12.17.2004

Happiness: Semi-Solitude

A quick note from the laptop precariously perched in front of the frantic fish's tank, while Leelo watches Yellow Submarine (his request; probably the psychedelia of it all makes perfect sense to a kid on the spectrum), and Mali sleeps in her cozy little carseat, under the table. Iz is at school, as is my mom--she's helping with their Navidad fiesta. Seymour just went to work. I don't have to negotiate my home space with any other adults for at least 90 minutes. This is a sweet relief. Keep sleeping, baby!

First of all, I am going to go through the fridge and toss lots of leftovers and hope my mom never notices. I do realize that most of what I write about her here is griping, which is unfair--she is ceaselessly cleaning up after all of us, and I don't even want to think about what the house will look like when she leaves after Xmas. Though we won't have the holiday and new baby package onslaught to deal with any more, either, at that point. She is also funny as hell, with a story for every occasion. I am enjoying having her here, and will most likely cry when she leaves, as I did with both the other kids.

Kid cataloguing, in scattershot dispatch format:

Leelo had his remaining ear tube surgically extracted this morning. Seymour was kind enough to take him in, as I didn't see how I could manage both Mali and pre-operative, terrified Leelo. Though fortunately the good people at the hospital (not Stanffford) remembered to slip him the pre-op V drug that prevents hysteria, and all went smoothly. Seymour managed to get to work only about an hour late.

Leelo's reaction to the new regimen of new antifungals, probiotics, digestive enzymes, and antibiotics has been mixed, but mostly positive. He's had a few completely fucking nutty moments (expected from the side effects of yeast die-off), but overall is much more lucid, calm, and focused--even Supervisor M has remarked on it. He is learning and generalizing new things again (e.g., saying "Yes, [insert name here]" when asked a question, or "I want X, [name]" when making a request), and his spontaneous greetings have reappeared, complete with name (to see if he's really back on track, we'll need to test his greeting of MB).

I suspect Iz is still in shell-shock mode from the academic demands of her school. She's not reading much in English these days, not much at all. Perhaps over the break.

Instead of reading, she is asking for TV or music, or is drawing. She frequently requests science documentaries to watch, for instance the one which demonstrates exactly how gold is mined in this modern era compared to the gold rush days--complete with pounding sticks of dynamite into drilled holes in an underground rock face. Or she wants to watch absolute crap like the Eloise movies, which I get stuck watching, too, if I'm nursing, and which make me want to shave and smack the heads of all child (over)actors. Surely they could have found a child who knows how to say "for Lord's sake" properly?

Other creative Iz endeavors: She cut her own bangs last week--the bangs we've been growing out for over a year. Sigh. Thankfully it's just a few strands, and it wasn't all that short, but we'd just gotten her hair to the point where we could put it all back into a ponytail.


Mali had her first non-ideal evening yesterday, the first one in which she interrupted dinner. Unfortunately it was the first one in which I'd felt comfortable taking her out to dine by myself. My samosa appetizer was interrupted by loud grunting and then a liquid explosion from the car seat. Thankfully Surrraj has a changing table in the bathroom, and a comfortable bench upon which to nurse. Mali slept on my shoulder for the remainder of dinner, and, by using strategically placed bowls of chutney as paperweights, I was able to continue reading and eating.

She woke up again, though, as soon as I put her in the car seat, and cried all the way to and through the grocery store (fun!), and then all the way home as well. Turns out she had another full diaper--but I hadn't smelled it or heard it, and it didn't occur to me that she would have two prize-winners in succession. Poor girl. She went to sleep with me at 11, slept until 3, had a snort, and then slept until 7. I can live with only one sleep interruption per night.

She was awake for a couple of big long stretches yesterday, which was nice--but which reminded me how lump-like newborns are. What do you do with them when they're awake, after you're sung and chitty-chatted out? In my case I brought out the Gymini play mat thingie, which she loved, and which just happens to be the same one Iz and Leelo used, returned to us after a few years with cousin Patrick. This is the newborn one, in black/white/red. This color combination, thought to be The Most Stimulating For Infants in 1999, is apparently already passe, as all infant gear these days is multi-colored.

I am enjoying her wakey-time grunting and cooing and just looking around. I think she is intentionally batting at the hanging items from the play mat crossbars. And she is certainly a strong baby, having been able to lift her head up completely since birth.

We're still trying to figure out who Mali looks like. Even though Seymour thinks she looks like Iz, my mom and I think her eyes are totally different, and that she in fact looks more like cousin Elise. My mom keeps calling her a little changeling, and says that the third children in our families are always like that--my grandmother was a blond, blue-eyed elf-child after two robust brunettes, and I didn't look like any baby my mother had ever seen--in fact she sent me back twice, saying that I couldn't be hers as I was too funny looking and she only gave birth to beautiful babies.

Perhaps we will get the tree trimmed tonight. It's been sitting in the corner, with the four or five ornaments that Iz made stuck on it haphazardly, for a week now.

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