should i make a pencil bouquet or a xanax cocktail?

This time next week, I will have just tucked my kids into bed in preparation for their first day of school.  This time next week, I will be an emotional wreck.

As internet friends all over the country have been sending their babes off to school this week, I have been watching closely.  I’ve been reading their posts and emails about feelings on loosening the cord and saying goodbye for seven hours a day.  I’ve also been reading article after article about easing the transition and offering the right kinds of support to the people we are sending off.  Some might say I’m working myself up over nothing.  I say, I’m arming myself for the battle.  “What the hell is so stinking bad about sending your kid to school?” you ask.  Nothing, I guess.  For most moms.

I; however, am not most moms.  Among a myriad of personal issues too neurotic to name, I’m also a mom of a kid with Sensory Processing Disorder.  You may be wondering what SPD is.  You may be rolling your eyes and guffawing that another mom is buying into another “disorder” to make excuses for their bad parenting.  I know there’s plenty of people in my life happy to have that same response.

For those of you eager to pass judgement, save it.  Just save it and keep moving on.  For those of you wondering what SPD is, it’s a neurological condition that makes it difficult to process and act upon information received through the senses, thereby creating challenges in performing countless everyday tasks.  To the average person, the child may look like an incredibly shy introvert that hides under her mom’s skirt and refuses to play at recess, or he may look like a wild maniac that bounces off the walls, runs over the other children and refuses to settle down and obey even the most basic classroom rules.  (Some children that look like this, simply are those things, and some children aren’t.  It’s up to parents to investigate and decide what category their children are in, and I’d happily support all parents in their decisions.)

Just like thousands of other parents in my position, I’m anxious about many things as the beginning of the school year approaches.  Have I been too lax this summer and created a monster for his teacher?  Will he be able to grasp a new routine, new rules, new environment that is different from last year’s?  Will the support the school has promised in order to help him succeed truly be there?  Will he come home every day with sad faces on a report regarding his classroom behavior?  Will his report cards hold all ones and twos or will he be on “grade level” threes and fours?  How the hell am I going to do this?  Am I a failure as a mom?  And a thousand more questions just like these.  On a loop.  In my head.

More than anything right now, I hear these words: “Do not let that school put a label on your son. It’s not worth it.  You know he’s a good kid.  He’s just a little boy.  Don’t you dare let them label him.”  As much as I have struggled with the decision, I have let them label him.  Do you know why?  Because I’m not too proud to let my son get the help he will desperately need to succeed throughout school.  Do you know what the label means for my son?  The label means the difference between him growing up to be a tow truck driver or an engineer if he wants to.  (Not that I would have a problem if he wanted to grow up to be a tow-truck driver.  God bless the tow-truck drivers.  But if he wants to be an engineer, then he should have that opportunity.)  As much as I know in my gut that I have made the right decision, because I know my son, the people in my ear that don’t agree with it, wear me down and make me question myself.  I’m not proud of it, but it’s true.

And then I remind myself: that label, those extra classes and the special seat he gets in the classroom?  Those are the difference between success and failure.  The therapy he receives?  That’s the difference between learning to read fluently by the end of the year, and it taking until fifth grade to read at a first grade level.  That file? The one that they keep in the office that says my son has special needs?  That file doesn’t mean shit to me, except that my son, the one that I am responsible for, he gets to have his best shot at life.

I cannot wrap my mind around stubbornly refusing my son his best shot at life just because I am too proud to let someone evaluate him and put a label on him.  If every time he ran around the track in PE he turned blue and couldn’t breathe, would I refuse to let a doctor check him for asthma?  If they found he had asthma and I refused to let him have medication to treat it, would I be a good mom because I wasn’t letting someone label my son as an asthmatic?  Would I be teaching him a special kind of discipline that would turn him into an Olympic sprinter later in life or would I be hamstringing him for the sake of my own pride?  Does that make any sense whatsoever?

This year, I will be entering new waters.  In the four earlier years I’ve had children in school, I’ve never been the mom that had to attend IEP meetings or therapy sessions.  I’ve just been the mom with the smart kid and the cute kindergartener.  Now I’m the mom that decided not to take that great job so I could be the mom that goes to school and helps with the hard days.  I’m the mom that packs the special bag and does the extra work to make sure things go smoothly.  I’m the mom that makes sure the label doesn’t mean he gets stuck in the seat in the corner, but gets all the special help he needs to be the brilliant kid that proves you wrong.  I’m that mom.  And I’m bad ass.

*I feel badly that I didn’t add this earlier, but I also want to make clear that my husband is also that dad.  He supports every decision and makes every hard sacrifice right along side me.  When one of us has lost our focus and determination to give Jordan his best shot, the other is there to remind us why we’re doing this.  He lovingly watches me devour books and articles and try crazy-brained ideas to help ease life around here.  He sacrifices for all of us.  And he is most definitely bad. ass. :)*

if you are a locksmith (or my husband) you might not want to read this.

It’s been a pretty eventful week here at the Impropers.  I’ve been a busy little bee getting shit done.  That’s what I do. GET SHIT DONE.

This morning, I was sitting here at my computer getting more shit done and the mister calls sounding very sheepish.  He says, “You’re going to kill me, but I need you to call a locksmith.  I locked the keys in the car and I have a meeting in an hour and it’s going to be pushing it.  I’m really sorry, babe.”

Now, you may be wondering what kind of ball-crushing wife I am for my husband to call me so tail-between-the-legs like for an honest to goodness mistake people make all the damn time.  Well, let me tell you why.

BECAUSE THE IDIOT DOES IT ALL THE DAMN TIME.  ALL the damn time.  I’m sorry for the screaming.  But, you guys, if you were in my head right now, you’d know some bolded capitalized letters here is the understatement of a lifetime.  My blood pressure is through the roof.

Again, you might be thinking, “Jeez, Kel.  Cool it.  It’s not that big of a deal.”  And you might be right.  IF- and hear me when I say if, please- IF I hadn’t also just locked the keys in the car this past weekend and had a little experience of my own.

You see, I took Elle to a birthday party at a skating rink about a half hour away on Sunday.  I hadn’t had lunch yet so I took her in and then went back to the car to eat in some peace and quiet.  When I got out of the car…blah blah blah. Locked out.

So, I called the man (the husband) and told him what an idiot I am and asked for some help.  He said, ask someone that works there for a wire hanger and then see if you can get someone to help you.  Fine, I will humiliate myself and do that.  I got the hanger.  Everyone who worked at said skating rink was 12.  There were two men at the rink.  One was 80 and one looked like he just got out of the federal pin for pretending to help a woman get the keys out of her car and then sticking her in his van and taking her across state lines for god only knows what.

So, I called the man again and said he was going to need to get his ass of the couch and COME HELP A BITCH OUT.  Which he did.  Along with his dad.  Which I am forever grateful for.  Thank you, dad.  NO THANK YOU, JIMMIE.

Fast forward to today, because this is where it gets goooood.  I maintained my decorum and was the nice wifey.  I called a locksmith.  He said he’d have someone call me right back.  Seven minutes lapsed and I called another locksmith.  Because we are on a time crunch for an important meeting.  That person was on their way before I even hung up the phone.  And they were $15 bucks cheaper.  They win.

While on the phone with hubby, first  locksmith finally calls.  I miss it.  I call back.  No answer.  I call back again.  No answer.

Phone rings 5 minutes later and some *ahem* not very good English speaking person (no problem there, except I couldn’t totally understand him.) starts YELLING at me.  “WHY YOU CALL SO MANY COMPANIES TO GET YOUR HUSBAND’S DOORS UNLOCKED LADY??”

I said, calmly, “Because the number I initially called did not call me back for over 10 minutes.  By the time you called me, someone else had already returned my call and was on the phone with my husband already almost there.  And don’t you ever call yelling at a potential customer.  I’m sorry for the inconvenience for you, but this is poor customer service and you are RUDE.”

He said, “Oohhhhh Drama Queen, huh?”

I said, “You haven’t begun to see drama queen you pathetic son of a bitch.  Go to hell.”  (Or something like that.  I don’t completely remember because I think I was in the middle of a stroke my blood pressure was so fucking high.”

Drama Queen?  You damn right you pansy ass little door unlocker.  And I have your phone number.  I WILL HUNT YOU DOWN.

Whew.  Okay, I am okay.  I will not maim and destroy poor locksmiths.  I will not lose my shit.  I will not lose my shit. Peaceful Zen thoughts and Xanax to begin now.

Aaaannnnd I’m off to Walmart for a freaking magnetic hide-a-key thingy.  And our next car will have keyless entry.  And AAA.  And anything else that will get my idiot husband into his car without costing over fifty bucks a pop.

Pass the Tylenol.

i never claimed to be ‘average’

This morning my littlest bug had what’s apparently a run of the mill surgical procedure, removing the metal plate that was attached to the femur at the beginning of the summer.  You might remember me freaking out that the babe somehow broke his femur just days before we were scheduled to move.  It made for an interesting summer and moving process, but he took it like a champ and today was months ahead of when we were initially told the removal procedure would happen.

He went in like a champ and only got a little teary and nervous that last minute when they took him from pre-op to the OR and mommy wasn’t allowed to go.  We were then escorted to the waiting room where I’d spend the next couple of hours, and well… send myself into a panic attack and state of overall emotional wreckage as only I can.  I don’t know what’s wrong with me that I always dwell on the WCS (worst case scenario, for those of you not currently undergoing dozens of hours of therapy,) but I do.  I sat there thinking about how they were working so dangerously close to his femoral artery and it would be so easy to slip and ohmygod I don’t even want to think about it.  We were in the day surgery area which isn’t completely attached to the hospital.  Which got me thinking if an actual emergency did occur it would probably take too long to get to the actual hospital in order to actually save a person’s life.  So that was disconcerting.

I sat in a seat that enabled me to look back into the pre and post op areas, just feet from the OR.  I figured if there was something bad going on, I’d definitely be able to see the nurses and emergency type people scurrying around back there looking for crash carts and screaming “CODE BLUE, ROOM TWO, STAT!”  I wish I could tell you I casually peeked through the frosted window panes occasionally, but in all actuality, my eyes were glued to those windows all 127 minutes I sat in that room, just watching for someone to look a little concerned.  Every time the door to my area opened, I accosted the nurse with my jedi mind tricks to ensure they weren’t hiding anything from me.  I’m confident they all started to wonder if I was nuts.

Then, when the doctor came out to tell me all was well, I confirmed all of their suspicions that not only was that freaky ass mother in the waiting room possibly crazy, but someone should call Psych a freaking sap and get her admitted.  Because, you see, as the doc was talking so calmly and reassuringly about how well things went, I freaking burst into tears.

Now, I have had an interesting couple of days.  I have a lot of… emotions, if you will, running about just under the surface of sanity.  So, I’m not sure it was 100% nerves about the surgery that I was letting out.  But I released what some might consider a metric shit ton of emotion.  And made a complete ass of myself.  Everyone was quite reassuring, telling me it was nice to see a mother that cared so much about their child and blah de blah blah.  But I saw them running around the post-op, making sure all the sharp objects were properly stored.   Jimmie could barely contain his laughter as he watched me.  Oh sure, he was hugging me and telling me what a great mom I am, but I saw that twinkly glint in his eye that tells me he’s mentally going over the checklist of padded room necessities.  I know inside he was trying not to laugh and what a loon toon we all know I am.

Then we went back to post-op.  And the PA was telling us all the particulars of recovery.  And at the end, I winked at him.  I don’t know why.  It just happened.  My left eye closed in a definite winkish sort of way.  And I wanted to crawl under the bed.  But when he came back, he winked at me!  So I think we have a date now.

And Jordan is fine.  Watching Batman cartoons and sipping on a vanilla milkshake.  Enjoying the benefits of Vicodin.  Wonder if he would consider sharing.