Dear Universe

Dear Universe,

Today I was not at my best. You sent me a parenting challenge that I have to admit I handled in fairly sucktacular fashion. I yelled at my kid. I know all parents do it, but that doesn’t make me feel any better about it.

I’ve been feeling a bit challenged with coping lately on the parenting-a-kid-with-special-needs front. I’ve been sick, to be fair. But I have had a couple of challenges in the past week or two, dealing with people and decisions and plans and general Mom stuff, and I just feel like I have been letting everyone down. All over the place.

And then today. MOM FAIL.

So, Universe, knock it the fuck off. I mean it, Universe. I am giving you huge side eye right now. I AM UNIMPRESSED.

I MEAN… please Universe, if you could just cut me and mine a little slack for a little while, I’d appreciate it. And in return, I promise not to eat the rest of the Halloween candy.

Well, maybe just the Hershey bars. But I’ll leave the rest. Or at least I will try.

Sincerely,
A Dissatisfied Customer.

P.S. I thought of just sending in an anonymous “WHO’S RESPONSIBLE?” a la Hawkeye Pierce. But I honestly don’t have the panache or the red bathrobe to pull it off.

What News? No News. Good News?

It’s October! And we are officially one month into the school year. And I have nothing to report.

Which, I have to admit, leaves me a bit… well, concerned is not the right word. But I’m certainly feeling a sense of vague apprehension, like maybe something is coming and I should be expecting it. Or maybe not.

Sheesh, I am crap at describing things today. Just go with it. Continue reading

Treading Water

This first week back to school always feels like treading water. Lots of movement and work, and staying afloat, but going nowhere.

I suppose that’s the nature of things this week for most people. You have to get organized to get your little people off to school, but a lot of that means waiting for other people — teachers, school admins, whatever — to get themselves organized. Then they will pass along the information that will enable you to get yourself fully organized. Continue reading

Not Done Yet

Apparently, summer is not done with us yet. It’s going to be 30 degrees and humid as fuck all week here.

So, although we are supposed to be preparing for school — getting back on schedule, ramping up our homework, reading, buying school stuff — we are instead spending our days swimming, playing games on PBS Kids, playing Zombie Dice and Yahtzee, and sleeping in a bit longer than is probably helpful.

Oh well. I remember fitting in as much as possible in the days leading up to school, in the sad anticipation of the end of summer holidays.

Besides, That Girl has been working hard at therapy and exercises and homework and reading all summer, so it’s not like a few more hours of work will be a game-changer. Continue reading

Change in the Air

Summer is drawing to a close. It’s been a beautiful summer, mostly, in terms of weather; the best we have had in years. We were away and missed the humidity festival that was Ontario in late July, so for us, we’ve really enjoyed some gorgeous summer weather.

So in that respect, I am kind of sad to see the end of summer. I would like the lovely weather to carry on and on.

But it does not. The past few days have been downright cool. The pool is starting to have a hard time holding the heat during the cool overnight temperatures. The tip-top of our tree had started to turn gold. And that means fall is upon us.

Even though it is still officially summer, September starts next week and with it, school is back in the following week. And really, that means fall to me.

And I am okay with that, really. Fall is my favourite season.

I like the change from summer to fall. There are lots of good things happening at this time of year. Continue reading

It’s My Own Damn Fault

So. I have made a couple fatal parenting FAILs in the past few weeks. QUELLE SURPRISE.

First, I have taught That Girl to “knit” using a little starter knitting loom. And by “taught” I mean “requires a good deal of assistance” in the creation of long tubes of yarnwork with many dropped stitches. Which means her knitting consists of much hollering of MOOOOOOMMMMM, I DID SOMETHING….

And the second thing I have done is started introducing her to teen comedies, mostly from the glory days of the 80s. But some modern ones too. YES I KNOW THERE IS LANGUAGE AND INNUENDO SO SUE ME. I survived the 80s, why shouldn’t she? ALSO GOOD MUSIC.

HOWEVER. Continue reading

Diagnosis

Sorry I’ve been AFK for awhile. We’ve had a lot on the go.

Most specifically, as That Girl has turned 7, we had arranged for a psychoeducational evaluation to be done. This means that she gets official word, based on the analysis of the results a series of tests, about what learning disabilities or disabilities or whatever she might have. It gives her teachers a milestone from which they can develop education plans or ask for assistance or whatever might be needed, and it gives us a basis from which to look for therapies or apply for assistance or go merrily on our way.

It’s an important test, but a bit daunting.

Depending on the results, if you talk to various parents, your world can completely change. There can be a “before” and an “after” and it can be upsetting. One mom told me about her son’s diagnosis day, where he went from her “son with developmental issues” to her “autistic son”. She says she cried for weeks. Continue reading

Everyday, Lucky

There are little things, every day, that remind me how lucky I am.

I forget sometimes, with the business of just getting through one day after another, one problem after another, one annoyance after another, that I am a very fortunate soul indeed. Don’t get me wrong, I will still complain about these things — and, as you know, quite vociferously, too — but I do recognize my good fortune. Continue reading

Has Anyone Seen My Sanity?

I am losing what is left of my admittedly questionable mind. Please, send help. I beseech you. Send help NOW.

My daughter came home from a field trip to the local theatre/arts centre this morning. She’s full of stories and excitement and laughter… and SONG. Apparently, on the bus ride home, the kids sang a song.

A song that she has been singing non-stop since the SECOND she came through the school doors at 3:15:

Belize VolleyBLA!
Valise volleyBALL!
(repeat several times)

I wanna wish you MERRY CHRISTMAS!
I wanna WISH you MERRY Christmas!
I wanna WISH you Merry CHRISTMAS!
(repeat, like, a dozen times)

VaLEEZ VabeeBLAH!
Belize VOLLEYBLA!
VaBLEEZ BaleeBLA!
(repeat until my brain leaks out my ears)

It’s like a PeeWee Herman Xmas Special all up in here. I DON’T KNOW HOW MUCH LONGER I CAN LAST AAAAAAUUUUUGGGGHHHHH.

Please. For the love of all things holy. Send help. Alcohol. Sedatives. ANYTHING.

If anyone needs me, I will be rocking and weeping in the fetal position under my desk.

Two Weeks

Yeah, I know. I’ve not been around. Because SO. BUSY.

Not a good excuse, I know. But you know what? I am sure you understand. We’re busy people, all of us.

But this week, I am actually beginning to feel a bit of that busy-ness easing up a little bit. Some of Stinkerbelle’s classes have ended for this semester — for the first week I am not sherpa-ing her and her gear to the pool or the dojo. My badminton night is over for this term. That Girl’s therapy sessions are finishing for the Xmas break.

And I actually said to BDH this week, “I know that I’m not actually ON Xmas break yet, but as far as my brain is concerned… yeah, I AM.” Continue reading

Saying Sorry

It’s been a bit of a couple of weeks here, it’s fair to say. Busy, stressful, expensive, tiring, and not tons of fun. But we are muddling through as best we can. One foot in front of the other and all that.

It’s also been cold. Rainy, a lot of the time, and today we got a light dusting of snow. It persisted throughout the day, for the first time this fall, and although we got a bit to stay on the grass and rooftops, it’s mostly just melting.

The wet weather has made the schoolyard at Stinkerbelle’s school fairly muddy, and twice this week so far she has come home all muddy and wet from playing in the mud.  Continue reading

Twinkle, Twinkle

Sometimes, a little girl needs some light, when the dark is scary or the future looks a little unsure.

P1020656P1020659I put up some twinkly lights today for That Girl. She’s been a little scared of the dark of late. Plus, there have been some worrying things in her world of late, with her Daddy and some much-loved people in her family having some health troubles. And with her propensity for dwelling on things — her way of making sense of the world around her, to make sure all is right in her universe — I thought a little friendly light might help.

It needs work but for now, it’ll do.

Perspective

This week has been busy. It’s been a short week because of Thanksgiving, so it hasn’t been any busier than any other week, really. It’s just that everything we normally do in five days is compressed into four, and although it’s no more to be done than in the average week, it just FEELS like it’s more.

But it’s after a long weekend — one, for us, that included travelling to the States and back, being witnesses to a car accident here in town, doing loads of laundry, the full bath-and-hair meal deal for Stinkerbelle on our day off, and getting lousy sleep despite more time to actually get sleep — and so that always comes with a feeling of let-down. The lousy sleep thing in particular is really getting to me, so when Tuesday morning rolled around, I was exhausted to the point of tears.

But there were appointments to go to and Stinkerbelle needed to be ferried to school afterwards. I took the opportunity when I dropped her off at school to have a quiet word with her teacher, to let her know about some upcoming appointments. I also wanted to let her know that That Girl has been struggling socially, being excluded from play by her classmates, and had spent a couple of recesses sitting alone on the grass in the schoolyard with nobody to play with. Continue reading

Fatigue

Lately, I have been feeling some fatigue setting in.

I don’t know if there’s really a word to describe it. Caregiver fatigue or caregiver burnout feels far too overstated for what I am feeling. I mean, in the grand scale of things, the level of “special needs” or “disability” that we deal with in Stinkerbelle’s case are by no means even a fraction of what many parents of special needs kids deal with on a day-to-day basis, so comparing the two does their hard work and more urgent struggles a disservice.

However, I think in both cases there are often challenges that come with adjustments in routines and schedules and whatnot as children change and grow, and in that respect, there is a little bit of similarity. On that level, I understand the fatigue.

Continue reading