Sunday, September 28, 2008

Master J, Destroyer of the Universe

Okay, first of all, he's just fine. The child was not harmed as a result of this incident. He should have been. Because while Mister C & I were inside our home talking with a real estate agent about the future sale of our home, Master J was outside, devaluing it. Master J spent the majority of his afternoon outside climbing our big pine tree and chasing ADHD Girl around. Standard operating procedure for a nice afternoon. He came in for dinner and then immediately went back out to continue playing. I'm totally all about the being outside thing. It makes my house less chaotic, especially when he takes ADHD Girl out with him. It also makes my evening much more pleasant since they both tend to sleep better when they finally do come back in the house. The real estate agent arrived around 6:00 and the three adults then sat down at the kitchen table to start discussing. Master J was jumping off of a piece of furniture onto the deck at first and I asked him to stop because it was sort of annoying. I should have left him at it because at least then I would know what he was doing. About 15 minutes later I realized that it was a little quiet so I excused myself from the conversation and went to check on him. He was sitting on one of the chairs, with his foot braced against one of the spindles on the deck railing, and he was pulling with all his might on the top part of the spindle. And the spindle, was broken. In half. To say I was angry would be an understatement. That I couldn't mention what had happened out loud did not in any way dissipate that anger. So I did the classic "speaking through clenched teeth" thing and sent him to his room. Then I had to come back into the house and act like everything was fine while silently fuming inside. Honestly, the time lapse was probably his saving grace. When the agent left, I went upstairs to send Master J to bed. When I left his room, after discussing the incident, he was sobbing because he did not know why he had done it. Mister C went up to say goodnight to him about 15 minutes later and came down to tell me that Master J was still up there sobbing. I didn't go up. I finally did go up about 30 minutes later to give him a hug and he was still sniffling at that point. He apologized for "tearing up the house, again." and then told me that "Dad was nicer about it than you." Apparently all Mister C told him was to "try" and not destroy anything else and he promised he would try. Guess I got to be the bad cop this time.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Good Morning Death!

At breakfast this morning Master J asked me what The Antagonizer was playing with. I look over and she is laying on the ground with a mouse between her front paws. When she sees me looking at her, she gives it a good poke so it rolls towards me. Of course I made a HUGE fuss over her and her trophy and she was very proud. Then I turned away and gagged a little cause I hate dead stuff, especially when it's on my carpet. But she is The Antagonizer, and she cannot leave well enough alone. She harassed that poor dead critter, well, to death again apparently. She poked it, she slapped it, she picked it up and tossed it, she sat on it. I'm not really sure what the purpose of sitting on it was. Maybe she was hiding it from herself under her massive girth so she could "find" it again a few seconds later. I don't know but when she started picking it up in her mouth and flinging it in my direction I was forced to step in. Because I am not getting hit in the face by a flying mouse no matter how proud I am of her hunting prowess. So I put her in the basement with encouragement to catch another varmint and then threw Mr. Mouse in the trash. And when I let her back up and she realized that her prize was missing I swear to you the cat gave me the dirtiest look she could muster and has since sat with her back to me. So now the only problem I have is that it's way too early for me to figure out how to attach the picture of her with her catch to this post. So I stuck it on the sidebar, but it's kind of hard to see. I'll work on it after I've had some coffee.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Heart squeeze

If there is anything more precious than a sleeping child, I don't know what it is. Every night I put Master J to bed at a reasonable time and let him read until 8:30. Usually, when I check on him he is still reading and begs me to let him "just finish this chapter please." I almost always let him since I know he struggles with getting to sleep anyway and reading allows his mind to focus on something good rather than on any real or imagined worries. Tonight when I checked on him, he was sleeping soundly with his book still propped up on his chest. I didn't realize at first that he was sleeping and started talking to him. Then I heard him softly snore and I just stopped. I squatted down next to my beautiful and loving child snoring gently in his bed. I looked at his sweet face, his long lashes reaching far beyond where any boy's should, his fingers still clutching his book, and my heart just squeezed with the love I have for this boy. I don't think I have the words to describe how big a piece of my heart he owns. And if he figures it out before adulthood I'm probably screwed.

Say what?

I took Master J in to the district audiologist today after school just to rule out any hearing issues. It turns out that his hearing is fine, in fact it's pretty much perfect. However, the audiologist did mention that Master J had some trouble when other noise was introduced. In other words, the more background noise there is, the harder he has to work to hear what he's supposed to be listening to. When I asked if being in a classroom with 46 kids and two adults might cause him some problems, the guy specifically said that if there was a smaller classroom available that would definitely be better for Master J. He went on to say that he has been around long enough to have seen the open concept classroom come around and fail at least three different times in this district. He stated that it's just not conducive to learning for most kids. Now, wouldn't you think that if you've tried and failed a concept on three separate occasions that the most logical thing would be to NOT try it again? I mean seriously folks, isn't there a saying that defines insanity as doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results? And they want to send Master J to special ed?

Monday, September 22, 2008

Last I checked...

I went to Arizona over the weekend to take care of some business and visit some family. I was to be picked up from the Phoenix airport by a gal we have worked with for the last 8 years on the way to an appointment. I had a fairly early flight on Saturday morning but I did manage to pull myself together with hair and makeup and a decent looking outfit. The flight was fine and we arrived a little early so I thought I'd stop in the rest room before meeting my ride. I checked the mirror, put on fresh lipstick and made sure my hair was in order before I left the restroom. As I was walking out the door I could see a short woman walking into the restroom on the "wrong" side of traffic, looking down at the ground. I could see the imminent crash coming, so I just stopped. About six inches in front of me she finally realizes I'm there, looks up and says "Excuse me sir!" before stepping aside. WTF?!?!?!? I'm in full hair and makeup, wearing a feminine outfit, walking out of the WOMEN'S restroom and she's eye level with my rather obvious endowments and she's calling me 'sir'? Wow. That's all I've got. Just, wow.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Karma, she is a bitch!

Several weeks ago Mister C was cutting up an apple using a specialized slicer I have that cores and slices the apple into wedges. It's a very useful little tool, but used improperly it can be dangerous. Well, Mister C used it wrong and got a small cut on his finger. I made fun of him. Ah, yes, I did. I harassed him for his inability to use a simple kitchen gadget properly without hurting himself. I cut him no slack. Yeah, that was probably a mistake. Because this morning while I was getting James' lunch ready, I decided to use above mentioned tool. I put it on top of the apple and pushed it down like you're supposed to but for whatever reason,it didn't cut all the way through. So I flipped the whole thing over and started to push the first wedge of apple the rest of the way through. While I was doing this, I kept thinking to myself how stupid what I was doing was. My brain was in overdrive screaming "Stop! Stop! Stop! What the hell are you doing? Stop!!!!" And my hand was going "look how easy this is to push through!" And then it happened. The wedge of apple popped through and the blade went into my thumb. And the blood started flowing. I pulled back but it was way too late. I grabbed a towel and started pressing on my thumb while pacing around my kitchen going "Well that was stupid" out loud. Master J was eating breakfast and when I looked at him he had his spoon full of cereal halfway to his mouth and was staring at me in horror. Oh, I know, good time for a lesson on sharp shit right? Nah, my brain was still freaking out so I just showed him my wound and told him that even adults can get hurt if they aren't careful. End of lesson. Anyway, the stupid thing bled like crazy for the first 30 minutes and then slowly for the next three hours. I now have a nice cut across my right thumb that is 3/4 of an inch long and about 1/8 of an inch deep. And the worst part is how badly I feel for making fun of Mister C for doing the exact same thing. Yes, Karma is a mean and vindictive bitch with absolutely no sense of humor.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Now this, he gets from me!

Master J and I went to the grocery store after school today because I forgot to pick up deli meat for his lunches. While we were there, I wanted to check out the organic food stuffs to see if there is such a thing as ketchup with no high fructose corn syrup in it. There is and I found it. Then we decided to look around at what else they had available that might be good for us. So the last aisle is the frozen foods and Master J spotted the organic/vegetarian pizzas. Of course he requested pizza and I thought, what the heck I'm game to try it. He looked the varieties of pizza over and finally decided on a Mediterranean style with lots of vegetables and olive oil involved. I'm so proud. My boy is making good, healthy decisions for himself. My pride was short lived however when as we turned away from the freezer he announced loudly "Great, now let's go find some pepperoni to put on this!" And the face of the old guy looking grimly at the frozen vegie burgers just lit up.

Hoping for a better day

So yesterday was kind of a tough day for Master J. Well, realistically so was Sunday so maybe I should start there. Sunday morning was fine. We all got up pleasantly, made it to church nicely and then headed home. I had mentioned to Mister C that I planned to make pancakes when we got home but right after we got into the car he asked "Who wants to stop at Sunrize and get donuts?" Of course Master J was all over that offer. I kind of looked at Mister C and shook my head, but the damage was done. We were going to get donuts. So we did. And they were good. And all was right with the world. But (and there's always one of those), donuts are not health food and they contain no protein. Protein is good for little boys who periodically spaz out. Two donuts later, Master J seems to be doing okay, but you can tell he is starting on a path. A path of destruction that will not end for 24 hours. A few hours after the donuts, I tried to get Master J to eat something. I knew I needed to go to the grocery store and that he should eat before I went. He refused. This is typical for him after he has consumed massive amounts of carbs and no protein at a meal. So I left for the store. I shopped in peace. I enjoyed my time. And then I went home. As I was pulling in the driveway I could see Mister C and Master J in the driveway. The former was attempting to start the lawn mower and the latter was getting on his bike. Mister C told Master J to tell me what he had done. Great. I'm not even in the garage, the car is still in gear and I get to hear what's happened. Seems he saw a plant hook in the ceiling of his playroom (left by the previous owner) that he thought of a new use for. So he devised a way to get it down. He dragged his keyboard into the playroom and then removed the cord from it. Then, standing on the couch, he used the cord to throw repeatedly towards the hook until he was able to catch it. And using all of his 50 some pounds of boyhood, he hung on it until the hook came out of the ceiling, bringing with it some chunks of plaster. Because he had not caused enough damage at that point, he then screwed that hook into the wall, for what purpose I do not know. Additionally, there was some talk about taking some of the really large hooks (the kind used to hanging bicycles and such) from the garage and hiding them in his room. Mister C claims to have heard NOTHING during all of this. Apparently our child is really a very short Ninja who has decided to infiltrate our family structure. For the record, I was gone all of one hour.

Moving on. We made it through the rest of the day with only a few minor scuffles and no further structural damage. Then comes Monday. I love Monday. It's the day my son goes back to school and if I'm lucky enough that my husband goes to work I have a few hours of peace to myself. I love peace. I didn't have any though. First of all, Mister C decided that he would "work from home". What this really means is "Do what I want, which consists of losing money in the stock market and eating and occasionally taking a work phone call, which I will complain bitterly about after I hang up." Anyway, he did make several forays out in to the world. The first trip was to the chiropractor. While he was gone I got my first phone call from the school. The principal put Master J on the phone and he explained that he had pulled on another child's sleeve and also that he had hit another child in the leg. Then the principal gets on and tells me that in fact Master J "slapped another child in the face." My absolute disbelief of this made her restate that perhaps he had in fact "hit him in the head, or possibly bumped him on the arm, I'm not really sure" Ummmm, if you're not really sure, do me a favor and don't accuse him of something that frankly, would probably be the last thing he would ever do. WTF kind of administrator makes shit up to make a child look worse? Oh that's right, he needs to be in special ed. If you can't get him in via academic failure, let's try and get him in on aggression (which even she admitted he has never shown any sign of). So anyway, Mister C comes home after his appointment and then goes out to lunch with a friend. While he's gone I get the second call from the school. Now Master J has bumped in to two children and they almost fell down. Almost. And that warranted calling me. Evidently we're trying really hard to document all his behavior so we can send him where he belongs. By the time I picked him up he had been sent to the safe seat nine times and visited the principals office four times. We started working on homework when we got home, doing 15 minutes at a time and alternating with doing chores. Which is when I found the rest of the damage from Sunday. I was in his playroom giving directions from the couch when he started complaining that he couldn't get his bin into the closet. I went to help him and that's when I found two large hooks (the bicycle hanging kind), a two foot 2x4, a very large screwdriver and a latch. Hmmm. And what were our plans with this little stash? Well, Master J was planning on screwing one of the big hooks into the wall next to the door and one into the door itself (shriek!)and then using the board to put across the two hooks to give him a locking door. Just like Pooh has. Huh? The big screwdriver had been used to remove the latch from the closet door. He never did say what he was doing there. When asked, he admitted that he had brought all of it up the previous day while I was shopping. I got everything put back where it goes and put the latch back on the door. I still can't figure out how the little Ninja could have made at least three trips past his father's office into the garage to get his supplies, another three trips past his father's office while carrying the stash upstairs to his playroom & bedroom, moved his keyboard into the playroom, removed the hook from the ceiling and screwed it into the wall and removed the latch from his closet door all without making a sound and doing it within the "just two minutes" time frame Mister C is claiming was the amount of time he wasn't physically watching him.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Today with Master J

So I found a really cool website for kids that's put together by the BBC and Master J and I spent an hour working on it tonight after dinner. He asked how big a molecule was so I went searching. Never did find one because we both got distracted with the science experiments they had on this site. We learned about the difference between reversible and irreversible materials (such as the fact that ice can be melted and then made back into ice) and what things dissolve in water and what things don't. We also learned a little bit about story writing. They give you a middle to a story and you have to chose the beginning and the ending. Then they tell you why what you chose worked or didn't work. Really cool site though all around and he loved it. We didn't get to the math part yet and there is still quite a bit we didn't get to in the science and English parts. He probably learned more in that hour than he did all day in school. He also probably learned more in the hour he spent in his sand box creating a river & lake system with a waterfall where he put the hose in. He had it in there so you couldn't see the hose because it was hidden behind a small log but he had angled it such that the water seemed to bubble up over the log and cascade down into the first pool, go down the river to a secondary (and larger lake) and then down river further to a third lake. He had tunnels and bridges. He was an absolute mess but he had a blast and he was able to concentrate for a solid hour with no problems. But, you know, he's special needs and all, so he can't do that. Obviously I don't know what I'm talking about.

I also found a new way to avoid the fight with homework. I read this on a website last night and I'll be honest, I was skeptical. But I figure, what the heck it can't hurt to try. So when he came home I said "I'm going to set the timer for 15 minutes. When the timer rings, you have to stop doing your homework and go play for 15 minutes. I will set the timer for the 15 minutes you have to play. When it goes off, you need to come back and work on your homework for 15 minutes." So we start. He got through his spelling & grammar and 2/3 through his math. Timer goes off. I take his math paper and tell him to go play. The child starts crying, saying he wants to finish his math. Please can't he just finish his homework?. I tell him to go play and when the timer goes off he can come back and finish. He reluctantly leaves the table to go play but comes back down after 10 minutes to see when he can come back and finish his homework. He spends the next 5 minutes pacing in the kitchen counting down the minutes until he can finish his homework. Timer goes off, he says "Alright! Now I can finish my homework!" and he does. How awesome is that?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Struggling with this diagnosis

My child has been labeled ADHD by the psychologist at his elementary school. This diagnosis was seconded by a psychologist of our choosing. I am a big believer of not using medication on MY child (do what is best for your child). Up until the end of first grade, nobody mentioned ADHD, but more than a few people mentioned gifted. We've had some tough days the past week but today, my boy did fantastic in school. What was the change? you ask. Motivation. He knew he had a box from his Grandpa sitting in my room that he could have if he had a good day. Now, you tell me, can a child with ADHD just decide to behave because it suits his purposes? I highly doubt it. It would be like someone with a broken leg deciding that it wasn't broken today because they wanted to go the zoo. I've struggled with the concept of ADHD since I was in college and did a huge research paper for a psych class I was in. I personally believe that it is completely over diagnosed, especially by school personnel. I find it interesting that so many more boys are "diagnosed" with this disorder than girls. I attribute this the fact that boys act like, well, like boys. The are generally loud, boisterous, always on the go and dislike authority. Most boys I know would rather take apart a motor than read about how to do so. Most boys I know are always running, jumping and taking risks. Most boys I know will eventually challenge authority. Kind of like the young males in a pride of lions. Or the young stallions in a herd of wild horses. It's why they get kicked out of the pride or herd. But it serves a purpose. If they didn't challenge the leader, who would lead when the leader is no longer capable? Who would take over and allow the pride or herd to continue it's existence? That's what our boys are supposed to do. The ones that are challenging the leaders are the ones that will eventually lead. Unless they get stamped out by the school system. Because the school doesn't really care about future leaders. The school cares about conformance today. But if all we produce is boys who conform, who will lead us tomorrow?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

He doesn't get it from me

I have a decent sense of direction. I can read a map and if I have a compass and possibly a landmark, I can figure out where I am on that map and get myself where I want to go. Having said that, I really don't have a "great" sense of direction in that if I'm put on the spot I will usually assume that North is directly in front of me. At dinner tonight Master J and I were discussing a book he had read earlier in the day ("Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs" in case you're wondering). In the book, instead of weather, food comes from the sky and they talk about storms of hamburgers coming out of the northeast. Thinking that this would be a great learning opportunity, I asked him which direction would be northeast. He immediately pointed to a direction and I responded with "Are you sure?". He looked at me somewhat quizzically and said "Of course! I'm facing south so north would be behind me and east would be on my left, so northeast is right here (pointing just past his shoulder)" And I realized that when I had asked him the question, I had assumed that north was in front of him. Cause you know, that's where it always is. Right?

Monday, September 8, 2008

Silver lining?

Two nights ago, the Intellectual was acting weird before bed so we put her into the bathroom thinking maybe she wasn't feeling all that well. The logic here being that if she threw up, it would be on tile. Not that this makes it any more pleasant to clean, just that it doesn't entail me using the carpet cleaner and I'm all about the easier clean up. Not long after putting her in the bathroom, I checked on her to find that she was indeed not feeling well. Only it wasn't coming out her mouth, if you know what I mean. Now, Mister C has the wussiest stomach ever when it comes to bodily functions. Some people could be said to have a "stomach of steel". He would not. His might be described as a stomach of jell-0, on a small boat, in stormy seas. At the first sign of anything nausea inducing, he bails. And let's face it, kids and pets can be pretty nausea inducing. In this instance, he has a sudden need to go produce some very important report on his computer. Whatever. I clean up the mess. All is right with the world. Now, assuming that the dog has gotten whatever it is out of her system, we leave her loose and go to bed. First thing yesterday morning though, we wake up to the smell of dread. The dog has continued to use my bathroom as her bathroom. The interesting thing is that she wasn't locked in there at the time so either she's figured out that's the place to go or I didn't clean up as well as I thought. Of course, my husband immediately needs to go downstairs and start his day. Again, whatever. I clean up the mess, head to the shower and go about my day. Last night we got smart and kenneled the Intellectual so we wouldn't have a repeat performance. This morning, we wake up again to the overpowering smell that is sick dog. The first thing I think is that she's messed in her kennel, but as I'm walking towards it, out of the corner of my eye I can see that there is (again) a mess in the bathroom. WTF? I flip on the bathroom floor and announce to Mister C "We kenneled the wrong dog, it was ADHD Girl that was messing." I'll let that sink in for a second. Because if we scan back to the beginning of this post, we will note that the first time this happened, the Intellectual was alone in the bathroom. So unless ADHD Girl figured out how to open the door, crap on the floor and then quietly close the door as she leaves, she couldn't have been involved in the first incident. But give me some slack, it was 5:30 in the morning after going to bed at midnight and I hadn't had one sip of coffee. Anyway, upon hearing the news, Mister C suddenly offered to make coffee for me and I (again) cleaned up. But there is a silver lining, because all three times has been on the tile. It's like they know! Perhaps my reaction after the last incident, where it was NOT on tile and my brains came out of my nostrils, made some sort of impression on them. Either way, tonight, everyone is getting kenneled.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Blonde strikes again!

My husband's friend (G-Man) came in to town yesterday and spent the night. He's a long distance truck driver and when he gets the opportunity by passing through to visit, he always does, which is nice. Anyway, the discussion came up about the dishwasher being mucked up and he suggested downloading something or other from Maytag to see if he could figure out how it worked. Now, G-Man happens to be pretty mechanically inclined and likes to figure out how things work and I'm totally all about the free labor thing so I say absolutely. Well, while I went to church this morning with Master J (yeah, Hell is actually freezing over as we speak) G-Man and Mister C took the dishwasher apart and found several items in the motor that should not have been there. One thing was the thumb grip thing off a coffee cup, a coffee cup that isn't supposed to be in there in the first place (whatever). There were also several mushy popcorn kernels and other assorted food items that hadn't managed to get into the disposal. But the thing we think was the problem was some sort of plastic thing that nobody could identify. It looked like the thing that you put into the little cardboard people in kids games like Candyland that makes them stand up on the board. Only, I'm pretty sure I haven't washed any game pieces lately. I know I did wash a bunch of army men a few weeks back that had some kind of goo on them that was never identified or admitted to but they all made it out of their Navy Seal training just fine (other than being slightly confused about what branch of the service they were in.) So anyway, after Master J & I got home we were informed the the dishwasher was now working perfectly. It was running all through breakfast and sounded fine. Right as I was finishing up my bacon though, I heard a noise and said to Mister C & G-Man "Hey, what's that gurgling sound the dishwasher's making? Looks like you didn't fix it after all." To which G-Man responded "I think that's your coffee pot finishing up the brew cycle." Oh, yeah. Guess I forgot I started a fresh pot all of ten minutes ago. My poor husband. This is just another instance proving that he keeps me around for the entertainment.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Or course it's out of warranty

Our 14 month old Maytag dishwasher started making a horrific sound while washing last night. I immediately canceled the cycle, let it drain out and then started poking around. I got nothing. There was no plastic ware melted to the heating coil, no popcorn kernels carelessly tossed in, nothing that I could see. I did remove one dog dish from the top rack thinking maybe it was blocking the top sprayer thingy (technical term there people, try to keep up!) Then I re started the machine. Same loud, grinding, horrifying sound. I stopped it again and asked Mister C to look at it. He poked around, said "Well here's the problem" a few times, then re started the machine. Same thing. So we shut it down for the night and resigned ourselves to having to call the repair man on Monday. In the mean time, hubby found the owner's manual where it stated that we had a "full one year warranty on parts and labor". Of course we do. Because it would be expecting way too much to have an appliance last for more than that. I know why the Maytag repairman is never busy, all the damn machines are out of warranty.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Hello? Anyone out there?

I'm stepping out into the real world of blogging for the first time. I've been writing blogs on a different forum for the past year but thought I would try this much more accessible platform. We'll start with an introduction to the family as it stands today. Aside from myself, the household consists of Mister C, my husband of 11 years (today in fact), Master J - our bright, 7 year old son who keeps us hopping and laughing and a plethora of animals. That's right, I used the word 'plethora' in my very first blog. Yeah, I'm daring that way. Continuing on, we have two dogs, two cats, 1 guinea pig & two fish tanks. The dogs are "The Intellectual", our 10 year old dalmatian and "ADHD Girl" our 3.5 year old mix. The cats are "The Idiot", a 14 year old male and "The Antagonizer" our 1.5 year old female. The guinea pig is Harry. The fish generally don't last long enough to warrant naming due to one particular fish in the tank known as the Jail Shark. Our home has it's share of ups and downs just like every other home but I try to keep a sense of humor about the chaos and mayhem that seem to usually take over. So this is the start. It's not a great start, not a bolting out of the chute start, but it's a start.