Look Who's Walking
The Bacon Poler Express

How's Noah?

Phone calls, voice mails, emails. Messages on Facebook and Twitter and blog comments. How's Noah? How's Noah doing? You haven't written much about Noah this month, about the schools, about how he's doing. So how's Noah doing?

When I was busy assembling his birthday video, I admit my jaw dropped a little when I came across the stuff from this time last year. This time last year, may I remind you, was months after he'd graduated out of early intervention and speech therapy, yet still a couple months before his preschool decided to stop being polite and start getting real, before we started living under the shadow of Various Ominous Acronyms.

In about...oh, 90% of the video from last year, I cannot understand a word he says. I could at the time, and in one particular video from Ezra's birthday I can also pick up some barely-veiled annoyance at my in-laws for misunderstanding Noah for the 50th time during a 20-minute hospital visit, like ARE YOU EVEN LISTENING TO HIM? ARE YOU EVEN TRYING?

Of course they were. And I'm sure his preschool teacher was too. It's so obvious now, when I hear his garbled little babyspeak, that he was having a hard time communicating with anyone who wasn't US, who wasn't on Noah's Day & Routine Auto-Pilot. Once Ezra arrived even we started falling down on the job -- getting irritated at his lack of flexibility, having less patience for his tantrums, depending on him to make his needs known in some way other than freaking out because Grandma put his Cheerios in the wrong bowl.

Anyway. Cliffs Notes version of This Past Year: TOTAL. BALLS.

But if you go back and read my entries from the Great First Weeks of Preschool (and oh God, please don't. and definitively don't tell me about them, or call me on the phone and read them out loud into my voice mail like my one friend used to do whenever she thought I was being particularly jackasstastic.), I am pretty sure that I am brimming with boundless optimism and pride. There have been QUITE A FEW points in our special-needs journey (my voicemail: your JOURNEY? where the fuck are you going? on a vision quest? shall I now serenade you with a few bars of Don't Stop Believin'?) when I've had an itchy trigger finger and written some kind of summary final-chapter "and now I shall never use the speech delays or SPD category labels again, huzzah!" entry.

And then a few months after that I have to eat my words all over again. Oh, remember when I said he was fine? Okay, scratch that. Maybe not totally fine. Or the kind of fine I thought I meant. Something is not quite right! Something is wrong! Hold me, Internet! I'm neurotic and have lost my mastery of basic punctuation!

So...I have been treading lightly, this past month. Noah takes the school bus to our local public school four mornings a week. He gets home, I spend 30 minutes trying to coax a peanut butter and jelly sandwich into his mouth hole and then we all get into the car and drive several highway exits north to the private school, where he attends five afternoons a week. I start the week the off in the writing-deadline weeds and by Wednesday or Thursday the weeds are up to my chest and have developed opposable thumbs and a penchant for kneecap-whacking. I realize I can't ignore the catch-22 situation of needing to continue working -- and likely up my workload -- to send Noah to the preschool in the first place, but also needing to secure just a few hours of babysitting during the week for Ezra so I can even come close to keeping up with my current deadlines. I actually need to be back in the car in about 15 minutes from now, even though I'm still thundering through a first draft with no real point or cohesiveness, thus in 15 minutes I'll shrug and hit the publish button and wake the poor baby up from his afternoon nap AGAIN and drive up there and pray that no one notices that I'm not showered. Hey, I was working out! I did The 30 Day Shred!

I did it last night, before bed, but whatever. MERE TECHNICALITY.

We're working harder at this -- this THING, this WHATEVER -- than we ever have before. I don't have time to write about it, I don't have the stomach to put it all down into words because it feels like the roller coaster never ends, but in fact sends you through another plummeting free fall and loopdeeloop whenever you start thinking it's slowing down. Sometimes I'm just so tired of it all.

So for now, we just keep going with it.

But still. Dear readers and friends and family. Noah is fine. Noah is great. Noah is entirely too preoccupied with kicking ass to bother with any of us. He loves school, he loves his teachers. He made a ladybug out of a rock and a giant tree out of construction paper. He loves the school bus, practicing his letters, both of his music classes...and one particularly pretty little dark-haired girl in the afternoon program named Zee. They hug a lot.


Sometimes he gets a little too tired to talk about it all too. But who can blame him?


Tracy D

I am going through my own struggles with Fine versus Not Fine and when do you relax your guard?? I am so glad Noah is doing well in his schools.


You are doing phenomenally well and you have delicious children.


I hope I'm not overstepping my boundaries by saying... I know exactly what you mean. It's easy to become overwhelmed by the ridiculous pressures and stresses of our own lives, especially when complicated by the manifest joys of Sped-enabled challenges, scheduling and issues... but then you focus on the little monster in question, see things from his/her perspective, and find yourself reminded: this is why we do what we do.

You go, Noah.


Oh, sigh. Were I not full-time employed I would totally offer to look after Ezra a few hours a week, because who wouldn't trust their baby to some stranger who reads about him on the Internet?

(Anyway, I'm glad Noah's doing well. I'm sure it's exhausting. I'm sitting here cheering for you.)

Adventures In Babywearing

There are different levels of fine and it's easy to gauge it from your version compared to, say, reality (in my experience). Maybe it's how we cope, I still feel guilty about it sometimes especially if miss something big to the normal eye... but we're just doing our best. You're obviously doing a great job. ;)


Sprite's Keeper

Jackasstastic? I must steal this!
Keep kicking ass, Noah!


Now you've gone and made me cry at work. I'm glad Noah is fine.




i love noah. can he make me a rock ladybug? i know, instead of taking on more deadlines, you should just set noah to work making more rock ladybugs and giant construction paper trees, and then open an etsy store to sell them.

you're welcome. i know i just solved all your problems.


So I was feeling completely guilty for NOT asking about Noah. But maybe it's good that I just send cookies and coffee, no?

Lori Hammond

Thank you for the update.

Can we have one soon on Max and/or Ceiba????! Or the Deodorants?!


You are such a great mom! You love your boys so much. You are doing an amazing job. Hang in there!!! it will all work out. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other.... xoxo


Noah is perfect,and so are you :)

Kristen McD

That kid is awesome. I'm sure it's mostly from you.


Thanks for the update about your precious numero uno, Amy. And, to quote steel magnolias, I don't know about the rest of him, but his hair's holding up just fine! How can so many beautiful shades of gold exist on the head of one little boy? Who already cornered the market on beautiful lashes?


As someone who just started this roller coaster, you, are my hero.


I agree..Noah is Ever So Much More Than Fine.

(go, Zee, why to snag the cutest boy in class!)


Okay, you know I meant Fine like in Wonderful and Perfect, right? Because after I hit post, I realized that my comment sounded weird.

Just meant that he is sweet and adorable and possibly the coolest preschooler on the Internet. Just to clear up.


I was just about to comment about how was Noah doing? Also how is your dad doing?

Jessica (@It's my life...)

It's all a process, right? Like life? One day is going to be great, one not so stellar. You just keep putting one foot down in front of the other while looking around to make sure you notice the good moments.
Hang in there, if there's one thing that looking through blog archives shows, is that it all eventually passes and we move on to the next big thing.


Rock on, Storches!


Hang in there babes, you're doing a great job!


I can't say I've been through anything as intense as this sounds, but I do know that through every hectic period of my life I haven't known how I would make it through. Then magically one day I was on the other end of it looking back with a WHEW! Sometimes when you stop looking for the end, it just comes.


Yeah...sometimes I want to punch my perky, optimistic past-tense self in the mouth. Then I feel kind of bad for the poor girl who doesn't know what is about to come around the bend. BUT, we're doing alright now, too. I think at some point, life starts to normalize.


Progress is never in a straight line, but it's great you can look back and see that you're not just moving in circles. And sometimes just keeping up is all you can do for a while.


Noah and Zee, sittin' in a tree. K-I-S-S-I-N-G. First come hugs, then come playground marriage ceremonies. Or at least that is how it worked when I was in preschool.


I'm glad Noah is enjoying school, making friends and constructing ladybugs. That's awesome. I guess the next question is "How's Amy?". Overwhelmed it sounds like. I hope you're hanging in there okay.


OK i'm sure this is so wrong since i'm not obsessing over Noah, but I assume that's your job and you don't need anyone else on it...sooo.... How is The 30 Day Shred?


Don't worry, if you miss sometimes, or if your posts are super short day after day, don't worry. We'll wait.

Jen L.

Rock on, Noah.


Bless him. You're a good parent.


Hey, I just started the 30 Day Shred, too . . . will hopefully be moving to L2 soon! --- Glad to hear Noah is doing great!


You should use that 30 day shred excuse for DAYS. I do!

momof three

you will be surprised when you are on the other side of this all and you can not believe you made it. and you thank god (and everyone else) that you made all these crazy choices to ensure he is getting the BEST there is to offer. then you sit back and call it the best thing you ever did in your life. my little sweet "project" is in kindergarten...after the years of speech, ot, pt, sensory work. as "his team" said "he is the poster child for early intervention." noah is on that same track, i promise you.


I never comment but this is great news, I'm glad that Noah is 'enjoying" school. Long may this last. There's a lot of Noah fans out here routing for your son. I embrace being a little different.


Sounds like you have a lot on your mind and on your plate. I'm so glad that Noah is too busy growing and having fun to worry about much. And I'm so sorry for the catch-22 of it all. I hope that this year is more full of realized potential than last year was. And less jackass-tastic--from me too.

Heather Ben

Hang in there - you are doing a great job! mommy guilt is the worst...


Seriously, it sounds like you're doing everything you should be doing - supporting him like crazy and loving the bejeesus out of him. I can't imagine what other approach would do more to create a happy, healthy, well-functioning child. You must have more patience than you give yourself credit for.


My sweet boy has the same pajamas as Noah, and the same busy-ass schedule. All we can do is the same thing every other mother does - everything. Everything for our kids. I'm glad to hear it's going well. That 30DS is a killer, right?

Katie Kat

I think Zee is now my favorite girl name!

He sounds like almost every other kid his age. Except, the extra hurdles seem to be getting easier to jump over, and for that, I'm happy for you.


Ahh the roller coaster - just had a ride this morning when my own special person informed me that the new higher dose of adderall that appeared to be helping is not really helping - not at all. In fact feeling less focused than a year ago. BUT! it was recognized that there is something not right and it was vocalized and it really is so much better than a year ago. - What a ride!


Thanks for sharing this Amy. No one understands my daughter except us but she is still only 22 months old so there's hope right? I too get irritated when other people don't understand her. I don't even "barely veil" my annoyance!
And I agree that Zee sounds like a wonderful name!


I have a kid in college and still struggle with "Fine/Not Fine". She's fine, until she isn't, and then she needs her momma. Only I can't help her anymore. Especially if it's with pathophysiology.


"Noah is entirely too preoccupied with kicking ass to bother with any of us. " So good to hear--yay for Noah, yay for the family!

Karen Chatters

Awww, Noah!! Hugs and kisses and tickles for Noah.

Mary Lou

Hi Amy!
Someone may have already told you this... but your 'When You Marry' post is also featured on Jezebel.com! Hooray! (Or I hope it is to you) : )

I think your'e fab. and I hope many more people will be aware of your overall greatness... if they don't know already : )


You aren't kidding about the fucking roller coaster. I think of all the hills and spins over the last year and a half and I'm wondering when I can keep my arms and legs in so that the ride can come to a complete stop.


We are also well-entrenched on this particular roller coaster, and I'm very proud of Noah. He's awesome, and the best Noah ever.

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