Thursday, September 30, 2010

I Can Play Dirty Too

Katie's Love Thursday Post over at Can't Get There From Here reminded of a dirty, low down trick I played recently. I did it for good reasons and I don't regret it, but I do feel slightly guilty about it.

If you follow me on Twitter, you know that I went to visit AndreAnna in Iowa last weekend. For the record, I had a blast. AndreAnna is one of the funniest, most down to earth women I've ever met. Our visit was great -- it just felt comfortable from the get-go and it was like we'd known each other forever, which if you consider the fact that we've been reading each other's blogs for about three years now, we kind of have known each other for a while. Oh, and her kids and her husband are pretty great too. They all made me feel so at home, especially Charlotte with her hugs and her spontaneous declarations of love.

But anyhoo, on Saturday AndreAnna and I drove into Chicago to hang out with Samantha of Campenette, Katie from Pseudostoops, Sara of Belle Plaine, Anne of Annabelle Speaks, and Mandi of McMama's Musings -- cool ladies, one and all! We went out to dinner and then went to a bar nearby where we were waited upon by the most fabulous pair of gay waiters I've ever had the pleasure to know.

An aside -- if you're ever feeling down or not so good about yourself, go out with a group of girlfriends and find yourself a good gay waiter. There's nothing that will make you feel quite so fabulous.

Anyway, back to my dirty trick. On Sunday, AndreAnna dropped me off at the airport -- no mean feat since we got lost twice because we were too busy talking and not paying attention to signs. I called Mr. Daddy from the airport to let him know I was there and we immediately got into an argument.

See, Mr. Daddy has house fever. Again. I think it's sort of like malaria? You can never really be cured of it? And he'd been calling me all weekend talking about this house and texting me pictures of it and I'm all the way in Chicago and can't do squat about it. Plus, I'm loathe to get my hopes up again because we all know how this keeps turning out, right? I get all excited about a house only to find out that there's nobody out there willing to loan us any money until at least next spring. So, I'm testy, is what I'm saying.

We get into a shouting match and we both hang up in anger. I started feeling remorseful and did not want to fly home in the middle of an argument. That's like asking the gods to please make my plane crash, right? I mean, that's like headline news right there. "Wife killed in plane crash. Husband remorseful because of fight before takeoff."

So, I called back. He wouldn't answer. Called again. Straight to voicemail. Called again. No answer. Texted him to TAKE MY CALL. Nothing. Called again. No answer.

Now, I'm starting to get pissed. And then I did it. The thing I feel guilty about. I sent him the following text:

"You're going to feel bad when my plane crashes and you've been so mean to me."

In a nanosecond after hitting send, my phone rang.

"You knew that would get a response, didn't you?" he said, kind of laughing.

"Yep!" And that's why I did it. I admit, it was a low down dirty trick. But I really didn't want to get on that plane without making up. Just in case. What if the worst case scenario DID happen? I certainly didn't want our last words to have been angry ones.

So, I played dirty. And then I told him that I loved him. It might not have been my proudest moment, but I would do it again in a heartbeat.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Elsewhere and a Musical Interlude

My latest post is up at Bodies in Motivation. Go check it out, please!

On Fridays I'm going to start sharing some of my favorite music with you. It might be something new, something old, or it might be some awesome kids music I've stumbled across. This week it's Guster's Do You Love Me.

Enjoy! And enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

It's Exhausting Being Loved that Much

I haven't talked to much about Toby around these parts since he became a family member. And I'm really not sure why because the little rascal delights me on a daily basis. I was the one who, before Sweetpea died said, "When Sweetpea goes, that's it for us! No more pets!"

But I was also the same one trolling Craigslist for dogs within a week of Sweetpea's death. I felt kind of disloyal, but I missed having an animal around the house. I would love to have a cat, but Bubba's allergies rule that out, so I got the next best thing -- a lap dog.

And Toby is a total lovehound. That dog loves people more than any other dog I've ever seen. If you're sitting down, he will be in your lap in a second, shoving his nose under your hand to make sure you're petting him. The other night I joked that his motto is "If you have time to set, you have time to pet." And even Mr. Daddy, who likes to groan that this dog was my idea, loves him. He's got such a sweet face that you just can't resist him.

But when we came back from vacation, something weird happened. Toby became obsessed with me! I think his new found devotion stems from the fact that I alone picked him up from the dog-sitter's house when we got back from vacation. Although he got along famously with her two dogs (and very famously with the large, female Rottweiler who was also a guest there, if you know what I'm sayin' and I think you do) (wink, wink, nudge nudge), I think when I showed up he thought "Aha! She's come back for me! She does love me after all!"

Because since then, this dog will not leave me alone. If I go to the bathroom, he's sitting right outside with his nose wedged under the door, whining for me. Same goes for when I'm putting the kids to bed. If I step outside for more than a minute he greets me I return as though I've been gone for years. If I'm lying down, he's all up in my grill. After petting him for what I deem a sufficient amount of time I literally have to hide my arms so that he won't keep pushing his cold, wet nose under my hand or arm.

Since we've been married, Mr. Daddy has always done voices for our pets. Sweetpea had the cutest voice ever, but unfortunately I'll never hear it again. It just didn't feel right to assign her voice to anybody else. Our cats both had voices. Occasionally, Mr. Daddy will bust out with Pigger's voice and I'll be like "What's Pigger doing here?" It took him a while to find Toby's voice, but lately he's taken to having Toby call me M'Lady, which cracks me up completely. It very much reminds me of my Medieval Lit classes and the whole notion of Courtly Love. I'm quire sure Toby would write me a poem if he could.

Yes, it is exhausting sometimes to be the object of this much affection, but it's also pretty nice to have one creature on this earth that loves you unconditionally.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Yes? No? Maybe?

So....yeah, I suck.

But, y'all, I have been SO busy. Since I last posted Punkin has turned five, I've been going to boot camp two nights a week, and we go to church on Wednesday nights. Nobody reads blogs on Friday (so they say) and my weekends have all of sudden been consumed by College Football (woot!), birthday parties, and sleepovers.

Also, there's been a lot of stuff brewing in my head and when that happens I find that it becomes harder and harder to just sit down and write. In part because I'm still struggling to define my thoughts about this issue and in part because it will be nearly impossible to convey the wild swings my brain takes whenever I start to think about this. But, the only way through it is to do it, so here goes.

Y'all remember the whole saga about the Autism specialist to whom Punkin was referred, right? That's a lot of links, so if you don't feel like reading it I'll sum it up for you:
  • daughter was referred to Autism specialist at 4 year well visit, though to be high functioning Asperger's
  • called Specialist and found out there was a lengthy wait AND they don't take our insurance. Cost: $350. High but do-able. Began wait for appointment.
  • 9 months later, called by Specialist. Daughter's behavior had vastly improved so we weren't sure what to do.
  • Interwebs (and gut) said we should take the appointment just to see what they had to say.
  • Found out that testing had increased to $1400 and they still didn't take our insurance. The cost plus our feeling that she was "okay" caused us to decline our appointment.
Fast forward another several months. Punkin's behavior continues to improve, though she still has issues with being extremely shy and still occasionally prone to meltdowns. However, at her 5 year well visit, her pediatrician followed up with us in regards to last year's referral. I confidently explained that I didn't think Asperger's was her problem and that we had declined the appointment.

At this point he asked me about a gazillion questions regarding her behavior and by the end of the questioning, somehow, I was again concerned that she DID have Asperger's. The pediatrician's main concern was what he called her "lack of warm fuzzy feelings about her peers."

I immediately thought of all the times Punkin has come home saying "No one will play with me on the playground" or "My friends don't like me." In her 5 short years, this has happened more than you'd think. I've also noticed that while she's friendlier than she used to be to kids she encounters on playgrounds, etc., she doesn't actually play with these kids as much as she plays beside them. For those of you unfamiliar, children with Asperger's often have difficulty with social relationships because they don't know how to read facial expressions and social cues.

Is it Asperger's or is she just shy?

I asked her parapro what happens on the playground and she said that Punkin would come up to her and complain that it was too hot, that she didn't feel like playing.

Was it really too hot or did Punkin just not know how to navigate the social jungle that is the playground?

Then, last week Punkin got a "card pulled" at school for yelling at a little boy. I followed up with her teacher to see what had precipitated the yelling. Punkin was playing a game with a little boy and he wasn't following the rules. Punkin got very upset and yelled at him. More than once. Children with Asperger's are big rule followers and tend to get very agitated if others aren't doing what they're supposed to do.

Is it Asperger's or is she just a rule follower like her mom?

The truth of the matter is, I don't know. But I've spoken with her teachers and we have an appointment with the Assistant Principal, Punkin's teacher, and the School Psychologist next Tuesday to begin the process of having her evaluated. I'm going into this meeting feeling very confused because honestly, I don't know the answer to any of my questions above. And, if my conversation with Mir the other day is any indication, we may not really know anything after the evaluation because it is sometimes difficult to determine at this age what is Asperger's and what is just "being a 5 year old."

There are some (hi, mom!) who wonder why I'm doing this at all. Heck, even I sometimes wonder it, especially when I see my little girl smiling and telling jokes and acting goofy. But there are also other times when I feel like she is unhappy. That there is a social aspect missing from her life. So, I'm doing this because I want to do what's best for my child. I want her to be the best Punkin she can be and I want her to be her most confident self.

So, we have her evaluated. If there's nothing "wrong," we've lost nothing. If it turns out she does have Asperger's, well, then we'll go from there. But at least we'll know.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Give Me a Break!

My latest post is up over at Bodies in Motivation. And I promise I'll be back here soon.