A snapshot

By Mir
April 20, 2010

I am rather (emotionally, intellectually) wrapped up in my kids at the moment. There will be a time for telling more, but right now I’m only going to say that we have one last IEP meeting today, and tomorrow we head into Atlanta to see the long-awaited specialist about Chickadee’s mystery skin condition. In short: my Mama Bear heart is heavy with anger and fear, respectively, and that makes it hard to say much that’s worth sharing.

Recently it seems like I’ve had to explain to a lot of people “what it’s like” with a kid like Monkey, and I never know where to start, because sometimes it’s wonderful, and sometimes it’s pull-your-hair-out maddening, and sometimes it makes me cry and sometimes it makes me laugh UNTIL I cry.

So here’s a snippet from this morning: He asked me to pull out a shirt for him to wear, and I happened to grab one bearing the name of his old school. He looked at it and frowned, and said, “Will people find it offensive if I wear that?”

You know, because it’s spirit for a different school. A fair and considerate question, I guess, until you consider that it comes from the same kid who sees nothing wrong with calling classmates “stupid idiots” when they get the wrong answer, because, you know, “it’s true, so what’s the problem?”

So in case you’re wondering, it’s like that.


  1. Karen/Chookooloonks

    Ah, kids. They truly are the agony and the ecstacy, aren’t they?

    They’re lucky they have a mom like you who has their back, Mir. Hang in there. You’re doing great. And they’ll do fine.


  2. Jamie

    Granted, you’re dealing with issues far greater than I have to with my children, but I think the description of it being “wonderful, and sometimes it’s pull-your-hair-out maddening, and sometimes it makes me cry and sometimes it makes me laugh UNTIL I cry” is true for all of us parents. The situations might be different, but gosh, there are times I wonder where my kids got it in their heads that their behavior is acceptable? We’ve never encouraged it, so why do they keep doing it? If I’d really known how hard this job was, I’m not sure I’d have willingly signed up for it. :)

  3. Beth R

    At the same time, it’s very human to say, “Insult me, fine. Insult my school, it’s ON!” Makes sense to me :)

    Big hugs and lots of strength to you today, Mir. You’re a great mom and we’re all rooting for you and your family!

  4. mamabird

    I’ve fallen in love with the show Parenthood and it often reminds me of you and Monkey and I wonder how accurately they are portraying what it is like for a family to learn their child has asperger’s.

  5. Rini

    Meh. I (want to) call my coworkers stupid idiots (almost) every day, so I can’t really fault him for that one… ;)

  6. Katie in MA

    What a way to learn to live in the moment. Hang in there, Mir. In the meantime, we all have your back while you’re busy getting Chickie and Monkey’s backs.

  7. bob

    you never know what you sign up for when you decide (if you actually made a decision) to become a parent. The knowledge of what being a parent is REALLY like, I think, would be the most effective form of birth control ever.

    Which is why we shouldn’t know. Being a parent is the best thing ever (except when it’s the worst).

    Hang in there.

  8. Julie in Austin

    Hang in there, pretty, pretty Mir! You’re obviously Supermom, you can do ANYTHING your family needs you to do! =)

  9. Nancy R

    I too have been thinking of you as I watch Parenthood. I’d love to hear your thoughts on how they are portraying a boy Aspie.

    Seems like it was on another show as well…but I don’t recall.

    Thinking good thoughts for you all!

  10. ramblin red

    Oh girl, I totally get this. Hang in there and hope all bodes well for you.

  11. Crisanne

    Many prayers for you, Mir. You have an awesome sense of what they need, so stick to your guns! Hoping tomorrow brings quick answers for you and Chickie.

  12. Scottsdale Girl

    I have to say that reading you daily really makes me think about what my parents went through with me. Oh I was a pretty good kid (1st born: respectful and bossy) but since I am not a parent myself and never will be I can only guess what they went through…so thanks for sharing Mir and you DO have a legion of fans who DO have YOUR back. :)

  13. Kayt

    I’m thirding the request for a comparison of Parenthood the TV show and Parenting the Monkey. Oh, and hugs. Lots of them.

  14. Heather

    Best of luck with it all, Mama Bear! I think Monkey’s concern about being offensive is sweet :)

  15. JennyM

    I think Monkey is going to be a lawyer. Isn’t truth an absolute defense to slander?

    Good luck with the specialist….

  16. Karen

    I was trolling through my local newspaper today and I landed in one of the blogs in that paper. I only read a few entries, but I have to say you are a more eloquent writer than she…personally! Anyhow, this made me think of you, and I think you are doing a great job.


    Then I think this excerpt relates to what you are going through right now: http://thestar.blogs.com/anndouglas/2010/04/gravity-pulls-you-in-excerpt-from-my-latest-anthology-contribution.html

    Everyone’s putting up their good fight for their kid. And you are awesome!

  17. Tiffany

    I completely understand, when your done with your IEP fight, let me know how you stayed sane…..I am starting the 504 fight,for 2 months left of school….schools pissed about it.

  18. annette

    Be thankful you have the good. These days I don’t see it. At all. I am praying that I will see it soon. Otherwise, I may eat my young.

  19. Woman with Kids

    Hope things go well. We have recently started the 504 plan process here. We’ll see how things go.

  20. KimJ in Nebraska

    I hear you-the more I read your blog, the more I see my teen daughter’s years reflected here. I, too fought the school, but we won. After the yearly battle, she graduated with honors and is in college. Is it a tough life? Yes, she was never officially diagnosed, but is definately socially challenged. When she was in third grade, her pyschiatrist said she was born old, so I’ve been waiting for the outside her to catch up to the inside-and it has. Hang in there! Quirky and unique is still okay.

  21. danelle

    My son is an Aspie as well, (he’s now 22) and his childhood was such a struggle. Hang in there!

  22. Lady M

    You rock, Mama Bear Mir.

  23. mamaspeak

    Crossed fingers & prayers for you at Chickie’s visit. I’ve found that often when you get the specialist they look at whatever you’ve got, know you’ve dealt w/the obvious things and go, “Oh, that’s this thing. Here’s what we do for it.” And it’s all good. And you end up wondering what the hell those other doctors were doing that day at school, because it’s absolutely something they should’ve caught.

    You have a plan in place for Monkey. You know what’s right. Hang in there, you’ll make it to a better place for you both.

  24. Amy

    Both my boys are Aspies, so I can relate. Their thought process is so unique…they are really mature…yet really immature…all at the same time. Hope your IEP goes well! And Chickadee’s appt., too. : )

  25. Brigitte

    And here I was being all retro-actively depressed about how my parents treated my undiagnosed Aspie sister growing up (and how they STILL think all those childhood behaviors were willful, just-plain-bad-kid due to their ignorance).

    I’m so glad Monkey has an educated and loving (and SO pretty) Mama Bear to protect him!

  26. Megan

    Good luck with the Chickie issue – hope you actually get ANSWERS this time. And I know you’ll get nothing but sympathy from all the other Mama Bears about the agony and the ecstasy (and the piles and piles of unmatched socks) of parenting. I’m not sure if it’s good or bad that they seem to come BAM on top of each other…

  27. Burgh Baby

    He’s got a good heart, that one.

  28. Karen

    Mir… it’s like that with kids who don’t have Aspergers too sometimes. My heart is heavy for you…one foot in front of the other and I wish I had something more poetic or prophetic or profound to say.

    As for Monkey, seems to me like he’s chocked full of the good ingredients that make up a person. Something to be proud of.

  29. Aimee

    I’ll be thinking if you all and hoping everything goes well.

  30. Wendy E

    I would love to hear your thoughts on “Parenthood” also. Love that show. I also agree that having kids is an up and down roller coaster ride. My parents tell me that grandkids are worth it, Man I hope they are right.

  31. Nancy R

    OH! I remembered the other thing! Watching DWTS last night triggered it, lol, but it occurred to me after reading your interview about genders and Aspies and watching DWTS the week before. Do you suppose Kate Gosselin could be an Aspie?

  32. Dawn

    That just sums it up in a nutshell! Most excellent description.

    Good luck with the IEP meeting and the appointment.

  33. Deirdre

    A co-worker told me that becoming a parent was kind of like getting ready to board a rocket to Mars. You have only an approximation of when you will land, no first-hand experience of what it’s like, you have to deal with a new lifeform, you’ll need to learn a new language . . . and it’s amazing. Especially when you have the wanting-to-cry and laughing-until-you-cry moments all in the same day.

    I hope everything goes well.

  34. Dragon

    Category title: It’s Like That.

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