Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Two men shrieking.

While sitting in any number of random airports this weekend I made a list on my fancy new phone of the 37 posts I've brilliantly scripted in my head - but then I was distracted by my travels and so, before sharing anything worthwhile (ha!), I wish to inflict on you the same feelings of horror and annoyance I recently felt.  Misery loves company and, oh, was I ever in such miserably close company!

Flight#1, STL-PHX:  Late booking so not only do I not get a direct flight, I am forced into the window seat.  I am a wee bit claustrophobic and don't so much sleep on the right or left side of the bed, but rather whichever side is nearer the door.  I find the window seat.... unpleasant.  Made worse by the exceptionally intoxicated large man sitting next to me.  He stank so badly of beer I spent two hours breathing thru my shirt.  And lest anyone is unclear, this was not the warm-bread-rising goodness at your local micro-brew & pub.  This is 24 hour bender/hadn't showered/frat boy with dirty gym socks stank.

But, revealing a disconcerting level of vanity on my part, I noticed he only tried to flirt with the blond in the aisle seat and not me.  It clearly must have been because her ability to plan ahead to buy aisle seats proved she was gifted with superior survival skills, akin to taking down the biggest bison, and not because of her pretty, pretty blond hair.

I'm still surprised they let him on the plane.  He was stumbling so badly he didn't so much return to his seat after a trip to the loo, as fall into it.  Yet when I got up he crawled up onto his chair like a 300# circus clown perched on the back of an elephant.  I don't think it occurred to him it would've been easier to just step out.  He was also wearing gym shorts and had an, ummm, wide stance.  Gross.  The plane was full so there was nowhere else to go but he didn't puke on me so that was good.  Also good was actually getting the chance to say, "Oh, HELL NO" when he started falling onto my shoulder.  I don't get the chance to say that very often.

Also good?  I'd left my wallet in my bag overhead (important plot point!) & decided I didn't want a drink badly enough to climb over him to get it.  The blond goddess on the aisle?  5 minutes later she got up and returned with a lovely G&T to replace my soda.  Dousing myself in my own irony alcoholic fumes did help.

I didn't know people like that existed.  I wanted to give her a hug but I'm not really a huggy person and that would have entailed reaching over the BierMeister.  What do you do?  Hi! Here's my card!  You have single handedly redeemed the entire human race in my eyes!  Want to have lunch next week?  I settled for about 30 obsequious Thank Yous and sympathetically rolled my eyes when BeirMeister tried to lean on her shoulder.

Flight#2, PHX-LAX:  I am pathetically grateful for the empty middle seat but the young lady on the aisle was wearing 12" high hooker shoes which she immediately took off, curling her bare feet up on the seat between us, and then she started singing.  Out loud.  Later she swapped life stories with the three people on the other side of the aisle and she was in that painful period during your early 20s when you have a Philosophy and wish to Share your Great Insights on Life.  None of which would have bothered me too much, since she was considerate enough to respect the universal sign of I am holding a book up 3" from my nose because I do not wish to converse with you, but her pants barely covered her lady bits and certainly didn't cover her red lace thong and so I spent an hour wondering when & how I had become the conservative old biddy in that scene.  Also, she was clearly tweaking, couldn't sit still, and I was worried she might puke.

[Two intervening futile work meetings and fabulous, fattening visit with Gigi & Others, to be covered later so you don't get bored and wander off]

Flight#3, LAX-PHX:  No talking, tweaking, or tankards.  Completely uneventful till we land when, before taxiing to the gate, some guy right across from me jumps up to grab his bag from the overhead.  The flight attendant starts shrieking at him, like that mom in Walm@rt who is mid-crisis and you consider following her out of the store to get a license plate to call social services.  He takes the guy's bag away and petulantly says he putting it in the back of the plane so the guy will now be the last one off the plane.  That'll learn ya!  The guy might've been a twit but I'm pretty sure I don't want to be at that flight attendant's door in the event of an emergency deplaning.

Flight#4, PHX-STL:  The otherwise presumably very nice gentleman in the seat next to me does NOT respect the the universal sign of I am holding a book up 3" from my nose because I do not wish to converse and insists on TALKING to me -  Quelle horreur!

But this flight I plan ahead and pull my wallet out in case I want to buy a drink (important plot point!) since I am once again in the window seat and am not above self medication.  But it's 10:30-11pm and I doze off instead (only to later wake myself with my own snorfling sounds - I am soooo sexy).  After we land I get aallll the way down to the parking shuttles before I realize my wallet is still on the plane.  And my phone was dead too, because I'd only pulled half of the 37 separate charger pieces out of the plug at Gigi's and my fancy new phone's battery has the half life of a squished gnat.  No wallet, no parking stub, no parking payment options, no way home.  No way to call home.  Awesome!  I head back to security but it's now midnight and they're all locked up.   So I round the corner to talk to the security guard... and he PANICS.   No exaggeration, he jumps up, shrieks at me to stop, and HIS HAND IS ON HIS GUN.  It was still holstered but holy crap.  I am a middle aged women in heels and a grey suit pulling a roll-y suitcase. 

[Though in fairness, those corporate issued pens can be lethal.]

If it had not been midnight & if I weren't worried about how I was going to get home, I would have found it hysterical but there was also something a little disturbing about that hand on his gun.  No, I'm not going to extrapolate this into a commentary on The News, though it's tempting.  And maybe I honed in on that because of The News.  Let's just agree that putting panicky people in positions of authority is a lousy idea. 

Anyway, I eventually found someone unarmed, who found my plane & wallet over in the cleaning hanger & I made it home by 1:30am.  I'd been excited to fly solo - no wiping up cracker crumbs or retrieving sippy cups or diaper changes in the 2' wide airplane lavatory - but lesson learned.  I'll take flying with my snotty, poopy kids every time.  Though this trip obviously provided LOTS of material, so there's that.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Another Email. Re: Cookies.

I know I owe y'all an update from last week but I'm leaving for a lavish (*snort*) work sponsored/kid free trip to sunny SoCal tomorrow and have been working a LOT in anticipation.  Conveniently, Matt's back went out at the same time, and then he caught the flu.  Nothing but good times around here!
     ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

An email to the office: 

     Subject:  March 21st... COOKIES!
     Alternative Subject:  The decorating seemed like a good idea at 11:00 last night.
     Or:  Why Martha Stewart need not fear me.

Guess what? Today is World Down Syndrome Day.  I brought in cookies to celebrate & also to bribe you to read the rest of this.

For our new folks and anyone else who hasn’t noticed all the adorable photos at my desk, my daughter has Down syndrome.

Quick factoids:
  • Ds is caused at conception - The cells don’t divide evenly, leaving the baby with a third copy of the 21st chromosome (hence the 3-21).  Biology lesson HERE for the geeks amongst you.
  • It was not caused, as one of our former co-workers asked, by mom’s bed rest while in situ.  No, I’m not kidding.  Someone really asked me that.
  • It’s not “sad” or a “tragedy”, and she does not “suffer from” Ds.  She has Ds.  Like some of you have (insert various medical diagnoses).
  • It did give her a wonky heart and she’ll have some learning delays but she’s a perfectly happy, curious, destructive little kid, like any other almost 4 year old.
     ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

But, fair warning, I will take your head off if I hear you use the word retarded.
For those of you who object to the language police:
  • It is not “just a word”.  Until recently it was used clinically to describe kids just like my daughter.  But then it was co-opted by 8 year olds on the playground trying slander other 8 year olds and fell out of favor.
  • None of you went to medical school, you aren’t using it in a clinical fashion, and no one ever drops it into conversation to describe rainbows & puppies.  It is as objectionable as any other word used derisively to describe entire populations.  If you don’t know which other words I’m talking about, I will happily give you examples… in front of witnesses.
  • Whatever lousy thing your claimant did or didn’t do, it doesn’t compare.  Cognitive disabilities suck.  You don’t mock Alzheimer’s patients or war vets with head injuries [At least I hope you don’t].  It’s not OK to mock 4 year old little girls either.  Y’all are reasonably bright people - FIND A NEW WORD.
  • Last - I suspect my daughter is going to hear it enough on the playground.  She doesn’t need to hear it from her mommy’s coworkers.  You wouldn’t tolerate anyone who made your kid cry either.
Cheers. Enjoy the cookies.

I made the photo blurry & tweaked the color because in real life they...
were even sadder looking.  This is why I'm not on Pinterest.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

An Email

Good Morning [pre-school teacher and speech language person]!

[The Girl]'s ABR came back fine.  So no hearing impairment.  Nor was there any significant water in her ears but they put tubes in anyway, just in case.  So that leaves us with either a simple developmental speech delay or apraxia, right?  Other ideas or options?  Where do we go from here?

Sincerely,

[One Puzzled & Concerned Mom who should know better than to email the school at 9:30pm after a really REALLY long day and a glass of wine.]

Monday, March 12, 2012

Lies & Stories I Tell Myself

  • I'll go running later.
  • I went running (not that far) so it's OK if I eat that.
  • Chocolate milk is a recovery drink (True!  But probably only the first glass).
  • I don't mind my hour long commute at all.  It's relaxing "me" time.
  • I would absolutely keep my job if I were independently wealthy.  Keeps me sharp. 
  • I would be an great cook if only I had a little more time in the day. 
  • Throwing the ball for the dogs is just like taking them for a walk.
  • Our house smells like roses and warm dinner, not like 3 wet dogs.
  • I'm just going to turn on the computer for 5 minutes to check my email.
  • Daycare is good for kids!  Teaches them socialization skills and what to do with glue & pipecleaners.
  • Listening to the radio during my hour long commute keeps me fully informed.
  • I'm a calm, stoic person.  Pondering all the the things that can go wrong during anesthesia, intubation, major surgery a simple adenoidectomy, and/or what they will find tomorrow during my daughter's hearing test or completely routine by now echocardiogram , is a rational assessment of risk/reward, not at all a sign of obsessive paranoid crippling fear. 
  • I'm sure it's going to be a super-productive day at work today. 

Friday, March 9, 2012

A girl and her dogs

The girl has been sick... really since last Friday but we hit critical mass the last couple of days, prompting a trip to urgent care because I suddenly became convinced she had RSV again and I wanted to use their pulse ox monitor.  She doesn't - just a bad cold that turned into a sinus infection that requires mommy's full undivided snuggling.

And since she was on amoxicillin last month for the most mild case of strep EVER (way to contribute to the SuperBug!) we had to use something new which is apparently going to turn her poop red.  Apologies, since I don't usually share poop stories but, oh my, the day care people's heads are going to explode.  Not that she's going back till next week but still, I can't help giggle.  Hi, I'm secretly an 8 year old boy.

She has been exceptionally miserable - really! - except she complied with Murphy's law and rallied during a conference call yesterday.  I would have actually preferred the wailing when on the phone with my boss from home because of my sick, sick child.  No, no, that's not her giggling on the background. Must be your imagination.  I started plying her with fruit snacks and wandering into other rooms with the phone but then she thought we were playing tag and the giggling got louder.  That was awesome.

She also rallied a bit on Wednesday for a quick game of catch.  The big white one is Murphy (story pending), the middle dark one with the stumpy tail is Maude, and the little fluffy one in desperate need of grooming is Moose.  "Dog" was the girls first ASL sign.  It's a wonder why.  Yesterday my son asked if me if it wasn't like having 5 children, with the dogs.  HA!

Wait!
...I just watched this again before posting & fine cinema it's not, but this is the only post I'm going to crank out this week & I just spent 4 whole paragraphs leading up to it.  Also, Alison asked.  First, turn down your volume!  I absolutely cannot stand the way my voice sounds in these things - I.do.not.squeak.like.that!  Second, she had refused to let me brush her hair all day (probably because her head hurt w/the sinus infection) so please ignore the urchin-esque tangled locks.  And my yard - Murphy is responsible for the sad state of what was once grass.  Ah, hell.... never mind.  Here you go, rumpled messy us:
video

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Crackers Count Cloudy Community Conspiracies

What?  Should there have been commas in that header?  Sorry, no, this isn't actually going to be about white neighborhood militias.  Though that might be fun some other time.

Patrolling the subdivision:

Cracker Counting:
As a follow up to my last post about all the marvelous things my girl is up to, I forgot to mention the counting.  She has a mild cracker obsession and will request them periodically during mommy's computer time her Signing Time lessons but one cracker will no longer do.  She wants two.  And she is trying SO HARD to isolate that first and middle finger.  If I offer her one she pouts and starts working on her fingers and says something that sort of sounds like "doh".  You would not believe the smile I get when I then ask if she wants two - she has been Understood.  The best part is when I try to break the cracker in two - what toddler doesn't that work on?  Mine.  Her hearty appetite may be to blame but if I try that ol' trick there are sometimes tears.  Not that I enjoy making my child cry, but that kid knows two halves is most assuredly NOT TWO.  So proud.

Cloudy:
She also loves love loves her shadow.  Photos from our windy Wednesday walk without.


Community (Part II) and Conspiracies:
Despite years and years of muttering under my breath about the creepiness that is Facebook, I...
I...
(I signed up.)


Windy!  That's the feeling of free falling into the 21st Century.  

I think I mentioned I newly have access at work.  I STILL wasn't going to do it because Big Brother, blah, blah... But my manager forced my hand when she refused to look up any more plaintiffs for me (Privacy settings people!  Also, a suggestion:  If you want someone else to pay for your back surgery, don't post photos of yourself on the Mother of all Roller Coasters).  Ever since, I've found it to be an enormous time suck.  A deliriously compelling time suck, but a time suck all the same.  Someone please tell me the novelty wears off soon?  I've already looked up all the mean girls from high school and a couple exes, thinking that would be the end of it, but I started playing Words With Friends yesterday, and despite being well & truly trounced, I'm having a teensy bit of a problem walking away from the computer.  I had, actually, planned to ease into it (family only!) but Cate signed me up for a couple groups and Carrie sent me a gazillion friend "suggestions".  I didn't tell her this (hi Carrie!) but I was actually going to ignore them all, until it struck me that I have a public blog, fergawdssake, so why not?  Connecting with all those families - even if our families never meet up in Puerto Vallarta, we MAY still meet at a buddy walk or the NDSC conference (plug:  or at the fun run that you should still send an email about so that it happens!).  What a tremendous resource it will be for IEPs, therapies, etcetera.  Even if you/yours aren't sporting an extra chromosome, you never know when your flight might get cancelled in my fair city... or when you might need an ego boost by besting me in WWF.  So.  If you're reading and I haven't "befriended" you, and you don't have that same idealistic only "real friends" & family rule, send me an email & I'll tell you my real name.  (I still don't want to be google-able & am keeping the work/"real" life wall intact).  I promise I'll stop using air quotes around "friends" shortly.

Bonus photos:

Run!  Faster!  Or they'll figure out you're a suburban mom!!  Scary!


PS.  More than one person has expressed their, um, displeasure with blogger's new comment system so I'm going to try moderation/no verification for a bit.  Lemme know what you think.