Love happens in words, in moments

By Mir
September 30, 2010

There are times when parenting is not the flowers-and-sunshine constant glow of awesomeness which I was sure it would be back when my kidlets were tiny and a bad day probably only meant that someone had barfed. (And a REALLY bad day meant they’d barfed ON ME.)

Two days into the new math class (and, coincidentally, MY increased homework load… hrm), I had to give Chickadee a pep talk about how it’s a lot easier to learn something new when you’re not busy having a massive freakout of epic IWILLNEVERLEARNTHIS OHMYGODWHATHAVEIDONEI’MSOSTUPID proportions while attempting to do so. And because she is every inch the super-appreciative nearly-teen you’d expect, my loving attempts to soothe her were met by… disdain, anger, and wailing and associated rending of garments.

Monkey, meanwhile, has essentially decided that it’s his way or the highway when it comes to schoolwork, and WOE BETIDE the teacher (or parent) who asks for more, because DON’T YOU KNOW HOW SMART HE IS ALREADY? (Oh, Asperger’s. You’re really kind of a snobby prick, sometimes.)

Point being: Not every day is an endless rainbow of joy.


The older the kids get, the easier I find it to appreciate the little things. It’s been a long time since I cared about having a good week. A good day is fantastic, and more often, good moments are plenty. Because they’re changing too much—life is changing too fast—to cling to some notion of how entire calendar chunks “should” be.

The older I get, the more I love the snapshots in time, however brief, when we are all together and laughing. Those are the moments when we are at our collective best, and it doesn’t matter who needs to be where when or how far behind we are on work or who is mad at whom over what.

Last night over dinner, Monkey was talking to the dog while we were eating, and I finally asked him to please stop, because she thinks he’s going to share his food when he does that, and it’s sort of like teasing her. He stopped, but a moment later lit up and said, “Do you know what would drive ALL dogs crazy?”

“Ham on the ceiling?” guessed Chickadee, without missing a beat.

Monkey was incensed, but Otto and I couldn’t stop laughing. “I WIN!” she crowed, as we tried to compose ourselves and failed. Because… ham on the ceiling. From the VEGETARIAN. As if she’d given the matter great thought, and had only been waiting for her brother to bring up the topic of pork products in unlikely places so that she could share that particular gem.

I’ve raised a child who knows when “ham on the ceiling” is the world’s greatest punchline. Which meant that later when she was driving me insane, I didn’t have to strangle her, not even a little, because I remembered that she’s hilarious and I probably want to keep her around.

Then this morning, it was pouring out when we got up. Otto generally eats his breakfast first thing, then goes and takes a shower. I generally have a cup of coffee and get breakfast on the table and pack lunches and work for a few hours before I shower. So I decided to suck up to Otto—because he was going to go take a nice hot shower momentarily, anyway—to get him to take the dog out in the rain.

As such, Monkey walked into the kitchen when we were kissing. (Bribery kissing, to be sure, but smooching is smooching.) Having heard his sister exhort us to “Get a room!” multiple times before, Monkey decided that he, too, could mock us.

“Get your OWN room!” he bellowed, clearly pleased with himself.

We reminded him (between giggles and snorts) that we pay the mortgage, and as such, every room is our OWN room in this house. But I suspect that days and days of taunting one another to get your OWN room are in our future. In fact, the next time I’m frustrated with him over homework, I daresay that sending him to his OWN room for a few minutes will likely be a sufficient break for both of us.

It’s not all flowers and sunshine. Sometimes it’s ham and mangled admonitions. And it works.

Happy Love Thursday, everyone. Seize the moments. Especially the ones that make you adore your loved ones a little more.


  1. Dsilkotch

    Your Love Thursday posts are my favorite. I like them so much I’ve added Love Thursday to my own blog, just to remind myself to appreciate all the things I’ll miss so much when my own loinfruit have grown up and moved on. Great post as always!

  2. Leandra

    Is it weird that I’m dying to know what Monkey thought would drive all dogs crazy? The possibilities are endless (though ham on the ceiling might be hard to beat!)

  3. kimmie

    My Love Thursday happened last friday when my husband was walking around the house with his Darth Maul costume on for a party we were going to on Saturday. He walked into our son’s room and Iain looked up and, without missing a beat, said “Hi Dad!”

  4. diane

    “I’ve raised a child who knows when “ham on the ceiling” is the world’s greatest punchline.”
    Awesome. :) I can only hope for such an accomplishment one day.

  5. Katie in MA

    Ham on the ceiling! Classic! (still snickering) Send her to my house when you can’t take it any more. She’ll fit right in.

  6. Otto

    FYI, ham on the ceiling might drive me crazy. Not sure what that means …


  7. Scottsdale Girl

    I’m with Otto…I loves me some ham…mmmmm ham

  8. navhelowife

    I am so laughing at the ham on the ceiling comment! And as I’m just a bit north and east of you, is this not the WEIRDEST weather????

  9. Midj

    Looove… Thanks, Mir. Also, hope you dry out soon. Clicked on the radar this morning and thought,”Uh oh, it’s pouring on Mir again… Hope she found rain jackets.” :-)

  10. Megan

    Yup, sounds like most of our family conversations. Although lately our punchline has been “FISH!” which, for some reason, is the Answer To Everything.

    glad you’re enjoying the moments – they do whiz by if you don’t keep a sharp (and grateful) eye on them!

  11. Kate

    It’s true. You’re all set to sell them, then they say something to remind you they are pretty priceless.

    Well, “priceless” might be a strong term. But “almost priceless” doesn’t sound as good.

  12. Kristin

    I am soooo in a place right now where I need to sieze the good moments, cause we’re not having a whole lot of good days lately. Nice reminder that there are plenty of ‘moments’ to be had if I just pay attention.

  13. Cele

    You always make me smile on Love Thursday.

  14. Becs

    That is terrific! I’m totally going to steal that “Ham on the ceiling!” punchline and use it at the pub tonight, it’ll bring the house down.

    But yes, I too am dying to know what MONKEY thought would drive all dogs crazy! Can you ask him at some point and report back to us??

  15. Mir

    Alright, I just asked him WHAT was the thing he was sure would drive all dogs crazy. He immediately responded with: You know how sometimes in cartoons or whatever someone sits on the animal’s back and has food at the end of a fishing line on a pole and dangles it in front of their face so that they run fast? That.”

    Of course! I mean, that or ham on the ceiling. Obviously.

  16. Brigitte

    Hmm, sorta the same concept really. But Chickie’s version is much more concise.

    I still feel the “Why don’t they understand how smaaaart I am, and that I shouldn’t have to do this” blues, but I know to keep it all locked up inside, along with all those other pesky emotions. ;-)

  17. KWombles


    Wonderful post! I’ve awarded you our very first Sunshine Blog Award over at the Autism Blogs Directory. :-)

  18. Susan

    Ham on the Ceiling would be a great name for a band.

  19. Heidi

    You gotta love a quick, dry sense of humor with a good delivery. Ham on the ceiling – hahahaha!

  20. laura

    “Not every day is an endless rainbow of joy”

    I need this on a sign at my house…or maybe on a t shirt….or a tattoo?

  21. getcha

    I love your stories! I also love your take on things and the way you deal with all of it.

    My oldest is almost 18 and is a total smart-ass, gets it from dad lol. My youngest is almost 15 and your Monkey reminds me a LOT of my Monkey =o) He is high functioning and I enjoy the days when he says things just a bit out of context but at totally the right time! =o)

    When the youngest was 8, the oldest was 11 and was totally into Austin Powers. So they watched it together many many times. The oldest taught, with many prompts, the youngest to say “Yeah baby yeah” in the Austin Powers way while shaking his hips … I couldn’t help but to die laughing and pull that memory up when things are rough or trying … those moments are so worth cherishing!!

  22. Autism Mom Rising

    Lovely blog! Too funny. Mucho positive.

  23. K Floortime lite mama

    What a wonderful post

    Charmed by your perspective .

    Over here from the Autism Blogs directory

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