All the Small Things (That I Forgot To Mention the First Time)

Not really a full post today but more of an addendum to yesterday's, since a lot of y'all seemed to appreciate the book and Positivity Jar recommendations. (Which, for the record, both came from Ike's private therapist, who is just wonderful. [AND ACCEPTS OUR INSURANCE WOOOOOO.] We -- okay, technically Jason, because he's even more On It than I am sometimes-- found someone who does Cognitive Behavioral Therapy AND who understands the connection between learning disabilities and the resulting depression and social anxiety that frequently come along with them. Her input helped shape Ike's IEP and the school's plan, so if you're kind of flailing around with this stuff as well, it really helps to have someone like that on your child's team. Ping me if you're local and need a recommendation.) Wow, went on a TANGENT!! after just one sentence there. Anyway! Ever since hitting the publish button I've been like OH WAIT AND ANOTHER THING, and since I'm too lazy to go back and edit an existing post I figured I'd just write a new one. This is personal blogging. We don't edit things! We just go on and on and on forever about the things. A WEIGHTED... Read more →


tO qUIT OR nOT tO qUIT, pART tWO

A belated thank-you for all the feedback from...wow, was it only last week? Just a mere 47 impeachment news cycles ago? Anyway, thanks for all the feedback/advice/commiseration on whether we should let Noah quit the saxophone. (I didn't realize CAPS LOCK was on when I typed the original title of that post, then I decided to just keep that way for funz, and now here we are a week later, stuck with it again because STYLISTIC CONSISTENCY.) Your comments were all (mostly) very helpful, and I hope that it speaks to my growth as a Blog Person that FOR ONCE, I was able to read a ton of conflicting advice from the Internet without my head exploding like an anxiety balloon and/or me getting all snippy at people because THAT ADVICE IS NOT RELEVANT TO OUR SITUATION BECAUSE OF REASONS I COMPLETELY FORGOT TO INCLUDE IN MY POST. THIS COMMENT SECTION IS RESERVED FOR OMNISCIENT BEINGS ONLY. One of the background details I didn't include (because the post was already rambly AF enough), was that Jason played the saxophone as a kid. As did his big brother before him. His parents bought a really, really nice Yamaha sax for his... Read more →


tO qUIT OR nOT tO qUIT

A question, for you, O Internet: How do you decide if, and when, it's okay to let your kid quit? My children have quit lots of things. Every sport they've ever attempted, for example. I still have a garbage bag full of karate belts in the basement somewhere, probably buried under Ezra's cricket equipment. (That passion flamed out when he realized he actually wasn't any...good? At cricket? And that was fine, because I was likewise not any good at being Team Parent. I still have the t-shirt, though!) They're all good strong swimmers but begged to quit lessons once they hit the higher levels that involved the diving board and the unheated pool at the Y. And we let them quit because we got super sick of listening to them collectively bitch about it every goddamn Saturday morning. Ezra dabbled in guitar and attempted violin (arrgghhh my earssss) before finally settling on the flute -- which he loves! And actually IS very good at! Like kinda phenom good at! Which is great! Except it means the cheap little student flute we bought for $75 off Craigslist is no longer working for him and I just learned what an "acceptable" flute... Read more →


The Youths of Today

Noah saw It Chapter Two on Sunday with his dad and his best friend.* I chickened out and stayed home to surf Netflix in search of Other Soothing Shows with People Being Nice to Each Other Over Low-Stakes Things. (Now that Netflix has chosen to torture me on a deeply personal level by limiting my GBBO habit to one measly new episode a WEEK, like WHAT IS THIS, the dark ages? 2007?) Anyway, they had a blast. Much junk food and jump scares were enjoyed by all. Noah's review is that it's very good, pretty true to the book, kinda long but that's fine because he WAITED a long time for it, and not as scary as the first one. He really, really likes Bill Hader now, so I've spent the week compiling a best of Stefon playlist to watch with him this weekend. (No, I will def not let him watch Barry but you def should, I command it.) Here's something I was not expecting: Parenting a teenager is actually a lot of fun. And to think I was so scared of them, especially the ones in packs. But instead, it's awesome. You get to finally like a lot... Read more →


We're (Back) on a Boat

In honor of summer vacation, the boys unanimously voted for a return voyage on the Spirit of Baltimore, this time in BETTER WEATHER so they could stay OUTSIDE on the TOP DECK and also SEE THINGS. Not an unreasonable request, since yeah, we went in December on a freezing cold rainy/foggy day, and it definitely impaired our views of the murky green water and breathtaking Baltimore industrial areas. But my own snark aside, they love this stuff so much that I can't help absorbing their excitement. WE'RE ON A BOAT, MOTHERFUCKERS. A "real" cruise ship passed us by at one point and it was a very OMG WTF BBQ ELEVENTY!!ONE!! moment for them. These big-ass games were also pretty cool. (Though this one was decidedly less cool once it fell over right on your lap and several pieces slammed into your toes.) But NOTHING (not even the buffet! which had pasta and fruit and cake!!) was more exciting than being invited to steer the ship and hang out with the captain. Also, this: But what was probably the best part for me (I mean, besides the buffet, because obviously) was watching Noah take photos of everything and text them to... Read more →


It Gets Better

If I had to name one aspect of parenting that I deeply, intensely hate, it actually wouldn't be the diapers or the sleep deprivation or the full-body bone-goop temper tantrums or even the look on your preshus beloved baby's face when you accidentally call him "sweetie" while saying goodbye in the middle school hallway. No, it'd be taking them to the damn dentist. Our past appointments easily take up several spots in my all-time top 10 Low Moments In Parenting list. We're talking screaming, kicking, crying. (Them, not me. At least not until we were back in the car.) I'd have to sit in the chair with them, pinning down their arms and legs with all the force my own limbs could muster, while a clearly pissed-off and tired-of-this-shit hygienist tried to assure them that "Mister Thirsty" was nothing to be scared of. (FUCK YOU MISTER THIRSTY, I'd think to myself, while also trying to think of post-appointment good-behavior incentives that didn't involve tooth-rotting junk food, lest the hygienist judge me even more.) We tried kid-only dentists, special-needs dentists, dentists whose lobbies were packed with video games and had televisions in the exam rooms. My kids would have none of... Read more →


13 is Fake News

So this video came up in the On This Day feature of my cloud drive, and at first I was like, awwww, look at baby Noah from like, what, five years ago? Six? When we were all still so passionate and hopeful that this madness had to end? No. Two. Two years to the day. View this post on Instagram "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." A post shared by Amalah (@amalah) on Jan 29, 2017 at 4:26pm PST It's only been two years of this chaotic bumbling bullshit, but also: It only takes two years to fully turn a sweet little boy into a giant-ass man. Noah is almost as tall as I am. His shoes are gigantic. I ordered him a bunch of shirts in the largest size of the Old Navy kids' department and by the time they arrive his arms were already too long for them. He eats...so much. So very, very much. But apparently all of... Read more →


A Bruh To Remember

So Titanic is totally the new George Washington. View this post on Instagram And we haven’t even BEGUN to discuss whether Jack could’ve fit on that door... A post shared by Amalah (@amalah) on Nov 14, 2018 at 4:39pm PST Noah is next-level obsessed with all things Titanic right now. Movies, books, documentaries, endless recreations in the bathtub, you name it. His twin life goals right now include a ride on Titanic 2 and making enough money to raise the original wreck before the ocean eats it. (How he'll achieve the second goal is a little fuzzy. It's either inventing time travel or "something with computers.") I, too, went through a pretty big Titanic phase around his age, so it's been fun tracking down all the books I read and still remember pretty vividly. One of my favorites was A Night To Remember, and I promised him I'd re-read it after he was done so we could talk about it. (That is a Very Big Deal for a Spectrum kid, as he's aware most conversations about his obsessions are more like endless, one-sided lectures.) He read it, he loved it, he's already watched the movie version four times. And as... Read more →


Enough Said

(Photo unrelated to post topic, for reasons that shall become clear. But look! Floors are done and lazy-cat-approved!) It's an...interesting time to be the mother of a 12-year-old boy. Puberty has hit our household like a ton of bricks launched from a Death Star. Stuff is changing. Girls are suddenly a thing. And we're having a lot of frank and honest conversations about hormones, boundaries, consent, and social cues. Also, butts. Meanwhile, every time I read the news I can't help but think that, hey, some of these grown-ass men clearly missed out of some of this SUPER BASIC INFORMATION back when they were 12 years old, because JESUS CHRIST. We might not know entirely what we're doing as we navigate this brave new phase in parenting, I can at least pledge this to my son's peers and fellow grown-ass women of the future: We're trying. We're really, really trying. So presented without further context (because none is needed, I think you get the gist, safe to say that if this list is intended to be useful for you, YOU GET IT, YOU KNOW, YOU FEEL ME DAWGS), here are my Current Top Best Book Recommendations: American Medical Association Boy's... Read more →


Adventureland

Yesterday morning I dropped Noah off at his school and watched him head inside, wheeling a suitcase behind him. He's off on a two-day, two-night field trip to an outdoor adventure camp by the Chesapeake Bay with his classmates. All 300 of them. Who decided all these tiny babies were suddenly ready for this shit? Who decided the grownups were? It was nice to see that most sixth graders are still willing to publicly hug and kiss their parents goodbye, and that this was a Big Deal for plenty of other families -- some cars were packed with moms and dads and grandparents and siblings to wave off their newly official Super Big Kid Who Takes Suitcases Overnight Now. Other kids were clearly sleepaway camp veterans, bouncing out of cars with an overstuffed duffel bag because maybe they have a better understanding of what "several changes of inner and outer clothing" actually looks like for two days at one of these places -- I just kept adding stuff until there wasn't anymore room for stuff. What if his sweatshirt gets muddy? What if all his socks get wet? ("It'll dry! It'll be fine!") Electronics of any kind were strictly prohibited,... Read more →