how sick is sick enough?

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What happens when an unsympathetic sister meets her sickly brother? Between them, not a heck of a lot. Between mother and child? Well, that’s a whole other story…

The Premise: The boy has a bad cold which could potentially turn into for Flu.

Prior to his (flu confirming) fever popping up, the doll complained her brother was only pretending to be sick so he didn’t have to go to church with me that morning. “He needs to suck it up and stop playing the sick card. So what if he has a cold, big deal!” She lamented. Talking to her father I said, “He doesn’t have a fever, but I’ll give him this, he looks awful.” “What makes that different from any other day?” She snarked. “Doll, be nice,” I said before being hit with a full on assault of negativity.

“You always treat him better than you do me. If I’m sick you never give me the benefit of the doubt, you always make me get up and ready for school or whatever. But with him, he merely tells you he doesn’t feel well and poof, he’s home sick,” She said loudly and sternly at me.

“Are you done?” I asked. Standing her ground, she crossed her arms, looked back at me and nodded. “Okay, words of wisdom doll, first things first… men inherently are wusses/babies. Doesn’t matter how old they are, on average, when they don’t feel well, they are big pains in the butt. As for your brother, not too long ago you were sick and stayed home for three of the five days of school that week. Yes, you went back probably a day to early, but that was a decision we made together when your fever broke.  So don’t tell me I give in to him more leeway than you and lastly, if not most importantly, when did you become the parent?”

She looked back at me sternly before opening her mouth the speak, “What?” “Simple question doll, but I’ll repeat it for you, When did you become the boy’s parent?” I asked again. “I don’t understand where you’re going…” She said in reply. “That’s right, you don’t because I’m the mom not you. I get you believe we give him special treatment, but I assure you that’s not the case. We treat both of you equally bad…or good depending on the moment something happens. That’s what being a parent of two children is… but if you perceive that I favor him over you, then that sucks for you, because I can see when he might think I show more favor or you,” I said before adding,” In the meantime, get your coat, we’re going to be late,” leaving for church a minute later.

That afternoon he sparked a temperature and his sister when told, simply replied, “He has the same thing I had and should be fine in a day or so”.

Thank you, Doctor doll…

Screen door 1…

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Comic relief arrived in the late evening hours of Thanksgiving night, even though at the time, we were unaware how much we needed that hearty laugh until the moment arrived. Of course I had my back turned and missed all the action, but the erupting laughter and the sight of my son grinning ear to ear caused a smile to erupt across my face too as I joined the others in laughing along with my son.

The boy’s explanation… 

My uncle Bill’s house was the setting for Thanksgiving dinner and all the cold drinks were kept on his back porch accessed from the kitchen by a sliding glass and screen door. I opened the sliding glass door to exit the house so I could grab a bottle of water and closed the door behind me to keep the various dogs inside from running outside unattended. While I was outside, I engaged in conversation with my Uncle Don and Aunt Carol about my possible college future. Once our conversation came to a close, I turned and opened the sliding door and proceeded to walk into the screen door with such force that I bounced off but shook the door frame making a loud “bonk” noise in the process.

That’s when everyone began to laugh.

Realizing that everyone was aware of what happened, I smiled, slowly opened up the screen door and said, “Let’s try this again,” before re-entering the house carrying a broad smile with me. That’s when my cousin Adam said, “I don’t know Bay, even though you may have gotten a 31 on your ACT,  that screen door just took you to school. Screen door one-Boy-Zero.”

Which caused everyone including me, to laugh even harder.

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something funny happened on the way to 18….

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In February the boy turns eighteen years old and legally becomes an adult. His turning eighteen terrifies and excites me all at the same time. “You know at 18 you have to file for the draft…” I told him. “Mom, I’m ready to move to Canada…” He replied. “Bay, college will cost more there-you know with out of state fees and such,” I replied trying to appeal to his fiscal side. “Seriously, the armed services would never take a chubby kid with Asperger’s he reasoned. “Perhaps, but non the less, you still have to apply,” I reminded.

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Under the heading, “You can bring a horse to water..”

In the last month we have visited four prospective colleges for the boy, applied to FASFA, applied to said colleges and have been fielding paper work designed to make this process easier, while making it more difficult for the boy. “Mom, these two universities has said I need to open email accounts with them,” He said to me the other day. Looking back at him I asked, “Well, did you open them?” “I don’t know how. I’m not computer savvy,” He tried. “In other words, you would like me to do that for you, right?” I replied and he only stood there looking at me. “I’m not going to college next year bay, you are and you have to start taking responsibility to do so now. “Mom, I know…” He began but I interrupted, “I’m not your secretary, you need to get on this,” I said. “I think I’ll ask the counselors at school if they can help me out…” He offered as a way to get me off his back and is plan worked. Yesterday when I asked him if he had set up the email accounts he replied, “No, I’ve been really busy…” “You’re going to be busy next year working full time instead of going to school too, if you don’t get this done,” I replied and exited his room.

Preparing for the big change….

While sitting in a meeting with his college counselor a couple of months back she asked the boy, “What is your biggest worry about going to school next year…?” He looked back at her and said, “That my roommate won’t wake me up for class…” His father and I looked at him, then each other, then back to him again confused. “Would that be your roommates responsibility?” The counselor asked and he replied, “Well he sure would endear himself to me”. “Bay, you’re in for a rude… a very rude awakening…” I interjected before moving onto the next subject at hand.

The perfect explanation…

“Your dad and I liked Muskingum, probably because the college is so small that in no time you’d probably end up knowing the entire student body,” I said. “Yeah, but you know, regardless which college I attend, the eventual mother bear den will arrive,” He replied. Confused I said, “Mother bear den?” “Yeah, you know, the “mother bear,” the one person people tend to find who can offer them some reassurances either through conversation or will be there if they are in need of a hug?  That’s my role Mom so regardless which college I go to, I’ll be fine.” He replied.

 

Something funny has happened to my son on his way to turning eighteen…

He’s become a very interesting young man.

little conversations…

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I love listening in on little conversations between my kids while we travel to and from school. Each conversation is a little window into who they are in relation to one another. Not so long ago, the boy could embarrass the doll simply by being in the same room, Thankfully, for the most part, that stage has ended so now when they engage the other in conversation, they tend to extend respect to one another (kinda).

Yesterday afternoon on the ride home from school, the kids were talking about their planned outing with the Film Club to see the movie, Dr. Strange. As the boy ran down the list of who was and who was not coming he added, “Yes your boy friend “J” can’t come…” Naturally, she did not like his inference… “He’s not by boy friend (actually he’s her crush),” She shot back at him. “Two sides of the same coin,” He argued. “You’re not making sense,” She replied (But when does he ever? I wanted to interject, but didn’t) “I’m making perfect sense… I can call him your “boyfriend” the same way you always infer my friend Alexa is my girlfriend,” He argued. “Not the same thing at all boy,” She tried. “The exact same thing and so no we’re on equal footing,” He replied. “Mum…” She said trying to get me to intervene. “Bay, be nice,” I said and with the next breath added, “You do the same doll,” which did nothing for her, but looking through my rear view window, I caught a smile creasing her brother’s face.

 

 

throwing salt…

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The other day, my doll decided to make pumpkin pies, as a precursor to helping her aunt make pies for our large family’s Thanksgiving extravaganza. “Mom, do you mind if I change the recipe a little?” She asked. “Not at all,” I replied, because she tends to be an innovator when she bakes. Besides, so long as the pie tastes sweet, the boys  will be eat them. Her big change? She used egg whites only, so I could partake in the pie as well.

In any case, while making the pies, he spilled a large amount of salt on the ground and lamented, “I have the worst luck!” “Doll, maybe you should do something to correct your luck…” I said. Looking at me she took the Morton Salt container, repopend the top and then attempted to “throw” salt over her left shoulder. Instead, she proceeded to throw salt up into the air, into her hair and left eye. “OW Mum!!!” She cried while I (the mean mom that I am) laughed and admonished her to clean up the mess.

Since her salt “throwing” day, the doll has, in her words, “Had a run of bad luck”: On Saturday, she accompanied me to the grocery store and even though the day was wet and windy, the snow the forecasters had been promising, really hadn’t been much of a factor. Yet, when the time came for us to leave the store, incredibly the parking lot was covered in the white stuff. Ice pellets (resembling snow), blown by the frenetic wind then, hit us like cold little spears. “O my God Mum, this wind!” She yelled as we quickly loaded my car with groceries. When we finally got into the car ourselves, the doll was covered with snow. Looking over at me she exclaimed, “That darn salt!”

“Mum…” She whined on Sunday, “I stubbed my toe on the floor…how does this happen?” before lamenting about salt being the root cause to all her anxieties.

Yesterday she suffered from a stomach virus, “Mum, the throwing salt incident is trying to murder me,” She explained on her way back to bed.

So last night I decided to help her “cleanse” away the bad luck. “Doll let’s look and see what you can do…” I said hoping things like, “Get a good night’s rest” might be one of the solutions.

Instead this is the list that popped up:

  1. Use salt. Salt is considered good luck by many cultures in the world. …
  2. Don’t throw away pieces of broken mirror. …
  3. Burn incense. …
  4. Carry protective charms. …
  5. Burn sage. …
  6. Use crystals and stones. …
  7. Do a good deed. …
  8. Cleanse your chakras with fresh flowers

Looking back at me she said, “No thank you…the number one answer is what got me into this mess in the first place. With my luck I’ll only make things worse.”

Smiling back at her I replied, “Well, if it were me…I’d aim for a good night’s rest so you’re more awake to make you’re own luck…” “It’s not my fault I don’t sleep well, Jeeze Mum, you’re no help,” She replied. “Whatever doll, just don’t blame me if your luck gets any worse…” I offered and then dropped the subject.

This morning she informed me she may have gotten up to 6 hours of sleep last night (small miracle) Smiling at her I replied, “Well that’s the first step…”

 

Sleeper…

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Last Friday, both kids overslept. The boy especially unhappy with our late arrival time to school, made his feelings known, “Why didn’t we get here earlier?” He complained.  “Sorry bay, but you’re old enough to be responsible for getting yourself up; ready for school without a parent nagging you…” I said. “Mom, I woke up fine…” he began, “I just didn’t sleep well, that’s all,” He argued.

As we drove along I began to wonder if his protestations didn’t represent more? “What time did you go to bed last night?” I asked. “I don’t remember…” He replied.

The night before, for some reason, I was exhausted and fell asleep around 8:30 pm believing I would wake up around ten, before going back to bed around midnight. Except instead of a quick two hour nap,  I slept until 3:30 am. By the time school rolled around, I’d been up several hours doing chores and working out, before waking up the kids.

“What time did you go to bed last night?” I asked. “I don’t remember…” He replied. “Bay, on average, I tell you when to go to bed, but since I was already asleep, I left that chore to yourself. Considering you’re going away to school next year, learning how to manage your time and take responsibility for your actions, you should have put yourself to bed at a reasonable hour, rather than play video games all night,” I lectured. “Mom, why do you always assume the worst for me? I didn’t play video games all night. The doll reminded me it was bedtime around eleven,” He explained. “Okay, how soon after that did you go to sleep?” I countered. “Sometime after that…” He said, smiled and then said, “Oh look, we’re at school, gotta go, bye mom,” Opened the door and then exited the vehicle.

His sister still sitting in the car threw her two cents into the mix saying, “He probably went to sleep around 2…like me” which made me shake my head. I wasn’t sure whether I should be mad at the both of them for staying up so late on a school night or be happy that both kids cover for one another. In the end I only replied, “Well, you reap what you sew…” before wishing the doll a good day and heading back toward home.

 

the roundabout…

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We were standing in a food aisle, looking for a large jar of Natural peanut butter and sugar free grape jam when the doll scolded me. “What’s this?” She asked picking up the large (8oz) package of gummy bears I had placed inside the cart. “Doll, you know what they are,” I replied then went back to studying the food choices before me. “Mom, I mean what is this doing in your cart?” Sigh, “What do you think?” I replied knowing full well she was about to give me a lecture. “Mom, we are not going to have you addicted to gummy bears again,” She scolded. “I’m not addicted, not really. I mean I can give them up and have in the past, I just have a hankering for them at the moment…” I replied. “But you know…” She began but I countered, “Why don’t you pick out some chocolate for yourself?” I said hoping she’d take the offer. “Wait, what?” She replied trying to understand the choice she was given. “Why don’t you pick out something you’d like to eat…” I offered again. “Nice try Mum, trying to pull the old bait and switch…” She replied, though her interest was obviously piqued. “Is it working?” I asked and smiled when she placed a bag of chocolate and raspberry nibbles into the cart. “What do you think?” She said before we moved onto the next aisle.

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