In Noah's Social Studies class yesterday, the kids were divided into two teams for a mock debate. Team assignments were random; no one got to choose their side. The two teams? Patriots vs. Loyalists, set to debate the pros and cons of the American Revolution. Guess which team Noah was on. Or more accurately, he was supposed to be on, until he freaked out, melted down, and refused to participate. We got an email from his teacher afterwards explaining what happened, and two sentences in I knew exactly what was coming. WHY OH WHY DID YOU NOT SEE THAT COMING? He couldn't be a Loyalist. Loyalists were the ENEMY. Loyalists were the Bad Guys. Even just pretending to be a Bad Guy makes you a Bad Guy, at least while you're doing the pretending. His teacher called it a temper tantrum, but really, it was probably more along the lines of a panic attack. It's interesting that this happened so close to Halloween, given all those years Noah refused to wear a costume for similar anxiety-tinged reasons: Pretending to be someone or something else means you must not be yourself anymore. Putting on a costume represented a fundamental change in... Read more →

Noah really wanted a birthday party this year. Jason was happy to oblige and slapped down a deposit on a video game truck rental; meanwhile I balled up into the fetal position every time I thought about it. A party. At our house. With children. Or maybe no children? Or not enough children? Noah happily handed out invitations to his entire class and several friends from last year, I absorbed any and all social anxiety on his behalf and felt an acute ache in my chest with every day that brought another "no, can't make it, sorry!" or complete radio silence. Finally there were some yeses, we sent in reminder cards and got a couple more. The day of the party, we still hadn't heard from well over a dozen parents. ' But at some point, I stopped caring. I woke up feeling good. Relaxed. The house was spotless and we kept everything else as low key as possible. We had enough children and adults coming to definitely qualify as a party, including all the people I know Noah cares the most about. They all arrived with big hugs and smiles and gifts and explored the house in a wild,... Read more →

Okay, so first of all, wait, hold up, everybody shut up for a minute. I am so deeply grateful to everybody who took the time to comment, email, or message me yesterday. It was all a bit overwhelming (although to be fair, right now everything is overwhelming, including getting out of bed and/or composing a meal more complicated than several sticks of string cheese), but it was overwhelming in a good, kind, warm-hug sort of way. I struggle more these days with how honest/confessional I should be online, now that I have at least one foot in a more professional realm, albeit one where everybody still knows my blog name. But I'm glad I just came out and said what's what. Because it fucking sucks and I need a place where I can say that, curse words and all. (IT FUCK FUCKITY FUCKFUCK FUCKER FUCKING FUCKSTICK SUCKS.) But as planned, I got out of bed yesterday, took a shower, combed my hair kind of, powdered my shiny face and even dabbed on some mascara (which I may or may not still be wearing today), and drove myself to my doctor. She listened, nodded, and got to work digging the implant... Read more →

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I felt it the minute I woke up on Monday morning. Or more specifically, I didn't feel it. I didn't feel anything. Probably not a big surprise or shocker here, but I've been struggling with my anxiety levels for awhile now. I have retyped that sentence at least 17 times, because "struggling" doesn't seem to go far enough, but alternatives like "suffering" or "practically debilitated by" seem too drama queenish.'s been bad, guys. On Monday, though. A switch got flipped. I woke up late vs. waking up before dawn, and instead of feeling wracked with anxiety over the day's mundane to-do list and Trump-related existential terror, I felt...nothing. Just the abyss of a depressive spiral. Not to get too gross-out personal (LOL AT THE SHIT IN THE ARCHIVES), but I first blamed my anxiety on hormones, and my super-irregular menstrual cycles. So I decided to try a birth control implant in my arm that my (NOW FORMER) doctor swore up and down had zero mood-related side effects and would eventually stop my periods altogether, like WOOT. I didn't need the birth control aspect (SNIP SNIP) but figured no bleeding or PMS sounded pretty great, let's give it a try!... Read more →

Ezra (and Bluen and Bube and Jimmy and Hobbes) had all their birthday dreams come true this weekend. Including this!! This is our friend's horse Ace. She's been offering to take the boys riding awhile now, and Ezra decided that sounded like a perfect birthday activity. To be honest, I was somewhat expecting Ezra to change his mind once he was there, live and in person with a Real Horse. And I think he was a little nervous, but not enough to hop right on and give it a try. He cut his first ride fairly short, but then after watching his brothers he decided he wanted to go again. After all, it WAS his birthday. He was much more confident the second time around. I haven't ridden a horse in FOREVER, so I broke myself in on the laziest, fattest horse in the barn. "Leisurely pace" doesn't even begin to describe it, but it was nice to realize I remember how horses work, more or less. Also, I didn't fall off and die. So, success! Noah went next. He rode therapy horses a couple times in preschool so he obviously loved this, almost as much as exploring the barn... Read more →

And now it's this one's turn to go ahead and be all huge, all of a sudden. Tomorrow is Ezra's eighth birthday. He has requested Angry Birds Legos, horseback riding and a cheesecake. It is also Bluen's birthday. She asked for a new party dress, in purple this time. It is also Bube's birthday. He wants Wonder Woman, so they can get married. Would you believe it? It's also Jimmy the Baby Bat's birthday. He wants a girl bat named Lily. Not to marry, though. They are still just babies. And of course, we can't forget about Hobbes' birthday. He wants a wooden Thomas the Tank Engine set. (Hobbes is about to hit the motherload, by the way, in the form of ALL OUR OLD THOMAS TRAINS. I thought I'd given them away, but found them in an unlabeled box last week. [I went looking once I realized there was no way I could justify spending this much money on a gift for a stuffed tiger I won from a claw machine.] We somehow managed to move the entire collection from one house to the next and not realize it. So...a return to the Isle of Sodor, anyone?) I think... Read more →

On Monday night I hit my head on a wall, split my forehead open, bled profusely all over myself, and got a concussion. REALLY GOOD WEEK OVER HERE. We were hanging out at our friends' awesome new house, a house I've been to before but have yet to fully grasp the twisty, multi-level floorplan -- I keep mistaking closets and the laundry room for the bathroom, and don't even get me started on the light switch situation, there are so many switches what do they all doooo. Half the time I just give up and pee in the dark. Which is probably what I should have done on Monday, because our friends are ASSHOLES. This is Suzy. They like to hide her around the house for maximum jump scare/creep out effect, and they get me EVERY SINGLE TIME. BAM, turn a corner and she's there, lurking in the shadows. You sit down to pee and BAM. Creeping on ya in the shower. Once again, she was hiding out in the bathroom, and once again, I was so preoccupied with finding the proper light switch that I didn't realize she was literally six inches away from my face and suddenly HERRRRREEEE'S... Read more →

Just a Little Playground Banter

Recess. I am going down the big slide with most of my class. Boys and girls together, because everyone loved the big slide. Except maybe the kindergartners, and some of the first graders, but not us. We're in third grade. As I come down, he's standing next to the slide, near the bottom. He puts his arm out, extends his fingers. His hand goes up and under my dress, between my legs. He squeezes. Hard. I get off the slide. I am immediately defiant. Screaming at him. That was a bad thing, a wrong thing. You're not supposed to do that thing. My classmates, even the boys, rally behind me, shocked and scandalized. He looks for an ally. He is angry that none of the other boys are taking his side. He tries to deny and backtrack and explain. I spin around and march off to find a grown up. Our teacher that year was a man. Mr. W. I didn't like him all that much by the end of the year -- he liked the boys better than girls, I concluded for some reason -- but early in the year I adored him and wanted nothing but his approval.... Read more →