Archive for the 'Family' Category

On Heartbreak and Ice Cream

My heart breaks for him.
He breaks my heart.

Elliot is struggling with school. Not the academics but the school-ness of school. Last year it was not wanting to sit on the mat and say good morning with the class because he already knew how and didn’t feel the need to practice. Funny. Sort of. Probably indicative of not getting the social aspect of the exercise.

He inadvertently trips the teacher. She doesn’t fall, merely stumbles. She says, “Elliot you should say you’re sorry for tripping me.” He says, “I didn’t mean to. You tripped over my foot. I did not trip you. And since I didn’t mean to I have nothing to be sorry for.” Logical? Yes. Empathetic? No.

He’s such a good boy.
And my heart is breaking.

He meant to write 7  on the board and wrote 8. He became unglued because he meant to write 7. Why should he be out of the game for a wrong answer when he meant to write the correct one? And why won’t the teacher see the logic of his argument of intent? And why is he being sent to the quiet corner to calm down? He didn’t mean to yell at the teacher. It just came out because she wasn’t understanding him.

There’s a special door Lego piece. There’s only one in our whole collection. Both kids want it. They rock-paper-scissors for it. Audrey wins. Elliot changes his mind. “It’s mine,” he argues. “It came in my set,” he explains. He yells. She yells. Peter intervenes. Elliot says, “I changed my mind.” He loses the piece. He loses his shit. He yells at Peter. He has to go to the quiet couch. He can’t calm down. I cuddle him like a baby. The tension leaves his body and he rests against me.

I lay awake in bed thinking that I cannot send him to school. They do not like him. They do not love him like I do. I should home school him. Peter points out that the social opportunities for he and I alone together all day are not great and he needs socialization.

He’s a good boy with pure intentions.
He’s struggling.
He hurts.
I cannot fix this alone.
I cannot fix this.

I send him to school. This day is better than the day before. As it turns out ice cream is an effective motivator.

Ice cream cannot fix this.

Now We Are Six

Last month we celebrated Elliot’s birthday twice, once on his actual birthday with ice cream and sprinkle donuts


And then the following weekend with an ice cream social at a nearby park complete with old-school track & field day games.


Six has proven to be a roller coaster. As his teacher says, there’s a lot of emotion. Actually, it should be Emotion. Capital E emotion. He’s testing his boundaries. He’s testing us. Every. Single. Day. Fortunately, it’s more good than bad. Every. Single. Day.

No, I Did Not Forget His Birthday Post

Elliot turned six a few weeks ago. Generally I commemorate keeping my children alive another year with a witty blog post and a cute picture. But this year? This year I couldn’t do it. I had nothing to be witty about and getting a cute picture was out of the question.

That is to say, Elliot and I were having issues. I wish I was the only adult in his life that could make that statement as of late. But I am in the good company of his father, his grandparents and his teacher.

It’s been hard. And heart breaking. There was even the night I laid in his bed with him and cried. An all time winner on the sadness scale. I think the last time I cried in his presence we were making him cry-it-out, and that was less “in his presence” and more “sitting outside his door.”

I tried writing a birthday post leaving out the drama of our lives. But I couldn’t separate all the good from all the bad – it was all so overwhelming. It was like someone had taken the kid I had known for the last six years and replaced him with a less evolved, more emotional, jerk version of him.

So, yeah. The weeks leading to his birthday and even the week of his birthday were horrible. The day after his birthday he had three new toys taken from him as punishment. Three. In one afternoon. It was a stellar day.

His teacher was struggling too. So we talked and made some changes. She wanted consistency, I wanted my happy kid back.

And then the clouds broke and the sun came out again.

She gives him more individual attention at school. Nothing all that interesting honestly: five seconds here, a shoulder squeeze there. I have stopped taking Audrey with us on the carpool run. And I walk him all the way to class. And I hug him in front of his friends and he acts like he doesn’t LOVE it.

In hindsight, it seems that Elliot felt he wasn’t getting enough attention. So, he started doing whatever it took to get attention – even negative attention. That kid of mine, text book example of behavior patterns if ever there was one.

Yesterday his teacher told me, “I had no idea he was so, so … affectionate.” Yes, that is an accurate description. He will hold hands, sit on laps, hug legs endlessly. Really, if you’re sitting down and he wants to sit down too, your lap is probably where he’ll land. It’s been that way his whole life. I think it’ll make high school a little embarrassing, but what do I care since I’m going to be his prom date?

Now you can look forward to his birthday post. The one where I tell you about grown-ups doing a pillow case race. It was awesome.

Brotherly Love

Peter’s brother is great. I love him like my own, or at least I think I do since I personally do not have brothers of my own. Anyway, I think he’s swell.

Joshua and his lovely girlfriend (who I am also crazy about, hi Kathleen!) visited us in early July. While attending a festival, I tell Peter & Joshua “look like you like one another” and this is all the better I got.

Mi Familia

Cherry Flavored

Poor kid came home early from school today because he was sick. Sick enough that he wanted to lay down and rest. Sick enough that we went to the doctor. Strep. Totally should have bought that stock in whoever makes amoxycilin six years ago.

Your Face Will Freeze Like That



And her rendition 18 months ago.

In the Mirror

Animal Noises

Audrey’s face as she makes animal noises.

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: AudreyFaces

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