Posts Filed Under Kids

Dear Typical Parent,

Hi there! I saw you this morning at the bus stop, taking pictures of your kids in their new clothes with shiny backpacks and haircuts. My son was the little guy with a hole in the back of his shirt where he ripped out the label because he couldn’t stand the feel of it against his skin. He had last year’s backpack even though the zipper is broken, because it’s familiar to him and he was also wearing last year’s shoes because he doesn’t grow much and they feel just right. Kids with autism like things that are broken in.

I noticed your son’s shiny braces, too! My son needs braces, but he can’t get them yet. He’s had two surgeries to have teeth removed (not at the dentist’s office, but at the hospital because that’s where kids with heart defects have to go), but he needs to have even more taken out before we can think about braces. That will be surgery number 14…I think. I’ve lost track.

Your daughter was the one first to ask how old my son was; probably because she’s seven and taller than he is. See above, regarding heart defects. He gets a shot of growth hormone every day, though, so I’m hoping he looks like a nine year old by Christmas break!

At first he didn’t hear the question, because his new hearing aids are still on order. After she asked three times, your son was shocked after my son said his age, so I said, “No, really. He is 13.”

Your boy replied, “He’s so little. That’s weird” and it was awesome how you nervously laughed and didn’t correct him.

When your kids come home this afternoon, they may tell you that my son sang the entire time he was on the bus. Or, that he bounced in his seat, or that he did something completely off the wall like throw something out of the window. I hope you are like the parents at his first primary school and tell your kids that he may not be able to help it, but if you’re like the parents at his second primary school, I understand that your first reaction will be to call the school and attempt to get him removed from the bus.

I know my son doesn’t look like yours, act like yours, play sports like yours, eat like yours, or talk like yours. That’s because he is not yours. He is mine. He is unique and quirky and sometimes the most frustrating human being in the world, but he is a child. And, he’s a child who needs an education just like yours. He’s smart enough to score on a 10th grade math level, but sometimes he can’t get his actions and words to match what’s in his brain.


Tomorrow, after you’ve had a chance to talk to your kids about inclusion and how every child deserves a chance to go to school I hope they will greet him with hearty hellos. I promise, if they do, I’ll do the exact same for you.




Cracking up and Unbreakable

posted by Momo Fali on April 30, 2015

There is something I need. I need it as much as water, air, food, clothing, shelter, coffee and beer. If I am to be a functioning member of society, I need laughter.

For a while, I didn’t have much laughter in my life. The reason I know about that ‘functioning’ thing I mentioned is because I was barely doing it. I kind of floundered through my days. And, we’re not talking about lightly-seared or grilled flounder, but stuffed. With potatoes. And, chorizo. Heavy. With a side of squash.

But, slowly, light began to creep in and now there is laughter every day and I’m functioning again. Sure, sometimes I flounder, but mostly I’m wild-caught, with a squeeze of lemon. Light. With a side of asparagus.

Amid the financial crisis, the turmoil my kids are dealing with, and the loss of touch with family, I can still find something funny each day. It really is the best medicine.

So what’s my secret?

1. Inside jokes. I have inside jokes with my co-workers, friends, kids, and even the pharmacist. When you can laugh about something and no one else knows what you’re talking about, it makes it extra funny. For instance, I can just say the word, “Georgette” and one of my friends is cracking up right now.

2. A funny family. We have been through some awful times together and we can be completely serious if we need to be, but more than likely you’ll find us cracking jokes at a funeral. Probably as part of the eulogy.

3. Three friends who make me laugh every day. It’s not always the same three, but there are at least three people I talk to, text with or see in person who know just what to say to get a giggle out of me. If, by the end of the day, there haven’t been three, then I’ll text one of them so I can meet my quota.

4. Comedies. I don’t care if it’s Paul Blart Mall Cop, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, or my current personal favorite, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, which streams into my room via Netflix every night – watching something funny does the trick. Bonus, Kimmy and I both have an unbreakable theme going on which is kind of an inside joke, except she doesn’t know it because she isn’t real. But, darn it, if she were, she would totally be my friend.

5. My kids. The surest way to get me to laugh is for me to make my kids laugh first. That’s right. I tickle them. Sure, it’s actually torture and completely cruel, but it’s funny! Or, I can just give my son a Tootsie Pop.

tootsie pop

I hope you laugh today.


This post is sponsored by Netflix as part of the Netflix Stream Team.

filed under Divorce, Family, Kids, Netflix and tagged with

Tips from Momo: To All the Single Ladies

posted by Momo Fali on April 21, 2015

It’s not like me to brag (oh, who am I kidding), but over the past eight months I’ve learned a lot about myself and I’ve learned a lot of things that may benefit you too.

I’m here to share the knowledge I’ve gleaned from this broken life of mine in case you suddenly find yourself in a crumpled heap in the middle of a grocery store aisle. Hypothetically. Don’t ever say I never gave you anything.

1. Get some exercise. One of the first things I did after my husband said he wanted a divorce was register for a half marathon. It gave me a goal and a purpose when everything else was falling apart and it kept me busy and active at times I would’ve otherwise been alone. Plus, my hamstrings are totally happening right now.

2. Surround yourself with the kinds of friends you can call any time and say, “Can I just come over and sit at your kitchen table for awhile?” And, then when you do, they’ll teach your kid how to create massive slingshots out of rubber-bands.


3. Surround yourself with old friends who knew you when your bangs were as big as the 80s. You’ll not only laugh about those times, but you will create new memories easily and comfortably. Anything that makes you feel safe and happy is good right now. Embrace it. Thank you, Facebook for making sure we all don’t lose touch. Now, fix your Newsfeed.

4. Let your kids decorate their rooms in their new space however they want. Though, I did draw the line at a keg. Bonus if the wall of photos includes an image of Justin Timberlake upon which you can gaze while you’re running the sweeper.


5. Buy yourself things that make you smile. No, you don’t have the money right now, but you also don’t have a lot of sanity so it only makes sense. Right? Wait.


6. Do fun things with your kids as often as possible. Because, duh.


Indoor rock climbing. Who needs fingernails, anyway?



This picture sums up so much about our personalities. SO. MUCH.

7. Don’t buy cheap trash bags. Sure you’re trying to save money, but when you end up using two bags because the first one ALWAYS breaks, it doesn’t save you as much as you’d think. Also, let’s look at this picture and see how it relates to #5; beer, watermelon, Ramen noodles, chocolate and Target. Enough said.


8. Park in the carport even if NO ONE ELSE does. When all your neighbors are driving piles of rust, you’ll thank me. Also, you might have to park in the carport because everyone takes your spot in front of your apartment because NO ONE parks in the carport.


9. Get dressed up. Fix your hair. Put on makeup. OR, put on jeans and Converse and throw your hair in a pony tail. Whatever makes YOU feel good. But, get out of your yoga pants unless you’re going to yoga.


10. Read. A lot. Read books, newspapers, magazines, or even old emails from friends. I’ve read books on psychology, law, co-parenting, relationships and a good old-fashioned novel or two. Daily, I read a lot of blog posts and messages from a support group to which I belong full of women in all different stages of this process. Educate yourself. It’s powerful.

11. Don’t name-call. I wish I could say I’ve stuck to this, but I haven’t. There is nothing harder than trying to control your emotions when they are filled with hurt and sometimes anger just flows out. I mean, like a river. Probably the Amazon. Anger is so EASY, but try not to take the easy way out. It just makes everybody feel bad.

12. Hang in there. Life on the other side is different, but you can be happy again. I promise.

13. Try not to smack people who promise you’ll be happy again. They mean well. And, they’re actually right.

He Speaks the Truth

posted by Momo Fali on February 24, 2015

My 12 year old son has been known to have anxiety and OCD. To know him is to love his perfectionism, his lining up everything in the colors of a rainbow, and his constant obsession with rings.

Right now we have a little extra anxiety going on, so in addition to seeing a therapist I made an appointment with the pediatrician. She had him complete a survey on his inner-most feelings.

And, while we have concerns about some of his behavior clearly we don’t have to worry about self-esteem, because when he checked off Item 25 he scoffed then said, “Oh, please! EVERYBODY loves me.”

anxiety checklist