I like my new nightly greeting.

For a very long time, Monkey would greet me at the end of a long hard day with tears. He had held himself together all day at school and all afternoon at home and my appearance was simply the permission he needed to fall apart. Money was home! Everyone was safe! Let’s have a good long cry!

This pattern was really hard to break because, over time, I was conditioned to expect tears1 when I walked through the front door which made me a little tense. Monkey fed off my stress and a vicious cycle was born.

We tried a variety of methods but what seemed to work best is that, well, Monkey decided he preferred to greet me in another way. Sorry that I don’t have any stellar parenting tips to help you out but, then again, I never do so…no harm done, I guess.

SO, this new greeting? I love it and it shows that my Monkey pays very close attention to his Money. When I open the front door now, before I make my way up the stairs, I’ll hear Monkey yell out, “Money’s home! Hi Money!” Sometimes he’ll run to see me and sometimes he’ll wait for me to come to him but as soon as we make eye contact he’ll whisper, sweetly, “Choc-o-late?”

Yes, please! That is the exact best way to welcome me home.

  1. And sometimes puke, joy. []

He is *really* anti-birthday.

Last year he refused outright to pick out any birthday party gear. If you want to look ridiculous, and really, who doesn’t, you should try chasing your five year old around a party store demanding that they pick a theme right. now. THEN threaten them with, “We are not leaving until you pick birthday plates, dammit!” OK, I didn’t really…well, I did *blush* but I did NOT say “dammit!”1

I thought that this year I might get us back on track by slowly breaking him down introducing the subject to him. Since his birthday is in May I thought January would be soon enough but I think he just made it clear that I should have started in January 2009, which was the last time we discussed it and he didn’t immediately shoot down the very idea of a party.

I just very casually showed him some plates I thought he might enjoy (here, here and here) and a set I want (here) and he immediately responded with “No, stay here?” and ran out of the room. I haven’t even mentioned the “P” word yet! This should be fun.

Come ON! Who says no to plates like this???

  1. The answer to that question that just flitted through your brain is “Lots.” There is LOTS wrong with me. []

A?

Monkey has been asking to “watch TV” today. He will sometimes ask to watch something but it’s pretty rare and, when he does, he requests the show by the character which makes finding what he wants a lot easier. Today, however, he’s only been saying “A” when we ask what he wants to watch on TV. Not terribly helpful.

Duhdee finally turned on the TV and brought up the list of recorded shows so Monkey could point to what it was he wanted to watch. As soon as the list popped up Duhdee started to scroll down through the list but Monkey said “No! No! Up!” Duhdee scrolled back up and Monkey found just what it was he wanted to watch…Ask This Old House1. “A” it is then!

  1. Monkey and Duhdee like to watch a number of home repair shows, Duhdee is always looking to learn or find new ideas and Monkey likes the tools. Win-win! []

Another @%#^ing snowday.

I’m not just feeling bitter over the fact that we still have a MOUNTAIN in our front yard from the last two storms, though that doesn’t help my mental status. I need to see some green grass soon, dammit! Anyway.

The real issue here is that between winter break and the 3 snowdays and MLK day and my trip we have not been able to get back into our school routine and it is wearing Monkey down. He is having a really hard time transitioning to school again and it had been going so well all fall. Also, he fell asleep for an hour and a half during the schoolday this week.

We saw the developmental pediatrician recently for 3 month meds visit and based on our reports he said it sounds like Monkey’s anxiety is really ramping up right now. He said this sort of thing tends to happen in cycles but he agrees with us that it’s time to treat it…now we just have to figure out how to treat it.

Canada might have been a mistake.

I left my darling little boy in the hands of his Duhdee and I came back to hear this story…

Duhdee: “So, on Friday, after he took his shower he watched me take my allergy meds and put on deodorant…”

Umma, thinking “Okayyy?”

Duhdee: “Then he told me ‘My turn.’

Umma: …

Duhdee: “He wanted to wear my deodorant.”

Umma, laughing because that is just ridiculous, right?? RIGHT????

Yeah, I’m not laughing now. Especially since Monkey wants people to sniff his pitts to smell his deodorant! 😮

I’m back and my liver still works!

No one is more amazed about either of those things than I. There was a 1/2 hour, standing at security at the YYC1, when I thought I might not make it home. I thought I was going to have an absolute stroke when one (out of ten) of the security guards decided that a souvenir that I’d bought for my 6 year old was too dangerous to be allowed on the plane. Because that’s something I do, give deadly objects to my child. Whatever. I checked the bag instead and everyone was happy. Except for the security guard who got sent on break so his supervisor could talk to him about how he handled the situation. Srsly. The other guards were joking around with me trying to smooth over the ridiculousness of the situation.

Anyway. I’m home and I have the very best memories ever to cherish. And I might even be allowed back into Canada some day! Woot!

While I was gone I was keeping up with Facebook and sharing some of the amazing times we were having. Part of me didn’t want to share because I didn’t want to make anyone feel badly for not being included but most of me wanted to share every detail and make you all absolutely sick with envy. Not because I’m an a$$hole2 but because I wanted you all to get get excited enough to take a trip of your own.

Those of you who were looking on and thinking I WANT THAT! Do it! I’m sure there is someone you have interacted with on the listserve, through Facebook or through another blog that you feel an affinity with. Maybe they’re local to you, maybe they’re not. Just remember, this all started with ONE mom saying she wanted to get some FX Mommies together. There are a lot of “impossible” things we face in life, a weekend away is not one of them!

  1. Look at me, the seasoned Calgary traveler after one trip, snort. []
  2. Though I am that too! []

Oh, I needed this!

The ladies were trying to get me to blog last night but I was too busy nearly peeing my pants. This is just an inevitable occurrence when you take four moms and introduce much hilarity1.

I wish I had amazing images of the gorgeous mountain scenery and maybe a few shots of us posing like grown-ass adults in front of historically significant monuments but I feel that it is my duty to let you know that you will, very likely, never see such a thing here. Sorry. It turns out that when you take THESE four moms and put them in a beautiful cabin in the mountains, all you get are pornographic snowmen and attempts to stuff people into suitcases. Who knew that getting away from it all would bring out our inner frat boy?

On the serious side, we have all cried too. How can there be no tears when you get four moms of special needs kids together to share their stories and support each other? What is so amazing about it though is that they’ve all been tears of gratitude. These women understand me on a level that is bone deep. They GET IT, they have walked in my shoes. Sometimes they’ve done it better than me and sometimes worse. We can share the stories that we carry in the dark recesses of our minds and feel…understood and accepted. It turns out that those stories lose a little bit of their power every time you drag them out into the open…every time you give someone the opportunity to validate how awful it was and let them lift a bit of that burden off your shoulders.

I think it’s important to remember that no one of us is free of the emotional turmoil that comes gratis2 on this journey. No one of us has all the answers. No one of us has always handled everything perfectly. We are all the perfectly imperfect parents of some amazing kids. Whatever we do, whatever struggles we power through, whatever obstacles we seem to leap over in a single bound…is for these kids we love with every fiber of our beings.

We are all members of an exclusive sorority. A sorority of fear, grief, guilt, failure (both big and small), success (this only comes in epicly huge with our kids), joy, gratitude, awe, inspiration and love. I so needed to be here for this…

Cwap, that got way deeper than I intended.

Oh, look…I DO have a picture of one of the gorgeous mountains surrounding us!

I took a snowball to the back of the skull for this one, you’re welcome.

  1. And how freaking ironic would it be for us to “get away from it all” only to still find ourselves cleaning up an accident??? []
  2. Gee, thanks for that freebie! []