It’s a very good thing I never actually promise to come back to writing here regularly. I think about it—a lot—but in the end, it doesn’t seem to happen. Oh well. Hey! This blog is worth EXACTLY what you paid for it! (So there.)
Things are rolling along, here, and everything is both going WHOOSH TOO FAST and also OMGGGGGGG SO SLOW. You know how Hermione has a time turner in the Harry Potter books so she can be in multiple places at once? Imagine I had one of those time turners and then I somehow ran it over with my car and tried to use it, anyway. Everything is taking too long but is over before I had a chance to pay attention. It’s an odd place to be, with everything in flux and me never sure what day it is or what’s going on. I mean, tomorrow is December. How did that even happen?
Thanksgiving was a cozy affair with enough food to feed an army, and I gained several pounds this past week while I sat at the computer working and eating ALL THE STUFFING AND GRAVY. I need to stop gorging on leftovers. The best way to make sure that happens is to eat all the leftovers so there are none for me to eat, right? Right! (#LOGIC) Chickadee came home with a carful of laundry and germs, and after sleeping and generally swanning around for the week, headed back to school and left her little brother hacking and wheezing with the crud she’d so thoughtfully shared. Otto and I are both run down and feel like we’re fighting off illness, but maybe we’re just tired. Hard to know. The stuffing is all gone, now, so I have switched to endless cups of ginger tea and whispered exhortations to the universe that I would really rather not be sick right now.
Let us have a brief State of Casa Mir Address, shall we?
State of the Colleges
Finals are next week. Chickadee is taking approximately seven billion credits (rough estimate) but has a good mix of projects and tests at the end here, I think, and seems to be holding up okay. (Hypothetically, if your kid responded to every query about their wellbeing with, “I’m fine. I’M FINE. EVERYTHING’S FINE I’M NOT CRYING YOU’RE CRYING!” that would be normal at this point in the semester, right? Just checking.) Monkey took two university classes this semester and there has never been a person in the history of the world SO EXCITED for 8:00 am calculus. Ever. One of his classes is final-optional (and if you’re happy with your grade, you can skip it) so he’s only got one final to deal with next week.
Both kids are registered for their next-semester classes and happy with their schedules. No, we don’t know where Monkey is going to school next year, yet. But as I wrote yesterday at Alpha Mom, I am doing an excellent job of acting like a crazy person while we wait.
State of the Holiday/Birthday Shopping
‘Tis the season, what with Christmas coming, and Otto and Monkey both having Christmastime birthdays. I have a pretty good-sized closet and I stash gifts in there as I go, usually on the high shelves, up out of the way. At the same time, between the accumulation of Regular Dorm Stuff for Monkey and the fact that the birthday before college is the Birthday Of A Hundred Dorm Things, my closet has become a hazard. I was putting away laundry last night (laundry which, just so you understand, was a pile from no less than three laundering cycles which had remained un-put-away for weeks on end) and hoping nothing would fall on me and kill me. I am ready to hand over some presents, is my point.
In the meantime, I was feeling somewhat relieved to realize that the ONE thing I wasn’t going to have to buy this year was new pajamas. Er, I mean, the elves were not going to have to deliver new pajamas on Christmas Eve, because this year Monkey is actually not going to be here on Christmas Eve, and no point in matching pajamas for the evening if you’re not here to do the matching with your sibling, right? Don’t get me wrong—I, I mean, THE ELVES, have greatly enjoyed the years of cute coordinating jammies. But as the kids have grown to adult sizes and different proclivities it’s gotten harder and harder, and c’mon, everyone has plenty of pajamas, now.
So OF COURSE while Chickie was home over Thanksgiving she turned to me with big, sad eyes and said, “I figure this is the last year for pajamas from the elves since you probably won’t do it once we’re both in college, right? We’ll still do it even though Monkey’s not gonna be here on Christmas Eve?” Oh. Hrm.
I made a crack about how once they’re both in college they probably won’t even come home for Christmas all the time and she became INDIGNANT, and SPUTTERING, and just when I thought she was about to say something about how much she would miss us, she managed, “How would I get my PRESENTS if I didn’t come HOME??” Good to know she has priorities.
State of the Ottoness
Recently my darling husband bought himself some new wheels and tires for his car. I’m not sure why, even though he kept me apprised all throughout the shopping, the research, and even the trek to Nowheresville to meet the cousin of the guy from Craigslist (HAND TO GOD) to buy the set he eventually settled on. All was good and well until it turned out that the tire pressure sensors in said wheels are not working as intended. At least, I think that’s the issue. Sometimes I hear Charlie Brown’s teacher when my husband talks about cars. And when he accuses me of not caring about what he’s talking about, I say, “Well, it’s true that I don’t care. But it’s ALSO true that you are cute and I like you.”
As we look down the road to our impending empty-nest-itude, however, Otto and I find ourselves giddy. Not that we don’t adore the children, you understand. We do. (Mostly.) But we’ll have been married 10 years when Monkey leaves for college next fall. We talk about the possibilities all the time. We’ll take a trip! We’ll finally buy season tickets to a local concert series! We will do STUFF and THINGS and reacquaint ourselves with each other! You know, assuming the country hasn’t fallen into a civil war by then. (Details!)
Because I’m a true romantic, sometimes when Otto starts talking about how much he’s looking forward to it being just US for once, I snuggle up to him and whisper that I cannot WAIT for it to be just him and me and the dozen or so rescue dogs I’m planning to bring home. He’s a lucky, lucky guy.
State of the What Were We Talking About?
So, um, I don’t know if you know this about me, but I am sort of a hypochondriac. I am a sentient version of Googling one’s troublesome symptoms and a million search results which suggest a fatal disease. Fortunately, I know this about myself, so even when I suspect something is REALLY AND TRULY wrong, I tend to drag my feet in dealing with it, because I assume I’m overreacting. This is probably why half my hair fell out before I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism.
I’ve been having some memory issues. When I say “memory issues” I of course mean “I can’t seem to remember anything at all these days and also ‘you already told me that’ now tops the phrases most often hurled at me by my offspring.” This has been going on for… ummmm… yeah, I can’t remember. (BA DUM BUM!) A while. Too long. And at first I assumed I was confused and/or overreacting, and then Otto didn’t tell me I was being silly when I brought it up, and then he asked me to please go see my doctor, and finally I made an appointment.
One full checkup and a few hundred invasive questions later, my doctor suggested I be tested for ADHD. And then seemed somewhat startled when I laughed and laughed. When Chickie was diagnosed, I looked into testing for myself, and the nice doctor who prescribes my antidepressants said, “I would lay money on it, so I’m not sure it matters if you’re tested or not. It’s just up to you how you want to handle it.” How I handle it is mostly by drinking copious amount of coffee and scribbling notes to myself on every available surface, so I opted not to be tested.
The thing is, sure, I almost certainly have ADHD. And I’ve had it my entire life. This memory thing, it’s new(ish). That didn’t make sense to me. But my regular doctor said to go see the other doctor and discuss testing. So I did. And I also asked about medication interactions and such (the very same meds which keep me and so many others from dissolving in a puddle of our own self-pity have a habit of bringing along weird side effects out of nowhere, sometimes). And I figured he would say, “Okay, yes, let’s look at your meds” or “Let’s test you for ADHD and see if that’s what’s up.” Instead, he reiterated that we already assume I have ADHD and this is not a side effect with my particular medication he’s heard of, and it would be weird for it to happen after all this time. Instead, he’s sending me for a complete neurological workup.
Because healthcare in this country is in fantastic shape, I both have to pay for the testing out-of-pocket AND it won’t be happening until February. Hopefully I can remember who the hell I am until then.
While I wait: I am not so much scared as I am frustrated. I’m aware of losing track of things, sometimes, and other times, completely caught off guard. It feels like a lack of control and I hate that. Odds are good it’s a med thing or something else small. But… maybe it’s not, and I try not to think about that. (Which is fine, because in a few minutes I’ll forget!)
[Sidebar: Among the things I forgot was telling you about these Alpha Mom posts; first some advice about how to handle a friend’s kid being mean to your kid, and then my rather shameful fridge clean-out before Thanksgiving. Better late than never.]
State of the Dogginses
Toward the end of the summer I had the dogs groomed, and I asked the groomer to leave their coats a little bit longer because winter was coming and I didn’t want them to be cold. Well. Neither dog likes being brushed—Duncan will actually growl at me and bite the brush when he’s had enough, because he’s an asshole, while Licorice will just go boneless and cry—and despite my best efforts, it was Snarl City up in here after that. Duncan was constantly running away from my attempts to detangle his butt fur (YOU ARE WELCOME) and Licorice took to ejecting little snarl-balls of hair all over the house while she scratched and/or chewed on herself. It was gross. So the NEXT time I had them groomed, I said Hey remember what I said last time? Don’t do that. Shave ’em down.
So they got their doggy crewcuts (save for their heads and tails, which remain moppy and delightful) and were disgruntled and sleepy and that was the end of the snarl-balls and knotted butt fur. Hooray! But then (finally) it did get cold, and poor little Licorice, She Of No Body Fat, she became a shivery, chilly mess, so we put her coat on her to keep her warm, except she HATES the coat, so she would slink around the house making angry eyes and then flail around on the carpet any time she thought we weren’t looking, desperately trying to shake the coat off. Eventually someone (*coughMONKEYcough*) would feel sorry for her and take her coat off, at which point she’d run a few victory laps throughout the house before lapsing back into helpless shivering because she was too cold.
Lather, rinse, repeat. (Insert your life own parallel here. Lord knows I have.)