Nov 16 2015

No such thing as balance in gifted parenting

No such thing as balance in gifted parentingI’m on an eternal quest for balance. How hard can it be, right? I’m an intelligent, reasonably functional woman who is above average in adulting, you’d think I’d have a handle on balancing this whole gifted parenting thing.


I so want my life to behave like a perfectly balanced teeter totter. Both sides equidistant from the hard ground, while I hold court in the precise center, the calm in the eye of the storm, juggling my flaming batons with ease. There’s a smile on my suddenly unlined face, a gentle breeze ruffles my hair, and all is right with the world. Ahhhh….

Right. No one has that life.

In reality, my teeter totter tilts wildly and without warning. I dash from end to end, barely keeping up with the flaming batons and often coming close to singeing my eyebrows. WHAM! The teeter totter slams back down into the ground and it’s no longer a fun piece of playground equipment but a catapult, heaving me into the sky, off-balance, limbs flailing wildly, entertaining the world. If I were wearing a skirt y’all would get to see my oh-so-sexay undergarments. This is why I rarely wear skirts. Well, that and the complete lack of Spanx in my life.

And that right there is what it’s like parenting twice-exceptional boys.

Over the top pun-tastic humor that sends me into hysterics. A breathtaking maturing of empathy.

Overwhelming anxiety when presented with the unfamiliar. Asynchronous development that gives me ulcers.

Executive function disasters all over the place.

Things are going great. Things have plunged deep into the shitter.
Everything is awesome! Everything is crap.

Very high highs and very low lows. Brilliance in some areas and devastating struggles in others. Always scaldingly hot or blisteringly cold; never, ever just toasty warm.

Up. Down. Up. Down. Flaming batons singeing eyebrows left and right. Funny how I still have to pluck the damned things.

Twice-exceptionality can sometimes present as an average kid; the highs and lows mask each other. No such luck with this; the highs and lows of gifted parenting don’t average out, they just give me whiplash.

I take refuge in the fact that the highs are starting to edge out the lows. For so long the lows had the upper hand. But now, as the boys get older and we all have better coping and management skills, the teeter totter is leaning a little more to the positive. I’ll take it; for far too long it was pinned to the low side.

We have some seven years left on this 2e parenting seesaw. Perhaps I’ll find my way to the center of the teeter totter once before we’re done.


Today’s post was part of the Gifted Homeschoolers Forum blog hop on the Highs and Lows of Gifted Parenting. We all have stories to share; go check out some other participants.


Nov 04 2015

My mad NaNoWriMo procrastination skillz

My mad NaNoWriMo procrastination skillzSo we’re well into NaNo now, and while I am making my daily word goals, there will inevitably come a time when ye olde words refuse to come out and play. I don’t have the time these days to sit and bang my head against the desk (plus previous head+desk adventures have left the top cracked and weak), so I’ll have to fall back onto good ole’ procrastination.

Oh, procrastination, how I love/hate thee. I hate the eventual panic of a job delayed, but I love the feeling of “hey, I know I’ll totally get that done, but I have to get this done first!” because that other thing actually gets done. I’ve gone as far as sorting out the different kinds of procrastination, because…you know, procrastination.

Procrasti-cleaning: It’s the month of organize my closet! Scrub the showers until we’re blinded by the shine! Wash the curtains! Clean out that pantry and gosh darn it, go ahead and put down shelf paper! And the kitchen floor is just begging to be scrubbed by hand with a toothbrush! Don’t forget the refrigerator!

Procrasti-cizing: Is it really procrastinating if you’re exercising because of your rapidly expanding ass?

Procrasti-cooking: This is the perfect time to try that new seventy-five step recipe!

Procrasti-planning: Homeschool lesson plans, homeschool class plans for next spring, meal plans, going to eventually paint the master bedroom what color plans, what will I do with my life in seven years when we’re empty nesters plans (wait…only seven years???). Doesn’t matter the area of life, I can and will plan it to avoid something else.

Procrasti-sorting: Now is totally the perfect time to sift through my 20,000+ photos on two different hard drives and organize them and sort them into easily searchable albums and back them up online in several different places! Best time ever!

Procrasti-parenting: Card games with the boys! Making cookies with the boys! Taking the boys to a movie! Helping the boys clean their rooms! Chasing after the boys as they run away from me, unaccustomed to my sudden hands-on parenting! All parenting, all the time, all month long! We only have seven years!

Procrasti-practicing: Can’t find words? Go woodshed your flute music some more, Jen. You have a concert in a few weeks and you have parts more exposed than a nip slip. Screw those up and the whole world will know.

Procrasti-blogging: Dig out the list of blog post ideas you’ve had in Trello for the last year! Pick one and just start writing. It is writing, after all…and it may or may not be what you’re reading right now!

Procrasti-sleeping: No. Just no. When you have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Seasonal Affective Depression, sleeping isn’t procrastination, it’s what you do to not kill the people around you.

Procrasti-panicking: Oh, we all know this one! Sudden realization that the deadline doth approacheth. Tea must be brewed, appropriate music must be found, yoga pants must be donned, fingernails must be trimmed, earplugs must be acquired, dog must be let out, children must be duct-taped to non-movable surfaces. More than likely, it’s far past sleepy time and you’re screwed. Shouldn’t have waited so long.

Mad procrastination skillz. I haz dem.

Nov 02 2015

What a difference a year makes

What a Difference a Year MakesI was sitting and thinking the other day (dangerous, I know) about change, and just how much change we’ve seen here the last few years. And for the first time, I wasn’t angry about it. I just sat with it, and was amazed that we survived the events of the last five years. Sometimes I really think it’s a miracle we’re not only still speaking, but still married.

This time five years ago we had three unexpected back-to-back-to-back updates from our families that hit us hard, on top of uncertain job stuff, and we decided to move back to Illinois.
This time four years ago was the ugliest, hellish, and most painful three months of my life. We were in the middle of an ugly 18 month stretch of stress. School for Andy was a nightmare, I routinely sobbed myself to sleep, I hated every single thing about my life. (You can read about this awesome time in my life in If This is a Gift, Can I Send It Back? …it’s funny, I swear).
This time three years ago we were pulling ourselves out of that 18 month death spiral, but were still reeling from it all. I was in the first year of homeschooling Andy, Tom changed jobs that spring, and the enormity of the previous couple of years kept washing over us like waves. Treading the water of life, and getting worn out.
This time two years ago we crept around life, waiting for the other shoe to fall. We thought we were happy, but it was just that we weren’t painfully miserable. It was a grey, hazy, limbo-like existence; the pain of so much ugly change wasn’t there so we weren’t miserable, but happy? No. We tried, though. I was emotionally battered and bruised through my own negative self-talk, and I’m sure I was just a joy to live with.
This time last year (after weeks of intense discussions about what we wanted out of life) we had just put our house on the market and almost immediately had a great offer. But, because Murphy’s Law wasn’t quite done torturing us, of course it wouldn’t be that easy for the House of Chaos. We actually sold our house four times before it stuck and we finally moved in February (really don’t recommend moving in the dead of winter; 5 degrees on moving day only five days after a huge blizzard suuuuucked).

Now? I look back at the last five years of hell and am so grateful for what we have now. Tom has changed jobs yet again (and it’s such a perfect fit for him it’s ridiculous). Andy is thriving as a homeschooler (for the low, low price of Mom’s Anxiety Attacks About The Future) and J is actually starting to like middle school. I love my house, to the point of astonishment that it’s ours. It’s not perfect, it needs a little work, but it fits my family like no other place we’ve lived, including the house in Colorado we built. Living here makes me happy, and that’s something I haven’t felt in a long time.

Let me repeat that in case it got missed.

I am happy.

For far too long my default emotional state was frustration, anger, anxiety, discontent, pain. Bad news of any sort sent me back into the vortex, and it just fed on itself. Again, I’m sure I was just fantastic as a wife and mother and friend. But over the last year the vortex has weakened and I’ve been able to climb out. Living where I do now has helped immensely. My husband’s new job (and resultant lowering of stress and uncertainty) has helped immensely. Small bits of good news and life improvements have helped immensely. I’m calmer, happier, more centered than ever, and it’s scaring the everloving shit out of me in the best way possible.

What a difference a year makes.

Oct 26 2015

From annoying to absurd

The other day I had to buy printer ink. I tend to run the printer dry, get pissy that printouts have all the color saturation of glass, and eventually make the trek for replacements. After shelling out the cost of a fancy dinner, I posted this to my Facebook wall:

printer ink

(Thanks to my friend Elizabeth for taking my words, meme-ing them, and surprising me with it on my wall).

It was well received, with many laughs. But I was asked more than once where I come up with this stuff. (I was also asked what I was on, but as I was thumb-typing this at stoplights, I guarantee I wasn’t on anything).

I take the annoying and make it as absurd as possible.

Look, life can really suck sometimes. We can post and gripe and whine about it, or we can stick a finger up its nose and make fun of it. Call it gallows humor, call it silver lining, call it laugh to keep from screaming. Whatever. Most of the time I can do this and that’s when I do more writing; when I can’t make fun of life it’s probably sitting on my chest giving me a wet willie with its big toe while it farts in my face. The best writer of this style is Jenny Lawson (The Bloggess); her new book Furiously Happy (<-affiliate link notice so the FCC doesn’t egg my house) had me laughing so hard this weekend I’m convinced I broke something inside. My spleen is rather tender today, so maybe that’s it. Or maybe it’s cholera, I don’t know. I just know I haven’t laughed that hard in a very, very long time.

Lately I’ve been having lots of good days. I don’t know why, I’m not going to question it, I’m just going to enjoy it and write. Hopefully they’ll stick around through November, as I clickety-clack my way through NaNoWriMo. One week to go; coincidentally and rather frighteningly….NaNo starts the same day as Daylight Savings Time. So we’ll all be in the dark and won’t that be fun.

I’ll have plenty of opportunity to take the annoying and find the absurd.

Oct 20 2015

2e Tuesday: Homeschooling through crippling self-doubt

2e Tuesday - Homeschooling through crippling self-doubtWe are a comparative society. From the moment our kids are born they’re ranked in some way against others. APGAR scores, height and weight, when they sleep through the night, are they gaining weight, how early they potty train, when they talk, when they learn to read. There’s even more of that in school, in work, in everything, and it never ends. Everything in comparison to others.

Ranked from cradle to grave.

Parenting an outlier child you’d think I would remember this, and temper my inclination to compare my sons against others or anything. But I struggle with it mightily, and doubt myself hourly. I struggle against comparison, of everything, all the time. Part of that is because I’m a trained musician (and you’re only as good as your last performance so you’d better be critical of yourself, and should probably know where the competition stands too), and part of it is simply because I’m human.

I don’t want to compare my sons to anyone else, or anything, or against standards, and yet I do. We all compare ourselves and our situations to others, regardless of our insistence otherwise. It can be detrimental but I also think comparison can make us better, make us push ourselves to be better. By homeschooling, Andy doesn’t quite grasp this. And while it’s great that he’s able to work at his pace and not the artificial pace set arbitrarily by others, he’s missing the positive aspect of a bit of peer pressure, the kind that encourages self-discipline and motivation, that informs you of what is possible through effort. He doesn’t see what others want to accomplish and how they work to reach those goals.

Like a lot of homeschoolers, by February I want to give up, throw in the homeschooling towel, call it quits. Done, finis, no more. Cannot manage another day. I scour the internet for a new school, much like standing in front of the fridge looking for something to eat; even though you’ve looked a half dozen times in the last five minutes there is still no food. Or school. Whatever. In October I beat myself up. Well into the school year, a routine of sorts established, expectations set (and missed), and I look around and doubt every single decision I’ve made to date. I don’t know how to explain it without making me look like the worst example of homeschooling a high schooler, but I’ll do my best.

By 9:30 most mornings I have J off to school, have had breakfast with several cups of Earl Grey Tea (but not coffee, because my stomach finally sent a certified letter to my brain stating that if I had another cup of coffee before, say, 2017, it would be forced to march upstairs and beat the living shit out of it), have hit the treadmill (on a good day), and have gotten cleaned up. Then, and only then, do I start poking the bear rousing Andy; any earlier and I’m taking my life into my hands. An hour later (on a good day) he’s finally up, showered, and toasting waffles. If he’s doing schoolwork by noon it’s a miracle. His brother is home from school at 3:15. This gives my twice-exceptional, easily distracted, does not function well when nagged homeschooled teenager approximately three hours to do a day’s worth of high level work. On a good day.

I talk to other parents homeschooling G2e kids and I don’t see this. I hear them talk about how their kids are doing so much, about college entrance exams, about AP test dates, about their successes in languages and sciences and arts. I can barely get my kid out of bed and functioning before lunchtime. He’s taking two online classes (one of which has a heavier workload than he’s used to) and the rest with us. And I’m failing him. Example. He wants to learn German. I do not know German, I was once fluent in Spanish. So we’re learning it together. Kinda. Badly. As in, his online classes require more immediate attention and so a foreign language I do not know nor wish to learn falls by the wayside. Same with the chemistry we’re supposed to be doing; there are only so many Crash Course chemistry videos he can watch as an introduction (and he has just informed me he has watched all of them, FML). He reads his U.S. History to discuss with Tom, but in the course of overheard discussions I discover he may be reading but he sure as hell isn’t absorbing the details. I can plan until the end of time but if he can’t (won’t?) get the work done in a timely manner, why bother? But the online classes? He’s rocking. And so I go looking for educational alternatives for him yet again, four months early.

The crippling self-doubt of homeschooling a twice-exceptional teenage outlier is debilitating. Paralysis by analysis; what do I do, how do I get him to his future, how do I help him navigate back into a comparative society? Two years from now he’ll start at the district’s Tech Campus, will he be ready for that? He’s started talking about college, something that is only four short years away. For awhile there we weren’t sure he’d be off to a traditional college and we’d made our peace with him being a slow to launch kid, but if he’s talking about it I need to have him ready for it. And let’s not even talk about the cost (as an aside, I’d like to take this opportunity to say to those who caused the economy to crash, taking our investments and income with it: may you have an incurable and terminally acute case of crotch rot, compounded by blood-sucking armpit fleas, and finally just rot in hell you assholes). I thought, “Hey! There’s that college where the students only take one class at a time! That would be perfect for him! Good memory, self!” And then I went to check it out, and at almost $50k/year, nearly had a stroke; yes, I could sell parts of my liver, but it only grows back so fast and frankly I need all of it because wine.

Unlike the previous few years, it feels critical now that Andy hits certain milestones by a reasonable date. It’s high school, it’s for real now. I remember a friend telling me that when we were freshmen; he had two older brothers and saw it first hand. Those milestones aren’t always met, or rather, not met in ways easily understood or accepted by the outside world. Asynchrony and quirkiness don’t transfer to a transcript or college application very well. Or at all.

So I sit with this debilitating self-doubt and plan for a future that is murky at best, always hoping for some kind of breakthrough from our son to light and guide the way.

Oct 19 2015


Just when I think I can’t go any further ’round the bend or even more batshit crazy, I outdo myself.

In the midst of building my flute studio and homeschooling and blogging and maybe putting together a presentation for SENG 2016 and hooboy we’re how close to Christmas and managing the House of Chaos and shoveling out from under all the miscellaneous crap that procreates on my desk…I’ve decided to take on NaNoWriMo. Because NOTHING says “I’m procrastinating the shit out of writing a non-fiction book that scares me to death” like jumping into the crazy assed activity of writing a novel in a month. In November, no less, the on-deck circle to the holidays. I’m insane, entirely certifiable.

I’m excited.

I haven’t written fiction since I picked up a flute, lo those…using fingers and toes and the random office supply…33 years ago. Until I started playing flute I was going to be a writer. I wrote short stories for fun, took writing classes, loved it. Picked up my instrument and whoosh! that was the end of that. All creativity (and spare time) went into the instrument. Nearly ten years ago I started writing this blog for fun. Four years ago I started on If This is a Gift. And in two weeks I’m diving into a monthlong fictionapalooza. It was something that was going to be a blog post, something that made me laugh as I wrote it, something I realized deserved more time and attention. If I don’t do NaNo now it’ll never happen. And because I feel guilty as hell that book #2 (aka The Book That Scares Me Because Who Am I To Write On Self-Care Dear Lord What Do I Know Just Don’t Ever Do What I Do And You’ll Be Fine) is so far behind schedule, I’m planning to dive into that as well and get a goodly portion of it written. I’m hoping the fiction loosens up my brain for the non-fiction.

Needless to say, there will be no NaBloPoMo this year, for the first time in many years. And postings here may be light. I ain’t got that many words in me.

Hold on tight. Here we go.

Oct 09 2015

Another 25 Things I Want My Sons to Know

Another 25 Things I Want My Sons To KnowMy dear boys, I realized I had more to tell you. Hunker down at my feet, young ones, and feed on my wisdom.

  1. Remember that every person you meet, nice ones and mean ones and pretty ones and plain ones and every color of the rainbow ones, every person was once someone’s baby. So when that person is driving you batshit crazy, just think of him/her as a baby and hold that image in your heart. It helps.
  2. Always say Gezhunteit when someone sneezes.
  3. When you thank someone, for anything, look into their eyes and smile. So few people do this, and when you do, people remember.
  4. Accept compliments gracefully and humbly.
  5. Give compliments selflessly and genuinely.
  6. Remember we’re all on this rock together. Good, bad, ugly, right now Earth is all we have and we’re all here together.
  7. Don’t fart in an elevator, but dear god if you do, don’t giggle about it. People will know it was you.
  8. Fart around dogs or potty training children instead.
  9. Just because I love Cards Against Humanity or Family Guy doesn’t mean I’m racist or homophobic or insensitive. It just means I have a healthy sense of the absurd and love to laugh. That’s come in handy raising you two.
  10. When things are hard and miserable and there appears to be no end to it, remember that all things do eventually change and you might even look back and laugh at it all. Or maybe not. Most of 2011-2012 is still a raging shitstorm of suck for me.
  11. Pro/con lists are vastly underrated.
  12. If your significant other asks, “Does this make me look hippy?,” fake a seizure. Nothing good ever comes of this question or the subsequent argument discussion.
  13. Never, ever ask a woman if she is pregnant unless you personally see the head exiting the body. Even then, you should probably act surprised. Unless you’re the father, at which point being surprised by the pregnancy is likely to get you killed in the delivery room. Don’t fuck with a woman in labor, she can rip a car in half with her bare hands and burn holes through walls with her eyes. Trust me on this.
  14. Don’t drink cheap booze. Have some self-respect, man!
  15. Cheap table wine from Costco or Trader Joe’s is acceptable, however.
  16. I’m sure you’ve probably noticed by now that you have been afflicted with the following family-heirloom curses:
    1. When leaving on a trip or vacation, you will need to return to your home at least once for something you’ve forgotten, something that you really do need. Hint: it’s usually sunglasses.
    2. You will find yourself with a refrigerator groaning with condiments. Salsas, olives, but especially mustards, they will take up at least one full shelf and two-thirds of the door. Any efforts to cull the herd just pisses them off and they reproduce when the light goes out. The same goes for salts in the cabinet; at one point I had 25 different varieties.
    3. Bad back and/or knees and/or jaw/shoulder/neck. This is why #14 is on this list.
  17. Never hang wallpaper with a significant other. There is no Netflix in prison.
  18. Marry your best friend, but have other friends too, so you have someone to talk to when your best friend pisses you off.
  19. Do something every week to show your SO how much you love them, even and especially when you don’t want to.
  20. It’s one space after a period, the Oxford Comma is law, and if you screw up an apostrophe, may god have mercy on your eternal soul.
  22. Things are not always what they seem. So before you go getting your knickers in a knot, get more information and make sure it’s accurate. Then and only then can you fly off the handle (or not). You can avoid a lot of drama this way.
  23. Self-care is non-negotiable. Sometimes you just really need to take a mental health day. Do it too often and it’s not self-care but a sign you need to re-evaluate your life.
  24. You may not think a clean toilet is important until you have food poisoning and you have your face in there projectile vomiting for 18 hours.
  25. You are not where you go to school, or what you do, or what you drive, or how much money you make. You’re not even the aggregate of the five people you spend the most time with, though that is important. Quite simply, you are how you treat other people. The world would be a much better place if we all remembered that.

Oct 02 2015

25 Things I Want My Sons To Know

25 Things i want My sons to knowBoys, you’re at an age when you should start learning some things from your parents that may not have been covered previously. Yes, we’ve made sure you were potty trained before school and that seatbelts are non-negotiable, but sometimes the details get missed. So, before I succumb to old age and further child-related memory loss, here are 25 things I want you to know.


  1. First and foremost, you can’t go wrong with Wil Wheaton‘s internet advice: Don’t Be A Dick. I know you’ve heard me say it, many times, but seriously dudes, live those words. If you’re about to do something and don’t be a dick pops into your head, you probably shouldn’t do it.
  2. Odd-numbered Beethoven symphonies. The evens are meh.
  3. Even-numbered Star Trek (original series) movies. The odds are meh.
  4. The correct viewing order for the Star Wars oeuvre is 4-5-6-1-2-3. However, your father makes a compelling case for 4-5-1-2-3-6. We will revisit this after the next set of movies have been released. Stay tuned.
  5. Spend money on quality, especially if it’s something you’re going to get a lot of use out of. This includes shoes, computers, and mattresses.
  6. If you ever say the words yes dear to a significant other in any way other than in a joke both of you appreciate, that significant other has my full support in trying to smother you in your sleep. I’ll provide bail and everything.
  7. Own one killer suit (please see #5). Have it altered to perfectly fit your body. You never know when you will need to impress a boss, a potential investor, or a future spouse. Spend for quality and it will last for years.
  8. Learn to play an instrument. We’ve given up this battle with you as kids, but I do hope as adults you’ll come to your senses and pick up something. I don’t care if it’s piano or a banjolele, play something. It makes you more interesting.
  9. For the love of all things noodly, get out of your comfort zone. That doesn’t mean search out the dangerous, but life is meant to be lived, not for sitting at a computer all day. That makes you boring.
  10. A finely crafted obscene joke is an art form.
  11. Knowing when and where to share it is a life skill. Learn it.
  12. If you don’t laugh at Mel Brooks movies I will refuse to acknowledge our shared DNA.
  13. Read. A lot.
  14. The most important card you will ever have in your wallet is a library card. The complete knowledge of the world is in that card. Yeah, you’d think a computer and the internet would have that covered, but when you go through your broke college stage, which we all do, a library card is free and can get you onto a computer and the internet. Plus there are books. Lots and lots of books. Please see #13.
  15. It’s ok to change your mind, just be ready for any consequences from that. This includes changing college majors, careers, and relationships.
  16. With #15 in mind, every single decision you make affects other people. Don’t let that rule your life, but never forget it.
  17. Be kind. Or I’ll find you and smack you upside the head.
  18. I will probably embarrass you several times as you navigate your teen years. It will not always be intentional. Let’s call it payback for your toddler years, m’kay?
  19. Tip at least 20% for services.
  20. Respect the people who keep society running while you’re tucked in bed all snug and warm and snoring. This includes, but is not limited to: custodians, nurses, police and EMTs, and the woman pouring coffee at the all night diner. This list is greatly increased if you live in New York City.
  21. It’s ok to make a mistake. It is not ok to keep making the same mistake or refuse to learn from it. Please remember #16.
  22. You will always see the world in a different light. You’re just wired that way. That doesn’t mean others are wrong, it just means sometimes you need to shut up and listen.
  23. Learn to cook at least one seriously impressive meal, one you’d make for a date. This is in addition to the five breakfasts/lunches/dinners you should probably also know how to prepare. For the love of god, don’t survive on microwaved burritos and mac and cheese; your digestive system deserves better than that.
  24. Always shovel the elderly neighbor’s driveway and sidewalk. Always.
  25. Whatever you do, wherever you go, I will always have your back. I may not like it, I may bitch about it, but I will be your rock until my dying day.
  26. BONUS! Karma is real. Don’t be a dick.

Sep 25 2015

A real pain in the neck

A real pain in the neckI sprained my neck. Oh, I’m sure I could call it something slightly less embarrassing, like a neck tweak or stiff and sore muscles, but it’s way past that. It’s a sprain. In my neck.

There are usually two reactions to such a strange ailment.

The first is a grimace of pained sympathy. An offer of ibuprofen or a massage or a heating pad. Advanced sympathy also offers wine, a soft pillow, and the TV remote.

The other reaction is a sly grin on a blushing face, a knowing sidelong glance, a giggle, and a bawdy comment about leather ties and overnight activities with your husband.

As much as I would love to have an amusing story about how I got to this point, if for no other reason than to watch people turn pink and wonder about quiet ole’ me, I’m unfortunately far too boring for such antics; that’s a post for another day, or more likely, a private journal entry. I’ve always said with a self-depreciating laugh that I’m a cube; square on six sides. The real story behind my sprained neck tells that out.

I slept.

Yes, somehow I managed to sprain my neck sleeping. Not “sleeping,” but real, honest to god eyes closed and drooling on my pillow sleeping. It’s a rare talent, I tell you. That I awoke on my birthday with a sprained neck from sleeping is just further proof that middle age has arrived with a vengeance. Not quite fair.

So it’s ibuprofen and chiropractic and purple RockTape (made from unicorn hides, I swear; this stuff is magic) and moving very slowly and carefully. I can’t slather up with Deep Relief, because the RockTape will slide off. Flute playing is all kinds of fun, as that requires not only turning my head, but also jaw/arm/shoulder/rib/finger activity as well. I am FrankenJen, moving my entire body to have a conversation and bursting into unexpected rage for no apparent reason (except for, you know, pain).

I think this would be easier to manage…and surely be a hell of a lot funnier…if there was an entertaining reason behind it all. But I slept weird just doesn’t qualify, and I’m old and falling apart is even worse. So perhaps I will price out leather ties and such after all. You never know when you might need to come up with a clever cover story.

Sep 24 2015

Living with a teenage troll, the sequel

Living with a teenage troll, the sequelGive me strength. I mean, for chrissakes, it was my birthday. And, on the 42nd anniversary of my entrance onto this planet, I spent a huge amount of time in the car, driving Andy to and from a birthday party a million miles away. And how does my beloved firstborn son thank his long-suffering mother, on her birthday no less?

By leaving me “presents” on my iPhone. Unfortunately he knows the login code (which will be changed shortly), because sometimes I need him to log in for me for traffic updates while I’m driving (modeling safety, folks!). The little shit dear child kept giggling and sniggering and flat-out laughing while I was driving mumble mumble miles per hour on the expressway and I couldn’t see what he was doing. He would only tell me that he was leaving me “presents.” After his last set of gifts, I trust him about as far as I can throw him, and as he is getting heavier and heavier…there ya go.

I checked my phone over when I got home. Couldn’t see anything out of the ordinary.

And then I went to comment on a post on Facebook and proceeded to give thanks to every deity here there and everywhere that I give the once over to everything I ever text, email, or post.

The little shit teenaged troll went on a tear with my iPhone’s text replacements. Care to appreciate his handiwork?

An corrected to asscheese
Andy corrected to assnugget
J corrected to WiiU
Jen corrected to Me
No corrected to penis
Tom corrected to 1234567890
Yes corrected to goatsimulator

I discovered this as I was finishing dinner, read them aloud, and Tom is still recovering from the coughing fit from asscheese; never good to inhale a fine piece of tuna into your sinuses.

So. Yeah. He done got me but good. I suspect this won’t be the last time he trolls me, and I’m glad he knows I know it’s all in good fun…to a point. I could yell at him and punish him and make a big deal about it, but it’s really not a big deal. Even the language he used isn’t that big a deal to me; god knows he’s heard worse from my own lips. I’d rather save the big deal reactions for the really big deal issues. This isn’t one of those issues.

Besides, assnugget is a great name for him. Now where is his iPhone? Because I need to teach Siri his new name. Heh…

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