Archive for the 'humor' Category

faith healing (because again?! people!)

Friday, May 30th, 2014

Trigger warning: Sarcasm, faith healing, more sarcasm


There’s a reason we don’t pray for someone’s amputated leg to regrow. Even those with the gift of healing usually draw the line there. I have never seen a group of amputees line up outside a faith healing tent and come out with arms and legs. I’ve known three faith healers (family friend, friend of friend, family member) and all three have never even offered to regrow people’s limbs. (Rude!) We humans reason (correctly) that there’s a natural order to things. Could God regrow limbs? Sure. So why don’t we regrow them through faith? Because we are not lizards (yet).

So why do people insist that God can regrow my daughter’s muscles that she literally does not have? Literally! The anterior horn cells in lots of places were disrupted during fetal development and those body parts did. not. form. And (I’m sad I have to even make this point *sigh*) that fact does not change just because you can’t see it!! (Science!)

If I was born without a liver or foot or brain could prayer create one out of thin air for me? Does God bend the laws of physics in that way any other time? (Imagine playing Monopoly and then the creator of Monopoly is all, “Randomly all properties will now be used as tarot cards. Oh you have Park Place? That means you’ll be unlucky in love. But hey you’re winning! How? No clue!”) Because that’s what you’re saying. Just realize that. That right there. You’re saying that!

If you pray, pray normal things. (Talking to unfathomable cosmic creator of all things with your mind = normal!) Okay, like I pray she works hard in physical therapy and that her goals are worked toward with patience and with grace. I pray she learns how to navigate the world with the incredible body she does have! (Because she’s different, not tragic.) I pray for wisdom for us as we make medical decisions on her behalf. I pray for technology to catch up to need. (But I’ve given up on insurance catching up to need a long time ago.) I pray for her to have this light that shines in the dark spots of our culture. I pray she grows up to help the poor and fight injustice. And today I prayed for the poor unaware bully who got her lip! (Note to bullies, don’t call my daughter “bossy.” It somehow gives her cosmic authority to take charge of the correction of your mistake, known to you as “bossing you more.”)

Heck I can’t tell you what to pray, go nuts! Pray she grows wings! Because wings!!!!

Just, I don’t know, please see arthrogryposis logically and don’t get stinking mad at us or God when the laws of physics don’t go topsy turvy at your prayer missives. My kids will do amazing things and “prove doctors wrong” but it will likely happen within the realm of reality and follow the rules of the universe.

PS: My son is also missing muscle, but not as notably so he has received considerably less offers of miraculous healings. Don’t worry, he’s not feeling left out. Unless you start offering my family faith healings *and* cookies. Which is only polite.

PPS: But but but! What about Jesus and the dude’s ear or part of St. Augustine’s leg or stories like that? Most faith traditions have miracles or healings that held some purpose. I think we could *at least* agree these are exceptions to the rule.  And I am referring to modern, has-access-to-Internet faith healers in this post.

PPPS: Chocolate chip cookies with chunks of brownies in them. No store bought crap.

Arm Surgery

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014


Here we go again!

Yes we just had surgery six weeks ago. Yes this was completely unexpected. Yes this is Laelia’s first (and last) arm surgery! And yes it is a doozie!

Two expert surgeons. Both arms. Rotational osteotomies. Six weeks recovery. Laelia won’t be able to use her arms for a over a month. Laelia won’t be able to walk because she’s prone to falls and one fall could ruin the fragile bone healing.

I’m finally getting, for all intents and purposes, the quadriplegic child the doctors told me I’d have. But only for six weeks.

So why did we decide to replace most of Laelia’s arm tissue with robotics?

Well this will help her to feed herself better, hold a ball better and clap by hitting her palms together as opposed to the back of her hands.

Why robotics?

With amyoplastic arms there is clearly a lack of muscle and tendon and nerve endings. And obviously with arthrogryposis there is extra joint tissue.

Adding metal to those areas adds a bit of weight, but adds a ton of range of motion.

She already is able to supinate her arm. Now she’ll be able to easily (if passively) rotate them too!

Here’s the concept art.


Obviously she’ll look different.


And here’s Laelia after surgery!
Ta da!



Laelia standing tall with her new arms!


Laelia trying on different arms post surgery.


All I have is MS Paint, so I was pretty proud of this one. :)


And just for fun. :)


Hahaha!!! (Laelia is standing here saying, “Hey, Roland looks different! Those aren’t my feet! What’s going on!”)

Happy April Fools!!!

(If you’re reading this on April 1st we’re probably still in real surgery getting the rotational osteotomies. No robotics involved. Surgery on April 1st, what a joke! I told them no one would believe me. :))

Our system sucks

Monday, April 1st, 2013

First the good news: Roland has his casts off! Roland can now play his recorder again! It’s his favorite toy and he skillfully manages to conjure the most high-pitched squeaks from its bowls. Did I mention he walks now? So if you ever leave a room because his musical gift has just about shattered the cochlea of your inner ear, you’re in luck! He will follow you around subjecting you to more! (Video.)





Yes he actually fell asleep with it in his mouth.

Okay the bad news is not that he loves his recorder. :) The bad news is that Thursday (cast removal day) sucked. It was so horrible that I’m just now posting pictures. Many of you know some of the story because you either got a frantic call from my husband that morning or you were one of the people who helped watch Laelia since Thursday was a half day at school before Spring break and mommy was indisposed.

Since Roland is in Early Head Start now and has three hours of preschool twice a week (which he loves) I had a break from both kids Thursday morning. I have been cleaning bathrooms and doing other odd jobs during my kid-free mornings for Raymond, putting a few dollars in his adoption account, but this morning I had some blood work I needed to get done. So I instead spent my morning at the clinic being waited on by vampires. (I’d rather clean a bathroom!) There was also a glucose test I was suppose to do so I had been fasting. They ended up not doing it because I was not feeling well.

Roland’s appointment was after that. I showed up white as a sheet and a little out of it. I had packed a banana, freeze-dried sweet peas and some almonds in my purse so I wouldn’t be light-headed, but I wanted to get us all checked-in first before getting into them. The check in line was longer than usual and Roland was fussier than usual. He gets a little upset when I get him from preschool (he’s having fun) so Mondays and Thursdays he has a little more of a behavior problem, but nothing major. Well nothing major until you add the fact that he recognizes the casting clinic waiting area and knows what’s coming! He was just either fussy, whiny or in full on meltdown mode the whole time.

When we checked in there was a small problem with our insurance, as they said we didn’t have any, which took about 25 minutes to rectify. I paid the co-pay and headed to the other room. Right as I was able to open my snacks we got called into a room. Our regular doctor was out sick so another doctor was waiting for us. He looked 13 years old. Seriously he was a baby. After asking the normal questions (if anyone smoked around the kiddo and if we kept the casts dry) he said he had to get all the x-rays out before he could remove the casts or take more x-rays. He asked me which arm was broken. I informed him the right arm at which point he said, “You didn’t seem to know two weeks ago.”

Teenage doctor and I were about to have words. For one thing I felt like I was old enough to be his mother so I gave him the “mommy tone” you use with small children. For another thing he obviously did not have kids of his own or he would have qualified for a Lifetime special (13 year old dad). He brought up the right arm x-ray from two weeks ago and showed me the small lines in the bone that showed it had been broken. I told him that I already knew about that and I asked for an x-ray before they remove these casts to make sure everything was okay. He seemed to ignore me! So my mother tone got a little stronger. “I. need. you. to. x-ray. my. child.” He nodded and left the room and came back with a social worker lady. Because demanding basic care for my child sent red flags? Baby doctor’s thinking is beyond me. At least there was another woman in the room old enough to be the doctor’s mom to help me order him to give the best care to my son. (I just wanted to get done and eat something!) The social worker was nice, she just kept smiling and introducing herself and asking how I felt. I told her I was fine and just needed to eat something. They didn’t allow eating in the room, but they wanted me to take my son back out into the main waiting area and eat there. (Roland is just crying this whole time and it’s hard to hear much of anything.) I’m sorry but a good mother doesn’t let her son be terrified of casting longer than necessary so I forgot the food entirely and just asked to go to x-ray. They finally said yes and when I stood up to leave I totally lost my vision for a second and had to use the wall to balance myself out.

It’s called blood loss. I also had a vasovagal response to having my blood drawn that morning. The pre-pubescent doctor kept trying to interrupt the social worker (who was nice and asking if I was okay) to show her the x-ray of my son’s broken arm. When he said, “The minor handicapped child suffers from arthrogryposis and also a broken arm…” I finally lost all my patience and yelled that he was an idiot. I think I hurt his ego. Seriously it was like he was Doogie Howser and just trying to prove he was a real doctor.

He called security. Seriously?!!

Now I know the security guy. He sits at the desk before you enter the orthopedic area. Sometimes he buzzes me in without being called so we can play with the toys in there. He even has held the narrow door open while I navigate my double stroller through it. He’s this older, over weight guy. When he walked in I think he recognized me. I said hi and he said hi back awkwardly. The social worker said, “It’s fine, we’re just going out to get a snack.” The doctor then piped up like a wounded toddler, “You need to help her walk out, she’s under some sort of influence.” For one thing, what an infantile thing to say! He knew very well it was because I wasn’t feeling well. I hadn’t mentioned the blood work because it was none of his $%&# business, but I never once did anything to show otherwise. I turned to stare him down because I was not leaving without giving him the worst look imaginable. I told him I would report him. When the security guy put his hand on my arm it scared me because I didn’t really think he’d grab my arm and I hadn’t seen him coming. I jerked my arm out of his grasp.

It was like you would jerk your arm away if you felt something tickle you. It was not wild. I did not swing it. I did not step towards him in any way. I simply jerked my arm away. I was tired, hungry and I had just had blood work done and now it was looking like Roland would be in casts forever. I was going to be late getting Laelia from school too. I swear people are so bent on following the rules and keeping to the letter of the law that they don’t consider the circumstances at all. I walked back out to the larger waiting area and two more security guards were waiting there, a skinny guy and a woman. I recognized the woman because Laelia had said her braids were pretty once and asked me to do her hair that way. These people kindof knew us. They said they wanted to clear up what happened and asked me if I’d been drinking. I explained the blood work (even though I don’t think they can legally asked me about that since it’s medical) and explained that I needed to call my husband. They said I should wait but I realized they were just security people and not real police so I called Charley up and he got Chelsea to get Laelia and drive her to Lauren’s house. I then told Charley about doctor Doogie and asked him to look up ways to make serious complaints about a doctor.

Charley showed up at the hospital to get Roland into the clinic and get his casts finally taken off. I wish there was a way for Doogie to have to pay for the lost wages. While they were in there two police officers showed up to get statements. They said the security guy had said I took a swing at him. Even the social worker said it was a “knee-jerk reaction” because I just hadn’t seen him coming. I got arrested for disorderly conduct. At least I think so since I don’t remember (several days later) them even reading me my rights or anything! Charley was in the casting room so I asked the social worker to get him. I followed them to their car feeling like I weighed 800 pounds. I didn’t get hand-cuffed or anything either. They drove me down the road and I mostly just sat in their office a long time. But then I finally ate something and everything was better! Too bad I had to go to a darn police station to get food!!!

I got my fingerprints taken and at one brief point I sat in an area where I could still see the police office but it was technically behind bars. That’s about as bad a story as I have for being a hardened criminal. Ten minutes behind bars. Charley came to get me and that took forever. At one point an officer offered him a coffee and Charley had a knee-jerk reaction too and punched him in the face.

And that is why we’re both sitting in jail right now.

Happy April Fools.

See, isn’t that story so much more exciting than what really happened? Which was me having a vasovagal reaction, passing out, waking up in an ambulance and being too nauseated and weak to even attend Roland’s cast removal. I thought so.

Four limbs in casts

Saturday, October 13th, 2012

Rolly Man in two casts

“Did he break his legs?”

“What happened to his legs?!”

“Did he fall?”

Speaking to her child after we walked by, “And that’s why you have to be careful.”

“Oh no! What happened?!”

“Does he have clubfeet?” (Bless you informed person!)

Rolly Man in three casts

“How’d he break his arm?”

“Oh my goodness that little guy has a broken arm!”

“How’d you break his arm? Oh Lord, his legs too?!!”

“Well I’d be fussy too with a broken arm.”

“What happened to this guy?!”

“Oh how terrible!”

Rolly Man in four casts

“Isn’t he cute!”

“Those sure don’t slow him down!”

“Is he a Ninja Turtle?”

“If you give him a purple mask he could be  Donatello.”


“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!!!”


Really?! So I’m a horrible parent who broke my son’s legs or an evil parent who broke my son’s arm too, or… the parent of a ninja turtle.

Four casts it is then.

Thank you October (aka Halloween season) for making the guy in four casts acceptable.

And now a word from the orthotist…

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

We had mailed Laelia’s KAFOs (leg braces) to Philly for an adjustment because of a lock that was releasing prematurely. Below is the follow up email from the orthotist (guy who makes the braces). His words are in quotes, copied and pasted from the email he sent me.

(Oh and we totally went to the beach today because we live in San Diego where you can’t walk ten feet without falling into the ocean. So also enjoy random pictures of my daughter on beach day… also known as Thursday.)

“Just to touch base with you about Laelia’s KAFO’s. Please look for them  in the mail this morning. They were mailed Fed-ex morning delivery.”


Robot Legs Lali

“The  braces were thoroughly inspected, the locks were dismantled and  inspected for wear and then reassembled.”


“I personally looked over each  joint and inspected the teeth of each gear.”

Fish girl!

“I did find lots of sand and  grit, perhaps from the beach or a sand box.”


“This grit mixed with the  lubrication in the joint and it did gum up the teeth a little, so it is  my assumption this is what caused a premature release on the locks while  standing.”


“Cleaning them with a solvent has resolved this problem. I must  caution you that when she plays in this type of environment to cover the  braces with sweat pants, nylon wind pants, or pajama bottoms to keep the  sand out.”

Keeper of the sand dragon!

What a fun day!


So… no idea what our orthotist is talking about.


Laelia is super smart!

Sunday, April 1st, 2012

Laelia has always seemed to have above-average intelligence. Of course I think that because I’m her mom, but more and more teachers and professionals are agreeing with me. Laelia started out with a speech delay if you can believe it. It turns out this was caused by a lack of sensory input when her little body could not interact with her environment. Kinesthetic learning is very important in those  formative  years to develop speech. The body works together in mysterious ways (which I’ll get to more later)! Once we started bringing her toys up to her mouth (where all those sensory nerves are) and doing exercises with her to encourage movement, her speech caught up! And not too long afterwards she surpassed her peers!

She’s been going to preschool since she was two years old. It started at two hours, twice a week and now it’s up to four hours a day, five days a week. Laelia loves to learn. She loves to spell letters and learn songs. She loves school. And her teachers love her. I always get glowing reports. Even Laelia’s doctor says she should be a very smart lawyer or professor when she grows up. I believe it.

Lately Laelia has shown us even more abilities than before. It started out when her teacher started doing flashcards with her. The flashcards are suppose to help her be able to sight read. But without being told what the words were, she was getting them the very first time! She went from sight reading less than five words to sight reading over 30 words!

So we’ve been really impressed with Laelia obviously. She’s the smartest kid alive in our opinion. But one of her teachers told me that it probably wasn’t sight reading so much as memorizing. To test it out they didn’t show her the cards and just asked her what the next word was and she told them correctly every time. The teacher then concluded that Laelia just memorized the list of words. Still memorizing is pretty impressive so I was still thrilled. Then the teacher mixed up the cards and without showing Laelia what they were asked her what the next card was. But to everyone’s surprise, she told her correctly! Not just once, but ten times in a row!

Next her teacher started to get out flash cards with pictures on them: stars, hearts, circles, squares. Without showing Laelia the card they asked her what was on the other side. She got every one of them right except she called the picture of a club (like on a deck of cards) a “flower.” One of the teachers laughed and said it was a joke, but the other one gave us a number to call and told us that Laelia was very special.

The number we called was for a class on neural cognitive processes. It cost money. And it was complicated. To quote them from their website here in San Diego: “Empathy processes can be explored within a three-level model distinguishing neuronal, cognitive and intra-psychic operating levels. Cognitive and intra-psychic processes need not to be collapsed. Neural systems involved in empathy are described through neuroimaging and event-related potential (ERP) studies. On the cognitive level, empathy is threefold: procedural, semantic and biographical. Automatically activated since birth, procedural empathy processes are deeply enrooted in visuo-motor response capacities and responsible for automatic mimicry. These processes might rely on a prior sensori-motor contagion system.” Bla bla bla. This class was for extreme parents in my opinion, and worst of all, there was no childcare offered!

But these guys redirected me (after waiting on hold FOREVER) to the people who dealt with preschool children, and finally we spoke with Dr. Prevorkien. She said that Laelia qualified to have a free brain scan! I told her we were really busy with Charley’s recovery from surgery and everything, so she offered to do it for free (yay!) and out of her office. I made sure my husband was comfortable at home and then loaded Laelia into her car seat and headed over to her office. The brain scan machine was really cool!

Sorry I’m taking this with my camera and you can see a glare on the screen.

Apparently all the orange areas of Laelia’s brain are working a lot better than they should be. Dr. Prevorkien said this exact thing was linked to psychic ability and can be exercised for maximum effectiveness.

So for the last week we’ve been enrolled in Dr. Prevorkien’s preschool and Laelia is doing really well. Laelia has been practicing hard and is now a Level 2 Laser  Lotus. Besides reading cards Laelia can now also talk to animals.

“Hello Mr. Lizard!”

“Hello! …We are your overlords!!!”

Next we’re signing her up to do a hotline and make us some money. Not going to let my little psychic genius go to waste!

Happy April Fools Day everyone!



Thursday, February 9th, 2012

It’s like accomplishments left and right! :) Hahahaha!

Superior Piano Playing

Thursday, December 8th, 2011

Here’s another oh-my-gosh-my-child-can-stand moment. :)

AMC Awareness

Saturday, November 12th, 2011


One of my AMC mommy friends found this  video  online the other day. It looks like a video for occupational therapists to get an overview of arthrogryposis.  That’s awesome! When I was watching it I spotted  four pictures that were very familiar. They were familiar because I took them. Two are of my daughter, one has my daughter in it but it’s hard to see her, and the last one is of her AFO (and my husband’s left butt cheek). One of those pictures even shows my friend,  Chelsea, doing Laelia’s hip stretches.

Google is credited for all the pictures. I guess my name is Google. :)

I actually love the video. I was thrilled to see my little girl in it, as well as a few of her friends.  I think more videos like this should be made available. I have given permission to a few people to use my daughter’s image for OT or PT presentations. The Child Development staff at Rady  Children’s Hospital knows they can take pictures now and get permission later. I can’t help it that my daughter is gorgeous (“Gorgeous” is even the nick name her Grandma calls her), and everyone wants to use her picture.

But now  I do  want to be clear: You must ask permission to use my daughter’s image. If it’s for OT or PT-related things, you’ll get it. If it’s for AMC awareness, you’ll get it. If it’s for something silly, you’ll get it. If it’s for a listing of beautiful children, you got it. But if it’s for bullying or supporting an agenda that’s political or religious, you won’t get it.


Great. And now I feel compelled to balance out the universe by taking a random picture off the Internet and crediting Google for it. :)

Kitten with arthrogryposis.

Picture by Google. Duh. :)



The kid is alright

Saturday, November 12th, 2011

All this  last week I have been adjusting to my new role of housewife, super PTA mom and work-from-home  employee. I’ve been failing miserably! Thus no blogging this week. And before this blog post turns into a whine fest about how much I miss my normal job and boohoo I have to do dishes now, I’ll start talking about Laelia.  :) People  have been  asking about  the kid  to see if she’s doing okay after surgery. She’s doing so well I forget she had surgery last week. This was what she was like right after surgery.

Last  Saturday she was begging to do some weight bearing on her knees. Since physical therapy for the first week is Laelia-directed, I let her do it.  I was still a little  afraid I’d break her, but she was harder on herself than I would have been. With a little   help from Dora the Explorer, Lali logged  over an hour of weight bearing! She’s very independent and nothing will hold her back.

I cringed thinking of her sore hips, but she wanted to hear daddy’s story while holding her toes.

Laelia’s school: Last  Monday  I had a school meeting to determine if Laelia could go back to school. It was going to be with a nurse or health person of some kind. Anyway when we landed in San Diego and I  listened to my messages I had  missed two calls from the school saying that the health person was not available for another week! I thought, “Oh no! No school for a week and me with a new job on Monday!” Well thankfully Sunday night our SEEC (Special Education… something something) coordinator, Sue,  called and after I explained that the surgery went really well and was even technically “an outpatient procedure”  (Laelia didn’t stay at the hospital overnight… and she didn’t really need to stay very long at all) then  Sue suggested I email the school to tell them since I couldn’t call on a Sunday night.  So I emailed the director and hoped for the best. I worried about it all  that night despite trying not to think about it.  The next morning I showed up for school and once people saw Laelia and that she wasn’t in pain or in casts, and she didn’t need any medication of any kind, they let her stay at school that day! When the director said, “Okay sign her in,” my brain didn’t register the words and I was all, “Sign her in for what?”  :) Before  I had been told  she would  definitely  not be allowed  to go back to  school on Monday, but since she was fine they let her! They are saving our big meeting with the health person for after her bigger surgery this spring.

Laelia’s bus: Tuesday morning after the bus didn’t show up I fought with the  bus people  over the phone for 40 minutes. A weird thing happened–they  put me on hold at one point  but without actually putting me on hold. That meant I could hear them dealing with another parent who was very upset. I also could hear them dealing with her in the way they deal with me: with the tough talk, “I’m sorry ma’am, next time call at least two weeks ahead of time… uh huh… well then you should have stood in a more visible spot… uh huh… well it’s our procedure to…” and so forth. When they hung up with that parent I heard them say something like, “Well she’s right. We didn’t do our job and now her job is in jeopardy. I feel for her.” Then they got back on the phone with me!!! And at this point everyone just seemed more human, and I felt more confident in what to say. Long story short, a bus came that morning (very late) for my daughter, and after that her regular bus drivers (whom I adore) have showed up every morning and afternoon since!

Mommy works from home: The great thing about this shift in my job is that I’m able to attend every school meeting. Like Thursday night I went to a Community Advisory Committee  meeting for parents and staff who support  students with disabilities. It was boring as heck, but I ended up meeting people. In fact  I met someone who would be able to assist me when  we return back to school after Laelia’s next surgery!  My goal is to go to EVERY school meeting in any way related to my daughter’s needs or education from now on. It’s really confusing, but I’m learning stuff! Like there’s something called SELPA and it stands for “Special Education… El… Pa.”

One of the perks of working  from home is that I no longer panic when Laelia gets kicked out of school. Like for example  we were told  Thursday that there was no school on Friday for  Veteran’s Day. (We had missed the reminders since we were in Philly.) In my former life that would have meant some mad scrambling and most likely a day of Laelia and Chelsea bonding while Mommy went to work. This time it meant working from home while my daughter was home! That was exciting for all of three minutes. I was looking forward to this new dynamic of working while parenting. I now know this is impossible. Utterly, miserably impossible. I’m never trying it again. It doesn’t work. No good. Nope.

Next time I will parent during the day, and then start work at 3:00 a.m.  when work  can actually get done.

Laelia’s shots: So Laelia was driving me crazy-go-nuts on Friday since I was trying to work from home at my computer while answering her incessant calls every five seconds followed by the whining and crying of an only  child who is being  ignored. Laelia had a doctor’s visit that day, the school reminded me, because even though our lives are surrounded with doctors, they don’t count! Without a physical from a local doctor Laelia would not be allowed to return to school. In the waiting room a nice couple holding a newborn picked my brain about pediatricians while they offered my little angel a mini Hershey bar. She ate half before her name was called.  After her name was called (Lala or Layla or Layloni, they were close) evil Mommy took. her. candy.  *gasp* Mommy mentioned something  dastardly about “eating it later.” This led to screaming the likes of which has never before been heard. Her first two attempts at the eardrum-piercing scream were too breathy, but the third attempt nailed it. She  had people on the other side of the office poking their heads out from behind their paperwork to stare. Telling her that because she screamed she was now getting no more chocolate did not help matters. Threatening her with a time out got the response of, “You can’t give me a timeout, there’s no timeout place here.” Wow. Let’s just say it takes a lot to make me laugh hysterically in public, but I did. Then I said in a sing-song voice to my precious little daughter who I was not strangling (so, WINNING), I said,  “I hope you get lots and lots of shots today!”

Okay the truth was that I honestly did not know she was getting any shots that day. I never would have  said that if I had known she was getting shots that day.  I thought she was just in for a physical where they checked her tummy and stuff. But she was also in for four shots. Four.  And when the nurse told me this in response to my sing-song statement, well that sobered me up real quick. I immediately said, “Oh honey you are getting shots today, but I didn’t know! It’s not because you didn’t behave correctly. Shots are good for you and they make you healthy. They are not a punishment.”

Nothing I said mattered. For the next half hour everyone within the building heard the loud wales of, “Iiiiiiiiiiiii Doooooooooon’t Liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiike Shots! Nooooooooooooooooooooooo! I doooooooooooon’t waaaaaaaaaaaaaaant!!!!!!!!! Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!!!” I told her that if I could I would take one for her. She got hopeful and said between sobs, “I wish you  could take all  my shots!” Stinker.

After the pokes they gave her a treasure box toy for being so… um, loud? She happily strolled out of the office cheerfully playing with her tiny plastic camera. I didn’t strangle her once.  Where’s my parenting trophy?

More parenting stuff: In other news, I’m starting to regret telling my daughter about the time I found a horse outside. He had escaped from the fair and was wandering the Carl’s Jr parking lot all done up like a faerie tale. It was probably the most exciting thing that ever happened to little kid me. I ran up to him and held his reins. I had no idea what to do next, but was grinning my head off. My sister had to tell my mom that I had a horse when she showed up. Her facial expression was priceless. It was a great memory. I told  Lali about my horse during our bedtime story. (A quick aside about our bedtime stories, in the beginning it was all  Bible stories and great works of literature. It didn’t take long to devolve into Disney princesses. Now I’ve started telling her  stories about my childhood and how her daddy and I met and married. I lost my mom when I was nineteen and I regret not knowing more about her precious memories. So now I make an effort to share mine.)

But now  I’m constantly hearing in my daughter’s overly excited voice, “The next time you see a horse outside get me!” Then her tone drops to a  serious one. “I want to ride him. I will ride on him. On the horse.”


Tonight I taught Laelia how to play Uno. We take out the wild cards for now, but leave in all the other ones. She beat me three out of three games! I only helped her the first game! She’s really good at this even though the box says ages 7 and up. Because of the arthrogryposis in her hands we hold something (in this case the Candyland game box) between us  so she can lay her cards out without having to hold them. And that way I can’t see her cards. Well not that I’d need to since every time she  has a turn she starts out by  announcing every card she has.  (It makes the game take ten billion years to finish. “Oh that’s a green seven. That means I need a green card or a  seven card.  This card in my pile is red and it’s a six. This card is blue and it’s a zero. This card…”) The discard pile and deck are to the right of the Candyland lid so we can both see them  and get to them. It works really well!  Well until she has to reach over to grab a card. Then I catch her starting to poke her little nose over the lid to see my cards.  She says, “I’m just counting them!” Or, “I’m just seeing if you have a four!” So, you know, it’s totally justified. :) Still I don’t know how she’s beating me. I’m not letting her win! Maybe I need to start enforcing the rule where you have to  say “Uno” when you have one card left. Instead she does a little dance and sings, “I have one card left! I have one card left! I’m gonna wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiin. You’re gonna loooooooooooooooooose.”

I respectfully reply, “You mean ‘Uno’ dear.”