Well, here I am at the end of my kids’ summer break. We only have a couple of weeks left of summer vacation and I can look back and definitively say that this has been the best summer with my kids so far. We’ve been to the library. We went on vacation to Florida. We’ve hung out with friends. We’ve been in the pool. We haven’t sunk to the level of 4 hours of TV per day.
Good thing we only have a few weeks left…because I am exhausted, y’all. I have been reading, preparing “practice school stuff”, entertaining, cleaning, taxiing, mediating, redirecting and applying sunscreen and I’m about done. While the school year holds its own special brand of grind, I am ready for the change. Cooler weather, crisp mornings, CHILD-FREE HOUSE…oh yeah, there’s the upside of remaining unemployed.
I know I will miss all of this come January. I know I will be Ready For School To Be Out come April. It has been so much fun, I can’t help but be excited for next year. But for now, let’s do some deep breathing, clean up the teeny-tiny hole-punch circles that my daughter has insisted on sprinkling all over the living room in a misguided attempt at making “snow” (thanks STUPID MAGIC SHOW GUY) and enjoy what’s left of my favorite summer so far.
I am UP TO MY NECK with end-of-summer appointments. Drew has been referred for evaluation to a place to officially diagnose him with Sensory Processing Disorder. We KNOW he has it…so I am not sure how this is going to Help. Maybe I am hoping for the Official Stamp of Medical Diagnosis. Maybe I am hoping for some clarification. Maybe I am wondering, on the pendulum scale, how bad it is. I suppose I would like to know what therapies are available–if any are.
And, because my life is nothing if not circuitous and ever-winding, Drew is headed to see his ENT to look at the possibility he needs to have his tonsils removed. My pediatrician (whom I would literally trust with my kids’ lives) mentioned at our last check-up after hearing a video recording Bryan and I had done of Drew’s snoring (loud, bellowsome) that there is a good chance he has sleep apnea. So, we listened to him for four ten-minute intervals and while I am not going to proclaim to the heavens that he indeed has it, I became convinced it is a possibility. Three out of the four times we watched him, he definitely had an interrupted breathing pattern which resulted in him tossing and turning before settling back down. Does it constitute sleep apnea? Who knows. But his pediatrician thinks there’s a chance so off to the ENT we go. His tonsils are also very large and there’s the small matter that one of his tubes (inserted over two years ago) is still firmly lodged in place and needs to be removed. Evidently this is something done under anaesthesia in an operating room so we might be able to knock out two things in one surgery bill. Interestingly, there is some thought that lack of oxygen at birth or from sleep apnea may contribute to the symptoms of Sensory Processing Disorder which completes the circle of crazy. Also noteworthy, upon birth, Drew had to be “worked on” because he wasn’t breathing as well as the doctor wanted. He had swallowed meconium whilst in the birth canal and they had to suction out his lungs. They also whisked him away fairly quickly after his birth to be monitored but he was deemed “okay” and took up residence with us a few hours later. Is this possibly a contributing factor? Who knows. I guess we’re negotiating the miasma of possibility here and while I am sure we will never definitively know, Bryan and I are fairly determined to at least seek out whatever answer we may be able to find.
Funny enough, I would point to Malyn being the one getting too little sleep because she has become quite the demon-child lately. She absolutely personifies the “little girl with a little curl in the middle of her forehead” and I am fervently hoping that this is only a phase because Woo-Lordy, she can be a menacing brat with lungs lately. Utterly delicious and insanely cute one minute and the next she morphs into That Snake Lady…er…Medusa but Medusa on CRACK because the sounds emitted when she doesn’t get her way can peel paint.
Look, she even has the curl.
A few cute things she’s managed lately:
Malyn: “Aunt Jess, what is Uncle Paul doing?” (we were driving on the beach)
Jess: He’s surfing.
Malyn: It looks more like practicing.
While kayaking down the river with my biological Dad (not to be confused with my step-Dad whom I call my Dad), Malyn was riding on the back portion of his inflatable kayak and she had gotten on already waiting for him to climb on to resume the trip. As he did so, the kayak tilted and dumped her out. As she came up out of the water, she said: ”Maybe it would be a good idea if you got on first this time, Tutu!” (the kids’ name for him)
Malyn: MOM! The dog growled at me!
Me: What were you doing?
Malyn: I was only trying to tape her mouth shut!
(Note: To be fair, the dog didn’t growl but kind of harumphed at her and Malyn *had* taped her own mouth shut already so she wasn’t asking the dog to do anything she wouldn’t do. But it didn’t matter because the dog’s mouth remained untaped.)
Lately, I have had a hard time getting traction on any given project. It seems like I am spinning and flitting from task to task–never accomplishing anything but keeping all of my plates spinning in giant, loopy wobbles–everything on the verge of teetering over to disaster. Be it editing photography, doing laundry or planning our adventures, I feel like I am ADD-ing my way through my to-do list–never fully able to cross anything off but continually having to add little scribbles, asterisks and prequels. My task list looks like a sad, poorly defined graphic novel where the author has penciled arrows and notes in the margins and crossed things through only to rewrite them with caveats and accompanying sentences for explanation. It’s just pathetic when your to-do list(s!) require short paragraphs. I hope that this is more a convergence of qualifying circumstances-driven scenarios which require things to happen in an exquisite and unforeseeable series of events and it will all work out into a carefully woven scene rather than I am just going insane. I suppose there is also the chance that this is the beginning of ADD-like senility where I repeatedly ask clarifying questions and am baffled when things spontaneously work out or collapse around me. Or perhaps I just need a little sustaining chocolate and a break from the stop-start routine of trying to do anything with children around. Interruptions have never been my friend. I enjoy working, reading or doing anything “in the zone” and get mildly frustrated to intensely displeased when anyone penetrates the fog surrounding my bubble of concentration–even if it’s for legitimate things like hunger, blood or sleep. To be fair, sometimes the situations where I get “in the zone” are not appropriately timed–like trying to edit a photo shoot when I KNOW the kids need to get out of the house and move. Or choosing to blog about it when what I really need to do is make myself take a break from tasks I am not closer to accomplishing anyway.
Obviously, the proceeding paragraph is like my to-do list. Instead of spelling out a few, accomplishable tasks, I have added strung-together words, clauses and ended up with too many letters which ultimately spell out “AM OVERWHELMED: SEND BAKED GOODS”!
Okay, fine. I will take off “solve healthcare crisis” and “get job in career field which is currently NOT HIRING” off of my to do list and focus on things I can actually do, for example, “Make sure to eat a vegetable today” and “get out of the house”.