Monday, November 11, 2013

Nom, Nom, Nom, Nom, Babies!

     Apparently Skeletor has been taking the illustrious words of Mr. Tracy Jordan just a bit too seriously.  He has been living every week (or at least this past Friday) like it's shark week.  Upon arriving at the school to pick up my darling angel muffins, I was met by a staff member telling me that I needed to pick my son up in the office because he had bitten someone!  Gasp!  The horror!
     At first, I was appalled.  We are pretty much a peaceful folk around our house.  Skeletor has never been in trouble at school before this.  It was all pretty shocking until I got to the office and spoke to the principal.  She had Skeletor explain what happened between himself and the other student.  Turns out that this much bigger child grabbed my kid's index finger, twisted it, and bent it backwards.  His reason?  Oh, because Skeletor was annoying him.  I'm just saying, if a giant person was trying to break my finger, I might bite him, too.
     I'm truly not for violence if it can be avoided.  And, in this instance, I really wish that my son had alerted one of the nearby teachers what was happening.  That being said, however, I feel much better sending my Autistic child to school each day knowing that he didn't just take that abuse.  If I had to pick between my child silently suffering or fighting back, I'm going to choose the latter almost every time.  In a perfect world, none of this would have happened.  But we all know this world isn't perfect.

P.S.  I'm a terrible person, so ever since this incident took place, this song has been stuck in my head.  You're welcome.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Peanut Butter Solution

     Disclaimer: this post has little to do with the morbid and creepifying 1985 children's movie The Peanut Butter Solution, other than both use peanut butter as a major plot point.  Also, the protagonist of the film and I both have amazing hair, which may or may not be the result of ghostly specters urging me to do strange things with the foodstuffs.  (Side note: can we all agree that this movie may be both the best and worst thing to ever happen in the 80's?  I blame slash give credit to Canada.  Ya'll so crazy!)

Don't hate us because we're beautiful.
     Now, let's get down to brass tacks, shall we?  Like most autistic children, Skeletor is a picky eater.  Very picky.  Like he would probably let himself succumb to starvation before he ventured outside whatever his four food groups happen to be that year.  One of his very favorite things to eat is a peanut butter sandwich.  (No jelly!  That's lowbrow!)  So, naturally, I pack him one in his lunchbox every day.  Every.  Single.  Day.  And he usually eats his entire sandwich, has a full tum tum, and is a happy camper.  Until recently, that is.  The last few weeks, Skeletor has been bringing home a lunchbox that still contains an entirely intact peanut butter sandwich.  Nary a nibble out of the thing.  Which was pretty weird considering that he was still chowing down on the things at home.  After repeated questioning, badgering, and nagging on my part, eventually the reason came out.  My sweet, kind-hearted, adorable, precious angel baby was not eating his most favoritest of foods because his friend that sits next to him at lunch is allergic to peanuts.  Lack of empathy, huh?  Pffftttttttttttttt (phonetically spelled out, unladylike fart sound.)

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Overwhelming Overwhelminess

     Hey, guys, I'm throwing a pity party, and you're all invited!  For cereal, though, I haven't updated my blog in...oh, forever because things have been kind of rough around here.  So, now I'm going to vent.  You don't have to read it, but it's my party, and I'll cry if I want to!
     To start with, I know lots of people have it rougher than I do.  I know this.  But, lately, I feel like we can't catch a break.  And, for once in the history of this blog, the struggles have nothing to do with Autism.  To the contrary, my son has been rocking the pants off of the first grade.  I knew he was a smart cookie, but I had no idea that he was actually face-meltingly brilliant.  (It's a medical term.  Look it up.)  We seem to have found a system for doing things that actually works.  So, yay, three cheers for us, right?  Yes.  But, every other thing going on in our lives seems to be ten times more difficult than necessary.  My seven year old is really, really struggling with first grade.  (She repeated kindergarten, and is now in the same grade as Skeletor.)  We have an appointment soon to have her evaluated for...I don't even know.  Whatever's causing her extreme difficulties?  We have a family history of dyslexia among other things.  So, yeah.  That's not fun.
     Then, of course, is my fibromyalgia and its corresponding lack of gainful employment.  (Which causes soul-sucking poverty.)  If anyone has actually read this blog semi-regularly (?), you might recall that I've been struggling with a mysterious illness for several years now.  Because it started when I was in Iraq, I called it my Terrible Iraqi Wasting Disease.  Then, when I got back to the States and the symptoms didn't go away, it became my Terrible Intercontinental Wasting Disease or TICWD (pronounced Ticweed) for short.  Then I was misdiagnosed with the Lymes, and now, five years later, here I sit being all fibromyalgia-y and junk.  It is also not fun.
     So, I say all that to say this:  I'm back.  For real this time.  Baby, I won't ever leave you again.  I promise.  You're my soul mate, girl.  Take me back.  Please?

                                                  What I would look like if I were a cartoon.

Thursday, June 6, 2013


     This is not going to be a post where I give advice of any sort.  Actually, none of my posts have advice in them, because I generally have no clue what I'm doing.  That's why I read other people's blogs.  Duh-doy.  No, this post is actively seeking advice from others, because we have been having Issues (capital 'i') around here lately.  For the last few months, Skeletor has developed a rather disconcerting habit.  He's picking scabs.  And not like most people do.  You know how it goes.  The scab gets itchy because it's healing, and you maybe scratch at it a little too enthusiastically.  Then, bam, blood.  But the boy is compulsively scratching and picking at all minor wounds until it has formed a big old sore.  He even got ringworm in one of his sores because of this.  Another kid in his class had some cah-razy unchecked ringworm all over her legs, and he transferred it into his boo-boo because of all the infernal picking!  When I try to tell him not to pick, he rather patiently explains to me (as if I don't speak the King's English) that he has to pick because "it bothers me."  (Also, he says 'bothers' as if he were channeling Catherine Tate, and this delights me to no end.)

     We've tried the obvious...well, we've tried band-aids.  Don't look at me like that!  It's all I could think of! Has anyone else had this problem?  It's worrying me (or bovvering me, if you will.)  Not only is there the whole germ factor, he picks long enough and deep enough at these things to cause scarring.  So, yeah.  Interwebs friends, I'm going to need you to help a sister out here.  Mmmmkay?

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Do Sharks Have Autism?

     Recently (which is my way of saying months ago,) my son was playing in the bathtub.  In the midst of all the washing and splashing and tra-la-la-ing, something happened that made my stomach drop.  My dear, sweet, perfect, lovely, made of muffins, angel baby looked up at me and asked, "Mommy, what's different?" Now, I've always found it difficult to explain the definitions of words to people.  It's pretty much my only flaw.  Nonetheless, I stuttered and hmmmed and hawed my way through an explanation.  Success!  He seemed to be picking up what I was laying down.  However, my figurative (and maybe literal) self back-patting came to a screeching halt when I heard his follow-up question.  "Mommy, why am I different?"
     Cue heart breaking and dramatic music.  It has been almost a year now since Skeletor was diagnosed as Autistic, but at this point we had not yet had The Talk with him.  I knew it was coming, but I just didn't think it would be so soon.  I would have explained it all to him as soon as we left the doctor's office last May, but he didn't possess the communication skills.  (He's come a long way in speech therapy!)  Also, I'm chicken, and I was scared of scarring him for life with the utter debacle I was sure to make of my explanation.
     So, in complete terror, I kind of half-assed my way through the standard "everyone is different, and that's a good thing" speech.  But I could tell Skeletor wasn't completely satisfied with this answer.  Another, more in depth conversation would be coming soon.  I must away to the interwebs!  I knew that I wanted to start the conversation by reading him a book about Autism (see above poultry-like attributes,) but which one to pick?  Although there doesn't seem to be an over-abundance of books on the subject, I was still stuck.  I wanted it to be perfect.  After much research and study-age and such, I finally decided on "Ben Has Autism.  Ben Is Awesome."

You can find the book by clicking this here linky-poo.
     I ordered the book and awaited its arrival with bated breath.  It was a lovely little book, and served its purpose by setting us up for The Talk.  After we finished reading it, I dove in head first.  I reminded Skeletor of our "why am I different" conversation.  And then I just said it.  I told him that he has Autism, which is why he gets so upset sometimes and has trouble staying still (among other things.)  And I also told him that Autism is part of what makes him so absolutely gangster (our household word for cooler than being cool.)  I'm sure other things of the deep and meaningful variety were said, but it's kind of all a blur.  But the one thing that I will never forget?  After I stressed myself out so badly over this talk, the very first thing that popped out of his mouth when I asked him if he had any questions was, "Do sharks have Autism?"  I repeat, the kid is perfection.

Pictured: hilarity.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Stuff. And Things.

     Hi, everyone!  Did you miss me?  Was your life a deep, black, soul-sucking abyss without me?  No?  Ok, that's cool, too.  I have been on what some may call a sabbatical, but what I like to refer to as my bi-annual nervous breakdown.  Don't worry.  I wasn't hauled off in a self-hugging white coat or anything.  I just had to jettison all the unnecessary luggage in my life for a while so we didn't all go down in flames.  But things are beginning to smooth themselves out a little, so I'm going to be catching you up on everything you've missed in the last three months.  Which, believe it or not, we actually had some pretty big moments.  It began when Skeletor asked me why he was different.  Then came the Talk, when we told him that he has Autism.  We also had the talk with the siblings.  Then I went to the kids' school to talk to them about Autism.  There have also been tons of other non-Autism-y things, as well.  As there often are, you know?  But, I digress.  The point is that I'm back.  Rejoice.  I command it.  (Please?)

This was here.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Skeletor's Birthday Bash!

     My sweet angel baby, Skeletor, turned 6 on Wednesday.  We had a small family party on Sunday.  It all went quite smoothly considering that we went out to eat at my place of employment.  As this was only Skeletor's second time at a restaurant that doesn't have a playground, I was nervous.  But it all went well.  Cake was eaten, presents were opened, pinatas were beaten.  Good times all around.  I will now bombard you with pictures.  You're welcome.

Kick-ass shark cake!

Birthday boy!

Miss Priss and Sassafrass looking so sweet.

My brother, Mr. Awesome, and my mom, The Mamaw.

Smarty Pants looking so grown!  :(

"I'm going to eat you, lobster."

Decisions are hard.

Captain Gingerbeard looks veeerrrry sleeeeepy.

Some random hobo in a Red Lobster  jacket.

The girl's got skills.

The face of pure happiness.

Shark cage!

Beat that shark like he owes you money!


My mom likes toys.

Skeletor's shark face.

Sharks are delicious.

Cupcakes for school.  And that's all, folks!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

5 Second Parenthood Readiness Test

          Do you find yourself wondering if you are ready to be a parent?  If you read this blog, in all likelyhood you have already reproduced, but I'm sure there are exceptions to this rule.  Regardless, if you read the following anecdote, and you find it anything other than completely reasonable, then you are probably not ready for parenthood.  Because no event in my life has more perfectly encapsulated the very essence of raising kids than this one.  Over the last couple of weeks, Skeletor has been having...poop issues.  Yeah, I know.  TMI.  Whatever.  We've all been there.  Point being, is that the aforementioned feces (baby mice!) were colored in such a way as to freak us out.  And, keep in mind, I'm a mother and a grown-ass woman, so green poop doesn't scare me.  Anyhoozle, the Captain and I were being all eagle eyed and such about the boy's trips to the bathroom.  We also had long, detailed conversations about them.  We were right on the verge of taking him to the doctor, where there would have been bloodwork done and traumas endured, when the Chalky Menace finally ended.  While I was at work on Saturday night, Skeletor had a poop so lovely and normal looking that Captain Gingerbeard was inspired to take a picture of it for me.  When I got home that night, I was greeted with the digital image of my son's leavings.  And, after marveling with relief at the utter typical-ness of the poo, I began to laugh my ass off.  Because, as I mentioned earlier, I can't think of a more perfect analogy for parenting than taking a picture of your child's poop. 

Friday, January 11, 2013

Rhyming Dirty Words

     Let's just forget my last hissy fit of a blog post, shall we?  Is that cool with everyone?  Yes?  Good.  Moving on, then.  Shortly before Christmas, Skeletor's class began really hammering home the concept of rhyming words.  Either that, or Skeletor just waited until then to show off his new skill.  Regardless, the boy has been walking around rhyming everything.  At first, I was all, "Yay!  Good job, boy child!  I'm so very proud of you!"  But that pride has suddenly changed to...well, a mixture of feelings.
     In the last couple of months, Skeletor has become very "interested" in sharks.  Meaning, of course, that he eats, sleeps, breathes, and talks about nothing but sharks.  Especially Jaws.  Jaws is his jam.  I say all of that to say this.  Everyone knows the scene at the end of the movie "Jaws" where Brody feeds Jaws an oxygen tank and utters the iconic "Smile, you son of a" line before blowing Jaws into chum.  Well, that scene is classic for a reason.  And, as such, it has resonated with Skeletor, too.  Honestly, I don't even know if the movie actually finishes that line, but a lot of the YouTube "Jaws" parodies that Skeletor has been watching certainly do.  (Yeah, I know.  I'm a crappy parent.  Whatevers.)
     ANYWAY, to finally get to the point of this post, learning how to rhyme plus shark explosion related dirty words has led to Skeletor's new favorite past time, rhyming dirty words.  First it was, "Smile, you son of a witch!"  Now, it's "dumblass" and "bam!"  I'm sure it's just a matter of time before he graduates to "motherclucker."  Frankly, I was unaware that the boy had so many curse words stored away in that brain of his.  (Again, I suck at life and parenting.)
     Part of me is chagrined.  All I need is for him to go off on a rhyming tangent at school.  I've already been there and done that this school year.  Another part of me is impressed by the critical thinking skills required to pull this off.  But, mostly?  I just think it's freaking hilarious.

I don't know why I find this so funny.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Get It Together, Lady!

     Alternate title: Why I Suck At Life.  So, I am in a full on shame spiral these days.  Overwhelmed doesn't even do it justice.  I feel like there's so much crap that I need to be doing, and I'm not getting anything done.  And I don't mean "I really should wash those baseboards" kind of stuff.  I'm talking therapies, educational needs, disability services...and those baseboards.  Skeletor has been making remarkable improvements with his speech and his behavior, but there is still so much to do.  I look at all these blogs and articles, and, where they used to inspire me to action, they now seem to exhaust me.  There is so much that I could be doing for my son and for my other children, but I can't seem to find the forward momentum to do one more thing.  And I'm not okay with this.  I'm an over-achiever.  I always have been.  And I'm not used to having to try so hard at things.  But this whole special needs parenting shebang is kicking my ass all over the place.  I truly have to get it together.  Because I can do better. 

How I feel about life, right now.