Posts Filed Under Kids

There’s No Crying at Old Navy!

posted by Momo Fali on June 30, 2014

If I hadn’t been there myself I wouldn’t have believed it. My son made a stranger cry today.

My 12 year old with special needs, who struggles desperately with decision making, had a melt-down in the patriotic shirt section of Old Navy today. We spent 15 minutes going back and forth between the shirts and the register because he couldn’t pick the one he liked. Because we’re trying to get him to focus on this much-needed skill I told him that he had to make a final decision and couldn’t change his mind again – it was that shirt or NO shirt.

Of course, by the time we got to the front of the store he had decided he wanted a different one. Again.

So I took the shirt back and told him he wasn’t getting anything and that’s when the melt-down began. He doesn’t throw traditional tantrums with kicking and screaming, but with tears and thoughtful manipulation. He stood in front of the check out line with sweet, silent tears then said, “Please, mom! I will sacrifice myself for that shirt!”

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imagine those eyes, filled with tears

By the time we got in line, his face was red and splotchy and his shirt was dotted with tears. Did I mention the line was LONG. It looked like Black Friday and we were sandwiched between people in the front and back and the racks of impulse purchases on the sides. Well played, Old Navy. Well played.

My son continued his pleas and I continued to say that he was not getting a shirt, that he has to work on decision making because if he can’t make a choice about a t-shirt, how can I trust him to make big decisions later in life, to which he replied, “I WILL make big decisions! I will be a good driver and I won’t do drugs!”

Then I got tapped on my shoulder. I turned around to see the woman behind us crying. With heartfelt sympathy for the 12 year old she probably thought was 6, she said, “He’s making me so upset.”

I nodded and said, “I know. This is hard, but I’m trying to set a precedent here.”

Then my son looked at her with his sad, tear-filled eyes and said, “Sometimes kids have a hard life.”

As we neared the register we stood next to a bin full of miscellaneous things like dog antlers, plastic Slinkies, and Beanie Babies; to one of which my son became quite attached. Since he couldn’t get the shirt he asked if he could get the Beanie Baby instead. Because I’m the meanest mom ever, I said no. The woman behind us continued to cry.

And, wouldn’t you know, that lady who was moved to tears by my kids dramatic display ended up buying him the Beanie Baby? As she handed it to him she said, “Here you go. Now maybe your life won’t be so hard.”

Though in the end he got his way and that was not what I wanted, part of me was moved by her gesture and how she was touched by this little boy and his sadness.

But, really? Couldn’t she have bought him one of those shirts?

How to Meet His Gaze: Grow Fur

posted by Momo Fali on June 9, 2014

Every Sunday at church I reach for him during the sign of peace. As I simultaneously shake his hand and lean over to kiss the top of his head I remind him to look people in the eye when he says, “Peace be with you.” It’s not necessarily something that comes naturally to him.

There are times, of course, when he will sit and stare intently at my face as we discuss the day’s events. Some evenings he will sit on my lap and I’ll tell him stories and he’ll look at me so closely that I can count his freckles.

But, more often than not, when replying to someone he quickly glances away as he says, “Thanks” or “Bye.” Eye contact is not his strong suit.

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Well, with humans anyway.

Lessons from DVT – Call Your Doctor

posted by Momo Fali on May 30, 2014

I’ve thought about this post for a week. It’s one part health story, one part important lesson, and one part me bragging about being in touch with my body. I honestly don’t know where to start without sounding pompous. There’s a chance, though, that it could save someone’s life. So obviously, in addition to sounding somewhat arrogant, there will also be overly dramatic statements.

Fifteen years ago, I saved my daughter’s life. I was five months pregnant and wasn’t far enough along to be concerned with fetal movement, but when I noticed her kicking had decreased over a two-week period, I told my doctor. I stressed the change. I told her I felt like it wasn’t right. I told her there was a big difference in what I had felt to what I was feeling. She wasn’t worried, but scheduled an ultrasound. Four weeks after I first noticed a change, I had the ultrasound and my daughter was born via emergency c-section shortly after. The doctor told us that if we had waited just a week or two more, she would have been stillborn.

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If she wasn’t around, who would harass him?

Fast forward to three months ago. I started taking hormones to control post-surgical pain on my girly parts. Okay, I’ll say it. My uterus. One of the side effects of the medication is blood clots, but I discussed it with my doctor and because I don’t smoke, the risk was low. Two weeks ago, delightfully pain-free, I flew to Miami for work. The day after I arrived I developed severe calf pain. Did you know that flying can case blood clots? It can.

I chalked it up to my new shoes, took some Ibuprofen and dealt with the pain off and on for the next week. I felt the aching at odd times (sometimes when standing, sometimes when in bed) and that’s what made me call my doctor. I wasn’t doing anything to trigger it. I gave it a week, so I knew it wasn’t my shoes. There was no redness, no swelling, the pain wasn’t bad and went away with a couple of Ibuprofen, but it just felt odd to me. Something wasn’t right.

I ended up in the ER a couple of hours after seeing my doctor and started taking blood thinners for Deep Vein Thrombosis the next day. If you have the good fortune of not knowing how dangerous DVT can be, let me just tell you that it can kill you. The blood clot can break off and go to your lungs and you have virtually no chance at surviving.

Needless to say, I’m no longer taking those hormones. I am, however, taking a blood thinner for the next 90 days. I can’t do my beloved workouts; at least not at the level I was. I am limited to upper body strength training, nothing too strenuous and working my calf is forbidden. My uterine pain is back with a vengeance and I can’t have a hysterectomy until I’m off the blood thinners. Catch 22, anyone? Oh, and I CAN’T DRINK ALL SUMMER LONG. But, I’m alive and so very thankful.

Long story, long – KNOW your body. If something doesn’t feel right, get it checked out. Trust me, I know going to the doctor is inconvenient and there is a really good chance that it’s nothing, but there’s also a chance that it isn’t.

Don’t chalk it up to new shoes. Call your doctor. Your body will thank you for it.

I Need Her

posted by Momo Fali on May 5, 2014

Just over a week ago, we got this.

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Obviously, we’ve lost our minds.

This little bundle of trouble is Luna. She has been busy chewing on cords, peeing in the house and terrorizing our other dog. We do not have time for this puppy. We can’t afford this puppy. We definitely don’t have the energy for this puppy.

We also know that if you wait for the right time, it will never come. And, we can barely afford bread but that doesn’t stop us from buying it.

Luna

There are a lot of reasons why I can justify getting this dog. Mostly, it’s because our daughter is just a few years away from college and our son is almost a teenager and there isn’t anything better than a puppy to create forced family time with your children.

Plus my kids are getting hard to snuggle and they aren’t as soft. And, they don’t have sweet chicken liver breath. If I could have kept my babies little, I would have. Not too small, though. Not so small you can’t take them to movies or go to restaurants. And, definitely not small enough to have to wear bibs all the time. Two words. Re. Flux.

Of course if I had been able to keep my kids small I probably wouldn’t need a puppy so badly. That is likely the REAL reason I said yes to this fluffy ball of fur. I think part of me will always have the desire to care for something less self-sufficient than I am. Deep down I need to be needed.

Or, I just really like chicken liver breath.