Monthly Archives: January 2014

Lovely Things

Reasons today is great:

1. I got to take a nap.

2. I wrote and sent out an article.

3. There is an icy dusting of snow on the tree branches outside my window.

4. I had toast with strawberry jam for lunch.

5. The fireplace is burning in my living room and no longer smells of burnt toys.

6. The laundry is practically done.

7. I’m reading a smart new mystery.

8. My children are all relatively happy. Except for the toddler. But I can deal with him.

If You Really Must Know

It’s been a week of some seriously bottomed out lows, interspersed with a few surprising highs, and it’s only Wednesday. And I’m so sleep deprived that I started crying when I told my husband tonight that I will never again have the energy to clean up the den of filth that is the playroom.

He sent me to bed at 7:30 and cleaned up the playroom himself with “help” from the guys.

Here is what’s happening, though I am loathe to address it:

Jack has been increasingly more aggressive. He has been randomly attacking his brothers, small children at church, and classmates at school. It’s embarrassing to even write about this. I don’t know why it makes me feel such shame, but it does.

We can’t parent away the aggression and destruction from our intellectually disabled nine-year-old. It’s a helpless and worrisome feeling. Who is he going to hurt next? How we will cope with such embarrassment and awkwardness? When is going to really hurt someone?

So I called the psychiatrist’s office Monday hoping for an appointment within a few weeks time, knowing I couldn’t hope for anything more. The heavens opened and the sun streamed through and the receptionist asked if I would like to come in the next morning. There’d been a cancellation.

So we went, Dutch and me, with Jack, to the psychiatrist who has always steered us on a logical, helpful course. We left with a plan, a new Rx, and renewed hope.


That the Code Browns will not stay.

That the destruction of our house and everything in it will cease.

That the biting and lunging, the smack-downs and assaults will be nothing but an uncomfortable memory.

That things will improve.


This Christmas Break will forever be known as the One Where Jack Had Gianatti-Crosti Syndrome (And Not the Chicken Pox).

Since almost no one ever gets this rare disease, I’ll tell you that it’s a condition that can happen secondarily, following a previous infection. Jack had strep a month ago, so bingo. It’s not contagious. It makes your skin look horrifying and feel itchy and awful. There is nothing you can do to effectively treat it. It can last up to two months.

Poor Jack is going to school tomorrow looking like a leper.

But at least, for both our fragile mental states, he is going to school.

I could also remember this as The Christmas Holiday When Jack Sprinkled Swiss Miss Cocoa in Any and All Heat Vents, and Atop Most Electronic Devices in the House. (This, btw, is simply one of many¬†valid reasons we can’t have nice things.)

It could go down in the annals as The Christmas We Were Quarantined But Didn’t Actually Have to Be.

Or, The Christmas When Jack Took Up Code Browns Again.

Or, The One When All the New Christmas Toys Were Launched into the Mulch Pile Within 48 Hours.

Or, The Christmas When Jack Crammed Wooden Puzzle Pieces, Candy Wrappers, and Shoe Laces into the Louvres Above the Gas Fire Place and Made the Entire House Reek of Melting Plastic and Scorched Playthings.

Lucky for me, it’s now simply known as Christmas Past.

ISO: Movies with Pep

I’m thinking my resolution for the new year should be to stop watching so many depressing British period films.

You know what they say, a few late nights with languid, rainy shots of the English countryside and Keira Knightly/Kate Winslet/Cate Blanchett in a corset are good for the spirits; but stick too much with the deeply dramatic Brit Lit BBC adaptations and your mood just may end up in the tank.

I don’t know if anybody ever actually said that, but they should have.

I love me some Austen, some Bronte, some Dickens—all cinematically retrofitted and beautifully rendered onscreen. But too many serious-themed films all at once? It’s enough to make you run for a Nicholas Sparks chicklit movie, which is what I actually found myself doing recently.

A certain awful film based on a certain Thomas Hardy novel put me over the top. I can’t take it anymore. When I read Hardy in Honors English my sophomore year, I didn’t fall madly in love. Apparently, my feelings for TH haven’t changed.

Now my Netflix queue is brimming with darkly dramatic 19th century literary adaptations (British and Russian—it’s equal opportunity), and I’m desperate for something a tad less depressing.

It’s January and I’m looking for something zippy.

I need a brief winter’s respite from the haunting piano/violin soundtracks.

Too honest?

The downer tone of my last few entries has me pondering this blog. What is it’s purpose? Is it too negative. Is it too revealing about the nature of life in a house like mine?

This blog isn’t a traditional journal, although it possesses elements of a journal. It features journal-like entries, but importantly, it’s public. It invites readers to participate in the day-to-day workings of a family with special-needs children. Journals seem inherently private, in my definition.

I’d be lying if I didn’t acknowledge the therapeutic aspect of writing about my family. It’s an inexpensive and wonderful form of release. So there’s that, too.

I guess my primary purpose in writing is this:

To tell the truth.