Tag Archives: kids

Unplugging.

RHR left this morning. He’ll be gone for a week to attend to some family matters back home. That leaves me with the kids – single parent duty, which I have never done before – not with two. I feel both fearful and overwhelmed at the amount of sheer work I’m facing, and overly optimistic. I have made schedules, lowered expectations and enlisted help. I’ve made easy-cook meal plans and have purchased paper plates and plastic cutlery. We have booked FaceTime with Daddy every night. We have prepared the kids for being separated from him. I think I’ve got a handle on this. And yet, I know that I don’t. I know that life with two young children is totally predictable, and it soooo isn’t. I know enough to know that I’ll be ok, and also that I am totally screwed. And I have a Netflix line-up for after their bedtime and a few bottles of wine in the fridge, to keep me sane. I know that there will be laughter galore and battling allergies, and there will undoubtedly at some point be some shouting and some tears – from at least one of the three of us. I know I won’t get much done. That’s ok. I’ve booked us for Mother’s Day Brunch at a restaurant that knows us – walking distance from our place. And I am emotionally and mentally prepared to hear the call from my sweetie that he’s not coming home at the expected time. We’re gonna get through this, one way or another.

And so, I’ve decided to unplug for the week. The kids only get one parent right now, and they are gonna get all of me. I won’t be checking Facebook or email or googling anything (not even allergy stuff). I won’t be reading my WordPress Reader. I won’t be checking in on my stats. All I will allow myself is my German practice while I’m in the shower, and the pollen count forecast. And, obviously, FaceTime with Daddy. For a week. Holy cow. Seems impossible.

I remember a time when this was all there was. Just the moment you were in, remembering the past, dreaming about the future. Sure, we had radio and TV and books and newspapers and magazines – but that’s all. We wrote letters. We called people. We had – wait for it – conversations. Pretty much, wherever you were, you were present.

That’s what I’m going to be this week – I’m going to be: here.

So, say a prayer for me. And I’ll see you in a week (or so) with a full report. Wish me luck!

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Father Meeting Son

I just read this and it is now one of my favorite birth stories ever. The birth of my best friend’s third child, Berend, beautifully told by his father  from his own perspective. So touching, you can see his beaming pride, his tender smile as he watches over his wife and new child. I wept at the end.

Soren, I’m so glad you married into the family. Berend, I’m glad you made your way into it, too.

Dappled Things | Mary, Queen of Angels 2007 | Essays.

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Carissa K: What It’s Like to Be an Allergy-Mom

This. Much more reasoned than my angry rant yesterday. The other thing about managing chronic illness in children: sometimes you just get mad.

Most of us never grew up with a friend or sibling with food allergies. Unfamiliarity leads to a misunderstanding and a missed tone about food allergies. So while our kids seem to get it just fine, there’s a great deal of mental reconditioning and a real shift in mindset that needs to happen for us adults.

via Carissa K: What It’s Like to Be an Allergy-Mom.

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So Angry

I am so angry right now there are not words in me to express it.

I had a long conversation last night with a mother whose son has autism. What they are going through is heartbreaking. Heartbreaking in ways that it is difficult to imagine. She said she doesn’t know what to do anymore. And I didn’t know what to say. All I could do is listen. Listen and pray. And theirs is one story among thousands and thousands.

My own son was gasping for breath just two nights ago, doing that pacing thing that I recognize from my own asthma attacks, when your body moves to try to find the oxygen because you don’t instinctively know what else to do. Yeah, imagine that. And now picture that he only recently learned to walk and is still covered head to toe in baby fat. We avoided the hospital this time and were able to get his breathing back to normal, but my God it was scary.

My older son is getting new allergies every day, it seems. He is miserable and frustrated. We all are.

They will most definitely need special accommodation in their schools for their allergies and asthma. And I’ve already heard it from other parents of “normal” kids: why should we have to change what we do just because your kid has a problem? Why should I not be able to send nut-covered cupcakes to the classroom just because your son has allergies – it’s not fair! Yeah – talk to me about fair after living for one month in my house! You can take your nut cupcakes and shove ’em where the sun don’t shine.

And then I read this:

We just went and visited our local township community preschool. Out of 400 kids, 100 had a delay of some sort. The classroom they were going to put my son in had 20 kids, 12 autistic – with 1 teacher and 1 aide.

The kicker is they get to call these classrooms “mainstream” and “general education,” even though we all know they are anything but. If the ratio is 300 NT to 100 ASD, why are rooms over 50% autistic? Funny.

The point is – even if we are to shove off all these kids into their own special segregated rooms (“developmental preschool”) to spare the neurotypical 4 year olds not having as much attention bestowed upon them – it’s the same freaking thing. There’s TOO many of them. EVERYWHERE.

So my son is going to church-based K with an ABA-trained aide, paid for by ME. My school district told me these were my choices. Put my son in a room with 12 other ASD kids with no structure and no expectations, or pay for something else myself, all while my tax dollars go towards educating everyone else’s kids – just not mine.

And if we are going to get honest – *really* honest – I think that’s a load of shit. Why do I have to pay to educate your NT kids, and then pay out of pocket for my own just to get him an approprate education? Total crap.

It’s a giant, giant mess – and getting worse every single second.

And it makes me want to SCREAM. “There’s too many of them.” Them.

Why do you have to pay to educate our kids (at public school)? WHY? Because this is what it means to live in a community!! And do you think these kids or parents caused their problems? Do you want to hear my theory on what is causing epidemic levels of ASD and allergies in our children? I think we did this. I don’t know how, but my money is on toxins in our environment (GMOs, pesticides, etc.) or the use of technology we haven’t fully tested for long-term side effects (sonograms, medicines).  We have bought wholesale and willy-nilly into whatever any damned swindler is selling us.

The least we can do is show a little fucking compassion. Let’s stop with all the “us” and “them” shit and get to work on finding a cause and a solution and do the best we can by all of our kids. Your “normal” kid and mine. All of our kids.

And guess what? In this generation of children, if your child is neurotypical and immunotypical, you are not more virtuous – you won the fucking lottery.

And yes, I said fuck and shit and damn.

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More from my Baby – So Proud

These were all reported to me by RHR. We were at the playground together, but I was on baby duty at the swings with Big E’s best friend’s baby brother and their mom while the big kids and dads ran around.

Proud Moment #1:

A kid (around 4 years old or so) got into it with Big E’s playmate. Apparently, this boy was very much in the wrong. As no other adult was near, Big E’s friend’s dad stepped in, broke it up, and reprimanded the child. The boy was crushed. Big E saw him sitting alone, looking forlorn.  He walked up to him, put his hand on his shoulder and said, “You look sad.” The boy didn’t look up but nodded. Big E said, “That’s ok. Sometimes grown-ups get angry, but everything will be alright.” The little boy looked up mutely at my son and took in the comfort offered.

Proud Moment #2:

Big E faced a huge playground apparatus that was scaring kids his age and younger. Undaunted, he stared at it for a moment, and then climbed it.  Up and over. Big and scary and difficult to negotiate, it was conquered by my courageous boy.

Proud Moment #3: 

The little boy Big E had comforted earlier found him and said, “Hey, can we play together?” Even though Big E was already playing with his best friend, he said, “Ok. We can play together for a little while.”

Empathetic, brave, and inclusive.  So proud to be his Mommy.

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Joy or “Just Wait”?

Yes, yes, yes.  More of this in our world, please.

Joy or “Just Wait”? | Advice for Moms – Power of Moms.

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Gems from the Weekend

When You are Lazy, Someone Else Will Take Your Job

Big E (while looking at video from Easter): Mommy, I want some more of those eggs with the chocolates in them.

Me: Ok, honey. I’ll let the Easter Bunny know you liked them, and maybe he’ll bring more next Easter.

Big E: Or maybe he can bring them tomorrow.

Me: Well, no… We get Easter eggs on Easter.

Big E: Why?

Me: Because that’s when the Easter Bunny brings them. He only brings Easter eggs on Easter.

Big E: [long, thoughtful pause] I’m going to talk to the Easter Dragon. He can go to the store for me and get Easter eggs with chocolates until the Easter Bunny feels like going back to work.

We Take Turns in this House

Big E: I have an Idea! How about we all four go sleep in the big bed in your room?

RHR: That’s nice. So after dinner, we can all go lie down in Mommy’s and Daddy’s bed and go to sleep?

Big E: Welllll, not you, Daddy. You have to do the dishes first.

RHR: Ah. I see. So after I get the dishes done, I can go lay down with you all?

Big E: Welllll, Mommy can. And you can sleep in my bed.

RHR: I can’t sleep in my own bed?

Big E: No. We take turns. It’s my turn. Your turn is over.

RHR: So, basically you are saying that you want to go night-night with Mommy and you don’t care where I end up sleeping?

Big E: Yes, Daddy. That’s right.

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