Monthly Archives: August 2012

Bus Watching

‘Tis the eve of the first day of school, but only for boy #1. It’s a teaser for Tuesday when that big yellow bus chugs up our street and puffs to a halt in front of our abode. When Jack traipses onto that bus, summer really ends.

Good freaking riddance, summer “break.”

You’ve been…real, I guess. Now don’t let the door hit your can on the way out.

Bring on the best season of the year:  the season of cool mornings and sunny afternoons, fall leaves, pumpkins, apples, harvest abundance, Halloween & Thanksgiving. Best of all, autumn is the season when school resumes.

If you are inclined to judge me and my attitude of unabashed happiness at school once again being in session, just keep it to yourself. I love my boys. We all love each other with more decorum and placidity, and less theatrics and hysterics when our school routines return.

Jeff and I looked around this weekend at the ridiculously messy state of our house. Jeff observed, astutely, that it looked like the scene of an ’80’s high school keg party in a John Hughes film, minus the actual party (or the keg).

This is Jack’s handiwork when he enters the end-of-summer-death-spiral.

We spent a few busy hours tidying the wreck before taking the boys to Grandma Joyce’s cabin where Jack enjoyed an evening of vacuuming the deck, the rug, the basement, and all the little crannies.

He gets so excited when the bus drives up and the door swings open. We are ready for it. Now it just needs to happen. It’s almost time.

Crazy Town

How do you know you are starting to lose your mind?

Well, you can start by walking into the chapel at church (really quite late when everything is really quiet and reverent) with the back of your skirt stuck up inside the waistband of your undies, like I did today.

Yep, that just happened.

Can I get a what what?! for my friend Amanda, who pointed it out to me and shared my moment of horror like a kindred spirit.

This gem of a sacrament meeting entrance pretty much sums up the past couple of weeks.

I guess I could blame my embarrassing wardrobe malfunction on the fact that I was too busy wrenching a toy lawn mower away from a kid in the church parking lot and returning it to the car before it noisily made it’s way into the church, to give my own problematic knickers a once over.

But I won’t.

I didn’t really intend to be a peep show during sacrament meeting, but what can I say? It happened.

Maybe it’s just me, but it seems that we are all getting a bit nutty around here. I’m not sure if I feel this way because we have a giant inflatable Santa Claus which boys #2 and #3 are compulsively dragging around the house and plugging in to watch it whir and slowly inflate.

Check back with me in a few weeks to see if the academic calendar has restored my lucidity. In the meantime, I will likely continue to find myself distractedly singing Christmas carols, which isn’t at all creepy in mid-August.

We Made It

While summertime is not officially over yet, I can sense the end is near. How do I know this?

1) I am starting to go bat **** crazy.  The fun summer activities which have filled our time for many weeks no longer seem appealing to any of us. This August ennui leads me to think that we will all find the change invigorating.

2) Henry’s class list has been posted on the front doors of his school, his teacher has posted a list of recommended school supplies, and two different school open houses are on the calendar for my two school-age boys. This stuff is a lifeline for me at this point in the hot, endless, lingering summer days when Jack’s behavior takes a predictable backward slide.

3) Our next-door-neighbors and some of our boys’ favorite playmates are imminent to return from the frozen north where they summer. Yay! Happy days are coming!

4) I’m starting to daydream about what our days will look like when we return to the structures and routines which Jack depends on. We can climb out of summer survival mode and stretch a little.  Life  will move at a pleasant clip, instead of spinning in a nauseating vortex.

5) I find myself getting really happy when I think about the weather changing from hot and smoky to cool and crisp.

6) Fall clothing and shoes are my cup of tea. I’m ready to blow off this “maintaining a pedicure” business and put on some jeans and boots. Or sweats and sneakers. And long-sleeved tees with cozy hoodies. Huzzah, I won’t have to spend ten minutes applying sunscreen to my brood every time we go outside.

7) Charlie is getting wildly excited about returning to preschool and I am equally pleased about the prospect of three afternoons per week when the house is quiet and the baby is napping.

8) Football season is practically upon us, which suddenly means something this year as I have a son who is enamored with playing, watching, and attending football games.

9) I am waxing proud of the fact that we have essentially survived another long and blistering summer. We made it.

10) I am also feeling happy and grateful for the numerous highlights we experienced in the past three months. See number 9, above.

Otitis Media

I called the pediatrician today following forty-eight hours of Jack smashing glass, ceramic, and porcelain things on the hardwood. Smashing typically means just one thing: Jack’s ears hurt.

He never gets a fever. His nose doesn’t run. He does not tug on his ears. But he tells us he is in pain the only way he knows how–he throws things across the room. Or from the stairs onto the floor below. Recently he favors casually knocking framed pictures from their wall hooks and watching them shatter and break apart. 
Shizby, Jack!
You would think that after the bazillion ear infections that Jack has suffered since infancy, we would have long ago figured out a way to see when one is barreling down on us. Sadly, we have not.
I want someone to invent a magic scanning wand for the mother of a nonverbal mentally disabled child. All I want is a simple electronic device which I can pass in front of Jack in a scanning maneuver. “Is Jack sick?” I would ask the wand. “Yes. His ears hurt,” would be the mechanical, omniscient reply. 
Is this too much to ask? Apparently, it is.
However, while I do not have a magic scanning wand, I do have Bonnie the receptionist at the pediatrician’s office, who always finds us an accommodating appointment time on the same day we call. I also have Jennifer the nurse, who knows that Jack is scared of the measuring tape which hangs from the ceiling, as well as the blood pressure cuff, and doesn’t insist on getting a current height or bp every time we visit. 
I have Charlie, who will drop whatever he is doing and  happily come along to “stickers doctor” on any day of the week with brother. And we have our pediatrician, who bumps knuckles with Jack, stays current on the poop progress, understands our daily challenges, and asks me how I would like to proceed with treatment. 
We also have an ENT who time and again compassionately peeks in those poor little ears and carefully places tubes therein. And we have a great children’s hospital in our midst.
It’s not a magic scanning health wand, but all together they get the job done. Jack’s ears and I are thankful.