Dough Boy

Apr. 9th, 2017 09:50 pm
ninanevermore: (Sunset)
After emptying the mixing bowl of chocolate chip cookie dough, I scraped the sides with a silicone spatula and asked my son if he wanted it or if I should throw it away. He took the spatula, nibbled a tiny bit, and said, "We could share." So we did, him taking a small nibble and me taking a small pinch in turn until there was no dough left. Pretty typical mother-son moment, except it wasn't. When he was smaller, at the age when most kids are relishing scraping the bowl, he had no interest in the stuff. It looked mushy, and he did not (and does not) eat foods with a mushy texture. Mashed potatoes? No. Oatmeal? Absolutely not! Cookie dough? Too suspicious looking to consider. But recently, at the age of 12, he has tried it and determined that it is, in his words, "tasty." It's not exactly healthy, but I have hope that as he takes little leaps of faith to try foods that were once off limits that eventually some healthy choices will pass muster. Raising him has been a cycle of not reaching milestones when they were expected, and then him unexpectedly catching up or exceeding those milestones once I give up hope. It's kind of our thing
ninanevermore: (Default)
And why didn't I care where they went until the Russians invaded?
ninanevermore: (Christmas)
I'm finishing up my cards tonight. Anyone else want one? Comments are screened.
ninanevermore: (Christmas)
I've been gone awhile. Nothing personal to you all, I just haven't slept that much in the last year and writing takes energy that I haven't had.

Still, I'm sending out Christmas cards this weekend. If you're thinking, "Gee, isn't it a little late?" then you really don't know me that well.

If anyone misses me and wants a card (with my bitch-and-moan newsletter), leave me your address below. It may not show up before Christmas, but when you get a card in the mail a week after the big day, that's how you know it's from me. :)

Comments are screened for your privacy and protection.
ninanevermore: (Default)
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I have no faith in doctors. So-called “experts” have no credibility with me. I have no faith in labels and I never saw the point in getting one to stick to my son, Sweet Pea. After all, the school is working with him. I don’t think their diagnosis is on target, and I found the pediatric developmental expert at Texas Children’s to be inept useless in that she asked us a lot of questions but didn’t make very many observation of her own. The fact that she did not put him with other children to observe how he interacted (or like as not, failed to interact) with them to me meant that she did not actually observe much of anything.

My gut instinct is that he has a mild form of autism. A whisper of it. Just enough to cause him to short circuit when his sensory filters prove to be a bit flawed and get overwhelmed. His schoolmate, Jack, has almost identical symptoms to my son’s and he got a diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome. Jack does not have Sweet Pea’s “rule rigidity” (an insistence that certain things be just so) and he seeks out social connections with his peers, which Sweet Pea does not. Whatever Jack is, Sweet Pea is. Except more so.

Jacks parents could afford to pay for a specialist who charges $1200 out-of-pocket (she does not take insurance) to get a diagnosis. My husband and I are trying to work our way out of debt; we don’t have $1200 lying around to pay out of pocket for a specialist to give us a label I couldn’t see the need for.

Until today, that is. I just needed the right news to shine the light for me, and at last I saw a point a label from a doctor that fits with what my instincts already know. I will start looking for the money.

The news stories read: Use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) by pregnant women may increase the risk for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in their offspring, new research suggests.

That’s about the time my blood started to boil.Semantics )
ninanevermore: (Motherhood)
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Lots of little things have been going on in recent weeks. School let out. Sweet Pea has attended birthday parties and done well at them. Things with the babysitter are going well. On a personal level, my father is not doing well and I am not sure how much longer I will have him. And then there is the cruise in July that I should be looking forward to but am dreading. I have plenty to write about, just no time. I’ll start with the end of Kindergarten. I’ll try to take up the other topics in the coming days.

School’s Out For Summer!  )
ninanevermore: (Default)
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What’s it been? Two weeks? More?

I think if I could sleep, I’d be able to write. I want to write. I think about writing every day. But evening rolls around, and I fall into bed and can’t move.

Until 3 AM, that is. That’s when I wake up. The first time. And then at 3:30, or maybe 4. This waking at 30 to 60 minute intervals continues until my alarm goes off and I drag myself into the kitchen to put on a pot of coffee.

Which lead me to make this declaration: miracles are overrated.

A Halleluiah I could have lived without; )
ninanevermore: (Motherhood)
My son has been drawing pictures and creating stories lately about a special breed of squids that battle evil robots trying to take over the world. Fortunately, the robots have an Achilles heel: squid ink jacks up their circuits and makes them die. Thank goodness.

Here (with subtitles, in case you don't speak fluent Kindergartener), he explains it all.

ninanevermore: (Motherhood)
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It was a huge relief to cancel all those interviews with the potential babysitters who were interested in watching my son over the summer. Huge. It’s always a pain to interview people for a job to start with, but there is the whole "full disclosure" part of asking someone watch my son that I dread. Ideally, it’s best to have him along on these interviews, so he can play quietly and look angelic while I tell them about the behaviors that got him thrown out of daycare when he was 4 and that earned him a "special education" classification shortly after he started kindergarten this last year. You can’t just ask someone to watch a child and not warn them that he is capable of throwing screaming, kicking, throw-down tantrums that last for an hour and a half. Perhaps I could have skipped over the part about how the school quit having the kindergarteners hand the ladies in the lunchroom a wooden clothespin with their lunch account number on them after my son tried to stab another child in the eye with his clothespin after the kid bumped into him in the lunch line. We got a note asking us to please help him learn and remember his lunch number after that. Because he likes eating, he learned the number easy enough and the whole clothespin program was disbanded for all of the children.

Everyone wants their child to have an impact and be remembered. My son will be remembered as the reason wooden clothpins are now classified as potentially dangerous weapons that are no longer allowed on his elementary school campus.

You know that kid from The Omen? Well, he’s nowhere nearly as bad as that kid. )
ninanevermore: (Motherhood)
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“I need next month’s book club selection,” I told Kristin, the proprietress of my local used book store and the founder and host of the book club I attend. At the last meeting she had made apologies that the selection for the June meeting had not yet come in, so I was here to pick up a copy since she had sent me a message on Facebook that it now was. “And I have a very serious request in regard to children’s literature. Do you have any Captain Underpants books?”

Kristen leaned forward and returned my own serious expression. “I have tons of Captain Underpants books. Tons. Want me to show you where they are?”

“Yes, it’s a Captain Underpants emergency at my house,” I said.

At Least He Likes Books )
ninanevermore: (Default)
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For twenty years, Mother’s Day had nothing to do with me. Nothing. I was not a mother and I didn’t have one. People would wish me a happy Mother’s Day sometimes, because I guess I looked like I should be a mom (I guess it’s my life-long tendency toward plumpness that gave the impression) or they would ask what I did for my mom to celebrate.

The Burden of Blessings )
ninanevermore: (Marriage)
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“Have you been paying attention to the news out of The Woodlands lately?” Jeff asked, “I think the place is cursed.”

I told him I hadn’t noticed any curses. I haven’t been paying much attention, but I drive through the master-planned splendor that is The Woodlands, Texas every day on my way to work, and I haven’t noticed any obvious signs of a hex. There is some construction along my route that has part of the road closed down to one lane going either way, but that is more of a life-around-Houston thing than an obvious curse.

Dying for decent parking. )
ninanevermore: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] basketcaselady, thank you for the Tinfoil Hat. Finally, I have something to block the voices in my head when they get too loud. I will wear it proudly on my profile page. :D
ninanevermore: (Bite Me)
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I took my 6-year-old son to see the animated film Rio last weekend. There was one line in the movie that made me laugh to the point that I almost fell out of my seat, but it didn’t strike the rest of the audience as all that funny. When I realized I was the only one laughing, I tried to keep quiet, but my shoulders still shook with silent laughter as I sank down in my seat with my hand clasped tightly over my mouth so that no sound would escape.

Art Imitates Life )
ninanevermore: (Motherhood)
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“Where do ninjas learn to be ninjas?” I asked my son.

He was holding a one-inch-tall red ninja warrior made of Legos that had arrived unassembled in Sweet Pea’s Easter basket. Now the tiny assassin had been put together, and it had spent the evening menacing the toy plush gray cat that Sweet Pea does not like and insists that I sleep with so he doesn’t have to (he does not want it hanging out with his other toys).

Lego Ninja


Where Assassins Learn Their ABCs )
ninanevermore: (Motherhood)
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I met my son’s fiancée this last Saturday at the party for her 6th birthday. She seems like a nice little girl. A bit goofy looking, but judging by how pretty her mother is, I suspect she will be very attractive once she grows into her features.

“Are you [Sweet Pea’s] mom?” the mother of the birthday girl greeted me, “Mallory talks about him all the time at home. She tells me she’s going to marry him when she grows up.”

“He mentioned that to me,” I told her with a smile. I didn’t mention that he is not yet ready to commit to her daughter. There are so many little girls at his school that he’s not sure which one he will marry, he has confided to me. I told him he doesn’t have to pick one for a couple more decades, and not to rush. There is a good change (say 99.9%) that he will marry someone who he does not go to Kindergarten with. But his world is very small right now, and he has no way to imagine how many people (including girls) he will meet as he makes his way through his life. Right now the dozen or so girls in his class are overwhelming enough to him.

Sweet Pea Syndome )
ninanevermore: (Father and son)
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During his bath the other night my 6-year-old son gave me this lesson on modesty and how civilized people should dress when out in public: "My back is not private. Only my willy and my bottom are private. But not my back or my tummy."

He paused. "Still, it’s nice to wear a shirt."


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ninanevermore: (Work)
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“Sleep? I don’t need sleep. I’ll sleep when I’m dead,” Penny said with a grin.

“If I don’t sleep, I feel dead,” I told her. Penny, the newest member of my department at work, is a walking contradiction in terms. She’s a fashion-conscious Pentecostal fitness freak, a scary good liar, and wicked prankster. Before I met her, I had no idea that a person could be all of those things at once. She gets up at 4 AM to go to the gym each day, works a full 8 hour day, attends church twice a week, raises a daughter on her own, and still has time for friends and family.

As for me, I work full-time, raise a child with the help of a spouse, and don’t have time for much else. All I want to do is sleep lately. I don’t have time to write or do much of anything else. I am drained. I’m not even sure why I’m so drained. The house is in shambles. My son eats way too much pasta, but I’m a big fan of dinners that can be boiled and served in less than 10 minutes (fortunately, so is he). When I’m dead, I’ll be happy for the sleep. )
ninanevermore: (Default)
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Sometimes, you do go to be angry at your spouse despite the advice that you should not. A good night’s sleep is sometimes needed for both of you to pointlessness of a big argument you had when you were both tired and cranky. On these occasions, the best way to start the day is with an apology, which is why my husband turned to me in bed this morning and said, “I’m sorry about last night. And I want you to know that I don’t really want a divorce.”

I pondered this for a second. “I know, sweetie,” I said, “And just so you know, I don’t really want to shoot you.”

There is something to be said for going to bed angry. Sure, when you are trying to fall asleep it can be inconvenient to have to press yourself against the edge of the bed so that you don’t risk accidentally touching the person you share it with. But eating your words for breakfast is not so bad a start to your day, provided you pour some sugar on them first.


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ninanevermore: (Marriage)
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I picked Sweet Pea up this evening and he showed me the invitation in his backpack. Mallory, a little girl in his class, is having a birthday party in a few weeks and she wants him to come.

“But I don’t know how to get there!” he cried, putting his hands on the side of his head in distress.

I looked at the invitation, which came with an address and driving directions. “I think I can get you there if you want to go. Do you want to go?”

“Yes. Mallory wants to marry me.”

“She does? How do you know?”

“She told me. She loves me, actually.”

“She does? Goodness. Do you want to marry her?”

He hesitated. “I don’t know.”

“That’s okay. There’s plenty of time to decide who you want to marry. You don’t have to pick someone out of your Kindergarten class. You’re going to meet a lot of girls between Kindergarten and when you’re grown up.”

“Ok.”

“But you can still go to her party and give her a present. Even if you marry someone else.”

“Ok, then. If you think you know how to get there.”

“I think I can find it. I'd like to meet Mallory.”

Jeff has met her, and says she is a very sweet, outgoing little girl. Mallory is one of those kids who never meets a stranger. Why a girl like that proposed marriage to my son, the kid who considers everyone a stranger and who didn't learn the names of any of his classmates until he was all but forced to, is beyond me. I guess it's a testament that opposites attract. Mallory is a ray of sunshine; Sweet Pea is the kid with the "Emotional Disturbance" stamp across his school records.

"Why do good girls like bad boys?" I asked Jeff, and he laughed.

It's a good thing they do, I guess. And if girls want to marry him, he doesn't seem to mind one bit even though, at the age of 6, he is not ready to commit. He's a cautious guy, so this doesn't surprise me in the least.


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