One Damned Funny Blog

Love, laughter and autism.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Bobby J Update

Okay...all those prayers must be working, because Bobby J has already crossed one hurdle. Or vaulted one hurdle. Or got over...oh, I don't know. He got past something big. Here it is:

Bobby was originally admitted into the hospital with jaundice. When they discovered that it was cancer, the big fear was that the jaundice was from impending liver failure. The alternative possibility was that it was from a blockage, which could be held open by a stint and would be much less serious. Then, chemo would be able to start immediately.

Well, apparently it was just a blockage because Bobby begins his chemo tomorrow. I didn't get much out of my sister, having called her at 11:17 PM her time and woken her from probably the first sleep she's had in three days (oh nice going, Mel!), but she promised to call tomorrow.

All for now. Keep those hands together or circling the rosary or sacrificing goats or whatever it is you do to pray--at this point we're not picky, and it's working.

I Want to Be a Three-Year-Old Boy

Oh how I would love to be a three-year-old boy! Here are the top 10 reasons it's great to be a preschooler:

10. Nap when you want, where you want, and if you want. If not...okay. If so...okay. Boo-yah! Being three is worth it for the nap factor alone.

9. When you cry, someone mashes you into her breasts and tells you how fine everything is going to be. (Compare this to 30 years into the future, when your crying will be met with "For Christ's sake, Henson, it's a deadline, not a death sentence! Suck it the hell up!")

8. The doctor is HAPPY when you gain weight.

7. You get fifty chances to answer things. "What color is Elmo? Look, looooooook at Elmo. What color is he? Is he blue? Nooooooo! Is he purple? Nooooooooooo! What color is he? He's like a firetruck, vroom-vroom!"

6. Christmas doesn't cost you anything.

5. Once you become a grownup, it isn't okay to piss down your leg anymore. (Don't ask me how I know this.)

4. Being selfish still looks cute.

3. Grownups never really know whether or not what you do is an accident...so you can usually escape an ass-reddening by looking innocent. "Okay, honey, Mommy believes you weren't really trying to lop off Baby Brother's head with that garden hose."

2. Cookies cure everything. Everything.

And the number one reason it's great to be a preschooler:

1. For now, pinching a 21-year-old girl's ass in the supermarket is ADORABLE.

And on the lighter side...

So Colin is doing very well in school, except for the occasional tantrum. Comes with the territory--the child can't speak, so he, well, screams.

There's just one little thing that the teacher's aide brought up to me this morning as I watched Colin scramble around the jungle gym with six other little blonde boys, sippy cup in hand.

"I promised Colin that I'd let you know," V. (the aide) said, "how much he would love for you to send him in with Goldfish crackers."

"Don't I know it," I answered, "but he's on a restricted diet. He can't have them."

"Ohhhhhhh!" A pitying look came over her. "Because, you see...he REALLY seemed to want them."

"How much?"

"Enough to take them off other children's plates."

That's my boy. He does the Helen Keller thing at home too: traveling from plate to plate, filching food.

If his hair analysis tests come back that he can have wheat again, then it is going RIGHT back into his diet. I don't mean to feed the monkey, but the boy doesn't just like wheat. He craves it. Colin still doesn't really speak yet, but when he finally does, I'm pretty sure his first words will be a slurred "I'll tell YOU when I've had enough" as he shovels fists full of Wheat Thins down his throat.

Poor Colin. The torture we've put him through in the name of "curing" his PDD. Some day he'll be bigger and stronger than we are, and probably of sounder mind, being much younger. I'm sort of afraid to think what he may do to us then in comeuppance...I better start secretly hording Twinkies right now.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

A Prayer for a Nameless Guy

If anyone, and I mean anyone, happens to come across this blog--even by accident--and sees this entry, would you please say a prayer for a man you don't even know?

I don't care what kind of prayer. (Personally, I don't pray in the Judeo-Christian manner.) It doesn't matter that you almost certainly do not know my brother-in-law. Please take five seconds, even one second, to say a prayer for a nameless guy.

His name is Bobby J. He is 38 years old and he has colon cancer which has metastasized to his liver.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Melanie

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Smotherly Love

"He ain't heavy, he's my bro-thuuuuuuuuuuh...well, okay. He IS heavy. Ow." Nothing like smotherly love. And by the way, what the hell is he planning on doing with that balloon???

First Day of School

Today was Colin's first day of being away from me, at least in his memory.

I worked when he was very small. But he doesn't remember that now.

Colin ran right up to the teacher's aide as soon as we introduced him to her, and patted her on the head and gave her a hug. When he met the teacher, Miss Lisa, he ran up to her, too, and held her hand.

Then he saw other little boys--boys just like him, rambunctious little guys, and ironically, all blonde too--on the playground equipment and he followed without a moment's hesitation.

That's because he didn't know Dave and I were going to leave him there.

Last night, through hysterical tears, I tore apart the garage, pawing through boxes in search of one precious item. After forty-five minutes, I found it: Colin's baby calendar. The one with the Winnie the Pooh design. I had made little entries on different dates: "Colin cooed today." "Today we had visitors: Aunt Ronni and Kate." "I hate my bath!"

And there were other things. Things I had forgotten. "I sit outside the bathroom door and say da-da-da when Daddy is in there." "Today I said 'mama' for the first time!" "We went to the doctor's. She put me on Zantac for my stomach. Mommy switched me to a hypoallergenic formula. I'm doing much better now."

The entries stopped abruptly at 11 months. And I sat down and thought about it. And thought and thought and thought. Why 11 months?

And then it hit me. Yes, that was when he started daycare. But it was also when he started cow's milk.

Could it be? There is that link between milk and autism--that's why the GFCF diet I wrote about some time ago. Was it the milk? In fact, was it milk in general? Because one thing's for certain. Colin got a horrible start on formula, suddenly made forward bounds intellectually when he went hypoallergenic, and then regressed on a downward spiral as soon as we took him off the formula and put him on cow's milk.

If it's something that simple, I'll cry. With relief. And anger.

Last night, I looked at Colin and screamed inside of my head, You have to leave me for a new school tomorrow--because you won't be normal. If only you'd be normal, I wouldn't have to send you someplace else. We could be together forever. Damn it, damn it. I don't want to do this, I DON'T WANT TO DO THIS.

But it wasn't true.

All kids leave their parents at some point.

This morning Dave and I left, quietly, almost afraid to see what Colin would do; afraid that he'd miss us, and afraid that he wouldn't. We drove slowly past the school, our eyes peeled for our son.

He was there on the playground, holding his teacher's hand. He saw the van. He had that look on his face--the I'm-not-sure-yet-if-I-should-be-crying look.

August 29, 2006; Colin's first day of school; Colin, at age three.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Just in case I haven't made y'all totally sick by now,

...here's another quick post on breastfeeding to really send you over the top.

(Hey. Don't say I've never done anything for you.)

I got out tonight. On my own. For thirty minutes.

Did you hear that? On my own. No children. No anybody. Just me and my wallet, cruising down to WalMart for diapers. (Do you hear Aerosmith's "Livin' On the Edge" playing off in the background?)

I left hubby with one preschooler and one recently fed (but constantly hungry) two-month-old. A just-thawed bottle of breastmilk sat in the fridge, ready and waiting for Evan to get hungry again--something that generally happens every six to seven minutes, unless he's REALLY hungry; then it's a little more often than that.

I came home to Colin holding his hands over his ears while Hubby jostled Evan a little too enthusiastically on one shoulder.

"How long has he been crying?" I asked.

"Since you left," was the haggard and demoralized reply.

"What about..."

"The bottle?" Hubby asked. "He wouldn't take it. He wanted the real thing."

"How do you know?"

"Because he tried," Hubby answered with a grimace, nodding downward toward his bare chest.

Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeew. I think I'd cry too.

I mean if you're a hungry breastfed baby...the LAST thing you want to see bared to you is this.

Blugh. (Is "blugh" a word?)

It's kind of weird, though...when I took Evan from Hubby and offered him the real thing, I could swear his little mouth opened and he began to sing, "It's not un-yoooooooooo-shoo-wul to be loved...by...an-eeee-one..."

Just...happiness

A little bald breastfeeding baby.

It doesn't get any sweeter than this. Trust me. You have GOT to try it. (Not with my baby, though. You'll have to make your own.)

Okay, that is MORE than enough basic, unsullied happiness for one evening. We now return to our regularly scheduled programming.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

RenFest RenFest RenFest!

Woo hoo! I finally got to go to another RenFest.

I usually do them annually, but this is the first time I've been able to do two in one year.

Now, Hubby did warn me that this most recent one--at Big Bear Lake--would not be quite as large and exciting as the one at the Santa Fe Dam rec center. I didn't believe him...until I got there.

Here is the RenFest at Santa Fe Dam.

By contrast, here's the one up at Big Bear.

Okay, just kidding. It wasn't THAT bad. Anyway, there was ale; how bad could it be?

LONG LIVE RENFEST! I can't wait to go again next year!

WalMart

Okay, so what the hell IS it with WalMart employees and inappropriate non-parental comments, anyway?

I am afraid to set wallet--I mean foot--into that freaking store anymore. I never get more than ten feet into that place without a look or comment from SOMEBODY on how unbelievably hateful my children are and what a suck-ey mom I am.

And you know what? It's not the bad-haired, half-dressed shoppers I'm talking about here. It's the employees!

If one more WalMart employee shoots evil death-daggers out of her eyes at my son, I will jump her, I swear. Somebody hold me down.

Actually...it's starting to be almost funny. I'm envisioning in my mind the WalMart employment application:

1. Please spell your name. (If you haven't gotten this far in your education yet, just write "Me".)
2. Where do you live? ("I'm currently parked at..." is not an acceptable answer.)
3. When is the last time you got a perm? (Please note that if it was more than three months ago, and/or didn't come from a box on the shelf, you MUST re-perm before submitting this application.)
4. Do you feel all children are evil and vile? Do you believe in corporal punishment? Are you extremely politically incorrect as far as how to address children that you yourself have not given birth to (such as "cry-baby" or "what is WRONG with you, little boy")? Are you absolutely unaware of certain childhood conditions, and completely willing to embarrass yourself by picking on children with disorders? If so...WELCOME TO WALMART! Can you start tomorrow? (That's the date with a "2" and a "7" in it.)

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Am I allowed to?

Am I allowed to report something really cute that Colin did?

Is it okay? Even though he 's "not like other kids"? Even though he's "on the spectrum"? Can I talk about this one thing without an expert pursing her lips together like she just ate a cat's ass and shaking her head because I must be "in denial" if I think this is something normal? Or without a relative nodding overenthusiastically and clapping like a trained seal in heat, screaming, "ohhhhhhhhhhh, that's greeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeat"--which only serves to drive home the fact that he or she ALWAYS thinks of Colin as a freak?

Seriously...is it okay for me to say this? Just like a regular mom?

Well then I will. Lately, Colin has started tweaking my nose and patting me on the head. I finally figured it out: I do that to him every so often without even really noticing that I do it. So he does it back to me.

There. I did it.

I feel really really normal right now.

I love my son.

When I look at myself...I see Evan

When I look at myself in the mirror, I see Evan.

Hey! I was born first; shouldn't that be the other way around?

No matter...I got one who looks like me, so I'm happy.

My sweet Evan.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The Chelation Rap

The Chelation Rap*

*(The needles in the song refer to vaccinations, which put mercury into the body--or used to, until it was outlawed--and theoretically could be one cause of autism. Chelation is a very controversial method of trying to leach these heavy metals from the body. So we're trying it, of course. Because we're desperate. And because we HATE ever having money.)

Gotta stick the kid, yeah, gotta stick the kid
Gotta stick the kid, yeah, gotta stick the kid

My baby-daddy tells me,
Don't you let that kid get sick
Gotta take him to the doctor,
Gotta let him get the stick

Man, it's just a little needle
It can't do the kid no harm
Let 'em put it in his heiney,
Let 'em put it in his arm

Gotta stick the kid, yeah, gotta stick the kid
Gotta stick the kid, yeah, gotta stick the kid

So I dragged my ho ass over
And I laid the kid all out
And the doctor she done stuck him,
And he gave this pissy shout

But she said, "Don't you no never-mind,
They always scream that way,
It don't mean nothin', baby,
Now go to the front and pay."

Gotta stick the kid, yeah, gotta stick the kid
Gotta stick the kid, yeah, gotta stick the kid

Well the kid, he grew up bigger
And he sat and crept and walked
And he ate the fuckin' fridge up
But he never learned to talk

And we went back to the doctor
And I said, "I think he sick."
And she said, "Don't you go blamin',
You AGREED to get the stick."

Gotta stick the kid, yeah, gotta stick the kid
Gotta stick the kid, yeah, gotta stick the kid

Well the bitch, she wasn't lyin',
'Cause I let them give the shots,
And now he's an autistic,
And his future ain't so hot.

But we found ANOTHER doctor,
He'll chelate the baby's head,
And he'll fix all up that baby,
It'll work...that's what he said.

Gotta stick the kid, yeah, gotta stick the kid
Gotta stick the kid, yeah, gotta stick the kid

But we keepin' it on the down-low
'Cause our fam'lies, they'd all freak,
But we'd do just fuckin' ANYTHING
to get that kid to speak.

So we goin' for chelation
We spendin' every dime
And we prayin' it'll work out,
It'll work out good this time.

Nevah stick the kid, nope, nevah stick the kid
You know what's good for you, bitch, you will nevah stick the kid

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Kewl

Okay, so...it's long been established that I am just NOT cool.

Living near Los Angeles, the hotseat of "cool," has only driven the fact home to me.

How terribly embarrassing...

I am so uncool that I didn't even know you're supposed to spell it "unkewl".

I am so uncool that my three-year-old is embarrassed to be seen with me.

And how uncool is this? I still say "awesome." (Blushing mightily at that admission.)

Oh, I make my attempts. Somehow that only seems to make it worse. "Yo, ho, homedog," I might say to my husband, "Whaddup? What's the 911? I mean the star-69. Listen, G, the dinner-izzle is in the oven-ozzle..."

'Round about this point my husband runs away in horror, shouting over his shoulder, "I WISH you would stop following me, you perfect stranger whom I don't know and have never met and, well, don't know. Now GO AWAY..."

Then he puts on his sunglasses. Helps waylay identification later.

To heck with him anyway! I'm the O-G with the 8-8-8 and if he doesn't know it, well...he's just a dizzle.

The word is gone. Long live the word

Oh, well. "Juice" is gone.

How do I know? Well, trying to force Colin to say it was kind of the tipoff. He stared at me blankly and sobbed "mee, mee, mee" for 45 minutes while I said "juice" for every "mee mee". In the end, he moved his mouth around, staring at mine, crying. He couldn't do it.

COULDN'T. Not wouldn't.

Well, fuck it, so much for that excitement. The worst part isn't that he lost the word. It's that I let myself get excited about having heard it. Just like I always do.

Don't worry, folks. The blog will get funny again. Eventually. I promise.

Friday, August 04, 2006

"Pop"

Holy shit. Colin said a word.

The word was "pop"...while pleading for a lolipop in the doctor's office.

He said it a second time today when he found the lolipop I was attempting to hide from him from our LAST doctor's visit. (Doctors, doctors, doctors, doctors. My HMO must hate me by now.)

He said it. Clearly. HE SAID POP.

I am jumping up and down. Please let him keep this word...Dave likens Colin's words to a Sasquach sighting. You know how people claim to see Bigfoot, but only for a second or two and it's sooooooo fleeting...and then they can NEVER find it again, even though they go back to the same spot every day for the next ten years? Well...that's how it is when Colin gets a new word. :) It comes...and goes.

Let this one stay.......

And here's a possible word: juice. He said it as "ooooooooz"...but it was damned close. I'm not as sure that I can count that one. Time will tell.

This would bring Colin's vocabulary up to eight.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

No wheat is good wheat

Okay, so we're starting on Phase One of the GF/CF (gluten free/casein free) diet.

Desperate much?

In my defense, this diet HAS been shown to produce marked turnarounds in autistic spectrum, PDD/PDD-NOS and speech disordered children.

I call it "hopeful". My husband likes to call it "nuts".

Which is appropriate...since nuts are allowed on this diet.

The three of us--Colin, Evan and I (the Three Musekteers; we go everywhere together)--wandered through the aisles of Albertson's today. I was carrying Evan in a sling across my chest, Ubangi*-style. My cart was filled with casein-free items and organic fruit. That's okay. We live in California**. Nobody even blinked an eye. Now if I had had a joint hanging out of my mouth and was calling my children Moonglo and Purity, I would have REALLY blended into the walls.

Wish us luck. This is a last-ditch effort. Anything, oh please anything to get my son to talk...

(On a more serious NOTE: GF/CF is based on the principle that many autistic, PDD and speech-disordered children seem to show "leaky gut syndrome" and a marked inability to digest certain foods and/or produce certain enzymes. It is believed that certain constituents of those foods then go on to "poison" the brain. The foods are most often the ones children seem to gravitate toward, as the poisoning produces a sort of natural opiate effect--similar to the way alcohol, a poison, produces a "high" and at the same time is quite addictive. Casein, found in milk, and gluten, found in most wheats and flours, seem to be the most frequent instigators. Just so's ya know what-all I'm talking about.)

*Link credit: www.lionconservationfund.org
**Link credit: www.fiftiesweb.com

The latest thing: detachment parenting!

Wow. What a jerkoff.