The Boy Is Back

Little Man has not had the best summer. He has often been moody and defiant. He hasn’t wanted to read or do any of the summer school work I’ve prepared for him (the last part is understandable, though). And he regularly antagonizes his sister, which leads to the screaming and name calling. I chalked a lot of it up to puberty coming on.

Since school is starting up in a week, I decided to put him back on his ADHD meds. (We don’t typically have him take them on weekends or school breaks.) Plus I made him start going to bed earlier, so he can get back on a sleep schedule that will be appropriate for when school starts.

And now my angel boy has been back for the past two days. He has been ridiculously sweet, hasn’t had an attitude about doing his chores — he even asked what he could do to help — and he finished a Harry Potter book and started another, without being asked to read. Plus he is making LEGO creations like crazy and isn’t asking to watch TV or play video games all the time.

Praise the lord.

It’s interesting. I know his ADHD meds help with focus (although he was always a big reader in the past, meds or no meds), but I never noticed not taking them affecting his mood/behavior in the past, but that is the only big change, so it has to be it. (He isn’t sleeping any longer than normal, so it’s not going to bed earlier I wouldn’t think.)

I am so grateful. Now, I know for a fact that he’s definitely in the throes of puberty (which I found out for a fact earlier this week in a way that has scarred LM and I both), so I know those mood flair ups will still happen at times. But seeing such a turnaround in his attitude and his love for reading coming back makes me so damn happy. There won’t be anymore skipping ADHD meds during weekends or breaks now.

In other news, BG had her kindergarten readiness assessment earlier this week. Her teacher said she is definitely ready for 5K and was impressed with her reading and other stuff. While she did well on that, BG said she isn’t ready, though, and wants to go back to preschool.

I think school anxiety is contributing to her meltdowns. She doesn’t want to be away from me, she doesn’t want to give up Pizza Hut Wednesdays (probably obvious, but our routine was Pizza Hut on Wednesday), plus she’s worried about making friends. BG said she doesn’t think people will like her because she’s different. And then she said if anyone asks her to be her friend, that she’ll say no because she doesn’t want to make new friends.

Plus her teacher doesn’t have superhero stuff and has “that yucky Barbie doll and princess crap.”

I think she’ll feel differently after she goes for a couple of weeks. She has her share of challenges ahead of her, but she’ll like getting back into a more scheduled day. I think she’ll also enjoy some of the enrichment classes she’ll take, like a STEAM-based class. Fingers crossed.

Quick Vent: Stop The Screaming

The closer we get to school, the more you’ll hear me making comments about how I’ll miss the kids and how I feel like we didn’t do enough this summer and so forth.

That day is not today.

At one point, I muttered under my breath, “I can’t wait for school to start back.” BG heard me of course, and after shrieking at the top of her lungs, she accused me of not wanting her. Oops. Dammit.

The kids were up before 7:00 as usual this morning. And BG has shrieked at the top of her lungs no less than 30 times today. We didn’t have the cereal she likes for breakfast? Shriek. Her brother looked at her funny? Shriek. I told her to pick up her toys? Shriek.

We are used to her meltdowns, but the shrieking is taking it up a level. And this isn’t just typical child yelling and fussing about. This is a blood-curdling scream that sometimes lasts for close to a minute (but feels like an hour), one that I am absolutely terrified is going to result in the neighbors calling the cops on us because they think we’re beating the child or something. It’s the kind of shrieking that is physically painful and makes my anxiety go haywire, and my anxiety has been haywire-y enough over the past week.

Thirty times. And the day isn’t quite over.

LM hasn’t been helpful. I’m pretty sure he is going through puberty now, and he is Mr. Moody Tween Asshole a lot of the time. Despite complaining about his sister shrieking today, he still antagonized her and made it worse. She doesn’t like him grabbing her or getting in her face, and of course he does it. She doesn’t like him doing jump scares, so of course he does it. Aside from the usual punishments of taking privileges, we started making him do push-ups this summer. His arms are getting pretty swole for an 11-year-old.

So, boo, yucky day. After my husband got home, I took some extra strength headache medicine and a couple of Xanax. I’m still waiting for it to kick in.

At least we’re on the list for therapy to help her manage her symptoms of ASD. I don’t even know if that’s what this is, though, but I’m sure we can address this mess and hopefully move far, far away from it.

Right now my husband is giving the girl a bath. She’s yelling for me to come. I feel like Ryan when Michael wanted him to come help him in the bathroom.

Pray for me, or at least send rum vibes my way.

Lazy Monday

It’s been a “stay in my pajamas” kind of day. My husband worked from home, we didn’t have anywhere to be today, and he picked up pizza for dinner, so I don’t even have to mess with that. I have washed some clothes, but I’m not even gonna fold them today. I have multiple laundry baskets for a reason, and I’m not ashamed to admit that we sometimes live out of them.

BG has commented a few times about how she’s happy that I’m still in my jammies. Out of the stuff in my jammy drawer, there are two striped nightgowns that she loves. I bought them when I was pregnant with her, and they’re super soft and great for cuddling. (But heaven forbid I lean over to pick up something, because then the ass is on display.) The girl is low-key obsessed with the nightgowns, and last night she told me she doesn’t want me to wear anything else but the nightgown from now on. Maybe I better warn her that I’m not wearing this when we go see her teacher tomorrow.

The kids have had me cracking up big time over the past few days. While we were out shopping this weekend, LM saw an Oregon Trail handheld game and made a comment about it. BG perked up and said, “ORGAN TRAIL? You mean there’s a game where we walk around and look for body organs?!” That child was over the moon at the possibility of such a game. She was kinda disappointed when I told her they didn’t have a serial killer in training game and that it was something else. LM said he might print out some body organs, paste them to cardboard, and make an Organ Trail outside for her this week. This is all so weird, but he’s a sweetie.

And yesterday, their shenanigans caused a booboo, but how it happened was hilarious. I was doing stuff in the living room when I heard a bump and crying. She fell out of the bed and hit her head. After consoling the girl, I asked what happened.

“I was being Scar and LM was being Mufasa and the bed was the cliff. I was trying to push Mufasa off the cliff, but I fell over, too. I’ll never try to push Mufasa off a cliff again.”

You really can’t make this shit up.

The girl LOVES Scar, by the way. She thinks he’s funny. Hmm. I’ve only watched the cartoon version all the way through once and then the live-action, so I didn’t get the funny vibes with the murderer and then attempted murderer so much, but okay.

So, I’m the person everyone comes to when they want their tech stuff fixed in my family. My MIL needed the battery in her laptop replaced, and it wasn’t as simple as sliding off a battery compartment cover and popping it out, because there isn’t such a cover. I had to open up the laptop and remove the keyboard to access the battery and unscrew it to get it out. Not easy-easy, but easy enough. Until BG came in the room.

She wanted cheese samples. She is obsessed with going to Harris Teeter and other grocery stores and getting samples. So now she wants me to make her samples, which I do buy cutting up a cheese stick in smaller pieces. I told her to wait five minutes while I finished screwing the battery in place, but she didn’t want to wait. So she climbed up on a footstool next to me and told me very loudly in my ear that she wanted her samples, but then she slipped and fell, and grabbed the laptop on the way down. The damn ribbon cord connecting the keyboard to the motherboard tore in half.

BG felt terrible and kept talking about how she was a bad girl now who messes up all the time. (Any mistake she makes these days, no matter how tiny, gets that reaction from her.) I got her to quit the negative self-talk and then we talked about the consequences of our actions and stuff, and I think it clicked why it’s important to be patient. (And I learned to never work on anything expensive when she’s in the house.)

I found a couple fix-its online, but they were done by people who really know what they’re doing and looked like a pain in the ass (and probably not possible for me to do anyway). Shit. I found a refurbished Chromebook online for cheap (like about the same cost as taking the old one to an expert and having it fixed) and ordered it. I told BG that I got her grandma a new laptop and asked if she was going to help me pay for it. I was teasing, because it’s not like she has money anyway. Her reaction:

“Why would I give you my money to buy something for someone? I’m saving it so I can go to Taco Bell. I could give you a penny, but I don’t see why.”

I told her I didn’t actually expect her to help pay for something like that, but did explain how when people break something they usually help pay for it/help fix it/whatever. She left and returned with some money.

“I have a dollar bill in my piggy bank, but I’m using that to get a cheesy roll-up from Taco Bell. I did bring TWO pennies for you, though, and you can use that to buy the laptop.”

So generous.

I’m so glad we had a lazy day at home. Appointments, appointments, appointments for the rest of the week! Buuuut nothing in the evenings, so yay.

Brain Dump

I know that drunk posting is poo-pooed on.

And I get that. I’m in my mid-30s. I’m a mom. I’m supposed to be respectable and shit. But I haven’t eaten today because it just hasn’t happened, and the two strong drinks I had tonight when my husband got home have hit me.

It has been a long fucking week. Long as in “husband has barely been home for the last 9 days and hasn’t gotten home before 11PM most nights” long. Now, I know that’s not that bad, and his week+ has definitely been longer than mine I’m sure, but I’m accustomed to tag-teaming my very demanding kids, so I’m tired. Or, as my grandmother would say, I’m TAARD. (That’s like country southern.)

I’m used to the whole “MOMMY IS THE ONLY PERSON WHO CAN SOLVE A PROBLEM” thing. But I’m also used to my husband stepping in at times. And I’m also used to him helping put BG down for the night. She might be five, but she still needs someone with her, and she also needs a very specific type of story every fucking night. The stories have to be different, but they also have to involve Spider-Man and trips to her pediatrician’s office. We’re on day 183 of this. That’s easier when we switch it up between the two parents. It’s also easier when I don’t have to hear her rage about how it isn’t my night, and “it’s her daddy’s night, because we got MOMMY-DADDY-MOMMY-DADDY, but don’t leave.”

She also takes forever to go asleep these days. And I gripe, but about halfway through — just when I think she’s legit asleep — she’ll roll over, open her eyes, smile widely, and then kiss me on the nose. And while part of me is “Go the fuck to sleep,” the other part of me is completely melting and hoping this never ends.

And I’m also used to him helping with cooking. And by “helping,” I mean “making the non-shitty meals.” I am not a good cook overall. I cook good things on occasion (and Instagram them, so some of y’all know how infrequent that is), and I’m a great baker, but he is a much better cook than I am. Take spaghetti. I brown meat, throw in the sauce, and boil noodles. But him — he has a very specific timing where he does things like throwing in the extra herbs in with the meat. The meat has to be browned somewhat but not all the way to seal in the taste. And then he sautees the cooked noodles in a couple tablespoons of sauce before putting all the sauce in. I try to do this, but it never tastes amazeballs like his does.

So, my house is basically LEGOs and shit everywhere, no truly good meals, etc. right now, but I did buy the kids’ school supplies yesterday, and I didn’t even cry, so BOOM. I was tempted when BG picked out her Batman pencil box over because I’m cry-y over stuff like that. (Also, she picked out a Spider-Man backpack and a solar system themed lunch box a couple weeks ago, and I love it.)

I was also tempted to cry when LM was bothered while picking out stuff. He picked out stuff that wasn’t superhero or Minecraft themed because he didn’t want to be teased in middle school. Oof. I wanted to tell him to do what the fuck he wants, but I also know that he already has a lot of social difficulties ahead of him and didn’t want to tell him to do something that could make things harder. I don’t know if that was the right call or not, but if enough other kids have Minecraft lunchboxes and pencil cases when school starts, and he’s comfortable carrying them and wants them, then cool.

Hmm, what else shall I write about in my drunk dump?

I got a job offer from a legit company last week. It seems like I might’ve already posted about that, but I don’t see it, so whatever. It has the potential to be a career type job in the long run. I submitted the paperwork to HR, but haven’t heard back yet, so I’m freaking out. My husband said that HR in big corps take forever to get things processed, but I’m convinced that I’m now back to square one because that’s how I roll. (I decided if I don’t hear back that I’m gonna wait until next January to apply for stuff and take it “easy.” Heh.)

Tonight was fun after he got home. FUUUUUN. We watched Fun Mom Night, which I think is fucking hilarious. I love to watch it when I’m drinking. It didn’t get good reviews, but pooh on them. I also played a video game for a while and tried to make my husband watch.

Me: Watch me.

Him: I don’t wanna watch this.

Me: I watched your play. Twice. Now watch me do my thing and be supportive of me.

Him: I don’t wanna watch you kill middle school kids on Fortnite. Come on.

Me: WATCH ME. Some kid just won millions of dollars playing this, so WATCH ME.

I didn’t do well.

It’s two in the morning, so I’m done now. Good night.

School Nerves

In three weeks, BG will start kindergarten. And in slightly less than three weeks, LM will start sixth grade (rising sixth graders start on Friday). Every summer feels shorter than the last one. We were especially busy this summer, so that kept things moving quickly along. The kids have made their bucket lists for the remainder of the summer, and they’re short, so we should get it all in. Strangely enough, both kids added going to eat at Chili’s to their lists.

And, yes, they sing that when we go. And LM always makes a point to say that he feels God in this Chili’s tonight.

I’m kinda nervous about the kids going to school since they’ll both be changing schools this year. LM will go to a middle school out of our area and participate in a theater program, while BG will go to the charter school that LM went to. The middle school is 25 minutes from our house, the elementary school is 20 minutes away, and the schools are in opposite directions of each other. I haven’t figured out drop-offs and pick-ups yet, but I’ll get there. Hopefully.

The schools the kids are supposed to go to are about five minutes from our house, so we are doing good at keeping things complicated, huh? We have good reasons for sending them to the far-away schools, though. The program at LM’s school is something he’s really interested in, plus the class sizes will be smaller. And BG’s school is really small, with only 18 kids per class. It’s so much easier to get in touch with the principal and other leadership there, too, which is important.

We’ll have to meet with LM’s school and go over his 504 Plan, and I doubt any changes will be made to it. I hope the transition goes well for him. I imagine getting packed up to go from class to class and using a locker will be challenging for him. But on the other hand, I think having classes that have a set beginning and ending time that don’t overlap each other will help as far as him shifting gears mentally goes. Plus, middle school classrooms are typically more no-frills with less distractions. His fifth grade teacher was wonderful, but there a dozen different places to hand in assignments and stuff, and he’d usually end up cramming everything in his desk. And middle school won’t have desks that you can cram crap into, so there’s that.

I have a million worries with BG starting kindergarten, which I could probably turn into a 10-part blog series, but I won’t. Some of it’s just typical anxious mom worries, but a lot is more legit. I’m going to meet with her teacher and student leadership team before school starts to discuss some concerns (like the potential for meltdowns and how that would be handled, her running off, food stuff).

I also need to talk to the teacher about how BG sometimes just shuts down when certain issues come up. At the end-of-year preschool party, I was sitting on one side of the bounce place and saw her approach some boys from another class, but they told started throwing balls (from the ball pit) at her face, and she just sat there, crouched while staring at the ground while they threw the balls and laughed. (That broke my heart, and they got in big trouble.) And sometimes if someone does something that bothers her (like comes up from behind and grabs her or something equally annoying), she’ll let out a blood-curdling shriek, but she ends up being the one reprimanded for screaming, and she won’t explain why she yelled. There are things like that communication-wise that I can see being problematic if the teachers aren’t made aware/keep an eye open.

While BG’s teacher doesn’t yet know the full scope of some of her struggles, she does have a feel for her, at least. They met a few times earlier in the summer as part of a Head Start program. She saw first-hand how BG can be super chatty, struggle to stay in her seat, or just shut down and refuse to do anything. She seemed really sweet, yet bewildered, but she didn’t lose patience at least.

I dropped off the paperwork her psychologist gave me about the autism and ADHD diagnoses, and they’re supposed to be lining up services for her. We also got permission to take her out of school early one day per week so she can continue going to her speech and occupational therapies. Those are about a 45-minute drive from the school, so she wouldn’t have been able to keep going if we had to wait until the end of the school day to go. That’s a huge benefit of going to the charter school vs. the regular school. (Just like how she would have been able to delay 5K a year if we wanted, but wouldn’t have been able to at a regular school.)

On a different — and amusing — note, BG has developed a Hanson obsession. She has asked to watch a Hanson concert (I have like 9 DVDs) every day. She also keeps asking me when she’s going to get to go see them in concert. ❤

BG presented me with this picture last week:

I asked what was going on there, and she said that it was her holding a Taylor Hanson doll. It took every fiber of my being to not laugh. She might have it worse than I did. (Well, do.)

Weekend Coffee Share: Boring Week

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that we have mostly been hiding away inside all week. With temps over 100, there wasn’t a lot of going outside until over in the evening. Luckily, my dad fixed the problem with our AC unit (apparently the breaker didn’t have enough…voltage or something and kept tripping), so we were able to stay cool indoors at least.

We had to go to the girls therapies and get her hair cut this week, but otherwise, it was pretty uneventful. I didn’t have much planned in the way of indoor activities and crafts, so we mostly read, played video games, watched movies, and played board games. A couple summers ago, I had crafts and science experiments planned for pretty much every day, but this year has been much lazier. I have been pinning stuff on Pinterest, so at some point, that will change.

Speaking of reading, LM has been complaining. In my Facebook Memories, one popped up from a couple years ago, where he had read for 3000 minutes at this point for the library program. That’s 50 hours, or a little over an hour per day, which isn’t a lot, but still good. He hasn’t even finished a book this summer, which is very disappointing. I make him (yes, I have to make him) sit down every day, but he’s only halfway through a Harry Potter book. He told his dad that he shouldn’t have to read because he’ll get enough of that when school starts. What happened to my little bookworm?! He only wants to play video games and build with his LEGO blocks.

BG, on the other hand, can’t get enough of being read to. As some of y’all already know, she read her first book out loud yesterday. It was one she hadn’t read before, and she zoomed through it so quickly that there’s no doubt in my mind that she has been able to read at least somewhat for a while now. I rather doubt that she’ll read much for others just yet, because that’s how she rolls, but I’m so proud of her. She has struggled in a lot of areas developmentally, so it’s great to see her “win” one.

So, coffee folks, if we were still drinking, I’d tell you that I’m at a loss for anything else to tell you for this week. I swear, my life has gotten so boring lately in terms of juicy (or interesting) stuff to share. That or my memory sucks, and I’m pretty sure it’s the former. Boredom is good, I suppose, since that means there’s no shit hitting the fan anywhere.

As the random girl who popped into the break room in college, looked around, and then quickly darted off said, “Ta-ta for now.”

Weekend Coffee Share is hosted by Eclectic Alli.

Female Randomness

The girl wanted me to paint her fingernails. LM was disgusted and said, “Aren’t we raising her better? Nail polish is absolutely pointless!”

True, BG hasn’t been a girly girl. That’s due in part because of me, I’m sure, but I read that ASD girls are typically more tomboyish, so maybe I’ll fall on that the next time one of the grandparents points a finger at me.

Really, though, I’ve always encouraged BG to make her own choices. The first time I let her get a “baby” at Walmart, I let her choose from a plush Elsa and a plush Spider-Man. It was Spidey, of course. She does love the superheroes (but who doesn’t these days?), the body organs, the road signs, and now the dinosaurs and the solar system. I so love her interests because she’s truly doing her own thing. And choice-wise, she also gets to pick out her clothes, and while she mostly gravitates towards superhero stuff (some of which we get from the boy section), she has picked out the occasional dress. So she’s not 100% tomboy.

Enter the nail polish.

A couple of weeks ago, she mentioned wanting to paint her fingernails. She asked if we could paint our nails together, too, sweet girl that she is. I’ve only painted my nails once or twice over the past few years, but I was down for it. I found some non-toxic polish for her at Target because she has her hands in her mouth constantly. She wanted red and blue for Spider-Man, but they only had blue. I got a plum color for myself.

Cute, right?! After painting them she told me she wanted to take it off, but I encouraged her to give it a couple of days. I didn’t have nail polish remover, and even if I had, I didn’t particularly want to use it on her hands. We saw all the grandparents over the weekend, and the grandmothers were so pleased with the polished nails. I could see visions of pretty hair bows dancing in their heads.

Did I ever tell y’all how my mother-in-law bought BG around 100 hair bows? She constantly bought those things starting when we found out BG was going to be a girl. She was not a fan even as a baby (although we did get a few cute pictures of her wearing them before snatching them off), and never became one. That didn’t stop my MIL, though. Up until the girl was 4, she continued buying them, convinced that it wasn’t a matter of BG not liking the bows so much as just not finding the right one. LOL.

The nail polish has since worn off, but I’m glad she asked for them to be painted. It was a fun mommy-daughter time, ya know? My polish is holding strong, and let me tell you, my husband is not a fan of my polish.

“Why are you trying to be all goth?” he asked when he saw them.

I held my fingers in front of his eyes in the light and showed him they are a plum color.

“They look black, like you’re trying to be all goth.”

I refrained from gouging his eyes out even though I was in prime position to do so.

I just laughed at him, of course, but that reminded me of when I was in middle school and painted my nails a midnight blue color. It also looked very dark when not in the light, and my busybody old cousin (she’s like 30 years older than me) told my grandmother that obviously I was on drugs because I had black nail polish. I was sitting right there, too.

Y’all.

Can you imagine that? Being told you’re on drugs because you have a darker color nail polish? Crazy.

This is also the cousin who told my grandmother that I wasn’t really hard of hearing and that I was just faking so I could get the TV turned up louder. (Let that sink in.) When she told my grandmother that she used to whisper and make low noises to “test” me to see if I was faking it, my grandmother was super pissed. (And the cousin said the results of her “test” were that I was simply ignoring the noises and whispers because I wanted to continue faking them.)

We didn’t care for that cousin, but my grandmother put up with her because she was her sister’s child. She would always come over making snide comments about my grandmother’s home and other stuff. She even makes passive-aggressive comments on my FB page at times about not visiting her mom. Which I do feel bad about, but they talk major shit about people’s kids, and I’ve heard them say much worse about kids who are far better behaved than BG. And I’m not dealing with anyone talking shit about her when I don’t have to.

Wrapping it up…this enough randomness in one post for you? We’ll just call it a stream of consciousness post, which I hadn’t intended, but here we are.

I. Hate. The. Heat.

It’s usually around mid-January when I see my South Carolina friends and family start talking about how they’re over the cold. And by “cold,” I mean that the high is usually in the upper 40s. Sure, we get a couple of frigid days here and there, but for the most part, I don’t have to wear a jacket.

This is how they think it is, and they wish a plague o’ the house of anyone who dare says they want winter to last longer than the 4-6 weeks that we get or complains about summer coming on.

I am not built to live in the south. I just am not. Temperatures over 75 absolutely suck ass, because that usually means it’s 85+ with the humidity. I feel miserable in the heat, I break out in a heat rash, and I’m cranky because heat. The only way I can deal with it is to be on a boat in the ocean or sitting on my ass by the ocean. Between the breeze and the ocean, my crankiness will go away at least. (And when went on a cruise a few weeks ago, it was actually 15 degrees cooler in the Bahamas vs. when we got off the boat in SC.)

It is hot as balls outside right now. I hate that saying, and it’s not like I have balls, but I feel like it works. It was in the upper 90s today, god knows what the real feel was, and even at 7:30 in the evening, it is 82 degrees in my house. Fuuuck. My poor AC can’t keep up, and a) we bought it last year and b) it is larger than needed for our house, but we got it wholesale and thought that as poor as our smaller AC performed, a larger unit would be more than enough. We. Were. Wrong. (But at least we have one, unlike many of the folks in Europe with that heatwave they had a week or so ago. I can’t even imagine.)

I’ve been trying to get my husband to move for years, but nope. He could relocate to Scranton, PA if he wanted to, but he doesn’t. (Just like he didn’t want to work in London for a year back when LM was small. SIGH. Not that I’m bitter over that or anything.) He said he doesn’t want to do all the snow, but I’ll take a couple months of snow for temps that are otherwise decent for the most part. He doesn’t want to move away from his mom and stepdad, which I understand, but I still don’t like the idea of having to live somewhere for that reason alone. My family is here, but distance would be lovely, so other than his folks, we don’t have much tying us to this town. Maybe I’ll fake a heat stroke on his ass and see if that sways him. (I know, I know, bad joke.)

This is my second ranty post in as many days. Did I say the heat makes me cranky, yet?