...And in the air, the fireflies, our only light in paradise. We'll show the world that they were wrong, and teach them all to sing along; singing Amen I, I'm alive. Amen I, I'm alive...

- Nickelback, If Everyone Cared

For All The Right Reasons Album

And I'm singing Aaa-ayyy-men, I'm alive!

William Leonidas November 12th, 2009
My only regret is that I cried so many tears while I waited for you.

"...I'll try ~ but it's so hard to believe. I'll try ~ but I can't see what you see. I'll try and try to understand the distance between the love I feel ~ the thing I fear ~ and every single dream. I can finally see it. Now I have to believe all those precious stories. All the world is made of faith ~ and trust ~ and pixie dust. So I'll try ~ because I finally believe. I'll try ~ because I can see what you see. I'll try, I'll try ~ to fly..."

Jonatha Brooke "I'll try"

Fear thou not, for I am with thee; be not dismayed, for I am thy God; I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. Isaiah 41:10

Now the word of the Lord came to me saying, "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you..." Jeremiah 1:4-5

For Thou didst form my inward parts; Thou didst weave me in my mother's womb. I will give thanks to Thee for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Thy works, and my soul knows it very well. Psalms 139:13-14

Monday March 5th, 2010

So Why Stinkerie?

It's simple, really. It's the first thing I whispered against my newborn little Dumpling's temple as I held him alone for that very first time. "There's my Little Stinkerie." And all was right with the world as I brushed my lips across his delicate dewy soft newborn-pink skin and sniffed at his sparse smattering of downy soft hair. Corny and sappy, huh? I can't help it when describing my new Little Puppy. But don't get used to it - I have been told I am "irreverent."

Anyway, it just came out and he's been Stinkerie ever since. As well as Stink Pie, Stink Pot, Stinkey Pete, Little Stinks, Stinks, Puppy, Ducky, Baby, Baby Head, Baby Head Jenkins, Jack, Jack-Jack, Jackie Boy, Jax, Snork, Snorkis, Snorkle, Billy Boy, Billy Bob, Bobby Sue, Billy-Joe-Jim-Bob, Will, Willie, Willister, and the name given by my mentor turned friend Beth - Snake. When I write to her I call him either The Snakester or Slither! And of course, Dumpling, because he is my Little Dumpling - warm and soft and comforting. It's alright to combine comfort food with baby names, right? Have you ever watched the movie Where the Heart Is? If you have, you'll know why I mention this in my defense!

Long story short, you're likely to encounter any one or more of these names in a single post. Because I can. It's my blog!

Something to Consider

Bad decisions make good stories.

Something to Think About

With any pregnancy, there are concerns. With any child, there are worries. When you have a diagnosis of Down syndrome, you know what to worry about. You know what to look for. You have a plan of action. With your typical child, there is no limit to the things that can 'go wrong' or 'happen.' There's no place to focus your worry and concerns. 'IT' will always be out there, waiting. You'll always be on guard. Even when the child is 55 and has grandchildren. With Down syndrome we have a battle plan. With Down syndrome, there is a finite number of things that can go awry. With a typical child, there's isn't. It's a crap shoot. I'm sticking with the Ds and taking the other two back to the hospital for a refund.

Head Above Water

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Friday, January 21, 2011


Okay, that's an acronym for the post You Just Broke Your Child. Congratulations! I hope Single Dad Laughing didn't find out about my swiping his title to use on my own post about his post. He might be annoyed. Or maybe he won't be, because this post is a follow up and posting about it in the first place is an accountability tool for me.

So here's the follow up. It's been about two weeks since I wrote CONGRATULATIONS on a Post-it and stuck it to my computer monitor, right in the way of the browser window and back/forward buttons. You know, where I have to actually see it and look around it to do what I want, but not where it will just fade and become part of the monitor. I posted it up there on a Friday night when all The Littles were in bed. When The Olders arose Saturday morning I explained the new rules, mostly for benefit of The Middle, but also so that The Oldest could follow suit. I chose our biggest problem areas that usually lead to yelling and decided to stick to these few for now:

::There will be no yelling. None.
::Things that used to incite yelling will now be spoken calmly.
::There will be no yelling.
::Yellers will go to their rooms, repeatedly if need be, until all yelling stops.
::There will be no yelling.
::Directives will be issued twice. Calmly. After that, the person involved will be sent to their room or to a time out and the directive will either be completed or the person will remain in time out until it is.
::There will be no yelling.
::Lengthy or repeated trips to their rooms or time outs will be accompanied by progressive loss of privileges.
::There will be no yelling.
::When a directive is issued, it will NOT be accompanied by any grumbling, grousing, complaining, dirty looks, faces made behind backs, outright argument, or shuffling of feet in hopes that I will forget the directive.
::There will be no yelling.
::In any instance where corporal punishment is required, it will be delivered quietly and swiftly and the Offender will then either go to their room or be in a time out until compliance with behavior is achieved.
::There will be no yelling.
::When a sibling has a complaint about another sibling, the complaint will be outlined quietly and calmly. The Defendant will have his or her say without being interrupted by the Accuser. All decisions of The Judges shall be final and will be complied with without grumbling, grousing, complaining, dirty looks, faces made behind the Judges back or outright arguing, or shuffling of feet in hopes that I will forget about the aforementioned decision. And finally:
::There will be no yelling. None.

Yes, I realize the dramatic speech and the choice of vocabulary would be well above the heads of the typical 8 and soon-to-be 12 year olds. Not my kids. They are far from typical. Midway through the lecture The Girlie had zoned out. I knew she would. But she's not the challenging child! I saw it coming. She asked to be excused. No, you may not be excused! "I get it Mom, No yelling." All the same, sit! As for The Middle, in case it hasn't been made abundantly, profoundly, crystal-clear before this post, he thrives on drama. One sure way to lose him somewhere in the middle is to treat him like he's typical. Give him some flair, some drama, some fancy vocabulary sprinkled throughout the speech, preferably with some arm waving and gestures and
lots of voice fluctuations and he's all ears! He got it. Then I lowered the boom...

...The Big, Big Rule...

::There will be no crying, screaming, screeching, squeaking, or any other sort of high pitched, mind numbing, fingernails on a chalkboard utterances of any kind. None. Zero. Zilch. This is the ace in the hole The Middle pulls out when he's losing his grip, an argument, leverage, control, the upper hand in negotiations, when a toy frustrates him, when a noise sounds, when a breeze blows through, when the phone rings, or simply because it's Tuesday for crying out loud! It makes me crazy. I could honestly take all of the other quirky behaviors My Middle could throw at me with a smile on my face, but that ability of his to hit notes that make dogs a block away howl just undoes me. Every time. And he knows it.

So he pulled it out first thing this morning. It broke me. I yelled. So I sat him down and said, I broke the no yelling rule. I will go to my room as soon as you're on the bus. It's not okay for me to break the rules either. Do you like how things have been going with the no yelling rule? He nods. Because I sometimes get the idea that you're trying to push me to my limits to get me to yell. Is that true? He nods, requisite guilty head tilt, looking at his shoes. Do you know why you do that? Thinks for a minute, finally, "I don't know. I do like it better when it's loud though." Okay. Well, I want you to think about it for a while after school today. Sometime you might push someone to their limit sometime and they won't yell at you. Instead they might hurt you. The no yelling rule is still in place. Go get your hair and teeth brushed. We'll talk about this after school today.

I feel like a turd that I broke the rules. They've been breaking the rules steadily for two weeks, and it's been a trying time keeping the calm, with all the constant being on guard to remind them of the rules, stepping in before the yelling starts, being mindful not to yell myself. It's been better around here since the rule of no yelling, but still, it's been trying. And really, the parent isn't supposed to break the rules! And of course I knew that once the new rules were in place, The Middle was going to step up his game to break me. At least it took two weeks! The former me would have been broken in two hours. The me before Jack. Jack who really has nothing to do with all the yelling. How does that little bitty extra chromosome work such magic? Maybe it's not for me to know. At any rate, there's now an addendum to The Rules:

::If at any time, in the almighty wisdom of The Judges, it is determined that The Yeller was adequately provoked into yelling, both the one who yelled and the one who provoked the yelling will suffer loss of a privilege. To this The Girlie said, "Finally! It will finally be fair now!" while shooting a meaningful look at her brother. And The Middle, well, he said under his breath, and I quote, "Stupid addendum!"

There have been many, many times that both teachers, class room aides, the gals from the ART, and in particular, various principals at The Middle's schools, even his psychiatrist for crying out loud, one time even a lady standing behind us in line at Wal-Mart have questioned my choice of vocabulary when speaking to my kids. In general, when Mommy pulls out the Grown Up Words, they know to pay attention, it's going to be serious. They know this. They do! Nothing gets a kids' attention like a change in the surrounding atmosphere. Just to be sure, after a few minutes had settled on the "Stupid addendum" remark, I asked The Middle what addendum means. "Mom, you don't have to ask me this. I KNOW what it means." Tell me please. "Mom. Trust me," hands out front, flat and wide, patting the air motion, "you don't have to ask me this!" Humor me. Heavy sigh from him. "Are you really gonna make me do this? Don't you trust me to know what a word means when you've already used it, like, A THOUSAND times already?" Just tell me what it means. "Mom, I really don't know why you're doing this. I really don't want to do this. I wish you'd just drop it already. You already know what it means, I already know what it means. Just drop it! Get on with your life already!" This from my 8 year old. By now I'm enjoying his antics and keep pressing. Just tell me what it means and then you can on with your life, already! "Mom! It's a simple word. YOU KNOW THIS. I know you do," complete with eyebrow raising and expansive hand waving, "Think about the word. A-den-dum," three chops to a flat hand with the horizontal other hand for each syllable, "You're adding something. Putting in more, adding to a list, if you will. Can I go now?" Gotta love that kid! But yeah, he gets it!

Our challenge for today: figuring out how The Middle can get an adequate dose of daily loudness for 30 minutes each day without driving me completely out of my tree. The solution: I'm going to enlist the services of my very old iPod, the also rather old but still awesome Bose docking station with way cool loud speakers that I can hear clearly all the way across the house locked in my bathroom with all doors in between closed and barricaded, and a rock band with suitably questionable lyrics for minor children from my expansive music library. Who knows, maybe he'll choose Mozart! It's a solution we can all live with, as long as The Dear Daddy doesn't come home in the middle of it, and I'm pretty danged sure which band he will choose! The Middle will be allowed the volume he chooses (It will be loud!) and he can dance, twirl, jump around and holler all he wants for 30 full minutes while he wails on his air guitar and beats the crap out of imaginary drums. All you Good Mothers out there ~ this is your cue to shudder and turn away in revulsion. And thank your lucky stars that we are not your neighbors!


Jazzie Casas said...

Hi there I am one of many single fathers and I find your blog very interesting. I hope I have much time each day to drop by and check your site for recent post. By the way thank you for sharing this.

Tracy said...

Well thank you, Jazzie Casas! I guess I hadn't thought about having male readers...welcome! I don't know if you read the original post to this one (it's a few posts down on Jan 11th) but you can find a link there to Single Dad Laughing's post, which sparked the whole issue. You might like his blog! At any rate, glad to have you along!