Overheard – The Force

Her: Can you make me some frothy milk with vanilla (squinty cute face included).

Him: Incredulous Do you KNOW what you’re asking…I mean, Vadar is on his ass.

Her: Oh. That’s right. It’s okay, wait unitl after the Deathstar is blown up. It’s cool.

Him: No. No. It’s cool, I mean THIS time Luke might not make it…he just might not use that force. I mean it is his DAD shooting at him, could you imagine if I were shooting at Jack, blah, blah, blah

Her: under her breath Goddamn you apple tv, goddamn you straight to hell.

Picky Eating (Lawyers, Guns and Money)

Jack is a picky eater. At first we thought it was teething. And then we thought maybe he just got it from me. And then, as time went on, it became clear that his picky eating habits can be traced back to his early arrival.

He has a high palate, a consequence of being on the ventilator in the NICU. He hates things that are slimy, cold, or mushy, a possible sensory disorder.

Most disturbingly, he has a problem with food that doesn’t dissolve in his mouth. Protein, like chicken or hamburger he’ll gladly accept, but then it just sits in a little pouch in his mouth, like little baby chewing tobacco. Usually he gets upset after 15 minutes or so of “chawing” and we have to go in and dig it out.

Prematurity strikes again…

Our Occupational Therapist believes he’ll benefit from Speech/Feeding Therapy. He passed his first speech evaluation with flying colors, but that was before he turned 1. Speech Therapist’s in NYC stop adjusting for prematurity at age 1, and our occupational therapist assured us that he should now automatically qualify given his pre-existing issues and the whole not swallowing thing. She submitted our paperwork in August.

Yes. Well. You can guess where I am going with this.

Stay tuned, because if the evaluation doesn’t happen soon we’ve been advised to consider legal action against Early Intervention. I am not a fan of litigation having been bullied by more than my fair share of lawyers in the past – Helloooo $2 million dollar law suit that we settled for less than 4 figures. Oh, Oh or what about the one where I was the first car in a 3 car pile up and I was one the getting sued?! Hrmph. Assholes.

Anyway. Lawsuits and I clearly don’t mix. They annoy me and make me cranky, and then I curse. That said, I am not afraid to sue the pants off the State of NY, not if it will help Jack. Not if might help someone in the future who doesn’t have the resources to take legal action when they are continuously denied the services that they qualify for.

Now. I just have to find the time to call our lawyer.

On and On

You would think that 345 days later our insurance company would have worked it out.

Maybe I am naive. Scratch that. CLEARLY I am naive to think that un-named insurance company would have figured out what we owed the doctors who delivered Jack and took such wonderful care of him for 70+ days in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit…in 2006

Turns out that despite the fact that we’ve met Jack’s deductible about 7 times over in the past year, we didn’t meet his deductible for 2006 because WE JUST STARTED GETTING THOSE BILLS.

Um yeah. Nothing like playing the “well one year ago today we were (moving into our new apartment, entering the hospital, moving to our 7th bed on L&D)” game and then getting the medical bills to boot.

I guess next year I’ll be like “well one year ago today I was fighting with the insurance company. Again.”

Small Beagle for Sale

Older, very soulful male beagle, responds to the name “Hollis.”

Has several warts (what? they build character) and very, very lovely long smushable ears.

Ideal owners must lack a sense of smell. Also? They must be cool with a dog in diapers.

That’s right. The cease fire has been lifted.

Hollis

We haven’t written about Hollis in a while. We actually haven’t even really talked about Hollis in a while. He’s been persona non grata in our house for quite some time actually.

It started with Hollis peeing on our bed right after Jack came home.

After ruling out UTIs and various other ailments through several expensive vet visits we determined there was no medical reason for the peeing. He was pissed, pardon the pun, that he was no longer top dog.

We thought it would get better. After all, the dog has a full time nanny, a dog walker and a little boy who drops food everywhere; he should be happy, right?

Well. No. Not if you’re a 12 year old “mostly” beagle.

He started peeing everywhere. It was like we had a cat, but the cat was actually a dog. He was banned from our bed, from the couch, from Jack’s room. And we thought, “well, it can’t get any worse.”

*sidebar: the dog has seen dog therapists, received doggy anti-anxiety meds, gets walked 6 times a day and is rarely alone. We’ve done it all. The resignation in our tone is just that, we’re resigned to living with Dog Piss.

So that whole “it can’t get any worse.” Um yeah. Hollis decided one night about 10 days ago that he was angry. He decided to demonstrate his anger by climbing INTO Jack’s fancy maxi-cosi car seat, crouching and peeing for several (clearly) very satisfying minutes. We didn’t witness this. We discovered the “incident” several days later clued in by the stench… we couldn’t figure out why our house still smelled like dog pee, BECAUSE WE HAD JUST MOPPED THE FLOOR… AGAIN.

This incident really freaked me out. I started to think maybe Hollis was going to have to “go away to the country.” He was clearly unhappy, we were clearly unhappy. What is a conscientious dog owner to do? We started discussing our options. He could do a trial visit with my mom and her dog Amos; they seem to like each other pretty well. We could look into beagle rescues, knowing that there were very few owners out there looking for a 12 year old beagle who likes to sleep and pee on furniture. We were very frustrated and we were also very worried.

Fast forward to this weekend. The family drove down the mid-Atlantic corridor, stopping to see my Mom in Philly and then continuing on down to DC to spend the weekend with Arch’s Mom & Peter. As with almost all of our road trips, Hollis was with us.

We had a lovely weekend. There were dinner parties and walks along the Potomac, there were searches for missing bracelets that were not missing, there was even a little drinking. And there was a Sunday Brunch. Hollis was with us for almost all of these events.

Walking back to the car after Sunday brunch, Hollis was suddenly attacked by a pit bull. He’s okay, but he was pinned at the neck by a much much bigger dog and it was very dramatic for about 30 seconds. Seemingly unscarred by the experience Hollis shook off the *relatively* near death experience and walked on.

I however, was not able to shake off the attack so easily. Last night, I called Hollis “little man” for the first time since Jack came home. He slept in bed with us for the first time since November, and he may have even had a piece of chicken before I left the house… He might even have some more chicken when I get home tonight. Or maybe some steak. I am not sure.

This is dramatic shift from where Hollis was in terms of organizational hierarchy just a day ago.

So, we have a cease fire for now, although I make no guarantees that the new “kinder, gentler era” will prevail.