winter

winter

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Tide Pods and other noxious things.

I promised you a rant on the Tide pod challenge. It is part of the reason why I have been avoiding social media. There has been quite a few people posting memes about this. I recognize gallows humor. It stopped being funny a while ago, but the memes keep happening. The kids keep doing this and dying. It sickens me to see people laughing about children dying due to social pressure. That's what's driving the Tide pod challenge and a lot of the other assinine challenges out there. Similar things went on when I was that age. It didn't spread as quickly but it was still a thing and people did stupidly dangerous things to prove they were part of the crowd.

However, those stupidly dangerous things weren't lethal. Those stupidly dangerous things weren't being broadcasted for the whole world to watch. This would be like watching a group of kids playing russian roulette with an actual firearm, not a nerf gun, and when the likes for the feed hits a critical number, they load another bullet for the lulz. I carefully monitor my children's access to the internet to keep them away from this kind of garbage because they are the kids who'd be pressured into it due to how much they want to be friends with everybody. How many other children don't have parents who are able to do this for them? What of that number have died or been severely injured due to stuff like the Tide pod challenge? I'd lay odds that a good number of the dead and injured due to this meme are ones that their parents thought that Youtube was harmless.

The Tide pod challenge isn't the only thing that bothers me about popular memes right now. There's some stupid ones out there. That's not really a problem as much of an annoyance. But the memes that make fun of people with autism or treats people with mental disability as though they are subhuman really, really bother me. They dehumanize these people. Progressive dehumanization or othering of an already vulnerable part of the population is a step towards greater oppression of said group. If it was acceptable, I'm sure that such memes would be posted about African Americans by people who seem to think that Donald Trump* is a good person based on what I've seen said by that segment of the population with respect to former President Obama.

We are living in times where Immigrations and Customs Enforcement are stopping Amtrack trains outside of Syracuse (a city that is known for salt potatoes and their basketball for the most part) and demanding to see papers proving citizenship. They're waiting at schools and places of employment to pick up potential illegal immigrants. Families are making plans for what to do if parents are picked up while kids are at school. There is an underground railroad smuggling people out of the United States to points elsewhere to seek asylum.

And yet, we should be happy with our bread and circuses. We should laugh as children are pressured to kill themselves. We should shrug off one child calling ICE on another as a prank or youthful indiscretion. (That one ended well, thank gods, the child who had ICE called on them and their family were not harassed because they had the good fortune of having all of their paperwork in hand. And the child who did that call got expelled for it.) We should look away when transgendered people are murdered for the mere offense of living. We should be hyped up about the winter olympics but not offended by the fact that school shootings are in double digits already.

If my anger and concerns about such things makes me a helicopter parent, then I'm not that fun/annoying news helicopter that's telling you about rush hour traffic. I'm the armored assault helicopter that's air support for my troops on the ground. I haven't figured out how to deal with it all yet, but if someone comes at my kids, they're going down. School yard fights happen and that is why we're teaching them how to finish a fight if it starts but to never start one. The other side of things, adults fucking around causing my children problems, I will find away to destroy them utterly. Once I thought I could count on the community to help. Now, I find my people and we fight for each other because the bonds of community have broken.

If they hadn't broken, this mess wouldn't be here. We'd be taking care of each other and nobody's babies would be dying because someone told them they had to eat poison to be popular.

Med changes suck. (and other stuff)

I'm at that point in the process of adjusting to a new medication that I'm starting to get my feet under me again. I'm grouchy and stressed out because I can't do my usual things (or I don't remember doing them and feel like I still have to do them).  And I'm still dealing with the exhaustion that comes with this one. It's improving, but feeling like I have to take a nap every day or go to bed early sucks. I don't get much alone time if I am not up in the morning and going during the school day because the kids are ALWAYS there.

Just a few minutes ago, I had the audacity to go use the bathroom and my youngest was wandering around shouting for me. Earlier, my eldest followed me to the bathroom talking about the box-fort firehouse he wants to build just like the one he saw on a Youtube video. He literally stood outside the door talking at me until I called out that I wanted to go potty in peace. Then he walked off, trying to talk to his brother who was on the complete other side of the apartment and couldn't hear him. This is just an everyday thing.

But, taking a two hour nap in the morning this morning robbed me of writing time. I spent my whole afternoon working on finances (and I got about half of the stuff I planned to do there done). When I wasn't doing that, I was doing dishes so that I could make dinner. And managing the kids. Here it is, almost 7 in the evening, I wish Beloved was home. I just want to have another grown adult to talk to about something other than plans to build stuff this summer, facts about the Titanic, firetrucks, or yard work equipment.

Tomorrow, we go see the folks at the autism center. I have a feeling that I'm not going to be the only one whose meds will be changed this month. My eldest has the moodiness and attitude that has Beloved and I convinced he is hitting the leading edge of puberty. And the youngest keeps having more attention problems and he is eating less. I don't know how any of this is going to change with the medications or honestly how to cope with it.

I'm exhausted from constantly trying to stay one step ahead of them. I have to out plan and out maneuver them on a regular basis to keep them safe. My youngest still has days where he tries to climb the unsecured bookcases. I worry about them getting into medications and thinking they are candy. I tell them they can't get into these things and they should only have them when we give it to them. But they are getting to that age that they're going to have the manual dexterity and possible inclination to get into those child safe bottles. And that terrifies me.

I've done my best to keep them unaware of the existence of the Tide Pod challenge because they'd try it. Just because they would think it was a thing that they were supposed to do. It is part of the reason why the Tide Pod challenge makes me so angry. I'll rant about that later. But, right now, I'm afraid for the safety of my kids because they're starting to get into things again. The youngest really, really wants to clean things like I do. He's taken to trying to clean the bathroom mirror. Kinda sweet, kinda cute, and kinda terrifying because he doesn't know what bottle is the cleaner or to clear all the stuff that goes in our mouths off of the counter top before cleaning. I'm seriously thinking about getting those child locks for the door of the cupboard. Or, if it fits through the fancy loop on the double door opening, a padlock.

I don't know what to do, but it has to be something. Because I want to keep them safe. My anxiety is pretty well justified on this front. It is exhausting. I'm always listening and looking out for trouble. I strive to give my boys their independence. At the same time, they've got developmental delays that put them a bit behind their peers. As such, my 3rd grader is in many ways like a kindergarten student. So, I have to keep close tabs on him. And my 5th grader is about a year behind in other ways.

Most of my friends are childless. The number of friends who have kids on the autism spectrum is fairly small. We try to be supportive of each other as much as Facebook and my social phobia allows. But it is hard because they're all over the map (quite literally) and only a few are local. It is hard to talk about this stuff because so many people say 'oh, I know!' when they really don't know. Yeah, my kids have fears of the dark like others their age. But the loud gurgling of our fucked up bathroom sink, the noise of the hot air hand dryers, and loud stuff like thunder and fireworks are going to be terrifying to the boys too.

Most kids may jump a bit and then be ok. Hell, a lot of kids get excited by loud noises. Mine have sound sensitivities that makes them have difficulty with a lot of things. I think the only reason why we didn't have meltdowns to deal with in the firetruck rides was because the obsession with firetrucks overpowers the sound sensitivity to some extent. (Every chance they get to visit the fire station, climb in a fire truck, and hang out with the firefighters, they jump for. They love those people. Hence part of the reason why they want to build a box-fort firehouse.)


Monday, February 05, 2018

Ranting ahead.

I'm sick and tired of being depressed. It's crept into every damn element of my day. Now, I can't get much writing done unless it is therapy related or my memoir/novel/whatever-it-is-today. I get maybe a paragraph done and then I find myself on the verge of crying. Change topics and it happens again. This is stupid and I want it to stop.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Monday Menu: Week of 1/28/18

It's a typical Monday afternoon here. My boys are arguing. The kitchen has a pile of dishes to be washed and laundry is waiting to be folded. But, I'm not going to argue because it is a good day. I've got my kids and my Beloved. I've a home to live in and the blessings of our belongings. I'm thankful for what we have. Even if the kids are making me grind my teeth. Because the alternative is horrifying to me. (I've been having some dark thoughts today when I'm not busy. The solution is to be more busy, right?)



Date Breakfast Lunch Dinner
Sun Donuts sandwiches /
leftovers
pizza
Mon Waffles Kids: school
Hubby: pad thai bowl
Me: leftovers
hamburgers
carrot salad
fries
Tues Cereal Kids: school
Hubby: peanut chicken bowl
Me: soup
pulled pork tacos
salsa & fixings
mexican rice
Wed Waffles Kids: school
Hubby: pulled pork
sandwich, hard boiled
egg & chips
Me: taco salad
ham loaf, roasted
potatoes &
garlic green beans
Thurs Cereal Kids: sandwiches & chips
Hubby: roast chicken,
potatoes, & green beans
Me: leftovers
mu shu chicken
wraps & celery,
carrot & cucumber
salad
Fri Eggs & toast Kids: sandwiches & carrot
sticks
Hubby: leftovers
Me: sandwich & salad
Pork korma, naan,
& rice pilaf
Kids: ham sandwich
& veggies
Sat french toast leftovers chicken & biscuits

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Monday Menu: Week of 1/21/18

Date Breakfast Lunch Dinner
Sun French toast &
bacon
sandwiches /
leftovers
pizza
Mon cereal Kids: school
Hubby: lasagna
Me: leftovers
hamburgers
carrot salad
fries
Tues waffles Kids: school
Hubby: lasanga
Me: soup
tacos
salsa & fixings
mexican rice
Wed eggs & ham Kids: school
Hubby: ham salad
sandwich, hard boiled
egg & chips
Me: taco salad
tatertot bake
salad / fresh
cut veggies
Thurs waffles Kids: school
Hubby: teriyaki meatballs
& peanut noodles
Me: leftovers
General Tso
chicken, fried
rice, cucumber
salad
Fri cereal w/ fruit Kids: sandwiches & carrot
sticks
Hubby: leftovers
Me: sandwich & salad
Thai peanut pork
chops w/ naan
& rice pilaf
(ez mac for kids)
Sat eggs w/ hashbrowns
& sausage
leftovers spaghetti &
meatballs
(homemade sauce)

Friday, January 19, 2018

Fiction Friday: Random Scene - Insomnia

Sarah stared up at the ceiling. The projection display of her alarm clock said it was 0200 and 56 seconds. She was exhausted. This was the third night that she just couldn't sleep. Work wasn't much of a problem, aside from being painfully boring. Thus, staying awake was the problem. Somewhere in the apartment below, she heard the noise of the neighbors having an argument, or possibly sex. It was hard to tell. In the bathroom off across the hallway, the sink dripped into the basin at 3/4 time. It took Sarah about 6 seconds to realize it. She almost laughed, her music lessons way back in middle school were actually still there somehow inside her brain.

The heater kicked on with a rattling sound in the vent. As the warm air blew up, a bit of paper slapped and rustled against the vent itself. The sound was annoying. Sarah put her pillow over her head as she rolled onto her right side. She wondered if it was possible to smother yourself trying to block out the noise of other people and her irritating heating duct problem. Then she realized that she could hear the muted noise of the neighbors below through the mattress with some weird echo quality due to the springs. With a sigh, the tired woman rolled over to her back and thumped the pillow down on the side of the bed. Sarah stared at the clock's display. 0201 and 43 seconds.

Music listening to: The Last Bison Sleep off of their album VA
Time to write scene: 10 minutes approx.