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It’s my fault

This morning I sent both kids off to school with something akin to GLEE. Monkey chatted all morning and was clearly, FINALLY, feeling better. I’ve asked Chickadee several times a day for nearly a week if she’s feeling okay, and with growing impatience and annoyance she has assured me that she’s FINE, MOM, GEEZ, STOP ASKING.

So I told someone that we’re done with the flu and only Monkey got sick. Rookie mistake.

Chickadee went to the nurse around 11:00. The nurse took her temperature, which was normal, and then Otto and I ended up doing triangular triage via phone and text because I was headed to a hair appointment. I realize that sentence makes me sound like a privileged, self-centered jerkwad, but allow me to follow it up with the clarification that I have not had a haircut in A YEAR (not an exaggeration), and hair like mine doesn’t get LONG so much as it gets HUGE. My hair was minutes away from becoming sentient. Otto was able to bring Chickie home while I was getting my hair weed-whacked, thankfully, which meant I only felt like a neglectful mother instead of a truly shitty mother. By the time I got home her fever was already up to 101. So. Yeah. I’m just going to finish this up and go buy some stock in Tamiflu, y’all.

But last night, back when I still believed no one else was going to get sick (HAHAHA), Otto and I went out on the town. I wrote about it for Alpha Mom, when I apparently should’ve been hanging biohazard signs all over the house, instead.

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These two things are unrelated

I am nothing if not inconsistent; I started writing here again and then I saw something shiny and wandered off. Or, more accurately, life happened and I realized I’d abandoned you again. I’m a jerk. I have no other defense.

There’s two things I’ve been meaning to share, though of course the more time that passes, the more I realize that they may be interesting only to me. NO MATTER! You will care about my Bowl Situation, yes you will, and also I can never resist the opportunity to point out when I have completely screwed up as a parental unit, so here we go.

Matter the first: “You’re fine!”
Monkey has missed quite a bit of school this month. We all had a stomach bug shortly after the kids returned post-winter-break, and then the following week he had a brief relapse, and so when the third week rolled around and he AGAIN said he wasn’t feeling great, I was having none of it. NO SIR, YOU ARE HEALTHY AS A HORSE, GO TO SCHOOL. I did this because:
1) I’m an idiot jerkface
2) I figured he had somehow become acclimated to the newish routine of “but I don’t go to school on Thursday/Friday anymore”
and
3) Sometimes I forget that hey, my autistic child has a VERY high threshold for discomfort and does not complain (mostly) unless he is probably dying*.

* Other spectrum parents are about to start nodding, but here’s the further explanation of the Sensory Weirdness that is our normal: Brush up against my child and he will howl that he has been punched, but give him a fever of 105 and he will say he’s fine. I don’t know why; that’s just how it goes. (more…)

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But we didn’t actually die there

If you’ve been reading here since the dawn of time, you might recall that I had a hysterectomy at a pretty young age. My uterus was a complete asshole, and both of my ovaries were bitches. In the space between my first period and the triumphant day when I bid the plumbing good riddance, I dealt with debilitating cramps, excessive bleeding, countless ruptured cysts, infertility and pregnancy loss, and let us not forget the endless migraine headaches. Basically I was a mess. I am much happier without any rogue organs, and I love receiving a small, controlled (read: non-system-poisoning) dose of hormones via the miracle of modern pharmaceuticals. I take juuuust enough to stave off the hot flashes and a full beard.

I’ve had… maybe… two? three, tops? migraines since my hyst (over a decade ago). I kind of forgot about them. Maybe I did forget about them, kind of, until my darling daughter lay sobbing on the kitchen floor yesterday morning, moaning about how she could feel the blood pulsing through her head and the light was too bright and was she dying?

Ohhhhh, pumpkin. No, not dying. You thought menses was when you became a woman? NOPE. First migraine; that’s when shit gets real. Sorry, baby. Welcome to womanhood in our family! It sucks.

I did all of the things I could remember for her, yesterday, and many ice packs and hours of sleeping and Excedrin later, she asked to be taken to school for a test she didn’t want to miss. She made it through the test but didn’t look so hot, after. I put her to bed early last night, hoping she’d be better today. (more…)

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A Christmas Story, sans leg lamp

I make everyone watch A Christmas Story every year, because it’s important that I make sure, every year, that Ralphie doesn’t ACTUALLY shoot his eye out. Similarly, Chickadee requires that we watch Elf every year, because we have to confirm that Christmas is saved and also that if you’re paid enough money, you can indeed eat platefuls of spaghetti and maple syrup. Or something.

I have no problem watching the same movie(s) every year. I enjoy the predictability, especially as our actual lives are not nearly as predictable as I’d like. In fact, it’s something of a family joke, how disastrous our Christmases often end up, so why not watch the films about how everything works out just right in the end, after a few bumps along the way?

This year I just knew that Christmas was going to be amazing, though. The kids got iPhones—before the holiday, even—and I’m not going to lie, I was feeling smug. I’d finally won at Christmas, this year, managing to both make the children happy AND avert any sort of crisis or disaster because the plan was to stay home and have a quiet holiday. With the “big gift” out of the way, there were just a few boxes under the tree… wrapped early, even! The stage was set for family togetherness. If not peace on earth, at least calm and relative happiness.

When school let out on Friday I practically shrieked with glee. Time to relax! (more…)

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Nightmare hangovers

I have never actually been an addict of any kind (uhhhh… eating all the chocolate in the house so that there’s not any chocolate in the house to tempt me doesn’t count on that score, right?), so this may be completely off base, but I think the process of going off this stupid medication that never actually worked for me has been a lot like withdrawal. (Maybe. I have no idea, like I said, but hey, I’m a squeaky-clean, middle-aged, middle-class woman who saw Trainspotting once. Or something.)

Basically, you know, I’m fine, and it’s no big deal. Except that while I was taking this med, I was exhausted all the time and had a lot of trouble sleeping. Now that I’ve been weaning down, I’m a lot less tired than I was (though still tired, because hey, WHY NOT), but when I sleep, good lord, I have the most vivid, disturbing dreams. I wake up every morning and from every nap in a cold sweat, trying to discern reality from nightmare, as some horrible scenario gradually fades from my consciousness.

This, of course, means that my doctor said “Go down in dosage this much for one week, then this much for another week, then decrease by half” or somesuch, and after the first few days of heightened technicolor dreamscapes I took the proposed weaning schedule and tossed it in favor of being off the meds in about half the time. (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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Conclusion: I continue to be a hazard to myself

Hey, remember that time I broke my hand on an apple and turned into a cyborg? Good times, man. That was almost a year ago, now. It was year ago next month, in fact, though I wasn’t thinking about that at all this week. After the surgery I did months of physical therapy and then also kept going back to the hand surgeon for rechecks because my hand remained kind of weird and deformed for a LONG time, prompting him to keep saying, “Let’s have another look in a couple of months.” And then I’d go back and he poke and prod and finally my hand mostly looked like a hand again and he said, “Okay, you’re good to go!” and that was that.

That was that until this past Wednesday, anyway, because I AM ME and if I made stuff like this up you’d be all, “Oh don’t be stupid, that could never happen.” That’s because on Wednesday I was making a lovely from-scratch chicken pot pie—one of Monkey’s favorite things, so he kept wandering into the kitchen and asking if it was ready yet, starting at about 2:00 in the afternoon—and the thing about me and chicken pot pie is that it’s a “one dish meal” where I end up using every pot and pan in the kitchen. I had to bake the chicken, roast the veggies, caramelize the onions, etc. I was moving things around and lifting heavy pans and making a huge mess and having a grand time.

Finally dinner was in the oven, and Licorice—who’d been under my feet all afternoon, hoping I’d drop anything at all, but hopefully some chicken—sat down by her dishes and wagged. So I pulled out the canister of kibble and scooped her dinner, and then as I was putting the container away… (more…)

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Totally on top of things

Because I know everyone is terribly concerned about the state of my bladder, I’m happy to report that all is well. I am also somewhat perplexed to report that—after going to the doctor first thing last Wednesday morning for this issue—I didn’t get a call from the doctor’s office until the following Monday evening to confirm that yes, indeed, my urine culture had grown bacteria and I had an infection. (To my credit, I didn’t respond to that with, “No, REALLY?”) I mean… nice of them to let me know… three days after I finished the antibiotics. When I questioned the need for the call at all, the nurse said, “Uh, well, we wanted to make sure you were feeling better.” Thanks?

In other, unrelated, news: Nothing in the world makes me feel dumber than parenting teenagers. Seriously, Mother Nature is a stone cold bitch, making babies all adorable and kids intriguing and delightful and then being all, “HAHAHAHA, you’re all invested in these people who just TURNED INTO SOUL-WITHERING ALIENS! Suckers!!” I hear I’ll become smarter again in a few years, but in the meantime, oof. Sometimes I write about stuff to remind myself that I am not a complete failure when it comes to them. For example, today on Alpha Mom I share that I am pretty good at getting my kids to do their chores, and I don’t scream or beat them or anything. So I’m still stupid, but at least we don’t live in squalor. (I’ll take my points wherever I can get ‘em.)

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Pro tips, free of charge

When I wrote about our trip to Atlanta on Monday and all of the traffic we encountered, I included the tidbit about desperately needing to pee to illustrate how very unpleasant the whole ordeal was. When I reread what I had written, I had a moment of, “Do I really need to talk about how much I had to pee?” Because: pee. (I sure am saying “pee” a lot, here.) But I left it, because what’s a little pee between friends? Also, WOW was that uncomfortable in the extreme.

Well HEY, GUESS WHAT! Today I learned that if you wait a really long time to pee when your bladder is full, that can give you a bladder infection. NEAT, HUH? You’ll never guess how I found out! It’s no big deal, though, because if you’ve never had a bladder infection, I can assure you that it only makes you wish for death during the time when you’re awake. (Never had one? Imagine having a mild stomachache and feeling like you have to pee ALL THE TIME, but then every time you DO go it feels like someone is jabbing broken glass into your urethra. YOU ARE WELCOME.)

So after peeing in a cup for my doctor this morning and then heading to the pharmacy, it turned out my meds weren’t ready, and I was a very sad panda. BUT THEN while I was waiting, the cops came in to have a chat with a woman who apparently had a forged prescription for narcotics. Today was WAY more exciting than anticipated, is my point.

Moral of the story: Find a way to urinate as soon as you need to go, lest you find yourself sitting at the pharmacy with crotch pain in the middle of a drug bust.

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Food, pain-in-the-ass foooooood

If you’ve been around here for any length of time, you know that food and I enjoy a close, fulfilling relationship. Other than that whole gluten thing, food has generally been good to me (maybe a little TOO good to my thighs, but it means well) and I love to eat. I eat just about everything. Food good! Food delicious! I very much like food!

(I’m not sure how or why I turned into a bizarre cross between Cookie Monster and the Hulk just then. Forgive me.)

Having a kid who has a complicated relationship with food has been one of those things where my internal How To Handle It computer simply returns a “COPING METHOD NOT FOUND,” 404 Error style. Because it’s FOOD. And food is DELICIOUS. Also COMFORTING and did I mention DELICIOUS and also what do you MEAN you’re not hungry? I am not innately programmed to deal with this. I don’t know if anyone is. You can like food, love to cook food, like to bake, enjoy feeding your family, and BAM! Here comes life, and its various fangs and claws, and hey, howzabout you figure out how to get this kid to gain 15 pounds like, right now?

Life is kind of a demanding asshole. (more…)

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