Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Oh, mothering blog, how do I neglect thee, let me count the ways. It's been a month. Honestly, in these 30 days, not much has happened on the Jude front that requires great and triumphant heralding on ye olde blog, but sometimes it comforts my psyche just to purge the parental vortex in preparation of starting over in a new month.

Last we "talked," we had been given the recommendation to try the Waldorf School for Jude. Since then, we find ourselves relocating into a much sought after public school zone so odds are, we'll just stay there.

What we are really looking forward to is in this move is a life lived outside of the car. The past year, as newbies to Nashville and residents of Franklin, we haven't really excelled in that whole "quality of life" thing people keep talking about. Most of Jude's free time is spent in my office or in the car. It's the sad side effect of commuting when you've got kids. He has probably consumed more "to go" meals in said car over the past year than he did in the 3 years prior to us moving here. What can I say, I fail at MOM 101 this round. I'm hoping the next year will bring a mountain of changes -- all positive.

Obviously, diet is (and probably always will be) an important aspect of raising an atypical child so this "cuisine de commute" doesn't win me ribbons in that department either. However, I will note that we have phased out of the GFCF obsession slightly as he's gotten older. Not just because of what the good doctor at Vandy told us but also because we hit that wall where it didn't seem to be making a difference anymore. Now don't get me wrong, we still don't get down with cow's milk (it's almond if you please) and we still maintain a low dairy to everything else ratio but...eh...you can only stress yourself so much. And the bottom line is: there is no diet that is going to magically reverse your child's behavior. It can make the behaviors better, certainly, but just like with medication -- you will hit a wall where the difference it's making becomes miniscule.

But speaking of medication, which we have not ventured to try yet (I will hold off on that as long as humanly possible), I will say that the above is NOT true for vitamins and supplements.

Most kids' schools have a daily behavioral rating system that mirrors your friendly neighborhood stoplight. Well, my child's daily folder has more so mirrored a Lite Brite over the past month or so instead. He has gotten into this very perplexing habit of just telling his teacher flat out "no!" Surely, some of this is genetic (I won't say which side of the family it comes from but I will note he has one or two blond streaks in that mess of black hair) but some of it is just him not getting that he is not a) an adult or b) in charge.

As is the truth with a lot of atypical children, they don't quite see those imaginary boundary lines that we all spend our entire lives dancing around. He is the star, director and producer of the "Julian Show" and we are all just extras, set crew, or (G-d forbid) catering staff (that would be my job, of course)!

So this behavior, as I said, has sort of hit an all time high with him lately. I'm not entirely sure but I'm guessing we have maybe given his teacher wrinkles and/or gray hair at this juncture. Ok, who am I kidding, we've probably given her both.

Between living in the car and working 800 hours a week between the two of us, I apparently forgot to refill someone's vitamin supply. Innocently, I picked up a new bottle at Whole Foods five days ago and it's like "POOF" bad child be gone! (I think maybe that's what they should call them -- Bad Child Be Gone: Now in Fruity Raspberry!).

Anyway, that whole lecture my mom used to give me (and, yes, this is where I say you were right, mom) about taking my B vitamins to rid my head of those angry monsters otherwise known as stress, anxiety and depression -- well she was right. And apparently it works on the little one, too. The B's mixed with magnesium and zinc, also great tools for fighting off the grouchy non-focus monster known to dwell in little boys under the age of...um 39?

On another "typical" note -- I always like to mentally document and file away our typical moments for when I'm having one of my "oh my G-d, I am a terrible mother and my child is so out of control" moments -- the argument we had with him the other night was awesome! Strange for a parent to call an argument with their child awesome but in the world of things atypical, things that would make other parents maybe pull at their hair and gnash their teeth, send us into hysterics. Observe:

Julian: (storms half way up the stairs after having Wii turned off for not playing nice) "I'm never talking to either one of you ever again!" (storms rest of staircase).

Us: (silence)

Julian: (storms across the floor into bedroom and slams door; proceeds to do this repeatedly for about 8 minutes for impact, occasionally walking to the top of the stairs to see if any reaction has been had by parental unit)

Us: (silence)

Julian: (continues to open and close door)

Us: (hysterically yet silently laughing and doubled over on sofa)

Julian: (walks to top of stair case once he realizes slamming of door is have no effect on parental unit; in a huffy voice he speaks) Mom -- I have to come downstairs now to tell you I'm sorry.

Me: Ok, honey

Child comes downstairs, apologizes and we all move on. Well, except for when we tell this story to people repeatedly because in a way, we are proud. Any day we have "normal" behavior from him is no different than how proud we are when his teacher writes "finished in under 4 minutes" on his math work. Maybe I should make a bumper sticker, instead of "my kid's an honor roll student at blah blah school" it would say "my kid rocks at normal."

Which brings me to 1...2...3....the most simple of tricks to get your children to do your biding and it works! On my child! Oh hoorah, oh rapture, oh joy! If I'd known, I would have started doing it ages ago. A simple "1" gets his attention, a "2" puts him in high gear and a "3"...well he knows it's on if we get to 3. Who knew? (Well, I guess someone knew...it's not as if we invented it, right?)

Anyway, it's late and as we speak, I can hear him singing in his bed, the last few balls of energy deflating into the silence of night as we all count down the days until our Disney adventure and relish in the fact that as our own little tribe, we kind of rock. Typically and atypically.