Archive for February, 2011


I have one. My two youngest, collectively known as the “Little Ones” (although Pynni and her older brother are collectively the “Big kids” Oh the joys of being the middle child, I guess) have birthdays exactly two weeks apart.

I used to have the energy to throw these elaborate birthday parties where I made all the decorations and food stuffs from scratch. Not so much anymore, but as I revisit the past, I get all filled with ideas.

Cheeeese

Right. For all three of the birthday’s since Pieces was born, we’ve had combined birthday parties. It’s just easier and so long as there are balloons, Pieces could care less if the party is themed in pink and flowers. I figured I would continue this tradition of one party until one or the other of them requested a separate party. There is always one weekend between their birthdays and that’s when we have it. Plus, Easter tends to fall on the weekend nearest Pynni’s birthday and that’s kind of a crap weekend to have a party.

So, I had considered separating their parties this year because I wanted to take Pynni and a few of her friends to a ceramics shop and paint pottery to have it fired. She likes creating things and this seemed right up her alley, and while Pieces would probably enjoy the painting, it would be too expensive to allow both of them to invite friends separately (this is the first year, Pieces will have friends of his own since it’s his first year in preschool) . Then there is the image I have of a room full of three year olds (some of them four by now) painting on pottery. EEK! So I was thinking of doing a small more traditional style party at my house for Pieces.

Well, I got a letter from the Pynni’s teacher requesting that if the kids wanted to invite the WHOLE class they were welcome to send invitations to school, but if you only wanted to invite a few of the kids, please keep the invitations private, i.e. call them individually. I have a whole SLEW of issues with this, not the least of which is that I don’t KNOW these kids’ parents. I don’t know their last names. It will be interesting to try and get the correct information from Pynni who will have to ask her classmates at school. Which in the end, does the same thing the faculty is trying to avoid by forcing me to include all 21 kids in a birthday party I was wanting to include maybe 4 kids in.

Then there is this whole homeschooling thing. It’s looking more and more likely (I’ll just say here that I’m 95% sure I will be homeschooling but Hubs is not so sold on the idea, yet). If that is, in fact, the case, then there will not be classmates to invite next year, so I’ve been tempted to have a party at say “Monkey Joe’s” or “Pump It Up” but their packages are for 25 kids, including the birthday boy/girl. We would be inviting 21 kids from Pynni’s class, 11 from Pieces’ class, my three kids, their two local cousins, and five friends that they don’t go to school with. For those of you with fail math skills, that 42 kids. FOURTY-TWO! (!!!!!1one)

  • I can’t have that many kids in my house at one time. I can’t afford (or don’t want to afford) pulling off two specialized, off location, parties.
  • I have considered having the off location one for Pynni at one of the two aforementioned places and sticking with the small ‘at home’ party for Pieces.
  • I have considered inviting everyone and counting on the fact that at least 10% of them won’t come, but that leaves 38 kids which is still way more than 25. Heck, even if 20% didn’t come that’s still 7 more than the allotted number and these places charge more PER KID. EEK.
  • I have considered nixing the whole “invite the whole class” deal in favor of just having kids we know come and then doing a smaller specialized party with more focus on the two birthday kids.
  • If I do that, should I just revert to the first idea? Ceramics and balloons?
  • OR I could do a Monkey Joe’s thing for Pieces and a ceramics thing for Pynni. Hmmm.
  • Or I could just duct tape them to their beds and pretend they aren’t a year older.

Sure-sure. You’re right, that would not be earning me Mother of the Year. Okay, so any suggestions would be hawt and soon. I have to get this planned and done SOON. (not soon-ish)

The next question is:

  • cake?
  • cupcakes?
  • homemade?
  • store-bought?
  • Harris Teeter?
  • Whole Foods?

ALRIGHT! So that’s more than one question.

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I had this dream that I would one day design interiors. That was a bit of a step down from the dream of designing the actual structure, but I’m a realist (not really) and I try to maintain attainable goals (again, not really). I like design. I like creating. I have ALWAYS wanted to be an architect or a writer (but who was I kidding, WRITING? As a career? LAUGHABLE). As a full-time Mom, the time for becoming an architect and all the accompanying years of career building are behind me. I’m cool with that (well, NOW I’m cool with that). So I thought, I’ll be an interior designer (maybe a decorator, too). The schooling is less grueling. I could go into business for myself. Yay!

Okay, so the reality is, I don’t know when I will get back to school.

**Aside**  I will, though, I do come from a long line of professional students. My maternal grandmother went to college after retiring. Because she wanted to. My Mom’s oldest sister went back to school to become a teacher, then an RN, then she got her bachelors in nursing, then she got her master’s. Now she’s a nurse practitioner. My mother’s other older sister went back to college after her daughter left home and became a CPA. Then a couple of years later she went back to Law school and became an attorney. So, I shrug and think that I will be going back to school some day, too.

Kids in SPAAAAACE. Actual space may vary.

So I started putting my creative energies into elaborate birthday parties.

KIDS IN SPAAAAACE!

The most elaborate was a space party for Chi in which I lined the walls with black plastic and spray painted it like star dust. Made a sun out of my dining room light fixture and made both papier mache and cake planets to be hung from the ceiling, and in the case of the cakes, placed at differing heights on the table. I made cardboard robots and made up other various space games. It was basically a role-playing birthday party where we were on a space mission to save the planet earth and the games were what we had to do to accomplish that. Right.

One-up Mushroom

Gamer's Delight

I’ve done a Mario Party complete with the GameCube game, a Mario (Chi), a Luigi (Chi’s Friend Taz), and a Princess Peach (Chi’s cousin Abshie), a one-up mushroom (cause he was +1), and a Shine Sprite (to jump at and gather). All the costumes, props and food were homemade. A birthday party that was followed a year later by a Gamer’s Delight birthday party at Chuck-E Cheese complete with a GBA cake (GameBoy Advance) and gifts (read Nintendo DS Lite) of the same theme.

Easter Egg Hunt Party

Pynni has had an Easter Egg Hunt birthday party complete with chocolate bunnies (which I bought), Easter Egg shaped cake, Easter Egg Hunt, Easter Grass, Easter Basket Gift bags, and lots of pastels.

Flower Garden Tea Party

Her next birthday party was a Flower Garden Tea Party. I just love spring and couldn’t help but integrate that into a party for her. She got a small table and chairs that year along with a tea set.
So we let her open her presents a day early in order to have the things we needed for the party.

High Tea for Three for a Two year old

This party was only moderately less elaborate than the space party for Chi (and it was in the same year, I believe). This party had a flower garden cake, little mum cakes for the tea party, hot chocolate ‘tea’, hand stamped table cloths, hand stamped napkins, hand decorated cups, hand made invitations, and homemade flower arrangements. It was a ton of fun and she still talks about this party that celebrated her second birthday.

Polka Dots and Stripes forever (less the stripes)

This was followed by the first time I did a joint party for a boy and a girl. Pieces and Pynni have birthdays that are two weeks apart. Exactly. I decided I could put all my efforts into one party until they request a separate celebration. Pieces only really cares that balloons are present at whatever party is for him.

Polka Dot Dance Party

The first joint party was one I called Polka Dots and Stripes Forever! (without the stripes) The polka dots were HARD. It was SOOOO time consuming to cut out tons of individual circles to tape up all over my first floor for the polka dots. Actually putting stripes on things was beyond me at that point. Pieces wore a striped outfit and I think there was some striped wrapping paper, other than that? No stripes, but there were polka dots EVERYWHERE! It was a blast.

These birthdays have, sadly, been followed by not much to compare. I have struggled with some health issues that have nullified the desire to plan for months to create these parties that stress me out to the point that I do not enjoy them one little bit.

We’ve done some simpler things, renting a blow-up jump house, renting a helium tank and filling the first floor with balloons and laughing until we couldn’t stand anymore by breathing in the helium and having silly conversations, trips to arcades, and a birthday at the Little Gym. Chi never really enjoyed any of  his parties because they were getting WAY too busy and he really hates to be the center of attention. So we’ve scaled back.

I’m thinking through all of this because it’s time to plan another party and a friend of mine posted some pics of her youngest’s recent birthday party. It seemed so simple and so fun and I would like to get back to some of the types of parties I used to throw.

In retrospect, I have to concentrate to remember the stress because looking at the pictures from those parties, all I see is fun. Joy. Celebration.

Well, we’ll see if I have the energy for something more extravagant this year, but I have to decide soon, cause the time for the party is nigh.

PrinciPAL

Oh, lovely readers, staunchest followers, I had a meeting with the principal at the elementary school my two oldest children attend. It was interesting.

Eye ❤ Ewe

Firstly, while the principal was present, the meeting was mostly with the school’s IRT. Yeah, that was my first question, too.

What the heck is an IRT, you ask? Well, let me tell you. An IRT is an Instructional Resource Teacher whose job it is to support the classroom teachers and specialists, coordinate staff development, and connect individual classrooms with Wake County Curriculum initiatives and innovations.

She has been working with Pynni’s class to help the vast and varied substitutes to stay on track with the students along with the Title I reading teacher. They’ve been doing their best, but there is just something to be said about teachers that KNOW WHAT THE HECK IS GOING ON, I must say.

This particular IRT did her homework on Pynni and spoke with the only people who could tell her anything (you know, because there is no permanent teacher in her classroom) (oh, and it’s the Title I reading teacher that she spoke to) (oh, and while Ms. Title I is a former teacher of the year and is a very talented teacher, SHE ISN’T PYNNI’S PERMANENT TEACHER!). Okay, so Ms. IRT did a lot of work and put a lot of information together and I VERY much appreciated all of the work she did to try and answer any questions I may have had. She did. Answer my questions.

The first thing I noticed is that what the school is saying Pynni is struggling with she has not issue with at home. I pointed this out. The response was that some kids do MUCH better at home, but it’s their performance in school that counts. Fair enough, or at least true enough, but what do you do about the discrepancy? Have a talk with her, I was told. Uh, right. I’ll do more of that, check.

The second thing I noticed, Ms. IRT and Ms. Title I both saw it too, is that Pynni is WAY above where she should be in a ton of other areas. Like being able to create words out of two separate syllables. For Kindergarteners this is a hard skill to learn. She is a master. She can then break the syllables apart (of different words cause how hard would it be if you’d just seen them apart?) and give you whatever syllable you ask for. There were lots of other examples of this.

So I’ve started including Pynni, directly as opposed to just being in the car during this conversation, in our morning pep talk. It’s a tool that has helped Chi beyond measure and I’m hoping it can help Pynni.

Buds

Then there’s the rebuilding of her self-esteem. Somewhere along the way all of this has made her feel less-than. Stupid. Slow. I don’t know exactly, but the light in her eyes about school has diminished. It is the saddest thing I’ve witnessed in a long time. So I spend time with her working on these things she has no trouble with because the school says she does. I spend time working with her on the things that challenge her because that’s the only way to move her forward.

And I tell her how smart she is, how impressed I am with her and how much I love her at every opportunity. I bought her a composition notebook (of course Pieces had to have one, too) so that she could practice writing whatever takes her fancy. Now she and Pieces sit at the table and draw or write and she’s helping him learn more about his letters. Maybe being the one to help him will help her in the end.

Homeschooling is calling my name.

I feel weighted down. With happenings. With decisions. With things I need to do. Everything is so serious and “end of the world” -ish feeling. I thought I would lighten the mood a bit and make myself smile.

Name

My baby, Pieces, is not so much the baby any more. He will be 4 in April (!!!!) and grounded forever. So since I’m allowing him this small amount of time to enjoy himself before I …no, I won’t ground him for growing up, but GAWD, I want to. It would be energy wasted and I prefer conservation.

Oh. Right. So Pieces has been having these major developmental spurts lately that have fully placed him in the realm of preschooler and pulled him completely out of toddlerhood. He has taken to pointing out all of the letters he knows on everything that has letters. “That letters are on Netflix.” He is very solemn when he says this. I look up to see where his finger is pointing to find an “exit” sign. When I query him about which letter, he indicates that he means all of them.

Spiral

Then there is the drawing. He only in the last 6 months or so decided to be right handed. He will still eat and do other things with his left, but he officially writes with his right hand. He wants to draw all the time. He draws bug men, his name, and spirals. I cannot get enough of these drawings. I stand amazed at them. He went from not caring to draw to wanting to do it all the time. These things have become his signature. I will share them with you now.

Bug Man

Hairy bug friends

I am especially fond of the unibrow.

Catharsis

I have a confession to make. I’m hoping that by just putting it out there, I can feel absolved. Maybe if I just SAY it, I can stop feeling shiesty and maybe fake. The feelings are large and complicated and I’ve been studiously ignoring them. Well, the time to confront is nigh and what better place to do this than HERE IN FRONT OF THE WHOLE WORLD (potentially).

**Apparently this is going to be very hard for me to say. I have started this post over and over. I have cut and pasted my words from this post into other posts because I find myself rambling on and on about related sub-topics, but not actually confronting the issue at hand.**

I AM ANGRY.

When we had Chi tested, he tested low for Asperger’s. One would think, “Great! He isn’t autistic! PARTAY!” Well. One would think.

Chi tested in the bottom three percent. To simplify what is a more complicated explanation, assume that the test measures from 1 to 100 and if you score 70 or above you have Asperger’s. Chi scored 75. His very nice and very conservative psychologist did not think that was far enough into the spectrum to be diagnosed with Asperger’s. He told me that what Chi has, officially, is PDD-NOS or “pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified”. Kids that exhibit some of the hallmarks of autism, but not all are placed under this umbrella.

It is an umbrella that is not recognized by the school system (in NC, anyway) as an official developmental disorder and the child diagnosed as such is not eligible for an IEP (individual education plan) or a Section 504 (special consideration in the classroom and during testing). Chi most definitely needed one of those two interventions to help him function in the classroom.

During the time that Chi was assessed for Asperger’s, he was also tested for ADHD. To be diagnosed with ADHD, one must meet 6 of 9 criteria in every situation. Chi met 5 of them while at school, but only 2 at home. Dr. G decided that he would diagnose him with ADHD: inattentive type which would allow Chi to get a 504 without any fighting, and if we felt like pushing the issue, an IEP as a long shot. Then. THEN! Dr. G proceeded to treat Chi for ADHD.

During all of that, we had Chi assessed by an OT and discovered (as I had long known) that Chi has pretty bad auditory and visual sensitivities. He also has proprioceptive and vestibular sensitivities, and some tactile issues. He is very sensitive to olfactory stimuli, but it tends toward positive reactions and soothing effects. His OT, in her assessment, pointed out that treatment for SPD can be beneficial for Asperger’s and Inattentive Type ADHD.

We chose to go with the sensory diet instead of drugs because I felt that Chi had been given this ADHD diagnoses to game the system, as it were, and I was most interested in providing Chi with whatever tools and strategies I could to help him cope and function in a world that is not designed to be navigable by non-neurotypical people without changing who he is. I was (and remain) worried that drugs would alter his reality too much. (It must be noted here, that if drugs are required, I will not deny him something that will help)

Of one thing I’m am absolutely certain. Chi has SPD. The sensory diet that we have him on has changed the game. He is better able to cope with things that would otherwise throw him over the edge and lodge him squarely inside his own head. I believe, based on my own research and the outcome of the tests Chi completed with Dr.G, that Chi has Asperger’s. Yes, he is relatively mild when compared to some, but spend a day with this kid and you will be convinced, too. I do not believe that he has ADHD. By the Doc’s own tests and the criteria surrounding such a diagnoses, Chi’s issues vary too wildly from situation to situation.

So. Back to the angry.

A diagnoses of ADHD makes everyone think that Chi should be medicated. And by everyone, I mean SCHOOL OFFICIALS. They can’t require me to medicate him, yet (although that’s probably not too far off. And THAT is a whole other post). But the questions they ask during the 504 meetings make me feel like I am somehow failing Chi and the school by continuing to allow him to exist without some sort of drug intervention.

A diagnoses of Asperger’s would throw all kinds of state programs at Chi. Many of them he wouldn’t need because he is high functioning enough to be able to deal with many things more autistic kids cannot, but an IEP could require for Chi to have a dedicated professional in the classroom specifically to help him and meet his needs. Something that might have helped avoid the catastrophe that was the end of his second grade year and the root of the major issues we’ve had to overcome this year. A parapro would have been the constant Chi needed to deal with the stress and anxiety caused by his teacher leaving for the rest of the year and a new, completely ineffective and clueless substitute, rearranging his schedule and making every single minute of every single day a minefield of unknowns. (wow, more anger for this still under the surface, I guess)

I feel like I cannot seek professional help for dealing with Asperger’s because according to a professional, Chi isn’t Aspie enough. He isn’t really dealing with ADHD, either, and SPD and PDD-NOS aren’t recognized by the state for IEP eligibility. Do I WANT Chi to have to deal with Aspergers? NO. Life would be much simpler if he didn’t, but it seems infinitely more complicated to almost have something that very much effects your day to day, minute to minute. I know I could get him assessed by someone else. I cringe at the thought. They are terribly time consuming. They are expensive. I SHOULDN’T HAVE TO.

For now, Chi is getting what he needs from his 504 and a really remarkable teacher. I am already stressed about the quality of the middle school our node is assigned to. I cringe away, mentally, when I think about everything I will have to do when he changes schools. I worry that not having an IEP will, then, come around to bite me in the ass.

I will be as vigilant as possible against a repeat of the circumstances that caused Chi do digress so horribly last year, but I fear that many more fights and possibly a second opinion are on the horizon.

But sometimes, one must anyway.

As a teen, burned out due to babysitting my neighbors’ bratty kids, I never thought I’d have any of my own. As an adult, I thought I’d be a career driven woman; highly independent and intimidating. As a wife and soon to be mother, I thought I would NEVER stay at home with my kids. Things never turn out as one plans, do they?

**Confessional**  I still have a hard time admitting that I’m a stay-at-home mom. I feel like it admits defeat. I feel like I am letting my liberated sisters down by holding down the fort and making dinner after wiping butts all day. I’ve struggled with depression and an unending cycle of not knowing who the hell I am when I look in the mirror. This person that is looking back at me was never supposed to be me. Yet, here I am.

Onward. So after my first was born, I realized that I would not have anyone else raising (or helping to raise) my son. I could go back to school after he started Kindergarten. Right. It’s now 9 years later and I am still at home, but without that blessing? He would have fallen through the cracks. He has taken a lot of effort and a lot of attention. He has needed me here. And here I remain. I have enjoyed my time with my kids even while I had these moments of identity crisis.

When my oldest started school, there were some neighbors of mine who were appalled with the school system and began homeschooling. My main thought with this was OMG WHY?!? There are schools for a reason. THEY know better than I how to educate my kids. I could not see spending my days being an elementary school teacher. I have NEVER had that desire.

Yet, now. Now my brightest star is struggling. I am on a second year IN A ROW where one of my children is being damaged by the school that is supposed to be teaching them and protecting them when I am not around. My fury is great and my initial response is that I will RAIZE this INSTITUTION to the GROUND. (I DO have a meeting with the principal this week) (I’ll let you know how it goes) I want RETRIBUTION! I demand BLOOD!

Then I take deep breaths and realize that the answer is simple although the path will not be. It has been staring me in the face, beckoning, beseeching. I have resolutely looked away; refusing to acknowledge the potential this path may present to the mental well being of my whole family. This option keeps coming up. Keeps rising up in the forefront of my mind and has been suggested to me by various others.

Homeschooling. I don’t know if this is the answer. I don’t know if I will, yet, choose to go this way. But when I think of it, I no longer suffer from extreme bouts of nausea. I, in fact, feel peace. I have been very stressed out about what to do for Chi and now Pynni. Maybe this is the answer?

I shouldn’t HAVE to homeschool my kids. There are perfectly designed institutions for that, but they are failing many kids every day, and my kids will not be among those. So maybe I shouldn’t HAVE to, but I just might anyway.

I had another post all prepped and ready and re-reread and scheduled to post, and then this happened.

Cue T Pie

So. Pynni Pie. She is the middle child. She is the only girl. She does NOT have SPD or Asperger’s or PDD-NOS. She is in Kindergarten. Pynni in Kindergarten is a whole other experience. Chi was hard. Chi required parent-teacher conferences where the teacher told me that my son was “being a boy” and that he spent a lot of time playing alone at his desk even during time when he was supposed to be listening to the teacher. Chi didn’t know his letters, even though he could READ. Chi didn’t know his numbers even though he could read word problems and tell you the answer without having to WRITE ANYTHING DOWN. Chi hated writing. Chi hated coloring. Chi needed to practice both. Things haven’t really changed much.

Bunny Pie

Pynni, on the other hand. I had a parent teacher conference at the beginning of the year. Pynni was, “Very helpful.” “Very neat.” “Very well behaved” “Very cute.” “Has taken Khai (yes, her table-mate’s name is the same as her older brother) under her wing.” “A good dresser.” “Follows the rules.” “Listens” “Is on blue every day” (which is better, even, than green). ETC. There wasn’t much else to say. My daughter is perfect. My daughter does all the things one wishes Kindergarteners would do, but generally don’t.

I had another parent-teacher conference a couple of months later with the same results. I had put any potential for worry about my middle child away. She is awesome. She is very well-adjusted. She is smart.

Move forward to January, when the mid-year reports are sent home. For Chi, it’s end of quarter 2 and for Pynni, it’s second progress report. I have worked and worked and focused and focused on Chi. He’s needed it. Nay, demanded it. I thought I was keeping an eye on Pynni to make sure that I was there if she needed me. I had intended to volunteer at the school this year because there are three days a week, for four hours that all of my kids are elsewhere. I thought that being at the school and in the kids’ classrooms would be helpful. Queue the back. Queue a herniated disk that I am STILL dealing with. That STILL has me on my back for most of the day.

It has become apparent that watching Pynni out of my periphery has resulted in tunnel vision. A horrible condition that has caused blindness out of the corners of my eyes, I guess.

Queue the failing progress report. Pynni is not meeting grade level standards for Math or writing. WTF? (and I mean that in its most vulgar interpretation) How is this possible? She does her homework at the same time as Chi. I go over it with her every night. Now, I DO NOT read those ridiculous four page books with her for 20 (TWENTY!!) minutes. We read other stuff.

So I don’t really think much of this progress report. I figure she has the rest of the school year to get caught up, and we work with her every night and she does really well. I don’t notice any deficits. WELL.

Pynni’s teacher did not come back after Christmas. Pynni’s teacher is pregnant and was put on bed rest until her baby comes in MARCH. (Deja-vu, anyone?) But there’s no sweating this time (although I do anyway) because Pynni is super cool about her teacher having a baby and needing time away for that. She loves her substitute. (Oh, and did I mention that the TA she has IS THE SAME FRIGGING HORRIBLE WOMAN FROM CHI’S SECOND GRADE NIGHTMARES my nightmares of Chi’s second grade year? No?)

WELL SHE IS! But Pynni loves her, bless her sweet little heart. I cannot like that woman. I do not wish harm upon her,

First Day of School

but I wish she would stay out of whatever classrooms house my children.)

(Ok, so I got a little off track. Back on track.)

SO. I get a letter FROM THE PRINCIPAL (can I go off topic again? Everytime I type the word “principal” I think of Mr. Belding from Saved By the Bell saying, “You can’t spell principal without Pal.” Ahem.) saying that we need to be more proactive. That Pynni needs to raise her “grades”, if you will, even though there are no actual grades. That WE, as parents, are FAILING her.

**sputtering** SAY WHAT?

So now what? She has a new substitute. Read: not the same one as LAST WEEK. How can I conference with someone about a potentially ongoing issue if they have NO CLUE?!? (Give me strength!)

My solution, currently, is to throw money at the issue. I bought some “home schooling” tutoring tools to help with these issues. I’m not convinced that Pynni is actually behind on anything and is maybe merely, painfully shy when asked direct questions. (Thanks to my genes, that.) Hubs, concurs on this assessment. He does a good bit of the homework with the kids either because it’s hard for me to write while lying down or because it’s hard to help with homework whilst ones hands are covered in raw chicken. He says, and this is a direct quote, “Teacher fail.” He says Pynni has it. She knows things. She writes things. She answers questions.

….this ain’t over, but I needed to vent.

This morning (well, two weeks ago, actually, but “this morning” sounded better), I was herding my kids toward the car for the morning migration to school when Chi asked, “Mom, where does water come from?”  It was raining and everything was wet. Chi was warning the little ones about puddles, Pynni was complaining about puddles, and Pieces began composing sonnets to puddles. I insisted that they desist and get in the frigging car already.

Meet Oxygen and his friends, Hydrogen and Hydrogen


Once ensconced behind the wheel, I was accosted with this not so simple question. Indeed, where does water come from? My not-especially-inquisitive-but-knows-surprisingly-a-lot-anyway, son would not be satisfied with, “The sky.” Luckily, I’ve had to explain molecules to him in the past when he insisted on knowing the “real” reason why helium-filled, latex balloons, which are on the ceiling when he goes to bed, are on the floor when he wakes up but aren’t flat. (helium molecules are smaller than the spaces between latex molecules, in case you were curious) So, I began my explanation of “where water comes from” by asking him if he remembered what molecules were (of course he does). So I tell him about oxygen and hydrogen and hydrogen. This explanation ends up in an explanation of the law of conservation of mass/energy with examples (I’m gonna have to go back to college just to parent this kid at the level he requires, sheesh Thank God, for the internet).

When his curiosity was satisfied, he wanted the music turned on.

When we get into the carpool line, Pynni leans in to give me a kiss after the ritual kiss/hug/noozle/sniff/sniff/sniff from Chi and shocks my cheek with her lips. This makes her ask why we shock each other sometimes which leads to a discussion of atoms and their parts. At the end of this discussion, Chi says, “Like at night before I go to sleep, if I rub Earl and Bear together real fast it makes a blue light.” Right. And he says he hates science. whatever.

Everyone was happy and every one got off to their days just fine. But it got me thinking.

My kids and me

My kids are my electrons. With them, I’m a negative ion.  We create positivity and have fun (when Mommy’s patience cup is full and her sensory cup is close to empty). When my electrons peel away and go about their independent days, adding their charge to someone else’s life, I feel lost. I’m not even an empty nester here. I’m just a stay at home atom whose electrons are testing out other atoms. Trying out other molecules. They always come back to me ‘zing!’ and they always bring my charge back below neutral. What is going to fill that spot when they are sharing their ion possibilities with someone else permanently?

(I have a small little suspicion that just might be a hope that Chi will be sticking around for a while. I’m probably a little too okay with that)

Maybe writing will be my thing. I hope so. It has made this internment on the sofa more bearable. It has made my days without my electrons less positively charged (cause negative ions are good, yeh know?). Nothing will replace my children and the joy that I find in having them nearby as much as possible, but maybe having something for myself isn’t all bad.

Then Pieces got home from pre-school and proceeded to run circles around me. It may be law now. The Law of Mother-dynamics.

Exercise in Narcissism

narcissism |ˈnärsəˌsizəm| -noun- excessive or erotic interest in oneself and one’s physical appearance.

  • Psychology extreme selfishness, with a grandiose view of one’s own talents and a craving for admiration, as characterizing a personality type.

I do not consider myself especially narcissistic. I don’t particularly care one way or the other how I look at any given

Narcissus.

moment. I am what I am. Take it or leave it. I do not spend so much as 20 minutes in front of a mirror on any day, but I have realized in the last few months, that I apparently like to hear myself talk. Not in a record my voice and play it back kind of way and not in a ramble on and on kind of way, but in a write it and read it kind of way.

Blogs, are in essence, a public journal. I apparently have some sort of need to be heard by the masses and so I put into words that which I think people should read. I have told myself that I’m doing it for me, but why publish it here in this manner? I mostly write about the trials and tribulations associated with having a child with various developmental disorders. Still, I do say “I” a lot. The posts are, under all the babble, about me.

Now that I’ve established that I may have heretofore unacknowledged narcissistic tendencies, I would like to say, “HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SELF!”  Yes, today is my birthday. I am now 35. I sometimes feel extremely old and sometimes, I wonder if I’m ever going to feel like an adult. I still have moments where I just want my mom to take care of it for me. Why the heck am I responsible for small children? Who do I think I am owning a car or a house?

Regardless, I am 35. Next year, I will be 36. I refuse to be ashamed or afraid of my age. I refuse to make that be one more thing that I don’t want to face. I OWN it. My life has not proceeded in a way I had planned or forseen. I had not ever planned on having children, and now I am a stay at home mom. I thought I would be designing houses and writing words while hiding under the covers after dark. I will not ever be an architect. I still love it, but I have taken and accepted that writing is in my blood. I don’t know if I will EVER be a professionally paid writer, but I have discovered a voice inside that needs to get out. Now, I can’t shut it up and I don’t know that I want to. I have finally, after years and years of denying, even hiding, from this part of myself, set it free. It has been liberating.

So, expect that I will have more things to say than just about my Chi.

Happy 35th Birthday to me. I’m glad to have finally accepted myself. Took long enough.