Thursday, June 26, 2008

Summertime and the livin is easy...

Or not. Today I spent the better part of the noontime hour chasing around a dense pizza delivery person, while 6 very patient little persons (and their patient teachers) waited for what seemed like an eternity for their celebratory lunch to be delivered. I was definitely sweating the small stuff today, as class mom, I take my job VERY seriously and I wanted our end of the year party to be great. Hey, we wound up scrounging some pizza from the neighboring hallway's end of the year lunch for the kids, and eventually the lost delivery guy showed up and no one was worse for the wear. Especially me now, since I am on my second malibu and pineapple juice. I forgot how deeelish they are. So cheers everyone, here is to a wonderful, relaxing, simple, joyful summer, full of homemade lemonade and fireflies and short on mosquito bites and humidity.

(and hanging all your laundry on the line to dry, too, with a cute little clothespin holder that you made yourself)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

To everything turn, turn, turn...

It's been quite the month, now that it's almost done, it's been quite the week. A total whirlwind of emotions swirling around here. I have NOT been easy to live with the past few days. This is bubs' last week of school. It's also his last week of therapy. No more therapy (at least for the summer, and so far, none is slated for the fall). My bubs has been in therapy since he was six months of age. He had torticollis at birth, and he got pt pretty early on. That was our 'intro' to 'the system' which has so lovingly nurtured us along all these years. It really is wonderful, and something to celebrate, but it also has me a little mushy, a little frightened of the unknown territory headed our way, and nervous to be leaving our cozy little nest.

When bubs started his aba preschool, he was three. He didn't talk, and was quite a handful. I didn't know what was going to happen with him. I was crazy into biomed, and if you wanted to see what perseveration looked like, a picture of my face should have been plastered in webster's underneath the word. I was obsessed with autism. I had to be. It was the only way I could think I had control over the insanity that was our life. There wasn't any peace for me at that time, the closest I could come to peace was exhaustion. I didn't want to send bubs to that school. It was intense, it was one on one for six hours a day, bubs would be in his own room (some called them cubicles) doing discrete trials. Plus the fact that the school had the word 'autism' in it's name, and I just wasn't ready to go there. I didn't want him to have to go there. I agonized. I looked into other options. But the honest to God truth was that aba worked for bubs. It really worked. If I wanted aba for him, I had to send him there. They were aba experts. The only game in town, and actually people moved here from all over the place to send their kids there. So, we sent him there. A baby. In diapers. It was rough in the beginning.

I really dreaded the whole thing. But a surprising thing happened. We got better. Not just bubs, but me and subsequently my poor husband who had to put up with me. Bubs loved it there, and it wasn't quite the horror show I imagined it to be. We found our peeps. Just walking in there, surrounded by people who were in the very same boat I was, was soothing in a way I had not known. While that is not enough of a common bond for me to be friends with someone, it does lead you to opening up, and I found my way to people who I consider my true friends. I also think bubs made some really tight friends, and that is no small thing to consider. Two years ago, I didn't know if he would talk, or be able to even hold a conversation. I am floored by everything that comes out of his mouth. Everything. Even the bratty stuff.

So, we are moving on. Like I said, it's a complete mix of extreme emotions. We are ready to move on to the next step, but we will really miss where we came from. It's all good. On to our next set of challenges.... bring it on, I am ready, I swear!

Thank you to all my bloggy friends for your kind words and condolences. It really means a lot to me.

Friday, June 13, 2008

The big question

I totally believe that everything happens for a reason. I do. I guess that might be part of my religious beliefs, which are a part of my own homemade religion. I think though, sometimes you just have no business going and asking just what those reasons are. It's a can of worms and it is not productive. I do try and find the lesson and I try really hard to move on in a positive direction. I do, I swear.
I do think my son was sent to me on purpose. My child teaches me more than I can ever teach him. He has been teaching me a lot lately. Perhaps I was a little low in the patience department, so the powers that be decided to test that patience. A lot. Maybe I don't think it's a big deal to take your bathing suit off and put it on the right way, instead of backwards before going out. But to my son, it was monumental. He didn't want to change it. He told me so, rather screamed it so for a half an hour yesterday. He is just starting to have an understanding of empathy, and I think it confuses him. He told me this morning he was sorry for crying. I am sorry for it too. I wish I knew what was going on in his brain right now to be causing so much angst. I know from my psychology books that all change causes anxiety. It is a necessary part of life, critical to moving forward and needed to get to the next step. It's tough for all of us, it's so tough to see your child going through it.

It's all a little tender right now. One of my cousins (actually my dad's cousin's son) just passed away last night. He was 29. I used to babysit for him. When he was little (I believe one or two), he was diagnosed with Leukemia. It was heartbreaking what he had to endure. He was a feisty little guy, always tearing the house apart, full of energy. He beat it, and went on with his life. I am sure that it was always in the back of his and his families mind, lurking in the corners as I am sure it is for anyone with cancer in remission. As I watched him grow up, I always thought he was an old soul in a young body. For all the crap that he went through, how could he not. The rambunctious toddler turned into a very quiet, socially awkward, sweet kind person. The kind of person who would not hurt a fly. He went to the high school where I taught. I couldn't help but think about how his childhood forever changed his path as a person. Could it be the chemicals pumped into him at an early age (which saved his life) or just having to think about all that heavy stuff way too young?
I had heard a few months ago that he had cancer again. The doctors said that it wasn't related to the leukemia. But how could it not be? He was at Sloane-Kettering getting treatment. Apparently, the stem cell treatment caused scarring on his lungs. He had a bout of pneumonia. The other night my parents called and told me they were going to the hospital to say their goodbyes. I was shocked. I had no idea. I think that when I hear of something sad, I instantly translate it into my life. How would I feel? As a mom, it took my breath away. It gives you a little clarity on what's important in life, but it also gives me anxiety thinking that the life you know could be taken away at an instant. I imagine a giant withered hand poking you on the shoulder and a big loud voice saying 'you, you need to come with me' and off you go. I cannot imagine, and I am afraid to even think about, what it must be like for his parents and grandparents right now. The natural order of things is off, way off.

I am so sorry to be such a downer. For me, I spent the morning squeezing the life out of my son telling him over and over again how much I love him. And trying not to feel horribly guilty for all of his tantrums lately. And grateful for all I have. And sad for my cousin and his family.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


So the poop thing is going really well. Really well. Much better than I could have imagined. However, the stress of it, or at least what I think is the stress of it, is making itself known. It could be that bubs is sensitive to all the changes going on in his little life right now. He is practicing for preschool graduation, he knows he is leaving his aba school and he knows that kindy is around the corner. Add that to the fact that his aba school is riding him a little hard these days, in prep for the changes, thrown in with the potty changes and I think we have a stressed out little child. It's been a tough week for us.

Our conversations go a little like this.... bubs: 'can I have shark bites' (aka 'fruit snacks, aka cavity inducing, hf corn syrup, red dye #40 crap for breakfast)'no, not for breakfast, you can have...(insert list of wonderful choices here)'....bubs: 'YES, I SAID SHARK BITES...growling, yelling screaming....'. This is pretty much how every interaction between us went, and you can add in some more rudeness, on his part, and a little hitting and scratching thrown in for good measure. We don't spank around here, and I never really did the time out thing. I find myself staring blankly at the little dictator wondering what Supernanny would do. Funny, I used to watch that show and look at those poor, weak, parents and think, 'ha, they need a behavioral support plan'...and yeah, I would think I was superior because my kid never behaved like their monsters. 'Ha, they need a naughty chair, we don't need a naughty chair... We have planned ignoring', I presumed. Well, planned ignoring, where are you now?

Granted, the fact that we are even having these headbutting sessions are amazing. From what I hear, this is somewhat typical. The mental sparring going on here is certainly taxing, but I guess taxing in a good way. My husband thinks that you can reason with a tantruming almost five year old. I love when he comes home while I am attempting to wash bubs' hair. I am covered in water, and muttering to myself while bubs is in the tub crying. He had the nerve to tell me, 'Just tell him he can't do that'. Wow, that's a great idea, I think I'll try that next time.

Monday, June 2, 2008

It's my 100th Post

I had big plans for this post. I really did. But those plans fizzled yesterday morning when bubs came up to me while I was sewing, rubbing his head, telling me 'my head is failed, mom'. 'What?', I said. 'It's failed, my head is failed', he said again, in a sad kind of way. So I figured he had a headache. The day before we went to the skankiest burger king I have ever been in. It was gee -ross. My friend Mary met us there, she carries bleach with her at all times, and even that wasn't enough to wipe away the skeeviness that surrounded us. So yeah, bubs' head failed due to the germ pit I exposed him to the day before. It was confirmed when my friend Mary called me up shortly after and told me her son requested that band aids be put on his ears. Our children are a very poetic bunch.
I get very anxious when my son gets sick. Un-naturally anxious. It kills me. I stress out about how he is feeling, what could be wrong, do you think it's strep, oh no not strep, I can't make him take those damn antibiotics, oh no... should I send him to school? Do I call the bus driver.... do you get the picture? I freak out.
So I kept bubs home today. He seemed to be ok, just a little congested, no fever, but not really cool as a cucumber either. He seemed to develop a 'head failing test' that he showed me. He happily shook his head back and forth, and smiled and said 'see, my head isn't failing anymore'. Who needs thermometers?
At any rate, I am going to have my 100th post celebration at another time. It will be a surprise.