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... Read more →


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... Read more →


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... Read more →


Sideways

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... Read more →


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... Read more →


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... ...day 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... 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... 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... Read more →


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.... Read more →


Last week, Noah decided that he wanted to quit karate. I've always told him it's okay if he wanted to quit karate (usually mid-argument over getting his uniform on and out the door in time for class), but he's always insisted that no, he doesn't want to quit. He wants a black belt. Well, that's not technically true, I guess. There was one point in kindergarten when he said he wanted to quit, but didn't like our stipulation that sure, you can quit, but you need to go tell your teachers in person. He waffled for a bit, then finally made it into the office, where he quickly changed his mind after 30 seconds of pep talk from a specific instructor. (Who he worships, but kind of in the same way one worships a terrifying, vengeful god.) He kept at it and seemed to be even more dedicated to the... Read more →