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the diagnosis

So after years of struggling with school, it was recommended that we have Big tested by a Pediatric Neuropsychologist to make sure there weren’t any learning disabilities or disorders that had been hidden all these years. The first time I met the Doc was in December when Big and I went in for an intake interview. She talked to both of us together and then sent Big out to fill out a survey about himself. As soon as he left the room she turned to me and asked, “Is it common for him to avoid eye contact?” I knew immediately what she was asking and every question that came after that made it only clearer. I taught in a special- ed inclusive classroom when I was a teacher. I taught children with autism and asperger’s. I knew where she was going and I refused to go there.

The questions about his social strengths and weaknesses, the obsessions, the tics and other “quirky” behaviors, all pointed at one thing. I tried my best to be honest, but it’s often a mother’s prerogative to under report  especially when someone is trying to tell her that the baby she’s raised for the last 10 years and 7 months isn’t “normal.” She sent me away with bundles of surveys for me and the Mr. and for Big’s teacher. I was uncomfortable with what she said and what she didn’t say, but I heard. But, everyone I talked to thought she was obviously just as crazy as I did. I put it away. I tried to put it away, but in those quiet moments when my mind wasn’t busy with something else, it popped in to visit. It got too comfortable for my liking. For every “but there’s this…” there was also a “yeah, but there’s that too.”

Big underwent two three hour sessions of testing with the Doc. Last week the Mr. and I nervously sat next to each other on her velvet love seat while she sat across from us with a thick folder of documents and said, “it’s complicated.” As the weeks had gone by, the autism piece kept creeping back in to my thoughts. I tried to shake it away every time, but as I sat there next to Mr. the room was stuffed full of the anxiety I had been carrying around. I was waiting to hear those words and hoping and praying they wouldn’t come.

He could have a nonverbal learning disorder, she said, but all the pieces aren’t there. He’s this, but not this. His scores on this are off the chart, his scores on this are significantly lower. It’s complicated. But let’s talk about my observations.

That’s when it began, the truth began to pour out of her mouth and those papers stacked on her lap held the evidence. She went over the surveys we filled out. She asked Mr. the questions that she had asked me that December day. With each answer he gave and each excuse I prepared, I knew I was wrong.

Autism. High functioning Autism. It was there on the paper. The criteria were scientifically checked off and mathematically added up. The tears came then as they still do now. Why? We had an answer, he was still the same child (as everyone under the sun feels like they need to remind me of.) Why?

So, I’m a planner. My anxiety is of the anticipatory variety. It thrives when I don’t know what comes next. In those moments that the evidence was presented, the documents shown, the direct quotes shared, my expectations for the life I had imagined for my son were thrown into disarray. His quirks had been things that we were sure he would outgrow. He would learn to make more friends, he would take up other more diverse interests. He would grow into a normal guy that functioned in the world just like everyone else. With that label the evidence said now belonged to him, “normal” faded away to a once upon a time thing. This was going to be forever. This was a battle we would always be fighting. Selfishly, it wasn’t a battle I ever wanted to care about. But, life doesn’t care about what you want, selfishly. And the truth is, I love this boy so hard it hurts. His difficulties are mine. His successes light me up. This is a battle that though I never imagined for myself, I can’t ever imagine not fighting for my son. 

The other battle I fight daily is with myself. The blame and the guilt. With everything I knew about autism and asperger’s how did I not see it? How did I ignore it for so long? What damage have I done by not seeing? He could have been getting the support he needed years ago, but he wasn’t. He wasn’t getting the help he needed because I didn’t see it. My therapist, his teachers, my family and friends all say I didn’t miss anything. I did okay. No one saw it until now. I’m told that’s normal, the average age for a diagnosis for asperger’s is 11. Each time I hear someone new tell me it’s not my fault, it chips away just a little at the guilt, but it will be a long road for me.

So this is it. The new reality. The books by experts, the meetings with support teams. The fights to get him the help he needs. At the same time that I’m torn up about this news, there’s a part of me that feels a little bit of relief. Can we help make his life better? Can we take some of the pressure off of him at school? Can we better understand what makes him tick? These are the goals. It’s time for me to crawl out of my selfish hole and get to work. I’ve started fighting, but the tears still come. When I’m faced with the immensity of this new paradigm, I’m tempted to take a few steps backward into my hole and wallow. But, Big doesn’t have time for wallowing. The tears may still come, but I’ve got to take those steps forward. I’ve got to fight for my son.


my son, the paper marksman

I know there have been plenty of blog posts and news stories about the tragedy in Connecticut last week. Truthfully, I haven’t read many of them because my heart just can’t take it anymore. Unlike the families and friends directly effected by the shooting, I’m lucky that I have the ability to just shelve it in the back of my mindImage. I can’t imagine the level of daily pain that so many people feel. Just knowing what I know is difficult, I could not handle more. 

The thing that is so beyond understanding to me in this whole horrible situation is why this man had the guns he had. How does that happen? I’ve already gotten myself in trouble on social media for saying that stricter gun control might have prevented this, so I might as well go all in. 

I hate guns. Hate them. If I had my way, no one would have one, for any reason, ever. There. It’s out there now and you can feel free to stop reading if you need to. I’ve always hated guns. Hunting makes me sick to my stomach and the idea of having a gun to protect yourself is ridiculous to me. I would have been perfectly happy to never have a gun, or the idea of a gun, or the word “gun” show up in my life forever. I could have lived my whole life without a finger pointing at me and saying “bam.”

But that wasn’t my lot in life. My lot in life was to have sons, three of them. Me, hater of all things violent and weapon-like. My oldest son, ten, is the sweetest, kindest, animal and baby lover there is. He defends woman-kind to his 4 year old brother when he can’t shut up about “pajinas”. “You should stop that, it’s offensive to women!” That’s my boy. 

We go through more construction paper and tape in our house than should be allowed by law. That’s good, right? He’s making an arsenal of paper weaponry: giant, intricately created rifles made of rolled up tubes of paper, handguns, even a bazooka. That’s my boy, too. And it scares me. 

We were a “no guns allowed” household for many years, then he went to kindergarten, where a boy with older brothers (of course) taught him about bounty hunters and bombs. I was destroyed. Discussions about bombs blowing up the world were few and far between at first, peppered in with a love of Herbie the Lovebug. But, then came Star Wars. Lightsabers turned to blasters. We left Star Wars behind only for ninjas, with giant swords and nun-chucks. The last five years of my life have been a merry-go-round of things that kill. Then of course, the two younger boys wanted to do everything he did. Little shot me in the face with a finger gun at the dinner table when he was nine months old and I bawled.

Why didn’t we just ban weapons in our house? I tried for awhile, but they were just everywhere in boy play. Daddy reminded me again and again that he had played “war games” and turned out fine. He’s right, he’s the kindest, gentlest husband and father I know. I read books by experts on boys, experts who said that “war play” seems to be part of the genetic makeup of boys, it’s what they do. I had to make peace with my sons warring ways. We have strict rules about the warfare and people’s feelings are a top priority. I feel like I’m doing what I can to keep a minimal amount of control over the weapons. But can I tell him what he can and can’t make out of paper? He’s the most creative and mechanically inclined kid I know. I can suggest other options, but ultimately I don’t want to dictate his art projects. And I don’t think I should. We talk about what weapons really do, and why I don’t like them. Big gets it, but Middle and Little don’t see any danger in a paper grenade launcher or a plastic laser blaster.

I’m pretty okay with the “war play” at my house until something happens like the tragedy in Connecticut. Then I panic. I get anxious. Seeing paper rifles leaning in the corner of my dining room and a Popsicle stick and construction paper dagger on the sideboard make me nervous. I’m ill at ease with what’s happening here. I don’t care what the experts say, I don’t like it and I DON’T understand it. Is it my femaleness? Is it my bleeding heart liberalism? I don’t know, but my comfort level in my own home is way down as I pick up Star Wars guns from the couch. Big and I talked about it and he respects my wish not to have any guns in my sight for awhile. He knows about the tragedy in Connecticut and has talked to Daddy about how he thinks assault weapons should be banned. Just not the paper kind.

Our next door neighbor is two years older than Big and before he got too old, he was a regular in the neighborhood Star Wars play. He’s kind and witty and thoughtful. He’s smart and funny and he plays first person shooter games. His mother is involved and socially conscious and they have a great relationship. Will this be Big? With a chest of construction paper weapons instead of a first person shooter game? I hope so. My deep, aching fear is that it will go the other way. No matter the evidence I have to the contrary, I see him patiently working out the details on another rifle and my heart breaks a little. 

My son is loved, cared for, listened to. He is smart and kind and thoughtful. He recognizes when other people are feeling bad and tries to help them feel better. He is a good, good kid. I’m going to nurture him as best I can and hope that the interest in things that kill is a passing one. I’m going to love him hard. I’m going to try not to be judgmental about his interests. When I was a girl I couldn’t get enough Barbie,so there’s no argument that my childhood interests were healthier than his. It’s just no one ever got killed by a Barbie. I’m trying. Trying to be both loving and aware. I’m trying to be both patient and firm. I’m trying to make sure that the dark side never wins.





So, there was this too.

This May I was lucky enough to write and read for a national show called Listen to Your Mother. You may or may not recall that I wrote a blog post about my anxiety going into it.

Well if you missed it, here it is:




So, apparently amomamongmen might also be a teensy bit a manamongmen

I’m about to get real scientific on your ass. Now, this isn’t stuff I personally understand, but I can regurgitate it from various scientific sources.

So the deal is this: now scientists think that when a woman is pregnant, cells from the fetus actually travel up into her brain and then survive there FOREVER. So, women who were pregnant with boys got some of that good ol’ male DNA lodged all up in their brains and then the baby popped out, but the DNA didn’t. That male DNA is now part of the woman’s brain. So, imagine that times three. Yeah, go ahead. I am practically a man.

I started thinking about the negatives and positives of this new tidbit of scientific discovery and came up with a fairly comprehensive list of the drawbacks and benefits of being some sort of brain based hermaphrodite.

I’m going to break it down into two easy to understand categories: 

Things I SO don’t want to inherit from my sons and Ways I’d use that male DNA to kick ass

Things I SO don’t want to inherit from my sons:

1. Unquestionable immunity to the smell of urine.

2. Blatant disregard for the conventions of hand washing.

3. Obsession from birth with things that go “vroom” and things that can be forced to roll.

4. Passion for camouflage. Just not a good look for a mom who has no position with the U.S. armed forces. Much easier for a nine year old boy to pull off, especially while wearing a t-shirt that he has Sharpied himself to say “made in the armee”.

5. Which brings us to fashion sense. Inability to recognize poor wardrobe choices. Just because you own a red shirt and red shorts doesn’t mean you need to wear them at the same time. Ditto a camo shirt and camo pants.

6. Unwillingness to relegate markers to paper. Markers are drawn to my sons’ skin like metal filings to a magnet. Actually, given the time they would probably find a way to use said filings in a completely inappropriate way that would probably discolor their skin.

7. Aversion to showering. But, just to mix things up a little, see number 2 below.

8. Inability to read emotions. “You’re crying Mom. Get me a snack.”

Ways I’d use that male DNA to kick ass

1. Two words: body confidence. In their little minds they are perfect. Their bodies do exactly what they’re supposed to: run, jump, climb, sword fight, punch, etc. etc. etc. Does it matter if they got a little paunch? Does it matter that they’re kinda shrimpy or a little skinny? No, not at all. And just to prove it to you, they’ll jump around the living room naked so you can see how awesome it is to have a penis.

2. Despite number 7 above, they never have a bad hair day. I’d like a piece of that.

3. View of Self. My sons? They’re rock stars. They can do anything they want to, eschewing physical or biological boundaries. Be a cheetah when they grow up? Why not. Beat daddy in a race around the yard? Duh. Become a jedi? Did it; last year. Count super high? So I missed 14, what’s it to you? Whatever they picture themselves doing, consider it done. 

4. Independence. Big is an independent guy, always has been. He came home one day from fourth grade and reported to me that some asshole kid had said that he didn’t want to be friends with him. My reaction: automatic heartbreak. His reaction: I didn’t want to be friends with him anyway. Can I have a snack Mom?

5. Knowing how to work a room. Let’s talk about Middle for a sec. That boy is Mr. Popularity, has been since preschool. When I went to volunteer in his Kindergarten class last year, I saw first hand the fawning that takes place, especially from the female demographic. I experienced some of it secondhand when I was confronted by a five year old girl with a tall, thin, super-tressed mom. “Are you Middle’s mom?” she asks. I nod. “You’re pretty.” Whatever prep work Middle did buttering up his classmates I thank him for it. The biggest compliment I hear from my own kids is “Wow, you can read anything!”

6. Energy! Unless Little has been getting four hour energy drinks on the black market or has a Red Bull dealer meeting him on the playground, that kid is just naturally a doer. Walk around the zoo? Not if you can run! Battle zombies in the backyard for two hours? Just set me up with a sippy cup of chocolate milk and I’m good to go! The boys doesn’t stop, until he does.

7. Head. Pillow. Sleep. Wake up at 6:30 ready to do it all again.



The last boy, the one that put me over the edge into Manhood.

What would life be like for all us moms if we loved our bodies, believed in ourselves, didn’t care what other people thought of us, followed our hearts and had bitchin’ hairdos without actually doing anything but sleeping? Maybe as the mother of three perfect, amazing rock star sons, it’s my destiny to find out.


Amomamongmen’s shot at Olympic glory is upon us…

I’ve been in training. For years now, really. I guess I could have competed in the ’08 games, but I didn’t feel like I’d had the breadth of training experience that I’d really need to kick some serious international ass. Now, now, I’m ready. London 2012: Mothering Olympics: the Summer Games, slightly different than the Winter games only in their inclusion of cheering for crying toddlers at swimming lessons and their exclusion of the timed ‘dressing a preschooler for below zero’ competition.

These are my events for 2012:

Patiently Restating the Obvious: I’ve been training hard for this baby, my specialties are difficult maneuvers that take place in the shower and while driving. My trainers are ruthless and punishing and after years of grueling workouts I’m certain that I can score near perfect marks with my unending repetition of statements like these: “I don’t know what time Daddy will be home; I’m in the shower and I don’t have a clock in here.” Key here is the delivery and the dismount; those who want to stand on the podium pay special attention to tone and facial expression. I feel especially good about “I can’t pick up that lego piece right now; I’m driving.” If I can compete anywhere it’s in the car. If the competition moves to pets, I’m sunk. My dismount for “DON’T SIT ON THE DOG!!!!!” lacks key elements of patience.

Sustaining Meaningful Conversation with Children: This is a tough field. You’re going to find a lot of mothers here who have a lot more in common with their kids than I do. Mothers whose kids are say, female and have interests that don’t revolve around heavy weaponry and wrestling. Still, YOU will not see me staying home. I will be out there competing. I’m not going to lie, training got a lot harder when my trainers turned it up a notch by switching from The Harry Potter training regimen to The Last Airbender regimen which is basically just designed to weed out the pussies, of which I am not one. While the event requires that the conversation be “meaningful” it doesn’t require that the mother be fully engaged in it. I say, fake it, ’til you make it, right?

Advanced Read Aloud: I am seriously the Misty-May and Kerri Walsh of the Advanced Read Aloud competition, except that I don’t read in a bikini and there’s only one of me and I’m not hot. I own this event. Seriously, I am over a thousand pages and hours into the Rowling training method which guarantees gold. I have to give a shout out to my high school theater director Mrs. Clark for starting on the road to Olympic glory so many years ago. I’ve got such a wide variety of British accents in my arsenal that Ron, Hermione and Harry themselves know which character they’re interacting with based on voice alone. The only way I’m screwing this up is if some jealous competitor hires a goon to chop me in the vocal cords with a crow bar and then I become America’s sweetheart anyway, so win win, right?

Walking at the Pace of a 4 Year Old When You Have Someplace to Be: This one takes some serious training. All those athletes in London and their personal interest stories about how they have to train so hard to go so fast. That ain’t shit. They’ve obviously never spent thirty minutes walking half a block with a four year old that’s soooooooooo tired. The training is excruciating. At the end of every training session my mind is shot because of the mental effort that goes into this event.If you’ve seen race walkers, you may have some idea what it’s like. You can see that they’re walking so fast that they’re almost running and they’d be so much more comfortable if they could just run. This event is like that but different; you can see the strain on the athletes’ faces. Either they want to just take that step that would boost their pace up to a normal human walking pace, or just stop moving altogether. Either one would be more comfortable than what this event demands. It’s a sport for the mind: like chess. You’re going to see so many competitors drop out of this one; just pick up the damn kid, choose a normal place, get where ever the hell they were supposed to be ten minutes ago and kiss their Olympic dreams goodbye.

Bland Cooking for Those Precious Darlings with Self-Imposed Dietary Restrictions: Another one that I’ve got down. My final training test for this was a surprise; I should have known that my trainer wasn’t going to let me off the hook without one final task that would prepare me for either Olympic glory or crushing defeat. It’s become known in our little Olympic family as the Couscous Trials of 2012. I’ve been training so hard for this one for so many years and so carefully, so much of my training has become just everyday living that I guess I got cocky. That won’t happen again I can promise you that, not after my trainer proved to me that I may not have what it takes to win gold after all. I’d cooked that pot of couscous a thousand times, all within the training restrictions, it had become like second nature. But this time, I must have missed something, because he called me out, something fierce he did. In that clean pot that I cooked PLAIN couscous in PLAIN water in; I accidentally served my trainer a… black speck. In that moment I saw my Olympic dreams crash and burn in a blazing fire of six year old anger and hysteria an Olympic training facility hasn’t seen since John McEnroe did just about anything except make commercials for bran cereals. I got my shit together though; took some time for myself and reevaluated how badly I wanted this Olympic dream to come true. That and I made a lot of couscous.

Ass Wiping: In it to win it.

The Events I’m Not Particpating In: These are the events that I’ve got to leave to some other mothers. I trust that in their hands we’ll see nothing but gold for the U S of A!!!!


You do NOT want to mess with my trainers.

French Braiding, Multi-Tasking Soccer Mom with Several Heats of Car-Pooling, Marathon Breast-Feeding, Organic Snack Shopping, Vegetable Consumption Monitoring, Double Stroller Obstacle Race, Any event that takes place after 9 p.m or before 7 a.m.


oh lord, what has amomamongmen done this time…

I’m gettin’ a purty dress, and shavin’ my legs, and wearin’ some fancy shoes, and gettin’ my hair cut and maybe even wearing some lip schitz.

The momamongmen has found a showcase for her verbal diarrhea. the momamongmen has found a stage and a microphone and will soon become amomamonghundreds and then when the video is posted to the world-wide webs, she’ll possibly be amomamongthousands. All because I love the sound of my voice amplified, the feel of hot lights on my skin, an excuse for a new dress and I’ve got an issue close to my heart that I feel like somebody should talk about. Oh, how about me?

It’s no secret amomamongmen loves to talk. Always has. This is the once upon a time girl whose fourth grade teacher tied her into her desk because she got up and chatted with all the students as they tried to finish their ditto sheets (touche Beaulah Seaman, touche.) I started taking drama classes in elementary school and had broken the glass ceiling for holiday plays by the fifth grade ( I made a damn fine Scrooge too, even if I couldn’t sing and they made me kind of say the lyrics to music, it was an early kind of rap. way ahead of my time.) I had a career in theater going throughout middle school and high school, but I never played a character like this. Me. I sailed through public speaking classes, practically begging for extra credit work, which in college is a little embarassing. Let me talk more! Me! Me!

These days my speaking skills are used mostly for encouraging Little to eat more than croutons for lunch, giving tours of his preschool to stunned parents (I’m sure they’re wondering, “my god, do all the mommies talk this much?”) and tossing out bon mots and generally giving unsolicited opinions at the Nursery School Board Meetings. My verbal diarrhea can be productive, it shares a razor-thin edge with annoying, but seldom do the twain mix (I’M SURE.) But this. This will be different.

You see on Sunday, May 13 (Mother’s Day: which you already knew, right?) at three o’clock, I am going to stand on the stage at the Barrymore theatre in Madison and spill my guts, there might be snot too; I wouldn’t be surprised. I am going to stand up on that stage in my new dress and strappy sandals and read a piece I wrote called “Mothering the Storm: Living, Loving and Parenting with Depression”. I’m going to pour out my heart and open myself up to judgement that I’ve never dared to tempt.

Last year I tried out for Listen to Your Mother too. I wrote a funny five-minute piece that was my heelariousest verbal diarrhea, basically one long string of bon mots called Making Peach with War about how to come to terms with my sons’ aggressions. I didn’t get in. I know now why. It wasn’t real. It wasn’t anything more than one long string of funny; which has it’s place. It wasn’t my story.

This is different. You see last year, this was the piece I wanted to write, the piece about depression, but I decided it was to hard, too Debbie Downerish and honestly… too honest. The story was rattling around in my head for almost a year; every once in a while a piece would surface and beg to be recorded and so over a long period it came together and to tell you the truth, when I read it, I still can’t believe it’s mine. These are my words. And they are haunting. I guess that when those words bubbled up and were recorded they were parts. Now, that it’s a whole, it’s far stronger, far bolder than the sum of all those little parts, phrases, sentences, words.

In both the books that I have written mental illness has either been a characteristic or plot point. Characters have either been fighting against or living with it. But it’s easy to draw characters with depression and anxiety; it’s much harder to draw yourself.

I have depression. I have for a long time. It sucks and I wish I didn’t but on May 13 at 3:00 I am going to get up on the stage at the Barrymore and talk about it, in my new dress and my strappy sandals (did I already mention those?) Even though as I do my stomach will be tied in knots as I worry that no one will understand. It’s my story, but I kind of think it must be someone else’s story too. I hope so or I’m going to look like some kind of asshole up there in my dress and new sandals (yes, those again.)

But I have to do it. My name’s on the poster. There’s no turning back. My hope is that somewhere out there in the audience is someone who’s been feeling alone and lost and as I sob my way through the end of my reading; they’ll feel just a little less lost. There’s that and I already bought the sandals.

Visit the website to find out how to get tickets (I know you’re curious about my sandals) and check out the bios for me and the rest of the cast, because yes it’s not just about me, like amomamongmen usually makes it.


the problem with other

Below is a post that I wrote at my old blog a couple of years ago when I had become particularly annoyed with the lack of understanding on the part of big and middle in the area of language, specifically one single word. Now that I’m all like scientific and shit, I thought I’d revisit this annoyance and see if maybe, just maybe they weren’t really trying to drive me crazy, but were just using their male brains (you know, the only ones they have).

[side note: old blog called The Wiener Mom so all sons were called wieners… you’ll put it together, I know you will]

so glad I'm your mOTHER Big; you've grown so much!

Dear wieners (specifically mine, but all are welcome),

I have come before you today to address a crucial issue in the success of Wiener Mom/little wiener relationships. The future of my goodwill and your continued survival depend upon it.
My dear wieners, we must discuss the meaning of the word “other”. What it means is not that one, i.e. not that hand, the OTHER one or not that foot, the OTHER ONE. When a person has two of something (hands or feet primarily) and the Wiener Mom says “not that one, the other one” she does not mean the SAME ONE, she means the OTHER ONE.

What confuses the otherwise intelligent and capable mind of the Wiener Mom, is how a relatively small wiener can correctly use words like, ACTUALLY, and USUALLY, and even REAPPEARING, but he can not give the Wiener Mom THE OTHER FOOT, even after repeated pointing and wild gesturing, as well as overly clear annunciation, “No, the OTH-ER one.”

Perhaps this is a phenomenon witnessed only in Wiener World, and both wieners and non-wieners in the outside world have a strong grasp of the OTHER one. If so, please give the Wiener Mom your apparently successful strategies before she pulls her hair out. No, the other one.

Love and kisses, The Wiener Mom

Back when I wrote that OTHER blog

So I go through all my boy books and can’t find anything on language processing; a lot on talking (which is a whole OTHER blog post altogether). So I have to turn to the World Wide Webs, which I really hate to do because, really who can you trust, there’s so many so-called experts out there blogging about who knows what. I google it and find a lot of scientific articles and papers and abstracts and there are a lot of numbers and %s and #s and &s and other symbols that start to look kind of math-like so I turn to

Science Daily: My source for the latest in Research News to find the answer to this brain buster:

Seems like just the OTHER day

Do boys process language differently than girls?

short answer: yup.

long answer: Boys’ language processing tends to be more sensory and girls’ processing more abstract. So I guess if you think about it, the word OTHER is pretty abstract. It’s not a car or a light saber or a brother or even a wiener. It’s other.

But why, you ask? The researcher from Northwestern thinks that boys may have “some kind of bottleneck in their sensory processes that can hold up visual or auditory information and keep it from being fed into the language areas of the brain.” Which he says may be a result of girls developing faster than boys and may be gone by adulthood, which explains why when I put the Mister’s shoes on, he totally understands the word OTHER. This would also explain why all my pointing and mad gesturing isn’t helping anything; it’s just all getting trapped in  like a traffic jam of sensory information, which for some reason I imagine actually taking place in his neck.

The researcher says that another explanation for why the study showed that boys aren’t as adept at processing abstract language is that they may create visual and auditory associations with a word and it would be kind of hard to create a visual or auditory association with the word OTHER unless it’s your mother pulling her hair out and gesturing to your shoe or screaming “OTH-ER”.

Two years after I wrote that post Big has figured out the meaning of the word OTHER about 94.6% of the time, but now I’ve got Middle and Little to gesture wildly to. Maybe now that I know that they’re not trying to annoy me or ignore me, I could tone down the gesturing and the exasperated sighing. Only for “OTHER” though.

I hold no promises when it comes to “COME HERE. NO I SAID COME HERE. HERE. NO HERE. NEXT TO ME. NO HERE.”

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now what’s that now?

what’s done is done