Monday, November 30, 2015

Breakfast for Dinner

Last night, it was just the boys and myself at the house.  Older Stepdaughter was off with friends, Younger Stepdaughter was in the hospital for DKA (again), and My Beloved Wife was at the hospital with her.

Around 5:30 Youngest Son came to me and asked if it was time for dinner.  I said yes, it was about time.  He said "We probably don't have much time to cook."  I said we still had some time.

Then he asked if we could have breakfast for dinner.  I asked him what he meant by that.  He said bagels, toast, apples, and oranges.  I said breakfast for dinner would be ok, but we needed to add some protein, and that I thought we had some frozen sausage patties in the freezer.

He then asked if he could help make dinner.  Naturally, I said yes.  I put him in charge of making toaster waffles for everyone.  We ended up with sliced apples, oranges, toaster waffles with your choice of syrup or nutella (Oldest Son's idea), and sausages.

We had fun doing it together.

Saturday, November 28, 2015


Youngest Son has been talking about what he wants for Christmas.  A lot.  At the top of his list is Lego Dimensions, a video game.  I don't want to buy him more video games.  He asked me many times if I was going to get him Lego Dimensions, and I've avoided committing.

Then a few days ago, he told me not to worry about it, because he was going to wish for it.  Which is naively, achingly, sweet.  And now I'm torn.  I don't want to buy it for him, but I also want him to believe that his wishes can come true.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Car Talk

I drive Youngest Son home to my house on Wednesday evenings and drive him to school on Thursday mornings.  Sometimes he says very interesting things.  One morning he said “I think I know why Middle Son lives at your house and not mom’s.  It’s because he does a better job of not running away at your house.”  Which is indeed correct.

Like most eight-year-old American boys, Youngest is obsessed with video games.  If we let him he would spend most his time playing video games and the rest of his time talking about them.  I recently added a new rule.  He is not allowed to talk about video games in the car.

We’ve a rule in place for a while that on the drive home he has to tell me about two things that happened that day.  Mostly I hear about what he had for lunch at school and what he did at recess.  Since adding the “no video game talk”, I now hear more about school and what he does with his friends. 

I’m glad I added that rule.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015


It’s often difficult to get Oldest Son to engage with me on challenging topics.  He’s worried about what his future holds.  High school graduation is fast approaching.  He wants to go to college in Olympia.  The idea of him living semi-independently in a dorm (or independently in an apartment) scares me.  Especially him doing it too far away for me to stop by and see how things are going.  I think it scares him too.

Recently when I was driving him to the library, he started talking to me about it more openly than usual.  I think the fact that it was just the two of us made it easier for him.  I’ve heard from other parents that they find out more about what’s happening with their kids while driving them around.  That’s true with Oldest as well. 

I’m going to make a point of driving him around more in the future.  I wonder what I will learn.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Talking to the Pediatrician

Wow, it's been a long time since my last post.  I find that I've missed writing.  It helps me clarify things and clear my head.  So I'm starting again.

This summer, Middle Son seemed to be having problems with his ears.  It's always hard to tell with him.  He was covering them with his hands.  When asked if his ears hurt, he signed yes.

I took him to the doctor.  She tried to look in his ears.  He didn't want her to.  He is now big and strong enough that if he objects to a procedure we can't force it.  She gave us a referral to Children's Hospital to see if they could do it.  I made an appointment.  The ENT tried to look in his ears and also failed.   We scheduled an ear exam under anesthesia.  The doctor said that ear infections often clear themselves, and that if he seemed better next week we could cancel the appointment.

He did seem better, so I canceled it.  A few weeks later he again seemed to be having problems.  I called to schedule the exam.  The scheduling nurse suggested that I call the pediatrician in the meantime and ask for antibiotics.

I called the pediatricians office and left a message asking for a prescription.  A little later the nurse called and said the doctor wanted me to bring Middle in for an exam before prescribing antibiotics.  I told the nurse this was a waste of time given what happened that last time I took him in.  The nurse, sounding uncomfortable, repeated that the doctor wanted me to bring him in.  Realizing that the nurse was just the messenger, I asked to speak directly to the doctor.  The nurse, with a note of relief in her voice, said she would arrange it.

The pediatrician called.  I asked why she wanted me to bring him in.  She said so that she could check for an infection.  She sounded surprised that I was asking.  I asked how she would do that.  Sounding even more surprised, she said by looking in his ears.  I asked if she'd looked at the notes from his last visits.  She said no.  I told her that during his last visit the doctor had tried to look in his ears and failed.  We'd go the hospital, where the ENT tried to look in his ears and failed.  We had an anesthetized exam schedule, but it would be another two weeks before we went in.  In light of all that, I asked if she still thought it was worth me bringing Middle in to her office.

She sheepishly apologized for not looking at the notes, and asked me what pharmacy she should send the antibiotic prescription to.