My Second Baby Shower

Best baby shower card ever! Click image for source.

About a month ago, I pitched the idea of a baby shower for my second kid. My mother’s response was:
“Really? I thought people only had showers for their first.”
This made me feel like maybe I was being greedy or something, so I asked a friend of mine who has FIVE kids about it, and she said: “No, have as many showers as you want. It’s your baby!”

Which to me made sense. I mean, whether you have one, two or three plus babies, it’s a time to celebrate. And by celebrate I mean, sit on your pregnant butt, eat cake and enjoy free stuff! Who wouldn’t like all those things? We have been getting lots of free stuff already, which is super awesome, because holy crap, baby and kid items are expensive!

One recent trend I’m less keen on though when it comes to babies, are gender reveal parties, which can get REALLY stupid, really quick. If you want your babies gender to be a surprise then that’s fine, but the people who pollute waterways or cause forest fires just to scream “My kid has a penis or a vagina!” are a special brand of self-centered moron. Honestly, why can’t you just enjoy some balloons or cake? (Yes, it always circles back to cake!)

Anyways, my shower is on Saturday. Most of my local friends kids are sick, and the friends who still live in Ottawa can’t make the journey to Belleville. So it will likely just be us, my parents and my in-laws eating small sandwiches and having sometimes awkward conversations while my kid pulls my husband towards the kitchen in order to mooch some of the eagerly anticipated cake or to be pushed on his sensory swing in the basement.

And y’know what? That’s ok. My first shower was pre-Covid, had lots of people and was a big hooray, especially since we waited so long to jump aboard the baby-making train! So while I don’t think you need to limit yourself to just one shower or party, if you were lucky enough to have one big event, you really shouldn’t feel pressured to have another one. Once you become a parent, you just want the chance to sit down, eat uninterrupted and have some adult conversation. (Even if it is awkward or full of unsolicitied advice, which you get a lot of once you reproduce.)

The important thing is the baby and how to best prepare for it’s arrival, not the numbers of people you can cram into a hall or your house, decorations, fireworks or the number of “Likes” on Facebook or some such nonsense. Showers, like weddings, are one day, what really matters is what you do for the years to come!

How to be Less Boring

So, I’ve been re-reading this blog and trying to think of ways to make this place more appealing to more readers. Lemme tell ya, it’s NOT easy. Back before Facebook, when blogs were a bigger deal, I probably still wouldn’t have gotten a ton of interest, but it would have been a little bit more lively given my comfortable niche in the Ottawa Blogging Community. (RIP) Of course, not many people know this place exists, and I probably could do a better job of promoting it, but HOW?

Do I post the following on Facebook: “Hey friend, I know we’re constantly inundated with every gritty detail of peoples personal lives and their opinions on everything 24/7 now with social media, but do you want to come to my blog and hear me yak about mental health stuff and silly topics like video games, comic books, unwise life decisions and whatever else pops into my ADHD-addled brain?”

I’ve never published any books and don’t have the following that someone like The Bloggess does, her latest post got 590 comments! Damn! But she’s a great writer and very funny, so it’s understandable why she would have that kind of popularity. Plus, she’s probably been writing consistently for a lot longer than I have. I tend to write only when I have five minutes to breathe and am not running around doing a million other things.

But, and I know this sounds narcissistic, but I still want to get my voice out there, partly because of it’s not a voice you hear often in blog format: A pregnant 41-year-old lady with ADHD who is just trying to navigate the realities of raising an autistic kid, along with building some kind of creative outlet and restarting her professional career (again!).

Sure, there are plenty of “autism moms” or “dads”, but I guess I would rather define myself as an individual first, before getting into the struggles of autism parenting. I had a life before kids, and am not super cool with defining my entire identity by someone else’s diagnosis or label. It’s definitely a HUGE part of my life and important, but I am my own person and discuss other topics. (Absolutely NO judgement on parents who run autism blogs or social media pages, trust me, I read and watch some of these people and they have been a tremendous help in feeling less alone)

Anyways, just some thoughts of the day. In the summer, I had started doodling and thought of publishing a webcomic, so that might be a more fun way to increase readership. It doesn’t require someone to read through giant blocks of text, just a quick browse! Plus, a lot of the women doing webcomics tend to be in their 20s or 30s, and age representation of older people online is important to me, so it would be nice to increase that too!

We’ll see, maybe I’ll post some crappy drawings on here and take it from there. I’ve always been great at drawing realistically, but cartoon-style? Not so much. But if people can literally publish webcomics with stick figures, than I can draw stiff looking cartoons!

Check back and see! Hopefully I’ll have some up!

Public Education and Autism Parenting

Last week, due to the utter incompetence of our current provincial government, the schools went on strike. The issue was the complete lack of respect and pay increases for school staff belonging to the union CUPE. One of the staff members in this union are EAs, which if you’re a special needs parent, you rely on 100% while you’re kid is in school or daycare.

In other words, I was incensed, helpless and felt screwed. Luckily, however, our donut Premier realized he messed up, and reluctantly went back to the negotiation table. I’m still rooting for CUPE members to finally get the raises and respect they truly deserve, but it’s hard to have faith in our current government to do the right thing. (Their priority is to line the pockets of developers, everyone else can take a number!)

Anyways, between that and my kid being sick so often, monthly PA days, regular holidays, Christmas break, March Break and summer vacation, it’s really, really tough to scramble to find childcare. And while I’m lucky in the sense that I’m not working right now, it’s still a struggle because I literally cannot just throw my kid in some camp and be like “See ya!” When you have a special needs or autistic child, especially one that’s non-verbal, the onus is basically on you to find them adequate support at these camps, since mainstream camps don’t provide them.

You might be thinking: ‘Well yeah, that’s you’re kid, and your responsibility.’ Which is true, but if you’re thinking this, then you’re obviously not an autism parent, because EAs these days, are basically unicorns; There just aren’t enough of them to go around, and considering how little they’re paid and how tough the job is, is it any wonder? Another example of this: Technically my kid is registered at an after-school program, but he cannot start because they are still looking for a suitable candidate for the role. The job has been posted online for weeks! Further, in terms of camps, there is the added cost of hiring someone; We have applied for respite care, but are not exactly sure if and when that will come through.

I’ve since learned to pivot away from the expectation of after-school care, and actually enrolled my son in a fun activity once a week that he doesn’t seem to mind, which is awesome! However, we can’t lose the skills and social exposure he receives when he’s not in school. He has never really engaged with other kids that much, but recently has taken to physically attacking other children! Despite being enrolled in numerous classes, daycares and schools since he was a baby, he attacks other children and adults when he is feeling frustrated or overwhelmed. It is heartbreaking and incredibly difficult to face that despite our best efforts, his social skills with other kids is so undeveloped that this is how he expresses himself sometimes at almost age 4. We’ve learned to give him breaks outside, away from others, but it doesn’t always work, and frankly being around other people is a vital life skill. Humans and our ancestors are social beings who rely on others for companionship and survival. He doesn’t need to be in the thick of a group, and I’m actually shy and more comfortable with smaller groups and one-on-one conversation, but he does need to learn how to coexist peacefully, even on the sidelines. You can’t just randomly walk up to someone and scratch and aggressively grab their face or hair when you’re angry or frustrated! How do I teach a non-verbal child this? I have no freakin’ clue!

He’s in therapies, and we’re still doing everything we can, but it’s really scary to think about how much is out of your control as a parent, especially when your child has exceptionalities; We are fortunate to receive the help we do get, but are pretty much at the mercy of a somewhat dysfunctional system. Everyone agrees that children are important and the “future”, but it feels like that message gets lost in translation when it comes to how they are going to make that happen. (Hint: It’s not through “online learning” or other cost saving measures) And personally, I don’t really have any “back up” plans at the moment, it’s school or nothing, and as someone who is heavily pregnant, who’s kid can be aggressive to other kids, that is a scary prospect. We wanted to have another child, but we need extra support with our first, and honestly that would apply even if I wasn’t pregnant!

Anyways, we’ll keep doing our best to help him, and learn to keep our own emotions in check when he has a bad day and we are feeling extra overwhelmed. It’s not easy, and I’ve had numerous breakdowns, and not everyone is so sensitive or understanding as to the challenges we face. But we’ll keep fighting, daycare and school has had some positive influence on him, so focusing on that is essential. His bad days are awful, but his good days never go unappreciated!

The Landmines known as Opinions

A few days ago, I posted an opinion on Facebook about a popular TV show. More specifically, the finale and how I felt it was “dumb”. One person commented that he strongly disagreed and tried to explain how it fit into the theme of the franchise. I responded that I understood the theme, but the humour fell flat, then sincerely welcomed the debate. Because to be perfectly honest, it’s a fucking TV show, not a conversation about geopolitical affairs!

But it’s kind of crazy and sad how worked up people get about opinions, even on inconsequential stuff, myself included. In my late 20s-early 30s, I would get really stressed in conversations, and had a brief “hard left” phase, where everything was about environmentalism and animal rights. People were evil, and the world sucked. In other words, I was annoying AF. It wasn’t until my mid 30s, that I realized that having this kind of tunnel vision was limiting my growth and making me a drag to hang around. Don’t get me wrong, I still care about the environment and animals, but I don’t drag a soapbox around with me everywhere. (Thank goodness, those things get heavy after awhile)

Of course, I still catch myself sometimes getting a little too worked up about a topic or stating an opinion undiplomatically, so I’m still a work in progress, but I hope I’m getting better. There’s an art to debate that seems to be lost in today’s society; If you have a particular viewpoint, you’re lumped in with this group or that group, and I really hate it. I’m still pretty left-wing, but a moderate who tries to see various points of view, and I don’t just follow every liberal consensus on a topic. This has gotten me criticized by some who are more extreme left, but those people can be highly irrational. Unless I hear discriminatory or anti-science rants, which I will always be against, life is complicated. It’s like those on the extreme left and right have black and white thinking, but criticize the other for this narrow mode of thinking. And honestly, this stubborn clashing stagnates society and makes things worse, as it inevitably leads to mud slinging and fighting. And then there’s the whole “cancel culture” thing. What began as a noble cause to hold certain companies and people accountable for abhorrent views or behaviour has since morphed into a weird kind of sadistic hobby for some people. There is no room for misunderstandings or personal growth, once someone has been cancelled, their life is over. Some deserve this social ostracizing, but a few don’t, hell I’ve even heard threats of intimidation towards a well-known comic book artist, because they made a sketch of themselves with a tan! NOT blackface, a tan. Y’know the colour some pale people can turn by spending too much time in the sun! Crazy! Cancel culture is indeed a double edged sword, but it’s a shame when it devolves into this kind of pettiness. And then there’s the plethora of obnoxious videos on Youtube, with titles such as someone being “Destroyed” or “Humiliated”. I’ve noticed these tend to come from people on the opposite side of the political spectrum, and they are cringeworthy and heavily edited. But again same thing; This person is an “enemy” and must be shamed. Beyond ridiculous and stupid. People just don’t want to take the time to learn about an issue, they just form a kneejerk reaction, and the only ones who really benefit from this war of words are the media, or these days social media, notably those who created these platforms. Of course, this doesn’t just happen online, and I’ve heard some pretty horrid opinions and intense arguing at work too, and that situation can get even more uncomfortable and tricky to navigate. (It’s honestly made me long for the days of inane coversations about the weather or other “safe” topics at work!)

Anyways, I guess the point of this post is that even if you feel strongly about something, don’t judge someone for feeling differently, listen to what they say, and if it’s crazy and not remotely based in reality, then just shrug it off. The important thing is to be initially openminded. Frankly, I’m sick of the toxic partisanship and seeing each other merely as labels and not fellow humans, aren’t you?

Me Bossy? Never!

In order to improve my “interpersonal skills” at work, I decided to take a Human Relations course. Though this class is not required in order to graduate from the Human Resources Management program, I thought it might help me have a more objective perspective if I ever can get back to working again, and teaches some interesting leadership skills.

Despite being unsually organized, the class was going ok, until our first group project. Now, some of you may shudder when I mention those two words, and I have definitely had some bad experiences in the past working with other students. This proved to be the case with one member in our group, who literally did NOTHING the entire time. Yes, he was one of those lazy asshats who expected to be dragged around by his other team mates. Proddings from us and the teacher accomplished nothing, and when he would communicate, he would state excuses like being “Somewhere without wifi” or “Living in a central time zone”. I didn’t know this guy, and since this is an online course, just saw him as a name on a screen. But I really didn’t want to be seen as “bossy”, so I would send these sugary requests like:
“If you can, please contribute to this week’s assignment. It would be super awesome to hear from you.” Hell, I practically signed the messages with hugs and kisses in order to get this guy to play ball! However, days would go by and deadlines would loom closer, and nothing. It wasn’t until we organized a plan of attack without him, that we learned through the instructor that he dropped the class. Not cool.

Since then, a new person has joined our group, who I’m hoping will actually contribute and do their fair share, but it’s made me think about just how complicated human interactions can get and how easy it is to either be too people pleasing or flat-out, impatient, angry and rude. What’s even weirder is how both extremes can exist in the same person; I want people to like and accept me, but I have a very short BS -tolerance. I’ve known people who seemed to make the same mistakes over and over, always blaming others for their misery, or would make wildly insensitive comments and be shocked at the negative feedback. It was very frustrating, so I would badger and nag. What they were doing wasn’t working, so they SHOULD do this or that instead. Unfortunately, this didn’t work, so I tried a different, more sensitive approach, trying to understand their point of view. But this didn’t work either, they didn’t want to listen or admit their own mistakes, which to be fair, can be painful. They also held some pretty irrational and toxic opinions and thoughts, and it was really beyond my level of expertise to tell them how to change these thoughts. It was very hard to watch someone mess up their lives and relationships, but I realized that it’s their responsibility not mine. However, I set personal limits on how much time and energy I devoted to them, I wish them the best and hope they come around soon, but realize it’s out of my control. Or there were opposite times, where I was around more “Type A” personalities, who held strong, rigid opinions and I would blindly follow their advice or try endlessly to make them happy in their quest for control. Obviously, that didn’t work out too well either.

And I guess needing constant control is what “bossiness” boils down to. I’ve been called “bossy” before and it was never a compliment, and resented others for bossing me around as well. In fact, resistance to authority and control is one of the big markers of ADHD. I will even read into the “tone of voice” used in emails and complain about the sender. Basically I would take everything far too personally at work, instead of realizing the importance of listening effectively to get a job done. It took some personal reflection and medication, but at least I finally realized it. Of course, I’ve worked for some pretty terrible managers and supervisors who couldn’t organize a trip to an outhouse without actually insulting and screaming at people either, but those people don’t tend to retain staff for very long.

The best thing I’m learning in these professional development classes is that working with people is complicated, but it’s important that if you want to be in regular contact, to find a common goal. Managers have a tough gig, and I should try and help them out, which is why I was hired in the first place. Socially, unless I’m organizing an outing, I need to let go of the reins a bit. I’m not the boss of anyone, nor are they the boss of me. So we should all just lighten up and enjoy each others company.

Perspective Takes Work

This past weekend was Thanksgiving. Yes, in Canada we celebrate it in October, because it’s a heck of a lot more beautiful outside with all the colourful leaves and no snow, which can and often does happen in November. Anyways, we set out to visit my parents this weekend, and I also made plans to visit a life-long friend of mine who lives in Ottawa.

I’ve known this friend-I’ll call her Ang-since I was 8 or 9. We met at an after-school program and were very tight for many years. Her parents would call me their “second daughter” and we would spend summers together; At camp, her cottage, sleepovers or even just zooming down a particularly steep hill in our neighbourhood. Anyways, we fell out of touch for stupid reasons in our early 20s, but reconnected recently. Texting is one thing, but there really is no substitute for real-life human interaction, so it was really great to pull up to her driveway after all these years.

During our time apart, Ang graduated university, landed a good job in the sciences, got married and had three daughters. Her house was busy, noisy and full of children’s artwork and toys, or in other words, a typical family home. Shortly after arriving, her daughters had a horseback riding lesson, and I was invited to tag along. Ang and I used to also love horseback riding so there was some definite flashbacks in the stable as well. While her daughters rode around the arena, we chatted and despite the beautiful surroundings and finally meeting up with an old friend, my mood was gloomy. I told her about the struggles and pain of being a parent to a child with autism or special needs, about how my son still doesn’t speak at almost the age of 4, and how I sometimes carry the emotional weight of not only my child’s frustration, but mine and my husband’s and how heavy it can be. Any sort of pride I felt in my son’s progress-albeit slow- before arriving at her house, was washed aside, when I saw her bonding with her children over a shared love of horses. Her daughters also play together, talk constantly and love to perform gymnastics in every room of their house. My child, meanwhile obsesses, stims and yells over sticks and plants, and still eats like a baby with his hands. He bites and scratches my husband and pulls my hair, and doesn’t even know his own name. He ignores other children completely or grabs their faces when they get too close. I also mentioned that anytime he gets sick, which is often, we have to pull him out of school, even if he’s bouncing off the walls, away from the extra help he gets from his EAs and therapy. Living this way, particularly during the pandemic, frankly has been tough and exhausting sometimes, and I’ve had countless breakdowns.

But after explaining all of this to her in that cold arena, and later to her wonderful parents at dinner, I felt guilty; Given how naturally competitive humans are, it can be tough not to compare your child to other peoples, but is exacerbated even more when your child is “different” and outpaced by children even younger than them. I had thought that I had moved on from this toxic tendency of comparison, but when catching up with someone you’ve known since grade school, it’s difficult. Of course, I’m happy for her that her life turned out really well, but I was feelings pangs of jealousy and disappointment that my family life isn’t quite as “ideal.”

But, and here is the point of this post, I have to keep reminding myself about how lucky I am as well. My child, while autistic non-verbal, is healthy and beautiful. He catches on very quickly to new concepts (when motivated), and we have successfully weaned him off pacifiers and he uses his new potty when placed on it. His teachers tell me how great he’s doing at school, and at therapy he follows the prompts. Yes, he can be difficult, but he can also be very cheerful and cuddly. Where he used to drag me around constantly for everything, now he is opening doors and sitting on his chair at the table on his own. He can also get on his sensory swing all by himself, and it’s pretty funny watching his little butt Cirque du Soleil around the basement. In fact, he makes me laugh quite often, and I often marvel at just how crazy he can be, or how smart. When he’s not making me cry, yell, or throw my hands up in the air, I’m laughing and thinking about how much I love him. He’s taught me, not just to “tolerate”, but love and accept people who think differently, and as someone who has struggled with being neurodivergent herself, it’s an important lesson. He’s also toughened me to the point where minor inconveniences that would bother most parents, just make me shrug. If nobody is crying, bleeding, puking or playing in poop, life is freakin’ good! Besides, I’ve got a loving partner-in-arms in my husband and a great home, both of which should never be taken for granted!

Thanksgiving is not how it used to be when I was younger, and I know that they will only get more difficult, as my parents move towards the latter years of their lives, and I struggle with being an older parent to two young children. But after feeling down, I genuinely did feel thankful for them and my friend Ang, for the moment we were all together, and while it wasn’t perfect, it was pretty great.

I’m Pregnant! Again! Aaaaaa!

Big news: I’m pregnant. In case it wasn’t obvious from the title of this post. Last week, I decided to announce the news on Facebook. Fairly soon after hitting “publish”, the congratulations came pouring in, and it was nice and appreciated. We had already announced it to my parents and in-laws, but the possibility of miscarriage is an ever present cloud in the early days of pregnancy, so I wanted to wait longer before telling more people. However, once we hit the 12 week mark and had two ultrasounds with a confirmed strong heartbeat, I figured I might as well. It’s pretty massive news afterall! It can still feel fairly nerve wracking, and we did have a scare, but all I can do is take care of myself and the baby the best I can!

However, it hasn’t always been easy; In early July, I got hit with a nasty case of pneumonia and it has decided to rear its ugly head again, sending me into a frenzy of hacking and wheezing. I was prescribed more antibiotics and have been taking my inhalers, but it’s tough not to worry about the effect it might have on my baby. Plus the stress of watching my house explode into chaos, but not having the energy or even the breath to keep it tidy and clean! And then there’s my son, who never stops and has started a really gross new habit that I won’t mention here, but let’s just say it’s not exactly sanitary! Basically, I’ve just been trying to survive and get over this damn virus once and for all!

The antibiotics seem to be helping as does the cough medicine I take at night, so hopefully I will get back into fighting form. This pregnancy I really did want to be different and be healthier, I vowed to eat better and exercise more regularly, sort of like training for the “delivery and post-partum olympics”. Growing a child, birthing them and then recovering from the trauma is TOUGH, so I wanted to give myself all the advantages I could and be in the best shape. The pneumonia threw a wrench into those plans, but all I can do is rest now and hopefully feel better later.

That’s the big news of the day; I’m happy, sick, anxious, tired; All the emotions you would expect from an expectant mother, but I will live to fight another day!

Why HR Exactly?

A couple days ago, I posted on an online HR forum asking if Human Resources sounded like a good career path for me. I mentioned my diagnosis, age and issues with working in the past, and then asked the participants what it’s like to work in the field.

The responses varied from negative and discouraging to more positive job reviews and experiences. One person bitterly complained that the work is stressful, and you get blamed for everything (“Office scapegoat” was the term they used). Another gave a fairly expected response that it depends where you work and what your responsibilities are, some people are more tailored to specific HR jobs than others. Another commented actively discouraging me and anyone else who has ADHD from working in the field, as it requires constant multitasking, the ability to stay calm under pressure, discipline and good working memory. Admittedly, this comment made me feel a bit down, because those skills aren’t just important for human resource positions, but pretty much any job out there, and this has caused havoc on my self-esteem. Luckily, however, I also heard from someone also diagnosed with ADHD who works in HR and loves it! They have found tricks like One Note to help them keep track of things and have been employed for eight years.

Despite the varied responses, I am glad that I am asking people in HR to give honest feedback about their job satisfaction and stability. Ten years ago when I quit the aforementioned government job, I didn’t research graphic design or bother talk to people in the field. I met a lady at work, who was a designer and retiring soon, and it gave me the idea of eventually taking her job as a sort of lateral move out of the mailroom. Combine that with a quarter life crisis, and I jumped into a completely different field head first. Dumb, I know, but I just didn’t want to be stuck working in a mailroom my entire life. Plus, I did pick up some good stuff while in design and art school.

One advantage of studying Human Resources Management, however, is that it does enable you to take as many or few courses as you want, completely online, unlike graphic design or art school, which required full-time commitment and putting everything else on-hold. I’ve already completed one class, and am taking the summer to consider if I want to take more courses in the fall. However, despite the greater ease of access, it’s still not an easy decision to make. Classes still cost time and money, and will require focus and effort to complete.

What’s difficult too is the fact that sometimes you don’t really know how much you want or can do something until you’ve actually done it. Last night, I was hemming and hawing about it to my husband while getting ready for bed. I repeated the same frustration and insecurities, negative experiences and sometimes crippling job anxiety that I’ve complained about a thousand times. He said the same words of encouragement, but followed with: “You should make a decision”.

I know I should, but it’s so hard.

I HATE Regression!

Awhile ago, I mentioned my son’s issue with regurgitating. Basically, I practically lived in vomit all January with him regurgitating his food multiple times a day. I took him to a gastroenterologist and feeding specialist, carefully portioned out his food, rationed his water, gave him chew toys and tried to stop him from bouncing around too much after eating. And for awhile, it seemed to work and the food stayed down. And like a total idiot, I told specialists that it was “Getting better”.

But for some unknown reason, over the past couple weeks, he is regressing back to how he was, and I am right back to where I was, angrily scrubbing food stains off my carpets and his car seat, while trying unsuccessfully to hold back tears. Why is he doing this? He is non-verbal so I can’t ask him or try to explain why bringing up food will eventually destroy your teeth and esophogus, not can I give him better alternatives. It fucking sucks!

My husband and I have had endless conversations about it as well as tossed around theories: He does it because he’s anxious and it’s soothing or because he’s bored or because he wants to taste his food again (yuck!) It kind of throws me back to my kid’s baby days when he wouldn’t stop screaming and we would run around in circles trying to figure out what the hell is wrong. But it’s just SO tough when you expect things to get better in such a crucial area, only to end up back where you started, with still no answers or solutions. I can’t leave him alone for two minutes without coming back to see his breakfast/lunch/dinner in liquid form all over the floor!

For anyone reading this: I know this post is “gross” and maybe you stopped and closed this window after the first sentence, but after mental breakdown after mental breakdown, and crying to my parents, husband, social worker, specialists, I need a place to vent. I’ve asked other autism parents, and most have never dealt with this issue, they’ve had other problems definitely, but not regurgitation. Some have suggested not to “react”, just clean it up, that he’s doing it for attention. However, it doesn’t seem to make a difference how I react, he will still do it. This morning, after the second time, I told him “No! Bad” and put him in his room. Punishment was suggested by my friend, and since his toys are literally everywhere except his bedroom, I put him in there. Do I think this strategy will work? Doubtful, but I’ve done everything else!

So that’s what we’ve been dealing with lately, I feel helpless and alone and wish I didn’t resent my child when he does this, because he has been improving in other areas, but I can’t help it. I am working on trying to stay calm when it happens and not let it throw me into the depths of despair like in January, but it is just so discouraging and worrying: Will he still be doing this next year? What about ten years from now? Will we have to have his teeth removed due to damage? What about his digestive tract?

If you’re a parent and you don’t have these kinds of worries or other even more serious health concerns about your child, consider yourself lucky!

And then we got COVID

Last Thursday while I was dropping off my son at daycare, one of the teachers came up to me and said that she and two students had contracted COVID.
“Fuck,” I cursed, as quietly as possible so none of the kids could hear.
“Yeah, that’s what we said!” another teacher laughed.
So, the next day, Good Friday, we dug out our rapid tests and the results were negative. We had plans to go visit my parents and Hubby’s parents, so we figured we dodged the bullet.

Then came Saturday, my throat was scratchy and Sam was visibly sick and tired, and slept most of the day. I felt it coming, like a tidal wave, and sure enough, on Monday, once we were all back home, it crashed down on us. Fatigue, coughing fits, sore throat and muscles, stuffy nose, the works! Hubby tested himself and it came back positive, then I tested myself and it was also positive. So we are now isolating until next Friday. No daycare, no shopping trips, no socializing. Just a lot of water and cough drops.

Today is day 4, and I am honestly starting to feel better though. I had a terrible chest infection for two weeks earlier, so am pretty tired of coughing and barking, but I was actually able to cook and clean today, so that’s good. My kid is also back to his regular sensory seeking, rambunctious self, pacing around, and playing with his toys. He’s driving me nuts while I make meals, but that’s not unusual.

Anyways, I know this isn’t a super exciting post, but figured I should write something. COVID has been lurking around like a boogeyman for two years, and we’ve been lucky enough to evade it until now. It certainly sucks, and I wouldn’t want to contract it unvaccinated, which has also been a source of frustration for me, since there STILL aren’t any vaccines for children under 5. Parents have pretty much just been told to sacrifice our mental health for two years in revolving lockdowns and after that, all you hear is that the trials aren’t going well or they don’t know if kids need two or three shots. It’s scary, exhausting and frustrating and ANOTHER thing I did not anticipate when I began this journey of starting a family. But I guess most people didn’t anticipate this pandemic, it really hasn’t been easy, and it’s honestly brought out the worst in some people. There have been several times where I just really, really hated humanity. People just seemed so stupid, selfish and ignorant, only doing what they wanted and not thinking about how it will affect others and the environment. It’s for these reasons the pandemic started and continues to move through our communities.

However, I have since moved a bit away from that kind of all-consuming misanthropy. Sure, some people are awful, but I’m not really interested in fighting with morons or scumbags anymore, or paying them any kind of attention really. Plus, there really are so many good people in the world, it’s just the shitty ones that draw headlines and a stronger emotional reaction. Being in a pandemic has been stressful enough, so it’s made me realize the importance of focusing on good people and what makes you happy.