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!

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5 responses

22 05 2009
Lisa

Nathan started walking at 19 months. His cousin, who is a couple months younger, was walking before he was crawling. He was also talking in sentences before he walked. But counting? Nope. No interest until well into JK. Stefan on the other hand…
It’s a lot easier to remember at what age things happened when they are so radically different!

22 05 2009
nanny

Pinworms ; spring and fall! Avoid the rush. Trhen you can let the children play!

3 06 2009
Laura

Amy, just read your babble blog in the Toronto Star. I hadn’t read the byline at first, but by the end of the first paragraph I knew it was you. I have taken my daughter out in public in a shockingly vibrant purple lace dress, plastic Barbie dress up heels, a broadbrimmed pink straw hat, heart shaped sunglasses and enough plastic jewellery to sink a battleship. Why did I do that? I don’t think I was trying to build her creativity or confidence, it was just that by the time the second one came around I was just too tired to argue over something as trivial as what she was wearing. I could have spent 30 minutes trying to get her changed, or I could go to the bank and back with her as she was in less than 30 minutes.
As it happens I was also dealing with Aspergers with my son, although it wasn’t diagnosed until much later. There was no such thing as a quick errand in those days. I learned the art of the “no option for the kids to say no” pretty quick. It was never a case of “put on your shoes” it was “are you going to put on your sneakers or your sandals?” because they were darn well putting something on their feet so we could go.
My daughter didn’t walk until 18 months either, but her aunt and great aunt were late walkers too, so I wasn’t TOO worried. You are lucky to know so early about the autism/aspergers. We didn’t have a clue what was going on with our son, but we knew there was something.
Drop me a line sometime, I’d like to talk to you, although I do feel like I have a pretty good idea about your life and how it is going. Take care. Say Hi to your folks for me.

20 08 2009
Anjali

Glad you’re back. I seem to check in every once in a while and catch up with a bunch all at once, and I’d miss you if it were gone for good. Yay Squiggles! Doesn’t matter as much when they do it, but it is damn cool to see them doing something new, isn’t it?

21 09 2009
trish

Hey ms. blogger, Glad to hear you were right again, and even happier to hear that now you can clearly, and with no guilt, tell others to stuff it in their piehole…ahem, I am beginning to get to that, but with no where near your gift for gab… Oh and my ‘pixie’ kid, that is what she wants to call it, quite often tells them to ‘stuff’ it for me….hang on it will be a ride that is truly worth it.

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