Wednesday, October 30, 2013

He Is Them

My husband and I were lunching at a little cafe in our downtown. As we were waiting in line, we noticed that the group in front of us had kids a little older than Morgan. We instantly recognized those kids as belonging to our son's tribe of people- they were autistic.

They were out with their aides after coming from an anti drug rally and were from the school Morgan is zoned for next. He won't be going there, but that's beside the point. We struck up a conversation, as I always do when autism is present- I can't help it. The paras were responsible, it turned out for the "severely impacted and verbal to moderately autistic and verbal or wheelchair bound" kids. They asked if Morgan was verbal, which always baffles me- being verbose gives no indication of a so called functioning label. But I digress...

The aides were helping the kids learn life skills by ordering for themselves, paying for their food, and tipping the servers. They were displaying good behaviors, I thought, but yes, they were displaying "typical autistic" behaviors. Hence, Thomas and I recognizing members of our son's tribe. You could say that our A-dar was on high alert. We were very happy to see these children (fifth and sixth graders) out in the community with their lovely aides being taken care of and, most importantly, being treated with love, respect, and dignity as they demonstrated the life skills they were clearly learning.

We placed our order and sat down in the front. I could hear the lively group in the back, their paras redirecting them with table manners; everyone seemed to be having a nice time.

Some women sitting behind me were gossiping about that awful letter making the rounds about the lady who intends on "educating obese children." I let it drop that I'm an autism blogger and all of my friends and I were super hot about it as well. If someone were to give my large kid that note? Oh honey. We all nodded.

Lunch finished up, Thomas went to refill our cups... and then "it" happened.

Our server came by to bus our table and for whatever reason, thought it was okay to say to me, "Shew! Just watching them kids made me tired! Can you imagine dealing with something like that e'ryday?!"

I looked at her levelly as I stood up and answered, "Yes. Yes I can. My son is one of those kids. I live with that wonderful life every day. He is them. And I can't ever  imagine saying something like that to someone like me or anyone else..."

She scooted off, shocked into silence. I turned to pick up my purse and saw the group of ladies at the table behind me and realized they'd heard every word. They were all grinning at me. I'm supposing I said the right thing, for once.

My point in telling you this is that those people are just that- people. They were out in the community, at a cafe whose business depends on everyone patronizing it, including autistic people and their paras or parents. How dare someone remark to a perfect stranger something like that? And in that tone, that language? As if that is not an okay way of being?

And guess what? Autism is everywhere. So, be prepared for it. Don't ever assume it's okay to crack a joke or make a comment to a random stranger about a group of autistic kids. You never know if the stranger you're laughing to is the proud mom of an autistic kid who will willingly write a letter to editor of your city's paper about your cafe.

This life isn't easy by any means. But God, it's worth it- he is worth it. My son, and every single person who shares his diagnosis or some other "different ability" deserves the respect to not be fodder for gossip or a joke.

So, thank you, server lady, for once again giving me the drive to write about social injustice. Here I was, getting complacent about acceptance and thinking that it wasn't a problem in our little community. I guess I was mistaken.

Friday, October 25, 2013

The Permissive Culture Behind Bullying

Nothing licks the red off my lollipop faster than a meme or status saying things like, "We will never be able to stop bullying" or "Teach kids to fight back, anti bullying laws are creating a nation of victims."

Perhaps this is because I'm a special needs parent and those zero tolerance, anti bullying laws, protect my child and thousands just like him.

Let's get some things straight, shall we?

Bullying is first taught at home. The culture of bullying is then further propagated by people who look the other way or even encourage it. You might say you aren't one of "those" parents or people, but honey, trust me, you are. It is highly likely that you're telling your child, "That weird kid is just that- weird." You're teaching your child, without ever know about the kid who your child is bullying that it is okay to make fun of or even beat up that other kid.

Don't think so? Allow me to demonstrate.

Morgan was bullied pretty severely in first grade. Not just verbally, but physically. This was an ongoing issue throughout the entire first semester and part of the second. At one point, he had his ass thoroughly kicked by two boys, gravel shoved in his mouth, and was told he was retarded. A third boy watched for teachers. Two of the boys, the ones who were caught, were suspended from recess for two days, if memory serves.

I requested a conference with the parents. It was denied by them. No one wanted to be told that their little darling had beaten up a special needs kid.

Another time, Morgan got into the car, smelling of urine. I thought he'd had an accident and I had not been notified, which was odd. It wasn't until another mom told me that her child had been peed on that I thought to ask Morgan if the same thing had happened to him. He answered in the affirmative. I was livid.

A little boy spit on Morgan in music class. Now, that raised some eyebrows because there were so many witnesses.

Throughout the semester, Morgan kept coming home with bruises- deep tissue bruises, all unexplained except that he was "clumsy." He kept telling me that "those boys" or "that boy with the red coat" were punching him or jabbing him in the halls on the way to class. I asked if he'd told a teacher, which I knew he had. Apparently, since he wasn't very articulate, no one, aside from his wonderful homeroom teacher, believed him. And so, I raised hell.

This kept going on, despite me raising hell. And believe me, there was a lot of hell raised.

A lesson on genies came up. I asked Morgan one night, if he had three wishes, what would he wish for? "Not getting picked on, walking to class and not getting tripped, or hit, or punched and biffed into the wall, and no one making fun of me."

I'd had it. I called the principal and demanded she actually speak to me, but not before I raised more hell at the school with her vice principal. I asked her to put herself in my shoes, as a parent. How would she react? And would she define any of this as assault instead of bullying? Because I damn sure was.

I also offered to press charges against the school. There were plenty of grounds for me to go on.

Suddenly, Morgan was happy. I asked why? He said that the bullying had stopped. No one was calling him names. The bruises stopped come home. The nightmares didn't stop, but the real nightmares, the ones from the daytime, did.

Now, after reading this, how would you respond as a parent? That school had a zero tolerance stance on bullying. I wasn't the only parent jumping down throats. I was told the only thing that had happened to my son which could be deemed true assault was him being spit on. What a laugh.

If you have been the "me" in this case, know your child's rights and keep raising hell. Don't stop. Schools can be held liable for this, and so can the other parents.

So, yes, perhaps we are creating a culture of victims. However, the some of the victims are the actual bullies because their parents are teaching them that this is okay. Whether they state that emphatically or not, the permissive air is still there. They might think that they aren't doing this, but how many times have they made fun of someone in front of their child? Or said, "just kick his ass!"

Do me a favor, if your child is ever accused of bullying another child, don't shirk your moral obligation as a parent and human being and turn down a requested conference with that other parent.

Your kid could have bullied my kid. Or one just like him.

*As a side note, I found out, right before we moved, that the "boy with the red coat" was my neighbor. He came over to my neighbor's yard one day when we were all playing soccer. Morgan froze. He whispered to me, as I asked him what was wrong, "That's the boy with the red coat, Mommy." 

The father of that boy and I struck up a conversation. I mentioned to him how badly Morgan had been bullied (he was standing under our tree, trying to make himself small). I told the dad how unfortunate it was that I had repeatedly requested a conference with the other child's parents and how they had refused.  I also said that I would love to have a word, outside of school, with that child's parents and explain to them that Morgan's autistic and how those repeated instances of being beaten up had traumatized him. How I wished that the other parents could see that my son wouldn't hurt a fly. How he's a great kid and never deserved this. How, as his mom, I wanted to press assault charges, but understood that the "yellow haired boy with the red coat" likely just came from a bad home and "isn't it a shame when parents don't take responsibility for the way their child acts?" That father grabbed his kid right then and there and said, "boy, we need to talk." I never saw him again. But I think he grasped the concept.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Fearing the Future

*Editor's note: Please allow me the opportunity to have some word vomit due to anxiety.

Morgan will be nine this weekend. I'm kind of shocked by that.

Most of me is surprised that this much time has flown by so quickly and there is a big part of me who is scared that the rest of the time will do the same. I'm not ready for him to grow up and yet, I don't want to keep him a child. I want to push him to grow, learn, accomplish, and "be."

My brain is swirling - joyfully with what the future will hold and terrified of what it won't.

Every time I think of an experience that I think he should have and has not and might never, I check myself because I know that projecting this way is wrong.  It carries the potential to harm us both. But I still do it at times because I'm apparently a glutton for punishing myself and my son in my own brain in my most anxious hours.

My son's future was never mine to force onto him or autism's to steal. It is not predetermined by anything but Fate. You can help Fate along, but you cannot force it. Believing that has been my road to autism acceptance and me fully embracing my son as an autistic person to be understood, not someone to be fixed.

I feel as if the future is full of the things which we, as parents of children with special needs, aren't allowed to broach in our thoughts. Because once we do, it's as if we've tossed gasoline onto a pyre of fear and anxiety.

He's halfway to being a legal adult, being of voting age, and being old enough to sign up to fight for his country- though he would likely be disqualified due to his autism diagnosis. That's where my mind takes me when I think of 18 and beyond.

Will he be ready?

 Will I have him ready?

I think of things I did at certain ages and wonder if Morgan will do them, too.

Will he date? Have a job? Will he go to prom? College? Live on his own? Get married?

No... I can't think that far ahead. I just cannot. I try not to think too far ahead into the future because that's too shaky of ground, too unstable of an area, and I am too type-A to look forward to something of which I don't know the outcome. I am confident in my son's abilities overall, but lack confidence in that I know what regression can take away. What he can do today, he might not do two weeks from now.

So, I concentrate on the here and now. Morgan is a wonderful boy who has worked his tail off in the last nine years to be where he is now. Who is loving, empathetic, and someone worth knowing. Who is everything I would want in a son.

I lie. I don't always concentrate on the here and now. The future scares the hell out of me.

Is the world going to be ready for him? Is he going to be ready for the world? Am I teaching him the life skills that he will need in order to be a man in society who can "function?" What the hell is functioning anyway- is this something I'm doing? Highly doubtful.

The next nine years will be crammed full of things. Wonderful and horrible. Highs and lows. More positive than negative if the past nine years are any indication.

Morgan will continue to defy any expectations I'm foolish enough to foist onto him, I hope. The future is a scary place, but we will continue to make safe havens for Morgan because we love him that much. The world doesn't come with a safety net. But we, as parents, can hopefully continue to provide one for our son- our love and support.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

It Sounds Sort of like "Horse": Teaching My Sons Morals

I'm always looking for ways to teach my sons about morals, which would be a gray area for me in some places. Morality, it would seem, falls into the "do as I say, but never as I do or have done. Please. for. the. love. of. God."

Some things are easier to explain than others, but when I throw my own experiences into these lessons in morality... I fail.


Such was the case last night when it was brought up that I had once been to the principal's office (My high school friends of mine reading this need to shut their mouths, I was an angel, got that?). I have Thomas (Deciphering Dad, not the engine, just as annoying) to thank for this mess. I don't even remember how it came up...

"Mommy's been to the principal's office, right Mommy?" Thomas said, shooting me a smirk.

"You went to the principal's office, Mom?" Bay asked. He looked shocked. Obviously, he hasn't been taught our my colorful personal and family history yet.

"Well, yeah. And it was for something really bad. I made fun of a girl who was my friend. I called her a name. It was really bad," I said this all smugly, thinking I could teach my sons something. It hadn't really dawned on me yet that I was going to explain clique behavior with prepubescent females.

"What did you call her?"
"Why would you be mean to your friend?"
"You've always said to never do that!"

The questions they peppered me with came quickly, faster than I could answer. But I wanted to tell the truthish (it's a word), and for them to understand that what I had done was wrong. I wanted to teach them right from wrong.

Oh God, I'm pretty sure I messed this up.

"Well, I called her a nasty word that sort of sounded like horse, but it's not horse and I misspelled it. In a note. The teacher caught it."

"What was the word? Is it one you still say?"

"Um, no! Never." This was a lie. I call Roxy, our dog, a word that sort of sounds like horse regularly when she craps on the pavement, gets onto the couch, or pees on the floor. I just try not to say it in front of the boys. "I also called her a troll, like those weird troll dolls we found at Babe's?"

The boys looked horrified that I could be so mean to a girl. Thomas started laughing. I wanted to kick him.

"Why would you make fun of your friend? And call her a troll? Those things are ugly!" Bay looked horrified.

"Well, um... I dunno. She wasn't that pretty and Mommy had a much larger vocabulary than other fourth graders and liked to say things that other people wouldn't understand. See, I came from a broken home..." That last part might have been in my head.

"Mommy," Bay said, his brother nodding knowingly while they both judged my former nine year old self, "all girls are pretty! You should know better."  Bay and Morgan were incited to take up the cause for women everywhere, whatever that means.

Hell. The kid was totally right. He was parroting back the past almost decade of my feminist, "every woman is gorgeous in her own way," stuff I've crammed down their throats and fully believe in. We don't do ugly shaming in this house, fat shaming, etc. When I say "we," I mean that I forbid it in front of the kids and am guilty of being catty as hell (I try to stick to laughing at what people wear) and also make negative comments about myself in the mirror.

However, since they, you know, listen to me with ears and all, I really try to fight the urge to poke fun at people in any place but my head. My brain is a seriously sick, twisted, and dark place, people.

"Yes, boys, it was really mean of me, wasn't it?" I was seriously thinking I could turn  this around still. "And Mommy got into trouble for it. It's not nice to call people names."

Morgan's anti bullying video script kicked into the "on" position right about then, "You don't say, 'Ya fatty!' 'Ya stupid moron!' You don't ever call people mean names like 'troll' or that word that kind of sounds like 'horse,' Mommy. Be everyone's friend. Be good. Don't be that bully kid."

I tried to explain to them why a girl would say a horrible thing to another girl. There really was no decent explanation except that I'd been very mean. So, I tried that approach. They still didn't get why I would just do that. I finally broke down.

"I did it because I was with a group of catty and bitchy little girls and they hated her, so I had to hate her, too. It's like code of the female. Don't worry, guys really don't pull this crap."  Yup, I ruined that whole deal.

The kids looked at me in horror. Thomas hid back in the kitchen, laughing silently. Because. The dog wouldn't look at me.

Moral of this story: 
I really suck at teaching some kinds of morals. 
And maybe telling stories about them. 
Please don't send me extra kids, okay? 

*Also, if you're that girl who I called the word that I spelled incorrectly and said sounded like "horse," I'm incredibly sorry. You were obviously not that word (Bay also thought I should write an apology letter to you and your mom). You did not look like a troll. I was just better at making up insults than the other girls due to my extensive vocabulary.... and broken home.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Sleepover Night

When we lived in Tennessee, the boys had the entire top story of our house to themselves. Each one had a room on one end with a tiny bathroom in the middle.

Sometime around the end of summer between kindergarten and first grade, Morgan began to complain of nightmares. They really horrified him. The descriptions horrified us. His behaviors during the day had us all scared, too.

Somehow, I think Bay knew the solution before we did.

During Morgan's rough time in first grade, Bay's hero worship of his brother hit an all time high. Not only was Morgan the "bestest," but he had a super power called autism, too? Cool. But Morgan was having nightmares, still. He was being bullied.

I would come upstairs during the nights to check on them and find Bay snuggled up in his brother's bed across the hall. I knew it disturbed Morgan's sleep, so I would move him back to his own smaller bed. But by morning, I would find Morgan grumpy and complaining that his brother had not only crept back to his room, he had also staged an all night rager to boot and kept him up.

"Look," I told them, "only weekends are for sleepovers. Bay, you have to stay in your own bed and let Morgan sleep."

Morgan didn't like this idea. His bed was his bed. Why in the world would he share it with the ginger?

But we... did some test runs. First, it was that Fridays were "sleepover nights." I would allow Bay to bring "Oafie," named after his older brother's bear Oaf, and wiggle in beside his brother. They would watch a movie in bed, maybe eat some junk food and go to sleep. I would then move Bay back to his room.

After a couple of weeks, Morgan was looking forward to "sleepover night." Then Saturday was added as another sleepover night.

Morgan's nightmares, while they didn't stop, died down. I think knowing that Bay was there to help him slay the boogieman helped with that.

I would still hear the pitter patter of my youngest son's feet across the ceiling above as I laid in my bed during the week, but I would get up, redirect him, and wouldn't have to make so many trips back upstairs.

Morgan learned the days of the week because of sleepover nights, so did Bay. When we moved to Louisiana, we took a three bedroom apartment. We worried about them sharing a room, until the solution of bunk beds was pointed out.

Would sleepover nights be canceled since they shared a room? Oh no... they are still, after a year of living here, very much alive. The boys look forward to them- a lot. 
Sleepover, last night. Sometimes we make a fort, too. 

They are each other's best friends. I'm so thankful for that.

Thursday, October 10, 2013


I'm willing to bet that I am no different than your neighbor, one of your friends, or maybe even you.

I'm a survivor of domestic violence. 

October, in addition to being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, is also Domestic Violence Awareness Month. 

When I say that "I" am a survivor, I am not saying that my husband beats me. He is my life raft, my savior, my stability and the person I lean on the most for normality in a relationship, even when we both get it wrong. 

The current statistics on domestic violence are that one in four women and one in seven men are harmed by someone close to them, defined as an "intimate partner" in their lifetimes. 

I'm willing to bet my life that those numbers are higher because what is one's definition of violence is another's definition of normal. That was me, growing up. I knew that what we were experiencing as a family wasn't everyone else's normal, but I knew that this was our normal. And that our normal was to be kept quiet. To many, I think we might have even looked like a semi normal family. 

I'm not telling my family's story, however, I'm sort of telling my own. To exert power over a small child in a barbaric manner is nothing short of the most vile thing I can ever imagine. Once a child's innocence is stolen, that child cannot ever have that back, ever. That child must go through life choosing to either be crippled or defiant about his or her injuries. I refuse to be crippled. 

So, how to define domestic violence, exactly?

Violence isn't always explosive, though I always think of it as walking on eggshells. Sometimes it's quite covert, disguised as controlling behaviors with money, verbal bashing, constant digs, extremely controlling behavior, etc. It's a tear down of your soul. 

Maybe it looks a lot like an occasional "this rarely happens." But then it happens again. And again. And again. 

Domestic violence is not limited to hitting, kicking, or screaming. It includes rape, rape within marriage, incest, and molestation. As stated above, it is not limited to women. Domestic violence may touch women, men, and children. 

If you're human, and this doesn't apply to you, you read the statistics, the news, hear the stories, and recoil in horror. 

However, you might read those same statistics and feel shame if it does. Damn, that shame hurts nearly as badly as the violence itself. 

If you know someone who is experiencing this, you might try to help. And try. And try. And try some more. You wonder why in the hell he or she just won't leave their partner, especially when there are children involved. You feel played for a schmuck. Why wouldn't you?

But that's the thing about continuous violence. There develops an odd sort of co-dependency, especially if there are children involved. You might believe the lies you are told, even a little bit.

"You'll never leave me alive."

"You're crazy, this is all in your head."

"Stupid bitch. Fucking whore."

"This happens to bad little girls."

"I'll kill your dog if you tell."

You believe it all. And so, you stay. There is no way out, you think. You might be dependent because of finances, special needs, lack of a support system, or because you're utterly broken inside. 

If you're a child, you don't tell because you honestly believe that you deserve every damned thing that has happened to you and you believe every threat uttered. 

Maybe you do leave. Maybe you leave and never look back. But it's not that easy, is it? Scars never heal, do they? You might PTSD, nightmares, and triggers. You will likely have those the rest of your life whether your were the adult or the child. 

This isn't your fault. 

You have just witnessed brutality of the worst kind. Your spirit is shattered. If there are children who have witnessed this, or have experienced this, it's even worse; sometimes, because sometimes you can't even see past your own pain to care for their broken souls. So, now there are more shells of humans thanks to this breakdown in humanity. 

I was once one of those children. I was once even one of those women. 

I'm not a shell of a person, most of my pieces are intact. It's taken me well over a decade to heal and I'm still not sure where I am as a person sometimes. Having my own children and allowing them to teach me how to love something unconditionally has helped me in so many ways. I still have the nightmares and the triggers, but I'm not broken. 

I survived. 

But what about the others? The ones who are still victims? The children who are living under the thumbs of the monsters who don't just come out at night? How can we help them?

If you know someone in an abusive situation, let them know you are there for them. Yes, you are possibly risking your life by helping. But driving someone to a shelter, a safe home, some place, should not feel like a burden to you. For as hard as it is to watch a loved one be battered, imagine how hard it is to be that other person. 

If you are reading this are you are that person in that abusive situation, or that former child, you're not alone. You can crawl through Hell and come out. I don't have the answers as to how, but I do know that it can be done. You have to break the cycle of violence, because that's what this is, a cycle. 

Know the domestic violence laws in your states- are you living in a non aggressor state? Does DCS get involved any time there is a domestic violence related call? Do the women's shelters near you accept women and children? Do you have a safe place? Have you spoken up? Do you have 9-1-1 plugged into speed dial?

Most importantly, male or female, know that it's unacceptable for someone to violate your body, mind, or spirit.

Be a survivor. Please. 

Listed below are links for help and information on domestic violence.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Normalizing an Uncomfortable Discussion

This month is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

This post isn't actually about that. However, this this is, much like others before it, about taking care of you.

I have zero clue as to what the hell is going on with me. The doctors are trying to sort that out. I go in for a test that I didn't think I'd even need for another decade (I'm almost 31)- a colonoscopy. Apparently, I have a higher risk of fun things like colon and stomach cancer due to it running on my dad's side or something. I say "or something" because I don't really know much about my medical history on that side of my family other than my grandfather died from stomach cancer and colon cancer, and that my father has had stage one polyps or something to that effect.

I don't know much about my medical history on that side because I don't have contact with that side. I refer to that side as The Dark Side. 

So, why am I choosing to blog about this? Because, ladies (also known as general readership), it's time to take care of you. 

This isn't about your kids, but it is, it's about you. All this month, hospitals across the United States will be offering free mammograms. Go get one. Especially if you have a genetic risk. Or even if you don't.

Schedule a colonoscopy before you think you're of age to do so and, especially, if your insurance covers it. Most plans considers the latter a preventative health measure. Did you know that?

If you stand a genetic risk for either, getting one of these would be an excellent idea. If you don't, talk to your doctor. I did some Googling and found out that colon cancer is oftentimes not found until it's bad. Really bad.

Mammograms are outrageously expensive, I get that, hence me mentioning free mammograms.

The most important thing we can do, as moms, is to take care of us. This isn't something trivial like get a mental health break (though, that isn't trivial at all, really). I'm talking getting that yearly physical. Keeping at least a semi healthy diet (don't glare at me, I can feel the glares.. and, I love bacon, okay?), exercising (also hate), etc. I'm also talking about keeping up that yearly pap smear, something I've been guilty of allowing to fall by the wayside.

Women's health is important.

We need to openly talk about this stuff in order to normalize it so that it doesn't feel shameful or abnormal when a 30 year old mother of two has to get a colonoscopy. Or a hysterectomy. Or a mammogram.

This is about us being around long enough to raise our kids, and then see our grandkids, if we're lucky enough to be blessed with them.

We aren't infallible.

We aren't invincible.

We fall.

We need to fix that if we're going to be superwomen.

Our children need us and we need them. Let's get to work on all of this, shall we?

Monday, October 7, 2013

Jello Tastes Like Broken Dreams

So, if you've been keeping up with my medical bullshit, you know that I'm fasting right now for two tests that I was moronic enough to schedule back to back. Today, a cat scan with contrast dye (nothing in my stomach  past midnight the night before except water to take my medications) and then a <gulp> colonoscopy tomorrow.

Yeah, I love starting blog posts this way. It just really brings a certain something to them, doesn't it?

So anyways, I'm really freakin' hungry. I couldn't have anything with nuts, seeds, or beans all weekend. There goes any snack foods I love and I've been subsisting solely off of snacks for the past two weeks. Oh God, hummus, we will meet again. Soon. 

Basically, the only things I can eat today after the scan are Jello (see the post title in reference to how I feel about that crap) and something called beef consomme. Which is what I use to make beef stew. I make a killer beef stew. Sometimes I do a red wine reduction. Mmmmm.

I love food. I used to seriously hate it because food, it turns out, can make you fat when you don't exercise and guess what I hate to do? Yep.

Since moving to Louisiana, I've gained 40lbs. Forty freakin' pounds. Most of that has been this year alone. I have no shame.

I live outside of New Orleans, FFS! We are good food, people.

There is crawfish, shrimp (and, if you've ever watched the cinematic masterpiece, Forrest Gump, you know that there are hundreds of ways to cook them and most of them aren't that healthy- all are tasty), oysters with sauces... Oh God, the sauces. I make a mean gravy, I rock the hell out of sauce. Also, bread pudding. And screw you, Jim Walter! Bread pudding is why God created bread and white chocolate bourbon sauce!

Every two weeks, I grocery shop. That means I meal plan, usually very carefully.  As in, a whole chicken is carefully basted and roasted in the oven, then the leftovers are turned into Caribbean chicken. Or chicken and dumplins'. <that wasn't a typo, I'm Southern>

I like cooking, for the most part because I love eating. I'm a HELL of a cook, too.

But this morning, I'm writing a seriously stupid post because I can only eat the stuff that tastes like broken dreams and something that is stock for gravy. I want bread pudding. From Copeland's. Which is a block from my apartment. It'd still be hot by the time it gets here.

Oh God... I'm going to end up eating my hair.

*Editor's note: I fully intend on eating ALL THE DAMNED THINGS after Tuesday. We're talking binge eating like a mofo. And then, because I've been vomiting like crazy, I'll probably spew like a sorostitute during Rush Week. 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Ways I've Traumatized Children (Mostly Mine)

Here lately, I've been losing what little filter I have going on that whole brain to mouth thing. Granted, it wasn't a foolproof deal to begin with, but y'all, it's getting bad. We're talking bad. However, I thought I would put it into perspective for you. Also, I swear I'm not this mean to kids all the time. Swear. 

Also, I'm not a bad person... I think.

When Morgan was in the first grade, I once lost my ever lovin' crap and told him and his brother that, when they pitch fits (not meltdowns, fits), they make Jesus cry. Oh, and Santa and the angels weep. That was a fun letter home from the teacher. The phone call was even better. 

I accidentally (seriously, it just flew out) told Morgan, as a toddler, "Honey, don't eat out of the trashcan. Vagrants do that." I was on the phone with my cousin at the time. She won't let me live it down.

One year, Bay kept misbehaving- a lot- around Christmas. I mean, nonstop. So... Santa made a little midnight visit to his room... He trashed it with toilet paper, wrapping paper, and left a note, along with Santa's watchman (our version of Elf on the Shelf, much creepier), and a lump of real coal. 

I told Bay that if he doesn't stop the nose picking and eating, his teeth will turn green like the Grinch's. Not so bad, right? Well, then I had my friend, Sherie, who works in the dental field, back me up by going into full detail what dentists do to grinchy teeth. She pretty much rocks in my book. This really didn't stop Morgan, however, from doing the same. 

I've bacon shamed my child. He's never done it again and I put it on Facebook. 
He wasn't that sad, promise. I told him to look sadder. 

I publicly shame my children for the weird and bad crap they do on Facebook, especially when it's funny. Not so much anymore because now I can just snap my fingers and say, "I think this deserves a Facebook status." Then, I'll hear cries of "Nooooo! Please don't put this on Facebook!" See, they want y'all to think they're little angels and not hellions. They actually fall somewhere in between. 

I told Morgan once that there were no more Handy Manny shows in existence ever. That was around the same time that I had him go to the window to watch for Dora so I could pee alone or just with one child watching. I didn't know he was autistic then, okay? 

When my kids asked me where babies came from, I showed them a (cleanish) YouTube video of a woman giving birth. That might not have been well thought out. Morgan ran around yelling, "Turn that OFF! OFF! NOW! NOW! NOW!" Bay sat there, very quietly... then he asked, "But I thought I didn't come out of your vagina. Is there a video for that?" So I showed him a cesarean. That, apparently, is worse. He actually turned green when he figured out that he could have peed inside of my uterus. Whoops.

I once told someone's kid (who is a complete hell spawn) that the presents under the tree are probably from his parents pretending to be Santa, not the big guy himself because he's so damned nasty. This was after the kid had hit my kids over the head with God knows what, broken my stuff, and his mom did nothing. I can't imagine why that friendship didn't last. 

This is how I make Bay have a public timeout, complete with me setting my timer to go off the the nuclear holocaust alarm when the time runs out: 
Yes, I used sanitizer after this. Because, eww. 

Last year, we had a bitch of a neighbor in one of the buildings in our complex. So, when trick-or-treating rolled around, I told my kids (jokingly) that there was an evil witch in that apartment building. Morgan, being Morgan, has never forgotten that. And he wound up being really curious as to which of our neighbors was the evil witch. “Is that the evil witch, Mommy?” he’d ask, despite me telling him that I’d lied.

At one point, we were entering our apartment and another neighbor was coming up the stairs… Morgan blurted out to her, “I don’t care what Mommy says, I don’t think you’re an evil witch at all! I think you’re nice, you’re sweet, and you’re kind.” Well, hell. That’s another neighbor who wouldn’t talk to me after that.

Also, last night (I can blame the pain killers my doc has me on for this), I told a kid who was climbing on the outside of a stair well, second story, "You shouldn't do that. If you fall, you'll crack open your head. You'll probably die. And your mom is sitting right there, not watching you, so I'm not dialing 9-1-1."

Yep, filter is gone. It's a good thing I don't get out much. 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Expletive filled post

I was going to write about Morgan's EEG today.

Today, I was going to say, "To hell with this shit! I'm going to go buy pants. The boys need pants. I need pants. I'm their Mom. I'm going to buy the fucking pants."

And then I woke up and rediscovered that I'm still me. I'm still in pain. A lot of pain. So much fucking pain I can barely see straight unless I'm on enough Vicodin and Bentyl to render me to my couch for most of the day so that it wears off and I'm able to parent when my friend brings the kids home. And no, I don't get messed up. I only take enough to take the edge off. I hate being stoned, okay? Save any criticisms about pain killers use for someone who gives a shit today.

It's two weeks (nearly) into this crap and I'm so sick of being sick or whatever you call this. I'm done. I hate this. I feel like throwing a temper tantrum. Or screaming (which I just did, in my shower, when I fell over trying to shave my legs because of a muscle spasm. Stupid shower. Stupid legs.).

I just want to know, what the hell did I do to get myself into this? I know, I know... God's will. Well, you know what? I'm pretty fucking angry with God right now. Don't hate me for saying that. I feel like it's my right.

I have had moments stolen from me in the past several years because of my health being crappy. Moments like missing family excursions. Moments like field trips. Moments like hugging my kids. Or picking them up because of the abdominal pain from endo and adenomyosis. And then I get to add in RA and possible lupus (because my asshat doctor thinks the jury is out on this one, once again. Also, I'm looking for a new doctor).

This is not how I pictured parenthood. I never dreamed that I would miss out on things because of  me. That I would tell my husband I need him to take over, not because I've had a rough day due to autism, but because I've had a rough day because of me. 

I can't outrun my own body. How unfucking fair is that? I stay short tempered because of pain levels. I hate the medications which are essentially poison and are highly addictive, but sometimes the only damned things that work. And honestly, I don't even use the damned things until I'm in a situation like this. They scare me too badly.

I hate my body, so much. I hate having moments, chunks of time, stolen from me. I'll never get those back. I miss being spontaneous. I miss the old me. The adrenaline junkie who sailed. Who said, "Hell yes!" to life. Who skinny dipped at night around a coral reef in Mexico because "why not?"

I barely recognize this woman now.

This is temporary. I know that I'm usually not this morose, this pessimistic. I know that tomorrow is a new day. Tomorrow, I might have my funny back.

But dammit, I just wanted to get into my car, drive the mile down the road, and buy some fucking pants.