Hypocritic Oath


About 3 hours ago we had a consultation with Stella’s pediatrician, confirming what we already kind of knew: she has ADHD along with a sprinkling of sensory issues, social problems (largely linked to poor impulse control a la ADHD), and a budding case of ODD.  If anything, this is only complicated by the fact that she is so bloody smart. (Side note: I was also vindicated by the doctor who thought the Harpy’s assessment of poor reading comprehension was bullshit.)

The last 24 hours were tough.  The nurse had all but given us the diagnosis when she called to set up the consultation; it was time to get really honest about where we are and where we’re heading.  For the past year and a half, I’ve gnashed my teeth and pounded my chest about meds.  No one was going to even suggest medicating my 5 year old child.  I would figure something out.  I don’t know how many different behavior charts we’ve gone through, along with visual schedules, cartoon characters I invented to persuade her to behave, and notes written on her wrist. Shit, I even tried aromatherapy. Some stuff worked for a while.  But lately there’s been a shift.  Her behavior has deteriorated.  She has been beyond inattentive.  She’s getting into trouble at school.  She’s become oppositional.  I’ve reached a limit.

True confession time: it’s become so hard to be around that I don’t want to be around her – my precious girl, my firstborn child.  Do you know how awful that makes me feel?  The guilt?  And then to think that she’s got me constantly correcting her, not to mention the shenanigans at school, and I have to believe that most of her interpersonal interactions are of a negative nature.

I try to talk to her, to ask about the appalling behavior charts.  I can’t get answers.  Yesterday I took a deep breath and asked her if there was some medicine that would make it easier for her to listen, to be a big girl, to earn green dots, would she want to take it?  She asked, “Will it help me to stop screaming?”  I told her probably, to which she answered calmly and emphatically, “yes, please.” The fact that she asked that question, that she recognizes she can’t control certain things, shattered my heart.  It also gave me resolve.

I’ve seen the way other kids look at her, obviously grossed out and embarrassed by her outbursts, tantrums, and screaming.  I want to wrap my arms around her every time I see it. But I also understand.  It’s difficult to be around.  And this will only get worse.  I’m hoping the meds will help that to a degree.

I still feel like a hypocrite asshole. Am I medicating her for her or myself?  I suppose it almost doesn’t matter.  I just want her to be OK.  Meds seem like they’ll give her the best shot for now.

So as of Saturday, my daughter will become the third member of this household taking something to try to make life more manageable. Poor Felix.  An unmedicated  army of one.

Cross your fingers for us.  I’m hopeful/terrified.

What’s Undermine Is Mine…


 

A few weeks ago, Stella came home talking about her friend “Simon” (name withheld to protect the guilty).  She and Simon played together at recess.  They would occasionally suffer bumps and bruises from rough-housing on the slide.  No biggie.  She’s a tomboy.  I was too.  Every day when I asked her who she played with at recess (when she wasn’t forced to sit it out, that is), it was invariably Simon.  I even saw them play; I go up there as much as I can to have lunch with her.  Simon, Simon, Simon.
Late last week, she started complaining that Simon had  hurt her mouth.  How?  Well, he” pinched her mouth with his own.”  Excuse me?  And he got some of his spit in her mouth.  What in the name of hell is going on here?  Clearly, Simon is trying to French kiss my 5 year old daughter, who, like Jon Snow, knows nothing about this sort of thing.  Simon, diabolical twit that he is, even knew where on the playground to do it – at the top of the curvy slide where line of sight doesn’t exist.

I tried to remain absolutely calm.  I explained that Simon had no business kissing her, that she would likely get in horrible trouble if any teacher saw that (even if it wasn’t her F’ing fault), and that kissing spread awful germs (No, I don’t feel bad for saying that.  She’s 5.).  As a rule, she should not kiss anyone at school ever, unless it was me or daddy coming to a function.

After finally telling Will – who immediately was ready to track down Simon and pound him into the ground like a tent stake – I figured that a gentle email to the Harpy (CCd to the guidance counselor for good measure) was a good idea.  I was polite.  I expressed that I know kids will be kids but….  I just wanted them to know that this was happening and where it was happening.  I did name Simon, just so extra vigilance could be used.

I got a response from the Harpy, which was somewhat surprising.  She “doesn’t do” email.  She assured me that she was constantly watching Stella.  That would have been fine.  But she continued.  Stella and  Simon “do  not play together.”  Furthermore, Stella mostly “engages in parallel play” rather than playing with other children.  However, I should rest assured that Stella’s physical and emotional safety were her top priorities.

Y’all, my blood boiled.  For starters, I’ve seen Stella and Simon play together with my own 2 eyes.  I’ve seen Stella play with lots of kids – tag, follow the leader, hide and seek.  I’ve seen the Harpy on the playground with her head buried in her iPhone or paperwork.  The fact that she attempted to discount my concerns was bad enough.  To take it a step farther with the “parallel play” comment was egregious.  She basically insinuated that my kid isn’t capable of having friends or playing.

Using direct observation, I can say this: this woman does not like my daughter and  for some reason is out to undermine her.  My evidence:

  • The “she’s reading at an inappropriately high reading level” shenanigans before school even started.
  • The comments she submitted to our most recent conference, stating:
    • That Stella’s reading comprehension was poor as measured by Advanced Reader quizzes (which are not designed or administered to kindergartners as a rule, and which Stella had an average quiz score of 86%)
    • These quizzes were were composed only of multiple choice questions (because obviously kindergarten and first grade kids should be answering essay questions – duh!)
    • Ignoring the fact that she’s reading, at minimum, at a mid-year 2nd grade level.
  • The “preferential seating” she’s given in order to help her stay on task is right next to at least 2 other kids who also have issues.  One little boy, in particular, is like Stella on 8 espressos.  Great!  That’s helpful.

I know teachers get burnt out.  I know my kid is challenging sometimes.  But dammit: I wish this year had gone differently.

There are only 16 days of school left.  One of those days is a field trip, during which her daddy will be present.  Three of those days are early dismissals.  I can do this, right?  I can go that long without losing my shit, yes?

Learn Baby Learn


I’m lucky in that public speaking is not something that’s ever really bothered me much.  Yes, I know some polls claim that people fear it more than death.  Really?  People would rather die than stand up and say some words?  chickenstress

Way back when I started out as an education major.  And while I changed majors to geology, I still got plenty of public speaking practice at conferences, and later teaching classes.  During one semester in grad school, I taught historical geology.  I had over 100 kids in my class.  It was awesome.  Later I tried to teach earth science to 8th graders in what can only be described as an inner-city school.  I loved the teaching.  What I couldn’t hack was that environment.  I was completely unprepared for those challenges.  I could not maintain anything resembling discipline and order.  I ultimately had to leave, as I wasn’t doing  those kids any favors.  I had a handful that I was really reaching, but the others?  They needed a more seasoned, old school teacher.  I tucked tail and ran and now, 15 or so years later, here I sit at a desk surrounded by reports.

Long story short, I guess I love anything remotely similar to teaching, and I jump at the chance to do it – provided it’s a subject I feel confident in.   I’ve gone to a few schools over the years to demo rocks and fossils, and 2 years in a row I helped out during  a Cub Scout summer camp so the little guys could earn their geo badges.  More recently I have spoken to the biggest kids about what possibly waits for them when they graduate from college with staggering student loans.

This week I’ve had the best of both worlds.  I spoke to a group of geology students at a college in New Orleans, and yesterday I was asked to present a lesson on groundwater to my Daisy Scouts and some Junior Scouts (5th graders) for an Earth Day patch.  I have to admit, that was initially daunting.  Groundwater isn’t sexy.  It’s not as exciting as talking to kids about volcanoes and ancient animals and paleoclimates.  And trying to find a way to make it interesting and palatable to not only kindergartners but 5th graders was even more challenging.

Fortunately, I stumbled upon an idea on the internet (All hail Google): edible aquifers.  Essentially, you build a soil column out of  incredibly sweet stuff – gummy bears, chocolate chips, marshmallows, ice cream – then you “pollute it” by sprinkling Kool Aid mix on top.  Finally, you “recharge” your aquifer with Sprite or 7 Up and watch as the pollution in your groundwater spreads.  The students then get to “clean it up” with their “recovery wells” (straws).

I started with the “real” lesson first, using a clear jar with “rocks” (really different colors of beans and lentils…..don’t mock me….we live in a state composed completely of unconsolidated sediment) and some sand. I then filled it with blue-dyed water.  I showed how different contaminants behave; I dyed Karo syrup red to show how some chemicals sink, and used good old vegetable oil to show how something like gasoline would stay near the surface.

Then we built the edible aquifers.  It was a hit.  I have no illusions.  The girls were most excited about all of the sugary goodness at their disposal.  The only thing that may have made me more popular was if I had brought ponies disguised as unicorns or a karaoke machine along.  But I’ll take it.  I think most of them at least now know what an aquifer is.   I did make some of them pinky-promise not to rat me out to their mothers when they weren’t hungry for dinner.

And on some level,  although I can’t be sure of this, I think it made Stella proud – that her mom is  cool and did a rad demo for her scouting sisters.  In any case, I’m bookmarking this for when she’s older and she thinks I’m a nuisance.  I’ll have documented proof that I wasn’t always a drag.

Symphony For the Devil


One thing I’m sort of proud about is trying to do different things with my kids.  I don’t want every week/weekend to be watching the same TV shows, playing at the same playground, or eating the same foods, whether that be at home or in restaurants.

Remember that awesome Countries of the World binder project I started and have let lapse (dammit)?  Each week or two, I would pick a country and put together age-appropriate fact sheets for the kids with photos, including stuff like flags, what the country is known for, and examples of their art.  I would make YouTube playlists of music and native dancing (where appropriate).  Then we’d find the country on our giant inflatable globe – which the kids have since popped.  Whenever I could, I’d add other extras; we’d try some food, I’d show them coins, and we’d smell perfume (France, duh).  We’d even try a few lines of language.  I really  like this idea.  It fell by the wayside with the drama of surviving kindergarten, but I want to pick it back up.  Hell, I even did one on Pakistan that I never got to use when prepping for a Daisy Scout meeting, in which the Nobel laureate Malala was going to be featured.  Did you know in Pakistan truck art is a thing?  I didn’t either.

I digress. Sorry.  The point is, while I want my kids to love outdoorsy stuff – swimming, camping, fishing, boating – I also want them to have a bit of world knowledge.  I don’t want them to think that Olive Garden = Italy, or that Mongolian beef = Chinese cuisine.

This is also why I’m so delighted that my son loves Beethoven.  This is why I took a leap of faith and shelled out quite a bit of money to take my kids to a Disney Pixar event put on by our city’s symphony orchestra.  It was a family event, so I knew kids were the target audience.  My kids would be familiar with much of the music.

We took a break from listening to Prince to try out the Violent Femmes.  I had to be very careful with my censoring during Add It Up.

We took a break from listening to Prince to try out the Violent Femmes. I had to be very careful with my censoring during Add It Up.

The Dude with the stage waaaaaay down behind him.

The Dude with the stage waaaaaay down behind him.

It went OK.  I was disappointed in our seats, as we were so high up you couldn’t really see the musicians.  I think the kids ended up watching the big screen with movie clips most of the time.  It was also a lot – 2 one hour sessions with a brief intermission.  Felix loved it, regardless, and sat like a tiny king in his big theater chair, dancing.  Stella was coming unglued by the end.  But I’m so glad we did it.  I will definitely watch the schedules, and if there is ever a Beethoven concert, I’ll take Felix (or Will can), and we’ll do something a bit different with Stella.

Stella's favorite part was meeting Woody and getting a free balloon.

Stella’s favorite part was meeting Woody and getting a free balloon.

Sunday was radically different.  Will works for our city’s park service, and they do an annual soft opening for the big water park, reserved only for employees and their families.  Stella is fearless.  She was just tall enough to go on 2 of the big slides, and wanted to go down a third (request denied, as it spits you into an 8′ deep pool).  Felix?  Not so much.  He had a good time, but only because they had “Donuts” there.  He was quite content to carry around his donut, wade a bit, dance to the music, and then sit back down with Donut on a bench.  Unfortunately, he and Donut tipped forward and he kabonked the hell out of his forehead on the cement.  It was so alarming I even emailed his school, letting them know he’d look like a crash test dummy today.

Felix and Donut, pre bonk.

Felix and Donut, pre bonk.

Of course he hoarded everyone's milkshakes when they weren't looking.

Of course he hoarded everyone’s milkshakes when they weren’t looking.

The water park wore them out.  I could only let them sleep about 15 minutes since it was so late in the day.

The water park wore them out. I could only let them sleep about 15 minutes since it was so late in the day.

The day ended with a trip to Sonic, an impromptu nap, dinner, baths, and Game of Thrones.  This week looks to be as busy.  Stay tuned…You know, if you want to.

Hero Dark Thirty


As a scientific-type person, I base most of my assumptions and decisions on things that I can observe, with a slight sprinkling of “gut” and intuition.  Often the answers to things that vex you are right in front of you if only you look.  That being said, I think I’ve made a remarkable discovery:  I am endowed with super powers.

No really.  It’s true.  I present my evidence:

  • If Felix has crapped himself, my nose is the only one keen enough to detect it. Obviously I have been gifted with some sort of superhuman nose – a nose capable of detecting one part per million poo odor in any given atmosphere.  It’s uncanny.  If we are all hanging out around the house, I’m the only one that seems to be able to smell it.  Poor Will and his mere mortal nose…  He’s missing out.
  • As a second line of evidence, before my husband will consume even a sip of milk, I must smell it. The sell-by date is meaningless.  Only my preternatural nose can deem it drinkable.  I’m amazing.
  • Corrective lenses be damned, my eyes can see things that no other member of my household can. Overflowing cans of trash, recycling bins, laundry baskets.  They are like shades to all but me.  What I do find curious – and perhaps this is reflective of powers of their own – is that my family can somehow manage to cram one more dirty diaper, one more shirt, one more empty bottle into these things without somehow resulting in a smelly avalanche.  Perhaps they are amazing.
  • In that same vein, I have superhuman strength. I am the only one capable of carrying trash, recycling, laundry to its ultimate destination.  I am powerful.
  • My ears obviously can hear an individual flower growing. This is surely why I’m the only one that hears the kids in the night, when they’re upset, and especially when they’re fighting.  That last one, however, is most curious.  I would think you could hear my kids fighting from outer space.  Regardless, I kick ass.
  • I can “Hulk Smash” when I become angry. I just don’t turn green.  And I don’t really smash.  I do banish kids to time out.  And when I’m in HulkMom mode, they don’t even contest it.  I am strong.
  • And surely I’ve been exposed to some sort of alien energy crystal. How else can I get up, get myself dressed for work, unload the dishwasher, pull clothes for the family, sort out breakfast, pack lunches, make it to work for an 8 hour day, pick up kids from school, bring kids home for bath, cook dinner, clean up after dinner, read books to kids, and put kids to bed (squeezing in homework when necessary) without falling over? Day after day after day? There are loads of days that also involve and include laundry, sweeping, and my personal favorite – cleaning up cat puke.  I am a boss.
  • Did you know I have a computer in my brain? That’s the only explanation for how I keep appointments, birthdays, holidays, field trips, due dates, assignments, and any other assorted upcoming event sorted out.  Damn, I’m good.

I should no doubt wait until Mother’s Day to post this (and yes, I know there are some superdads out there as well), as I am pretty damn sure I’m not the only one out there with these types of abilities.  I have a feeling I’m not an army of one, but an army of thousands; only too bad we are all deployed in different wars.  Our powers can be a burden, but are also a gift – a gift that allows us to survive without losing our collective shit.

So I’m going to give myself some kudos today – a pat on the back.  I’m not going to worry about how big my butt is, how sometimes I feed my kids hot dogs for dinner,  how my house isn’t clean enough, how I’m not good at doing hair, how I suck at giftwrapping.  I’m going to stand in the sunlight and be proud, if only for a moment.  I encourage y’all to do the same (I mean, be proud of you – not me).

I'm even showing off my origami prowess by making my own crown.  'Cause that's how I'm rolling today.

I’m even showing off my origami prowess by making my own crown. ‘Cause that’s how I’m rolling today.

Mix and Stones May Break My Bones


At risk of continuing my recent trend of bitching and complaining, I thought I’d share a few random and ADHD-style thoughts:

  • This is one of  those perfect times of year around here – where the weather has been as close to perfect as you can get.  It’s almost storybook.  I’ve been making a real attempt to get out and notice that, particularly since it is so incredibly fleeting.
    See?  Its like a movie....

    See? Its like a movie….

    blog4

  • I once again went into MomBeast mode lately, and managed to completely re-do one of my children’s room in under 6 hours.  For the second time in a month.  I may not have skills, but I have organization, drive,  and speed.  These children better appreciate that one day.
    I even added a chalkboard wall.  Yeah, I can be pretty damn fabulous.

    I even added a chalkboard wall. Yeah, I can be pretty damn fabulous.

    blog2

  • I just saw on Amazon this morning that there is such a thing as a “heated eyelash curler.”  WHY IS THAT A THING?  In whose imagination is that a good idea?  Sure, most people are barely competent enough to drive and vote.  Let’s give them a heated instrument to hold millimeters from their eyeball.

    viper1

    This is what I see happening if I try to use one of those damn things. AND OHMYGLOB GAME OF THRONES IN 4 DAYS!!

  • My  daughter had an awful day yesterday.  Today is a new day.
  • My son’s school did one of those awesome non-fundraiser fundraisers a while back, in which you could basically contribute for not having to go out and sell overpriced popcorn, cookie dough, or wrapping paper.  I gratefully made a contribution.  As a reward, one of the directors took some awesome-sauce pics of Felix.  Score!
    These were all taken by the fabulous co-director at his school

    These were all taken by the fabulous co-director at his school

    SONY DSC

    SONY DSCSONY DSC

  • This weekend should involve a symphony with the kids and some swimming.  Since Felix is still all about Beethoven (even when it’s Tchaikovsky or Strauss), his head will explode.  It ought to be a blast.

    Felix calls this his “singing gears.”  We’ve watched it hundreds of times.

And that’s it.  I hope to be back to my hilarious self soon, folks.  Happy Wednesday.

Bully Durham


The weekend was a mixed bag.  Saturday kind of turned into a disaster.  We didn’t have much planned – a trip to Home Depot followed by a few hours in the back yard planting grass and flower seeds in our new dirt.  It was too wet, however.  Will was on call, which meant he had to occasionally run to his computer or get on the phone to put out a fire.  The kids were both just having bad days, especially after Felix dropped his new plant Precious for the 3rd time resulting in significant loss of soil and biomass and causing me to confiscate it out of mercy.

Felix and his Plant Precious spent a good amount of time together, lunching and playing.

Felix and his Plant Precious spent a good amount of time together, lunching and playing.

Until Plant Precious cried "Uncle" in the way only a plant can....

Until Plant Precious cried “Uncle” in the way only a plant can….

Do/does your kid/kids ever just have a random asshole day?  They’re still cute and you still love them more than life itself, but they just act like little shits all the live-long day for no apparent reason dammit.  That was Saturday at our house.  It should not have been that rotten.  I have no idea how many time-outs were issued.  It was bunches.  I had been about to reach out to see about setting up a play-date when Stella appeared out of a time-out covered in blue F’ing sharpie pen ink.  She had done her eyebrows, lashes, lips, a full beard, and legs.  I mean really??

To cap off the fun, the cats opted to vomit on every single surface of the house, particularly our bed.  This resulted in 4 extra loads of mandatory and unexpected laundry.  Saturday was a day that you  just feel lucky to have survived without punching someone or something.

Yesterday was better.  Oui Oui offered to take the kids for a while, maybe sensing the imminent losing of my shit.  Will and I ran some errands, which is almost blissful without kids in tow, ate a quick lunch, and then drank French 75’s.  I got to watch Deadpool.  OH MY GLOB THAT MOVIE IS HILARIOUS.  I laughed until I cried.  It was so good for my soul.  I really really needed that.  Oh, and I found out  my dad and stepmother are coming to visit in a few weeks.  I’m so excited!  We haven’t seen them in a full year.

Sunday morning was much more peaceful (yes, that's Stella in there).

Sunday morning was much more peaceful (yes, that’s Stella in there).

Felix always enjoys the Sunday paper.

Felix always enjoys the Sunday paper.

Everyone is happier and invigorated after some down time and super hero movies.

Everyone is happier and invigorated after some down time and super hero movies.

This morning, my heart broke for my daughter.  She’s just starting to complain about going to school.  It may just be spring fever.  I’m always terrified it’s something else – that kids are picking on her.  She just seemed so sad when I left for work.  She’s begging me to come eat lunch with her, but I just can’t do that every day.  This is when I wish I did have more of my side of the family around, so that we would have more people available for stuff like that.  I tried to tell her we have so much cool stuff on the near horizon, but I’m not sure a 5 year old gets that.

I’m just ready to get the rest of this school year done so we can regroup, assess, and lick our wounds.  Maybe meds?  I don’t know.  That’s a large looming decision, and one I don’t want to make.

Dawn of the Dread


Yesterday both of my children behaved horribly.  It was one of those days that make you question your parenting ability.  Maybe I’m not cut out for this merde?Stella has been having an off-week.  Sometimes that just happens.  It makes me crazy, mainly because I can’t pinpoint why it’s happening.  Other than Tuesday, which was pretty brilliant, her behavior chart has not been stellar.  It’s been crap.  There’s no apparent reason for it.  She’s not sick.  She’s been eating well.  Nothing unusual is happening at home.  She’s been sleeping.  She has just made poor choices this week.

This is a magnet in my office.  It is the perfect visual representation of yesterday.  I'm the little guy, of course.

This is a magnet in my office. It is the perfect visual representation of yesterday. I’m the little guy, of course.

Felix, normally my “good child” – and yes, I hate that kind of terminology….”easier child” is definitely a better term – went to school and came home with not 1 but 2 behavior reports.  There was also one from the end of March that somehow I had missed.  In March he was hitting kids with a 2″ diameter stick.  Yesterday he was Preciousing a tin can full of seashells, becoming absolutely enraged if anyone even tried to look sideways at it.  It resulted in 2 trips to the office.  Really, dude?

Needless to say, my heart was in my toes driving them home from school yesterday.  Then I remembered how awful I felt about Stella being pigeon-holed by these blasted dots and charts.  And I remembered how sweet and charming Felix typically is.  And I recognized that they haven’t been getting enough outside “kids being kids” time.  So while I cooked dinner, I decided to send them to the back yard mud pit behind my house to play.  I made them put on their boots.  Little did I know the dirt pile where our deck used to be had the consistency of quick sand.  Boots quickly became stuck.  Stella began sitting in it.  Felix, being his odd little self, did not and stayed somewhat clean other than his hands and one ear.

Note the boots stuck in the mud behind her.

Note the boots stuck in the mud behind her.

And it got worse....So much worse.

And it got worse….So much worse.

I really didn’t care.  Until it came time to somehow get them inside without absolutely trashing my house.  It was an epic battle.  There was cursing and crying and one time out.  At the time, I can say it wasn’t worth it.  I was just tired, frustrated, and overwhelmed.  They say it takes a village.  Yesterday I couldn’t find a village.  Not even another villager.

Today, with most of the evidence evaporated, it was worth it.  Both kids slept very hard and long.  I’m hoping they’ve reset and can behave themselves reasonably well while out in the world.  Today is a new day.  Hopefully today will be a better day.

Wit that said, I’m hitching up my big girl panties and I’m off.  I’m going to put Fugazi’s 13 Songs on repeat and try to make these groundwater reports my bitches.

 

 

Skid Vicious 


Last night I had some wine.  I know.  You’re shocked. In my defense I’m having a soul-crushing time at work these days.  I actually do enjoy what I do.  But lately the people who are supposed to be there to support me are doing the opposite.  It’s just hard to be there right now.

And then when I picked my daughter up after school she immediately confessed to getting 2 red dots and that boy, Mrs.Harpy was super tired and grumpy – she even said so.  Enter parental guilt. Am I helping this mean awful woman define my sweet albeit sometimes obnoxious kid with behavior chart dots? And then in my imagination the Harpy turns green and begins chortling “I’ll get you my pretty!”  

  

 

So yeah.  It was a wine night.  To my credit, I did wait until after both kids were bathed and fed.  Will and I were watching the second episode of Arrow (still on the fence with that one) when I realized I needed a refill.  Will handed me his mostly-empty glass in that “while you’re up you might as well” kind of way.We have one of those “open concept” kind of common areas, with the living and dining rooms and kitchen.  As such, I can still watch whatever is on the TV while getting wine or snacks.  

So there I am – one empty and one partially empty wine glass looking kind of sideways to see the show walking to get wine.  The room was dark.  All I know is that all of the sudden I stepped in something wet.  My foot shot out from under me.  I found myself on the floor with wine dripping off my nose and glasses, my ass wet with something kind of smelly, and miraculously 2 unbroken glasses in my hands.

At first I thought “Oh shit, my hip.”  ‘Cause as you know, as you age that becomes a thing.  Then I realized my elbow was throbbing.  Then I got pissed.  What was the wet shit on my floor?  I hollered for Will to help.  Thank goodness Felix was asleep, or he would have learned so many wonderful new words.

Will investigated and cleaned up the mess while I cleaned up myself, changed, and got ice for my elbow.  Turns out it was a lake of cat bile.  I had slipped and nearly broken bones on a gallon of cat vomit.

No more cats, y’all.  I mean it.

Detritus Andronicus


As I made my son’s bed this morning, the following things fell out: a beer pull-tab, a Q-tip, a Chuck E Cheese token, 4 round bristle blocks stuck together into a large cylinder, a purple plastic gear, and a wooden peg.  His blanket was also wadded up near his pillow, as it was supposed to be “under the tent” as well.

This illustrates why I’m having such a hard time purging toys and organizing his bedroom.  Stella is easy.  She’s never really played with toys the way most kids do.  Sure, she’ll stuff around with a doll every once in a while.   I even asked her if I could get rid of her Disney Dazzle Slider Castle thing and she was perfectly OK and nonchalant about it.Mainly she enjoys art and playing games on an iPhone/iPad.  I can go into her room every once in a while and do a big sweep and there really are no repercussions.   Like most kids, as long as she doesn’t see you throw away a masterpiece, there is no problem.

Felix is another matter.  There is an endless supply of Preciouses in his life.  And he remembers.  He’s like an elephant.  Just when you think it might be safe to throw together a bag of kitchen toy stuff to donate, he demands that you produce teeny tiny whisk.  And this defies my own sense of order.  If I’m going to purge and donate stuff, I want it to be as complete as possible.  He only really plays with the wheel-shaped bristle blocks, but I can’t get rid of the rest.  What happens if a kid wants to build a bristly car?  In his wooden tool kit, he only really plays with the screws and nuts.  But how can I donate a tool kit without that stuff?  I was ready to donate his ABC spinning/singing toy (I call it the baby Rolodex) when he decided that was Precious and slept with it for 4 nights running.

See?  He only holds the screw.

See? He only holds the screw.

Everything is Precious.  It’s like he can sense when I’m considering removing something from his environment.  So parts of my house are covered in the most random assortment of bits.  I’m not really sure how to remedy this other than box up/throw out a whole bunch of crap and deal with the tears later.  But don’t worry.  I will totally  keep teeny tiny whisk.

And glob help you - or his sister - if you try to touch his water bottle.  It is ALWAYS Precious.

And glob help you – or his sister – if you try to touch his water bottle. It is ALWAYS Precious.