Jason and I binge-watched Atypical on Netflix a few weeks back (and if you haven't checked it out yet, GO NOW DO, it's wonderful). I could probably write a dozen blog posts on all the many, many thoughts and feels I have about this show (which I repeat, is wonderful), but for now I'm going to go off and ramble down a completely different tangent. HOWEVER, the fact that we watched it will be important later. (Now THAT's how you structure a coherent blog post, folks.) Back when Noah was officially diagnosed with ADHD, we teamed up with his doctor and therapist to talk Noah through his diagnosis, what it meant and what would happen next. We didn't take the decision to try medication lightly, and I certainly had no intention of just handing him a pill, like here, take this, without thoroughly explaining what it would do and what potential pros and cons we'd need him to self-report going forward. There was a book and several sit-downs and lots and lots of follow-ups and check-ins. And then his Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis happened. In kind of a short order. And...well, we didn't tell him. That sounds horrrrrrrible, I know.... Read more →


Judges: Good morning, and welcome to this session of Simulated Congressional Hearings. You have been brought here as constitutional expert witnesses to answer the question "Why did we go to war?" in regards to the American Revolution. Before we begin, please introduce yourselves, and tell us what you hope to be when you grow up and why. The Rest of the Group: Veterinarian, teacher, doctor, etc. Because they love animals/school/helping people, etc. Noah: I want to be a time traveler because I love the movie Back to the Future. *** The presentation begins. Kid #1: BOOM. Kid #2: KAPOW! Noah: What's that? Kid #4: That's the SOUND of WAR. Judges: Dammmmn that's good. *** Judges, during follow-up questions: So Noah, you mentioned really liking Back to the Future. What do you think it would be like to take the Delorean back in time to the Boston Tea Party? Noah: That would be pretty cool. I'd join and help the patriots. Of course if any British soldiers started firing at us I'd be wearing a bullet-proof vest from modern times. To, you know, avoid death. Judges: Probably a good idea. We appreciated your obvious passion about your subject matter today. Noah:... Read more →


The Loop, Part 2

Noah likes to take a pre-dinner bike ride around the neighborhood. It's part of his routine whenever the weather is nice: come home, snack, homework, load the dishwasher, ride his bike around the same set loop two times, maybe three, then back for dinner. I've encouraged him to explore the neighborhood a little more, but he got a little lost doing that not long after we moved so now he prefers to stick to the same path. It takes him around to the street directly behind our house, and he likes to wave at me if I'm outside or at the kitchen window. I wave back. The other night, I missed the wave. I was at the stove making dinner. Ezra and Ike came in from playing on the swingset and set the table. I put dinner out and realized Noah wasn't back yet. Which, okay, that's fine, he'll probably be back in a few minutes. He wasn't. I checked the garage for his bike, scanned the street out back, then the front. I went to his room on the off-chance he'd come back and retreated there to play without anyone noticing (his stealth move to get out of further... Read more →


Quote of the Day

Nay, of the year. Of the DECADE. Noah, to Ike, who was whining loudly about his sock getting wet: "It'll dry! It'll be fine!" It will dry. It will be fine. This, from the kid for whom socks in general were once a regular source of meltdowns, who required special-order sensory socks without toe seams, who most certainly would've required a fresh dry change of socks IMMEDIATELY after stepping in something wet, oh my God, are you kidding. It's easy to get bogged down in the tiny details of the present, with how things are right now, because their future seems too big to worry about. Parents of typical kids make the jokes about "no kid goes to college in diapers" or "I promise he won't still ask for a bottle in junior high," and of course, that's all true. But there are kids in college who special order their socks. There are kids in junior high who wear noise-cancelling earmuffs and sit on special seat cushions. (I know that one is true because next year it'll be mine.) There are adults who struggle every single day with so many things, and it's easy to picture your child's struggles following... Read more →


Jason was lucky enough to take a couple days off this week, and spent them either 1) getting at least one of the two children responsible for most of the screaming/tattling/HE'S BREATHING MY AIR sort of hullaballoo out of my hair, or 2) spending quality one-on-one time with our middle and youngest children, reinforcing good positive attention behaviors with a side of spoiling and all that jazz. Technically a bit of both, I suppose. Both days involved the aquarium and copious amounts of dessert. Jason also sent the following photo as evidence of Ezra's Scrabble prowess, but in doing so revealed himself to be a dirty cheat who plays acronyms and two-letter words the second I'm not around to challenge that shit. (Note: Jason won't play Scrabble with me anymore.) Last night it was my turn to treat a kid to a special time out, and I landed either the best or worst assignment, depending on how you look at it. I took him to see DanTDM Live at the Baltimore Hippodrome. Who is DanTDM, you might ask? A perfectly reasonable question that I'm still not sure I can answer. DanTDM is a small and highly energetic British human who... Read more →


IT'S ROSÉ WEATHER, MOTHERFUCKERS. (Or, if you're my fruit-and-vegetable-texture-adverse child, it's purplish-brownish yogurt/spinach/frozen-berry-blend smoothie weather, which admittedly isn't as pretty, but he swears is delicious and solves quite a few nutritional/digestive concerns. Plus it puts the stupid-expensive blender Jason bought me last Mother's Day to good use.) I always spend this time of year in half slack-jawed amazement at how happy and mentally healthy this sort of weather makes me, and half in scrunched-forehead confusion at the idea that there are places with this sort of weather ALL THE TIME, places were I could hypothetically live and feel like this year round, because? I don't know. I like to babble bullshit about "liking having different seasons" when honestly, at least two out of four of our seasons can probably go fuck themselves. We met with the middle school's special education team yesterday to officially plan Noah's transition. It went well. I had to push to keep a few goals and accommodations in place because technically he's achieved said goals and doesn't currently use those accommodations, but given our history with rocky starts to new school years (and how hard the transition to a new school turned out to be last... Read more →


We had an IEP meeting this morning, a pretty big one. It was the first of TWO meetings planned for the transition to middle school (heyyyy there, fellow olds!) and this was also a "re-evaluation" year, which involves a metric shitton of testing and assessments to determine exactly how Noah's disabilities are impacting him at school. Of course, in my paranoid, neurotic brain, you can go ahead and replace "how" with "if," and then spend a few sleepless nights practicing the imaginary arguments you're going to have when the IEP team decides your child no longer qualifies for any services or accommodations, bye bye, have fun in middle school, watch out for the grizzly bears, good luck to ya. (That did not happen, by the way.) We knew going in that Noah did very well on all of the individual tests and assessments. His grades this year have been outstanding, and barring that one unfortunate debating debacle early in the year, behavior reports describe him as focused, hard-working and an all-around delightful, well-behaved kid. In some schools, yes, those positives can be spun into a "it's time to reduce services/increase mainstreaming/drop to a 504 plan" kind of discussion. Our school,... Read more →


I was getting coffee yesterday morning with Lydia when Jason texted. There's a protest at the White House at 1 p.m. I want to go. Noah does too. "Welp. I better get home." I told her. "This is what life is like now, I guess." I got home, changed my shirt, refastened an assortment of buttons and a safety pin to my coat, and put on my ridiculous pink hat. The boys and Jason all changed into Hamilton-themed shirts, while Noah carefully packed up the Declaration, Constitution and Bill of Rights. He also chose a hat. The protest quickly moved from a rally at the White House into a march past Trump's hotel and to the Capitol building (something the Women's March ended up being simply too massive to attempt), so we joined in. For something that was somewhat hastily planned and Jason only spotted somewhat randomly on Facebook, the turnout was insane. The line of marchers -- once a again a wildly diverse, universally peaceful crowd -- went on and on as far as I could see in both directions. Ike took it all in with a bit of baffled wonder, while Ezra understood that we were marching against... Read more →


On Friday, the fifth graders at Noah's school presented a living "wax museum," where everybody dressed up as a historical figure and gave a brief biography report on their life when "activated" by a visitor. For long-time readers and Noah-understanders, let me preface that this assignment involved all of the following: 1) Wearing a costume 2) That included a hat 3) Actually pretending to actually be another person 4) Who could not be George Washington (because he already did a biography report on him last year and needed to branch out) 5) Reading/reciting lines in front of strangers 6) While in a large, loud, echo-y cafeteria while well over a hundred students were also doing the same thing for a huge crowd of family and friends. OBVIOUSLY, Noah went with Alexander Hamilton. (Two kids over in his row was a King George III whom he gamely and playfully referred to as "Mine Sworn Enemy" and challenged to a duel.) He tried very hard to memorize his speech but ultimately his nerves got the better of him so he was allowed to read it. He was also offered his noise-cancelling earmuffs but opted not to compromise the integrity of his costume.... Read more →


In other, less polarizing news*, you want to know who's doing great? These fools. Or more accurately, these three wise guys. Are just great. Can't really speak for the cat, though. Over the past couple weeks, we've had both all our parent-teacher conferences AND Noah's IEP meeting, re-evaluation/pre-middle-school year edition. Let's recap. Noah's self-confidence has EXPLODED this year (possibly thanks to the social skills program he attended over the summer, plus a med switch that's been like night and day), and it's showing in just about every aspect possible at school. After almost failing math last year (but turning things around in the last semester), his latest report card was all A's and B's, he enjoys tests and studying and writing, keeps himself organized and on schedule, and is starting to open up to new topics and interests and friends. He continues to be amazingly self-aware and self-advocating, and just overall seems much happier and bubbly and just...yeah. Confident. It's a really good look for him. At his conference, his teacher mentioned his (obvious) love and passion for history and social studies, but said it was a struggle to redirect him from the non-fiction section and into more literary texts... Read more →