And then she ran screaming

I think we got the social skills group/ABA thing handled. Maybe. Not that we have insurance covering it, but the out of pocket rate will be less than originally quoted, so it's doable. So we'll just truck along.

Of course, now the psychiatrist who handles both boys' meds wants youngest to also possibly do CBT with a regular therapist. And she gave me a recommendation. Who's in Fairfax. And whose website scares me a little because it's just full of gender stuff. And...I don't know. I guess I need to see if I can find someone closer (because honestly, driving all over creation grows old. Especially when it takes longer to drive there and back than the actual appointments.) who maybe doesn't look like they're going to say, "Yes! We can help with the behaviors and also, this is your daughter not your son."

Everyone is done with school. I've submitted our proof to the county. I really thought things might just ease up when that happened. But ha. HA. 


It did not.

Hubby's mom is (finally) getting moved into memory care today. By hospice. Because hospice doesn't think she has more than six months because she's basically malnourished. I suspect her intestines have stopped absorbing completely (it's been an issue they've been dealing with for years, and it seems to have just crashed of late.)

My sister's cancer is living la vida loca in her body. She's potentially going to do a new clinical trial, but also maybe not because it's phase one (which is basically "Hey, the monkeys stopped dying, let's try people now!" level.) I don't blame her for not being excited. I won't blame her if she doesn't do it. It has zero guarantees and is, essentially, a way for people who are dying anyway to potentially help future people maybe not die, but also a tiny percentile might benefit now. Seems unlikely that she would fall into that tiny percentile. That's just not how anything in my family works.

My dad is old. And tired of living without mom. And ready to be done with it all.

We'd been doing Hungryroot for a while. I loved the fact that someone else thought up recipes and then shipped me all the ingredients and recipes and so I didn't have to fight with children about what to make, what to shop for, and whether or not they would eat it. It made saying, "This is what it is" so much easier. And it was tasty and so many more veggies than I would normally manage to squeeze into people. Except hubby is like "It's really expensive." And...yeah okay. It is. But we could afford it. Except he doesn't want us to afford it. Because he'd rather put the money somewhere else. And like okay, fine, but it makes my life so much harder. And it was the one thing I'd done to actually IMPROVE something and fix one of my pain points and now it's gone, too. And just...blergh.

I sometimes find myself wondering just how much more a person can take and what, exactly happens, when that line is crossed.


Unrealistic Expectations

I suspect, and honestly have suspected for a while, that if I was growing up today I would probably have some kind of label stuck on me. Asperger's, maybe. Although I guess they don't use that today because reasons. Maybe not.

Whatever it is, I am finally at the point where I recognize that my ability to make and maintain relationships suffers drastically from unrealistic expectations.

I expect that people I call "friend" will treat me the same way I treat them.

And, inevitably, they do not.

I realize that in life there are shades--a spectrum, I guess--of friendship. But it's hard for me to quantify that with my own relationships. To me, it's much more black and white. On or off. Friend. Or Not Friend.

Which, inevitably, means that I miss the signal that what was once a "close friendship" has run its course and is now moving to "acquaintance-ship" or even "really trying to cut ties with you, get the hint lady."

And so, also inevitably, when it finally sinks in I am hurt. And frustrated. And seriously questioning the point of even trying. Because really, if no one did something to the other to cause a problem, why? (Then again, this being me, it's possible I did something and no one has bothered to say anything to me because ...I don't know. I'm not worth the effort?)

I'm just so tired of it.

And now, with the added weight of parenting, I can't even go on a "people aren't worth it" kick, because as Mom, I'm supposed to be encouraging friendships. Suggesting that it's good to get out there and meet people and get to know them. And it's hard because...I'm basically lying to them. What I want to say is "Learn how to be alone! Be content with one, maybe two people in your life who matter. Because more than that just leads to heartache."

But I think that's called trauma dumping. Or something. So I smile. And I lie. And I hope that maybe for them it'll be different.

But they're weird, too. Which means more than likely? It won't be.


If I was Queen for a Day

Everyone knows that the healthcare system in the US has issues. I'll be the first to agree with that. I am not, however, on the side of "Let's just put Uncle Sam in charge of it all!" We did military medicine the first four years of our marriage and honestly, anyone who wants socialized medicine should have to do that for a couple of years (particularly years wherein they aren't super healthy) just to see how awful it is. We were basically healthy and it was still a PITA.


Today's "Queen for the Day" solutions are medical in nature. And I probably couldn't fix it all in one day, although my overall plan is simple: Hospitals and Doctors can charge 20% over cost (or thereabout). Hourly pay for a doctor can't exceed $200 and needs to be commensurate with experience and training. Insurance companies pay what they're charged (since charges are now realistic) which means that sans insurance, self-pay if necessary isn't hideous. And you can't sue a hospital or doctor for "pain and suffering." Malpractice needs to be clearly proven and frivolous lawsuits result in huge fines for those bringing them. The only time there is a payout for malpractice is if willful bad treatment is proven. Accidents and unfortunate circumstances are not open to litigation. You went into care with the assumption of risk and best effort. They provided it under these circumstances. Medicine isn't a promise and sometimes life sucks.

BUT, more specifically today, my QFTD dictate is that therapy is covered as preventative care under insurance. All kinds (physical, occupational, mental) and thus is subject to a copay. Period. No caveats. If a doctor says "You need x kind of therapy." then you are entitled to receive said therapy regardless of presence or absence of whatever diagnosis may or not be "typical" for said therapy.

Yes, super specific. Because youngest has had two psychiatrists recommend ABA. But insurance says, "Oh hey, cool. We cover that, but only with an Autism diagnosis." Well, we don't have one of those. And the psychs say, "We could always do another evaluation and see if it gets diagnosed now." And the insurance company says, "Cool, cool. Just remember we don't cover evaluations either. So that six grand is on you." 

And I'm like, "So...can I self-pay the ABA? Because 6K for something that may not give us the diagnosis we "need" for the therapy seems dumb."

And they're like, "Yeah, of course. It's $250/hour per therapist and there's usually two. Plus we recommend two hours a week."

And insurance is like, "But it'd be a $40 copay if we covered it. Which we do. But just not for you."

And I'm like...FML.

Getting your kid the help they need should be based on my kids need help, they can give it to him, let's coordinate. It should NOT be based on, "Do I get my kid help or afford groceries?"


Mother's Day Shenanigans

We had a quiet and mostly laidback Mother's Day this year. Honestly, if I'm allowed to say there are "benefits" to Mom having died (it feels icky to say even that much, but whatever) - the Mother's Day / Mom's birthday madness going away is lovely.

Because Mom's birthday often fell ON Mother's Day. And she would insist on two separate celebrations. And it was always just...a lot. Once I, too, was a mother (and incidentally also had a mother-in-law) things were even more fraught. Because she wasn't sharing. 

It was a whole thing.

I don't miss it.

Last year, my own Mother's Day was horrific. Everyone was in a horrible mood. Mostly I got forgotten, but that was better than the rampant misbehavior that I had to deal with otherwise. So this year, when hubby asked what I wanted, I said, "Not a repeat of last year."

He laughed.

Sort of.

Anyway, it was a lovely day. We went to church. To our usual Tex-Mex lunch with my dad. Then I loafed on the couch a bit and read. The boys made supper (fondue! Well done, at that.) and we watched John Wick 3, so that eldest is caught up and we can stream 4 sometime soon.

Honestly, it was a good day.


On Ant Farms

Youngest earned an ant farm at his tutoring yesterday. He was very excited about this as it's a prize he's had his eye on for quite some time.

I am...less excited?

However, as I eyed the farm, I thought to myself, "Self, this doesn't look like it has what we need for it be an actual farm instead of death trap."

And so I did a little looking about, and it turns out that said ant farm was supposed to come with nutrient gel. Said gel is meant to be used to fill the farm and then ants you add get to eat and tunnel and live happily while you watch the wonder of creation.

There is no gel. 

I considered suggesting he fill it with sand, but it still begged the issue of food.

In the end, I got on the Zon and ordered him an ant farm that will arrive Sunday that has not only gel, but also ants! This will, hopefully, reduce the carnage that has been occurring with live-caught ants of different species that, shockingly (not) tend to turn the ant farm into a cage match when trapped inside. Much to the chagrin and sorrow of the child.



So Much Rain

I'm not used to having this much rain in May. 

I don't know if it's delusional amnesia and we always have this kind of deluge going on, but for whatever reason, this year feels disproportionately rainy for the time of year.

And rain, of course, seems to bring out the bugs.

I'm not loving the bugs.

Also, I need my boys running around outside, not sitting inside staring through the window at the rain and moping.

So basically, I'm whining about the rain. I'm sure if we didn't have rain, I'd whine about that, too. It's good to know yourself, I think?

Anyway, the one very good thing of the rain is the youngest's tomato plants are happily growing larger and larger. So maybe his efforts at gardening this summer will be a win. Dad is in charge of helping, lest the black thumb of Beth work its usual magic.


Wrapping Up the School Year

Youngest has completed the 5th grade. Woo! We've even finished his end of year testing as required by the state. He did well. I plan to continue making him read before he gets any Xbox time as a matter of course, because his reading skills are still somewhat lagging (he can do it, but it's been hard for so long that he just assumes it's going to be awful and, well, it isn't once he gets into it. So at this point, I think it's a matter of forced repetition until he realizes it's not so bad after all.)

We might do some math facts work over the summer as well, because there's room for improvement. But still. It's a big happy sigh for him that we're done.

Eldest still has about 5 weeks left of his. He just started Romeo & Juliet in his English class and he doesn't seem to appreciate me dancing around saying, "Do you bite your thumb at me, Sir?" "No, Sir, but I do bite my thumb!"

Ah well. He's never going to love Shakespeare, unfortunately. And he already knows Mom is a big nerd, so really, where's the harm?

I don't think he has liked any of his classes so far this year, so yay? Ha. Not. Welcome to life, buster. It's not always rainbows and puppies.

Anyway, we're all looking forward to lazier summer days. And there's talk of getting an above ground pool to tide us over until we save up for the in ground pool we want. So that'll be fun.