in which I bloat my hubby’s ego…

I was born with an enormous need for affection, and a terrible need to give it.
              ~ Audrey Hepburn

I’m a hugger.  It’s my favourite thing to do. I come from a large extended family, and hugs are a regular staple in our diet.

Such a simple display of affection can seriously make my day.

courtesy of sodahead.com

Hubby is a hugger too, and we are one of those couples that annoy the hell out of other people.

We hold hands all the time.  **gag**

We kiss every time we say goodbye.  **seriously? You’re going to see him in 5 minutes**

We tell each other we love one another constantly.  **yeah yeah yeah**

We spend very little time apart.

But I have to say…. the most wonderful displays of affection are not the beautiful bouquets of Gerbera Daisies that he has delivered to my office for no apparent reason, nor is it the exhilarating shopping trips to Montréal, or spa getaways. Not even the beautiful jewellery he buys me.

What I yearn for is that wonderful bear hug that I get as soon as we get home. He smiles, his melted chocolate eyes sparkling, places his glasses on top of his head, pulls me in close, kisses me, then wraps his strong arms around me and squeezes me so tight that he pushes out every bad moment I had at work, every stress, every angry client, and replaces it with a flood of warmth. A feeling of belonging. That undeniable feeling that I am safe. With my face pressed against his chest, the smell of his cologne still lingering through his dress shirt. I slide my arms under his suit jacket and around him, exhaling deeply as I let all the stress go.

Quite simply… my favourite time of the day.

All the ‘men’ in my house love hugs and affection, which is such a treat.

Even though he is nearly 7, Peanut loves to climb in my lap and wrap his arms around my neck when we watch television. On the couch, he will lay his head on my lap so that I can lazily run my fingers through his fine blond hair. Many times that has helped put him to sleep when he is sad or hurt.

Monster showers both Hubby and I with hugs and kisses. So adorable. Hugs so tight, his little face would make you think he was in pain. Those little boy lips puckered tight and pushed out for maximum kiss-ability. “Luv ya Mum” following every single time. Especially when he’s in trouble.

Speedy usually follows me down the stairs in the morning when I make coffee. We sit and watch Spiderman together on the couch. My heart overflowing with love, as I sit, coffee in one hand, the other arm around my stepson as he curls in beside me, head on my shoulder, to watch cartoons. Everyone else still sleeping, I cherish these special moments that I get to have with him, because I realize they won’t last forever.

“Family Hugs” have become a regular occurrence in our house, at Speedy’s insistence.

I truly consider myself to be the luckiest woman on the face of the planet.

********

Affection.
Some of us show it easily, hugging relatives each time we meet.  Wrapping our arms around friends.
Some of us are more reserved, rarely touching other people.
And then a few of us hang out somewhere in the middle.  Hugging our children, but limiting our affection to handshakes with others.
This week we would like you to write about how the show of affection has played a part in your memory.
Choose a time when either the abundance or lack of affection (either by you or someone else) stands out, and show us.  Bring us to that time.  Help us feel what you felt.

disabilities, depression and why I don’t like some people (part 1)

I am the mother of a disabled child.

It took me years to openly say this.

Monster has a bi-lateral mild-to-moderate sensorineural hearing loss.  He was born with this disability.

His hearing was tested at birth through the Infant Hearing Program. A lovely volunteer inserted a foam earplug in his ear, which produced sounds.  The ear’s response to these sounds were recorded and he was given a ‘refer’ result.

Peanut’s hearing test had been a “pass” right off the bat, so of course I was a bit concerned.

The volunteer shrugged it off with phrases like “quick delivery”, “possible fluid in the ear”, and I was told to wait a few days and take him to the local Health Unit to have him re-tested.

A week later, I’m bundling up my wee babe, along with my nearly 2 year old and heading off to the Health Unit for a re-test. While Peanut played quietly in the corner, we had an instant reply of what had happened in the hospital.  Foam plug in ear, quizzical look on her face, repeat test 2 times.

Then comes the questions:
“Was he delivered by c-section? (apparently fluid can stay in their ears longer because of less compression on the head during delivery)
“Does your family have any history of hearing loss?” Do my practically deaf Grandparents count? (I think that’s more for survival than anything…)
“Did you drink during your pregnancy?”
Ok, now I’m starting to take this personally.  You’re telling me there’s something wrong with my baby and now you’re trying to blame me?!?!  (yes, I got a bit defensive over that one.)

I was referred to an children’s audiology specialist.

Tests, tests, tests, questions, questions, questions…. blah blah blah “your son will have to wear hearing aids” blah blah blah

What??

I’m sorry, I don’t think I heard you properly?

And that, my friends, is when depression set in. I’m sure that was the moment, because I felt my heart drop at those words.  Also?  I was not about to admit that there was anything wrong with my child.  Wouldn’t that mean I had been a bad mother?  I had already spent the last 6 weeks scouring my memory for anything bad that I might have done during my pregnancy…  those few glasses of wine before I knew I was pregnant?

There’s something wrong with my child.  I’m a bad mother.

So, at 6 weeks old, my little Monster was diagnosed with his hearing loss and the wheels were set in motion to get him his first pair of hearing aids.  The world becomes a bit of a blur.

Now, I should explain that I grew up in a very small community and only ever knew one child that had hearing aids, and that was in public school many many years ago – and he was nearly deaf.

Being that my exposure to this sort of disability has been somewhat sheltered, I tended to ask a lot of apparently stupid questions like:
Will his hearing get any better?
Will he always have to wear his hearing aids?
Is there some sort of surgery to help him?

To which I got many eye rolls and gentle, condescending pats on the hand “No, dear. His hearing will never improve and yes, he will always need hearing aids.  His hearing loss isn’t severe enough for a cochlear implant, so no, there is no surgery that can help him.  His ears just didn’t form properly, I guess. Unless it was something during pregnancy.”

Again the accusatory comment.

Again, that stab of guilt at a young mother that has just learned that her child isn’t “normal”.

To top it all off, as I left one of the multitude of appointments that I had to take Monster to, I happened to see on a comment sheet that someone had written that “Mom is very difficult and will not accept the diagnosis”.  I’ve never wanted to tell someone to go Eff themselves more than I did that day.

Excuse me if I have a lot of questions.

Excuse me if I worry that I did something wrong – but thanks for the reassurance that it is probably just hereditary.

Excuse me if I’m a bit overwhelmed at the thought of my little boy not being able to just have a spontaneous life. I want him to be able to run through the sprinklers AND hear his friends all at the same time.  I want him to be able to play in the rain.  I want him to be able to put in earphones and listen to music, not depend on an FM system and boots.

I JUST WANT A NORMAL CHILDHOOD FOR HIM.

So I spoke up.  Which is not like me in these sort of situations. Really.

I spoke up and said “You know what? I think I’m well within my effing rights to want a normal childhood for my 2 month old baby.  I don’t appreciate being called difficult, just because I have a lot of questions. And by the way, if I refused to accept the diagnosis, WOULD I BE HERE GETTING HIM HEARING AIDS???”

GAWD I hate people sometimes.

I’m a good mother.

just let it out

I have a few things to bitch about frustrations today. And since this is my blog and I can say whatever I want, here goes…

1.  I think my damn scale is broken.

It HAS to be. I’ve run for at least 30 minutes every single day for the last 7 days, followed a strict diet, and drank water until I felt my eyeballs were floating.

I’ve lost 1 pound.

Seriously??? 1??  I’ve tried morning weigh-in, evening weigh-in, clothes on, clothes off…. moved the scale alllll around the bathroom. Yyyep – 1 frackin pound.  I haven’t even sneaked a treat… and I am starting to lose motivation.

Something better happen soon, because I find myself bitching at the energetic Chalene Johnson – out loud & emphatically – while doing my Turbofire routine.  Hubby’s getting worried.

2. CoffeeMate fat free French Vanilla  is absolutely NOT the same as International Delights fat free French Vanilla. And I hate hate HATE that my grocery store has changed what they carry.

Is it enough to make me drive further for a different grocery store that carries it?

Yes.

This is very important, people.

My fat free FV in my coffee is my only treat during the day. It’s my post-workout little party in my mouth.  And it makes me feel like I’m cheating on my diet, which quells the urge to do so later in the day with ohhhh, I don’t know… a box of chocolate chip cookies and a quick trip through DQ.

Plus, without my coffee in the morning, I turn into Medusa.

3.  The frackin rain is killing me.  It’s rained for centuries, it feels like.  I realize that judgement day is Saturday, but couldn’t we have a bit of nice weather before that??? SO in answer to my prayers for just a hint of sun,  it’s like the Almighty is messing with me, because it’s pouring rain as I leave the house and drive to work, then the heavens clear and the sun shines down – as I look, fuming, out my office window.  I’m sure it will be a torrential downpour when it comes time to go for lunch.

4. I have the most confusing child in the world.  Instead of naming my youngest Monster, I should have named him Non Sequitur. Our drive to school this morning consisted of no more than 2 lines dedicated to each subject.

“Mom, my ears (hearing aids) won’t get wet with my new hat on”

“Nope they won’t buddy”

“Do you see that crane??”

“Yep, they’re building an apartment building”

“I bet I’m gonna have pizza for lunch today”

“uhhh. ok?”

This is an actual transcript of just a part of our drive today… WTF?

5.  last but not least… I’m new to this… I need some support… and I’m really hoping that someone will take me under their proverbial wing and help me along. I’m not sure how to find that sort of mentorship… any ideas would be lovely.

Writing, along with Hubby and the kiddos, helps me fight the shadows that sometimes pop up.

I’m glad I have a place to let it out.  Bear with me.