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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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The joy of siblings

There’s nothing more magical, as a parent, than seeing your perfect offspring lavish one another with the kind of tender care they’ve learned from your perfect example. I mean… I assume. For other people, who actually set a good example and have kids who follow it. I hear this is a thing, anyway.

But no, in our house, it’s more like… well, I’ll let you see for yourself.

Monkey usually does the kids’ laundry as one of his chores. And Chickadee almost always throws at least one pair of jeans into the hamper still threaded with a (not-to-go-in-the-wash) belt. Monkey has pleaded, cajoled, threatened… all with no results. So this weekend he did the laundry, found a belt, and created his own cautionary tale.

honeybear-lynching

(That’s Honey Bear, the only stuffed animal still hanging around in Chickie’s bed. She was a gift from Kira after our scary car accident years ago.) (more…)

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Nicknames and dopplegangers

It never fails to delight me when someone who knows my kids in real life actually refers to them as Monkey and Chickadee. Those are not their real names, of course (sorry to shock you if you thought otherwise…), but they are their real nicknames from wayyyyyyy back, and we are big on nicknames here at Casa Mir. (Bonus points for people who call my husband Otto even though they know him in real life.)

Nicknames evolve, ’round here. For a long time Monkey was most often called Small Boy and then one day he pointed out that he was no longer small, Mom, GEEZ, so Otto started calling him Medium Boy. And there was that whole thing where Chickie changed her nickname to Pork Rind on my phone for reasons which were unclear to me.

Well. For a long time she was Pork Rind and the picture of her in my phone was a cartoon turtle stuck on its back, owing to her OTHER nickname for quite a while of Helpless Turtle. (That nickname has gone by the wayside thanks to a lot of hard work on her part. If you look very closely at her vision board you’ll find a clever nod to leaving that persona behind.)

Somehow—do not ask me to explain, because I cannot—of late she has become Flerp Derp. This started as a random nickname and has become a whole THING, like, with a life of its own. Are you familiar with the Narwhals song (mildly NSFW)? There is a Flerp Derp song, now, set to the same music. It’s a thing. (more…)

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But what about his royal Monkeyness?

monkey-vacay-text1I actually started posting again, but a few people noticed that Monkey was nowhere to be found. Well, he rudely left us to spend some time with his father over the school break. (I kid! He is always very polite.) He was away for a bit and I tried very hard not to miss him. I failed.

Have I mentioned how much I love the kids having iPhones? I love the kids having iPhones. Of course, for the first week Monkey was gone, I didn’t even hear from him. I finally sent him a series of ARE YOU DEAD? messages and he responded.

As you can see, he’s really growing up, cursing appropriately yet succinctly (and with enough restraint that I don’t have to admonish him). It brings a little tear to my eye. MAH BAYBEE.

monkey-vacay-text2Every milestone feels super-significant with this boy of mine. Even the ones where he’s being a completely age-appropriate little turd. (Hint: Who was tasked with coming up with a project topic two weeks before this conversation? Three guesses and the first two don’t count because c’mon now.) Otto and I have gotten into the habit of saying to each other, “Awwwww, he’s being a regular teenager!”

And he is, mostly. That’s pretty cool.

Monkey also—I hope you’re sitting down, if you’ve been around here for a long time and picture him as a preschooler—turned 15. I KNOW. It’s true, though. I wrote about it over on Alpha Mom, because he’s still my baby, even if he is bigger than me.

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Transcendental rubber cement

How did I become a vision board person? It’s still baffling to me. I am just about the most un-artsy-craftsy person I know, and yet, now that I’ve done this for a few years, it is without a doubt my very favorite new year’s tradition.

Granted, my OTHER new year’s traditions are 1) taking down the Christmas decorations, 2) vacuuming up bits of fake tree and fuzz from destroyed dog toys once said decorations are dispatched and 3) making large salads because none of my pants fit after The Month Of Eating, so it’s not like the bar was super-high, or anything. But still. I don’t know how I turned into someone who spends the better part of a day meditating with scissors and glue. It seems unlike me. And yet it is totally me, now.

Once again, Chickadee joined me, and the only big change this year was that we’d been madly scooping up free and cheap magazine subscriptions all year for just this purpose, so we had… roughly 100 magazines at our disposal. It was insane. I ended up cutting out way more than I actually used, which was fine, but about halfway through our session we were making comments to each other about how Oprah’s concept of a “bargain” was laughable and Martha’s ideas about “good things” should really be labeled “rich white lady with too much time on her hands” things. It’s all part of the process, dontchaknow.

[Have you been around for prior years' vision boards? Here's a retrospective, if you care: 2011's board (my first one), 2013's board (I missed 2012, whoops), and 2014's creations (both mine and Chickie's).] (more…)

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Dishes are complicated

In general I try to avoid the whole “and now let us brag about the wonderful presents we either gave or received, be they expensive or The Most Thoughtful Item ever or preferably BOTH” thing, because 1) NO1CURR, as my children would say, and also 2) I don’t want to be that asshole. I mean, I figured there are plenty of other annoying things about me without any of that going on.

Nevertheless, I am now going to be That Asshole and brag, because Santa knocked it out of the park with this double-sided magnet that showed up Monkey’s stocking this year:

Fred Dishwasher Magnet

Every teenager’s dream, AMIRITE? (more…)

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Parenting improperly since 1998

Hi! In case you were wondering about my status (I am just that important to you, I know), it is currently: Not Dead. That could change—though I don’t plan for it to—but despite my neglect of Internet word-vomiting of late, I’m still alive.

Let’s see; I’ve been on a streak of truly awesome child-rearing choices for the last month or so. There was the whole “Hello, Mrs. YOURKIDSMOM, but we are legally obligated to notify you when…” phone call from school one day, letting me know that when even a child with a documented lack of brain-to-mouth filter says something that sets off the DANGER WILL ROBINSON, LIABILITY BREWING detector, certain furious declarations must be Reported and Recorded and Handled. It was one of those seemed-like-a-much-bigger-deal-than-it-really-was kinds of things, but my kid was struggling and I felt guilty for not figuring out how bad it was sooner. We have since handled matters, I think, though excuse me while I go knock on everything wood within arm’s reach.

There was the “hey Mom, I have this weird lump here…” incident, complete with me being all, “Uhhuh, I see, that’s fascinating. Do you have a test tomorrow by any chance?” Fast forward: kiddo had to have surgery. Um. Oops? (Totally minor. Everything is fine! I mean, other than me feeling like a jackass, but that’s normal.)

Also no Thanksgiving break week would be complete without me totally neglecting my family in order to work a zillion hours a day on Want Not, so there was that, too. I am now making it up to my husband by spending our evenings binge-watching The Newsroom, which is what passes for romance ’round here. (I did not need to make it up to my children, as they didn’t notice or care that I was busy last week; or if they did, all those pies I made for them was enough of an apology. Hooray!)

That’s pretty much all you missed. Oh, also I never linked up my Alpha Mom post last week and now I’ve written one for this week. So! If you like, you can go back and read about why I hate the “best” gift for teens and then move on to what I’d like to tell new parents if there was any way for it not to sound annoying. Those posts and a buck will get you a crappy cup of coffee, by the way. You’re welcome!

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Toes are delicious

There are a couple of times I’ve written about volunteering at my kids’ school (or schoolS, back when they weren’t at the same one), and it nearly always evokes at least one indignant WELL THAT IS FINE AND WELL FOR YOU, MS. PRIVILEGE PANTS, BUT NOT EVERYONE CAN DO THAT response. Being me, I thought hey, people must be misunderstanding my point, perhaps I will devote an entire post to it to explain why it is important TO ME and is something that I think, actually, most people can do in some capacity if they really want to (maybe not as often as I do, but at least once).

Well. Um. You would think that a decade as someone who makes their living writing would’ve meant I could communicate that clearly, but this is me we’re talking about. I went ahead and wrote that post for Alpha Mom and managed to piss off the first two commenters, right off the bat. Mission not accomplished. Toes, however, very tasty. Which is good, as I apparently spend a lot of time with my foot in my mouth.

Really my POINT is that I, personally, enjoy volunteering and arrange my life in such a way that I can do it. I am lucky to be able to do so, I know. I meant it to be encouraging to those who maybe haven’t quite figured out a way to make it work. I don’t know if this is a hot button issue because I’m really screwing it up badly or because people get very defensive about this topic. Maybe a little of each? Either way, I guess you can come over and yell at me, too, or maybe my point—YAY VOLUNTEERING WITH OLDER KIDS—will actually come across. We’ll see.

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The flow, man, the flow

That’s me, a go-with-the-flow kind of person. Nary a care! No anxiety! No stress!

Haaaaaaaaaaaaaahahahahahaha! Hey, at least I can always make myself laugh, right? Right.

I’m working on that whole go-with-the-flow thing. Why, I recently realized that my car is missing a hubcap. Where did it go? I have no idea! Oh well! Also, this morning my hair was falling in my face and bugging me so I tied it in a knot. Then I realized that if it was long enough to tie in a knot, I’m about six months overdue for a haircut. (I feel like there’s a fine line between “flowing mane” and “aging hippie,” and past a certain hair length, I’m crossing it.) Did I make myself an appointment for a haircut, though? Nope! No biggie!

Yep, that’s me. I’m just rolling with it all. Or pretending to, anyway.

But hey, it’s all a part of learning to be wherever I am. Today I’m over at Alpha Mom, working on crossword puzzles and acceptance.

It’s all good. (Except my hair. I really do need a haircut.)

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You get extra credit, and YOU get extra credit!

Everyone made it out of the house on time and in costume, and everyone got extra credit. In addition, Monkey “won” for his class (which was apparently chock-full of Rosie the Riveters and not a lot else). While Chickadee’s teacher admired her commitment to the pun, they apparently had a spot-on Andrew Jackson in her class, so no grand prize for her this year.

I give you… the government shutdown, and the Great (grate! get it? GET IT??) Depression:

halloween2014

(Adjusted for the Witness Protection Program, natch.) I do feel a little sad that I cannot show you Chickie’s Emo-ized makeup because… it actually looked amazing on her. I’m glad she’s not a makeup kid, normally, because it make her look about 20 and ZOMG NO THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

Tonight there shall be football, but no uniforms—the kids are allowed to wear costumes. No one thinks I’m funny when I suggest they dress up as marching band nerds. Hmph.

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