Laziness Trumps Vanity

I renewed my driver’s license online today.

It was sooo easy – maybe a little too easy.

When I realized it would only take me five minutes, I suddenly didn’t care about my hideous picture.

What’s another four years of hiding my i.d. from everyone, right?

I can do it.  To avoid going to the DMV in person?  You bet!

So, yeah, laziness trumps vanity.  😀

Or, maybe skilled time management trumps vanity.

Either way, I’m done and will soon have another four years of ugly in my wallet.

It was a nutty week with the little boy.

I thought we were back on track with school, but his emotional upset reared it’s screaming head again this week.

We’ve had two good mornings and two bad mornings.

Can’t wait to see which way the scale tips tomorrow.

Last night he had a big fat tantrum.

He lobbed a toy into the air and knocked husband’s drink all over the keyboard.

That was fabulous.

Husband was not amused.

The little boy calmed down a little later and I even got him to come out of his room to apologize to daddy, but it made for a stressful night.

Small wonder that he didn’t want to leave the house this morning.

Sometimes I think he’s trying for a do-over of something from the day before.

Whatever.

Right now, he’s happy and calm and has eaten enough to fall asleep okay.

I’m just gonna enjoy that for a moment if you don’t mind.

Count with me…

1…

2…

3…

4…

Okay, moving on.

Are you watching the final season of 24?

What?  Too violent, you say?  Yeah, me too.  But I’m hooked.  HOOKED.

They actually used the word “eviscerated” on Monday’s episode.  Blech.

And yeah, somebody was eviscerated.  Nice, Jack.  Thanks.  😐

Seriously though, I know how I want the show to end and I’m getting more and more stressed out by it as it winds down.

Jack Bauer is a killer, a former government operative gone completely rogue, but I want him to get the girl, you know?

Of course, she died a few episodes ago, so making that happen will take some twisty plotting.

I have permanently suspended my disbelief for this show.

Feel free to go back and skip this paragraph if you’re not a fan.

Next topic, please.

Husband cooked some chicken the other day.

He seasoned the heck out of it and has been reheating pieces for dinner each night this week.

Why am I telling you this?

Because one of the seasonings is cayenne pepper and it has just lodged its spicy vapors solidly in my nose and throat.

Ho Boy!  Cayenne PeppAH!  Woowee.  Aye aye aye.

Okay, I’m out.

P.S.  The little boy just had a king size meltdown.  He screamed.  I yelled.  He screamed again and chucked my purse across the room.  My unzipped purse.  Oh joy.  It made me mad.  I ranted to husband.  I cried a little bit too.  Mostly to myself and now to you.

The boy will grow up and leave one day and I will become the story that elicits sympathy from his friends.  And I will be okay with that because he will be talking and laughing and having a life.

Happy Thursday.

♥♥

Madness and an Easter Video

I am mad at the world today.  I just left my little boy at school.  He doesn’t want to be there and I don’t blame him.  There is no art.  There is no music.  There is no one who can understand him.  There is no one he can understand.

Today was the first morning he was actually crying wet tears as I walked away.  Wet tears.  He hates school.  That is generally apparent, but TODAY?  Today with the actual wet tears?  Crap.

I didn’t even make it to the car before I started sobbing.  Usually I get off campus before I lose it, but not today.  Nope.  Tons of other parents and a couple of staff members saw me this time.  Great.

And it’s raining and I don’t have a good jacket anymore.  My favorite has a busted zipper and a small tear on the inside pocket.  It’s still hanging in my closet because I can’t part with it. I have four other jackets and they all suck.

It’s San Diego, you know?  Even when it’s pouring rain, you don’t need a very heavy jacket and I just can’t find a good lightweight number that fits me and doesn’t look like I borrowed it from my super tall brother.  Once you hit plus sizes, the world thinks you don’t mind looking like a man.  That makes me mad too.

I’m also mad at the developer of our neighborhood. The freaking houses are too close together and this morning I had nowhere to go outside and lose my mind like I wanted to.  When you have a few acres you can do that.  Lose your mind.  Outside.  Because no one will hear you.  You can take one of your cheap plates out of the cupboard and go smash it and no one will do anything.  Can’t do that here.  Nope.  Neighbors right on top of you.  No plate smashing.  You have to leave the plate in the garage when you realize you’re out of luck with that.

I’m mad at mean people and people who don’t get it too.  Autism is hard.  For me.  For my husband.  For our families.  For our son.  Our poor son.  If you knew how often he is paralyzed, just standing in our house looking at us because we don’t understand each other…well, you would cry.  Probably a lot.  But you won’t see that, because we can’t let you come over.  The house is a wreck.  All the time.

I’m mad today.  And sad. And weepy.  My kid is in jeopardy.  (Which I learned to spell by saying “Jay-Oh-Par-Dee!”)

The teacher is on board with the dilemma.  She is a good teacher, committed to finding a solution.  But still, whatever she comes up with, it won’t be music or art.  It won’t be anything that compels my kid to love school always and forever.  Will it?

I’m mad at peanut allergies too.  Not because anyone in our family has them, but because our school is a peanut free zone.  I get it.  Kids could die if they come in contact with peanuts.  I don’t want to be responsible for making somebody die, but I want to send my kid to school with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and I can’t.  So I’m mad.  That’s one of the four or five foods he eats, you know?

I’m mad at Filippi’s Pizza too because it’s really good and I’ve been craving it for months, but it’s too far away and too complicated for me to get there.  And they don’t serve anything my kid will eat (except croutons and ranch dressing), so it’s not someplace we ever get to go.  I hate you, Filippi’s.

And speaking of going places with my kid.  I love him, but I sure would love a break with my husband now and then.  Why doesn’t it ever work out?  When my mom has time, we always have a conflict and we have no other babysitters.  It sucks.  We qualify for respite care, but seriously, there is no way I would ever leave my wet tears son with someone I don’t know extremely well.  Other moms in my shoes feel the same way.  The problem is, everyone we know has their own giant schedule from hell.  No time for other people’s kids, let alone a child who doesn’t communicate well and will probably miss the toilet when he pees.  We’re screwed.  No respite.

I’m mad at the DMV too.  My license is up for renewal this year.  Thank goodness.  Really.  My current picture is tired, surprised, resigned, fat and hideous.  Ask me next time I see you.  I won’t let you see it.  I’m mad at the DMV because I know that getting a good picture requires a fight.  They’re not too keen on snapping seconds, but there is no way I’m going through another four or five years with a horrible picture again.  Won’t do it.  So I’m stressed out about the confrontation.  And it’s weeks away.

I’m mad at myself today too.  Really mad.  Mad for crying.  Mad for raising my voice.  Mad for wanting to break a plate.  Mad for buying sample paint a week ago and still not getting it up on the wall in our bedroom.  Mad for having tons of ideas and not finding the time or motivation to implement them.  Just mad.  And sad.

Whatever.

I miss my kid.  😐

Click here for the cuteness that is.

♥♥

Morning Tantrum

My son had a huge tantrum this morning.

HUGE.

I don’t have it in me to describe the details.

I’m exhausted, my stomach is tied in stress knots and my eyes are red from sobbing.

Same crap, different day.

I let my husband take my morning to sleep in because I was wide awake at 5:15 a.m.

And a tantrum is what I got for that.

Oh joy.

Here are the very bad drawings I scribbled out to illustrate two house rules that were broken today:

And here is the reward chart of the hour (also desperate and poorly done, but what can I say?  Drawing isn’t my thing.):

We skipped to step two so that the little boy could get some grub in the tum before needing the calm for steps one, three, four and five.

For step one, it helped for me to tell him which colors to pick up first, second, etc.  He was paralyzed by the task until I did that.

He eventually finished everything and even gave me a hug at the end.

He made all the check marks and drew the ovals on the computer monitor to represent the river rock background image on his screen.

Now he’s playing some ridiculous game from Miniclip, a site I absolutely hate and try my best to censor.

I absolutely will not let him play any games with images of real people in them – particularly U.S Presidents – Republicans, Democrats, whatever.

Those games just bother me – especially the one that shows Obama with a machine gun shooting up aliens.  So disrespectful.  Grrrrr!

I don’t have it together enough to write a really great post today, so this will have to do.

Gotta go trade my jammies for some clothes and run to Home Depot this morning.

Our microwave blew up this week and we’re a bunch of big babies without it.  😦

See you tomorrow?

Happy Saturday.  🙂

♥♥

Just Children

Today was such a normal day.  We’re back in the routine.

That’s really nice, because last night I dreamed that the school was planning to do surgery on my son.  The school, surgery, on my son.

I said “you are not.”

The secretary said, all syrupy sweet, “oh dear, we’ve already scheduled it and he really does need it.”

More emphatically, I replied “you will not do any surgery on my son!”

But for some reason, I still had to take him there.  😦

In real life?  Um, no.  Wouldn’t take him.

In the dream, all I could do was write on him with sharpie markers.

I lifted his shirt and scribbled “DO NOT perform surgery on my son!” across his stomach, and again on his back and arms.

But the ink was smearing.  I wasn’t sure it would be legible by the time he got there.

Then, you guessed it, the alarm rang and I woke up without resolution to this frightful nightmare.  Hate that.  HATE that.

Before I go all psychoanalytical on myself, I feel it fair to tell you that my husband and I watched 24 and ate nachos right before bed last night.

We were supposed to get to sleep early.  I’ve been sick, the boy has been sick, husband wants to stay well.  Early turn-in, that was our plan.

Instead we opted for torture and melted cheese.  Obviously, not our best decision.

Back to the dream.

I think  closing my eyes on a crappy meal leaves me a lot less creative, energetic and clear-headed.  Nachos make me less of a problem solver.  My defenses are down, so my subconscious dishes out everything it has.  Everything.

On some level, I obviously believe that school is the ultimate subversion of my free will (or my son’s).  Dreaming about it in conjunction with mandated surgery?  Can’t get more invasive than that.  I guess I sometimes (always??) feel like the school controls our lives (or our bodies) without our consent or cooperation.

That’s not good.

This week I have been engaged (albeit not very well) in a Facebook conversation about a six-year-old girl who was handcuffed and taken to an adult mental health facility after her tantrum became difficult to handle by school officials.  I don’t know all of the details.  I doubt anyone does, but my heart goes out to her family because I’ve been through those tantrums with my son.

Last year, we moved him to a new school.  (Have I mentioned this before??)  The staff didn’t know how to communicate with him.  He spent several weeks agitated and confused about what was expected.

The teacher and aides were unfamiliar and the other children didn’t understand why he didn’t talk and do as they did.  His tantrums were extreme.  He scared them.

He threw whatever he could reach.  He shoved the furniture and he screamed.  He hit an older boy and once pushed a little girl so hard she toppled over a desk and began crying and screaming herself.  It was bad.  And sadly, I think it all could have been prevented.  No one at the school had enough training to teach my son and most of them talked right over my recommendations.

My son hated the place.  I did too.  And the minute they mentioned the words “potential lawsuit,” we moved him back to the old location and discovered the grass there wasn’t quite as brown as we had thought.  We got lucky.  Again.

I guess what I’m getting at here is that I have spent the last few days examining my feelings about my son’s education and how best to accelerate and enhance it.

Blabbing on that Facebook thread made me realize that I feel burdened by public education as much as I feel grateful for it.

The friend who posted the link just wanted to know why a six-year-old is even in school.  Despite all of my comments on his page, I realize I can’t answer his question.  I’m not always sure that I know why my own kid goes everyday.

Right now he gets more from it than I can give him at home, but I won’t sell myself short.  That may not always be the case.

Someday, if you ask me how my son is doing in school, I might tell you that he doesn’t go to one, but in the same breath I will explain why his education is even better without it.  Until I can do that, he will go.

And I’ll try not to imagine scalpels in the pencil cups.

A few weeks ago I posted a link about Zakh Price, an autistic eleven year old who has been charged with felony battery.  His circumstances are not so different from those I’ve described in my son’s life.  Time is running out for Zakh.  He needs help as soon as anyone can give it.  I implore you to read about him and do whatever you can.  Here is a link to an essay by blogger Shannon Des Roches Rosa, a far more learned and eloquent writer than I.

Happy Tuesday!

♥♥

Hey, AETNA, kiss my ass.

Seriously.

Got another one of your stupid EOBs in the mail today.

Big surprise, you denied our claim.  Again.

Gee, maybe we should have gotten pre-certification for those services.  Oh wait, we did.

Gee, maybe I should call you when you reject our pre-certified claims.  Oh wait, I did that the first ten or twelve times and then I got tired, so I stopped.

Gee, maybe we should take some time away from parenting our autistic child to hold your hand so you can get through this very difficult period of your total negligence.

Gee, maybe I should mail you a copy of the pre-certification letter you wrote and sent to me.  Oh wait, I did that.  Many times.  Do you have it now?  Because I realize it’s hard for you to keep track of the letters you originally write and send to me.

Gee, maybe we should have filed a grievance with you the last time you rejected our pre-certified claim.  Oh wait, we did.  Twice.  Or was it three times?  I’ve lost count.

Gee, maybe I should have our doctor’s office call you.  Oh wait, they already have.  A lot.

Gee, I guess you feel okay about your deny-first-and-make-them-jump-through-every-conceivable-flaming-hoop policy.

Well I don’t.  And I don’t accept your eventual payment as an excuse for your inability to get this process corrected.

You add a layer of stress to my life that is unnecessary and totally unacceptable.  I am angry at your big corporate crap and I’m putting it here so that everyone else can get a bad feeling about you too.

Bronx cheer to you.

♣♣