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There are two types of people in this world

Listen, I understand that genetics are complicated and sometimes recessive genes do funky things and all of that, but I’ve recently made a horrifying discovery about my offspring. I’m not the tidiest person in the world, not by a long shot—I tend to have tidy areas of the house and then a few small dumping grounds (see also: my desk, my bathroom counter). It’s been a lifelong (their lives, not mine) struggle to be okay with a certain amount of mess in my kids’ rooms, because that’s their own space and there’s a line between “my standards” and “health hazard” and they have to both avoid Ebola and learn for themselves. I get all of that.

And when it became clear that Chickadee never pairs her socks, I kind of gave her a pass on account of the mixing-and-matching she tends to do with said socks. Also, she’s a slob, so no surprise there. But Monkey is much less of a slob and I have only recently discovered that he also no longer pairs his socks. SOCK DRAWERS GONE WILD. Honestly, why wouldn’t you pair your socks?? I do not understand. This is beyond the pale.

(I feel better, now that I’ve shared that with you.)

Other than lecturing my children about their sock habits, not all that much is happening here. BUT I did write some stuff over at Alpha Mom for you recently, so feel free to check it out. First, if you’re not tired of hearing me gush about how exciting it is to have finally get diagnosed with and treated for ADHD, I have a few more things to say about that. And second, if you—like me, and lots of other folks—are starting to plan for a college launch, you’re likely wondering how to pick the right meal plan for your freshman. But please do not ask me how to get your college student to pair their socks, because I clearly have no idea.

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When it rains, it’s all kinds of drama

Look at me, not waiting a whole month to write again. It’s almost like I’m going back to being a blogger, or something. WEIRD.

The impetus for this is simple: Life was boring, boring, boring… right up until it wasn’t. And when people start saying things to me like “Oh, Mir, that could only happen to YOU,” I figure that means it’s ridiculous enough to share, because why should I hog all the fun? I should not. Perhaps nothing dramatic is happening in your life, in which case: YAY YOU! But I have some drama to spare, and I’m a good sharer.

ALSO, after 3 weeks of back and forth with our insurance company, I am now the proud (?) owner of some ADHD meds. My doc has me starting off with a very small dose, and so at first I was all, “Huh, well, this is… sort of dumb,” but I have progressed one notch up the dosage ladder and suddenly I find myself doing all sorts of weird things. Like, I’ll sit down to do something and ACTUALLY GET IT DONE. Or I’ll start planning something out and have a TOTAL AND COMPLETE THOUGHT WHICH I DON’T FORGET HALFWAY THROUGH. It’s sort of magical. Is this how normal people’s brains work all the time? Why have we not yet cured cancer and also figured out how to make people stop caring about what other people do with their bodies? I am productive and invincible! (At least until tonight when the meds wear off!)

Alright, let’s get right on to the excitement. (more…)

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Happy birthday; get out

Yesterday, my WIDDLE TINY BAYBEE BOY turned 17. This is impossible, of course, because in my mind’s eye he is still 3 or 4, tops, running through the house with his blankie tied around his neck as a cape, so that he can exercise his full power as SuperBoy.

I realize this is ridiculous, as he has been neither tiny nor SuperBoy for years. These days, he runs through the house screeching like the mighty eagle he purports to be (I cannot explain this), and his wingspan is mighty and I do not remember eagles having scruffy goatees, but YOU ARE DEFINITELY GROUNDED.

He submitted his senior quote and is still impatiently waiting to hear from one college, and yet after dragging around for most of the break I finally took him to the pediatrician the day before his birthday (happy birthday—here’s a sinus infection!) and he thanked me as he always does, always has, even though the voice doing the thanking is a lot lower than it used to be (“Thanks for taking such good care of me, Mom”). He is older and bigger but also still my tenderhearted empath, worried about everyone else and keenly aware that I struggle with the reality of his time with us almost being over.

Still, I had to push through my ambivalence to present him with the proper celebration, which at this juncture is fondly referred to in family parlance as the GET OUT birthday. (more…)

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Just be there, even if they sleep through it

This past weekend was Chickadee’s Fall Break from school, so she came home on Friday afternoon and is headed back today. Four entire days to love on my girl! Four entire days of quality time and family togetherness!

Sort of.

She got home around 4:30 on Friday and went to bed. She got up around 9:00 and had some dinner and watched TV with me for a little bit, then went back to bed. She slept until 2:00 pm (!!) on Saturday, then headed in to work a shift at 4:00, but then came right back home because they’d double-scheduled, and… went back to sleep. Sunday she slept until 1:00 pm, had some food, then went to take a nap. She was up to watch the debate with us on Sunday night. Monday she got up early to drop her car off for a repair, then Otto brought her back home and she went back to bed.

I dunno. I think it’s POSSIBLE she’s not getting enough sleep at school. Just a theory I’m working on. Call it a hunch, if you will.

We did get to spend some time together this morning. (Hooray for annoying little brothers; Monkey had to leave for campus at 7:30 and woke her up to say good-bye.) She helped me with today’s post for Alpha Mom, and I know this is going to come as a HUGE surprise, but I could not be more proud of the self-possessed young woman my daughter is becoming. I’d love to take the credit, but I suspect she’s just naturally awesome. Anyway, from her and from me, have a very happy National Coming Out Day today.

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Both falling apart and coming together

I just realized the last thing I wrote about was my eye infection (Hi, I’m Mir, and I’m SEXXXXXYYYYY), and then I promptly went silent for another week because my neck was all jacked up.

Longtime readers may recall that 11 years ago I crashed my car into a dump truck and the dump truck definitely won. Chickadee still has the smile-shaped scar and I still have a neck that periodically greets me in the morning with HEY REMEMBER WHEN WE HAD WHIPLASH? LET’S DO THAT WHOLE “CAN’T MOVE” THING AGAIN. So the eye thing responded well to antibiotics and then I woke up with my neck locked; if you would like to hear someone complain about how getting old sucks, I am available for parties. Our chiropractor retired, so I ended up complaining for a while and then a friend-of-a-friend was kind enough to do an emergency yamuna session with me that let my neck know it was okay to stop being a complete dick. I now own my own yamuna ball and everything. (I may or may not have named the ball. DON’T JUDGE ME.)

Anyway. For the moment, all is well. I’m sure another body part will give out in a day or two, but let’s not think about that.

Having only recently been restored to health and then having watched the debate on Monday night, I decided it was time for me to be very clear, out loud, about where I stand. Yesterday I wrote you this piece for Alpha Mom, and while I don’t imagine anyone who’s ever spoken to me is surprised to hear that I’m voting for Clinton, I felt moved to declare that I’m doing so enthusiastically and with a lot of hope. I’m not going to be silent or polite about it anymore.

#ImWithHer

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What you see is what you get

It’s been a pet peeve of mine for forever, the way people sometimes recoil from labels or admitting that there’s anything less-than-perfect about themselves or their special snowflakes. So it should come as no surprise that I have some things to say on the topic of whether or not special-needs students should disclose in their college application essays.

I know. You’re shocked. It’s shocking.

[Sidebar: Maybe less of a good idea to discuss your laundry habits, as I’m not sure a certain child of mine would’ve been accepted to her school if they knew that she just didn’t do laundry the entire first month. This weekend we had a rather spirited discussion about the number of undergarments in said laundry (hint: not as many as there should’ve been, given the number of days away) wherein she INSISTED that some of her laundry must’ve still been at the dorm, and later she went back and threw her roommate under the bus to save herself: I got a phone call informing me that AT LEAST she’d brought her sheets home to wash, whereas the roommate had gone home without hers and still hadn’t changed them. In summary, be yourself but BE YOURSELF OVER THERE WITH SOME FEBREEZE, PLEASE.]

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Because everyone LOVES politics!

By the time this next presidential election is over, I never want to talk about politics again. Ever. Or at least for a day or two.

I have mixed feelings about politics in general. It’s complicated. (Related: I called my senators during the filibuster last night, and because I’m polite I left my name and number along with my message. Neither of them has called back. I am relieved, but also annoyed.)

Nevertheless, when you’re trying to raise kids to be good global citizens, the “pretend it doesn’t exist” option is… probably not a good choice. So today I’m attempting to field a question about how to talk politics with your teen, particularly when they’re prone to parroting what they hear. I don’t claim to have all the answers, but I’ve got a few ideas.

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Trying to brightside

I don’t know about you, but for me, reading the news lately is pretty much making me hate everyone and everything.

My perspective on recent events is neither new nor substantially different than the many smart people who’ve already written about what’s going on, but when has that ever stopped me, before? If you have kids and you’re following the Brock Turner case, I humbly offer you some talking points for your family to try to eke a tiny bit of good (education) out of something awful (miscarriage of justice).

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Battling the verklempt

I am nothing if not illogical when it comes to my children, so after telling you last week how graduation didn’t hit me the way I thought it would—because it’s a Very Big Thing, y’know—of course this morning I’m on the verge of tears because Monkey started his summer job. As in, working. For money. In a lab. LIKE A RESPONSIBLE GROWN(ISH) PERSON. I need a minute.

I considered taking a picture of his shoes, per tradition, but it was clear that I was already irritating the snot out of him as he got ready (“Mom, I have everything. STOP ASKING.”) so in the end I opted for discretion. Feel free to praise me for my restraint.

Rather than wallowing in this strange state of Many Feels, I decided the proper antidote was to write you a Very Useful Post you can refer to any time you consider whether or not you’d like to either install a pool or purchase a house which already has one. This is timely, right? It’s hot out there, and I get it—a pool sounds awesome. A pool IS awesome, but you should go into it with your eyes open, because owning a pool is a big deal. Here you go: Is a pool right for your family? I’m here to help. (And not to cry about MAH BAYBEE going to work. Much.)

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Here we are adulting

Hey! How was your weekend? Didja do anything fun? Things were pretty uneventful ’round here.

I mean, um, I’m pretty sure there wasn’t anything good on TV, though my firstborn did graduate from high school. That was pretty much the most exciting thing ever for a million reasons, chief among them that I will do almost anything to see her looking as happy and proud of herself as she did on Saturday. It got even better on Sunday, when everything was over and we bid the relatives adieu and commenced spending the entire day lounging around in our pajamas. Not that the rest of it wasn’t great, you understand, but that day of communal couch-potato-ing was sort of like the collective exhale. It was glorious.

My parents were here, and Otto’s godmother, and after graduation we threw a small not-a-party because Chickadee did not WANT a party, so we compromised with “we are just inviting some of OUR friends to come drink some sangria and eat fancy cheese and hang out, you can show up or not.” Originally she said she would probably be elsewhere, but oddly enough, she ended up spending most of the evening with us, leaving to attend another party for about an hour (they had cake, so: priorities), but mostly sitting outside with the rest of us, feet tucked up underneath her, phone constantly in hand, looking every inch the incredible young woman ready to take on the world who she’s somehow become.

Lest you think everything has changed, however, rest easy. Be ye not alarmed! The Chickadee we know and love is still herself in this new “adult” form. (more…)

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