301: Manwife Needed

(Warning: There is adult language in this post that some may find offensive.)

    And while you are at it, there is a c—– (insert vulgarity beeps) that needs cleaning…. This is how I wanted to end this post. But I found it overly offensive. So I put it in the front of the post, in order to confuse you more, and in hopes you might forget about it by the time you maneuver through the Nyquil mess below. I’m not calling my husband this time to check if it’s too inappropriate. I figure if people read Shades of some color or another, they can handle a bit of Crotch.

    I am writing because I need help. The house is a mess. I need a housecleaner. And no offense, but I’d much rather stare at a man doing my dishes than a female.

    I’ve been guilting myself up lately, as in telling myself those negative messages such as: I’m a lousy housekeeper, I hate cooking, I’m clumsy, I’m lazy, and I must be losing my fricken mind, as I can’t remember a darn thing.

    It’s a good thing God (or that purple-green alien guy) birthed me with a sense of humor. I’m the type of person who turns on the oven, and when the oven timer goes off, I wonder what the noise is. Worse, is, I’ll start to cook a meal, and then soon afterwards smell something yummy, and think to myself: What is that smell and where is it coming from? A while back I was yapping on my cellular phone, the palm of my hand pressing the phone into my ear, and then suddenly I panicked and starting searching the house, as I wondered where I last left my cellular phone.

    It’s ridiculous. I’m ridiculous. And I’ve decided I need help.

    I am a danger in the kitchen. I’ll start to boil soup, leave the room, and forget until the upstairs is filled with smoke. I come dangerously close to losing a finger every time I meet up with a knife, and following a recipe is like reading a very difficult language—like Japanese converted into brail and then into sign-language. I have to reread, and reread, and recheck, and then double check. Still, I usually mess up on some portion. Unless it’s just: add eggs and milk and stir. Then I forget where to look on the fridge shelf, or leave the fridge door open, or break the measuring glass, or if I get distracted before I begin cooking, I forget all together I preheated the oven and wonder why there is a mixing bowl on the counter. Or I get distracted by memories of the recent documentaries describing cage free hens that really aren’t cage free and the cruel treatment of cows and wonder if indeed the eggs are cage free and if the milk is happy milk, and not some milk tainted in cow sorrow.

    Sometimes I think there is something terribly wrong with me or that I am going senile; until I realize I’ve been this forgetful my whole life, and haven’t progressed in weirdness, just perhaps recognition of said peculiarity.

    I am so forgetful, and my short term memory is so lacking, that even grasping the spelling of a word that describes much of my condition (dyspraxia) is merely impossible to remember. Of course that critter of trouble, lovely dyslexia, doesn’t add to my ability to spell.

    It wasn’t until I was in college that a professor actually took the time to tell me to think in patterns and visual images when attempting to memorize spelling. She noticed my high-intelligence and thought it didn’t match my atrocious spelling. (You know what I love about Google? I can type in a wrong word and find the right word! I just typed: How do you spell atroshish. And voila, now I know; at least for ten more seconds I do.) My professor said to look at the word separate and notice the letter r was separated by two letter a’s. From then on I could spell separate.

    Since my spelling is already naturally atroshish, I kind of wish I messed up on easy words, too. Just for the phone of it. (< not intended to spell that way; total mistake.)

    I’d like to regularly misspell the word as as ass and but as butt. But I can already spell little words correctly. I guess that is what texting is for: a place where a but can be a butt and an as an ass. Is that redundant? Oh, the freedom. Only text-ville and Kindergarten classrooms have an excuse to misspell.

    Which reminds me…My husband used to squeeze my son’s naked butt cheeks together, and make the cheeks move like a mouth talking, (all our sons actually) and say, “Let me asssssk you a question.” And HE has never undergone psychic evaluation. Makes you wonder, doesn’t it?

    This is part of the reason, the butt jokes, that my eldest son is certain he was born into the wrong family; that and the fact that he is confident beyond measure, secure, a social butterfly, and life comes easy to him.

    He is what seer told me is called “Earth Bound.” I am not. I am “Mars Bound.” The planet, not the chocolate candy. Though now that I think about it, anything is possible.

    Now as I’m trying to force out of my mind the image of Mars bars looking like alien turds, I am squeezing my brain super hard trying to remember what I was laughing about earlier that had to do with a conversation with my oldest. The labor of thinking. Or the constipation of thinking. They are about the same.

    This isn’t what I was trying to remember, but this thought is first in line. So I will share:

    When I was delivering my eldest son, the labor and delivery team told me I was really good at pushing.

    My response: “I know; I’ve been constipated my whole life, so this is quite easy.”

    I’m just now remembering this; and thinking this might have been an aspie moment.

    Now I can remember.

    The conversation with my eldest yesterday went something like this:

    “Mom, you and Dad should get drunk once in a while. I never see you drink.”

    “We drink son, just in small amounts. I was actually tipsy the other night, because I had two glasses of wine.”

    “You need to loosen up, go have some drinks with Dad and come home drunk.”

    “Son, I have been tipsy before, you just don’t see it, as you don’t spend a lot of time hanging around with us when we have a drink or two.”

    “No, Mom, you need to get drunk like Dave’s dad did the other night. He was fun!”

    “What? Your friend’s dad got drunk while you were there?” Eyes shift sideways and eyebrow springs up.

    “Oh, Mom, just a little. I wish you and Dad were more like that. His dad was so funny when he was talking to us.”

    “Okay, let me get this straight: You want me to get drunk and hang out with your friends?”

    Son’s face blushes red. “No way! Yuck. That’s not what I’m saying at all.”

    “Yes it is!” Huge smile. “That’s exactly what you just said.”

    Silence, and then I’m pretty sure: FEAR.

    I woke up this morning still laughing at the conclusion of our drinking conversation. I was still in a playful mood, as I sat on the couch at noon and teased my son.

    “Thanks for giving me your cold, again. Chills followed by fever and body aches and sore throat, right?”

    Big smiling, fifteen-year-old says: “Yep. That’s it exactly. Tomorrow expect a runny nose. And you’ll sweat a lot at night. Oh, and you won’t be comfortable in your clothes.”

    “Well. If you see me running around the house naked, you know why.”

    Yes, this is how I communicate with my NT (neurotypical) son. We tease and joke, and laugh at life a lot. It’s how we connect. He gets me that way, and I get him.

    Sometimes though, I think he sucked all the social-skills out of me and middle son. Although, I often tease him, my Leo-star, that it is my fault he has so much confidence. When he was sound asleep, I used to sit at the edge of his bed every night and whisper: “You are handsome. You are smart. You are loved.” I read somewhere in a book about subliminal messages, and assuring my eldest’s self-esteem kind of became a little bit of an obsession.

    I wish someone would lean into my ear at night, and whisper sweetness. Depending on my mood, I think if someone is already whispering, they are saying this: You are endowed with supernatural healing powers and your natural, nutrient-giving fuel is chocolate. Dark if available. But any will do.

    I think it gets lost in translation though, shifted by unforgiving dyslexia into emboweled. Thusly the Mars Candybar Turd visions.

    I can’t even remember the focus of this post as I had a nighttime Nyquil in the daytime. This is my life. I do things backwards to survive. Nyquil gives me insomnia, just as non-drowsy Claritin makes me sleepy. I’ve learned not to trust lables.

    I know I wanted to talk about the need for a manwife, and that at the start of the post I was upset that no such word as manwife exists. It ought to be a word, women’s movement and all. Earlier, I was taken aback into a parade of delight as I made up new compound words with wife, such as casstlewife, trailer wife, tentwife, Yurkwife, motorhomewife, couchwife. I think the last one suits me. Now if I can use my magical mind powers to convince the rest of the world of the worthiness of couchness.

    Couchness reminds me of what we sometimes call my dog. Are you following my train of thought still? I used to call my miniature labradoodle Violet, after the character in A Series of Unfortunate Events, then I transitioned her to Spastic Colon, as she is a hyper-spastic dog and I suffered with IBS for years, and the name suited her and my journey in life. But in the late summer, I noticed after a week of no bath she has this awful smell. I really can’t stand it. It’s a female smell of some sort, and just plain nasty. So as a result, of her doggy stench, I started, in secret and in a soft silly voice, calling her Crotch. Well the name kind of stuck and caught on. So if you are at our house and you hear someone say: Hello, Spastic Colon or Come Here Crotch. Don’t get the wrong impression. We’re still a PG-13 rated house. We just call our dog after private parts.

    Originally, a hundred-thoughts ago, I was motivated to write this post based on an article on dyspraxia that a friend Sarah Sparkle of our support group shared. http://www.dyspraxiafoundation.org.uk/services/ad_symptoms.php

    I remembered reading about dyspraxia at the start of my blogging journey, last spring, and recognizing myself and my son clearly in the symptoms. And I thought, today, as I was reminded of our struggles, I ought to send the article to my husband. Mainly because he will be home soon and our kitchen looks like a giant hamster turned the area into its habitat.

    Also I want to remind him of why I can’t remember simple things, like the name of a movie I am watching. The review of the article describing aspects of dyspraxia really got me thinking that I do need a manwife; preferably foreign and dark, or from China. As an aside, I’ve been oddly attracted to Chinese foreign films lately, and fallen in love with some of the leading characters. Yes, I know it is make believe, but this is my current fixation. So flow with me on this one. Next week my manwife will be from Spain.

    I can picture him, the man I pay, in tight jeans and topless. I know it’s freezing here, and that most of the morning I had on a wool hat and the heat lamp singing my face, but this manwife is endowed with super powers; he is extremely self-motivated, energetic, and warm-blooded. And he’s not afraid of the camera, so I can post photos on Facebook and this blog, and you can drool. Unless you are a hetero-sexual man… then I can. Pause. Delete. I had typed some reference to my dog again. Enough of that already.

    Okay, so back to the focus of this post, which is basically: See How Goofy Sam is on Nyquil and somewhere layered beneath the challenges of dyspraxia.

    Dear Husband,

    The reasons I need a Manwife, based on dyspraxia:

    I can’t balance well, have a clumsy gait, and have poor hand-eye coordination. You totally know I drop things all the time! I have extreme difficulty standing for a long time and this challenge makes it hard to cook or do the dishes (and clean toilets). Also, I have difficulty starting actions and cleaning is a definite action. Therefore, logically, I have difficulty cleaning. This is basic logic. I have a tendency to bump into things. You know this. You see the bruises. The more I have to clean, the more chances I have of bumping into objects, and the more chances of booboos. I have difficulty using knifes. Remember when I sliced my finger? Remember how you look at me whenever I have a knife in my hand? Plus the website I linked above specifically lists difficulty with: “cutlery, cleaning, cooking, ironing.” That pretty much covers housework. I have tracking difficulty and this means I lose my place when reading. This makes recipes super hard to follow. I am over-sensitive to light; it’s good we live in gloomy skied Washington, but we do have those skylights and fluorescent fixtures in our kitchen. I am over-sensitive to noise, too. So the sound of the vacuum and even the fridge, while doing its humming thing, hurts my ears. I am also sensitive to smell, which makes cooking difficult. I am sensitive to temperature; this makes cooking over a hot stove gruesome. I have a poor sense of direction. Our house is big. I could get lost. I exhibit difficulty in planning and arranging my thoughts, which has nothing to do with cleaning, but is quite accurately displayed as one of my hidden talents in this post. I forget things. I could burn your shirt while ironing, if I ever took up ironing. And of course, since this pretty much describe me: “Slow to finish a task. May daydream and wander about aimlessly,” I think you should consider I am inept entirely at focusing on something that does not motivate me. I tend to get stressed and anxious easily, and housework triggers these things in me. No one ever told me how boys pee. And frankly, the mis-aiming thing…too much to handle.

    Your Wife

    (In all seriousness dyspraxia is a difficult condition to live with. I find it interesting how many traits of ASD and dyspraxia overlap.)

    If you are wondering how I will pay for the manwife, I’ve taken up a collection. Just Google Manwife for Sam or if you are a man put on this apron when you get home, take off your shirt, and get moving.


    * I did just call my husband and read him the first paragraph. He okayed it. So if you are offended, blame him.

    ** thank you to my friend Sarah Sparkle for sharing the article on dyspraxia with me today

    *** Sometimes this is my sense of humor.

Day Eight: Oh Crap! (And by the way…I Love the Number Eight)



Today I promised myself that I was not going to go on the computer. So here I am! (I’ll give you a second to process that statement.)

I crave writing. When I find a healthy and stimulating venue to pour out my thoughts, I long to return to that place. This is nothing new; I’ve been processing through writing since I learned to hold a writing utensil. My favorites were the scented markers: writing and sweet surprising smells – now that was magical.  Today, as an anxious-ridden adult (living in a fear-based society, I might add), I’d probably worry about the toxins in the ink. Go figure. I miss the innocence of my youth, when I truly believed, without an inkling (how funny; no pun intended!) of doubt, that the world was safe.

In committing to write everyday for a year, (and sometimes two times a day—God love me), I’ve found some added comfort in scanning through other blogs about Aspergers Syndrome. This morning, I came across the word dyspraxia on someone’s page. This word isn’t new to me. As a teacher and former advocate for children with special needs, I’ve come across the term a time or two. However, since I hadn’t been diagnosed myself, until recently, I never took the time to stop and understand what dyspraxia meant. I figured it was something to do with dyslexia or word order.

Now that I have done grueling detective work on the subject; just kidding I goggled Wikipedia, and the process took thirty seconds.

Okay, I have to stop here, because I can’t believe as a human species we now have a word called googled. I can imagine the futuristic race studying this word in the generations to come, much like scholars study Latin phrases now, like ab absurdo (absurd).  And here I take a detour with my mind wondering if googled is in the dictionary, yet; when it will be in the dictionary, and who are these supreme beings that get to decide what is a word and what isn’t? Okay. What was I saying?

Oh yes. In examining the definition of dyspraxia, I scanned down to the Whole Body Movement, Coordination, and Body Image section. And I tell you, if you were a mind reader, you would have heard my young-sounding voice shout: “Oh Crap!”

Now, I’m not collecting labels to define myself—I did the label collecting years ago—and I don’t mean Box Tops for the schools. I’ve been known as a: victim of child abuse, codependent, woman who loves too much, Adult Child, etc. etc. While it is suffice to say, there was a time period in our history where to be understood and function in societal circles amongst women, having a bunch of self-created titles was useful in terms of cackling like the other hens; now, in retrospect, I wonder what the heck I was doing. Again, the brain is to blame. The mechanism that constantly needs to categorize and sort, to make claim to something that makes sense out of the ambiguousness of this illusion named life. (Oops, I digress.) I wonder who thought of the word life and who decided it got a stamp of approval for the dictionary. Who was that man?

Is there a song called: Rambling Woman? I can hear the lyrics in my head.

If anyone is still reading, I will attempt to backup, re-circle the driveway, and return to my starting point. In reading the description of dyspraxia, I’m forced to spill out, and spit out of my mind, the fact that yes indeed I do in fact appear to have dyspraxia. Pin the ribbon on me!

Without risking the act of plagiarizing Wikipedia, let me say in relation to dyspraxia markers that my timing sucks, my balance sucks—yes, I trip over my own feet, I suck at sequencing movements, spatial awareness….sucks,  I drop things all the time, I knock into people, can’t tell the difference between left and right, and I have trouble determining the distance between objects. If you suck at these things, too, then congratulations, you have dyspraxia!

Oh, and in reading on, let me also point out the problems associated with short-term memory, increased propensity to lose things, difficulty following sequence, and sensory processing disorder. Oh boy!

I’m actually very happy at the moment. In my vivid imagination I’m dancing around on stage pushing my arms up and down with my palms facing the ceiling and doing a happy dance. (And I’m twenty pounds lighter) You know why? Because despite these challenges, I taught myself to write, I completed college with honors, and I continue to achieve my goals. I rock!

Now the funny thing is (in an odd, remarkable, and sad kind of way), I was cheerleader for over two years in high school. And I never could figure out how everyone picked up the moves for the cheer routines so quickly and effortlessly, while I had to practice for hours on end, and was still typically going the wrong direction. Cheerleading? You ask. Yes, as I’ve said before, I could perfect any role. Give me a role and I would become that role. When I was a cheerleader that was my identity. I memorized cheers over and over; I wrote cheers; Xeroxed cheers; taught cheers; read about cheers; it was my obsession—I loved touching my megaphone, organizing my trophies, fluffing my pom-poms, and practicing my high jumps and kicks. I just didn’t look up at the bleachers and pretended I was one of those spunky characters from a soap opera or afterschool special, while cheering. It was actually easier being a cheerleader, than being me. Heck, I didn’t know who me was.

I even became captain of the squad my third year—for or a very short while, until the other three girls of the team told lies about me and had me forced out of my position; and having not the tools of conversation or knowhow to defend myself, I quit and cried myself to sleep for a month. Identity lost. Deeper depression set in.

Luckily the meanies, (I didn’t know that was a word. Cool beans!), weren’t my friends to begin with, because I only kept one best girlfriend and one best boyfriend all through high school. I played my part during the schooldays, and then, later, in the safety of the front cab of my boyfriend’s truck, I’d retreat in fear, crying in his arms, terrified of the world and my existence. My sweet boyfriend’s response was always the same: “I love you but I don’t understand you.” I realize to the highest degree humanly and spiritually possible how fortunate I was to have this young lad for emotional support. Believe me. Still, the process of losing an identity and not understanding your own mind, with or without a boyfriend, was terrifying beyond belief.

I’m done. Processing complete. I like this post. Mainly because the writing is a valid example of how my mind streams off in different directions from the main river of thought. I like this post because the voice reflects me, this identity I’ve been uncovering for the entirety of my existence. I like this post.

(I had to write I like this post three times. I truly had to.)

Now I’m going to go sit in my far infrared sauna and purge out all the toxins in my body, while reading a book by Yalom on overcoming death anxiety, and contemplating the best avenue to pursue for my son with Aspergers, who is experiencing extreme anxiety about school, which his therapist calls a phobia, in which I differ in opinion and do not call a phobia, and… Isn’t my life Fabulous!