Monthly Archives: January 2006

Anxiety, much?

We’re going to try Ritalin on Ignatz in April. We’ll give it two weeks. That is The Plan. Here’s me plagued with doubt. What if the side effects are really horrible? Do we cut the dosage or decide it’s just not for us? What if it has no effect at all? Do we up the dosage, or do we decide it must not be ADD after all? What if it enables him to focus at school but turns him into a boring little Borg drone? Then it’s not worth it. But what if that’s just because the dosage is too high or too low? How much tweaking? For how long do we have to test each tweak? What if it causes insomnia? He already barely sleeps. What if it suppresses his appetite? He already barely eats. What if it helps with the academics but makes his social behavior worse? Or vice versa? Will we have to go through this whole process with Concerta too? Cylert? Dexedrine? Methylin? Strattera? Wellbutrin? That could take forever.

I don’t even want to medicate my kid. Seriously, I can have a headache for 24 hours before it occurs to me to take an Advil. I just don’t tend to think of medication first. But people with similar problems say it’s helped. It might help him, and he needs help. He’s suffering, and not in a character-building way. I don’t remember her exact words, but Mrs Next Door said something like “Stop criticizing him for things he can’t do anything about. Either give him something that will enable him to be what you want, or accept him the way he is.” Man oh man, is she ever right. And of course I would tend toward the latter, but the world is not going to accept him as he is, and he has to exist outside this family as well. He goes to school, he forgets to hand in tests, he forgets the rules, he can’t restrain himself from talking to his classmates, and those all have consequences. Those consequences fuck with his self-esteem, his behavior deteriorates even further, et cetera. Know what I just found out? He didn’t hate hockey. He liked playing, he was proud of the things he learned. But the team picked on him because he was small and slow, and getting picked on made him hesitant and even slower, which made them pick on him more. Et cetera.

Anyway. I’m just venting, okay? We will try it. He’s in therapy. We will call the special school and set up an appointment. We are doing all we can. This is just the stuff that cycles through my head while I wait to fall asleep.

once again, I wock

Got this from my teacher today:

Really nice job on the Final Exam. Your grade is a 4.0. Your answers were very thorough and clear. You did an excellent job in the course, and will obviously receive a passing grade.

Wow. I did well on the exam. I’m a little…surprised. But very, very pleased.

Gentle Guidance for Husbands

The Sniglet finally has his very own room, what was formerly Dr.Bob’s sanctum sanctorum. Which means He Who Must Be Taken Seriously has moved in with me, and now it seems my bedroom/office could use a bit of spiffing. The piles in the corners, for instance, have got to go, and the whole mattress-on-the-floor thing is also a little too college for a pair of suburban parents beginning the slide into middle age. Today I needed to change the sheets and I noticed we don’t really have enough bedding. And I could use a desk. So yes. Housy things must be purchased, and we all know what that means. Come on, sing it with me…

That’s right. The single greatest threat to marital stability in the Western World, Houseware Hell, Particle Board Unlimited itself. And he did say we need to go and get some stuff. Some time. In the future. Not now. That’s okay, I can wait. And while I wait, the Bob the Builder sheets are on his side of the bed.


Oh, yes. Winter.

Yet another annual tradition that I’d managed to forget about. The heater’s broken. Again, yes. Mm-hm, every year since we moved in! Fortunately we rent, so we don’t have to pay to get it fixed, but if I were the landlord I’d be pretty annoyed by now. Anyway, the fixit guy came yesterday (at weekend rate$, oy vey) and fixed it, but this morning it was down again and Dr.Bob decided to wait and call tomorrow. On weekdays they charge slightly less, and the problem is apparently a part that needs replacing, and you’d never get that done on a Sunday, so even if we called the fixit guy back in, basically it would cost the landlord a bundle and achieve nothing for us. We would still be without heat for an entire day. In the winter. When it’s like 15° out.

Annoyed? Of course not! You all know how much I loooooooove being cold.

It’s a very big, very international company, and apparently I could get in legal trouble for making some general statement about them involving words like “useless” or “garbage” or even “duh”. So let’s put it this way. Our heater was made by Viessmann, and it has broken down every winter, four years in a row. Draw your own conclusions.

a somewhat-sick child

Nothing worth complaining about, of course, especially since the Next Doors had some vile stomach virus last weekend, and with a newborn in the house too, eyuurgh. No, the Sniglet just has a little cold, not a big deal at all. But I still kept him home for two days. Tuesday was a no-brainer – it was their “Wandertag”. This is a German thing: every so often, the school or kindergarten takes the kids on a long walk, through a forest or to a sunflower field or something, for the whole school day. A nice tradition, when it’s not colder than a welldigger’s ass (thank you Mr. Waits), but can we get real for a minute? Lately, you go outside and you can feel the blood vessels in your face freeze and snap. And call me an overprotective helicopter-mama if you will, but even a slightly-sick child should not be marching around the woods in subzero temperatures for three hours. So I kept him home on Tuesday.

Keeping him home on Wednesday was more in the nature of a public-service decision. He refuses to blow his nose, and forgets to cover his face when he sneezes, so I can just see him blatting snerkies all over the kindergarten train-set. Way to make friends.

And that really is about all we’ve had going on. The Peanut had his appointment with his shrink today. She does some kind of play-therapy, so all he ever reports is “We played Monopoly” or some such. I try not to press him for details, it seems like I should try to make this whole process as stressless as I can for him. Besides, she’ll tell me whatever she thinks I need to know at my appointments.

oops, clarification

Yeah, that was ambiguous, wasn’t it? Okay, not ambiguous, it very strongly implied something that is not even slightly true. Very sorry. The Seattle Seahawks are going to the Super Bowl, not me and someone else. I meant we in the sense of our guys and not someone else’s guys. I will be watching it in a pub in Munich, though, so I’ll still be missing the commercials.

But even so. DETROIT, BABY!


So I staggered to bed at 4 a.m. after the NFC game, and set my alarm for 11:30 to be sure I’d get up in time to pick up the Sniglet from kindergarten – Dr.Bob got up with the little vipers at 7, so I didn’t have to. Yes, I am well aware that I have the Best Husband in the Universe, thank you. Anyway, I slept through all that. He did wake me at some point to tell me he was leaving for work, at which I opened one eye, croaked “We won!” and flomped back to sleep. Since then I occasionally break into a little happy-dance, or feel compelled to shout “Detroit, baby!” but mostly I’ve got it under control.

I finished the Final Exam for the database course, which was mind-bogglingly worse than the Final Project which I had thought could not be topped. Life is full of surprises. If he doesn’t send it back for revisions, I am done with the course, which would call for a “yay”, but I’m so wrecked by the whole experience that a feeble “whew” is all I can manage. The course was fine, materials good, teacher great – zero complaints on that score, but I was just so wildly out of my depth. Not to mention overwhelmed by outside events that bore no relation to the course but still affected my work some.

Which makes it all the more important that I get a job in database administration right away, quick before I forget everything. Except that oops, the very husband who was all keen for me to have a career and get out from underfoot and all that is now…not so much. Because around here, jobs are mostly in Munich, and if I have to commute every day, I’ll be gone a lot, and more childcare and housework duties will fall to him. This is not bad per se, see Best Husband comment above. But he has to finish this third book by July or some unspecified form of Career Death will result, so for the next six months he really does need to be writing every minute. Getting up with the kids is a superb thing, because it enables me to sleep more, and gets him up early so he can start working. But it really is the most he can do right now.

In my snarkier moments I used to say that he desperately wanted me to have a career until he found out that it would require me to leave the house occasionally. But I’m not so snarky these days, probably because I’m getting enough sleep.

So there’s the conundrum. By July I will have forgotten everything I learned in this class, I promise. By the time I got to the Final Etceteras I’d already forgotten everything before lesson 4 (of 8), to my chagrin. But I’m still webmastering. Still taking the ambiguously-named Web Techy-Thingy course. Still working for the AHF on fridays. Still helping my husband be a translator. Kinda, maybe, still a bit on the busy side, to be looking for another job. Sigh. I guess timing is everything. Anyway, techie-types don’t actually remember ALL that stuff, they just keep their reference books handy. I’ll just be using my reference books a bit a lot more.


First! Time! EVER!

Woooot! And I can’t even jump and down and scream, because it’s 3:30 a.m. here and I don’t wanna wake the guys.

hooray for Austrians!

Because they’re showing the NFC final on TV. It’s times like this I wish I lived in Munich itself, and could go down to the Arc and watch the Hawks kick some Carolina butt on a big ol’ Satellite sports-bar TV. But it’s a school night, and the trains don’t run between midnight and 6 a.m. and I really can’t be gone all night under the circumstances. But at least I can see it, thanks to the Austrians. Woohoo!

I’m getting tired, though. It’s been a really long time since I stayed up this late.

one piece of progress

I talked to He Who Must Be Humored, er, tuesday maybe, and pinned him down on the Ritalin thing: we’re going to try it for two weeks in April. Because the kid’s just about to start up with the therapist again, and we want her to be fairly well-acquainted with him so that she can help us assess its effects. We’ll also be conferring with his German and English teachers, both before and after.

And then we’ll know.