The Long and Winding Road

Last week, out of the blue, one of the doctors finally called us back. The one we wanted to see in the first place, but had given up on. He could see us on Sunday. Would that work? Uh. Yes? Noah and I spent several hours with him yesterday. I sat with my giant binder on my lap — every piece of important paper we've generated since the Early Intervention days — while Noah played with a Magic 8 Ball and simultaneously broke my heart and took my breath away with his amazingly self-aware and articulate answers to the doctor's questions. I see too many things all the time. I'm always distracted. My ears don't work. My brain needs to be fixed. Can you help fix it? I want to be smart and I'm not. My ways are not the world's ways. And: There's a war in my head and the bad guys are winning. Of course, these responses came out in between long, detailed descriptions of the entire plot of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and were spoken while he turned upside-down and backwards on the couch, as if it were physically painful for him to sit still... Read more →

The Stuff in the Space Between

Throughout all the hours with bouncy-voiced strangers, the weekly treks to various therapies, the years of classroom pull-outs and special accommodations, Noah never asked us why. Not surprising at first, of course, since the majority of our early efforts centered around his reluctance to talk much at all. And even though he's never been the most flexible child, there was still always that element of understanding that We Took Him Places Sometimes, And So He Was At That Place, Okay, Cool. Most of the places we took him were pretty fun, anyway, and full of grown-ups who played games with him the whole time. Best not to question it. But now, the Matrix is glitching. School is not fun. School is hard. School is hard for him, in a way it doesn't seem to be for the other kids. The other kids, whom he still doesn't understand how to be friends with, or why he should even want to be friends with them, especially since they don't understand why it's so hard for him to stay calm and still at school, seem to have it easier. And now he wants to know why. And he doesn't just want to know... Read more →

Picture Break

I seem to be hopelessly and endlessly trapped in a loop of OMG SO BUSY AND YET ACCOMPLISHING NOTHING (with bonus excessive adverbs). I feel like I should have a Story of Substance & Worth Telling for you by now, but instead it's been nothing but work! More work! Laundry! No, more laundry than that! Sticky breakfast dishes growing ever stickier! We're out of milk/eggs/cereal! Time to go get that kid! And now the other one! Soccer! Appointments! Conferences! Phone calls and more work and oh great, the cat just decided to vomit up three days' worth of food up and down the upstairs hallway. And WTF, we're out of milk again. In other words, here are some pictures from my phone. Ass, thy name is Half. More brotherly bonding with screens. And no, Noah is not really wearing glasses — they're part of his Harry Potter costume. That he picked out. Himself. Willingly and unprompted. He likes wearing the glasses around because "sometimes different is fun." *falls over dead* Speaking of Halloween, I've opted to skip the hand-me-down costumes for Ike and put together a costume that is 100% based on That Hair. I can't wait to baffle and... Read more →

Putting His Money Where My Mouth Is

I took Noah to a toy store this week — he'd accumulated a pretty decent amount of birthday cash and gift cards from generous friends and family, and was naturally determined to blow it all on hats LEGOs. We were at that store for a long, long time, as Noah carefully considered his options and worked out the price tag math. (There was also a sale going on, which mostly revealed my incompetence at explaining math concepts like "buy one get one 40% off" to a second grader.) He decided to buy a Legends of Chima set — yet another giant 4,000-piece ship-type thing that will take him two days to build and 40 seconds to fall apart and morph into something else — and a small set of LEGO Friends. For those of you not living with wall-to-wall LEGO carpeting, "LEGO Friends " is the newish line designed to bring girls back to the brand. The minifigures are all girls, and shaped more like tween-y Polly Pockets than the boxy traditional LEGO people. And instead of shit like NINJA SWAMP BATTLE COPTERS the sets are more like EMMA'S CUPCAKE BAKERY & PUPPY HOSPITAL. But you know, they are very... Read more →


It's been a tough couple months for Noah. I've been tangled up over what to say or what to post — the fist-pump GO NOAH! entries are so much easier for me to write; going back to the days of routinely wringing out every tiny neurotic emotion via the keyboard isn't something that interests me much. Because even during the tough periods, we're still moving forward. Backwards isn't an option. But I guess lately we've been moving more sideways. Summers are always tough; the back-to-school transition is even tougher. The same old issues are there: anxiety, rigidity, social and attention/impulse control issues. They just take new shapes and forms and ebb and flow in their frequency. The loop is still there, looping around and around, as my child tries so hard to make sense of a world that just doesn't make sense to him. And a world that increasingly isn't quite sure what to make of him, either. (He quit karate, by the way. Yeah. At the beginning of the summer. Just a few weeks after all that earlier drama and my premature pride in coming up with a solution to keep him going. I probably started a dozen blog... Read more →

Return of the Petting Zoo

We attended a birthday party yesterday. The invitation said the party would include a petting zoo. I saw that and had a moment of hesitation, then thought, nah, what are the odds? Three and a half years later, that fucking petting zoo incident still burns a quiet, burny burn in my chest. I don't like thinking about it. I can't even bring myself to re-read the entry about it. Hell, just typing "petting zoo" into the search bar over there gave me a weird, shaky feeling. Sort of like the feeling I got yesterday, seeing that very same petting zoo handler pull into the driveway. I wanted to leave. No, I wanted to flee. I heard some ducks frantically flapping their wings from inside their carrier and felt exactly the same way. "Should we go? I want go. How do we just...go?" I whispered frantically to Jason, who of course was like, duh, we leave after the cake, calm down, it'll be fine. Birthday party PTSD. Apparently it's a thing. He didn't remember or recoginize me or Noah, this stranger whom I've let loom so large in my mind for all these years, whose one cantankerous sentence sent me spiraling... Read more →

Old Hat But Not Really

We're back, Jack. Apologies to everyone who is not named Jack. Which for some reason I suspect is...all of you. ANYWAY, I will be posting beach photos/stories/hilarity in a bit, but first. It's the first... of second grade. So if you've been reading this blog since Noah was born (or possibly even before), join me. Taste it. Taste the pain. LET'S MARINATE IN OUR COLLECTIVE OLDNESS. I've already written a few times about how optimistic we are for this year of school, what surprised me most this morning was that Noah seems to share that optimism. He's excited but not nervous-excited. Ready to see old friends, meet news ones and roll with the changes in teacher/room/schedule/whatever. Second grade. Bring it. We had a loop-free sendoff, basically. He didn't even look back or wave from the bus window. I lingered behind to reassure this year's batch of weepy kindergarten parents that the school really does a good job of hardly losing anyone's children ever and that the first week of kindergarten tires the kids out so much that you can send them to bed at 7 p.m. and enjoy your sunrise/sunset wine in peace. *awkward arm punch* Here's hoping Noah... Read more →

Mister Noah's Neighborhood

Okay, look. Nick Jr. is on right now. Nick Jr. has maybe been on for awhile now. Maybe. Possibly. I don't know my life. I put Nick Jr. on for Ike so I could shower, write a blog post and answer some emails. (My favorite being the one someone [HI LISA] sent me at 3 a.m. to ask about getting stains off a microfiber couch and repeatedly used the phrase "COUCH PENIS." Because RELEVANT. God, I love you people.) I put Nick Jr. on because attempts to let him free range around the house had already resulted in a pants-removal incident that hereforeafter shall be referred to as COUCH POOP. Please don't email me about it. Noah is also here, and also watching Nick Jr. He is watching Nick Jr. with a surprising amount of intensity, given that he is now almost 8 years old and should probably know by now that nobody ever dies on Little Bear. At least not outside of Sweeps. And yet he just barrelled into my office to shriek at top volume that someone named Tonny (?) has lost his drum and it's ALMOST CHIME TIME (?), Mom! If he can't find his drum then... Read more →

Noah's Oil

This post is sponsored by the Honest Company. Have we talked about Noah's weird skin? I feel like we haven't talked about Noah's weird skin. Okay, "weird" probably isn't the right or nicest word — the cosmetics industry would probably just prefer I label it as "sensitive" but I think that undersells the full scope of crazy-making issues we've faced with Noah's skin. Up until he started preschool, he'd regularly get eczema every winter. But it didn't bother him at all. I never once saw that child scratch or rub at the CLEARLY horribly dry, angry raised patches that would appear and scatter all over his arms and legs. I've always guessed that his SPD had something to do with it — he was really underresponsive to temperature, so many he just didn't feel...itchy sensations, either? I don't know. I do know that at some point, his body suddenly switched on and decided to START PAYING ATTENTION TO THINGS. TO ALL OF THE THINGS. And while it's really nice to have a child who can tell you that you've accidentally turned his bath to boiling and who no longer steps off the bus wearing his winter coat even though the... Read more →

Moving Forward By Staying Still

I'd start this post out with the usual barrage of OMG and I can't believe it but frankly, if this ISN'T the face of a newly minted second grader, I don't know what is. I guess this is as good a point as any to mention a little side plot line in our lives that certainly didn't FEEL little, even though I chose not to blog about it, but: We were planning to move. We've since changed our minds. Oh my God, 10 words to sum up over SIX MONTHS of crazy offline craziness. That's so not fair. We decided over the winter to put our townhouse on the market and look around for a single family in the same general area. We set an end-of-the-school-year deadline for ourselves and completed a monstrous to-do list of painting, fixing, improving, decluttering (or decrapifying, as we usually called it), you name it. All the stupid little piddly house shit you know you need to do but...don't. (Apologies for including "you" in my procrastination process, if you are not the sort who lets stupid little piddly house shit pile up around you until you are boxed in by shit mountains.) I packed and... Read more →