29 July 2009

Peanutish Report

Greta's just heard this update so she can go to sleep. The rest of you need to pay so much attention to what I'm about to say that you cannot even go to the bathroom first. NO BLADDER RELIEF FOR YOU.

OK, so as I said in the comments of the last one, Peanut's hearing is just fine according to the hearing chick, or at least he's hearing well enough that nothing should be barring him from hearing well enough to speak. Fine. We kinda figured that since he responds to us and all. We also know from three different evalutations that he's not autistic--not even close. This kid is about as socially engaging as you can possibly get. And given that I keep him locked in our basement with no contact with the outside world, that's pretty incredible. Conclusion: I'm an awesome parent, even when I'm trying to be the opposite. See there CPS investigators? No need for intervention!

However, there is still a distinct problem. He was evaluated by a pediatric speech therapist yesterday as I threatened you all that he would be. First, the good news. He excels in several areas of development. One or two he's completely maxed out on progress-wise, as in no child can do any better than that. In the area of gesturing to get what he wants, he's on par with a 2 1/2 year old child. And in the area of playing (how well he interacts with other children, his level of play, etc.) he's up there with kids who are nearly three years old. But there's a downside and that is this: the reason he's so advanced in all these areas is because he has to compensate for his lack of communication in the verbal region. The worst news is he's on par, verbally, with a child who is about nine months old. As a kid who is actually 21 months old, that's considerably behind the curve. He makes different sounds, but his favorite is a strange buzzing sound (like "thzzzzzthzzzz") he makes when he points at things. The therapist told him he sounds like a little bumble bee, which made me laugh out loud because she hit it right on the head. The Husband laughed too, and now that's what we tell everyone. Cracks us up. Anyway. So we accepted that he definitely needs intervention and they said he qualifies for the infants and toddlers program in our county, blah blah blah. Fantastic.

And then I talked to his assigned allergy specialist today. We went over the foods he's passed and those he's failed and what he has permission to try for next and all that. As we were about to hang up I asked her why all the speech people keep asking me how he's eating/chewing and if there's a correlation between the two. She said absolutely there's a correlation and if he can't chew/swallow well, he's that much more likely to have a speech delay. Well what do you know about that? Apparently the same way your mouth moves to properly chew food is the same way your mouth moves to properly form words. And the fact that Peanut is in the 6-9 month age range for speaking should have come to no surprise since he is at that level for food progression as well. I hope your mind just exploded. Because mine sure did!

See, when he was 15 months old he went to see the Uber Allergist Specialist which he sees once a year. He's the Big Cheese of Pediatric Allergy there at Johns Hopkins. We love him with the intensity of a billion suns. He's the fellow that you're not allowed to speak to on the phone but you're allowed to speak to many of his underling doctors who are assigned to you at any given time who is your intercessory with Big Cheese--much like the purpose of Catholic patron saints. Anyway, at the time he said that about half of the kids in Peanut's boat suddently click with the chewing thing between 18 and 24 months and half of them don't. Of the half that don't, they require occupational therapy to teach them how to chew and swallow properly. Seems strange that kids would need that at all, but as we've learned very young children with food allergies are terrified of food on several levels and resist any progress with eating and exploring with new foods, textures, consistencies, flavors, and anything else you can invent food-wise. So they need to be taught by specialists how to overcome their paranoias and do it correctly so they can move on to normal foods and beyond formulas and jarred baby food, which is all that Peanut trusts at this point.

I was resisting this therapy idea for some time, thinking that if he could just get enough different solid "snack" types of foods to try that it would click for him and we wouldn't need the hassle. That's apparently not to be. So we will try to get him into a very good program here that teaches kids his age to eat and, surprise surprise, these same people also teach them to speak at the same time. Seriously, who would have ever thought of this?? I am absolutely amazed that his speaking was related to his issues with allergies all this time.

And YOU thought I was just a bad mother. Stick it, jerks!!

P.S. Happy Birthday BStephanie! You're old!

27 July 2009

I Regret to Inform You....

Regrets. I've got 'em. The first regret I have is that I've apparently been lacking in my entertain-the-masses duties, according to all of two people. I haven't posted much of anything this month, and not because I've been having an amazing, exciting summer, but exactly the opposite. Every day is much like the others, so there's nothing new to report other than I'm alive. And you can just go ahead and assume that anyway, barring any large news stories contrary to that assumption. (Reminds me of what my dad always says when we wish him a safe flight home: "If I don't, you'll hear about it on the news!") So really, you haven't been missing much. But apparently I have. Hence the lack of writing.

Regret #2: that I'm not in the hospital at this point. I was telling Lovely Lisa the other day that I feel genuinely awful that I'm not at least on bed rest by now, and hospitalized at the most. I've been threatening/been threatened with horrible news this entire pregnancy, only to have it pan out that I'm still merrily chugging along at nearly 34 weeks. This is not to say there are no more concerns, but so far none of them have forced me into desperate circumstances. Or at least none beyond guilting my loving friends into helping me out when apparently there was no need to help me at all. I can only blame one set of people for this paradox: My Loving Friends. Yes YOU all are to blame for this and let me tell you why. You have all admitted to sending good thoughts and prayers in my direction for months. How many times have you been warned to be careful what you pray for, huh?!? God is listening! What, do you think this is some kind of joke or something?? My goodness folks, if you expect me to wind up medically incapacited at some point it would really help if you didn't pray for the opposite effect. And on top of that, you actually volunteered to take my irritating child when I asked you to, which has significantly lowered my blood pressures all around! So on top of praying to the one person who can actually perform miracles in this department, you also did all you could to help me physically. I just don't know what to say to that except that my still being in tact and running on full steam here is all your doing. I just hope you're all sufficiently happy now.

And finally, regret #3: not speaking to my son directly since the day he was born. Supposedly speaking to him results in his speaking back to me or some such voodoo like that. But since I don't talk to anyone on earth if I don't have to, let alone my adorably annoying children, my kids don't hear "words and phrases" or "communication in any form." This has led to Peanut's inability to speak on command. At 21 months he should be saying at the very least six words, and by two years should be speaking in two-word phrases. Pfffttttppppphahahahahaha! Oh my, but he is no where close to that. Now, PW wasn't a quick, early talker herself (again with the not talking to her either), but extended family came through and talked to her instead and now you couldn't pay her to shut up (I know this for a fact from sorry experience). Peanut has not had the travelling advantages that PW had early in her life and he is paying for it now. So today he has a hearing test to make sure he's hearing us correctly, which I'm assuming he is, and tomorrow he's being evaluated by speech therapists to make sure he doesn't require professional intervention (which I'm guessing they'll say he does, regardless of whether or not he actually does require it because that's simply what they do). His pediatrician, Dr. Smart-alec, isn't overly concerned as he himself didn't say a word until he was three and he seems to speak OK now and all, but ever since the incident he and his overwhelming guilt will never allow him to take things in stride with Peanut ever again. Hey, whatever does the trick.

And FINALLY finally, Regret the Fourth is admitting to you jerks on facebook that I have occasional bouts of stupidity in my head that I typically keep to myself as a form of natural deception in an attempt to convince you I'm a genius. I regret this because according to two of you bastards, I'm not good at keeping those thoughts to myself at all. In fact, according to one of you, that's exactly what my blog is for. My blog (this one right here) is full of nothing but idiotic ramblings having no purpose here on earth except to expose my vast lack of intelligence on any scale. Did I mention I hold grudges? And that I gave you ample opportunities to take back what you suggested, which neither of you cared to do? I just thought I should remind you two of that. Every single time I speak to you from now on. You know, because we're friends and all.

15 July 2009

My Kid Is More Talented Than Your Kid

Now, I don't normally brag about my kids on my blog. Mostly because it isn't funny at all. I mean, come on. "My kid is better than your kid at something and allow me to prove it here! Are you laughing yet?" No. However, I will at this time point out that my child is better than your child at something. No, she can't speak in grammatically correct sentences in our language or any other language, nor is she terribly polite when she's angry ("OK, Your Highness...." Why does my child have to be just. like. me?).

However, one thing she's always excelled at was drawing. This kid can draw some pretty amazing things. She can draw the hell out of any character on SpongeBob, as well she should given the number of episodes she sees in a week (Me: "Oh look, it must be another SpongeBob marithon." Husband: "Isn't every day a SpongeBob marathon?"). But this kid also has creativity coming out of every orafice. No kidding. She has actually come to the point in her artistic progression where she is equal to me (not that that's saying much, but I AM in my 30s remember) in artistic talent. The first picture she ever drew that actually looked exactly like it was supposed to look was of a bunch of balloons. She was two. I was thrilled. And she's excelled at an impressive rate since that time.

She can usually draw more complicated characters than this so that in and of itself was not impressive so much here, but what shocked the Husband and I about the following drawing on her favorite medium, the ProDoodle, was how obvious the intent of her expression was. I mean, it's as plain as day to us. Tell me if it's as obvious to you what this is a picture of:

It's a damn fencing match. A fencing match! It even has a sign. And check out the masks and foils, let alone the stances. Where on earth does she get this stuff anyway?

08 July 2009

A Fool In Love

Hey, remember that writing contest where everyone submitted stories to be included in the NieNie Fund book? I sent in a handful of stories at the time, nearly all of which came directly from this blog. I could only manage to come up with one previously unread story. It wasn't the one that got picked, obviously. Possibly because it was depressing and pathetic. I don't know. Anyway, I figured I'd finally stick it on the old blog. Again, for posterity's sake. Man, posterity is SO fricking lucky!


A few friends and I were talking the other day. I wondered aloud how some people managed to get married in this world, what with them being complete freaks and all. Then I continued by noting that I'm positive many, if not all, of the people I've met have wondered the very same about myself, calling my husband's selection criteria into serious question.

It should come as quite a shock then to learn that no fewer than five men/boys/weirdoes have sought my hand, some with more aggressiveness than others. I think the most aggressive of the group had to be Crazy Italian Boyfriend. I will call him Guido. I met Guido at work and my-oh-my was he crazy. However, I didn't know this until later. On our first date his incomprehensible ranting was endearing--after all, I assumed he was showing his Crazy because he was perhaps a bit nervous on our first date together. And our second date. And our third date. It was on that third date that I came to the conclusion that his insanity was not a nervous mental tick, but rather his normal state of mind. It hit me right about the time we finished watching a movie and he turned to me and announced that he was going to marry me but we had to do it right away so we should go ring shopping as soon as possible. Overwhelmed by his romantic gesture, I swooned, "Excuse me?" To which he insisted this was the prescribed course of action, after which he gave me a rundown of his savings account and how much of a ring he could afford. "Must...escape...Nutty...McStraightjacket...." I whispered to my terrified myself.

It's here that I would like to abandon my Christian principles and pick the man apart. First of all, I dated him for his sexy uniform. He was a cop, complete with badge and gun and everything (more on that later). I will also admit that I found him more than attractive even in civilian clothing, let alone in the uniform (the rippling pectorals didn't hurt, either). He was genuinely kind to me--at first--and I found his Brooklyn accent amusing as well. A few conversations at work with him (he stopped me in the hall each time to talk to me, which was intensely flattering) and I was taken. Sure, he talked about odd things, but who doesn't have strange thoughts, right? So I decided to date him. And kissing him was fun, too (yes, I was a kissing slut. Shut up.).

When the real Crazy started to come out I learned that he was not the funny or entertaining kind of crazy, but rather the fricking scary kind of crazy. He would drop off photos to be developed at the drug store and use an alias. He never put down his address or his real phone number. When we decided to meet at a Metro subway stop to go into D.C. on a date, he pretended to be talking on a pay phone until I arrived so no one would know he was waiting for someone. He never sat with his back to the door. You know, stuff like that. Then he'd brag about the neighbors he'd spied on as a strange sort of father-son bonding activity he and his dad used to do when he was young. He suddenly decided he desperately wanted to work for the CIA, and he filled out their application in a second-grader's scrawl in pencil (he surely could have done no worse if he'd filled it out in crayon). I imagine his being thrown out of the Navy after only a few months in (for what he claimed was a problem with authority, but which later came out to be for psychological issues, like...wait for it...delusions of grandeur--the real kind) probably did not help his chances either (thankfully, they never called).

Guido used to regale me with his brilliant thoughts, all of which he repeatedly insisted were completely original, despite my having learned some of the very same concepts in my college Freshman entry-level classes (which he never believed). And he proudly invented inventions, brushing away my comments that they already existed. When I told my father about the insanity I had immersed myself in, he exclaimed, "You know, one day you're going to be watching the news and you'll see this guy on the steps of city hall, ranting and raving, wrapped in a Nazi flag, and you'll say, 'Hey! I used to date that guy!'" Indeed.

Why didn't I drop him sooner? The gun that he carried everywhere whether he was in uniform or not. Angering/surprising an armed, insane police officer is not my idea of bright. And frankly, I loved living at that time and did not wish to stop. So I kept dating him, putting off his matrimonial advances, and trying to gradually distance myself until perhaps he tired of me. I intentionally made comments that I knew he strenuously disagreed with. My favorite response came after I suggested that if a wife made more money than her husband she should go to work and he should stay home and raise the children. He FLIPPED OUT. Did I mention he disapproved of the fact that I had a job at all, saying that I was the cause of the decline of society? I asked sarcastically if I should be still sitting in my parents' house, waiting for a banker to knock on my door and propose marriage to me. He said yes. And he was very, very serious. Again, with the Crazy. So suggesting that a wife should be the breadwinner I think finally did the lad in and he never pushed the marriage issue after that. However, he still wouldn't leave me.

I had been looking for a good enough excuse to dump him--an excuse so obvious that even he would see the value in it--and I found it at Thanksgiving. A kind couple in his church congregation had invited him to their Thanksgiving feast and he invited me to go with him. He lived a good 45 minutes from me and traffic was terrible. I arrived at his place 15 minutes late. He had already left. No note. No directions to the couple's home. No nothing. I was angry, to say the least. I called his cell phone from a payphone nearby and he was already having dinner. He said I was late so why should he wait for me? I gave him my one good fricking reason, which he had apparently not thought about prior to my pointing it out to him. I hung up on him and drove home. I spent Thanksgiving in my apartment, alone. I was thrilled and relieved.

The following Monday after work I knew I would run into him on my way out the door. I asked my boss to walk with me, which he didn't mind at all. My boss was somewhat wide, and I figured if shots rang out I could use his body as a shield. I saw Guido standing near the exit, waiting for me. He asked if he could talk to me and I told him no. He asked again as I walked past, again telling him he could not, nor could he at any point in the future. I kept walking and lived to tell the tale. He emailed me a few times afterwards, which only set my blood pressure spiking, and he eventually stopped after my many angry responses pointing out his raving lunacy to him. He married some poor, young, unsuspecting thing, despite her mother's pleas to reconsider. And then he got fired for spying on his coworkers--something he found perplexing since he was positive that they were terrorists. "Stupid laws!" he complained. So. Very. Comforting.

Is there a moral to this story? But one: clearly, I am entirely and completely irresistible. And you can take that to the bank/asylum.