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One. Day.

I wake up cold. I roll over and hit my phone, because it’s beeping. Incessantly. That doesn’t stop it, so I sit halfway up in the bed and fiddle around with it until it stops making that horrible noise.

I look at the time and mumble, “Five more minutes.”

I roll over to shake my husband awake and my hand lands on the cold bed. He’s not there. I sit up, yell out his name before I realize that he doesn’t live here anymore. In my near-sleep state, I’d forgotten. Again.

The shock hits me anew, like it does almost every morning. My body shakes and I fight back the urge to scream and throw something.

No, not because we’re getting a divorce, because we aren’t.

Rather, I feel cheated.

Absolutely cheated.

I miss my husband so much that it hurts. I want to talk to him every second of every day. I have heard my entire life that the whole “obsessive” crazy thing wears off after the first two years of marriage, after the first kid is born, after the first time you walk in on the other using the bathroom, after you gain weight. All of these lines have been crossed, sometimes by accident, but they’ve been crossed.

We’ve been married almost 7 years and I want nothing more than to crawl in to bed next to him, tangle myself in his blanket and snuggle up next to him.

I want nothing more than his kids to be able to jump on him in the morning, giggling with glee at waking their daddy up.

I want nothing more than our lives to, for once, be normal and completely and totally in sync with one another.

For some reason, whether it’s Fate or God or just us being stupid, this doesn’t seem to happen for us. Being married isn’t easy for us.

It’s hard work.

To try to keep up the smiles, the happiness in the face of overwhelming sadness and depression, and to keep up the “normal” feeling of having a happy “home” in the same state.

I feel like I can’t tell him any of this, and it’s driving me insane.

I know, I know, there are many wives out there that have to live with the fear of having someone tell them their husband passed away during war. I lived with this fear for a while, although he hasn’t deployed since we’ve been worried, the possibility was always in the back of my mind, and I thank God every day that he decided to get out of the Army and think of his family.

I know, I know, there are many things worse than only seeing him for one week a month.

I get told this everyday by people that are just trying to make me see the glass as half full.

But, once, I’d just like for someone to see it as half empty with me, because although I have empathy for all the bad things that happen to other people, sometimes? I just want to feel bad for me. For my kids. For my husband. For my family.

So, yeah, I get it, things suck for everyone. But today? I just want to focus on how much things suck for me. Just for today, ok?

I just need that one day.

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Are you drowning or waving?

I feel a lot like I’m drowning recently, but the title is a song lyric and has little to do with this post except that the following will be song lyrics that my kids butcher on a daily basis. They are quite hilarious.

Pumped Up Kicks” by Foster the People 

My kids sing: All you kids with the pop-tart kicks, you better run, better run faster than my mommy!

Actual lyrics: All the other kids with the pumped-up kicks better run, better run, faster than my bullet.

Colours” by Grouplove  

Kids: I am a man, man, man, man stuck up in the air, and I run around ’round ’round this down down and I don’t have no hair.

Actual lyrics: I am a man, man, man, man up, up in the air and I run around ’round ’round  ’round this town, town and act like I don’t care.

Wheel in the Sky” by Journey 

Kids: Oh the wheel in the sky is a’burning, I don’t know why it’s tomorrow.

Actual Lyrics: Oh, the wheel in the sky keeps on turning, I don’t know where I’ll be tomorrow.

Telephone” by Lady Gaga

Kids: Stop calling, stop calling, I don’t wanna drink anymore, I left my head and my arm on the dance floor. Stop tele-funkin’ me.

Actual Lyrics: Stop calling, stop calling, I don’t wanna think anymore. I left my head and my heart on the dance floor. Stop telephoning me.

Another One Bites the Dust” by Queen 

Kids: How d’ya think I’m gonna get a log without you on my own? You took me for everything I said and kicked me outta my phone. Are ya happy? Are ya saggy fried?

Actual: How d’ya think I’m gonna get a long without you when you’re gone? You took me for everything that I had and kicked me out on my own. Are ya happy? Are ya satisfied?

Give up the Funk” by The Glee Cast 

Kids: We won’t do funk. Give us the funk. We peed on funk. Gotta have that punk. We gonna tear this mother, OW! We gonna tear this mother, OW! You gotta real type of crane, going down, getting down, there’s a whole lot of ribbon going ’round.

Actual Lyric: We want the funk, gotta have the funk, we need the funk, gotta have that funk. We gonna turn this mother out. We gonna turn this mother out. You gotta real type of thing, going down, getting down, there’s a whole lotta rhythm going ’round.

 

Sometimes I giggle, sometimes I have to make sure I’m singing it right.

*Note: Lady Gaga one may not be safe for work, just fyi.*

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Screening from Hell

*Note: there may be strong language throughout this, mostly because I’m still mad.*

I had to take Thing 1 to a screening before school started. I guess it’s the norm in Wyoming, because as a kid, I never did anything like this in Florida. But, whatever. I figured it wouldn’t be that bad, that they may make him say some words, name some colors and do a hearing test, vision test, etc. All the things that he’s done before, in other screenings, since we’ve gone to yearly since he was about a year old. (I’ll explain why in another post).

Anyways, I didn’t think it would be that big of a deal, and I thought it might actually be a little fun for him to see other kids his own age and maybe meet some of the teachers he’d have.

Let me say: I am so glad that none of these people are his teachers right now.

So, we get there and they hand me a few papers to fill out about him, his emotional state, etc. Mostly things for them to use as data to give to the state.

We go to the first “checkpoint”, which was a hearing exam, and went easy breezy. He was in and out in a minute and things seemed to be great. I thought to myself, “Man, this is going to go by so fast.”

Was I wrong.

We go to the second “checkpoint” where they do a series of other “tests” to see how developed Thing 1 is. It was comprised of a few different sections that would test how well he spoke, how well his motor functions were, and his knowledge of things. There was also a Math station.

Let me pause for one second to tell y’all that my kid? Has a speech “issue” — he knows the words and how to say them, but he doesn’t say them very well. I guess that’s more of a “speech impediment” except that it’s actually His Very Own Language, which is a mixture of mermaid/phlegm and some sort of foreign language. He’s taught it to his sister (they are only a year apart) and that’s how they talk to each other. We call it “babbling” but it’s a little more than that.

By saying that, I’m telling you that I expected them to say he has a speech impediment, and that he would need some sort of speech therapy.

What I didn’t expect was to be treated like we were 3rd class citizens and that I was a moron.

The first sign that this would be a bad day was when the lady that would be doing his speech assessment walked over to us and asked Thing 1 his name.

“[Thing 1],” he said. (He doesn’t say his name very well.)
“What’s your name?” she asked again.
“[Thing 1], he said.
She looked at me. I’d already handed her the folder with his name on it, so I pointed to it.
“What’s. Your. Name?” she asked slowly and a little louder than before.
“It’s on his folder,” I staged whispered.
He didn’t say anything.
She shook her head at me, “What’s. Your. Name?” she asked him again.
“His name is [Thing 1],” I said through gritted teeth.
She looked down at the folder, “Is your name ‘[Thing 1]’?”
“Yes,” he said, looking at me like the woman was a moron. Wasn’t that what he’d just said.
She made that “tsk. tsk.” sound and grabbed his hand, “Why don’t you come with me?” and then to me, “You can sit over there.” she nodded at some chairs against the wall.

Less than a minute later, she yelled for me to come over to where they were sitting.

“Your son doesn’t speak very well, does he?” she asked, looking from him to me.
Me: No, he and his sister have their own language, which they normally speak around grown ups. Sorry.
Her: No, that’s not possible. Twins don’t make up their own language. Neither do “Irish Twins”.
Me: Well, they did, so.
Her: You know, you really shouldn’t speak baby talk to your child ma’am. He’s almost six years old.
Me: I don’t speak baby talk to him. I never have. He’s not a dolt.
Her: Well, he definitely is going to need speech therapy. He may be autistic.
Me: Excuse me?
(Note: She’s saying all this in front of my son, who looks like he’s going to begin crying.)
Her: He may have a mental delay which is keeping him from speaking correctly. Why haven’t you had him checked out before?
Me: I have. Yearly. He’s been on target. They said his speech delay was nothing to be concerned with, as it would disappear on it’s own. Why don’t we speak over there? (I pointed to the other side of the room, away from my son.)
Her: No, ma’am. He can go to the next section, you can take a seat.

My jaw was literally on the floor.

I went and sat back down, trying not to cause a scene, but I was … I don’t know really. I was upset, clearly, but I wasn’t pissed off yet.

After the next section, which was Math, that lady told me that Thing 1 did really, really well. Above and beyond actually.

Her: Have you had him tested for autism?
Me: No, he has no signs of autism.
Her: He may be on the spectrum.
Me: He’s not.
Her: It’s nothing to be ashamed of. (She said that to Thing 1 as she walked him over to the next table.)

I wanted to tell her that I was not ashamed of my son. I didn’t like them pushing a diagnosis on my son after spending only three seconds with him, but I kept my mouth shut. Which seems to be my main problem, keeping my mouth shut.

After he went to the Motor Functions section, all three of the “teachers” came to talk to me, in front of my son, who still had one more section to go.

Teacher 3: He couldn’t jump on one foot for a whole minute. Has he had any problems like this in the past?
Me: Well, he didn’t start walking until he was 18 months old. Why don’t we let [Thing 1] go to the next section while we speak?
Teacher 1 (the one that had trouble with his name): No. He’s fine. It’s nothing to be ashamed of.
Me: Why do y’all keep saying that? I’m not ashamed of anything.
Teacher 1 (the math section lady): We’re just trying to help.
Me: <nothing>

They take him to his next section, where he has to name off as many colors as he can in two minutes. He named off five. Not because he didn’t know the names of the colors, but because he was sweating, close to tears and kept looking over at me, where I was trying to smile encouragingly.

After he finished with the sections, they took Thing 1 and I to a back room to ask again whether I’d had him tested for Autism, whether I talk baby talk to him at home, and all kinds of other things.

I pointed out 2 or 3 times that he scored ABOVE AVERAGE in the Math section, which they completely disregarded, because he wasn’t supposed to even score in that subject.

I finally stood up and said, “We’re finished here.”

The next morning, Thing 1 got into bed with me and asked, “Mama? I’m normal right?”

I wanted to cry.

There are many reasons why I was upset. One, I was being accused of not taking care of my kids (they didn’t believe that we’d been screening him almost consistently every year, they wanted to see documentation), two, that I was being basically told my child was stupid, and it was being insinuated that it was all my fault, and three, that they were making my kid feel inferior.

If he did have something that made him “different” — I would not be upset by it. I love my kid, no matter what. It wouldn’t bother me. But don’t try to push something on my kid because he’s not “developed” to your standards.

I went up to his school and talked to them about it, which was where I told that the screening meant very little to them, and that they would basically be starting with him from the assumption that he’d learned nothing and go from there. They also assured me that if there were any concerns, they would call me.

I knew that the screening would be tough. When Thing 1 was about 2 months old, we moved in to a house that had been a meth lab before we moved there. We didn’t know it until I was two months pregnant and Thing 1 was four months old and hadn’t developed at all, had lost weight and was so skinny and small and I was completely scared he was going to die.

Then, our landlord told us that the house had once been a meth lab. Wanna see someone really mad? Tell them that their infant is living in a house that was a meth lab. If you survive that, you’re lucky.

Our landlord was lucky.

In any event, since that happened, he’s been behind on basic every developmental threshold that he’s supposed to reach. Sometimes not reaching one for up to a year later than other kids his age.

But no one cares about that explanation. Because to them, he should’ve gotten over it by now. There should be nothing “wrong” with him now, so he must have some developmental disorder.

Which, like I said above, if he does, I’m totally okay with that. Some days I think it might be easier to just let them think he does have a developmental delay rather than trying to explain to him what happened when he was a baby.

He’s been to speech therapy, until the pushed him out because he was “fine”.

So, yeah, I am seriously considering not taking my daughter to the screening next year. Especially if I am going to be treated this way again. I don’t like it.

It’s not fun.

And to me? It’s not helping anyone.

Mea Culpa

So this week came straight from the bowels of somewhere not nice and also unkind. Probably somewhere like hell, but also maybe somewhere like my worst enemies house. I’m not sure but it came in, slapped me, and then kicked me while I was down.

Yeah, it’s was that much fun.

Drama Queen (aka Thing 2) was sick all weekend but never got a fever, so I thought maybe it was just one of those late summer colds, which seem to last for weeks on end. Other than some coughing and a scratchy throat, though, she seemed totally fine. Until yesterday, after her first day back at Daycare after last week, when she was lethargic and kept complaining of a headache. I felt her forehead and realized she was burning up. One trip to the ER later, the diagnosis was pneumonia.

Crap.

Pneumonia sucks so hard because it can go from being “not a big deal” to a “freaking big deal” in a matter of a few days. Thankfully, we caught it early, which was good.

She’s on antibiotics with orders to stay home until Friday. Which means Mama is staying home with her, because Daddy gets to finally go back to work *hopefully*.

That was another thing this week, my husband, who works in the Natural Gas industry, basically hasn’t worked since last week. Most people would be like, “Yay! He got time off!” which I totally was. Until about Tuesday, then I started freaking because, see? My husband? Is paid by the hour, which means if he doesn’t work: No freaking paycheck. Talk about stressed out.

Maybe he’ll get some work before the end of the week, but it’s not looking too good.

Which just absolutely pisses me off to no end.

Then of course, there’s all the school work I’m having to do, which is totally fine and everything, I mean, I did sign up for it. But when you’ve got a sick kid at home, a husband not working and another kid starting Kindergarten and all the fun that is that, it starts to get a little much. 

I can totally do this, though, I think.

I also have to deal with a group project from hell, which should make for some interesting posts.

Today, though, something happened that made me want to punch someone. We drove by the school where Little Man (aka Thing 1) had to go for the Screening from Hell (which I promise to write about soon) and he says, “Do I ever have to go back there, Mama?” I told him, “No. You don’t” (which I totally meant). He said, “Good, because those people there? They made me feel stupid. They kept trying to get me to do things that I couldn’t do. I can do them now, Mama, I really can. I’m not stupid, right?”

I wanted to pull over, march over to the school and punch someone. Hard. Beneath the belt. Twice.

I was so upset that my son, who isn’t perfect, but also isn’t stupid, had to go through someone else making him feel inferior. It just made me want to scream.

I smiled at him in the rear-view mirror and said, “Honey, you are *so* not stupid. You are the smartest little boy I know, and sometimes I think you are even smarter than me.”

He smiled and said, “Thank you, Mama.”

Then his sister said, “Why’d you make him go there, Mama? Why did you do that?”

And I wanted to cry. Again.

UGH.

This week? Can totally kiss my butt, because I’m so over it.

Driving

I, like most sixteen year olds, could not wait to get my driver’s license.

When I got it, I knew that I would need to get a job. I knew that I would need to take on more responsibilities in the house. That was totally fine, because the freedom of driving was more than enough pay-back for me.

Two days after I got my license, I got into a car accident. My hand-me-down Chevy Malibu was completely totaled. I was devastated. It wasn’t my fault, but I felt horrible. My mom had just sent in the last payment on that car and I loved it.

My mom got me an Oldsmobile Cutlass that had squirrel nests in the trunk. The driver’s side door handle didn’t work either, so I had to Dukes of Hazzard it into the front door most of the time, or crawl in the passanger side and crawl over. It sucked.

After that, I got a Pontiac Grand Am that was my baby. I loved her and her pretty silver-ness. She was the most beautiful car ever.

That car got cramped after I had kids.

Now I drive a gas-guzzling SUV that is perfect for me and my soccer-mom-ness. (Although, no, my kids don’t play soccer. Yet.)

I said all that to say this: driving, for me, is almost as good as therapy.

I love to listen to music, which is super-duper convenient in a vehicle. Mostly because of the built in radio and all that.

There are many days, especially when it’s in the 90’s (and we have no AC, so that means it’s 90 degrees in the house, too), the kids and I will flee to my vehicle and just drive. We make loops around town, or hop on the interstate for a few miles.

It’s great.

We sing along to songs, we talk about the different things we see outside, they take a nap.

Sometimes, it gets me through days that are back-to-back house chores, endlessly answering impossibly hard questions, and having to explain why school can’t start right! this! second!

Most of the time, it’s the kids that are begging to go for a ride. Sometimes, it’s me.

Today, the driving was cathartic when my husband told me he may be taking another job where basically, I’ll go back to being a single mom, seeing him maybe once a month. Today, the driving was very needed.

Tomorrow, it will be too.

Sorry I’ve been so down the last few days, sad things have been happing in me casa. I hate it, but it’s something we all have to walk through, I suppose.

Randomocity

*My big brother called today to let me know my nephew was born. As happy as I am for them, I can’t help but be a little sad. He’s a cute little baby, he weighed 7 lbs 11 oz. I just wish he wasn’t all the way in the South so I could hold him and pinch his little cheeks.

*So sad that I won’t be going to Heaven Fest this year. Maybe next year. This year, I just don’t have it in me to go. Really. I also don’t have it in my bank account. (Note: Heaven Fest is a huge Christian concert, sort of Woodstock-esque. Only without, ya know, the hippies.)

*I saw Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part Two this past weekend. I cried. That’s really all I wanna say about that.

*I’ve got to start cooking more than just spaghetti and frozen pizzas. What is it I do all day, exactly?

*Oh, yeah, that’s right. I do things like clean and … well, I clean. Geez, I’m not Susy Homemaker.

*I’m writing a “How-To” book for couponing. Mostly for family members, but I’m thinking that once I get it done, I may be able to sell it. Ya know, for like $2 or whatever.

*Went to Staples today and spent $26.00 but I saved $10.33 with coupons and $7.98 with sales items ($18.31 together), and I am getting a $3.99 Rebate back. Not too bad for school supplies.

*My books for my classes are going to be around $500 this semester. That’s not bad considering in each class I have to have at least two books.

*I start school in 27 days. I’m way excited. Also: a little freaked out. Although I could sign up for one more class (McHusband says, “NO”) I think, and actually survive, I’m happy with my five classes.

Tomorrow will be better, promise.

Loss

Last weekend sucked. I got into a fender bender (my car is totally fine, the other car? Not so much.), I ended up sleeping all day on Sunday, but there was this wonderful, fantastic silver lining: I found out I was pregnant. Which means that all the suckiness floated away. It was such a great feeling to find out that I was going to have another baby. 

But something felt wrong.

I was excited. I was happy. But I didn’t feel pregnant. I felt, well, empty inside.

I took pregnancy test after pregnancy test until Wednesday, which were all positive, and then I thought to myself, “Everything is fine. It’s fine.”

It wasn’t, apparently.

Yesterday, I spent the afternoon in the hospital. I lost the baby.

Although the Doctor kept saying that my pregnancy had been non-existent.

Over and over and over again: Non-existent pregnancy.

In other words: I was pregnant and now I’m not. Not sure how to classify that, other than a miscarraige.

They did ultrasounds, HCG tests. Everything. Everything pointed to my baby being lost.

Although that’s not what they call it, it still feels like a loss.

I cried all day yesterday. Today, though, I’ve decided that I can’t cry anymore. I can’t continue to cry over it and expect to actually get through it. 

So, today, although I feel a staggering amount of loss, I am vowing to focus on the things outside my body. The beauty of things around me, and, of course, my beautiful babies that I have here with me. 

Today, that’s what I have to do.