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)
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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.


* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * # * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *
ninanevermore: (Motherhood)
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The report from the Meyer Developmental Center arrived in the mail over the weekend. The doctor there was kind, but she wasn’t much help. She specializes in ADHD and Autism Spectrum disorders. She thinks my 6 year old is more likely just nuts, and referred us to a psychiatrist to drug him into submission.

“I could write you a prescription for an anti psychotic medication, if you like,” she said sweetly, “But I think you would be better off getting it from a psychiatrist who specializes in these types of conditions.” Not that she could say what my son’s condition is. She also offered to write a prescription for an ADHD stimulant-type drug, if I liked that idea better. Her willingness to let me, a person who has never been to medical school, chose whether my son was prescribed a stimulant or an antipsychotic drug made me trust her judgment about as far as I could pick her up and throw her.

Doctor, doctor, there’s a hole inside my head… )
ninanevermore: (Default)
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I’m sore. It feels like I fell down, which I did. I don’t remember it, but my husband says I did and he’s pretty reliable. There is a tender spot on the back of my head where it hit the wall and a bruise on my right arm from hitting God-only-knows what. My shoulder feels kind of wretched, too, like I strained the muscles in it somehow. The skin on three of my fingers on my right hand is mangled from grasping the metal mini blinds. I don’t remember doing that. I do remember lying on the floor next to the window, looking up at the mini blinds and wondering how they got so mangled. I was lying on my back. The lights were on in the bedroom. My son was in his small bed at the foot of my own bed, sound asleep.

I wondered what I was doing on the floor. I was drenched in sweat, which told me my blood sugar had dropped down really low. Had I gone into convulsions? I wasn’t sure. I’m never sure about that. When my sugar gets so low that I have convulsions, I am unconscious. During the convulsions my liver releases the emergency backup glucose it saves in case I am ever being chased by a Saber Tooth Tiger (this programming was handed from my most ancient of ancestors, who would be amazed at the shots I take and the meter that tests my blood sugar. Then again, they’d be amazed to see a battery operated flashlight, too). When this fight-or-flight sugar hits my bloodstream and I come to, I’m fine. Not normal, but aware of my surroundings and able to talk.

You may ask yourself, how did I get here? )
ninanevermore: (Family)
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No one around my house is good at holidays, or anything that requires planning ahead, really. We are good at muddling through at the last moment. We excel at that, and do it better than anyone eles. I am certain that the secret to happiness is setting really low standards, and taking it with a grain of salf when you fail to meet even those.

I would say that today’s half-ass Valentine’s Day was pretty much typical for us, except for the part about the school nurse calling to say Sweet Pea had a fever. Since this is his first year in school, I won’t know until next year if that kind of thing is going to be a new tradition or not. Cards, chocolates, and a lemon tree. )
ninanevermore: (Bite Me)
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Sweet Pea has forgiven his father, and I am glad. Just last night he said he never would, and that he planned to run away and never see his dad again. He was serious. His face was long and flushed like he was trying very hard to be brave and not cry. But can you blame him? What if your father were as cold hearted and cruel as his, and told you that there would be no TV or time on the computer FOR A WHOLE EVENING?

You’d hate that person, too.

But officer, my Behavioral Intervention Plan says I can go up to 19% over the speed limit. )
ninanevermore: (Motherhood)
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Sweet Pea was sitting in the bathtub, lounging with his back against the edge and his knees pressed up against the side next to the wall. He is still small enough that this is comfortable for him.

“What if I could make girls’ clothes invisible?” he asked. “That would be embarrassing for them, wouldn’t it?”

No colors for you! )
ninanevermore: (Bite Me)
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I don’t think the average jerk knows he or she is a jerk, or feels at all like a jerk even at their jerkiest moments. They aren’t trying to be jerks. They aren’t trying to be self righteous or small-minded or hateful. Life just hasn’t handed most of them a mirror and forced them to see themselves for what they are. Last week I was handed just such a mirror, and I'm holding it up just in case anyone else out there needs to take a look in it.

I've discovered that phone calls from my son’s school have a way of changing my viewpoints. I should be thankful for the opportunities to gain these wisdoms and insights, but I’m not: I liked being ignorant. Being a jerk is easy. Being kind and insightful is a lot of work, and the self examination leading up to it is painful, to boot.

Riding the Bus to Wisdom )
ninanevermore: (Default)
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The last New Year’s Resolution I ever made was to stop making New Years Resolution. A few years ago, I broke that one, but the incident served as a reminder about why I gave up on the whole idea of the NYR in the first place: the best way to doom a goal to failure is to actually resolve to get it done, and to make this decision while I still have the remnants of the previous night’s champagne coursing through my veins.

I do, however, have goals from time to time that I set in January. Goals involve less of a commitment than a resolution. This year my main goal is to get the huge rotting corpse out of my front yard, because the neighbors have stopped making eye contact with us and this makes me sad.

A Creepy Feng Shui )
ninanevermore: (Christmas)
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I need to boycott any and all events on my side of the family when my stepsister will not be there. When she and her family show up, it is easy to forget that my family is not actually fun. They are good people, mind you, but the kind of good people that bore you to tears.

Let’s take, for example, a typical gathering involving me, my two brothers who do not consider me to be the living dead, and my stepbrother. Mostly, they will all stare the TV watching what ever kind of sport is in season or maybe Fox News (which my dad watches when there is not a game that he cares about being broadcasted). Any conversation that takes place will happen during the commercials, when my father will try to convince me that America is in a state of decline and it is mostly my fault because sometimes I vote for Democrats. I will smile and make a comment about the weather, and my dad will say that no, I need to listen to him because…and then the game will come back on and the conversation will have to be continued during the next commercial.

Hours go by, and the pattern repeats at commercial intervals until I feel I have done my time and I can make an excuse to leave. But when my stepsister is there, the TV may not even be on. Even if it were, you couldn’t hear it over the ruckus. )
ninanevermore: (Motherhood)
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“Forty five minutes,” my husband, Jeff, said with amazement as he read the report from our son’s school, “How can anyone stay that angry for forty five minutes? I mean, I can go off when I get mad, but…”

“You’re over it in about 10 or 15 minutes,” I said. Our son is not the only one in the house prone to the occasional hissy fit, but Sweet Pea’s last much, much longer. There is a wide array of styles for individual tempers, and our house comes with the variety pack. Jeff has a quick temper that, like a firecracker, goes “pop!” and then dissipates in a little cloud of smoke. My anger is of the charcoal variety; it takes a lot of work to get me hot under the collar, but once I am there my anger will smolder indefinitely. Sweet Pea has a temper like a Molotov cocktail; a quick burning fuse that explodes and leaves a lot of damage in its wake.

Read? More. )
ninanevermore: (Bite Me)
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Sweet Pea was sent to the cooling off room for 45 minutes last Friday for trying to dissect a frog. Well, sort of. The frog was actually a child pretending to be a frog, who hopped up to Sweet Pea in their kindergarten class and licked Sweet Pea on the ear. Sweet Pea was holding a pair of scissors at the time, and when this happened he threw them at the frog that was assaulting him

Now, a person with good impulse control might think, “Hmmm. That was uncalled for and unpleasant, but I am not actually hurt. Therefore, while I may voice my irritation at being licked in the ear, it would not be appropriate for me to do this person physical harm.”

A person with moderate impulse control might think, “Yuck! I’m offended, but not mortally wounded. I will put down this cutting implement and punch him, instead.”

Sweet Pea has poor-to-non-existent impulse control, and I guarantee that all he could think was, “AAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHRRRRRR!!!!” Which did not bode well for the frog. Filled with rage at the assault of wet tongue on his ear, Sweet Pea threw the scissors that were hand. Since this was in Kindergarten, the scissors were the blunt tipped kind made out of plastic, and “the frog” survived intact.

Read more... )
ninanevermore: (Motherhood)
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I have a terrible confession to make: my son’s IEP meeting was not so terrible. The school was very reasonable. They accepted my input and he got two extra accommodations because I thought they might be a good idea and everyone else in the room agreed. All of the advice that people who have had to fight tooth and nail for their kids gave me (“Don’t sign anything!” “Don’t accept what they offer – demand what he needs!”) had to be set aside, because the team presented a very good plan filled with reasonable and practical solutions.

Nice Schools Finish First )
ninanevermore: (Motherhood)
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ARD stands for Admission, Review, and Dismissal. It’s what the state of Texas calls an IEP meeting. IEP stands for Individualized Education Program. I will attend my first one tomorrow to go over what his school things might help him learn and function a little better. I am neither looking forward to or nor dreading it. I guess, to borrow a phrase from Pink Floyd, I have become comfortably numb.

Sweet Pea is suspended from the YMCA After School care again for throwing a Lincoln Log at another child and hitting him in the eye. Jeff is on vacation this week, so we are okay as far as childcare goes. When I got the call from the Y today, I didn’t even ask what was wrong, I just said, “Oh, God,” and the girl spilled the beans on what had been going on. I called my husband and told him, “You need to go pick up your son.”

And then the numbness set in.

No one here is practically perfect in any way at all. )
ninanevermore: (Bite Me)
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Last week my husband and I were given a draft of the report that will be presented at Wednesday’s ARD/IEP meeting. The psychologist went over it with us, and gave us a overview of what her conclusions are about our son. By in large, her conclusions are kind of inconclusive; he straddles all of the lines of ADHD, Autism, and Emotional Disturbance. She picked Emotional Disturbance – a vague catch-all category that covers everything from anxiety disorder to bi-polar disorder. She said he barely missed the criteria for ADHD on the scale she used to rate him, but that if she had used the scale her own son was classified for ADHD at his school, Sweet Pea would have fit the criteria.

Moving and Shaking )
ninanevermore: (Bite Me)
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My husband showed up at 8:35 for our 8:40 interview with the school psychologist, the occupational therapist, and the educational diagnostician. We could have waited to show up until after 9 since that’s when the three of them were ready to see us, but that would have made us look like we weren’t very concerned about why we were there. Sitting in the front office, I looked at the framed photos on the front desk of the principal, the vice principal, and the school counselor, each with a stack of their respective business cards in front of it.

“Look,” I pointed out to Jeff, “Three pictures of people who have been hit, bitten and kicked by our son.” It was like a photo lineup of his frequent victims.

Jeff made a kind of pained groaning sound. I get a kick out of it when I hear one of those women tell me they love having my son in their school. I wish they could look me in the eye when they say that, but I think it’s sweet that they say it at all. They are trying their best, and God love them for that.

Finally, the psychologist, who I’ll call Ms. Psych, came around the corner and called us back. So, tell us about your son. )
ninanevermore: (Default)
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Tomorrow morning my husband and I will be interviewed by the school therapists who are assessing our son. This is the last little get together we all get to have before the ARD meeting (what IEP meetings are called here in Texas) in early December.

“I say we douse ourselves in alcohol on us before we go. And I’ll put makeup around my eyes like they’re bruised. Then we stumble in there and pretend to fight the whole time. Then they can go, aha! No wonder the kid’s a wreck!

“You mean splash vodka all over us? That’s an idea.”

“Yeah, like it was cologne. Make their eyebrows go right up when we walk in.”

I don’t know if the glass is half full, or if I’m half cracked. )
ninanevermore: (Motherhood)
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My husband called me this afternoon to let me know that our son had a pretty good day at school.

“Well, there was one trip to the office, but just one.”

“Just one?” I asked, “No one got hurt? No need to restrain him? The police and fire departments weren’t called? I call that and excellent day!” To be fair, the police and fire department have never been called, but sometimes it’s fun to wallow in hyperboles.

“No police, you’re right. It was a good day.”

“But mommy got pulled over by a policeman,” I heard a sweet voice say in the background. Suddenly, I was no longer a part of the conversation, just the subject of it. Jeff’s voice sounded a little further away as he spoke not into the phone, but in the direction of my beloved 6 year old snitch.

Daddy Never Stays in The Dark )
ninanevermore: (Motherhood)
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When my cell phone rang this afternoon at about a quarter past three, I thought maybe the school was calling to confirm how my son would be getting home today. I could tell as soon as I answered that they wanted him picked up. Not that I could understand what was being said or who was saying it to me; my son was screaming pretty loud in the background. I heard the assistant principal trying to outline the series of events and behaviors that led to him being taken to the office, but it was difficult to make what she was saying.

“Can you put me on speaker phone and let me talk to him?” I asked.

“Okay. Hold on. [Sweet Pea], your mom’s on the phone. Can you talk to her?”

The line went silent, like someone had flipped a switch from hysterical to off.

Quiet After The Storm )
ninanevermore: (Default)
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The job isn’t bad. I hate the first few days of a new job, where you feel useless and someone else is not getting their own work done because they are spending all their time training you. I am working for another Entrepreneur, but this one is more focused and less spastic than the last one I worked for. The Last Entrepreneur was 50ish, and he threw money into all kinds of projects at once to see what took root and bloomed and what blew away. The New Entrepreneur looks to be in his 30s or early 40s, and he focuses on insurance. This has allowed him to grow one of the top 100 privately owned insurance agencies in the United States (it just misses being in the top 75) after a dozen years. He’s not as flashy as the Last one. A case in point: the company cars with the logos wrapped all over them are Honda Civics. They don’t even have power locks and windows. He’s not out to impress anyone with glitz. He just want his logos to be seen.

The offices are nice, unlike the Civics, and are adjacent to the food court of a very nice shopping mall, which is full of a sort of retail glitz. When I look out the window to the left, I see a two-story Barnes and Noble bookstore. When I look to the right, I can see the carousel in the mall food court. Today I figured out that if you walk around the food court at just the right time and look like you are reading the menus and trying to decide what to eat, you can collect enough samples on toothpicks so that you are no longer hungry and don’t need to buy anything. I’m not sure how many days in a row I can get away with this, but it worked out nicely on my second day. On my first day, the COO (Chief Operations Officer) bought me lunch. If I’m lucky, I might get fed again on my birthday.

Jack’s Mom Has Got It Goin' On )

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