Here Comes The Sun

No more rain! We lucked out — outside of some wind that knocked down branches and power for some people, we weren’t affected by it much. A couple buildings in our town were sorta flooded (like a couple inches inside), but that’s it. We really did luck out, because the towns 10 miles east and northeast of us got over 15 inches. Huge chunks of roads were washed away, buildings super flooded, a few deaths in those areas. Really bad.

Hopefully SC (well, everywhere of course) will luck out the rest of the hurricane season.

On to other things…

We got a new pediatrician for Baby Girl. She’s an NP and absolutely amazing with her. She spent so much time interacting with her and going over things with us. (And now we feel guilty for keeping her with the family PA for so long.) She said she thinks she likely has sensory processing disorder, too, and has some concerns about her development, so she now has referrals to an occupational therapist, speech therapist, and a developmental pediatrician. This will all take a few months, but I’m glad the ball is rolling in the right direction!

I found a new psychiatrist, so yay, no more dealing with the unprofessional office. I had a hard time finding someone (I prefer a female), since so many private practices within a couple of hours from me won’t take insurance anymore, and the ones part of the corporate groups require you to see a PCP within their group. I did find a male doc with fantastic reviews, and he had a cancellation so I was able to see him (before the ER visit last week). He made a great first impression, too. He did agree with the previous psychiatrist about the diagnosis and meds. He said bipolar patients were his favorite, because so many have their meds mismanaged that it affects their quality of life. Interesting.

Little Man has made it through almost a month of school with no issues, outside of a difficult girl in his class. (Picture Angela from The Office.) He started telling her that he can’t hear her when she’s yelling or speaking in a rude tone, and she dialed things down. He told me last week that he’s using positive reinforcement with her. When she acts nice that day, he does something nice for her (like stack her chair or put her book away) to reward her. He’s quite pleased with himself that it’s going so well.

Also, no issues with the bully kid. LM said after the first couple of weeks, he straightened up with the teachers for the most part. Little Man started playing Fortnite with a friend from school a couple weeks ago, and the bully got his username and sent him a friend request. LM asked if he should accept it. I told him it was up to him. I thought maybe the kid wanted to try to be friends, and told him we’d keep a close eye on things if he accepted. He did, and they’ve played online a lot over the past week and have chatted, no issues at all. I’ll continue to monitor that, but hopefully that means the kid has made a 180. We’ll see.

LM’s first few play performances went well. The others got canceled because of the hurricane. The day before LM’s first performance, he did something so bad on stage that absolutely horrified me, but nearly made me pee my pants laughing after he explained what happened.

He was wearing overalls, and I noticed him stuff both hands down the front and start fiddling around with his crotch. It was very obvious, thrusting about. I was thinking, OMFG, what is he doing?! Is he going to be like that creepy guy from Sons of Anarchy? And then this happened:

Basically that without the trench coat. He stuck his finger out the front, which wasn’t zipped. A few minutes later, he stopped. When we got in the car, I asked him what the heck was going on.

“I looked down and saw that I forgot to zip my overalls. I didn’t want anyone to think I was touching myself there, so I tried to be discreet and zip up my pants from the inside, but that was really hard to do!”

I laughed so hard I had tears going down my cheeks. I broke it to him that is EXACTLY what it looked like he was doing for a good five minutes. I also told him that I saw the finger poke out and what it looked like. Thankfully he was able to laugh at himself. I told him from now on, either turn to the side and adjust yourself or just let it be, because no one is really gonna notice a zipper that isn’t up all the way, but they would DEFINITELY notice what he was doing. Little boys!

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Officially A Member Of The Anxious Person’s Mile High Club

So, Hurricane Florence is knocking on my doorstep right now. We live inland in SC, but we’re still in the zone to get up more than a foot of rain over the next few days, heavy wind gusts, flash floods, etc. Right now, we’re not getting any rain yet, but the fir trees out front have been as horizontal to the ground as they can be without snapping. Friends in the town have reported power outages and fallen limbs. And that’s before the damn thing gets here. At least we aren’t on the coast, though, the storm surge is insane.

It has been a hectic few days. Well, it’s been a hectic bunch of weeks, but the past few days have been especially hectic with all of the hurricane prep. At first we didn’t think we would see much from the hurricane, but then it decided to curve, so we’ve been trying to get ready. We have a very small generator, plenty of fuel, candles, batteries, flash lights, propane for a small camper stove, and charcoal for the grill. Plenty of food. As long as the generator doesn’t crap out, we can alternate powering the fridge and the small mobile air conditioner unit (and anything else that needs it), so we’re in a better position than many.

But damn, the stress of the past few days and the past weeks, and the point of this post.

Prior to Wednesday, I had felt on edge constantly, and my chest had been tight and painful for the past couple of days. I figured it was run-of-the-mill anxiety, which hasn’t really been a problem lately otherwise), but with the hurricane and stuff looming, I guess it’s understandable. On Wednesday evening, my left arm started hurting so badly in the upper part that I couldn’t lift a gallon of milk. It was fucking bizarre, as it came on very suddenly and I wasn’t doing anything strenuous. I told my husband, and he said, “Well, as long as you aren’t having chest pain, you should be fine for now…”

Heh.

I told him that I had been having chest pain, but that I was pretty sure it was just anxiety. He freaked out and wanted me to go to the ER immediately. I took some aspirin and a klonopin and said I’d see how it felt after an hour, and he paced around the house, called his mom and tried to get her to talk me into going to the hospital (apparently she had the same symptoms before her heart attack). After the hour passed, it wasn’t any better, so after some more back and forth, I agreed to go in.

My heart was fine, of course. I had a bunch of tests run, and they all came back clean, except for my white blood cell count, which is always a bit high anyway. The doctor said the heart part had to be anxiety, but he was at a loss for what caused my arm to go haywire. The pain did go away after a few hours, and some shoulder achiness aside, it’s fine now. It’s just so weird.

I’ve had many panic and anxiety attacks in the past, but none that have landed me in the hospital, despite being convinced I was having a heart attack. Thankfully I have already reached my out-of-pocket max for the year, so I won’t have to pay anything. Heaven forbid I ever really do have a heart attack one day, because I highly doubt I’ll trust my body enough thanks to this stupid anxiety to go in.

The Sun Is Green

Husband: “The sun is green.”

Me: “No it isn’t; it’s yellow.”

Husband: “No it’s not, it’s GREEN. Take a look outside, and you can see that it’s green for yourself.”

<checks to make sure I’m not living in a bizarro world where the sun is green now>

Me: I checked, it’s yellow. Why do you keep saying it’s green?”

Husband: I don’t know what your problem is. We have a green sun, and that’s that.

Me: The sun has NEVER been green. And unless “green” means “yellow” now, it’s not green.”

Husband: Hmm…

….

Husband: The sun IS yellow. But you knew what I meant.

Me: No, you said the sun is green. You insisted that the sun is green multiple times.

Husband: But you should have known what I meant. Obviously I don’t think the sun is green.

Me: But you said “green.” Words have meanings, you know.

Husband: Well, sometimes I use words wrong, but you should know what I really mean. Of course I don’t think the sun is green.

<I stroke out>

_____________________________

While we haven’t actually discussed the sun’s color, this example is the root of many of our disagreements, and it drives me nuts! I am not, nor have I ever been, a mind reader.

804 Words

The boy’s first week of school is almost over. It has mostly been uneventful, which is a blessing.

He likes the new teacher. They clicked (as did we, the adults) at the Open House. We were all talking about the story LM’s play is based on, and it was nice to actually talk to an adult about lit for a little  bit. It was brief, but I haven’t had that since graduating college, so it was nice. (My husband is the “reads one or two books a year” kind of guy, with one of those books being the same one every year.) And my little guy was chiming in with his thoughts on a high school level story as well, which was cool. Good first impressions were made all around.

Not so much for the bully. He was extremely rude to the teacher during Open House. Per Little Man, he has gotten in trouble every single day for being rude to the teachers. Even flipped off one of the enrichment teachers and got threatened to be sent to the principal’s office. Good lord. Obviously I can’t let whatever problems he’s having take priority over LM’s well-being, but still, I wonder what the hell is causing a kid to act out like that. Teacher stuff aside, he hasn’t spoken to Little Man, so that’s a damn good thing.

Baby Girl will start 4K in a couple of weeks. That’s right, 4K. I know some of y’all have been following this blog since she was just a few months old, so let the whole 4K thing sink in.

As much as I miss having LM here, I’ve really enjoyed having time alone with BG. We’ve read book after book after book, played all the games, plus have been working on the typical preschooler skills — writing letters, super basic math, and stuff like rhyming/opposites/five senses. Working with her is…interesting. She often refuses to answer questions herself (or at all), but will sometimes allow one of her 10 stuffed animals provide the answer or draw the shape or whatever. I’m sure her new teacher will be testing her early on to see what skills she’s already mastered and what she needs to work on, so I wonder if she’ll have a stuffed animal or other toy answer for her at preschool. Hee hee.

It’s funny, when I have one of those kids all to myself, they’re perfect little angels. Seriously. But when they’re together, whew, it’s like they bring out the worst in each other. Random thought.

We had a bit of bad news last week. After working at home for the better part of 10 years, my husband is getting called back into the office. Now three hours worth of commute time will be added to his day. That’s upsetting, but we’re both trying to appreciate that he has gotten in a shit ton of extra time with the kids. By my calculations, he’s gotten to spend an extra 6500 hours at home over the years. That’s almost 270 full days of extra time he’s gotten with his family.

Things will definitely change now, but there will be some silver linings. He’ll have more opportunities for advancement at work since he’ll be able to network better and stuff like that. And I’ll probably get more done around here. I usually did on the rare days he had to drive in. I don’t know why I am more productive when I am down an adult, but I am. Since I have a ton of writing projects I’m working on right now, I can use all the extra productivity I can get.

And speaking of writing, good lord. My brain was shit at creative writing for years. I had lots of ideas, but developing them just didn’t happen for the most part. I’d always have a run of days here and there when I’d write a lot of stuff, but otherwise, getting the words to flow was difficult. The past couple of months have been amazing as far as creative writing goes. Focusing on one project at a time hasn’t been easy, with ideas coming in left and right, but still! I can’t remember a time in my life when I’ve written more or have been as driven as I am right now to accomplish some of my writing goals. I don’t know what will come of it all, but for the first time in my life, at least I can say that I gave my best effort at making something happen.

Remember the commercials “This is your brain on drugs?” Maybe some version of that applies, only “This is your brain off depression.” knockonwoodknockonwoodknockonwood

(By the way…coming up with a title for these all over the place posts is a pain, so I’m going by word count, for this one at least.)

The Talk…Gah

Since Little Man had some sick days to burn, I decided to let him take a couple of mental health days and take him to the beach. It was just the two of us — and I drove, all on my own with the assistance of my navigation system, and parked in a parking garage and got out and made it back home — and we had a lovely time. We talked on the entire 3.5-hour drive down there about everything under the sun, hung out by the beach/pool the whole day on Thursday, and talked most of the trip back home on Friday.

During all of that talking, Little Man told me about a scene in a book he was reading where one of the kids referenced their teaching doing sex education with them. He mentioned something about one of the kids passing out and wanted to know what would cause that reaction. I explained how a lot of kids’ parents don’t really talk to them about the appropriate names for their parts and how a lot of kids (at least everyone in my sixth grade class) act like hearing the words “penis” and “vagina” are simultaneously the most hilarious and scandalous thing of the century.

“Oh. Well, you’ve taught us that stuff…”

“Yep,” I said, feeling all proud of my awesome parenting skills (ignoring that I only started consistently using the proper names for their parts three-ish years ago), “it’s important for parents to be open and honest with their kids.”

“Oh, really?” Little Man asked, with a smirk on his face.

Son of a bitch. What did I just walk into? And did he set this up?

“Really.” Sigh.

“All right, then…now are you going to tell me where babies actually come from?”

Little bastard.

“Babies are delivered from a woman’s vagina or by C-section,” I said, but I knew that wasn’t what he was really asking. I’ve told him that women have the eggs and men have the fertilizer, so to speak, but I haven’t told him how that actually happens. And I definitely did not want to do that as we were waiting on the pizza delivery guy to bring our food.

“No, I know how they get out. I want to know how they get there,” he said, pointing at my belly.

Here we go.

“You might be a little young for this…” I never got The Talk, not officially. My grandmother told me that I could become pregnant at any time when I started my period, and my dad told me “guys want one thing and one thing only — don’t do it” when I was 16, but that was it. What’s the right age? Surely not 10?

“Mom, come on,” Little Man pleaded. “Just tell me. I already have theories.”

Theories?! 

“Okay.” I gave him the details.

His response: “Wow…does that hurt?”

“Uh…generally, no it does not.”

Next question: “Well, what happens to the eggs that aren’t made into babies?”

I’m pretty sure I’d already touched on menstruation before, but I gave him the full recap, anyway.

“Wow, that’s so cool.” He was seriously impressed with the whole process of shedding the lining and stuff. He thought it was amazing that women’s bodies know exactly what to do every single month.

He then wanted to know about what age you should have sex. Godamighty, come on pizza guy. “I don’t know…it depends on the person. You should be old enough to understand all of the consequences and be able to make an informed decision. It’s not something to take lightly. And, also, some people want to wait until marriage for religious reasons, so you can if that’s something you feel strongly about, but if not, that’s fine. You just have to wait until the right girl comes along. Or guy,” I added, not wanting to send the wrong message.

“Guy?”

“Well, you’re young and haven’t started going through puberty and having those thoughts and feelings yet, I don’t think, so when the time comes, you  may be attracted to guys. Or girls. I don’t know. Whichever sex you’re attracted to is fine, of course.”

He nodded and was quiet for a few moments.

Come on pizza guy, before he asks something else, for the love of God.

“Thank you for finally giving me answers,” Little Man told me. “Now I know that one of my theories was correct.”

“Ah…so this is what you put together?”

He nodded. “Yep. When you didn’t give me a straight answer before, I thought about everything that I know about men and women and how babies are made and came up with my own answers. My first theory was penis to vagina; my second theory was butt to butt; my third theory was penis to butt; my last theory was that maybe my balls…well, testicles, but I like to call them balls…had a device that would come out when it’s time to make a baby and be like a cannon that shoots the fertilizer at a woman’s eggs like cannonballs.”

I died laughing. When I relayed the conversation to my husband later, he said that was an image that would be burned into his memory forever. And I guess that’s as good a reason as any to go ahead and tell a kid how things happen when he asks — so he isn’t left thinking he has testicular cannons. Thank god he didn’t Google that.

I wrapped up The Talk by telling him to let me know if anymore questions come up and that I’ll be straight with him. He had no further questions at the time. The pizza came a few minutes later. He turned on the TV to a repeat of The Big Bang Theory, and for fuck’s sake, it was an episode talking about masturbating. By the grace of God, he didn’t ask about that.