Archive for November, 2013

FWD: Trash Talk

November 22, 2013

Last week at this time I was not speaking to my husband. My best friends knew this, and why this was, but I was unclear about whether or not he was aware that I was not speaking to him. I mean, I spoke to him.  “Did you pack Rocketman’s lunch for tomorrow?” “I think it’s your night to read to Bubba.” “Make sure that set of gloves that I put out gets to school with the baby.”  Co-parenting stuff. Because, that is what is pretty good about our relationship: even if we are totally having a bad marriage moment, we are still pretty good co-parents.  In fact, sometimes that feels like all our relationship has time for.

Anyway, I was pissed off.  I was tired and I felt overworked and under appreciated. And every little thing that he did pissed me off more.  So on Sunday night, when I got a special Mom’s Night Out with the girls, I vented my heart out over a couple of Sangrias and was met with a great deal of “Amen Sisters” and “Hallelujahs.” And then I stewed in my anger for a couple of more days until I received an email from the Hubs on Wednesday asking me out on a date Saturday night. Which took me down a couple of notches until I realized that I was in charge of securing a babysitter for this very rare event and I was pissed off all over again.

I emailed my BMF (Best Mom Friend) who had been there cheering me on during Mom’s Night Out and asked if she’d babysit.  I included in my email that Hubs either knows that I am pissed off and not speaking to him and wants to make amends or he continues to be oblivious and this is a coincidence. I sent if off on Thursday and received the reply first thing Friday morning at work: No problem! It will be fun!! (Love this woman.) I proudly checked finding a babysitter off the list and quickly forwarded her reply to Hubs at work.

As soon as I clicked the mouse, I realized my mistake.  The snide email that I had sent to her two days prior was attached to the forward that I had just sent. Now he would know that 1) I really hadn’t been talking to him all week, and 2) I might not have discussed why I was angry with him, but my BMF knew all about it! I think that I actually blushed at that point.

When my BMF called later to find out the details, I told her that I didn’t know if we would still be going out on the date thanks to my mishandling of the mouse that morning. She laughed at my story and then said, “I hear every word of where you are at right now.  You guys NEED this night out.”

And she was so right.  Hubs never mentioned the email, though I know that he read it.  And I tried to let everything go because I knew I was going to actually have time to have an uninterrupted conversation with him and did not want to waste time bitching about week-old annoyances. Plus, the email thing was pretty obnoxious.  So we were pretty much even anyway.

One night of a grown up dinner out with a couple of drinks followed by a rocking rock opera changed everything.  My nasty attitude, my melancholy. My doubts about our marriage beyond co-parenting had all evaporated by the time we were giggling over our second glass of wine. We talked.  We laughed. We rocked out.  And we were the same couple that we were five years ago, before the first positive pregnancy test.  And four years before that when we moved into our first house four months after our wedding. And eight years before that when he told me he loved me for the first time and I freaked out and told him he couldn’t say that because this was just supposed to be a summer fling.  Even though I loved him too but was so afraid to admit it.

Being parents is this fun, crazy, wild, beautiful thing.  And often it’s exhausting.  And that shades everything else that isn’t parenting. Including your relationships. And then date night comes and you hope and pray that those butterflies you felt in your tummy 16 years ago show up over dinner and that you still are able to banter back and forth giggling the way you did way back in the days when there wasn’t a small person climbing into your bed in the middle of the night or throwing the dinner that you just spent an hour making all over the dog and laughing.

And then I was standing in this old converted mill swaying to this rocking guitar and screaming all the words to the song and my hip bumped his.  And he put his arm around me and I laid back against him and every stupid thing that I was pissed off about for a week disintegrated. And I felt the butterflies.

So the moral, I suppose, is: let’s not  allow this whole parenting thing to be so consuming.  Let’s get out every now and then and take the opportunity to rediscover who we are as husband and wife for a moment instead of mother and father. And also: don’t forward an email before reviewing everything in the thread.

Rocketman

November 10, 2013

I attended my first IEP meeting yesterday.  It actually wasn’t my first.  I probably attend one every other month and have been doing so for the past 13 years. But this was my first on the other side of the table.  For the first time, my name noted “parent” next to it as opposed to “teacher.” And that changed everything.

On a side note,

I’m officially changing B’s blog name to Rocketman. He inspired me yesterday, the day of the first IEP meeting where he would be the main topic of conversation and where his name (his real name, not Rocketman) would top all of the 13 paged document that I would have to sign to indicate my approval of the plan. “Rocketman” came from a morning made more difficult than we are used to due to the typical November in New England drop in temperature. This led to chaos of misplaced gloves (that were in his pocket), the panic of a missing hat (that was on his head), and the delay of taking off all of his layers once he arrived at school (despite my constant urging). A bit frustrated, I exclaimed, “My goodness! You are out in space today!” As which point a big goofy smile spread across his four year old face as he responded, “Coool! I love outer space!”  On my way back to my car, ready to head to work with my overstuffed brain overwhelming me, Elton John’s “Rocketman” came on the radio. And I smiled and thought, “Yes.  That is who he is.  My goofy little Rocketman.”

So now we are back at the IEP table where I am on the other side facing a speech pathologist and the head of Child Outreach. Ready to fight my fight and to show them I know a thing or two about education, about the law, about my child’s rights as a soon-to-be special needs student. But it didn’t take much. Apparently they were on my side.  Apparently they seem to have a desire to meet my child’s needs as well. Or so it seems so far.

So it wasn’t a fight or an argument or a disinterest that propelled the meeting. It was a serious, thoughtful discussion about Rocketman and how his needs might be eventually met. And why it is imperative that his needs be met.

I listened and listened and listened.  And then it was my turn to talk. And they were giving me free reign to talk about my kid. Which was strange. Because everyone wants to just talk and talk about their kids, but who ever gives them free reign to do so? But there they were, asking questions about Rocketman. Wondering how it was that while he has an exceedingly strong social emotional skill set, he struggles with sensory issues to the point where he cannot wear a button-down shirt without putting up a fight, runs blindly screaming during a fireworks show and gets so overstimulated by his baby brother that he flaps, grunts and stomps until we have to send him to his room for a break. Or a time out.

And the head of Child Outreach folded her arms thoughtfully and said, “What is so unusual about this case is that, typically, children that have these types of sensory issues struggle with social issues as well. Whereas the list of strengths that you just handed me are actually really good strengths to have.”  Which is fabulous and frustrating at the same time. Because, while it’s nice that my sensory kid does not fit the typical sensory profile, he still has ALL THESE ISSUES. And the issues are impacting his life, and mine, in wearisome, troublesome ways.

I am hopeful.  I have a little boy who is very smart, very sweet and very well adaptable.  He has a magnificent preschool teacher, a empathic pediatrician and a proactive mother.  He has strong, smart women in his life who care very much about him and will move mountains to get him what he needs.  Or at least I will.  I am ready to move mountains to get him what he needs. My silly and smart, sweet and so very funny Rocketman.