.

A Little Space…

Yesterday we had to go to Kaleb’s neurologist.  It was really just a follow up to his EEG, as well as an opportunity for me to discuss some new behaviors that had me concerned.  So, I pick him up from school and off we go.  First of all, Kaleb managed to smuggle a peanut butter and jelly graham cracker sandwich out of school, and placed it directly into Mason’s hands.  I actually had to pull over on the highway to clean this mess before it got out of control.

So, PB&J disaster averted, we get back on the road.  We get to the doctor’s office about 40 minutes early – which was planned.  The last two times we went I had to park in a parking garage down the street because the lot was completely full.  Thankfully, yesterday we got a spot right by the front door of the office.  Grab the kids’ bag of tricks, grab the kids, and head for the elevator.  Which has Mason throwing an arm over his head, a hand over his ear, and screaming bloody murder for the one floor trip.

Mason is terrified of elevators.  I don’t know what it is about them, if it’s the motion or the space, or both.  But he’s been afraid of them since infancy.  Kaleb, on the other hand, is afraid to go down flights of stairs.  So, we usually end up taking the stairs up and the elevator down.  But yesterday I had Mase in the umbrella stroller, two bags loaded down with ‘keep them distracted so they don’t start screaming’ devices, and I was just plain tired.  We took the elevator, Mason screamed.  We got off the elevator, Mason was fine.

We get settled in the waiting room – Kaleb playing with his ipod, Mason playing with my mom’s old phone, me staying awake… And there’s this kid.  This random, strange child walks up and starts climbing all over Mason.  I’m sitting there with stalled brain syndrome.  I don’t even know how to react.  If this was fifty years ago I’d have yelled at the strange kid – but it’s not, and people are freaking crazy.

Mason’s trying to play a racing game on the phone, and this kid starts touching things.  OH crap.  I can see Mason start to tense.  And all I can think is Where the hell is your parent??  Out of the corner of my eye I see someone heading over – his mother.  But instead of taking her child away from my child, who is clearly not thrilled with this turn of events, she stands there and tells him not to touch – while telling me he has been known to cross boundaries.  As the kid rips the phone out of Mason’s hands I’m sitting there like “You think?”  Lady, reign in your kid.  She’s just talking to him, and he’s screaming at her every time she touches him.

Okay.  Look.  We’re in a pediatric neurologist’s office.  We’re both here for a reason.  And while I have no idea what your reason is – my reason has taught me nothing if not patience.  However, I’m running short of it as of late.  I do not know what – if anything – is wrong with your child.  But I do know you need to get him off Mase before Kaleb explodes.

Because now Kaleb has picked up on what’s going on.  And while Mason is still doing (surprisingly) well with this kid being too close to his personal space, he’s getting more tense by the second – and Kaleb recognizes this.  This is the thing that amazes me about him.  As much as he doesn’t understand other people – as much as he wants to, but doesn’t – he picks up on what’s going on with Mason in a heartbeat.  And he is not happy about it.

Now I’ve got to hold Kaleb back because he’s starting to get worked up over this kid messing with Mason.

“You’re not supposed to touch that!  That’s not yours!  You go away!  Leave Mason alone!”

I’m sitting here thinking Oooooh snap, here we go.

Thankfully, this woman realizes that her kid is about to cause a massive issue – one which, in all likelihood, would have sent her kid to the ER across the street.  And she finally picked him up and carried him off.  To the hallway.  Where he proceeded to scream for fifteen minutes.  I get this.  I feel your pain lady.  But, if you hadn’t let your kid constantly try to change the game my son was playing from cars to trains, it might not be this bad right now.  personal-space1

My kids are wild.  They’re in-your-face crazy little dudes.  But there is absolutely no way under the sun I would let either one of them climb on another child and try to take his toy.  Kaleb really doesn’t understand social convention to begin with – so I understand the personal space battle.  But that doesn’t make doing nothing okay.  I was baffled.  Now, in the meantime, I can see this woman has her hands full.  She has two other kids with her, and her mother (who is clearly less than helpful at this point).  If I saw her struggling somewhere, I’d most likely stop to help.  But I’ve got my hands full as well – and this little event has got both my kids sitting on the edge and it’s taking all that I have just to keep them from falling over.

They come back in from the hallway, where the child then proceeds to walk right back to Mason, and starts grabbing for the phone again.  Only, now the other two kids are all over Kaleb’s ipod.  Now they’re both getting overwhelmed.  And just as I finally lose patience and tell this woman to get her kids away from mine before something bad happens, we’re called back.  Thank goodness for small favors.

The end result of the day – I’m super proud of both my kids for holding it together the way they did.  Kaleb’s last EEG came out clean, but they want to run an overnight EEG as soon as possible.  They’ll schedule us for two nights in case they don’t get anything on the first night.  Oh boy.  But hopefully we’ll get answers this time.  This is a new one.  We’ve done the sleep study, but never the overnight EEG.  Have you?  I’d certainly like to know what it entails.



This word has become an instant headache in the world of Monsters.

Kaleb needs things to be perfect.  Everything from Legos to toilet paper.  Yes.  Toilet paper.  Every day I find squares of toilet paper in the bathroom sink.  Because they were not torn off the roll perfectly.  One tear, one rip, one corner less than perfect and in the sink it goes.  It isn’t even good enough to throw in the toilet.  Because it’s not perfect.

Need a paper towel to wipe your hands?  If it’s not ripped perfectly it’s trash.

Want to color?  One mark outside the line and you’re looking at a brand new piece of garbage.  Before you know it there are twenty pieces of paper littering the floor, all ruined.

Of course, this isn’t just Kaleb anymore.  It’s Mason too.  He will painstakingly line those cars up along the edge of the table before dinner.  If I should accidentally bump one while trying to give the kid his food – take my word for it, DUCK!  If you move the balls lined up on the window sill there will be consequences.

And oh, you might as well just punch me right in the face if you should accidentally trip over the boobie traps they both frequently set up in front of their bedroom doors.  Meticulously placed blocks, legos, trains, dinosaurs – all arranged in a certain order – and should your toe so much as nudge one… well.  Let’s just say that’s a day you’ll find mommy hiding in the closet.

If a potato chip is broken, it will not be eaten by either child.  Are you kidding me??  It’s a chip!  I’m letting you eat junk!  Nope.  Not if it’s broken.  Do you have any idea how many unbroken chips there are in a bag of Ruffles?  Somewhere around… six.  Bananas must be peeled evenly.  Apples must be sliced evenly.  Love to get dirty – hate to be dirty.  Hands must be clean.  But heaven forbid they actually keep a room clean.

And here I thought my OCD was bad.  We all have some degree of it in the house.  But this is ludacris.  The volume on Kaleb’s T.V. must be set at an odd number.  Or he will stack as many toys as needed to pull down the remote (which is held to the hallway wall with velcro) and fix it himself.  Mason will sleep with no less than three non-sleep related items in his bed at night.  Daddy has his particularities, heck, even the dog won’t lay down without spinning in three full circles.

Yes, I’m guilty of it as well.  All of the CD’s, DVD’s, and books must be alphabetized.  And yes, I will notice.  I’ve had enough friends in my lifetime who have randomly moved a book from it’s natural location just to see me go nuts – I check them every day.  The dishes need to be put in the dishwasher a certain way (or they won’t get clean!!  I am not a lunatic for this!!).  All of my clothes must hang in my closet facing the same direction, and the hangers must match.  So, I can get where they are coming from.  Mostly.

I try so hard to teach the kids that nobody is perfect.  I mean, really.  Mommy is pretty much as far from perfect as you can get.  More like ‘a hot mess who has completely lost her mind and still hasn’t figured out how to match her clothes’.  But to no avail.  Do I want them to strive for perfection?  Of course.  Who doesn’t want a kid with straight A’s and matching clothes?  But more than that – I want kids who are at least somewhat grounded in reality.  Life is messy.  It’s chaotic, often unfair, and expecting perfection is just setting yourself up for disappointment.

But, I digress.  Screw reality.  With all the lunacy attached to this pursuit of perfection – it’s still worth seeing their faces light up when they finally get it right.  When that little square of toilet paper is just right – everything else is too.

Those little Monsters are just perfect.  Booby traps and all.


Bad Day…

What is it that causes one day to be great, and one to be terrible?

I don’t mean some big action, or sequence of events.  I mean right from the second you open your eyes.  Your day is decided right then.  Good or bad.  At least, in my experience anyway.  Sure something could happen (and often does) to alter the mood of your day.  Usually something random and unexpected.  But at the heart of it all, I can’t help but think about the determining factor at the start of your day.  It’s like the Sandman flips a coin while you’re sleeping.

Especially with the kids.  It’s like dancing some insane ballroom dance that nobody actually knows the steps to.  One good day.  Three bad days.  Two good days.  One bad day.  One good day.  Four bad days…

And I cannot find a common factor.  Some days I know in advance it’s going to be a bad day.  Nightmares.  Night terrors.  Bad days.  Then again, peaceful nights can end up bad days too.  And there are even some good days following bad nights.  It really is just random.

Take the past few days for example.  Sunday was rough for Kaleb.  His friends came to play and he just wasn’t having it.  He was having one of those days where his things are set in a particular way, and nobody – absolutely nobody – can touch them or the sky starts to fall.  And to Kaleb, it isn’t like you can just fix it later – you can’t.  Once it’s out of place, or it’s been touched, it’s ruined.  Nevermind that a Mr. Potato Head is pretty much designed to fall apart.  The same thing happens with just about anything depending on the day.  The worst part of it, was that Kaleb came out of his room an hour after his friends left completely heartbroken.  He told me he was so sorry for hurting his friends’ feelings.  It kills me, those days absolutely shatter me.

Some days I think we’re really making headway.  Mason will grab something, or I’ll knock something over, and when I freeze to wait for the reaction it doesn’t come.  He’ll just say “Oh, we need to fix it!”

Those are the days I want to hoot and holler and run around with a torch of triumph.  Yesterday was one of those days.  He did great!  Aside from waking me up at 5am to inform me that there was no school (“It’s President’s Day!  You have to go and get me my Lego Police Station to build because it’s a lot of pieces that need to be builded!”).  All day long he was a bit rambunctious, was a bit too ‘in your face’ with the kids, but otherwise he was really good.  Some whining here and there (until mommy started walking around making Beaker noises – which drove him crazy enough to stop whining), a couple of small issues, but overall a good day.  No giant meltdowns over anything.  I asked him to move his ‘parade’ of potato heads and little people out of the middle of the doorway – it was a bit of an argument, but eventually he did it. I’ll take the win.  Of course, those days are rare.  Most days something that simple would be a complete disaster.

On the other hand, Mason was in a great mood Sunday.  He was a little demon child most of yesterday.  His speech therapist arrived, and he had fallen asleep – much to my dismay.  For thirty five minutes he had one meltdown after another.  Screaming, flailing, kicking, scratching, crying, throwing, shrieking.  All with his eyes closed, so for a while I was worried he wasn’t even awake and we were perpetuating a night terror.  No.  He was awake.  He was just really not happy about it.

Some days pressure helps.  Some days I can grab ahold of Kaleb while he’s having a meltdown over a broken Lego, I can wrap myself around him, and within minutes he’ll be calm.  Some days that just exacerbates the situation.  I never know which it’ll be until it’s too late.  Some days I can rock Mason out of a meltdown, other days it will just make it worse.  Again, I never know.

This not knowing – it’s a real pain in the neck.  Or back, nose, throat, stomach… wherever else a flying elbow or foot may land.

I’d give just about anything for way to prepare myself for the day ahead.  Every day we try to set them up for success.  Every day we do our best to make sure that everything starts off right – but it really isn’t up to us.  It’s up to the stupid Sandman with his stupid coin toss.


Late Morning Lullaby…

Kaleb rode his scooter yesterday.

I mean, he really rode.  He rocked it.  He didn’t whine, complain, or fall down on purpose.   He did fall down once – and at that point he had done so well for so long, I wasn’t about to push the issue.  That wasn’t a ‘teaching’ moment.  That was a ‘mommy gets it’ moment.  And I did.  I got it.  I got to watch my kid forget his worries.  Forget the anxiety, the worry, the things that I have watched steadily become ingrained in him – he just let them go and he had fun.

I remember as little as a year ago sitting here worrying.  Is he never going to be afraid?  Is he just going to keep on doing these things regardless?  Is he going to break his neck while I’m trying to change a diaper or wash a dish?  Because that was a problem.  A really, really big problem.  Kaleb was fearless.  Plain and simple.  He has proprioception issues.  His spacial recognition is… lacking.  He would swan dive off the back of furniture face first on to tile.  I would spend countless hours staring at him trying to determine if he just broke a bone in his face.  He didn’t react to pain unless it was a seriously intense, severe kind of pain.

And then something changed.  Suddenly, he’s afraid of everything.  I don’t get it.  Now I’m worried because I can see how anxious he is making himself.  Freaking out over getting blood drawn because it will hurt – when the needle has been in his arm for close to a minute already – so I know he didn’t feel it.  Afraid of the bike he was so excited about.  Afraid of the scooter.  Afraid of bugs and pavement.  Where is this coming from?

I am sure part of it is coming from us.  We’ve spent years trying to install in him not a sense of fear- but a sense of danger.  I don’t want you to be afraid of this, but I want you to recognize that it could be dangerous if you don’t follow the rules.  A big part of that is not coming across.  I see that.  What I don’t get is the drastic change.  Three months ago he had to have the same blood work done.  Three months ago he ask questions, watched, and was fine.  Is he becoming afraid of the world?  Anxiety, I get that.  Concern I get.  But he’s actually making himself scared.  And by doing so, he’s making me scared.

But – aside from all of that.  Kaleb rode his scooter.  Rocked my socks off.  Mason kind of half rode, half walked, and totally cheated with his scooter.  My niece switched between the trike and just running around like a loon.  I am thrilled.  I am thrilled because my kids felt comfortable enough with a group of friends to go and do something ‘dangerous’.  And they loved every second of it.  I am thrilled because not only did they step out of their comfort zones – they forgot they even existed.  So did I.

Good grief is it nice to just be comfortable.  To watch your kids play with other kids, and by the end of the day not jump at every sound.  To be able to talk, and gripe, and laugh – while listening to a herd of crazy laughing happily in the background.  Friends are important.  I’ve always counted myself blessed when it came to my friends – and I’m lucky enough to still do that.  But it’s hard.  When you grow up, and your friends have families, and no matter how much you love each other – you’re still comparing kiwi to grapefruit.

It’s really tough to connect on that level.  I can’t imagine what my friends think.  What they don’t say, or share.  Because they feel bad, or it seems like a taboo subject.  Because my kids aren’t doing that.  And I’m dying to congratulate them.  To tell them how proud I am of them and those kids for being just so awesome.  But I don’t.  Part of me thinks I can’t.   I’m too busy preventing wars, starting wars, and mediating peace.  By the time I’m done it’s midnight, and that’s too late to call.  Then again, I know there’s another part of me.  The one that doesn’t want to make my friends feel guilty, and that’s what I’m afraid I do.  Oh, your kid had a bad day?   Really?  Did he kick another kid in the face?  Cause mine did.  And then I wonder what’s wrong with me?

Why do I do that?  To myself, my friends, anyone?  What’s with the comparison game?  Truth is – it’s become habit.  A really selfish, unpretty habit.  Which is horrible.  Because I’m not that person.  I’m not that negative, competitive (unless we’re playing video games, or Jeopardy!) person.  But it’s not about what kind of person I am or what kind of person you are.  It’s about the fact that you’ll never know my life any more than I will ever really know yours.  But being selfish in personal relationships becomes natural when you have kids.  Because you can’t be selfish in life anymore.  You can’t just do something because you want to.  You can’t just walk away and say I didn’t want to play with you anyway (which by the way, I have said, as a parent, on more than one occasion, only to walk around the corner and tap my foot for ten seconds until returning to try again.  Point.  Game.  Match.  Congrats kid).

I’m finding it more difficult as an adult to actively keep friendships than I ever did as a kid.  Yet I look at my kids and see the struggle, and am baffled by the resilience.  The unwavering determination.  The faith and hope.

My kids have new friends.  I have a new friend.  And we are all so much better for it.  So much better, in fact –

Kaleb rode his scooter yesterday.


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Happy Valentine’s Day