Me and My Big Mouth

21 05 2009

This is just like the time when I first laid eyes on the man who would become my husband. I told my friends that I was gonna marry that drunk guy with the mean pool shot, the beautiful green eyes and the drug-dealeresque Motorola pager, someday. Or the time when, on the way to my first ultrasound appointment, I suggested to my Mr. that it would be a real hoot to call my mom and tell her I was pregnant with twins. Only to discover that I was, in fact, pregnant with twins. So, it comes as no surprise that when I said ‘ You know, as soon as I start blogging again, I’m gonna get swamped with a writhing heap of actual writing work, and I won’t even have time to wipe my own arse,” I was right on the money.

But here I am. A little behind on the updates, but here I am. And that is all that matters. So, in the interest of getting caught up, here are the highlights of the last week or so in the life of the Blister Family:

2 out of 3 ain’t bad

With two cups of coffee chugged, three different doctors observing, six different forms with somewhere in the realm of  341 questions answered, and  4.5 hours at the hospital for the assessment, Neener was finally officially diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. That brings the official Blister Family Kids on the Autism Spectrum count to 2, as there probably won’t be any official word on Squiggles for at least a year, although she is still considered “high risk” and autistic-ish enough to warrant our participation in a pilot study dealing with parent training for early intervention.  So, what does this all mean? Not much. Except that I was right. And that we’re now re-evaluating some of our methods of dealing with Neener. And that I now officially have license to ask any buttinski who offers up unsolicited parenting advice or comments on the behaviour of any of my children,  how many kids with autism they have. And if the answer is anything less than one, I can now officially smile politely and tell them to shove their astute observations and their well-meaning advice directly up their Pinworm Maternity Wards.

The Pinworm Maternity Ward

11:30 p.m, the night before Neener and Roo’s Big Birthday Extravaganza, just as Mr. and I were finally making some progress in the gargantuan task of morphing our house from a disaster zone to a party zone, we hear Neener howling. Howling that her bum is itchy. Quite literally hooowwwling. As a former dirt-eating country bumpkin kid, I immediately knew what was going on with my dirt-eating city bumpkin kid: worms. Sure, I could do as the half dozen websites I quickly consulted suggested, and stick a piece of tape over her anus and peel it off in the morning to see if I could catch any mama worms who’d poked their little worm heads out to lay their little worm babies. Or I could coax her back to bed, then fire up the flashlight in the middle of the night to inspect her butt as she slept, to confirm my suspicions. But I’m pretty sure that’s the stuff that resurfaces as alien abduction/anal probe “memories” decades later. So, I did what any dirt-eating country bumpkin mother with dirt-eating city kids would have done: established what will now be a semi-annual family-wide worm medicine dosing, whether we need it or not. Half an hour later, three out of five of us had bellies’ full of carmel flavoured Combantrin, and the Pinworm Maternity Ward was unceremoniously shut down. At least until the next afternoon Neener decides to “help” me in the garden by simultaneously making cat poop infested mud sculptures and eating watermelon.

Neener & Roo’s Big Birthday Extravaganza

My baby girls turned 6. To mark this auspicious event, we invited 19 of their closest fellow children over to dump paint all over the carpet, eat all our blueberries, and bring a bunch of new stuff to replace the bunch of old stuff that got turfed in the process of turning the house from a disaster zone  to a party zone. And I don’t know about the rest of the little weirdos – who turned their noses up at the hummus and veggie plate, had no idea how to dance to The Beatles’  Octopus’ Garden, and acted like they’d never been asked to paint flowerpots at a birthday party before – but Neener and Roo had a blast. Nobody ate too much cake or paint, and nobody barfed. Nobody had a meltdown because the cups and utensils weren’t pink. And nobody gave them any Bratz Dollz, so nobody had to take a can of lighter fluid and a match out into the yard in the middle of the night and torch any obnoxious birthday presents.

Oh, and then there’s this…

May 2009 114

Look Ma! No hands! Yes, that’s Squiggles walking. No, she’s not exactly “running all over the place” or even doing it remotely steadily and predictably, but she’s doing it, dammit. At nearly 18 months old, my baby girl is finally on her pegs. Whew. After six whole months of it, I was starting to get really sick of plastering a cheery smile on my face and optimistically chirping “No, not yet, but probably soon. ” everytime someone asked if she’d started walking. Especially when what I really wanted to do was plaster on a smug little smirk and sneer,  ” No, but she can sing every word of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, count to ten, and recognize a bunch of letters. And by the way, how many kids with autism do you have, and do you think you’d have any room in your Pinworm Maternity Ward for the advice I can tell you’re just about to offer me?” But I didn’t. Not even once. Instead, I grinned back at their mildly surprised and faintly sympathetic smiles, and patiently listened to their reassuring stories about how their niece’s daughter’s friend and their best friend’s grandson’s cousin didn’t walk until they were almost two, and nodded at the advice to not worry about it because every child is different. No shit, Sherlock.

Ahhh, but I digress. But before I delve into the mountain of pay-the-bills work that has so happily come my way, let me envision a little something here: Sure, this summer I am going to be so busy with work that I will not have time to wipe my own arse, or the arses of my children. However, I will be making money. And so will my Mr. And we’ll be able to afford to hire someone else to wipe the arses of the children. And we’ll be able to afford to have my office chair outfitted with a snazzy little toilet/bidet attachment, so that I will not, in fact, even have to wipe my own arse. Then, I can focus on building a lovely little empire for me and my family. Yay for me and my big mouth!


Making a comeback takes balls…

7 05 2009

You have Meg Hickling to thank for this blogging comeback. Meg Hickling, and of course, my own uncanny ability to make a rational decision based on the most logical, well-thought-out list of pros and cons…and then decide that the road to crazyville is, in fact,  paved with rational decisions and pros and cons lists, and that I’d be better off  reversing my rational, well-thought-out decision, even at the risk of looking like a flip flopper. Personally, I’m a fan of the flip-flop. It’s a sign of flexibility. Of an ability to appropriately analyze and react to the assorted ebbs and flows of life. Any knuckle head can make a decision and  stick by it. It takes real brains and real cajones to know when to pull a complete 180. So here I am, frantically 180-ing away at my keyboard, with Squiggles parked in front of the tube demonstrating her uncanny ability to repeat an entire episode of Bear in the Big Blue House, word for word.

Ohhhhhh yes. Domestic Blister is back.

In the weeks since I shattered all your poor little reader hearts with the abrupt throwing in of my perpetually un-laundered blog towel, I’ve had plenty of time to just sit back and observe my family and my life without the pressure of turning the Blister family’s every foible into some sort of heart warming life lesson and/or smart-assed social commentary and/or barf-laced cautionary tale. And I realized something: I can’t not write this blog. Not because  I have any particular wisdom to impart. And certainly not because there’s a shortage of narcissistic brain farting on the internet. You, my readers, and the blogosphere in general, might not need this blog. But I do.  I need this quasi-public outlet for my writing and my experiences. I need a place to dump out all the sad and hilarious and furious and fuzzy thoughts that constantly mill around in my mind. I need to put my words out there, and see what happens. And I don’t care if the work I do on this – and make no mistake, this is work – never makes me a penny. And I don’t care if my writing or my mothering or my life doesn’t live up to any expectations other than my own. And I don’t care if I have to start mainlining Red Bull just to stay up past 10 pm; or feeding my family microwaved chicken legs basted in no-name shame sauce, served atop a pile of Mr. Noodles once a week; or letting Squiggles use the laptop so she can transcribe episodes of Bear in the Big Blue House, just to keep her out of my hair long enough to hack out a post. What ever it takes to put out these stories of my life, I’ll do. I need to write this blog.

And here is why: Apart from the fact that I have always been compelled- possibly by forces beyond my control – to blab about myself,  I have also been blessed with a weirdo family, who are, quite frankly, a lot of fun to blab about too. And here is where Meg Hickling comes in to play. Here is the story that forced me back to blogging. The story that I just could not not share:

***WARNING*** The following anecdote contains  cute shit my kid said, graphic descriptions of human reproductive organs, and Domestic Blister’s trademark storytelling style, which may induce urine leakage in those with compromised kegel muscles. Clench ’em if you’ve got, folks…

So, quite some time ago, I bought Neener and Roo the book Boys, Girls and Body Science, by Meg Hickling. It kicked around on our bookshelf largely unnoticed for well over a year. Until recently. In the book,  a cartoon Meg – who is a sexual health educator with a scientific approach- visits a cartoon classroom to explain and answer cartoon kids’ questions about cartoon bodies and cartoon boobies and cartoon baby making. It’s a great little book. Friendly, frank and factual. And funny. At least, it was when Roo read it.

It took me a minute to figure out what she was reading on that fatefully Saturday afternoon, when she discovered Boys, Girls and Body Science on the bookshelf. At first, all I heard was laughing. Then, with steadily increasing volume, and skyrocketing enthusiasm I heard her repeat one word: “BALLS!”  Over and over and over again. Until she was laughing so hard she couldn’t breathe. At which point, Neener arrived on the scene and picked up right where Roo left off: The cry of  ” BALLS! BALLS! BALLS!” rang out through the Blisterdome until Neener and Roo were reduced to crumpled heaps of hysterical giggles. See, in the book’s bit about male reproductive organs, Meg asks the class what they know about boy’s body parts. In an attempt to illustrate the importance of not using slang words, Meg responds by offering up the correct terminology when one of the kids eagerly shouts out the word balls. Which then leads to a conversation about using scientific words, and a little explanation about testicles being little ball-shaped parts of a boy’s body, and they are held in a wrinkly sack known as the scrotum. But what do my kids learn from Hickling’s rational, well-thought-out little story? Why, to shout out the word “BALLS!” at the top of their lungs, of course! So I tried to get the “BALLS!”  under control. I sat with them on the couch and read the book with them, carefully trying to de-emphasize the part where the kid shouts the word balls. And it went well. They got it. They learned a lot. And they stopped yelling “BALLS!” at least temporarily. Probably because they got so distracted by the word urethra. When we finished reading, I told them that if they had any questions, I was here for the asking. Nope, no questions, they said. Whew. So, we put the book back on the shelf and went to the kitchen to have a snack, as I patted myself on the back for not only ending the “BALLS!” fest, but for helping Neener and Roo really get a handle on some anatomical and biological fundamentals.

Then, Roo mused out loud:

” So, are there balls AND skipping ropes in a scrotum?”

At which point, I’m pretty sure some urine escaped from my urethra. And I hope some just did from yours too. Because that, my friends, is what this blog is all about.