Ass Strep

School started for everyone recently!  This means new germs in the house!  Yay!  I love getting sick!

Warning:  I don’t pull punches or censor myself.  Read at your own risk.

A Rash Harkens Doom!

About two weeks ago, Littles had a diaper rash.  He’s my third, so I figured I could get rid of it on my own.  It hurt him, and he would beSick Littles in tears as soon as his diaper was wet, convinced he had pooped.  If he pooped, the tears were bigger.  I fought this bad boy as much as I could, but it would not go away.  Baking soda baths, air time, changing him constantly, was using water instead of wipes, bag balm, Neosporin, you name it.  It would not go away.  And it looked funny.  It was just around his little butthole.  It looked like a combination of someone bleaching their butthole and doing a chemical peel on it at the same time (I warned you).  Some mornings it looked like chorizo was spread over his butthole.  While I am battling this, I get diagnosed with strep.  I didn’t think anything of it.  I keep the fight going.  Plus One gets diagnosed with strep.  Okay, well, we sleep together and I snore a lot.  I probably breathed it on him all night.  No big deal.

Then, Bubba tells me his throat kinda hurts.  I am giving up on the diaper rash from hell, and figure if I have to take one to the doctor, let’s get that looked at so I know what to use on it next.  Bubba has strep now, too.  Okay, he’s a carrier, so he usually tests positive anyway.  Plus One calls because Smash-N-Break’s throat now hurts, too.  Great.  My pediatrician is like Oprah.  You get a strep, you get a strep, you get a strep.  I’d rather have a car, lady.  But, wait!  There’s more!

Its Really Just The End Of Your Throat (Think About it)

madsicklittlesThe diaper rash wasn’t a diaper rash.  It was Ass Strep.  Okay, the doctor just called it strep.  I’m calling it Ass Strep.  And we all got infected with the Ass Strep.  When Littles started this rash two weeks ago, I got strep bad enough there was a pus pocket in my throat that popped when they did the culture.  Littles loves me.  He loves drinking my water, and poking my face, and shoving his fingers in my mouth when I’m talking.  I didn’t think anything of me having strep with what I thought was a diaper rash.  I wash my hands after every diaper change, every bathroom trip, etc.  I wash them constantly!  My hygiene is pretty good, I think.  But, this rash was Ass Strep.

While I’m sick with strep, I let the kids play like kids.  They got dirty.  Bubba takes showers most of the time, because he’s older and is responsible.  Plus 3 kids in a tub is a tight squeeze.  But, Smash-N-Break and Littles share a tub.  But there was one night that Bubba wanted a bath.  See where I’m going?  I put the Ass Strep in the tub, and then washed Smash-N-Break and Littles (and Bubba one night) with the Ass Strep Water.  I never used the same washcloth on Littles butt and any other body part, but it’s in the water.  Smash-N-Break is a picker, too.  So, all his bug bites he picked open to bloody scabs, and they were in the Ass Strep Water.  You can imagine how they look right now.  Plus, Littles and Smash-N-Break are young – hygiene isn’t always high on their list.  They’re also boys, so their hands are always in their pants.  Ass Strep was easily spread.  So, we all have Ass Strep.

Alls Well That Ass Well

We are all now on antibiotics.  Well, I’m not as I have already finished my 10 day course.  I hope I don’t get re-contaminated with Ass Strep.    I also have two tubes of antibiotic ointment for the Ass Strep.  One is labeled for butt, one for body.  I have to put that one Littles and Smash-N-Break three times a day.  Smash-N-Break has a smashandbreaksicklot of scabbed over bug bites.  I hope one tube will do it.  Tomorrow will mark everyone else being on antibiotics for 24 hours.  The decontamination of our Ass Strep bathroom will commence, complete with fresh new toothbrushes for all 5 members of the Adventures Family!  Bleach water solution for everything that isn’t machine washable or dishwasher safe!  I can’t wait.  (That was sarcasm – I can think of a million other things to do than deep clean a bathroom on a Saturday morning.  All of which start with coffee.  One even involves running and Legos.)

Plus One asked me where Littles could have picked up Ass Strep.  Duh.  He licks public.  No, that’s not a typo.  He licks public.  Give the kid anything and he will lick it or put it in his mouth in some fashion (SPD).  If the object doesn’t go in his mouth, his thumb does.  He sleeps with one hand down his pants on his butt (outside the diaper) and a thumb in his mouth.  How an Ass Strep pandemic hasn’t happened at our house before is the miracle!

Isn’t parenting glamorous!?  Admit it – y’all are jealous.  Damn Ass Strep.

The Evaluation, Is It Autism Or … What

All of my reading and research on ADHD and anxiety has helped in other ways than blaming myself for everything.  It got me to find Bubba and Smash-N-Break a behavioral therapist.  Bubba to learn some coping skills for his anxiety, and Smash-N-Break to (hopefully, God, please) learn an impulse control.

Bubba

Bubba is like me – he’s a stuffer.  I know, I know – it’s kind of shockingmarshmellows that I would say I stuff my feelings but also write about feelings and things publicly on a blog on the webernet.  It’s the internet – it’s out there forever.  I’m crazy, duh.  We’ve been over this.  But, Bubba is like me.  He stuffs his feelings and you have to pull them out of him.  His therapist sees it.  She knows she will have to build the trust.  Bubba shuts down when I yell (or when Plus One yells).

So, we need to change it and NOT yell.  When you have Smash-N-Break who doesn’t listen, respond, or stop, we yell more than we should.  So, we’re changing our parenting.  It’s a good thing.  The kids deserve it.  But it isn’t easy.  We also have to explain it to other people, like football coaches and teachers.  They’ve been great.  I tell them not to feel like they have to walk on eggshells, just how he may react to yelling, and how to get him to calm down and come back to the present in those cases.

Smash-N-Break

Smash-N-Break – even his therapist has admitted she has her work cut out with him.  She also warned me she sees some red flags.  He has trouble making friends with kids his own age.  He is repetitive.  He likes to sort things in ways that make no sense to me.  He has ADHD.  He has SPD.  He walks on his toes (curled).  He has language issues and pronoun confusion.  He has a stutter when he starts a junglesmashsentence and he is overwhelmed/excited/anxious/etc.  He takes things literally.

His therapist explained expected and unexpected and how unexpected can twist your heart.  (I’m really paraphrasing here.)  Smash-N-Break honestly thinks his heart is twisted in his chest now.  He has a loud voice and a quiet voice, but not really much of one in between.

He doesn’t really do the give and take of a conversation.  It’s pretty one sided, usually.  If he wants to talk, you can’t get a word in edgewise.  If he doesn’t want to talk, you will have a monologue of questions.  Noise hurts him and has caused him to act out.  He doesn’t play pretend as much as his brothers do, and it’s usually their idea.

He doesn’t listen – I’ve often wondered if he has a hearing problem.  He has so many questions.  Compared to Bubba, he asks about 10 times as many questions.  He has no patience.  He wants it NOW.  He is the definition of hyperactive.

So, she’s asked us to have a speech evaluation done for the stutter.  Okay, can do.  It’s scheduled.  She is also concerned about autism.  Aspergers specifically.

*Screech sound effect*

What?  Smash-N-Break?  He makes eye contact!  He’s outgoing!  I workingmanknow autism is more than that, but it’s been drilled into my head that this is the BIG SIGN.  Yeah, he doesn’t talk to kids his own age, but he’s just shy.  Right?  It’s the ADHD, isn’t it?

Doctors have warned me about autism signs in Littles, and he’s outgrowing those as he gets older and gets more occupational therapy.   She’s going to keep a watchful eye on him, but since we’re already having a speech evaluation done, why not have an informal* autism evaluation done, too?  If the evaluation comes back “negative”, but she still has concerns in 6 months or so, a neurophysiologic exam is the next step.  If the evaluation comes back “positive”, well, I guess we have an answer.  I took the CAST test, too.  He got a 22.  Above a 15 is indicative of more testing necessary.  Okay.

Guess We Need To Do That Evaluation

The evaluation is coming up.  I’m scared.  I don’t know why.  Well, I know why.  I’m good at blaming myself and feel like I’ve wasted years that could have been helping him.  The stutter – I always assumed he was just excited to get his words out.

smashfishingI had him evaluated for speech in Colorado.  They said he had a “slight speech delay”, but that it wasn’t enough to warrant therapy.  I should have pushed more.  I’ve tried correcting him on pronouns for almost 3 years now, and it hasn’t helped.  He still uses the wrong ones.  He can’t say certain words.  I know that, no matter what, the Smash-N-Break before the evaluation is the same Smash-N-Break that will be there after the evaluation.  I will love him just the same.   I know all of this logically.  It doesn’t help.

What do you pray for when you see the warning signs, too?  Do I just see them now because someone mentioned them?  Is this another “Overactive Oversensitive Q”?  Do you pray for a diagnosis that would be lifelong, because then you at least have answers?  Do you pray for someone to say “Nah, he’s good”, but then you still have the red flags waving?  If he gets a diagnosis, or needs services, do I pull him out of his new preschool?  Or do we go the private insurance route?

If he has to go to a new preschool, the one he will go to requires a uniform.  That will go over like a lead-balloon filled with a fart in church.  How do I do that?  He will feel like there are ants all over him teetersmashwith the clothes they require from his SPD.  How am I going to fit all of the appointments into our days, and still get done what needs to be done?

Am I borrowing trouble right now?  Probably.  I’m good at that when I don’t have a plan and can’t have a plan without others input.  Should I put down the coffee cup today, since I’m working myself up into spaztastic levels?  Yes, yes I should.

I’ve known Smash-N-Break was different, just like I knew Littles was different, than other kids.  I could see the differences between them and their older brother.  Bubba is more mainstream, more expected.  So far, I’ve just been praying for strength to be the advocate he needs, and to not sound like a bumbling idiot or forget anything when I talk to the people who will do the evaluation.

Wish me luck.

 

 

*Informal isn’t the right term, but I’m going with it.

Are You Ready For Some Football!

It’s almost the end of August.  I’ve got more reminders and appointments in my phone than I care to admit.  I’m sure I’ll forget some of them.  It’s time for back to school.  Pumpkins and costumes are starting to make their appearances, as well as other fall decorations.  Hobby Lobby has Christmas puked all over the place.

That Can Only Mean One Thing

No, not pumpkin spice lattes.  That’s good, too, but not what excites me the most.  FOOTBALL!!!!

Bubba Running For His First Touchdown
Bubba Running For His First Touchdown

Bubba is playing his first time in Texas, his second season.  It looks like he will be a running back and quarterback both.  It’s midget football – they kind of play everyone.  We’ve at least graduated from “everyone is a winner” liberal Colorado to a team where they will keep score.  They have “developmental quarters” where the score doesn’t count, but the kids can learn the game.

I’m okay with that.  It guarantees that second and third string can play and learn, with a chance to improve.  Out of five quarters, two don’t count.  They will also play the whole field (Pop Warner only played 80 yards at this age), and have kick offs and extra points.  Real football.

HOW COULD YOU DO THAT!?

It also leads to a few issues.  First, you get comments from people about letting him play.  Don’t I know about concussion issues?  Yes, but the younger they learn the fundamentals, the safer they will be.  Plus, have you watched midget football?  It’s not the bone-crushing tackles of division 1 college or pro.

The likelihood of my kid being a pro football player isn’t high.  I’m not knocking Bubba’s athletic ability.  I do wonder where he got it from, because I fall out of bed trying to stand up, but he’s a decent player.  He’s fast, too, which I still haven’t figured out where he got that from.  It’s just a mathematic and statistic thing.  There are 1,696 maximum professional football players at any given time.

I’m willing to let him play a sport he enjoys as safely as possible.  There are so many good things kids can learn from football.  How to read plays, camaraderie, team work, needing to put school first, balancing school, social, and sports, etc.  All the kids will be from the same school district, but not necessarily at the same school.  So, they will need to learn how to communicate as a team when they don’t know each other well yet.

Self Esteem Is Nothing To Laugh At

Bubba Running For TD #2
Bubba Running For TD #2

Plus, it does help him with his anxiety.  He’s so worried before practices and games.  He’s afraid he’s going to screw up.  But, it helps him go out and prove to himself that he can do it.  It helps him learn that he has to practice and work at things to be the best he can be.  With a kid who gets anxious even asking a question in class, this is a good thing.

I still got comments, though.  At least, I did in Colorado.  Texas seems to be a whole lot more accepting.  (Have you seen the size of the Homecoming Mums!?)  There seem to be fewer and fewer younger kids playing football.  It doesn’t seem to have slowed down in high school, though.  At least my kid will be safer if he’s still playing high school.  He’ll have the fundamentals down.

Four Actual Problems With Texas Football

First – Smash-N-Break Is Big

Coaches don’t believe me that Smash-N-Break is too young to play.  He’s big for his age.  He’s almost as tall as Bubba, and weighs more.  He’s not fat – he does have some chubby kid pudge on him, but he’s not fat.  He’s just BIG.  He’s strong, too.  With his energy level, football will be good for him.  He’s already told me he wants to play.  So, I’ve had coaches asking me if he can play.  Not yet – next year, he will be old enough.

Second, Practice All The Things!

Practice is 3 nights a week for an hour and a half to two hours, plus a game.  Plus One and I trade off who stays at practice, and who takes the kids home.  It still sucks for them, though. Now that school is back in session, it’s pick up Smash-N-Break, drive a half hour to pick up Bubba, drive a half hour home.  Quickly do homework, get them a snack, and drive back for practice.

They come home from practice before Bubba, and then I have to cook dinner quickly.  If I’m intelligent (so, not often), there will be a crockpot dinner so it’s faster.  Then bath time sometimes and bed.  If it hasn’t been too long of a day (meaning, did they nap or rest), I’ll read them a story.  They don’t get a lot of quality time with either one of us on football nights.  It sucks.

Games – I lose them.  They wander off, I admit it.  I’m watching the game.  I keep enough of an eye on them that I know their general area at least.  They get bored.  I spend a lot of money at the concession stand because they like treats, and I have money, so they come back to me.  I’ll take that as winning, though.

Third, You Want A Schedule? HAH!

Smash-N-Break wants to play a sport.  I want him to play a sport.  But there’s one of me.  I cannot figure out how to get Bubba to practice, turn around get Smash-N-Break to practice for a half hour, turn around and pick up Bubba without upsetting the apple cart of Littles being stuck in his car seat for 2 hours or more, right at the end of the day.

Plus, Plus One and I would have to miss some of one of their games.  Since Plus One will be helping on the sidelines, that means I have to miss Bubba’s games.  Hence why Smash-N-Break can play next year.  He’s not even 5 yet – missing one season of soccer won’t hurt him.  Is it wrong of me to be like “No, you will both play the same sport”?

Fourth, First-World Problems

It’s better now that we live in Texas.  But, I loathe John Elway.  He’s just, ugh.  He’s taken a team that was reputable and decent and turned them into fouling asshats with criminal issues, all to win a game.  Dude, one of the players  (Talib)  was involved in a shooting at a strip club with marijuana found here in Dallas.

I don’t know if the police found the marijuana on him or not, but it’s obvious he has issues making good choices, to say the least.  Did his mom not shout that at him every day after dropping him off at school?  “I love you, Aqib!  Make good choices!”  Is that just me?

With Elway at the helm, I cannot cheer for the Broncos.  I don’t want my kids to cheer for them.  He’s just not a good or decent person.  When we lived in Colorado, it was orange and blue everything, Broncos are great, yay Broncos.  When you can’t stand the team, it makes Sundays suck because you always have to see the Bronco game.

Now, it’s Cowboys.  I don’t like Jerry Jones.  (Shhhh.  I’m hiding it because I’m still new to Texas.  I did wear a Cowboys jersey into Tom Thumb, though.  You got a discount on your groceries on game day.  I’m cheap.  I’m also hard to please, evidently, based on this paragraph.)

I don’t have a favorite pro team, but I’ll still watch the games.  The kids get it – Thursdays through Monday night, football is on TV.  Go to the playroom if you don’t want to watch it.  Laugh at Mommy and Daddy while they yell at people on the TV doing things they physically could not do when they were that age.  Learn new and creative swear words to get Mommy called into the principal’s office for repeating.  Oh, wait, that’s bad, isn’t it?

Now Shhh

I’m just glad that Bubba’s game times are consistent.  I can still park my butt on the couch and watch at least one NCAA game before he has his games.  Add in that it’s Texas – I won’t be freezing my keester off on the bleachers praying it won’t snow before playoffs can end.

Don’t bother me, it’s football season.