Figuring out what I wanna be when I grow up.
Oop..I AM grown up...

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Highschool For The Win

Last night I tried to find any kind of webpage that had tips for dealing with the stress of your kid transitioning off to highschool.  I'm REALLY good at googling stuff.  It could almost be my career...if they had a career for that.  Do they have a career for that?  I would like a career in that.  I tried to word it in all kinds of ways; "tips for stressed parents of kids going into highschool," "how to deal with the stress of your kid going to highschool," "parental anxiety when your child is starting highschool," etc, etc.  And you know what?  I couldn't find anything.  Every return showed all kinds of websites for how to help your teen make the transition, how to help your teen deal with the stress of going back to school, sites about kids starting school anxious and depressed, "9 ways to help your kid with back to school anxiety..."

What about me?

I know.  That sounds selfish.  It's my SON who's going into grade 9.  On the outside, I keep smiling. Saying things like; "I feel good about this!" and "I think highschool is really going to suit you!" and "you must have felt like you were too big for elementary school by the end anyway."  I tell him that he needs to have his own adventures.  I'm here for him.  Hey, anytime you need to talk about anything, or if you feel stressed, just let me know. I keep myself one step back.  Breezy.  Cool. Casual.


it's all flashing before me.  Nursery school when the instructor told me she "didn't know how I did it," meaning, how I coped with my high-functioning, at times volatile son.  I guess that was a compliment.  I guess it was like giving me a little Super Woman cape.  It hurt.  Or the time in nursery school when he came back after I'd started to give him Omega 3 supplements, and I was told "I don't know what you're doing but keep doing it!"  Another "compliment."  I guess.

Going to junior kindergarten.  Waiting for the bus which was ALWAYS LATE.  The bus that was always late that freaked my son out because schedules are important, yes, but they're of PARAMOUNT importance to a little boy with Autism.  We gave up on the bus.  I tucked my son and his baby sister into the double stroller I'd gotten cheap online, and I whizzed them up the road myself.

Will the highschool bus be on time?

The lady who was like an eccentric, kind, odd little bird who was my son's EA (educational assistant).  The one who helped him keep it together when life became overwhelming.

Then we moved and came to our present city and school.  Eight years of meetings about that "Individual Education Plan."  Eight years of gushing commentary about what a neat kid he is, what a character.  So witty.  The little kid who nearly vomited before school in grades 1 and 2 because the sound of the school bell was so horrifying to him.  The kid who a teacher gave a little toy bee to to hold onto a recess because he was-- and still is--completely FREAKED OUT by bees.  Fighting for him to continue to get extra help in grade three.  Each year he gets older, memories coming out of him like conversational anecdotes of all the times teachers said things to him that were really, really not all that patient, kind or remotely empathetic.  And then at graduation, he left that school having made zero friends.  Maybe he doesn't care.  He always said he was fine with it.   Not acknowledged during or at the end of elementary school for all the fucking effort it took just to sit there and be as unnoticeable as a shadow, as a whisper.  I know, because I was invited to class one day and I saw it. 

So now he's headed off to highschool.  This is a monumental change for him, and I know he hates it, but even the fact that he's keeping it together, and quietly sequestering himself off in his room, teenager style--that kills me too.

I decided a day or so ago to chill the fuck out.  I'm happy that he's okay.  I'm happy he can physically walk to his bus stop. I'm happy he's healthy. I'm happy he's here to go to highschool.  I'm happy. I'm happy. I'm happy.  I want him to have experiences.  I have so much hope.  I have fantasies of this bold, bossy girl I've invented in my head who tells him "Come on!" because they're going out of the school to buy a slice of pizza for lunch.  Or maybe there's another awkward guy and they become friends, even if it's hanging out in their room, barely chatting because they're each on their ipads.  You know--like that line from "The Breakfast Club:"

Anyway, I'm good during the day.  Well, maybe not "good," but better than at night that's for sure.  I have lots of up/down moments.  So much dread for the unknown.  I just don't want him to panic and totally forget those new combination lock skills.  I just want the bus to be on time. I just want those older teens who are part of his "link crew"--the ones who are supposed to help grade 9's find their way around the school--I just want them to be nice. I want him to make a friend.  Just one friend.  A dozen if possible, but I'll take one.  I want to not yell at him on that first morning when I walk to the bus stop with him if he's mouthy to me because he's nervous.  I want him to have a girlfriend one day.  I want him to find out he is so proficient at computers a post-highschool career will be in the bag.  I want him to not hate school anymore. I hope he realises how proud I am of him. 

And yeah, I wouldn't mind a website with "10 Tips On How To Deal When You're Teen Is About To Start Highschool."  Thanks, google, that would be great. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

But Seriously: Why I Gotta Be So Homely On Vacation?

Okay,  so I'm on vacation. I'm FINALLY enjoying myself .You would think it would be IMMEDIATE FUN but this is the kind of vacation for which I had to pack and organise for like 5 days in advance. You know; the kind of vacation where not even the TOILET PAPER is included. And it's not just that I have to pack every freaking thing I need, I have to pack stupid things I don't need but MIGHT need. And it's not just the packing,  it's like in those five days prior to leaving I have to make amends for WEEKS of slack housekeeping, all the while telling myself that I'm messy because I'm an INTELLECTUAL. Do you know how you say that,  btw? You have a gin in one hand that's ALWAYS tilted at a crazy angle, and you lean in too close to someone with your gentle, tired, hazy eyes and you say; "I can't be bothered having a tidy house. I'm an INTELLECT-CHOO-ELLE. The drink doesn't actually spill,  but it's all that guy will be able to look at. 

Anyway,  eventually by day 4 of all day packing , organising,  sudden, inspired scrubbing the SIDE of the oven,  waiting for the 40th load of laundry to come out on the dryer, it's THEN that you start to say stuff like; "you know what?  I'M not going next year. Unless EVERYONE PITCHES IN, I'M not interested anymore. I'm TOO OLD to do ALL THIS on my own."  Strangely enough,  this doesn't make my Autistic son MORE sympathetic , but actually LESS. 

So finally,  that day arrives when the van is loaded and it's time to go!  Yay! I DID IT!  I'm an AMAZING WOMAN. Okay - one last pee before we hit the road. BOOM: PERIOD. I kid you not. I don't know which is most exciting:  that time I got my period IMMEDIATELY upon landing in Florida,  or Christmas morning. Ah,  memories. 

So here I am in vacationland. Staying in a very nice trailer. Swimming at the beach every day!  Enjoying cocktail hour!  Eating S'MORES!  I've been working out,  sleeping not too bad,  bod's looking decent but oh my face. Like,  I took a couple of pictures of me and the kids , right? We'd just been swimming. The first one was Karen humpback of the beach,  and the second was me with the sunset STREAMING over my face and the boy said I was "red mom hulk" in that one. Also my hair is ridiculous. As soon as I'm NEAR the lake it's Shirley Temple on crack. And the bags under my eyes!!  WTF!  

It's a 46 year old worn-out-by-life,  I-eat-really-healthy-but-I'm-still-waiting-for-robust-eyebrows-to-grow-back. Don't get me started about eyebrows. I MIGHT do a whole next post on eyebrows. Vacations: actually kinda tiring, and I dig myself but sometimes those teenage girls zipping around with their straight hair and full eyebrows kinda bum me out. Enough whining. I may be getting homely but I did over a 100 pushups in my workout today,  and Karen with the luxurious eyebrows never used to be able to do any!  

I'm sure it's just the lighting... Pretty sure ...

Wednesday, July 12, 2017


This post could also be titled "Summer So Far," but who wants to click on that?  It sounds like one big tedious update, WHICH, MY FRIENDS, it just might be!  Hoorah!  Lucky you.  Whatever.  This is my  RANT HOUSE after all.  I really felt like calling it a Rant HAUS.  What does that mean...

Fuck.  I could use some alone time.

Anyhoo, today I was spending some quality time on my laptop trying to find "printable chore charts."  Then I had to switch that up to "Summer chore charts for kids" because I can't very well tell LITERAL BOY to hang up his backpack each day currently, now can I.  Then I had to modify my search to "COLORFUL chore charts."  Yes, I left my Canadian "U" out of ColoUrful, because I am a MASTER GOOGLER, YO, and I wanted more search returns.

I need CHORE CHARTS because I can't stand the easy, breezy, laissez-faire DROP IT WHERE YOU DONE FINISHED WITH IT kind of summer lifestyle anymore.  I know--super boring, whiny, ALMOST cliché Mom type stuff.

(Side Note:  I've been thinking that once upon a time a kind doctor could have just given me a container of Valium for all of these problems, but oh well.  Onward, tired ladies, onward)

Yeah, so I'm desperate, OBVI, because I do not LURV charts.  I also hate schedules and being super organised.  DON'T SHACKLE ME!  NEVER SHACKLE MEEEEEEE.... But, I wanted a chart, because once upon a time, we had to write words on paper and tape them to the wall, because helpful written signs became INARGUABLE to my Autistic son.  It was like magic:  ASK him not to do something, and it was all FUCK YOU AND YOUR COMMON COURTESY, but WRITE it on paper...and it was magic.  You know:  juicy stuff like "NO HITTING, NO BITING, NO BODY CONTACT."  Ha ha ha, what a gem.  I'm cracking up as I remember that one.  Oh sure, NOBODY likes to be bit, that's a given, but you have to laugh at these things or you go ins-- oh wait.  Too late.

So the CHORE CHARTS also had to be COLORFUL because I guess it's supposed to look friendly, non-confrontational (good one), almost FUN.  The problem was, nothing was quite right.  Some of those charts were downloadable files I had to PAY for.  Um, no. A lot of those charts led me to those horrifying ORGANIZED MOMS blogs...  You know the kind:  those incredible women who see a piece of shitty furniture and know how to transform it into something so useful, so majestic, so beautiful, you almost want to try it yourself.  The women who have a fucking "mud room" with coat hooks that cost more than my couch, and cubbies for spotless rainboots.  The moms who actually reupholster dining room chairs--ALWAYS with some on-trend fabric like chatreuse with zig-zag stripes, and know that the living room needs a punch of pink and orange throw pillows, and have a coffee table with a candle, a wicker ball and some fucking bullshit book that's actually a professionally bound collection of photos from their AWESOME FAMILY VACATION.  You know what I'm talking about:  they probably have a laundry "GUIDE" somewhere in there, and a house cleaning WEEKLY PLANNER, and a rainbow stack of tupperware grab-and-go snacks in the fridge.

I am not that woman.

Anyhoo, so I found my chore charts on a nice, all-business, no frills page.  What a relief.
ONE weekly chart per kid.  FIVE slots for daily items, a few on the bottom for stuff you'd be happy if they just do them weekly.  Really, I'd like to just cut to the point and say; "kids, please just choose something to do because I'm getting buried in your wrappers, art, and dirty dishes.

They're all set and ready to roll, but I need to get them laminated, because Angry Boy is almost guaranteed to try to rip that thing up as soon as he lays eyes on it.  The hard part was narrowing it down; choosing those things I wanted most in the world and waving tearfully goodbye to the other dreams.  Like, I really want The Boy to pick up snack wrappers and FUCKING THROW THEM OUT, but I also want him to stop saying; "don't make me say ASSHOLE," when he's annoyed.  Don't bother trying to point out that he actually already, in fact, said "ASSHOLE,"  he will then ask "MOM, WHY ARE YOU BEING MEAN TO ME???!!?"  I want my daughter to make her bed.  I also want her go pee more than once a day.  I dunno...I don't feel like writing "go pee" on a cheerful chart.  I guess I could...*shrugs*  *looks out the window off into the distance for a long, long while*

I want the boy to start making his own cinnamon toast before bed.  He's 13 after all.  So that one had to go on the chart, because verbalising THAT wish usually pushes him to say how TERRIBLE his LIFE IS.  But, I would also like him to stop farting and burping constantly.

Seriously, let's move on because this is something else we need to discuss:  that interesting time when your kid suddenly becomes smellier, ruder, lazier, loves being gross, asks you if they have permission to tell you about the swear word they saw on youtube (hey, at least they asked first, but I'm really tired about talking about swears.  I personally enjoy swears myself in my own private avenues of my life, but I don't want to chat about it as a neverending and amazing SUBJECT MATTER).

Anyway, I am learning that Autism + puberty = some serious adrenal fatigue for me.  Try to discipline a kid who LITERALLY only has the barest emergence of his own self.


Let's sit cross legged and ponder the sound of one smelly, sweaty, dirty fingernailed, I'll-give-you-the-finger-if-you-tell-me-to-go-outside-for-a-few-minutes hand clapping...

So today, I decided to forego my workout, and take my girlie on a little hunt to find a SUCKER.  Yeah--I saw this really interesting documentary recently on a nearby beach town.  When I was a kid, this town had a really great amusement park.  It used to have a boat that took visitors between the U.S. and Canada, a huge ballroom back a long, long time ago, an amazing beach for swimming, etc.  At one point they were talking about these amazing suckers they made at the amusement park, and people were giving first-hand accounts of how they were the BEST SUCKERS, and they loved these suckers, and blah blah blah, you HAD TO GET A SUCKER while you were there.  Well, lo and behold, some American guy bought the original recipe and the original little sucker making machine, and he makes all the original lollipops and they're sold in various places here and there around this area.

SO, off we went to find these suckers, where they were supposedly sold at a store that also sells peanuts and peanut confections.  Well, I don't eat this stuff anymore.  I've given the old heave-ho to most of the refined sugar I used to enjoy.  I am basically almost a total bore about loving healthy food and working out, but what the hell, let's go get a stupid sucker, and see if it actually tastes any different from any other sucker.

Well, I got a butterscotch one, and girlie got a loganberry one.  Those things were pretty big too--kind of like the size of a creamsicle.  As we were driving home, I felt this long-dead feeling making another rare appearance...childlike JOY!  I could SEE why a kid would get excited about these stupid candies on a stick--it was big, it was yummy!  Yay!  LICK LICK LICK LICK LICK LICK IT NEVER GETS SMALLER WHEEEEEEE!!  We drove home, licking our lollies, laughing, hooray!  Summer is FUN!

By the time I got home, I was kinda bored with it.  Why do I want to lick something for half an hour?  Oh stop it.  This isn't THAT kind of blog, you with your dirty thoughts.  Anyhoo, I threw the last little bit out, and then proceeded to have several handfuls of "sour cream and onion" potato chip coated peanuts.  What the hell, I can do this once in a while, right?

Maybe not, cuz as I was sitting there filling in the CHORE CHARTS, I suddenly nearly shit my pants.  My stomach made that shift like the elevator went straight to the bottom floor and I was off and running for the can (THE WASHROOM, the boy hollers at me every time I drop that little euphemism).  Pretty sad when a few moments of childlike whimsy ends in diarrhea.  Isn't that just the way.

Well, summer ain't so hot so far.  My nerves are getting a little shot from constant teenaged mouthiness and obsessive Autistic behaviour that I've run out of time to chat about just now, but I've got COLORFUL CHORE CHARTS, and those bad boys are READY TO ROLL!!

 I just have to laminate them first so they don't get ripped up.


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