Spring Awakening
A Girl's Night In (+$300 Giveaway!)

Before the Fall



(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 year), I really felt they should stay in place in case of a regression or other problem. I got the sense I was close to being overruled by most of the people in the room, but I dug my heels in and kept arguing (politely!) until I either changed people's minds or they just got sick of listening to me and wanted to move on to the next topic. But for the most part everything was really fine and the school offers really, really excellent programs and services for kids like Noah. He'll be taking advantage of just about all of them. 

One of the weirder accommodations we added was to explicitly give Noah permission to carry a small backpack or tote bag in the school hallways (where they are technically prohibited outside arrival/dismissal), since he'll be responsible for carrying his own sensory aids (noise-cancelling headphones, wiggle seat cushion and hand fidgets) from classroom to classroom. His current homeroom teacher was like, "that shit gets heavy! he'll need a bag!" And then there was a long discussion as to what kind of bag and what exactly he's allowed to put in the bag and what can't go in the bag and now I need to inform my child of his documented god-given and federally-protected right to carry said bag in case he's challenged by a random teacher or school employee. 

IEPs are weird. But not as weird as the dinnertime conversation last night, which mostly centered on Noah telling everyone what he's been learning in "Puberty" (health/sex-ed class). And what he's been learning from his friends about the subject, which. No. No. That's wrong. That's not true. Nope, wrong. Wait, what?? Okay, maybe stop talking to Timothy about this stuff, honey. 

Overall, though, he thinks the whole puberty business sounds disgusting and he'd really rather skip it. Same, tbh. 



How is it possible that Noah can be old enough to attend a school where backpacks/bags are forbidden, or to learn about puberty? HOW IS THIS EVEN POSSIBLE?


My kid has permission from the Gods on high to wear a hat in school. It AH-MAZING how many teachers hassle him about this. It's a small friggin' school. He's gotten to the point where he just says "Mrs. MYCASEMANGER" says it's ok. Good luck with the backpack and the transition.


I am not sure Noah should be allowed to be old enough to be thinking about puberty. You're entering the years I steadfastly avoid in teaching. I can deal with kids 5th and below or 8th and about but those 6th and 7th graders. Fuck that noise. I wish you luck and lots more wine


I'm from Massachusetts, I live in Arizona. You do miss the seasons, but not the shoveling. On the other hand, you don't live in a 100 plus degree oven all summer. It's all a trade-off!!

Brandy K

As a ahem, special services provider, (I feel like I'm about to mansplain, but promise, no! Also, am a woman...so)...it's a little annoying to hear that you had to argue (politely or otherwise) for accommodations as it's pretty common for kids on the spectrum to have some regression in new environments. Also, remember you can reconvene that shit ANYTIME if you don't think what he's getting is working. Keep on, madam!


During my kid's "Puberty Class" last year he overheard two of the "cool kids" making jokes and laughing and so repeated what they said to another kid: "You make pornography with your grandmother." His homeroom teacher relayed this information to me during his 504 meeting, after which I put my head down on the table and laughed until I cried, knowing he hadn't the faintest idea what pornography was, nor would he have ever repeated it if he did (pathologically bashful). Fifth grade is the greatest.


We have had discussions about what accommodations are expected with my son (he has T1Diabetes) so he can advocate for himself when he feels comfortable, but he also knows that if he has any difficulty, he can ask the teacher to speak to the nurse, who will advocate for him. Because we're obviously not a ready resource when he's at school - we like him to know that there's a specific adult who has his back. I'm guessing Noah will have some non-teacher advocate too?
We've been fortunate and encountered very few issues - usually it is substitutes who don't know - and we've even found that other kids will actually chime in to back him up! :)


Kids are passing along misinformation about puberty?!? Yeah, I started talking with my kids about that stuff before (I hope) it came up as a topic amongst their peers. My concern was them getting some wrong info stuck in their head that would persist to... such time as they would need accurate info. I also got a couple books, even though I totally had that urge to not want them to know this stuff "too early."


The pediatrician handed my 10 yr old boy a pamphlet on "Changes" which he promptly handed to me.
"Don't you want to read this?" I asked.
"No thank you, I want it to be a surprise."

Oh boy...


I love alll of this.

Share the smoothie recipe?


I'm a school psych and OMG I KNOW. I KNOW. The accommodation hair splitting committee. They do good work, but getting there is a PROCESS. I wish I could professionally call for a time out snack break because those meetings aren't developmentally appropriate for ME.


We are getting ready for the middle school transition as well. I started working in the disability services office at a local college and man, oh man, did that give me ideas for new areas to test. So, we added CAPD and are adding summer school and other services next year. Thankfully, they know what I do and my voice seems to actually mean something now. It is a power trip, I tell you.

For some reason, kids reaching their goals means they do not need services to many people. No, it means this plan works and we shall keep it in place. We actually gave up itinerant support because there are 3 assistant teachers in math and having a 4th constantly asking my little if he needed help was driving him insane but we have to put it back next year. I am sure no one will understand but the odds of having 3 assistants in middle school is not likely. I am not even sure how it happened this year. *sigh* keep on, momma. Also, sex ed...ugh!


Okay, so... I don't have kids, so maybe this is normal and I just don't know, but... they're not allowed to... carry bags? How do they carry their books?


Very common - no purses, backpacks or bags of any kind during the school day. They can carry them to and from school and store them in their locker during the day.

Sue W.

Once Noah gets Puberty figured out, could he come 'splain it to me, please. I still don't know what happened to me and my body!


Judy, generally schools have gone to no backpacks/bags, and a lot of schools don't have the kids carrying books anymore. My son's middle school is completely online...programs like eschool, google docs and schoology have made this possible. Each class room has a set of laptops and a set of the text books and kids can borrow the text books, but they are all accessible on the internet. There is no more I forgot my homework at home in this world. Not having backpacks is a safety concern as well, both for what could be kept in them and the tripping/stealing that happens. I was a little up in arms when my first kid went to middle school and I heard the no backpack rule, but it woks.


"IT'S ROSÉ WEATHER, MOTHERFUCKERS." Pretty sure that needs to be on a t-shirt-- and that I need one!

Cheryl S.

Just wait until he gets INTO middle school. Jess is in 6th grade and some of the "puberty" stuff she comes home with is frightening. Luckily, she still tells me about it, so I can correct all the wrong info, or tell her why she might not want to repeat what she heard!

Luckily, we didn't have too much trouble in to beginning of this year at Jessica's 504 meeting. She has now kind of outgrown some of her accommodations, but I plan to request that they be kept in due to the fear of regression at the beginning of next year.


I live in Massachusetts and we are definitely NOT eating outside yet, as you seem to be from your photo, damn you :-) We lived for a year in Savannah and yeah it was a bit boring weather-wise but I'll take it any day. Unfortunately my husband dissolved in a puddle of sweat and we got sick of people asking us "What church do you go to?" Once they found out we were Jewish, it was mostly OK, because that's not as good as Christian but much preferable to being a commie atheist. Oh yeah, and the rabbi told us to vote for George W. Bush.


Hopefully Noah's school is using the book "It's Perfectly Normal" by Robie Harris. If not, acquire a copy for your family immediately. Best puberty book ever.

Amy A

Here in Sourheast Michigan we are currently experiencing thundersleet. It's a thing, although quite rare. Snow accumulation is then expected, and then in two days its predicted to be 70 degrees. So we get all four seasons in the span of a few days. Lucky us. A friend showed me a meme that said, 'Go home, April; you're drunk'.
And when my pubescent nephew learned about the 'sex thing' he responded that it 'sounds disturbing.' He's 19 now and undoubtedly feels differently.


Hey, Amy A! I'm in Southeast Michigan, too! BIZARRE weather the last couple of days, even for Michigan, right?

Oh, middle school. Such a weird place. Very hard parenting years for me, personally, with both kids. But better (exponentially so) with the boy than the girl. Probably more due to personality than gender. And I'm with you and Noah on puberty. It would be so much better if we all could just skip it.


One of my favorite students from my first year of teaching came up to me after the sex ed class, and said,"Ms.? This stuff? No. Just no." Still cracks me up. But it was fifth grade, so there was the day that one of my girl students brought a vibrator to school. That was a great phone call for a first year teacher to deal with! "Um, your kid, well, she seems to be curious..."
Yes, yes, on the meeting the goals means the plan is working. Easier to have me the goals and ignore them scramble to reinstate them.

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