Team Stimey and the Plague

You will be happy to hear that my tooth is better and the hydrogen peroxide not only didn’t poison me, but it didn’t taste bad like I was afraid it would. I figure that I’ll start brushing my teeth again in a week or two.

I’m not done with the talk of woe, however. The dog has been gurgling of late. Have I told you this? She’ll be across the room and her stomach will gurgle as if she were a zen fountain sitting right next to you. Only there is nothing calming about it.

I took her to the vet, who prescribed some Pepcid and did bloodwork, which naturally came back with a completely different and far more potentially dangerous problem. Her kidneys were already not doing awesome, and now she evidently has some sort of liver issue. We put her on this bright turquoise pill that she has to take every day to see if it helps.

I figure that the next time she goes into the vet for something mundane like a vaccine, she’ll come out with a spleenectomy.

Then Quinn barfed all over existence on Friday. Really. Everywhere.

I’m hopeful that the contagion has moved through all of Team Stimey and is now firmly ensconced in the family of one of Quinn’s classmates, leaving us safe and healthy.

The thing I can’t quite figure out, however, is why we always get sick at the same time as the dog. It just doesn’t make any sense.

The Day My Dentist Told Me To Stop Brushing

A few days ago, I noticed that the gumline of one of my teeth hurt. Being me, I ignored it for a couple days and hoped that it just, you know, went away. Sometimes wishing does that. Sadly, not this time. I finally decided to look at it.

Mistake.

The gum was kind of receded a little bit and it didn’t look healthy at all.

Here’s a photo I took of it today.

Why didn’t anyone tell me I have GIANT teeth?

I know. You were worried that it was going to be a horrifying close up, didn’t you? I took that photograph too, but decided to not inflict it on you.

You know how sometimes your gums get a little sore and maybe they bleed a little bit, so you brush the hell out of them and then they get better? Or am I the only one with a diseased mouth? Anywho, I decided to super-brush that gum area and through the power of frantic brushing and sheer willpower, THE GUM WOULD HEAL.

Like tough love for the gushy parts of your mouth.

It wasn’t getting better and it started hurting more, so finally I decided that the tooth probably wouldn’t automatically fall out if I shared my situation with someone. I bared my teeth at Alex this morning and he said, “Yeesh. You should go to the dentist.”

So I did. And the dentist says that it is likely a virus that she has been seeing a lot of this winter and that it could go one of two ways: (1) I leave it alone and it gets better, or (2) the infection is just starting and in three days, ALL of my teeth will be inflamed and painful.

Naturally, I’m hoping for the second option.

Then the dentist said that my gums hadn’t been getting better because of all the vigorous brushing and that I should stop brushing immediately. It was like I was in bizarro world. Then she told me to swish with hydrogen peroxide twice a day and I nodded, promised not to brush or floss, and left.

Then I started thinking about the hydrogen peroxide and how, huh, I think that might just be poisonous. I asked Siri if it would kill me and she was all, “I don’t know; do you want me to search the web for that?” and I was all, “HOW IS THIS INFORMATION NOT PROGRAMMED INTO YOUR ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE?!” Then I started mulling it over and I’ve come to the conclusion…I think my dentist is trying to kill me.

I’m so desperately afraid at this point however, that I’ve brushed my teeth to the point of their falling out, so I’ll do anything and I went ahead and swished with the hydrogen peroxide today. I did read the back of the bottle and it said something about being an “oral debriding agent,” which I think means that it won’t poison me. It made my lips kinda tingly though.

Cross your fingers for me for three things: (1) my tooth heals, (2) the hydrogen peroxide isn’t toxic, and (3) I don’t decide to post the close up of my diseased gum. (That last one is for you.)

Tiger Is the New Black Duck*

Do you remember the Duck Head? If you don’t remember the Duck Head, you should click this link so you can see the Duck Head.Well, we might have a new contender.

* If you are looking at this in a reader, you aren’t seeing the HTML coding in the title that makes it so goddamn clever. Instead it looks wildly confusing. Trust me. It’s clever.

*****

In a completely unrelated matter, can you let me know if you’ve left comments that haven’t appeared? I’m afraid that my comment system is eating them. But then again, if you comment to tell me that the internet is eating your comments, then that comment might get eaten and it’s a whole damn vicious cycle.

The Ague

Team Stimey is down for the count. The ague has found us again and is making an effort to sweep through our family. I spent two hours this morning on the couch, unable to even contemplate that before too long I was going to have to stumble upstairs to hide from the cleaning people.

I managed to cancel all my appointments, including one at the vet for the dog, which is a little sad, because her stomach audibly gurgled for several hours yesterday, making me think that she might have the ague as well.

I also managed to send a tweet, just in case of, you know, the WORST, so you could know what happened to me.

Day 3: Abrade skin from hands by washing them every four minutes.

I was happily napping at noonish, having dragged my feeling slightly better self upstairs when the phone rang. It was the school. Images of my children flashed through my head. Jack was sick over the weekend; it’s probably him. Sam was sniffly this morning; I wonder if he got worse? Quinn complained of being dizzy this morning; perhaps he has the vertigo.

Turns out it was Quinn, whom I went and picked up, but who didn’t seem to be sick at all. I think his Team Stimeyness just made him regurgitate some of his lunch, making it seem to the casual observer that he was actually sick.

Regardless, I brought him home and he did his whole week’s worth of math homework in 15 minutes, and then he happily read Calvin and Hobbes.

Emphasis on “happily.”

Oh, and chatting. Don’t forget “happily chatting.”

Thanks for wrecking my hopes of napping the day away, Quinn.

Then I ended up bribing him with cookies, turning on the TV, and taking a nap anyway.

All of this is to say that between sickness, napping, auditioning for the DC version of Listen to Your Mother, hiding from the cleaning people, and being the mother of the subject of a photo story on autism being photographed by the most adorable (and truly thoughtful and creative) art student known to humankind (more on that later), if you have (a) emailed me or (b) required something from me, I probably haven’t (a) responded or (b) done it.

I hope to rejoin the world shortly.

I did, at some point manage to write a couple of things elsewhere. First, I wrote about which one of my kids is my favorite over at White Knuckle Parenting. (You should guess before you head over there. Then come back and tell me if you were right.) Then, I wrote about this cool new(ish) social media-type thingy called Squag over at Autism Unexpected.

Jack’s Measurable Social Progress Day

I have been struggling a little bit with what to write here lately. I currently have all kinds of angst over…lots of stuff. I miss Susan. Jack is struggling mightily. There are commitments I am torn about keeping or dropping. Things aren’t super awesome.

I keep writing and deleting, writing and deleting, which is an extremely frustrating experience, and one which ultimately results in my writing nothing.

But I’m going to put all that aside for a minute to tell you about Valentine’s Day. Yes, I know I’m late, that all of the half price post-Valentine’s Day chocolate has already been purchased and consumed, but I have some things to say.

Two years ago at Jack’s school Valentine’s Day party, I realized that he didn’t know the names of any of his classmates. I realized that his not knowing this super basic information about his peers was indicative of his lack of real inclusion in his classroom. It knocked me down hard. Ever since, I’ve been very watchful during Valentine’s Day parties to see how he does. I consider the day to be Jack’s Measurable Social Progress Day.

That soldier in the upper left? Jack saluted him for, like, five minutes.

This year during card passing out time, I didn’t help Jack at first. He took a valentine and wandered around looking for the desk of the girl to whom it was addressed. Most of the other kids had passed out half of their cards by the time I finally stepped in and helped him find her desk.

At that point, I realized that he needed help. So I handed him the valentines one at a time and let him search for the kid, but only helped him if he was obviously clueless about who the child was. Jack did really well. It helped that once we were two or three cards in, most of the other kids were done and sitting at their desks so they were easier to find.

He didn’t know everyone’s names, but he knew a lot of them, and the kids were all lovely to Jack. Jack had even written some extra stuff to a couple of the kids on their cards. It’s cool to see him starting to be interested in his classmates.

Part of the jumble of angst I am feeling is stress about Jack’s educational placement and whether he is in the right place. So it is lovely to see that even if he’s having a really tough time (and he is) and even if the social gulf between him and his peers is widening (and it is) that he is able to be part of the class.

Jack also made valentines for all of our pets and set about distributing them after school. I still haven’t found the one he gave to our remaining (child hating) cat, but he didn’t have bleeding scratches when he came back from giving it to her, so I’m not too concerned.

The two remaining mice (geez, our house is kind of depressing these days) were out and about and no doubt enjoyed their valentines tremendously.

“Oh, Jack! But I didn’t get you anything!”

The dog was less excited to get her valentine.

It says “WOOF!”

Then Cassidy reciprocated Jack’s love by giving him a big ol’ sloppy kiss. I really enjoyed watching that.

Jack enjoyed it less.

Oh, right, and I let the rest of my family know that I love them too. (By the way, don’t do your Valentine’s Day shopping at Target ON Valentine’s Day after your family gives you a lovely heart-shaped locket engraved multiple times with the word “Love.” The pink sections of the store were long since picked clean.)

Now all I need is someone to tell me how to get a tiny photograph of all three of my children into a heart-shaped locket. It’s harder than it sounds. I hope you all had a happy Jack’s Measurable Social Progress Day too!

Outrageousness

In the field of outrageous claims by small people, the other day when I was driving Jack to school, he stated with total conviction, “I invented autism.”

So there you have it.

Feel free to send all your complaints and kudos to him.

*****

In the field of outrageously poor parenting by yours truly, please head over to White Knuckle Parenting today, where I wrote about My Worst Parenting Choice Ever. Seriously. It’s a good one. Zombies may or may not be involved.

Score One For Jack

Jack kicked the shit out of a social event yesterday. A couple of local high school hockey teams had a game that they made into a fundraiser for the super awesome Montgomery Cheetahs and we were all invited to hang out, eat pizza, and watch.

(Related: Remind me to tell you sometime about the super awesome Skate-a-thon fundraiser we’re having on May 12, which just happens to be Jack’s birthday. You are ALL invited—nay, EXPECTED—to attend. Mark your calendars now.)

Anywho. This game was at a skating arena, which seems obvious now that I’ve written that out, and the Cheetahs had the party room in which to hide from the crowds of hockey spectators. It was kinda like we were in the owners box. It rocked.

Usually at these types of events, which are crazy overstimulating and stressful for all of Team Stimey, Jack ends up madly spinning until I shove an iPad in his hands and force him to sit under a table or something. Meanwhile, Sam and Quinn find people to act insane with and run around until I lose it and start shouting.

It can be stressful. Add to that the fact that I want Jack to bond with his teammates, but don’t see it happening. Last year, at the hockey tournament we went to, I’m not entirely sure that Jack spoke to one other kid.

Well. Times are changing. That photo up there? I had to crop it that way so as to not include the other kids he was playing with—and because I wanted to show you that smile. It’s starting to click for him. He spent the evening talking to his best friend T, who also plays on the team, and playing tag with a gang of other kids. (He also spent some time confusing the teenager behind the counter at the snack bar, but that’s something else entirely.)

Last week, we were at a different event where there was another Cheetah in attendance. Jack didn’t recognize him, but once we told him that the kid was on the team, Jack worked really hard to talk to him and sit next to him. It was awesome.

THIS is what special hockey is about, people. Sure, it’s about the game and the pride and the exercise and the working together as a group and all, but this? This coming together as a team and feeling a connection with other kids because you’re part of the same group, the same thing? WANTING to play with other kids, who WANT to play back? Special motherfucking hockey people. That’s all I’m going to say.

I was so proud of Jack. Honestly, he could have given me lessons about how to manage a crowd. You know how sometimes you meet someone for the second time and you realize that you said just about the exact same things to them the second time around as the first, because apparently speaking to the other humans is too hard? Yeah, that. (Hi, Rachel!)

It’s taken me a while to realize that these overstimulating events don’t just affect my kids, they affect me too, rendering me sort of incapable of managing my children or holding up my end of a conversation without wild hand gesturing and furtive glances around the room on my part.

Sam and Quinn, my social butterflies, sort of sat this one out, which was weird because this is usually the exact type of situation in which they tend to run all over the place, making me freak out entirely. Instead, they sat on the ground and played chess on my iPad.

Nerds!!!!

Thank God for small favors.

Near the end of the evening, I was packing up our stuff when I noticed Jack was no longer in the room. I scooped up our stuff and herded Sam and Quinn out of the room and past a semi-frantic dad who had just located his child who had done the same thing Jack was in the process of doing, which was disappearing entirely.

We found Jack just as the game buzzer rang and people started bolting from the packed arena. At this point, I started shoving my kids out of the building in order to avoid parking lot gridlock. It turns out that Jack had picked a really opportune time to wander off close to the exit. Good on him.

I’m going to give Team Stimey a thumbs up for this outing. Jack may even get an extra fist bump. And the Cheetahs get my eternal love.