Wednesday, April 22, 2009

How Am I?

Bright Siders, please skip ahead. I'll put ** where you should look for my attempts at a positive focus. Those with a high tolerance for my pity partying ways, you just stick with me right here, okay? Because I'm going to give an honest answer to, "How are you?" And anyone with any standards at all would be sorry they asked.

Well, I opened my mouth last week and said the rooster made it through a week at school. So far this week, he's made it through a half a day. He had a bad cold, maybe infection, as he has for about 4 out of the last 5 years. Teachers attribute his chaotic behavior yesterday to not feeling well (though I think maybe AUTISM had a wee bit to do with it) and so I schlepped him off to the gajillionth doctor on the hottest day of the year at about noon in a building being repossessed -- er, renovated? -- to look like a third world country currently with no nearby parking, though they tell me that these are just early days in a chic new look and efficient layout, and in order to take the only appointment they had to offer at this beacon of cutting edge medicine, rooster missed nap, ate lunch in the car, and nearly drove the office staff to self medicate. He screamed, spit, threw tows, rolled around on the floor under the doctor's chair, ran up and down the hall, and made animal sounds. The doc "hmmmmmeedd" and "Reeeeealllyy?ed" and said, as I've heard countless times, "I think he just has a cold, blah blah, surprised that he stays so runny and gross, blah blah, should run more tests, blah blah, immunity issues, blah blah, here's another antibiotic, blah blah." I reminded him that the teachers think the rooster gets crazy when he's sick, but I think he gets crazy on antibiotics, but I agreed to a 10 day dose of amoxicillan, AGAIN. He's been perseverative and barely tolerable -- though I love him dearly -- ever since. My nerves can not take much more of his most stuck record, the current story he tells about mommy on the red carpet with the fancy red dress and the cameras clicking and getting the trophy... the kid seems to think I am Miley Cyrus, and I can assure you emphatically that I am not. Whenever I try to redirect the conversation, he wails, falls to the floor, flails angrily. I finally distracted him for a while by pretending to be a cat. It was no better, but it was different, and for a few minutes, kept me less insane. Then he started pouncing on me with a stuffed mouse and some nasty old string and repeatedly insisting I meow, and I wanted to be Miley again.

I missed a half day of work Monday, then my husband missed a full day, then we paid a fortune to a sitter today, missing OT and ABA, and the one upside of all this should have been that I could have expected no calls during my work day to deal with the rooster's issues, but alas, no. The inclusion specialist showed up unexpectedly to observe the boy, and so I had to go meet with her and talk about the potential for him to be fully included in general ed with an aide to help him -- or not. It was not an uplifting conversation. When she said, in a fully appropriate context, "He'll always be autistic," this should have been a no-duh for me, and especially since I'd set myself up for it, and I know it so well that I've said it myself. Instead, well....yeah. It's not the end of the world, but some days it feels like the end of my sanity. After this epic year, I still come back to the place of struggling with what the diagnosis MEANS, its size and shape, its impact on our tattered ragtag family.

Tomorrow the rooster returns to school. His nose is less green, but that's about it. I have NO (none, nada, zip, zero, zilch) hope any of us will have a good day. But I am helping with a high stakes project at work, and so my fingers are crossed that when the storm rolls in, I'll have some of that work under my belt. What a pathetic wreck I am, holy cow. A wreck.

If this were a job, I'd quit. Military, I'd go awol. Marriage, I'd file papers. This is my son, my baby, my boy, my first-born, my roo. I'm in. I'm in for the long haul. The haul feels long.

**Welcome, friends craving something, anything more positive and less wallowing from me.

The weather in SoCal this week nearly weakened my knees. The morning broke so gloriously here that I almost ate some of my LA-blasting words. On days like today, my father-in-law says he can feel the housing prices start to come back up.

A few months ago I became convinced my daughter could read my mind. I told J, who mocked me. That's okay. I don't need converts to what I know is true! Peaches and I were alone in the car yesterday, and she had on the cutest little outfit. I let her wear her new dressup peeptoe pumps, and as I drove, in my Keds, I kept thinking how much my grandma would adore seeing her, would revel in her girly ways, and what fun they would have trying on clothes and primping and such. I miss my grandma, I feel her loss so acutely when I look at Peaches. I wanted to think about something else, because I felt my eyes starting to sting, so I looked in the rearview mirror and asked, "Hey, Peaches, watcha thinkin'?" She said, "I'm thinking about princesses. And you are thinking about Grandma."

More of you have expressed a willingness to collaborate on my new project idea, and while I might not bring it up again here for a bit, I have plans underway to start laying some groundwork. Hurray! Yes, I'll take ALL the input I can get, from all of you, with huge thanks! Putting together stories for people desperate for community, support, encouragement, a good laugh, some hope... that sounds so beautiful to me. I always wanted to do Habitat for Humanity, but my awesome college roomie will tell you I blink every time a hammer hits a nail, and I'm a danger to myself and others around tools, power or otherwise. But I can help create a shelter for people who need it by using words, and I look forward to it.

I tasted a cake so good last week, after one bite I sighed like I was on my honeymoon and declared, "I'd like to change my address to this cake." This week, I decided no more cake, and I'm walking the straight and narrow... those ten pounds I never lost of baby weight? Well, Peaches is not a baby any more. She's three. Three... that's the same number of pounds I dropped this week. Seven more to go.

Well, just writing this helped me a little tonight. When I sat down, I was a foul-mouthed, bitter, shrewish monster full of seething and wahwah, and now I'm just tired and wretched ... a big step up. Thanks for reading this. You are a saint, you know.

And I still have a few minutes left to play FB games before I crater, and the night time waking tortures can begin...


mama edge said...

I loves me a good pity party! And the idea of you having to whether you'd rather be a cat or Miley Cyrus has me rolling on the floor.

Cheers from Saint Mara

Kate said...

way to go on the three lbs...letting some of that go (and the running around tied to the green goo)was likely helpful and, it sounds like, slimming.

i know what you mean about the long hall...i feel that way often about my own inner rooster. ie, why i'm up so late tonight.

and rest assured...i'm "reader-ing" you and adding you Delicious.

gretchen said...

Sorry for the insanity-inducing perseveration! Been there, been there. But I got a chill and a smile when I read about Peaches' mind-reading. It's pretty cool that these little people know us so well... Kinda makes you feel loved, doesn't it?

Henry, at 9.5, just started telling me he loves me and giving me kisses. Just this week. It's a long haul...

(My word verification is BLEEP?)

redheadmomma said...

please don't feel bad about writing negativity (how's that for a double negative)? I'd rather have what's in your heart than polite chatter any day. XO

p.s. and I so get the "long haul". So many of us do.

Anonymous said...

you go, rooster's mom. i'm cheering for you! and those 7 pounds! i wish i could come hang out in the warmth with you and the rooster. i do.

pixiemama said...

Sorry, babe, you're not Miley.

When Foster was having his afternoon-long meltdown on Monday, my Corey said, "Dude, Foster has autism." I got off the phone with her and screamed a long, long blue streak into a pillow. I think it may have been the first time I have done that since I was 6 myself.

The haul is, indeed, long. I, for one, am going down fighting. You are too.


Niksmom said...

Wow, some of what you wrote? Just change a few details and you've touched on my last 48 hours. HOLY.HELL.

But Peaches? Freaking amazing! I love that! My mother and I have a bond like that, too.

Too tired to do more than say, "I so freaking hear you, sister!" and send hugs. We can hold each other up, ok?