Friday, June 25, 2010

Steel Magnolias

I'm watching this movie, which I love and hadn't watched in...well, years. It's still near the beginning, just after when Shelby (Julia Roberst) starts to have insulin shock at the beauty parlor. While I have always cried at various parts in this movie, this is the first tiem I was moved to tears by this scene, specifically by Sally Fields' character, Shelby's mother, M'Lynn. (I'm not sure if I spelled the name right, but anyway.)


When people talk about this movie, I've never heard them talk about Shelby as having grown up as a special needs child, with the obviously serious Type I diabetes. Her diabetes is so serious, the doctor has told her that pregnancy would endanger her health, a fact that is later proven to be true, when Shelby's kidneys fail after she has her son.

M'Lynn, as shown in this scene, obviously has spent Shelby's life being the pointman when it comes to her daughter's health. When Dolly Parton's character first realizes that Shelby is having a problem, she immediately calls for M'Lynn, who comes over to Shelby and begins to talk her through the episode, while their friends get orange juice and candy. In this dialogue between the two, you can see the long history they have- Shelby with her health issues, and fighting so desparately to be normal, and M'Lynn leading the charge in that fight.

It's very interesting- most people who look at Frank would never realize he's a special needs child, and, indeed, as compared to a lot of kids with SPD, he's really quite well off. The movie has made me think- how many kids do we see every day while out and about look "normal", but really have special needs?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Still got...something!

He still has the stomach virus, or whatever this is. Today is Tuesday. Thursday will be two weeks. The doctor told me when I brought him last week that if he was not better by this Wednesday, to bring him back in. Guess what we're doing tomorrow morning.

He tracked poop all over his bedroom this evening.

I sure hope I laugh about this one day, because I am nowhere near laughing about this now.

Monday, June 21, 2010


That'd be d for dentist.

The good news is, he has no cavities. The bad news is, he sobbed and screamed throughout the entire thing. "Please stop! Please don't do that! Please stop!!!" It broke my heart having to lie there in the chair, with him on top of me, and hold him down, with my left arm across his chest and my right hand clamped down on his forehead. I'm amazed I didn't cry, to be honest.

He had some iron deposits along the front of his front bottom teeth, so she had to use the scraper thingie. His screams during this part were bloodcurdling. I can't really blame him- I hate that part, too!

I really wish these things were easier for him. I wish I could make it all better.

By the time I got him to daycare, he was pretty much okay, though, and ready to show off the prizes and stickers he got at the dentist's office. I guess it's good he seems to be pretty resilient in that regard- once the sensory assault is over, he usually snaps back to normal pretty easily.

He was pleased to hear we wouldn't have to do this again until after Christmas, "After Santa comes and brings me presents. That's a long time away, isn't it, Mommy?"

Saturday, June 19, 2010


I work in a high school. Last night was Graduation. The graduates sit on the stage, in rows, girls on one side and boys on the other. When we interpret for Graduation, we need six people, always- two in front, for the audience, and two on the girls' side, facing the graduates, and two on the boys' side, also facing the graduates. Last night, I was backstage, on the boys' side, with coworker P. One deaf boy who graduted, J, I have known since he was about five years old. I interpreted for him at church and Sunday School for many years. His dad does contracting work for us sometimes, too.

So, at practice yesterday morning, J told me, I thought, that he wanted "an interpreter" to stand near the principal when they were awarding diplomas- he wanted the interpreter to let him and the other boys know when their names were said, so they would know when to start walking. I told him, "Okay, when Mrs P and I get here tonight, we'll figure out who's doing what, and it'll be taken care of."

"No," J said. "I want you to do it. You interpreted church, my baptism, confirmation, everything all those years, I've known you since I was five, I want you to do it."

I was a bit taken aback. J typically is not what you'd call a sentimental kid. He's a nice kid, to be sure, but he has Some Issues that I won't go into here, and high school for him has, on more than one occasion, been a rough road. But I was very touched, and told him, "Okay, I'll do it."

And I did. And it went well, the whole ceremony...even though this class (hearing and deaf) is, overall, kind of rowdy, so much so that for the first time in my memory, the principal assigned staff members to sit backstage to keep an eye on them. I've grown fond of some of the hearing kids, too, as always happens, and made sure to wish them luck and all that as well.

I made sure that J's parents took a picture of me with him after Graduation was all done. They promised they'd email it to me. I'm going to miss that kid.

Monday, June 14, 2010


Frank has an appointment with his dentist next week. I am already dreading it. I am not the calmest dental patient you will ever meet, and bringing him to the dentist was worse when I brought him for the first time last November, because I had to pretend to be calm and happy. (At least with my dentist, I can let the fear fly!)

Oh, Lord, please let him not have any cavities. If he does, he is going to need to be sedated for the fillings, because I do not think I have enough physical and emotional strength to hold him down while they shoot Novacain into him and then drill his tooth.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Walk to Defeat ALS

My coworker, P, and I walked today in Saddle Brook County Park. It was sketchy at first as to whether we'd even walk today, because there were predictions for thunderstorms all weekend. Like always, though, the weathermen were wrong- it was hot, and cloudy, and muggy, but no storms.

Together P and I raised $790. Nowhere near last year's high of roughly $1300, but it was still a pretty good amount. We did well on the walk, too- we walked the 5K in under an hour, and were one of the first groups to finish.

While we were eating and chatting with some other groups, a little girl wandered around our table. When I say little, I mean that- she was probably about 14 or 15 months old, old enough to walk, but not old enough to talk. P and I looked around and asked her where her mommy was. She looked around, chewed on the cookie she was carrying, and looked around again. P said, "You keep an eye on her- I'll get a cop." The little girl chose that moment to wander towards the swings, so I followed her.

She poked at the swings and I asked her again, "Where's your mommy? Show me your mommy." She looked around, and this time began to give me what we in my family call "boo-boo lip"- you know, when the lower lip starts quivering, just before they start crying? So I picked her up and started to the walk and jiggle- bounced her up and down on my hip while crooning, "It'll be okay, we'll find mommy." It was at this moment that P came back with the cop. The little girl burst into tears as he came close- he didn't seem at all surprised and told me, "It's the uniform- you keep holding her and follow me." So I did.

He walked all over the playground area, with me right behind him, asking different groups if they knew who she was. No one did for several minutes, and then a woman who looked to be about 50 said, "Oh, my God!" She came running over to us, and the little girl, who was crying by that point, reached her arms out to the woman. The woman babbled to the cop, "She was with her mom, they were over by the face-painting, oh my God!" The girl definitely knew her- as I said, she reached out to her, and stopped crying immediately as the woman took her- so I had no problem handing her over to her. The cop and the woman thanked me and P for our help, and he stayed to ask her some questions.

I really try not to judge people...but, okay, I will. I mean, when I am out anywhere in public with Frank, I am a lunatic. When I lose sight of him for two seconds on a playground, I immediately begin to freak out. When we go to Target, or the Library, he has to hold my hand or hold onto the shopping cart; when he was younger, he was in a stroller or the shopping cart.

Based on where the face painting was, as compared to where the playground was, the girl had to have wandered by herself for several minutes. There was a PA system set up- if a mother was looking for her child, we would have heard an announcement. How do you not keep track of a child that tiny in such a huge crowd for long enough for the kid to wander off that far??

I think the whole thing disturbed me so much (I mean, anyone could have picked that girl up and wandered off with her in that crowd) because she had such beautiful blue eyes, exactly like Niece #3, Little Brother's daughter. I keep picturing N#3 in that kind of situation.

In other news, Frank peed in the potty enough, and earned enough stickers on his chart, to win one of his Big Prizes this evening. He picked a Cars...thing. Some assembly required. Ugh. He still hasn't pooed in a potty yet, and now I hear he's giving them a hard time about sitting on the potty at school again. *sigh*

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Buzz cut!

We went for a haircut today. Haircuts for Frank consist of advanced warnings, beginning two days in advance: "Wednesday after school, we are going to get a haircut."

"But I don't like haircuts!"

"I know, but it needs to be done."

I decided that, it being hot, and because the poor child sadly has inherited my thin, fine hair, which makes it impossible to keep neat-looking, he was going to get a buzz cut. *waits for the groans from all the other SPD mommies* Yes, kids, he was going to get a cut that would require use of the electric trimmer for the entire haircut.

Frank, as noted above, does not like haircuts. He cringes when the stylist uses the electric trimmer (the buzzer, he calls it) to do his sideburns. (He has gotten pretty good with the scissors portion of the program, though- he sits there with a suffering in silence look on his face the whole time, but he no longer sobs hysterically through the whole thing like he used to.)

So, we got to the place we like to go. They are a children's haircut place, a chain, and they're walk-in. Sometimes we can go right in, and sometimes it's an hour wait. I prefer about 20 minutes or so- it's enough time for Frank to get himself accilmated to the sounds, smells, etc of the place, but not so long that he starts getting squirrely. When we got there today, they informed me it'd be about 15 minutes. Awesome. Cars was on the flatscreen, so all was right with the world. He sat on my lap, watched the movie, and I did squeezes on his body, head, and scratched his head a lot.

30 minutes later (yes, he was in fact getting squirrely. Lovely.) we got ushered in. The stylist has done his hair several times before, so she's somewhat familiar with his issues. She also speaks with a very sptrong Spanish accent, so when she talks to him, he always looks at me for translation. I told her that today I wanted a buzz cut, and pointed out another kid who was just leaving. "Buzzed, but not too short- like that kid."

Frank immediately piped up with something that had been on his mind for the last day or so, since I'd told him he'd be getting a buzz cut: "I don't want it to look like Daddy's!" The stylist has never met my husband, so she looked at me. "My husband has no hair," I told her. She stifled a laugh and said, "Okay, honey, it won't look like Daddy's. Promise!"

He did GREAT! I mean, he cringed a lot, and looked at one point like he was maybe getting a little teary-eyed, but my little man soldiered on and got himself through it with flying colors. The stylist gave him a couple of handheld toys to play with, and she played the dumb little movie on the screen by her station they always play for the kids during a haircut, and he made a huge effort to focus on the movie and the toys. I was really proud of him, and told him so. He's not crazy about the haircut, and told me that. I smiled and said, "I really like it, but if you still don't like it by the time we come here next time, you won't get it cut this short again."

As we always do, we walked to Target afterwards and I let him pick a small prize out. He picked out this obnoxious Cars Chick Hicks thing that makes a lot of noise, and is very repetitive. He loves it. I already want to throw it in the backyard- maybe it'll keep the bears away! (For a kid for whom loud sudden noises can be upsetting sometimes, he sure does like the noisiest, most obnoxious toys!)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

I am not ready for this.

Okay, he's three.

And today he asked me, on the way into daycare, "So, Mommy, how did the baby get into Aunt M's tummy?" (Aunt M is my brother's wife. She's pregnant. I told Frank last week.)

I said "after hemming and hawing for a few seconds, "We'll talk about it after school, honey. It's a little too complicated to talk about now." He cheerfully accepted that, buying me some time. (I also prayed he'd actually forget he asked the question.)

When I got to school, I asked a whole bunch of coworkers, experienced parents all, what exactly you tell a three-year-old who asks that question. Consensus overwhelmingly went with, "God did it."

So, when I picked him up after school, and he remembered to ask again, I was ready. "God put the baby there, honey," I told him. Much to my surprise, he actually accepted that without asking anymore questions. Bullet dodged for today!

Next time he asks the Question, though, my answer is going to be, "Go ask Daddy."