My Answer: Is the Sky Blue?

posted by Momo Fali on March 18, 2009

This morning my six year old son had an appointment with a psychologist. He was evaluated because we are searching for a diagnosis in order for him to continue receiving an hour of one-on-one speech therapy each week. Therapy which is completely paid for by our county.

Because his report card is perfect and because extensive genetic testing didn’t turn up a particular disorder, this is our last resort. Not that I want my son to be labeled, but those therapy sessions cost $250.00 a week and are extremely beneficial. I would hate to kiss them goodbye.

We certainly can’t swing an extra bill for $1000.00 a month. Not unless we want to give up something like oh, say…food. Without a diagnosis of some sort, speech therapy will be no more.

So I was pretty thrilled when I was filling out forms for the psychologist and read the question – Does your child ever make inappropriate comments to people such as, “Your sweater is ugly” or “You’re fat”?

Because if they’re judging him based on that? I don’t have a thing to worry about.

Mr. Literal

posted by Momo Fali on March 13, 2009

My husband has been working long hours at his new job, which means I have been doing just about everything with both kids in tow.

Last night I had a committee meeting at their school. While I was in the library, they were to sit across the hall in the music room and read or play some handheld games. They’ve done this a few times before, but for some reason my son was really restless last night.

After coming in and interrupting us over and over, I finally sat him down in the chair next to me, gave him a pen and told him to draw some pictures in my notebook.

After a few minutes, I looked down to see him happily sketching. He looked up at me and said, “It’s a picture of you.”

I nodded. Then to further keep him busy I whispered, “You could make my hair longer or write my name on my shirt”.

Which explains why I got home from my meeting to find my white, hoodie sweatshirt now has the word “Mom” written on the sleeve.

Jogging My Memory

posted by Momo Fali on March 11, 2009

My best friend, Bean, saves everything. It has been particularly beneficial when I want to remember something that happened years ago and need help jogging my memory. She will inevitably pull up her organized computer files and find whatever I’m looking for, then will resend me e-mails that I sent her in 2004 just so I can know which work-out tape I was using when it hurt so much that I called the instructor some very colorful names. Kathy Smith, you mock me with all that talking…and breathing.

Yesterday, Bean sent me this from August, 2002. My son was three months old and obviously having difficulty sleeping. I had sent her this e-mail, probably to vent as I so often did.

I don’t know what to do with him. He’s been aspirating on spit-up the past couple of nights, so last night I put him in his car seat to sleep, but he still did it. He doesn’t breathe very well in his car seat either. I can make sure he’s on his side so he won’t choke on it, but I can’t stop it from going up his nose, and understandably, when that happens he freaks out. He tenses up and won’t take a breath. I’ve heard him do it the past few nights and was able to get to him before he bradied (bradycardia…where his heart rate drops dangerously low), but he’s certainly not resting well and neither am I.

What amazes me, is that I had forgotten all about this period of time, but reading about it brought it all back. I now vividly remember his tiny body stiffening and the gulping sound he would make as he struggled to get air down his throat because his nose was filled with fluid. My, maybe, six pound, three month old probably felt like he was drowning.

I figure that I forgot these episodes because there have been so many other tough experiences with my son and it’s much easier and makes me much happier to remember the fun stuff. Which is mostly what I write about here.

But, that doesn’t mean I will ever forget the first time I stroked my son’s head, or the first time he was wheeled away from us for heart surgery, or when a nurse stood over him when he stopped breathing in the recovery room after a surgery three years ago and yelled in my boy’s face, “Don’t quit on me!”

Some things you can’t forget even if you want to.

But, I much prefer to think about the time when we were in Target and he ran away from me and yelled for me to “come chase him and pinch his butt”, or the time when he asked me if he could take a quarter to school for “Q” day and put it in the “little pocket on the front of his underwear”, or when he saw a woman in a red sweat-suit and called her “Santa’s brother”. I could never decide if it was worse to get insulted by a five-year old, get called a man, or be told you resemble a jolly old elf.

He once told a very much alive, elderly woman that she had “died” because she was old. He mentioned to our cable repairman that he looked like Santa, because of his “big round belly”. And, it’s a toss-up as to whether my personal favorite is the time when he told a masculine woman that she looked like “kind of a girl”, or when we were at the doctor’s office and he mistook two Muslim women’s head scarves for bandannas and called them both “pirates”.

Some things you can’t forget and never, ever want to.

These things that mortified me at the time, now make me laugh and remind me that despite everything this kid has gone through, he still has an amazing spirit and this gift of wit and sarcasm like none I’ve ever seen.

Which is why I’m glad Bean sent me that e-mail. To remind me not to sweat the small stuff, because my son has come so far. So very far. And, through it all he has chosen to make us laugh instead of complain.

However, none of this can make me stop calling Kathy Smith names.

Cheese Puffs

posted by Momo Fali on March 9, 2009

Last week, we were playing a board game together as a family when my husband blocked our six year old son’s next move. Our boy saw his dad’s defensive strategy and proclaimed, “Damn it, Daddy!”

He didn’t realize he had said anything wrong, so we explained that it was bad, and he need not ever say it again. We didn’t need to ask him where he learned it. We knew he had picked it up while playing games with his dad. My husband’s competitive nature has also been responsible for teaching our son the words, “sucker” and “crap”.

My husband, the sailor, also taught our daughter her first curse word. When she was about two years old we were driving in the car when, out-of-the-blue, we heard the “F” word come from the back seat. Before we had a chance to stop her, she had said it about ten times in a row. At least she used it in the proper venue. Clearly, she had heard that while driving in the car with her dad.

But, I can not blame my husband for the time my daughter did not fling curse words, but instead assaulted us with attitude.

I was extremely hormonal tired, and had been working all day while my husband played with our daughter, who was just a toddler at the time. They sat down to have a snack together as I flopped my exhausted body onto the couch. No sooner had I sat down, than my daughter asked, “Mom, can you get us some napkins?”

Irritated that she asked me, instead of her father, I angrily said, “Oh, sure! Dad’s been playing all day while I’ve been working, but I’ll get up to get the FREAKING napkins!”

I returned to the room and tossed them a couple of paper towels before falling back into my seat.

Then I watched as my daughter climbed onto her dad’s lap and put her face a mere inch from his. She held that position as she stuck her hand into their snack bag, then glared at him and yelled, “Dad! These are FREAKING cheese puffs!”

But all things considered, I don’t think my “F” word is nearly as bad as his.