A Mommy Blog About Raising Men, Not Boys.

Friday, November 30, 2012

He Has Christmas Wishes

Something amazing happened a couple of days ago and I'm still reeling from it. I'm not sure you other parents can fathom this but I have never known really what my twins want for Christmas. I have a general idea of things they "like" but, you never really know.
Your neuro typical children get dreamy eyed and try to tell you all the reasons they want this or that or the other thing. But, my sweet twins open what they are given and often just wait for something else to open. Opening is fun on Christmas but usually only one or two things catches their eye.

And I've never had a Christmas list, or been able to have that "So tell Mommy what you want for Christmas" talk with them.

Until NOW.

He is getting every damn thing on this list by God.
Miles wants this for Christmas. I totally cried.
We already have the PlayStation. I am guessing he wants to play. So I told my oldest son we're going to teach him how to play.

I sat and cried and cried when I saw this. He has a Christmas list. For the first time in his life.

I think it's amazing.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Just 30 More Minutes

At 6:25 AM I realized that Charlie had a fever,so no school today. I gave him Tylenol, called transportation so the bus didn't come and honk honk honk, and rolled back upstairs and climbed into bed.
I had, at that moment, 30 minutes to relax before I had to get up.

T Minus 29 Minutes: I am drifting off, and a child coughs. I roll over.

T Minus 27 Minutes: I hear little feet paddling on the carpet - look up in time to see a blonde head dive into her bed. "Go to sleep." I whisper.

T Minus 24 Minutes: Someone else coughs.

T Minus 20 Minutes: The husband throws a leg over me and pins my leg weirdly, I wiggle free and scooch to snuggle more comfortably. He starts to snore. In my ear.

T Minus 17 Minutes: Feet. On the carpet. Running up and down the hall. "GO TO SLEEP" I say, less whispery this time.

T Minus 15 Minues: The girl child, "MY SOCKS WHERE ARE MY SOCKS?" I realize she didn't put her magical sock on at bed time, so I get up, get them out of the drawer and put them on her, and tuck her back into bed. I don't know what magic powers they HAVE but I know she has to have them EVERY night.
Every night before bed , no matter what, she puts on Captain America socks.

I lay back down. I consider just hitting the shower at this point. But I close my eyes instead.

T- Minus 7 Minutes: Charlie comes in. "I have a booger." Me, "You have a booger?" Him "I want a diaper."
Ok then. I change him, he's wet through, I change his pajamas and have him lay down with me.

T Minus 5 Minutes: I assume I went to sleep. Clock said 6:55 and then it was BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP and I had to get up.

That was a super restful extra 30.

Note to self - just get up next time.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Saying No to Autism

You're laying in bed, snuggled under the blankets. You're sound asleep and as comfortable as can be. Suddenly the night is pierced by a blood curdling scream. A child, in the next room, is screaming and shrieking.
You might leap to your feet, visions of intruders or wild animals mauling your child in your head. You might rush to your child's bed ready to do battle or whatever is required because no human child would make such a sound unless being tortured.
Unless of course, your child is severely autistic.
In that case, you might open your eyes and listen for a moment. Much like the cries of a baby, screams and shrieks have their own language, their own meaning. They can mean "I need a diaper" or "I don't want to be in bed anymore" or "I really like the way this screaming sounds." Often it's the latter.
That's how the past three mornings have started for me. Screaming and shrieking from the other room.
Autism isn't rational. Applying reason to it isn't a relevant prospect, you'll lose and end up in tears yourself.
On Saturday, the day the screaming STARTED up in such earnest, I decided we weren't doing this.

So we had a good day. I insisted we have a good day.

We baked cookies and made hot chocolate, and we focused on CHRISTMAS.

There was still a lot of screaming. But for the non-autistic people in the house, there is something therapeutic about saying "OK now if you're done screaming, let's make cookies." "OK who wants to help me make eggnog pancakes? You can't help if you are throwing a fit." "Stop eating your hair and we'll play tea party."

I know that's probably weird, but autism wants to control my life. In many ways, ways I can't really even articulate, it dictates a lot of the direction of it.

But autism is just the wind blowing a storm at us. We captain the ship, and WE can trim our sails and make some progress. Maybe not always the way we want - but a good captain knows some progress is always a victory.

Right now, I have a little boy hanging on my left arm giggling too loudly and pressing too hard. He's very sweet. He's happy and stealing drinks of my coffee. The boy who screams has left for the day, and this boy who STARTED out screaming earlier has stopped. this post has taken me a lot longer to write, as my left arm gets wiggled around.

But I'm still writing it.

That's sort of my mood this morning. Autism slows me down, it makes life harder. But it doesn't STOP me.

Our life will never be normal.  But it will be ours.

Friday, November 23, 2012

It's a Black Friday After All

I had thought to linger around the house in my Jammies and not do much, except possibly go buy some female platys because the lone female does not appreciate their attentions.
But the antibiotics Miles is on have waged a war on his tummy and I have realized I am gonna be out of diapers sooner rather than later.

People, I have to go to Walmart.

What sick joke is this?

Thursday, November 22, 2012

The 2 Year Old is in Charge of Cinnamon Rolls

She took her assignment pretty seriously.
Next year we will make her do the sweet potatoes.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Tell Him About The Twinkie

So I sit here with my Hostess coffee cakes and my mind is on bakeries and traditions. I'm kinda bummed that Hostess is going out of business, because it's an institution, because it's a tradition, because despite Twinkies being gross they are also good.
It's just kind of a shame to me though. Like Kool-Aid, they're a childhood THING. Sugar filled calories that have no purpose other than to be fun for little kids.
Of course, we're probably to blame as much as anyone for Hostess not staying afloat. It's one thing to say "OMG HOSTESS! LOVE THEM" and it's another thing to actually patronize them.
If I loved them SO much, why were there no Hostess products in my cabinet until they announced they were shuttering their business?
There weren't any because first of all - there was no urgency, who woulda thunk it? Secondly, they were MORE EXPENSIVE. In a family of four kids, I'm afraid Little Debbie reigns supreme in terms of cheap bakery goods value. It's not BETTER not by any means, but you know, it was cheaper and "good enough" so Little Debbie made it into the cart more often than not.

I'm glad though, that we were able to take one last stroll through the treats from Hostess, just in case no one buys them and brings the company back to life. It's kind of nice, it's a fun family thing to do together, even if it's a bit silly.

I had moved away when the elegant bakery of my childhood ROSELYN went out of business, and never got another chance to sample it's wares. It turns out it was probably just as well as they were closed down for their bakeries having rat infested filth throughout - ick, but you'd never have known it from the shops themselves. Ladies in blue dresses and white aprons waited on you and the baked goods all sat on beautiful white paper doilies behind immaculate glass cases. Apparently they failed their board of health review quite horribly, people quit eating there (gee wonder why) and then they failed it again if memory serves.

But even knowing what disgusting holes their actual bakeries were, I always regret a little that I'll never have another alligator cake, or napoleon, or anything else from them

So I'm happy to take this stroll down memory lane with Hostess.

But part of me wants to keep a Twinkie for ten years, to see if Egon is right.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Crazy Days And Kisses

A warm fire and kisses
I wish there was a book, for how crazy parenting is. I don't mean those "How to not kill your baby" books that are out there. There are lots of those. I also don't mean those "If you don't do all these things you are a bad parent and your baby won't get into Harvard or the right pre-school" books. I mean, it could be a short book. Very small. Maybe just two pages, a forward from the author and a second page. It would say something like,"Parenting is crazy and you will never, ever figure it out so just roll with it."

My day starts out with "Mommy carry my dinosaurs" which is actually a pair of bongo drums turned upside down and filled with small plastic dinosaurs. This is apparently the preferred method of transporting dinosaurs.
Both yesterday and today were filled with fights about these same dinosaurs. What they should go into - a pumpkin from Halloween, the bongos, a purse, a coaster caddy? And Miles would dump them out and Julia would scream and pinch him and he'd pull her hair and....

I lit a fire last night. I look up from my magazine and see my three littlest ones sitting on the hearth enjoying the heat and the popping log, and realize Miles is saying "Kiss baby!" and she is saying "I love you Miles!" She ran around, stopping to kiss him and they'd laugh and giggle as though the battle of the dinosaurs and their appointed container had never occurred.

Then I woke up this morning, and apparently detente was over and it was back to it.

He does not prefer the bongos, she does.

It was another day of battles large and small. But my mind keeps wandering back to those kisses by the hearth and the secret love they have for one another. You'd never know it, but they are in fact quite fond of one another.

That makes me really happy.


Saturday, November 17, 2012

Oh The Humanity...

Well we are trying to share one if each with the kids one last time. Still missing - ding dongs.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Wishes and Wants And Oh HELL No

I'm not a cool parent. I think this is important to get out of the way, when explaining anything to do with parenting. The most screwed up people I've ever known in my life, had cool parents. They in turn, were cool parents and had screwed up kids.
Being cool isn't what I am here for, parenting wise.

So you can imagine my consternation when my oldest child keeps telling me that he's been invited to a sleep over for a birthday party - for someone I don't know.

Now, I can be partially cool. I figure, a proper invitation, address, phone numbers, parents names - these sort of things would soothe my parenting savage beast and the boy can go. I don't have to be unreasonable and I am also pretty sure that the first few people I went to sleepovers with were probably NOT people my parents knew. Maybe they were - but I don't think so.

However, said sleepover is tonight. No proper invitation has been sent along, no address no nothing.

What has been sent along is a message that, they'll just come get him tonight and drop him off in the morning.

Ummmm. No.

Apparently the boy thought his father was being unreasonable with his NO to that, until he got to speak to me about it. I showed him what uncool mother really means. After I gave him my Oh Hell NO about twenty different ways I asked him  point blank, "Would you let Julia get into a car with strangers that you don't know, to go some place you don't know, and hope that they bring her back tomorrow?" to which he answered NO.

"Good," I said. "Because, my sweet ten year old boy, YOU are also MY baby just like Julia. And this is NEVER happening as long as I am alive."

I have offered him to give the boy his telephone number and they may call here today, and I am GLAD to drive him over, drop him off (providing next door isn't a crack den) and pick him up tomorrow. I am glad to do this at ANY time that their family needs me to do it.

Part of me feels like there really isn't a sleepover and this little boy is just talking the way children do, hoping to make something real if he says it. The other part of me worries that ridiculous people are going to invite my child over for a sleepover today.

I have this terrible feeling that they are COOL.

Monday, November 05, 2012

She Is the Bouncy Puppy

The conventional wisdom when buying pets its that you don't want the quiet, docile puppy or kitten. You want the one going crazy, bounding around, licking you, jumping and embracing their world with joy filled abandon.

My daughter, is the bouncy puppy.
When I get out the mixing bowl, she starts jumping "WHERE IS MY CHAIR?" because she is ready to stand on it and stir and HELP!
She has one volume, LOUD. Unless she is being quiet "Shhh baby is sleeping." Of course, baby could be a car, or a doll, or a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. You truly never know.

She runs and screams and laughs, and shouts "MOMMY IS HOME!!!" when I return from work. Everything is funny, unless it isn't and then WOE TO YOU WHO CAUSED SOMETHING NOT FUNNY TO HAPPEN.
She wants to read and watch DVDs and play cooking but rarely food, mostly cars and trains. Perhaps they are delicious - I don't know! She cries when it's bed time, and will declare "I want to go downstairs and watch TV with DADDY!" because she doesn't want to miss anything.
I don't blame her. I don't either.

Friday, November 02, 2012

Melanie Wilkes' Less Intelligent Sister

I went through this earlier, with my friends, about how the nurse at my kid's school sounds like some sort of cartoon character southern belle. I did the accent around work a few times today, and people died laughing.
But this got me to thinking.

I live in ATLANTA. I actually live OUTSIDE of Atlanta by 40 miles. Up where the mountains are starting to be hilly and forests crop up (I live by one). Southern Belles abound here - ALL AROUND ME.

Not one of them sounds like this. 

Where "I" is "AH" and "Okay" is "O KAYEEEE YEEEYEE".  Who talks like that? NO ONE.

Yes, there are accents. Some people say I've picked one up but I don't hear it. But maybe I have. This though, it truly was like Carol Burnett herself was pretending to be Miss Scarlet, too pronounced, too much drawl.

It makes me a bit nuts. I am not sure if people realize that, just as east coasters with sharp tone and fast rate of speech seem RUDE to those from the south - when in fact they feel they are just being efficient with their words, this slow make believe southern drawl makes you sound like, well YES Melanie Wilkes less intelligent sister.

We decided today then, that this would be Simpleton Hamilton. And we're not surprised because we all know that they marry their cousins.

So that explains it all, then doesn't it?
Don't marry your cousins people.

It never ends well.