Dear Interviewer

Dear Interviewer,

I don’t know your name or even very much about your business. I take my heating and air-conditioning for granted, though my husband has spent a couple of nights a week studying these systems so he could learn a trade, any trade, to make him employable. You’ll meet him tomorrow. You are one of the first to even give him a second glance, and that is my fault. He is a good man, a smart man. He has abilities and skills that are very different from mine. 

You see, years ago, he recognized that I had some talents and abilities that were going to waste. He was in school at the time, and he went to talk to his dean about getting me into classes despite the fact that I was in default on a federal student loan after having dropped out of college when my mom died. And that I was being held back simply because I didn’t have enough money to resolve the issue. And that dean called me in and we came up with a plan to get me out of default, and I learned that I can still shine. I didn’t look back. And my generous, kind, loyal husband put his goals on the back burner so I could continue to shine. 

And then we moved when I found a good job far away, causing him to abandon those goals he had set for himself. And I made a decent living. But when expensive childcare became an issue, he listened to me when I said, “It would be so much easier on us, financially and physically, if you would just stay home with the kid.” And he did. He put away his old-fashioned ideals of the manly-man supporting his family, and he became about the car-riders’ line at the local elementary school, Cub Scouts, karate lessons, and any other thing that comes with having a young child. When people would have the knee-jerk action of turning to the dad first to ask what he did, he would say he was a stay-at-home dad. But even I could notice that his shoulders always slumped just a little when he said this.

And then we moved again, where I had an even better job and higher education opportunities. And he enrolled in a school for this or that, taking a class at a time. I think he just needed something for himself. Anything. But still he kept that role of homemaker so I could do well, better, best. First, it was so I could pursue my dream of going to medical school, then there was another baby. His days were no longer only filled with carpools and extracurriculars, but again with diapers, keeping me in clean breast pump parts, teething. Still, he kept on.

Then it was, “John, I think I want to go to business school instead.” And his reply, that he would support me in whatever I wanted to do. And there was a BBA. When I decided I wanted an MBA, he was there cheering me on. He told me I could do it, that I was awesome. He stayed with the kids, washing my scrubs in preparation for my weekend shifts at the hospital while I sat in accounting/ finance/ marketing/ whatever classes. And he picked me up. On test days, he’d always have a motivational song on cue for when I would get into the car.

And all of this time, it was one class at a time for him. Scheduled around my work and class schedule, of course, because he always put me first. And then he was finished, but somehow even that was dwarfed by my completion of grad school one week later. And he never complained.

So tomorrow, you will meet him. He really wants this job, and I want him to have it. You are going to see his resume and application and ask about the 7-year gap in employment. Like most others, you will probably ask why a man didn’t work to support his family. It seems that, despite how progressive we think we have become as a society, we are still very much old-fashioned. And John, well, he just isn’t good at singing his own praises. This is what I would want him to tell you:

He worked. He worked harder than he ever has in his life. He honed time-management skills. He learned cleaning. He learned to keep others happy, multitasking. He perfected the art of motivational speaking, of problem-solving, of making sacrifices for the improvement of the team. And he was successful in all of those roles. After all, with him backing me, I did everything I set out to do.

So, Interviewer, tomorrow, I hope for a couple of things. I ask that you look at him as the man he is: the man who was brave enough to serve his country, put in his 40 at a job he hated in order to pay the bills, and the man selfless enough to give up what he wanted for his wife and kid(s). I ask that you not be like all of the others and you give this loyal, hard-working, awesome man a chance instead of simply seeing a long period of unemployment.

If you could see him like I do, you would know that you would not be sorry.

Sincerely,

John’s Wife

These are the Days

16 Days. Of course I type that while I am supposed to be awake putting together a 45-minute multimedia presentation on integrated marketing practices for class tomorrow. My final project for a marketing elective to round out my requirements for the almighty advanced degree. John, in his awesomeness, brewed the strong coffee for me before turning in for the night. And I can’t quit thinking. I can’t quit thinking, not of integrated marketing as I should be, but of the uncertainty of my life right now. Have you ever been in a place where the things you spend your days doing no longer feel like they are what you should be doing? Where you feel like maybe your real life awaits you, if only you can survive this short little interim? That is this place. These are those days.

My views may possibly be skewed. I realize this. There are people who have devoted their entire lives to do what I have done for the past eight years. They keep doing it, content with their contribution to the world. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. It is honorable. I’m not selfless enough. I feel like I have spent the past eight years paying dues to the world, to my being in general. To the spirit of my mother, who died from lung disease. I’ve been a good girl, and I have been good at my job. There are, in all honesty, people who are breathing today because of the work I have done. I have been there to help babies who could not help themselves. I have been there when families have said goodbye to parts of themselves. I have wiped brows of the dying, delivered tough love when necessary, compassion when it was needed. I have put myself and my family last. And now, after all of these years of doing that, I want to do something different, and in my warped mind, I have earned that. Not because I will, in just 16 days, have a piece of paper with my name in beautiful calligraphy saying I have completed some requirement set forth from society, but because I have paid my dues in other ways.

People ask me what it is I want, and I always answer with a “we’ll see” kind of shrug. I love healthcare, am passionate about healthcare. And I want to leave some sort of mark on this industry that is on a higher level than the one I am currently leaving. And I want to do so in a way that allows time for me, time for my family.

Lately, I have been thinking a great deal about my path through higher education as a non-traditional student. Evan was about 2 when I put on a  backpack for the first time since my mom died, which was eight years before that. Evan is 12. I will finish this long road about 2 weeks before the ten-year anniversary of that first time back. And I have thought about it. I have allowed myself the luxury of pondering just sucking it up, reaching deep, and going straight into a Ph.D. program or a JD, even. And then I think of them. Of Evan and Zach, of John. And what I want is no longer about a higher degree or prestige. Now, when I think of what I want, it isn’t grandiose at all. It’s simple stuff. Little things that aren’t luxuries to most, but have been to me in these years where I have tried to do it all.

I want to come home and not have to rush off to class, be able to eat dinner with my family at a normal hour around a table with food we prepared at home. I want to watch a movie with John without worrying about homework I should be doing or, better yet, am actually trying to do with said movie playing in the background. I would love to take the boys to a movie or park on a weeknight for no reason at all. Maybe even go on a weekend hiking trip. Maybe John and I could have a real date once in a while. Or I could read a book that has not a damned thing to do with academics at all. I want to blog more. Maybe I could revamp this one a little bit with all I know about social media marketing and content creation these days. I want to join a gym and be able to go–and not some lame attempt a a resolution where I don’t have the follow-through because, hey, thinking I would even have the time for a workout each day was optimistic at best, even closer to being the world’s dumbest idea. No, I want to actually go. And work on myself a little bit, and not just on cramming my brain with as much knowledge as possible.

It’s so strange to me. When I started this, I thought, “MBA: the CEO’s degree. I’m want to be loaded.” It isn’t about that anymore. It’s about enjoying life and having the means to do so comfortably. There is only one material possession I even want, and it is going to sound worse than it is: that new Mercedes CLA 250. Sounds greedy and ridiculous, right? No, because in reality, it is only about 3K more than I paid for our current car and I bought it used. And the current car is too big for me to feel comfortable driving with my vision issues. So sounds crazy, but really isn’t. But anyway, here I am at the end, and the salary isn’t the thing anymore. The job is, the career is, the comfort is, but the money isn’t. And I am saying this about 2 days before I have an interview for a position that would pay more money than I have seen in my life–about 5 times my current salary. And now I suddenly don’t care. Well, I mean, I care in that there is a minimum I can take. I worked hard and paid a lot of money for my MBA. I can’t just give it away. But money isn’t the key determinant.

So here I am. Sixteen days from the big finish. And it feels like everything in my current life is winding down so I can start the new one. So these are the days. The days of excitement, of anticipation. Of anxiety and uncertainty. Of endings and new beginnings. Of wrapping up and starting anew. Of sheer panic mixed with resolution and calm.

These are the days I have to let go and hope it all works out, that it proves to have been worth it.

And if it does work out, these are the days I get to lean back, prop up my feet, and tell myself that after ten years, I earned every damned bit of it.

Depressed

I have been off of work for going on 6 weeks. Asking a workaholic to do that is like asking a crackhead to just stop being a crackhead. My job is a part of who I am. I am the one which volunteers to work sixty or seventy hours a week. And right now, I am completely cut off. I feel like I currently have nothing to contribute to society. I am a sponge. A liability.

First of all, my earnings are cut in half. So we’re broke. So much of my family’s financial well-being is tied to me, and right now I am feeling the pressure. Last week, my damned water was shut off. Thankfully I had the resources to just go and get it turned back on, but it was still embarrassing.

And work. Once again, outta sight equals outta mind there. Noone checks on me. I want to scream at the top of my lungs,”Hey guys, remember me? The one who has worked your Christmases and Thansgivings so you could stay home with your families?!?” I’m also the one who works like a dog willingly so they won’t have to work so hard on short shifts. But it seems like nobody ever remembers that.

I feel completely alone and completely depressed. I don’t like this feeling at all. I need to go back now now now, but I know it will be a few weeks yet. I just hope I can make it.

Things that Hurt When Your Rotator Cuff is Effed Up


So it would seem that, when one is a passenger in a car and is wearing a seatbelt, and the back passenger car is hit with enough force to throw the car sideways into one’s yard and bend the damned frame, one can suffer some pretty major injuries. And at first, it may seem like just general muscle soreness. And it will hurt a little bit when one makes certain movements, much like if one had overdone it at the gym a couple of days prior. Or maybe one lifted a toddler the wrong way. But when one is stubborn and refuses treatment, thinking it is minor and will just go away, one is making a big-ass mistake.

So yeah, that’s me. I should’ve known something waas wrong, as pulled muscles don’t not get better over almost 2 months. And I don’t go to the gym. The only lifting I do, other than random child-lifting maneuvers, is a fork to my mouth. Still, it hurt to lift my arms to the side. I could lift it straight forward, but not to the side. “Abduct” for my A&P cronies. (Hells, yeah, I remember my terms from Human A&P 101!) I knew I was sore from the accident and my ER peeps warned me that it would take awhile for the soreness to go away. And, incidentally, “awhile” is a relative term. “Awhile” as in a week? A month? Maybe two?

But it wasn’t getting better and John and I had justt discussed that I probably needed to get it looked at. The pain wasn’t excruciating. Just a little annoying. But we forget sometimes. We forget that I am the dumbass who, after having my left knee reconstructed, walked my happy ass in the house without crutches because, hey, it didn’t hurt that bad. I am also the crazy one who had 50+ contractions an hour for months with two pregnancies, and only wanted to go to a hospital if the baby was coming out. My pain tolerance makes me no such a good judge of when something is becoming a problem.

So Friday night at work, hell unleashed. Lucifer came out of his underground shell to teach me that I am not invincible. We had 10 codes in about 5 hours, some of which were simultaneous. Most of them were on my pattients in the ICU. The bad news is that, even if they weren’t, if resuscitation attempts are successful, they are coming to me anyway to keep them alive. There were hours of chest compressions, hours of being hunched over a bed, clasping a mask to patient faces while I bagged patients during CPR. There was lots of pushing/ pulling ventilators and other life support equipment, crash carts, etc. up and down hallways. The shit went on for hours. And let me tell you something about CPR if you have been fortunae enough to never have to use the little outdated Red Cross card you have in your wallet–chest compressions? on a real human? They’re quite a workout. I mean, you’re pumping the chest 100 times per hour at a force that is enough to break ribs. And bagging a patient? Whose body has its own agenda? Well, that kind of takes a little bit of force, too. One day, I swear, I will have Popeye forearms.

So after all was said and done, my entire body was sore. And my arm? Well, it was screaming at me. SCREAMING! Still, I popped some Motrin and went to bed. And went back to work. More ICU fun. And by Sunday, I wasn’t worth crap. I couldn’t lift my right arm to wash or brush my hair. I couldn’t lay in certain positions. I couldn’t even lean against the back of the recliner unless I was positioned just so. When I tried to do homework and struggled, it was time and I went to the ER.

Fuck.

The hypothesis–and I say “hypothesis” because we can’t be sure until a specialist sees me–is that my right rotator cuff was injured in the accident. And that, after said accident, my retardation and stubbornness have resulted in a worseniing of the injury. And thus I have to see an orthopedic surgeon tomorrow. But nothing prepared me for the stupid list of things that would hurt, and I was told that, if it hurts, I shouldn’t do it until further notice. So here is a list of the stupid shit I cannot do, and somewhere in cyberspace, there is someone reading this who googled “rotator cuff injury” and ended up on my stupid post. I’ll bet that person is pissed. If that’s you, feel free to leave a comment to let me know.

Bitchypants’ List of Shit That Hurts When Your Rotator Cuff is Effed the Eff UP

Washing my hair

Brushing my hair

Coughing

Liftting a toddler

Picking up a single fucking toy from the floor

Pulling the refrigerator door open

Pushing a anything

Driving

Rotating my torso

Writing-yes, writing–it hurts to push the pen that little amount

Highlighting passages in my text books

Laughing too hard

Putting on a sock and shoe

Getting dressed

Wearing a bra

Reaching for anything

Turning the page of a book

Cutting food with a fork (If you think about it, it involves pushing the fork into the food.)

Laying on my side/ back/ front. I guess I’m supposed to sleep on my head.

Wiping up a spill

Typing for a long period (short bursts are okay.)

…..

I’m sure this list will grow as I try do more and discover whatever it is hurts. I will not be shocked if the orthopedic surgeon immobilizes my arm tomorrow. I will also not be shocked if I end up having my fat ass shoved into the narrow tube of an MRI scanner sometime this week. More later.

Changing Tides

We have had an enormous change here in the Bitchypants household. Mr. Bitchypants, who has been unemployed for six years, went to work yesterday.

It’s been a long time. His unemployment started out by choice when the line he worked at in a hospital-equipment company moved to Mexico. Thanks, NAFTA. Anyhow, he was having a hard time finding a position to replace his earnings. Evan was in half-day kindergarten and we were paying full price for him to go half-days, and another $50 per week for the school bus to take him to school from the daycare in the small, rural community in which we lived. Instead of him just taking any job with a paycheck and paying $1000 per month for that arrangement, it made more sense for him to just stay home. Yes, I said it.

That is when it all started. Having him home was….different. First of all, while I am a feminist of sorts, my husband is the Man’s Man. USMC veteran. Country Boy. His wife supporting him while he stays home? Ummm, it didn’t sit well. Not with him, not with his family, not with society. Regardless of how progressive we think we have become, there are some deep-seated traditionalist views we all have. I had no problem with it, but the world in which we live had big problems, and I could see it everywhere we turned. I found myself defending our lifestyle. If the roles were reversed, and a man had an infinitely larger earning potential than his wife, and it cost the wife almost as much in childcare as she was earning by working out of the home, we would not bat an eye at her choice to stay home.

Make that woman a man. That wife a husband, That mother a father. Replace the vagina with a penis. Does the arrangement make any less sense?

Regardless of the rationality of our choices, we faced mud-slinging from everywhere. To my colleagues, my husband was constantly a “bum”. To our debtors, there was disbelief that he didn’t work. They wanted to put everything in his name, and he would tell them that his wife was the breadwinner, much to their shock. His parents would lecture him to get a job, that he would have no retirement when the time came. Of course, this was coming from his mother, who was living on her husband’s pension, with none of her own because she retired too soon. And the other objection: “What if Andrea leaves you, John?” Well, “Andrea” has been here for almost 12 years. Through homelessness, hunger, illness, poverty. And when the going got tough, I am the one who pulled myself up by the bootstraps, got a higher education and pulled my family out of that situation. And what of all of those stay-at-home moms? Does anybody ask them what they would do if the husband left them? So yeah, we heard it.

A couple of years ago, with the introduction of Zachary into our family, we really could use the extra income of John’s work. He began looking for work. The arrangement no longer made sense with diapers to buy and another mouth to feed. But with my establishment as the breadwinner for so many years, he couldn’t just take any job. We needed something that would A) not conflict with my odd schedule, or B) pay enough to compensate us for putting 2 children in childcare. And if one child was expensive in rural Indiana approximately 4 years earlier, the cost of 2 kids full-time in Cincinnati was damned near prohibitive. So John had trouble just finding positions for which to apply, let alone accept a position.

Enter the tension.

With two kids, we began bickering and fighting. I would come home from working God-awful hours to a house that was trashed. I would get ready to go somewhere and have no clean clothes. You see, John never was much of a housekeeper and I’m a little obsessive-compulsive. So we would fight. I would be upset that, while I was working my ass off to make ends meet, he was showing flagrant disregard by allowing our house to get trashed. I remember a particularly awful day where I found some of the boys’ expensive designer clothes molded because hey were under a wet towel in the basement laundry room for God knows how long. I began to try anything to get him to understand my point of view.  That is where I made my near-fatal mistake. Since he is a hard worker when he is getting a paycheck, I thought it would motivate him to do better by presenting it as if he was getting paid. With food and shelter and medical benefits, all provided by me.

How awful of me. I didn’t mean to hurt his self-image. I did not mean to completely emasculate him. I just wanted clean laundry and felt that I deserved it.

And with the pressure I was dishing, John issued his own counter-pressure. He wanted a job. Desperately. But he was still limited on the types of positions he could take. Then when he would find one that could work, he had to explain a years-long period of unemployment. Society still just could not handle that from a man. “You were a what? A stay-at-home-dad? What’s that?” So even if he made it through to an interview from the piles of applications, he never got an offer. In the meantime, I wanted him to find work. If I was going to clean the house anyway, at least he could bring home some money so I could maybe stop working all of the overtime. But nobody would give John a chance. And in John’s eyes, it was all my fault. I am the one who said, all those years ago, that he should just stay home. That it made more sense. And now, he couldn’t find work.

The man who served his country. The man who is such a hard worker. The man who, despite his own desires for his own life, put everything on hold to meet the needs of his family when the time came for it.

Well, yesterday, the phone rang. He was backing out of the driveway to go and put in yet another application, and I had to flag him down. It was a job offer, but the employer really needed someone. They wanted him to start then and there. So he left. The pay is only a quarter of what I make, but it is enough to compensate for childcare for Zachary one day a week. The only time we will need it is on Friday so I can sleep a little before going into work. Evan is old enough to play on the computer or watch a couple of movies while I nap, and he knows to wake me if he needs something. And we found a center that will do just one day a week without charging us for full-time care. In the fall, when I start my MBA program, they also allow flexible scheduling so I can pay by the hour while I am in class three afternoons a week. John’s schedule is 8-5, Monday through Friday, no weekends. In other words, perfect.

So the tides have shifted. Because while he may not have been a great housekeeper, I never had to worry about the kids destroying the house while I take a simple shower. If I mentioned that I wanted coffee, he would brew it for me before I even thought of moving. When I had to get ready for work, he would have my clean scrubs waiting for me. When we were hungry, he would cook…

I never realized just how much he did.

So while, with my career now and my future MBA, I will always be the breadwinner, John’s new job has done something monumental in our little family. I have a newfound appreciation for the partner I have had in John. I have taken him for granted. And with the first day of work, I have seen a change in him. He smiled all night last night. He was slower to lose patience with the boys last night. He seemed….fulfilled. And I had to realize that working is so much more than a paycheck. Being as into my career as I am, as motivated and driven as I am, I should have realized this all along.

Benefits to a job include medical, dental, vision, life insurance, vacation time, 401K. They also include self-esteem, self-worth, dignity. I feel like I have robbed John of that. I said it was all about the math, but I was so wrong. It’s more than math. It’s more than a Women’s Rights Statement and a big middle finger to the “establishment”. I’m still the breadwinner. I am stil the tough woman who will take the male-dominated world by storm one day. But this way, we all get what we need. Most of all, John.

While I Was Away

I’ve been busy. I’m sorry. I’m a horrible blogger. And the truth? I’m still busy. I honestly have no business creating a long list of catch-up posts when there is so much I should be doing. So I am going to try to catch you up in this one post, if you are still out there.

School: I’ve got a couple more classes under my belt. More A’s. I’ll be finished with my business degree in September. I’ve been working on the MBA applications. More on that in a sec.

Evan: Evan is still…Evan. They’ve changed his meds several times. Some of it has been good and some bad. The bad changes are the ones that had him literally awake for days, dark circles under his eyes, palor. It broke my heart. Until one day when his teacher called and said he fell asleep in school and we had to bring him home and let him sleep for almost 2 days straight, only waking him to get some fluids in him so he didn’t dehydrate. I hate it all and would love more than anything to just be able to take him off of all of them and get them out of his system, but I kow he can’t function without them. Now things are finally looking up. He came home last week, excited and proudly presenting this flyer from school. Turns out they are having baseball sign-ups and Evan wants to play. We signed him up. He’s never played a sport before because he has never shown interest. But we jumped on this, even taking him to get fitted for a glove and bat, getting him training gear. He’ll start practicing here at home this week, since he is too old to play tee-ball, and this is actually pitch baseball.

Zach: Zach was officially assessed at the 12-month level, developmentally speaking. He has started therapy after officially being labeled as developmentally delayed. I had some very overwhelming days where it struck me that I have one child with Asperger’s and another who is DD. I had to get past that to carry on. In the meantime, in absence of any verbal communication, the therapist has started teaching Zachy to sign what he wants. Simple things like “more”, “drink”, “all done”, “eat”, and “help”. He can finally express what he wants to us instead of having a meltdown because we cannot understand his grunts and shouts. And with this development has emerged some attempts to be verbal. He can get the intonation of the syllables of words, but nothing anyone can understand yet. But he is trying, which is more than he was doing a month ago. He continues to be social and adorable and loving. And he is so smart. He can clearly understand anything you say to him. He hs favorite places and knows the routes to those places and will cry if you turn the opposite direction in the car. We just have to catch him up a little bit.

Grad School: I got letters of recommendation from my direct supervisor and department director at work. I wrote a stellar cover letter and drew up a new resume. I had my transcripts sent yesterday. Yet about a month ago, I was having a weak moment, so I scheduled a time to go into my first choice school and speak to them about my potential for admission. I was armed with nothing more than an unofficial printout of my undergrad work. She basically told me there was a very little likelihood that I will be turned away with my academic record. But I have to take that damned GMAT. You may recall that I took two weeks off at the end of January to prepare for and take the test. And then I psyched myself out and wouldn’t do it. That was the low point where I called them and made the appointment. And then I bit the bullet and scheduled the damned thing. And tried and tried to prep for without the advantage of time off from work or school. As a matter of fact, I have finished two more classes and started 2 more in that time frame. I still feel underprepared. My stomach has been in knots for days. As in butterflies and queasiness. The exam is tomorrow. If all goes well, I will be started at one of the top-ranked MBA programs in October. Oh, and that’s another thing: because I went back and did an undergrad business degree and will be fresh from that with immaculate grades, I am elegible for their accelerated program. In other words, they will give me credit for my undergrad and I will only have 8 classes left to my MBA. So by Summer of 2013, I will be an MBA. Yeah. No pressure. I have to get in. Have to. No other options. I even submitted all of the financial stuff for grad school, and at a very expensive private university, I will even have all of that falling into place.

So there you have it. While I haven’t been present in the bloggy world, I’ve been doing plenty. I look forward to catching up on everyone’s blogs and hopw you’ll forgive me for my absence.

Little–Yet Mighty–Steps

I am on vacation. I know, right? I never take vacation. The last time I had any real time off of work was when I was on bedrest. But I did it. The plan was for me to spend the next couple of weeks crack-a-lackin’ on the GMAT prep, then take the exam.

Until the GMAT prep made me feel mentally incompetent to even tie my own shoes.

Or my new classes left me with less time than I thought.

And I have had appointments every single day, including some meetings for work. So in truth, I have gotten Jack Crap finished by way of GMAT. And guess what! Jack left town. So we aren’t going to talk about Jack, or GMAT, or anything else that makes me want to scratch my eyes out and beg for Ativan. We’re going to talk aboout what Zach did last night.

He slept without a swaddller. Yeah. Uh-huh. John was at his evening class, and I told myself that now is the time, damnit. It took a gazillion trips to his room to remind him that I was right here. Maybe a couple of pats on the back. And the binky. Yeah, we aren’t even touching the bedtime pacifier yet, in the name of picking one’s battles. But he did it. He slept in his Spongebob pj’s, covered by his favorite blankie, with his little butt in the air. My big boy. Turns out that we aren’t going to have to send him to college with one after all.

What else is Zachy doing? Well, first of all, we cannot go out in public without cracking people up. Really. He gets so excited when he sees something he recognizes. And when he gets excited, it’s the funniest thing ever. As in “Oh! Oh! Oh! OH! Oh YEAH????” Only in that adorable baby voice. Yesterday, I took him to the pharmacy to fill a prescription. Our pharmacy is small, so I usually don’t do this. Well the first thing he saw was a container of baby wipes on the shelf. So here he goes. “OH????? Oh YEAH!”, as he darts to the shelf. Then he saw the body wash I use on him. “Oh-Oh-Oh Yeah?” And so it went, back and forth across the pharmacy,, which is essentally a little room with shelves. And quite the audience assembled to watch him in amazement, because through all of this, he didnt take one thing off of the shelves. He was just excited to see the products we use at home. You really should see him at the grocery store!

He still isn’t really talking, but it is obvious, even to the therapist who came to the house, that he understands everything being said to him. He just won’t speak. Except he said “book” the other day, which can be added to the short list of random words he says. By the way, did you know that the sippy cups with the straws are better for language development because drinking from them requires different muscles and actually strengthens the muscles needed for speech. Well, now I know it and we are in the process of replacing all of Zach’s sippy cups as a result. And though I hate the commercialism of characters on children’s products, I will do anything to get this child talking. So basically, whatever floats his boat…Spongebob pj’s. Elmo sippy (with straw, of course!). Thomas toy. Not a lot of characters, but some.

So that’s it. Little steps. I’m not afraid of little steps. Just like I will be taking little steps to get the GMAT prep finished. All it does is slow me down a little bit. But then again, maybe I needed to slow down.