Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Living the Dream in September

It's not really a receptacle for honey
We've finally arrived at the apex of human achievement.  There's a Honey Bucket in the driveway. 

Lucien asks every day if he can go outside and poop in the Honey Bucket.  I'm trying to impress upon him that, if given the choice, most rational human beings would choose the comfy bathroom ten feet away over the Honey Bucket.  Deaf ears so far.

I shouldn't be surprised.  This is the kid who recently wrote a song entitled "Buttcheek Monster" and sings it at inopportune times, such as in the middle of his swim lesson. I keep telling him to stop singing and learn to, you know, possibly, swim.  Deaf ears so far.

Yesterday he asked me to say "cheese" five times in a row and, not seeing any obvious catch, I obliged.  He then made the most realistic mouth fart sound I've heard (the kid should teach seminars), pointed at me and laughed.


 Congratulations -- it's still a boy!

September has not been our favorite month this year.  It's actually in hot contention for our least favorite.  Alex is preparing to take on a new role at work but is still working his old role, too.  Two roles at one time is a sh*tty equation that equals bags under eyes and weak high-fives in the hallway as our primary means of communication.

While Alex wrestles mental collapse, I'm handling the education situation for Lucien. We are still vacillating between keeping him where he is or sending him to private school given his recent learning disability diagnosis. I have daily meetings with any one or more of the following: school psychologists, occupational therapists, doctors, teachers, and/or potential private school administrators. I'm pretty sure it is all of their jobs to confuse me.

I'm going to figure it out, though.  I've come to think of myself as an education detective. I'm collecting clues and every piece of information I gather -- good, bad, neutral, or wtf -- is critical to solving the case.  This sometimes necessitates me crawling into a private school administrator's lap and inspecting her closely with a magnifying glass.

  • Fancy Private School isn't sure they have the resources to support his learning disability -- CLUE.  
  • That administrator told me to "follow my gut" and my gut was to punch her in the face -- CLUE.
  • Lucien is one of 500 kids in his current classroom -- CLUE.
  • All the mothers in this parking lot seem to be wearing the exact same black yoga pants -- CLUE, I DON'T LIKE UNIFORMS.

The public school tells us Lucien's learning disability, while obviously impacting his learning, is not severe enough to warrant special services through the public school system. I asked the school psychologist if we could test him again, but maybe this time I could coach him to throw it?  Tell him not to try at all?  Slip him some Benadryl beforehand?  Maybe we could encourage him to just sit there, stare into space and drool a little?

She looked at me all horrified -- CLUE.

Sometimes Alex comes home from work and steps over my overwhelmed body lying prone in the middle of the floor.  He usually says, "Do you want a glass of wine?"  and I usually say "yes" and then he says, "Do you want white or red?" and I say, "It doesn't matter, I'm not drinking to enjoy the wine tonight."  And Alex understands but he still brings me the best bottle we have and pours it into a decanter.  That's why we're still married.

Coco's school is a whole different kind of stress.  Her preschool has requested lunches be packed in environmentally low-impact packaging and contain lean proteins, fruits and veggies only (there goes the ole ziploc bag and leftover pizza slice).  They've also requested the size of the lunch "fits the child's appetite."

I guess I can measure the contents of Coco's stomach each morning after breakfast and develop an algorithm to pinpoint how much she's likely to eat at lunch.  This may be tedious for us both but -- hey, when did preschools get so bossy?

Education is hard.  Maybe I should homeschool HA HA HA HA HA.

To distract myself from the heftier side of life, I've begun focusing an inordinate amount of time on things that don't matter.  In related news -- Mantisy is thriving!  When it comes to mothering a praying mantis, I am flawless.  I caught his most recent meal straight out of the air with a pair of tweezers last night. In the seconds immediately after the capture, as I stared at the moth struggling between the tweezer prongs and realized what I'd done, I was scared of myself a little bit.

I've also painted the back of the house with five bazillion different paint samples. The house currently looks like a really ugly quilt, which has alarmed most of the neighbors.  The people at Benjamin Moore told me the other day, "You should probably just pick one because that's pretty much all we've got, lady."

The house project has encountered some delays but we're still on track for completion by 2020.

 This is our "deck."

The grass is gone thanks to the unplanned sewer line replacement.  The kids come into the house dusty or, if Seattle is being Seattle, muddy.

This is part of my scary house quilt.

Alex and I have been getting babysitters and spending Sunday afternoons together.  We talk and walk all over the city.  Sometimes we end up at Farmer's Markets where we buy mass quantities of beautiful, beautiful tomatoes.  This would be fine and good if not for the fact neither one of us eats tomatoes.

But they're so pretty.  Maybe I should smash them up and smear them on the back of the house.

What's happening to us?  The squiggly answer is obvious -- corn puffs.  Mercy! 

At least we've got a Honey Bucket -- CLUE.


  1. Your son has a very scatological sense of humour -- that's his French Canadian genes right there!:) I feel like a proud relative (and for all we know, I might really be one!;))

    For what it's worth, I quite like the yellow paint for the house:)

    1. I must admit, my loyal posse members, when I'm having a crappy time and I try to crank out a blog post and I'm a bit braindead but you all are still there.... well, it means a lot. Duchesse, wish I could give you a big hug and/or a weak high five. You've stuck with me even though my Paris turned into my Seattle.

      And true....Lucien's sense of humor is similar to his French Canadian Daddy's. I claim nothing.

      The picture of the paint colors is deceiving. The yellow in this picture is pretty but in brighter sunlight, it develops a greenish cast similar to bile. It's godawful. It's a no.

    2. We're all still here, MJ! Keep on keepin' on! Loving the Loosh's look - you can see the 25 year old in a coffee shop waxing poetic and wooing the ladies! And then probably farting at them as they laugh hysterically because he has charmed them beyond imagine and now can get away with anything! I know you won't let them put him in a box or a hole or make him a peg or whatever - you're doing the right thing...always!!

      Love the yellow idea. I turned to the brown family to find my yellow family room - warm muffin by Behr at Home Depot. All my yellows turned green, too.

  2. LORDY...don't kids take up alot of time..LOL it's always something..The Loosh is rocking those glasses though...he's got his TinTin hair cut down pat too...sooo cute.

    Al continues to be a saint.

    1. Debbie. Oh Debbie. A similar hug/high five for you. You guys are so great to have around.

      Tintin hair. Oh, that's good. I hadn't thought of that. He used to watch Tintin in Paris and now he doesn't remember who he is. That makes me sad.

      Al a saint? Well. I'm not sure whether or not to tell him about that one. He is certainly a good, good, good man but you may be pushing it there.

      High five!

    2. ps...I vote for the a yellow house...the other too colours aren't friendly enough..just me

      and I should have said Al is a good , good man...saint was pushing it...:)

  3. I vote for the yellow for the house! It's similar to our house colour and it's a good background for lots of different trim colours. We have a bright orange front door, which was the previous homeowner's choice and I am still not sure if I like it, but it's growing on me and looks very nice with the yellow.

    You really need to record Lucien's "Buttcheek Monster" song, I bet it'd be a youtube sensation :)

    1. Hi Anonymous! See above Duchesse reply for more info on the yellow. I loved it in the store, and in that photo. In true daylight...well, it's a bit more like puke?

      I have a feeling many things Lucien is going to do in his future are going to be Youtube sensations. Somebody hold me.

    2. well then pick another yellow....not a puke one maybe.

    3. Yes! Friendly unpuky yellow, I say!:)

  4. Can Coco's preschooler teacher/minder stop her from eating her lunch it isn't all them requirements? Just wonderin'.

    1. Mrs. Howard, another loyal posse member deserving of accolades.

      Thanks for the LOLs. I had fun picturing Coco's preschool teacher ripping her lunch away from her and Coco's crestfallen, "But I love mac-n-cheese..." Perhaps they would then serve her a leftover piece of cardboard from the recycle bin.

      (I'm being slightly unfair now. The preschool teachers are the loveliest women you'll ever meet. I'VE HAD A HARD MONTH, OK?)

  5. I love how you see things .... and the humorous spin -I wish I possessed the same degree of funny with the shit storm that can be my life...and uh... you didn't tell us WHY THE HONEY BUCKET- 2020 has a nice ring to it- I like the palest color for the house not that you are asking just my two cents- hang in there -you're a great detective-you figured france out you can figure the school deal out-hope the rest of the week proves smooth sailing!

    1. Thanks, g. You are another one I love having around. Weak high five comin' at ya.

      Life is ridiculous. And overall, life is great and life is wonderful and there's not much reason for complaint. Still, sometimes, the stress gets to your head a little.

      We have a Honey Bucket for the team of men outside ripping the house apart (and not yet putting it back together... ahem.) It's nice in that they never have to come inside so we're free to live our daily lives normally, save the ear-bleeding sounds of hammers and nail guns all day long. It's not nice in that it looks a little trashy and people, possibly, poop in our driveway in the middle of the night when we're asleep.

      I will figure Lucien's education out. And I think I have. Easier dealing with it here than in France, that's truth!

  6. My eldest turned 21 an hour ago. I am relieved that he is now legally entitled to drink. He and his friends have taken up what can only be described as semi-pro beer pong. I've been in perpetual fear that the neighbors will turn me into DCFS.

    I remember when birthday boy had a similar challenge as Lucien. The fancy pants private school he attended decided that he had a learning disability. They wanted me to fund a tutor (in addition to the 'take a second mortgage on my house' tuition)to keep him on track.

    I had more WTF moments than I care to admit. My solution? I mounted my broom and called in the flying monkeys. Albeit I was marginally professional, I (with several professionals.. educators, not hit men) proved to the school that they needed to work with Connor.

    The result? He's healthy and happy. He is in college.
    He has wonderful observations about the world. He marches to the beat of his own drummer. And.. I expect he is going to have a serious hangover in the morning!

    Keep on sleuthing (it pays off). Nominate the playground moms for the next episode of What Not To Wear.

    1. Thanks, Fly Away Home. Really. Good to know other parents have navigated learning disabilities and come out happy on the other side.

      The Loosh is going to march to his own beat as well. I love that about him. We're putting good supports and interventions in place and I'm feeling good about the future. Huzzah for individualists.

      (Black yoga pants are the worst.)

  7. Homeschool? HA HA HA HA HA!!! I seriously had a giggle fit on that one.

    I'd think your boy and my boy were twins except I remember every minute of the 31.5 hours I was in labor with him.

    Good luck on the school stuff...and please write a book about it. I'm sure I'll be in your shoes next year when we head back to the real world.

    And as always, StayPositive!!!

    1. Miss you guys! So you're coming back next year? Oh man. I've got to go check out your blog, been too long since I checked in with you long distance.

      Huzzah for spirited boys.

      High five!

  8. It will all be okay, MJ!

    You already have your priorities figured out, the most important thing. Go with your instincts, and you can always change things later. Does Lucien at least qualify for a 504?
    You should get some quality supports with one.
    I don't know how much private schools are legally liable to offer supports, but public schools are required. But you can always change if things don't go well.

    Keep doing that detective work, but take breaks, if you are overwhelmed, it means you need a break!
    Oh, and send MacDonalds one day in Coco's lunch, just to freak them out!

  9. Uggghh I feel your pain about public vs private school with a child that has a learning disability that isn't "severe" enough for public to service and private just isn't sure. We are in the same boat with the MRS. I actually had her public school VP tell me "well if she does score in 20% for the blah blah national standards test, it wouldn't be a surprise to you because you are aware of her LD but we won't service her till we see her failing." I wanted to jump through the phone!!! Exploring private, smaller class size is just a confusing. Either way we are back in private OT and most likely tutoring. I thought about home schooling but then I realized it would make me drink way more than I already do!