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You can call me Shorty

It finally happened; after months of hovering just under my height—and countless mornings of not-so-subtly sidling up to me and comparing our stature—this morning Monkey came downstairs and I was struck speechless for a moment.

“Holy crap,” I finally managed. I turned to Otto. “Are you seeing what I’m seeing here? Isn’t he, like, an inch or maybe TWO taller than when he went to bed last night??”

Otto concurred as Monkey grinned and bounced by my side, using one hand to supposedly feel the plane from the top of his head to over the top of mine (though he was a bit slanted, and we had to point out that no, he’s not a foot taller than me… yet). Today was a long-awaited triumph for him, and reminder 749 to me that my darling boy is a late bloomer. He’s no longer the smallest kid in the class as he was for so long, but neither has he hit anywhere close to what I assume his eventual height will be. (People love to gently tell me that maybe he’s just going to be short. His dad is really tall; I think he’s just on his own growth curve right now, y’know?)

That brought me back to thinking about all of the joys of asynchronous development, so I wrote about it over at Alpha Mom, because the only thing more fun that trying to figure out a teenager is trying to figure out a teenager who is both ahead and behind.

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Here, I brought you this snow. It melted.

I wanted to bring you back something awesome from our trip to Breckenridge, but I realized after we got home that I brought back… nothing, really. I mean, I remembered the kids, but to be fair, we’d brought them with us in the first place and I figured the people renting out the house we stayed in might be mad if we left them behind. I managed to buy my children 0 souvenirs from our super fun family vacation week. Zilch. Nada. I DID want to buy them a couple of I GOT HIGH IN BRECKENRIDGE t-shirts that we kept seeing everywhere (it’s nearly 10,000 feet, you know), but for SOME reason Otto kept vetoing that and giving me a funny look whenever I said it. I can’t imagine why.

Weeks before we left, my parents suggested to us that we look into getting some altitude sickness medication to bring with us. Apparently there’s something available by prescription, and I agreed that that was a good idea, meanwhile thinking to myself, “Medication? Does it bring you closer to sea level? How does that even work??” Also I then got distracted by all of the work I needed to finish before we left and the fact that (stewards of awesome timing that we are) we ended up purchasing Monkey some new bedroom furniture just days before we departed and that meant an evening spent assembling and moving things and selling his old bed and then the countless bewildering discussions between my youngest and me where he insisted that he loved his new furniture and wasn’t bothered by the change at all, but could I please just get him exactly the same bedding (y’know, the bedding that is only available in twin size) OR allow him to continue using the current twin sheets/blankets on his new full bed. Because that’s logical. (Autism! Motto: Progress ain’t linear, parents.) I got busy, is the point, and we never got a prescription, but I was sure that was no big deal.

Spoiler: We all got sick. (more…)

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Something of a crossroads

When we last spoke (I know, I know; we don’t really speak so much as I type and sometimes you comment, but “when we last spoke” feels more mellifluous than “the last time I bothered to post something”), nearly a week ago, I was a few days in to the latest Germfest, which continued to permeate every corner of our family and house at an alarming rate. Yesterday I still felt like my death might be imminent, but I dragged myself around the house Cleaning Everything (again!) and washing sheets and opening doors (it was a beautiful day, not that it matters when you’re busy trying not to die) and praying for a general restoration of health here at Casa Mir.

At the same time I was having myself a jolly little existential crisis about work and life and my children and my marriage—when I have a crisis, I like to do it up, after all—and thus have I arrived at this particular Monday morning: tired, still sick, about five pounds lighter than I was last week, and panicked about… pretty much everything.

Here let us pause while I assure you that everything is fine. Mostly. Kind of. As my father loves to remind me, my life is never boring. And our challenges often feel unsurmountable, sure, but in the grand scheme of what is truly bearable in a life, I should not complain. I know this. (more…)

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One month in

Monkey’s been back at public school for a month, and Otto and I still whisper and knock on wood when we dare to speak aloud about how great everything is going. Rational or not, we are still afraid to jinx it.

Of course, today I decided that that was just plain silly, and I went over to Alpha Mom and wrote all about how my baby is finding his awesomeness, which OF COURSE meant that I then got a phone call from school that MAH BAYBEE had become collateral damage in a hallway brawl. (Yep, I jinxed it.)

But he’s okay. Better than okay, really. I hope you’ll come read about why, because I think my kid is teaching me way more than I’ve ever taught him.

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Did you know it was cold?

I’m sure it comes as a tremendous shock when I tell you that Hey, it’s cold outside. It’s not as though 1) it’s cold absolutely everywhere, and 2) the news is all OMG HIDE YOUR CHILDREN IT’S THE COLDPOCALYPSE!!1!!!

So yes, it’s cold out. (In other news: Water is wet. Amazing!) It’s so cold out, we didn’t have school today.

Today at Alpha Mom, I’m telling you why this is all my fault. And I’m only sort of sorry.

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Smells like cinnamon and big changes

Last night I mixed up and kneaded the dough for the Super Fussy Pain In The Rear But Most Beloved Homemade Cinnamon Rolls so that I wouldn’t have to get up at the crack of dawn this morning. I took a break to call you and your friends downstairs for a bedtime snack of milk and cookies (hey, you may be teenagers, but cookies are cookies), and then you all swarmed back upstairs without even saying goodnight. I felt a small pang, but you were having so much fun, I tried to let it go.

I should’ve known better, though—you all got ready for bed and then you snuck back down to the kitchen to give me a hug. I squeezed you tight, marveling anew at how you’re nearly my height, now, and then demanded a second hug, on account of it was to be the last 13-year-old hug I’d ever get from you. You did a little dance of glee, hugged me again, then ran off with your buddies to a room littered with sleeping bags, video games, monster manuals, and stinky socks. I finished forming the rolls, ready to throw in the oven this morning.

The cinnamon rolls are always the same. They’re a fragrant anchor in a sea of ever-accelerating change, where every year I cannot believe you’re the same kid who had a birthday just one short year before. (more…)

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If you’re into that sort of thing

Thank you so much for the swell of kindness yesterday regarding Monkey’s Next Big Adventure. It gave me all sorts of warm and fuzzy feelings to know so many folks are behind my kiddo, even if most of you do live inside the shiny box on my desk.

I don’t necessarily want to belabor the process, here, because I know not everyone is interested in all the nitty gritty details, but if you ARE, today at Alpha Mom you can check out the extended dance remix version of how/why we made this happen. And it’s all fine! Good! Perfect! I will just be over here breathing into this paper bag just for fun.

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Can of worms, ripped open

Life has been a little nutty ’round here, lately.

Um, not the “ZOMG Y’ALL I AM SO BUSY” kind of nutty. For one thing, I sort of hate that assertion on general principle, because isn’t EVERYONE busy? I mean, usually? When I have a lot of stuff to do, any spare moments I have for reflective thought tend to take the shape of “Did I remember to eat today?” and “Do I have any clean clothes to wear?” or even “Why do these children keep talking at me and expecting me to feed them?” Even if I had time, it would never occur to me to be convinced that I was eversomuchmorebusier than anyone else. Life is busy for 99.99999% of the population.

No, it’s been nutty more in the MANY FEELINGS and CHANGE IS HAAAARD and HOW DO I MAKE THE THINGS THAT NEED TO HAPPEN ACTUALLY HAPPEN kinds of ways. And while that last item falls, I guess, into the general “busy-ness” category, the other two are much more matters of “May I please be excused? My brain is full.” Only no one ever explained to me as a kid that adults are never excused no matter the fullness of their brains. So unfair. (more…)

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Continuing adventures in sleepyland

Do you have any coffee? No? It’s because I’ve taken possession of All The Coffee. I drink it all day long, now, instead of just my usual mug in the morning. You know that song Smoke Two Joints by Bob Marley? That’s me and coffee, now. I drink two cups in the morning, I drink two cups at night! I drink two cups before I drink two cups, then I drink two more!

Unlike the song, however, it doesn’t “make me feel alright.” It makes me feel… less like death. But still very sleepy.

Monkey was kind enough to come down with some sort of cold this week (step right up, come see the miracle boy with no immune system as he catches every virus in town!), which means that he’s been sleeping in, which means that I’ve been dragging my sorry butt out of bed at o’dark thirty to fix Chickadee’s breakfast and pack lunches, and then after she and Otto leave for school I go back to sleep until Monkey gets up. That part is handy, but the part where we’re both cranky after we get up is not so great. (more…)

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Slacker? Genius? Smartass?

Back in the days of OH I COULD NEVER EVER HOMESCHOOL (haaaaaaaa!), my aversion to this idea was multi-pronged. Basically I was convinced that:
A) I am not patient enough to be my child’s main teacher.
B) Curriculum planning is probably hell on earth.
C) Spending all day, every day, with my child would strain our relationship.
D) Working and homeschooling are incompatible, even though I work from home.
E) There is not enough Excedrin in the world for this.

Spoiler: I was wrong. I mean, Excedrin comes in really, really big bottles (especially at Costco!), plus there are ways to deal with all of those other concerns. For example, we use virtual school classes, which means that my “curriculum planning” consists of going through the course catalog to pick classes, rather than actually writing syllabi. Also, when I need to get work done I just ignore Monkey for a while. Easy!

[As for patience, well, I still think I'm probably not patient enough, not really. But I'm a lot more patient than I was a few years back, which is just as good for me as it is for him. And when all else fails, there's that whole ignoring thing. Which I am totally joking about! Except not really.] (more…)

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