So Long Tonsils

I talked to Baby Girl’s teacher about things. She said she admired how we advocated for Norah and told me some things she is doing in the classroom to help. She admitted not knowing a lot about autism, but said she is researching strategies to help. She told me her goal is to minimize situations in the class that may be stressful for BG and reduce sensory overload (or meltdowns).

That was good to hear, of course. She also told me that she got an FM system for the girl . I’ve never seen one, but apparently it’s supposed to reduce background noise and deliver the teacher’s voice to BG. She said some kids were curious about it, so she explained what it was and BG seemed happy with it.

The teacher also talked about how they would handle any issues that came up and said that either she or her assistant would take BG to a quiet area to help her calm down while the other stays with the kids. She asked for suggestions for strategies and other changes she could make in the classroom that might help. I’m so happy to hear all of this, because while getting BG through the school day without a meltdown is important, reducing that frustration so she isn’t completely on the verge of one after school is important, too.

Also, the principal said that while she may not get an IEP and be eligible for certain accommodations through the school district, she’ll have a personal education plan for the school itself. It’s a charter school and receives state funding, but they’re able to make their own rules. (Like allowing her to start late if we had chosen to do so and letting her leave early for her therapy appointments.) The district psychologist has no control over that, so I am assuming that FM system was provided that way since she’s technically supposed to haven an IEP to get one. Take that, asshole.

Good stuff.

The girl had her tonsils out yesterday. That poor child seemed like she was on the verge of panic attacks multiple times over the past few days. She was terrified of having the surgery done. She wasn’t worried about pain — that never came up — but the idea of having them removed scared her.

We expected yesterday to be very difficult, but BG was in a good mood when she got up. She didn’t seem too nervous, even when we got to the hospital. After we checked in, a nurse took her back to a room that had the Disney channel playing. We got her dressed in a gown and then the doctor and the anesthesiologist came in to talk to us. When it was time for them to take her back, she didn’t cry, but I sure did when I watched them wheel her away.

We knew the surgery would be quick, but were surprised when the doctor came out half an hour later. I expected him to say something was wrong and they couldn’t remove the tonsils or something, but he said they got him out and she did great. It took longer for her to wake up from the anesthesia than it did for the tonsils to be removed.

When we went back to the recovery room, BG was crying a little. The nurse gave her some water and we rubbed her back. She then asked:

“Where’s my Barbie dream house?”

Um, what?

“What Barbie dream house?” I asked.

“The one I’m supposed to get after surgery.”

“But you don’t even like Barbies. We don’t have a Barbie dream house, sweetie.”

This made her start crying really hard. “But I want my Barbie dream house!” she wailed. I can only imagine how confused we must have looked to the nurses since our daughter, who can’t stand Barbies and other “girl stuff” was crying over a Barbie dream house that she thought she was going to get for some reason.

My husband asked if he should go get a Barbie dream house for her. I looked it up and they cost almost $200, which is half of what we paid for the surgery. I shot that idea down. She did manage to get him to stop by Target and get another gift for her, though.

The doctor said that BG would need a week, maybe two, to recover. After a half hour nap yesterday, she was bouncing off the walls. Same today. You wouldn’t even know she had surgery. I shouldn’t be too surprised since she’s not one to respond to pain much. Even when she had strep throat, she never complained about it hurting. We took her to the doctor because she had a fever and was lethargic and found out that way. Hopefully she continues feeling well and it isn’t a delayed reaction!

She Forgot She Is A Girl

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I actually wouldn’t mind brewing you a cup today. We had a 3-day cool down, which ends this afternoon, but it was still a crisp 58 degrees this morning. Yesterday the high was 79, and between that and a breeze, it was absolutely glorious. We will return to the high 80s and 90s starting today for lord knows how long, but the reprieve from the heat was much appreciated.

We’ve had a pretty good week. The boy got his progress report on Thursday and had all As and one B. That’s a huge improvement from the three report cards he got in fifth grade (for his school, they only get report cards the last half of fifth grade; the rest of their 5.5 years there, they simply tell us whether they’re meeting expectations or not). Middle school is looking good on him so far.

The girl also got a progress report, and it said she is meeting expectations. We will have a 504 Plan meeting with her school on Tuesday. The VP was supposed to get stuff going on speech and occupational therapy services through the school before the school year started, but we found out that he has done nothing. (No surprise there, I could write a whole post on that guy.) So we’ll talk about that and other possible accommodations. Her teacher hasn’t had any complaints, so there probably won’t be a lot accommodations wise at this point, aside from stuff like preferential seating and using noise-canceling headphones. (She already takes care of that, but I guess it’d be good to get it in writing.) She manages okay until she gets home, and then she lets all of her pent-up frustrations loose.

I have been getting so cracked up at some of the papers BG brings home. Sometimes — mostly with math — she’ll scratch out the problem and write her own and answer that. “I don’t like their yucky questions,” she said. “I want my own problems.”

Here’s an example of one, although this one is more of a misunderstanding. She thought they messed up by not putting anything on the plate when it told her to count the objects and write the number, so she “fixed it.” ❤

The kids have taken an interest in scooters. LM’s friend sends him videos at the skate park, so LM wanted to try with a scooter he got for Christmas a few years ago. And since LM wanted to do it, so did BG. My husband took the kids to a church to scoot around in their parking lot this morning. When they came back, BG ran in and told me she had her very first scar. I asked where it was, and she yanked down her pants and underwear. 

“Look, it’s on my penis!” she informed me. “My very first scar is on my penis!”

Oh boy.

There was no scar. There definitely wasn’t a penis. I reminded her that she is a girl and girls have vulvas, not penises.

“Ohhhh…I forgot that I was a girl for a little while,” she responded.

That child.

We don’t have any big weekend plans. We’re going to a friend’s birthday party tonight, but that’s it. We’re going to take it easy tomorrow, and then we’ll get started on a busy week that will end with BG’s tonsillectomy.

Wednesday Funnies

It’s time for a few funny — or at least mildly amusing — things the kids have said over the past week.

Little Man and I have been playing Words With Friends with each other. (If you wanna play, you can find me at “supmynerds.”) I know we could play Scrabble, but this is much more convenient since we can just play it as we go. We were playing last night when the boy started giggling like crazy.

“Wait till you see what I put,” he said, still snickering. “It’s so inappropriate!”

I opened up the app wondering if “fart” or “poop” had made an appearance yet again. Nope. He spelled:

SEX

I chuckled. Here we go with the dirty middle schooler brain. (Or what he thinks is being dirty, anyway.) I imagine it won’t be long before “That’s what she said” clicks for him. Right now, he’s mostly chiming in with “That’s what she said” for perfectly innocent comments like, “I’m running to Wal-Mart now” or “Let’s watch something on TV.”


Over the weekend, the kids were tasked with picking up their toys in the living room and their bedrooms. BG was dragging ass, as usual, since cleaning is “the most yucky thing EVER.” (She usually changes her tune a bit when I bring out a trash bag to bag up her yucky toys to take to storage.) LM picked up something of hers in the living room and tossed it in the floor of her bedroom, which she took issue with.

“Hey! You’re not supposed to throw toys in the floor, LM. Pick it up and put it where it goes!”

“You’re a good one to talk,” LM said. “You’ve got toys all over your floor.”

BG huffed. “Well, you shouldn’t try to be like me.”

Cue LM getting the giggles.


This one started out rather annoying. LM had open house at school last week. He led us around to meet his teachers and got pissy when we wanted to meet all of the teachers on one hall before going to another.

“We need to go in order,” he insisted. “We have to go in the order the classes on my schedule is in.”

Walking all over the building from one end to the other multiple times in the crowded as fuck hallways? Uh-uh. Plus, we needed to hurry along and pick up BG so we could do dinner and baths and get in bed on time. We explained this, which put him in a hell of a mood. He walked to a couple of classes and glumly pointed out what they were and would try to take off before we could even speak to the teacher. By the time we were 2/3 of the way through the schedule, we were getting irritated.

And then we went to the gym.

The kid who wasn’t very happy about being pulled from a computer class (they put him in the same one twice) and moved to PE completely lit up.

“And this is where we have PE!” he said excitedly. “Come on, I want to show you something cool.”

He practically drug us to…

*drumroll*

The boys’ locker room. And it smelled like ass. I wasn’t sure what “cool” thing I was going to look at in the gym, but a gross locker room wasn’t on the list of possibilities.

“Come on, let’s check out everything. I can show you where I change and my locker and the football equipment.”

The PE teacher came in just then and totally cracked up. He said that was the first time a kid wanted to show off the locker room. We didn’t hang around in there long, because it seriously stunk. At least he got excited about something, though.

On another note, the teachers we got to talk to seemed to like LM. His English teacher especially. She mentioned how well-behaved and respectful he was and commented on how if she hadn’t seen his 504 Plan that she wouldn’t have known he had ADHD. That’s probably due to a combination of his meds and how much he enjoys their class. They switch up classes this week, so she’ll have in in the afternoon instead of the morning, so we’ll see if the meds are still working their magic by then.

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday Brain Dump

“I bet you’re getting a lot of writing done now.”

Three people have said this to me over the past week. Each time I smiled and nodded enthusiastically in a way that indicated I was indeed working on the next big thing. Look at me, with all my free time, being productive! My stepmom, who never takes an interest in anything I do, took an interest and asked what. Dammit, woman. I told her about an outline for a YA novel I wrote several months ago because I wasn’t admitting to working on nothing right now and sounding lazy. I don’t know why they expect me to be writing so much in the week the kids have been back to school.

In reality, I’ve written nothing more than some blog stuff. I’m sure I’ll get around to working on that outline or some other outline that probably won’t go anywhere, because my ability to finish a writing project that is longer than 20 pages doesn’t exist it seems, but right now, nada.

So, I didn’t get the Big Job, it appears. I wrote about being sent a contract for a writing job and then not hearing anything back after signing the contract. I went against my husband’s advice and reached out and heard nothing. I’m not sure why you would send someone a contract and then not give them actual work, but whatever. I’m equal parts bummed and relieved because with riding all over the country for these kids’ schools, BG’s therapy, and other crap, I’m not sure where a fullish time job would fit right now. Okay, maybe it’s not equal parts anything (I’m 90% bummed), but I guess it’s sort of a silver line? Hmm.

I whined to my husband about it. He told me not to worry and that I didn’t need to move into something so quickly anyway. I ignored him and whined more about wanting to make money and feeling like things don’t ever work out, which made him roll his eyes. Mr. Corporate America himself told me I shouldn’t be selling myself out for corporate America in the first place. Okay, then. I’m allowed to be disappointed. 

Yesterday LM asked me for some needle-nose pliers and wire cutters. I gave them to him, happy to see that he was building something. And then I asked what he was making.

“A lock-picking kit for school.”

I asked why.

“In case I forget my combination. There’s a place for a key in the back. I could whip out my lock-picking kit and get in.”

Oh boy. I told him nope because the school has a master key for those locks, and I was pretty sure that they’d frown on a student being able to open every locker in the school. Also, carrying around a bunch of wires in his pocket would not be good. He didn’t understand why. Really, son? You don’t know why poky wires in your pocket near your junk isn’t a good idea? Hmm.

He decided that he’d continue with his set anyway so he could open any door in our house. He wanted to be able to get in the front door if we got locked out and couldn’t find the spare.

First, you really have no concern for the poky wires, do you?
Second, you are so not fucking with the door that is already fucked up. I can barely get in as it is.

The kid ended up locking himself out of the bathroom in an effort to show off his lock-picking abilities. The bathroom has an exterior door on it for whatever reason, so it has a real lock. One that we don’t have the key for. LM offered to kick down the door, noting that it’s possible he’d break the wood but that the hinges would probably be okay. My husband got it open.

Whew, BG was a mess to get ready for school this morning. She refused to open her eyes, because if her eyes weren’t open, then she wasn’t awake and couldn’t go to school. That’s how she explained it, anyway. I got the pajamas off her little stiff-as-a-board body and dressed her. After getting her shoes on and telling her that she really need to stop messing around so I could brush her teeth and hair, the waterworks and kicking and screaming began. After I got her calmed down, I carried her out to the bathroom and found LM dancing while drinking a Capri Sun. He wasn’t fully dressed, of course. We got out the door on time, though, and LM didn’t forget his backpack like he did yesterday.

I took BG for breakfast at the place with the legit best chicken sandwiches. She did not eat, but at least we got a picture of her favorite stuffie of the day.

Weekend Coffee Share: School And Stuff

If we were having coffee, I wouldn’t bitch and moan about the heat today. We’re getting some respite from the heat this weekend, with highs in the upper 70s. It’s accompanied by clouds and rain, so it’s rather dreary, but I’ll take dreary over 90s any day. Our area has had almost 60 days of weather in the 90s (real feel in low 100s typically, thanks to humidity), and that is more than this time last year, which ended up 74 miserable days. So, this break is welcomed with open arms, even if it’s rainy.

That’s not us this weekend, yay!

If you were actually at my house for coffee right now, you’d probably give me a pat on the back for having a reasonably tidy house. I missed the kids while they were off at school this week, but my house is not a disaster zone, and for that I am grateful. Silver linings, amirite? I’ve got a load of clothes going and need to wipe down the table from this morning, but otherwise, it’s all good. I wouldn’t even turn someone away from my doorstep if they came up unexpectedly, and that’s saying something for me. (They’d have to wait while I put on a bra, but that’s it.)

You’d probably ask how the kids’ first week of school ended, so I’d tell you that LM’s ended on a very positive note. He had zero complaints for the week, enjoys all of the teachers he has met, and has made a couple of nerdy friends. The boy also made a 97 on his English quiz and a 95 on a math quiz. As long as he stays on top of his assignments and turns things in this year, he should do just fine. (He had a few Cs and Ds on his progress reports for not turning in stuff last year, so I’m hoping that won’t be an issue!)

Baby Girl, on the other hand, is still trying to adjust as I mentioned in another post. She doesn’t have any specific complaints, and she seems to like her teacher, but she has cried in the mornings and at night a lot and says she doesn’t want to go. Part of it is she’s just not sleeping long enough, despite lying down early. She also wakes up in the night, so she’s understandably very tired. Hopefully when she gets those tonsils out next month, I think she’ll sleep better. Even if she doesn’t fall asleep earlier, she’ll get a better night’s rest at least.

The principal greats her every morning and lets her cuddle his dog, so that usually perks her up before she goes inside. I should probably make a point of asking if she gets upset or has a meltdown if they’ll take her down to cuddle the dog for a bit. We will have a meeting to go over a 504 Plan soon, so I’ll bring it up then. Hopefully the coming week will be easier for her! I know it would take time for any kid to get adjusted, and even more so for one who is having sleep issues and is on the spectrum. It just breaks my heart to see her so upset.

We have no real plans for the weekend. My husband originally wanted to go to the zoo since the weather was supposed to be cooler, but it’s a) rainy and b) the kids are tired and want to hang around the house. We can always do the zoo in the fall. My friend messaged me about going to dinner tonight, so I may do that, but that’s it if anything. I may also have a drink or two or three tonight. Lazy weekends are the best, especially when they come on the heels of an exhausting week!

How was your week?

Weekend Coffee Share is hosted by Eclectic Alli

Hello, Middle School

Today was the first day of middle school for Little Man. It took all I had to keep from crying at drop-off. I made a comment to LM about being on the verge of tears, and he said that if I cried then he’d cry, too, so I held them back for the moment. The boy was in first grade when I started this blog (and his sister was just a few months old), but here he is starting sixth grade.

LM only had a half day today, but he said he liked it. He said his homeroom teacher is awesome and funny, and he’ll have her for language arts and an elective class. He said the math teacher told them she was really strict and would probably make them cry. Yikes. His favorite teacher in elementary school also told them that — and compared herself to Darth Vader — so hopefully the math teacher ends up being cool. (He needs strict, though.) The other teacher he saw is someone he knows from the community playhouse that thinks a lot of him, so that’s good, too. We’ll see about the other ones on Monday.

Yesterday, I asked LM which classes he was looking forward to this year. “None of them. I don’t like learning the stuff the school wants to teach me. I want to learn what I want to learn.”

Lordy.

So I asked which classes specifically he didn’t look forward to. He loves language arts, math, social studies, and science. He loves theater and technology. After thinking about it a little more, he admitted that he did look forward to all of those classes. He also said he kind of looked forward to homework again because it was nice to have a routine. I don’t think he was being sarcastic.

I was worried that the class transitions, lockers, etc. would be overwhelming for him, but he said he already has his locker number and schedule memorized. He’s unsure about when he can use the bathroom outside of class. He insists that there are no restroom breaks and that kids are supposed to go during class, which doesn’t make much sense. Can you imagine having 30 kids and half of them needing you to sign a hall pass to leave during a 45-minute class? I would’ve lost my mind and wouldn’t accomplish a lot while teaching!

Baby Girl had open house last night. We practically had to drag her in since she decided she wasn’t going to kindergarten anymore. That was a sight to see. After she settled down, she met some other kids and seemed to get along well with another girl who was every bit as strange as she is. They had dinosaurs attack the Barbie dollhouse set up in the play area, which got the stink eye from some other girls. Weird kids unite 😉 The siblings of a couple of kids who bullied LM are also in her class, but hopefully she has a better experience with them than LM did with their older brothers.

The girl will have her tonsils removed next month. She has sleep apnea and very large tonsils, so hopefully this will help her get better quality sleep at night. (And maybe even stop the 1AM wake ups, where she also wakes me up and keeps me practically hanging off the bed every night since she has us in the “H” position.)

This mom doesn’t know how good she’s got it:

BG is understandably very anxious about this. We have a month to get her feeling okay over it. I’ve already told her about the rolling bed, wheelchair, fun mask that helps her sleep for the procedure, getting to miss school and eat ice cream for a week. She said all of that sounded good except for getting her tonsils cut out. I wish she didn’t need to have it done. Her apnea is mild enough that it’s not absolutely necessary, but they said she likely wasn’t getting good sleep at all most nights. The doctor also said it can cause ADHD symptoms. I know it’s a relatively safe surgery, but all surgeries have risks. I also hate to make her go through years and years of not being well rested, so hopefully all will be well.

Aside from some cleaning around the house, we have a lazy weekend ahead of us. No plans to go anywhere, plus a list of superhero movies to watch.

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.

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.