musings in mayhem

writer, mom, tutor, superwoman

Archive for the category “surprise”

anatomy of ankleland

Some of you may recall this story from about a year ago:

You can click the picture for a link if you haven’t heard the tale, but about a year ago, I hurt my ankle pretty badly. I haven’t really recovered. In fact, from favoring the initial ligature/tendon injury which was never properly diagnosed, I developed tarsal tunnel syndrome.
TarsalTunnel
Click pic to read about it.

Then from not dealing with the tarsal tunnel syndrome, I developed tendonitis on the posterior blah blah, a tendon sheathe along a muscle that runs from the knee down behind the calf muscle, close to the tibia. I lost track when the doctor was talking yesterday as he gave me a cortisone injection for tarsal tunnel syndrome. I left the doctor’s office and drove in circles (yes folks, it is my driving ankle) to find the place where I was supposed to pick up a boot to wear for the next month, and found it just time for it to be closed, thanks to it’s lack of signage. By the time I got home, my foot was on fire up to my knee, and felt dead and asleep, like it was trying to wake up, but never did except partially sometime around five o’clock this morning. Needless to say, it was a sleepless night.  Before I went to bed, I asked a medical friend if my foot/ankle/leg should still feel like this several hours after injection, and she replied that it sounds like I had a classic steroid flare. Yay me and my weird anatomy.

So this morning, I got to drive all the way back across Newport News to find this boot place again and now my fashion statement is this:

May I pass this lesson onto you?

Listen to your body when it is giving you clear signals to see a doctor and take care of yourself, for goodness sake, because if you don’t put yourself high ‘on the list’, this is the sort of thing that can happen to you.

Ironically, in the waiting room, my reading was Hot (Sweaty) Mamas, by Kara Douglas Thom and Laurie Lethert Kocanda, an enthusiastic book about making personal fitness a priority in your hectic life as a mother.

I neglected to mention previously that this book was a win from Kate Hopper’s blog, Mother Words:Mothers Who Write. I am incredibly grateful, Kate, thank you. Once I can get back on both feet, I am so on this!

In fact, even before I am back on both feet, I am starting a belly dancing class next Monday. 🙂

hot hot hot

It’s supposed to reach one hundred or so today. My morning shower was a waste of water, as I am now covered in sweat, from just a little gardening.

I fed and pruned the roses and other flowering bushes. I am way late for feeding them, should have put a post-it about it on my forehead. As I cut back dead branches and tied up the hydrangea, I found a chrysalis. I think it’s a swallowtail, but I don’t know what type. We get a lot of swallowtails around here, state butterfly and all.

Sorry, still stuck with cellphone shots, until I figure out a better camera situation that doesn’t eat batteries.
Here’s some lavender by the driveway. I should really trim it back. Grandma parks on that side of the driveway and it attacks her as she gets in and out of her car. 
The crepe myrtle I planted street side a few years ago is blooming. The white blooms smell like cinnamon Necco wafers this morning. 

I think I mentioned before that I didn’t realize the sprig was spliced with pink when I bought it. The little pink bloom smells like cinnamon, too, but in a different way, a larger, more mellow scent, not as sharp as the white blossoms. Kind of like when I used to take a fireball out of my mouth as a kid once it was licked white and my tongue was on fire – after I drank something to cool my tongue.

Besides the chrysalis surprise, I found something Lucy left in the yard. She’s been digging a lot lately because we have moles, again. She left me a present of a dead one by the deck.

Well, I”m too hot to write much more. How’s the weather where you are? 

between downpours

The King’s Ransom rose bloomed in my front garden by the driveway.

Even with blight, he’s gorgeous.

And that was the cutest little spider friend he had hanging out with him, looking for a safe haven to not be washed away. (click and zoom!)
And then I dove either back into the house or van with my cellphone captures as the sky poured a bucket down my back.

captain comic rides again

Yes he did ride his bike some more, and made progress on his own, for which I’m very proud. 

However:

Last night, I got a call from the the local Sheriff’s Department. Captain Comic did not admit to it at the time, but I got out of him this morning that he did, in fact, call 911, but hung up when he realized that was a bad idea. 

When we received the call to be sure everyone was alright, I was like “Um, Grandma, the three year old and I are watching TV, the teen and Dad are on the computers right here next to us and the twelve year old is in the shower upstairs?” I walked upstairs to check on the greatest likelihood, and Captain Comic peered through a cracked bedroom door to deny making the call. I wasn’t entirely certain he was being honest, but I put the cracked door down to the fact of him being half-dressed after his shower.

Then a deputy came by and he lied again to me and to the deputy who said, “It’s okay, you’re not in trouble, just tell the truth.”

Late last night, I discovered the phone in my room was missing from its phone bed. I was not surprised, regardless of the number of opportunities I gave him over the course of the evening to come clean. This morning I confronted him with the evidence and another threat of no screens, whereupon he was very contrite.


I called the Sheriff’s Dispatch this morning and discussed with them what happened, and apologized about how this is something normally a four to six year old does. So they’re sending another deputy over tonight  to speak with him so that he can understand the importance of what 911 is used for.  The woman who answered chuckled and said, “It’s okay, my son did that, too, when I did not respond quickly enough when he stubbed his toe.”

Here’s the kicker:
He told me this morning that he wanted to ask them a question. 

Mom: What did you want to ask them?
Capt. Comic: If there really are criminals running around the streets.


asperger’s syndrome and bikes

Asperger’s Syndrome presents some unusual challenges as a parent that most parents never have to deal with. Certain things most parents accept as a given can never be assumed to operate in the same seamless and joyful sense.

Bike riding is one of these things. It involves both fine and gross motor skills, quick and accurate reaction time, muscle memory, and a wide variety of other things most people take for granted. Most neurotypical kids learn to ride a bike by the time they are six years old. Usually it involves one parent secretly letting go from behind and tricking the kid into the ride alone.
In my conversations with many parents of Aspies, I have found typically, if ever, they put together the pieces of learning to ride a bike when they are about twelve to thirteen years old. Captain Comic is that now. Some parents have found alternative bikes, like the leaning back three wheeler, a better way to go for their kids. Some never learn to ride, some learn to ride via an attachment to their parents’ bikes, but Captain Comic had gotten too big for that. 
He has recently made friends with a couple of boys in our neighborhood who tool around on their bikes and scooters quite a bit. Yesterday they came knocking, and asked him to join them. 
I was arriving home from the second trip to the dump with loads of branches that I, Mighty She-ra of Yardwork had trimmed from the big weeping birch on our corner. 

This post is not about me, it’s about Captain Comic, but I had to share that I singlehandedly trimmed the entire tree’s bottom rungs of branches that reach to the ground all by myself by hand, old school with clippers and handsaw. My friends on Facebook know this already. I was quite braggadocious about my muscley feat over there. I made Mr. Cynic hang from a particularly large branch over my head that I was sawing, so that he might pull it down quicker – all ninety-five pounds of my sixteen year old son. The pipsqueak, I love him.
But enough about me.

So as Honey and I arrived home from the dump, Captain Comic was bursting through the front door, with a bike more suited to Toots’s size than a kid who is practically my size, with training wheels and flat tires.
Later when I asked him what his friends thought of that first bike, and his riding along with them on the tiny, flat tired, training wheeled thing, he replied, “They were cool with it. They didn’t care.” 
This makes me very happy: as nutty and oddball as he is, there are peers right here in our neighborhood who accept him just the way he is. sniff

But back to the topic. After inflating the tires on another dusty old thing in the garage, I didn’t give up on him, even when he gave up on himself and the process. I threatened and cajoled, as nicely as possible for him to just keep trying. I whipped out Nelson Mandela’s tale when Captain Comic declared he was, “Hopeless, I tell you! HOPE-LESS!” And he fought and yelled and fell and threw the bike and ran away, and I threatened no screens (tv, computer, videogames) unless he tried into a side cul-de-sac and back to the house.  
And then the magic happened. He stopped fighting me. He stopped fighting himself. He stopped fighting the bike. He listen (sort of) when I talked about feeling his core muscles tell him how to correct the balance. He told me to stop talking and he kept trying, past our house, across the busy intersection and into the other cul-de-sac, and then back home again. 
He is this close (fingertips together) to taking off in freedom and speed around the neighborhood.
Witness:
If you turn the volume up you can hear him tell me to stop speaking, and what happens when I say okay, then sorry.  He’s so funny. I love this kid.
Nothing is hopeless. Not even a child with a form of autism learning to ride a bike. All you have to do is keep trying.  


weepy

I’m having a weird week. I wake up every morning feeling very weepy. I want to put it down to exhaustion and possible perimenopausal stuff.  It’s odd, like a biological impulse to cry. I don’t feel sad or anything, just as if I will burst into tears over the slightest thing.

Then there was Toots’s Preschool Art Show this morning and “Muffins with Mom” event, where I received a bunch of little hand and footprints accompanied by sweet little rhymes.  I swear they’re trying to kill me with the cute. I couldn’t even read the I leave my Handprints everywhere out loud for Toots when I unwrapped it, without catching a lump in my throat and my eyes becoming inexplicable fountains.

Tonight is Mr. Cynic’s high school jazz choir – the one that was Grand Champion in the Myrtle Beach regional competition – Spring Concert.

Help.

I will need a large box of tissues.  I couldn’t even make it through my niece’s dance recitals over the years. I suppose I can just bring Captain Comic and Toots and go into parental management mode. Nah, it’ll never work. Not this week. I think I will just let the tears roll.

Happy Mother’s Day to the other weepers out there.

spring surprises

 A friend and I took our little ones out yesterday because it was too beautiful to do anything else. At the park, they ran in opposite directions, and Amilicious and I couldn’t stand anywhere near each other to chat. I snapped a couple of shots as we crossed the footbridge on our way out.

 They were enthralled with a mama duck who was trying to snack in the mud below.

 Chive blossoms and buds:

 Here come the peas that Toots and I planted about a week or so ago.

Don’t ask, I stumbled across this when I was downloading shots in the camera:

look what she did

While I was sequestered away with Captain Comic on Sunday afternoon for hours, look what my little Toots did all by herself:

Looks like we have another writer in the house. She won’t be three for another couple of weeks.

Sincerely,
Proud mom. 

down for the count

Now Honey is down for the count. He never calls in sick and has a huge and urgent project at work right now, but he called in.  Poor guy.

Toots still had a mild fever last night, so she’s home from preschool, too. She’s still pretty low key for her.

I have a million things I ‘need’ to get done. I had planned earlier this week to write at the library today and run a bunch of errands, but looks like that will have to wait while I play nurse and catch up on school emails, etc.

Yesterday, Captain Comic was particularly loud coming in from the schoolbus. I asked him to quiet down as Toots was napping:

Capt. Comic: Riiiiiight, she threw up all night last night……Can I see her vomit stains?!

Thankfully, they had already been laundered.  Gotta love his brand of curiosity, though.

the teen

I don’t mention as much about my oldest as I do the other two. So I will share a tale of him now.

Saturday, I took Mr. Cynic out for a driving lesson, not in the high school parking lot, but on actual roads.

I nearly died. The boy panicked as we approached a main road and started veering off to ‘pull over’ to avoid it by having me drive us back into a subdivision from the main road.

Because we live in a coastal plain, the roadsides here have culverts for flood control. He nearly drove us into one, a near barrel-roll, passenger side – me – first.

I can hit some pretty high notes as a soprano. Never this high, except maybe while I was giving birth to him.

My driving lessons with him do not generally involve screaming, but I had said “Don’t!” about seventeen times in quick succession before screaming “Stop!” in an operatic fashion.

Think the Queen of the Night Aria from Mozart’s The Magic Flute – without the surrounding tune. Just that flute-like high note near the end.

I suggest when you get to this stage of parenting to take a few more trips around the big parking lot in your area.

Eventually, I got a pretty good laugh from it. After I stopped shaking violently. He’s generally a cautious kid, hard to get him to drive over 20mph. I taught his father to drive with him and his brother strapped in toddler and infant seats in the backseat, way back when. So I know I can do this, and survive to tell more tales.

 

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