Pizza and a Movie

pizzaFriday night, Pizza Night.  Gracie, who sometimes has dinner before the rest of us, is pacing between the family room, dining area, and the girl’s bedrooms.  She stops at the end of our dining table and reaches into her pants.  “No, Gracie!” I yell.  Too late.  Out comes her hand… ugh!  Gabby already had enough sense to look away before her sister pulls her hand up.  I’m immediately disgusted, and a groan issues from deep within me.  Kristine grabs Gracie and corrals her into the bathroom so she can be bathed, cleaned up.

I put my head down and begin to laugh, almost hysterically.  “What is so funny?!” Gabby asks.  When I recover, I raise my head and say to her “I’m laughing at myself.”  I think about the ridiculous look of horror I must have had on my face, holding up a slice of pizza.  I finish my dinner.

Later, Kristine and I settle down to watch a movie.  We’d enjoy it more if it weren’t for Gracie’s constant pacing back and forth in front of the TV.  Sometimes she’ll pause in front of the TV, blocking our view.  Other times she’ll sit on the entertainment center, her head right in front of the screen, blocking out almost half of our view.  “Gracie, move!” I yell.  Turning to look at Kristine, I say to her, “Just once I’d like to watch something in peace.  Once.”  I’ve had it, Gracie is going to her room to stay so we can enjoy the rest of our flippin’ movie.

Gabby comes into the family room.  I sigh and pause the movie.  “Dad, I’m going to bed,” she says.  I follow her to her room to tuck her in, and upon passing her sister’s room Gabby turns to me.  “Don’t you smell that?”  Christ, I was holding my breath going by Gracie’s room, cause honestly, I didn’t want to know.  I take a cautionary sniff.  Don’t want to inhale too deeply.  “Kristine,” I say.  “Gracie has shit the bed.”

I clean Gracie up before I even put her into the bathtub.  Kristine is cursing like a sailor.  I tell her to calm down, while suppressing my urge to gag.  “Yeah, let’s go get her some more stem cell therapy!” she says to me between clenched teeth.  That hurt, but I say nothing as I take a brush to Gracie’s fingernails.

The bedclothes have been changed, the laundry started, Gracie bathed, and her PJ’s on.  Kristine and I settle back down in silence to finish our movie.  Upon its finish, Kristine says to me, “That was a really good movie.”  To which I respond, “I’m glad you liked it.”

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door slamWHAM!  Gabby and I are standing in the hallway in our home, talking.  It’s evening, about the time both of our girls should be in bed.  We’re talking about something, about what, I can’t recall.  We’re carrying on our conversation in front of Gracie’s bedroom door.  It’s dark, so we don’t see or hear her approach her door.  Gracie grabs the edge of her door and slams it shut.  Neither Gabby or I flinch, as we’ve gotten used to such occurrences.  I remember this particular incident for some reason, which occurred earlier this year, and only write about it now because Gracie has slammed her door shut for the 2nd time tonight.  “I hate it when she does that,” Kristine mutters under breath.

I am going to fix that cursed door, someday.  After I fix the holes she knocked into some of our walls.  I already replaced the chintzy toilet seat in the girls’ bathroom (a dark, humorous reference to a post from another day), and I placed some sort of stopper on the wall to keep the doorknob from going through Gracie’s bedroom wall.

How she created the hole in her bedroom wall, I’ve some idea.  We think she fell and put a knee into the wall, because of a commotion we heard, Gracie crying, and a subsequent swelling of her left knee.  It’s easy to imagine her falling, what, with all the spinning she does while upright.  What’s surprising is that she doesn’t trip over herself more often.

You should see people jump, whenever we have guests in our home and Gracie decides to wake them up.  My sister-in-law practically jumps out of her skin when she’s settled in for the evening, relaxing, watching TV, talking with us.  I laugh to myself when I imagine my sister-in-law nearly having a heart attack at the violent sound of a door slamming shut.

One particular, fine day Gracie was in a door slamming frenzy.  I wanted to take the cursed door off its hinges and store the thing in our garage.  Only Kristine wouldn’t let me do it.  So now I daydream of various schemes to defeat Gracie’s door slamming.

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Indestructible.  A stainless steel sippy cup…

The day I posted the story about Gracie bouncing a hard plastic sippy cup off of my head, Gracie decides to spike one of her plastic sippy cups into our wood floor, shattering the cup and splashing the contents all over our family room.  After I clean the mess up, I get on the Internet thinking someone in the world has to have cups for kids like Gracie.  If nothing exists of the sort, I’m going to make one myself, I swear it.

Wouldn’t you know?!  Thermos makes them!  The FOOGOO sippy cup.  Harpsichord music plays in the background, bright sunlight parts clouded skies, people around the world break out and sing Kumbaya…

The time it takes for me to decide on buying the thing can be measured in nanoseconds.  I tell my mother about my purchase, and she says to me, “Well, if you thought the plastic cup hurt, wait until she throws a steel cup at your head.”  Hmmmm… she has a point.  Now I have to come up with a way to tether her cup to the dining table.  No problemo!  Some thin, stainless steel cable, some epoxy to mount a bracket to the cup, a clip to attach the cable to the bracket, and we’re in business.  Go ahead, Gracie.  Make… my… day.

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Rage of Grapes

grapeHere’s another post I alluded to months ago, one I suggested I might do someday.

Gracie’s waving her hands in the air, like she just don’t care… Using colloquial English here, folks.  Work with me.  Anyway, I know the signs.  My father, Gabby, and I are sitting at the dinner table, and Gracie is winding up to throw something.  Usually it’s her sippy cup.

“Gabby, please get your sister’s cup,” I calmly say.  Gabby goes to reach for Gracie’s cup, an suddenly, Gracie stops waving her arms, reaches down to snatch her cup up with blinding speed, and hurls the cup at my face.  Not lob, not toss, not throw, I mean hurl.  I manage to turn my head in time to have the sippy cup bounce off the back of my head.

Ouch!  Oh boy, am I pissed.  I complain to Gabby through clenched teeth that she wasn’t fast enough, while rubbing the back of my head.  The one little crack in my otherwise calm facade.  Kristine chides me for showing my anger.  “Well, excuse me, for not liking hard, plastic things being bounced off my head,” I retort.  I need to get a grip, before the rest of my facade crumbles.  Kristine tells me that I’m ‘whiney’.

While massaging the bump on my head, I think about my reaction and begin to laugh.  I can be such a dolt sometimes.

And now to the reason for today’s post title… Grapes of Rage.

I used to sit at the head of our dining table to eat my dinner.  Most evenings during the week I eat alone at the table, being that I get home from work well after my family has eaten their meals.  Gracie would occasionally deviate from her pacing path, head in my direction, and try to take food from my plate.  I would always see her in my peripheral vision, and manage to block her from taking my food.  I wasn’t worried about any approach from my backside, because of the half wall and countertop behind me.

One evening I’m eating my dinner, and Gracie decides to launch a sneak attack, approaching me from my 4 o’clock.  Just outside of my peripheral vision.  Pretty crafty, I must say.  Suddenly, an arm appears in front of my face, and I look down to see Gracie’s hand in my food.  I overreact, and try to grab Gracie’s hand to get some of my food back.  In the process, some of my dinner goes flying all over our dining area, and worse, we knock over a tall glass of grape juice.  Hadn’t had a sip of it yet.

I saw purple everywhere.  I was seeing purple.  For a moment, I was raging inside.  With no one I could rightly take out my anger on, I look for the nearest object onto which to inflict harm.  I stand up, grab a poor, defenseless dining chair, and raise it up into the air.  I’m going to smash it into a thousand pieces…

My other daughter, Gabby, is witnessing this.  I check myself at the last moment, and only slam the chair down hard into the floor.  I’m done eating.  Without a word, I get out the broom, dust pan, and paper towels to clean the mess up.

I’m no saint, obviously.  Although some would have me believe parents like us are, to be given a child like Gracie.  For the most part, I do have it together.  But every once in a great while, an ugly side of me bubbles up to the surface.

I now eat my dinner adjacent to where I used to sit.  Being that our dining table is in sort of in an alcove, I can see Gracie from any of her possible approaches.  She still tries, but it ain’t working for her no more.

And last, but not least, a word on Gracie’s fundraiser at  We reached our goal of $5,000.  We are truly grateful for all who shared news of the fundraiser with their friends and family, as well as for those who contributed to the fundraiser.  Thank you all so much!  Will post updates on Gracie’s well-being and progress at 90 days, 180 days, and after one year.

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One month after stem cell therapy

Just a quick post… Gracie’s fundraiser has now collected $4,245. Please share link below. Our goal is $5,000, and we’ll be giving 10% or $500 to a lucky donor.

Anyway, it’s been a month since Gracie received her stem cell therapy. No remarkable changes yet, but she has started off her new school year very well. Hopefully starting off the school year well is a positive sign!

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MMR vaccine and autism

Holy cow… just when you think the debate over the MMR vaccine and autism link is over. Evidence of a CDC conspiracy to cover up data that shows a connection between the MMR and autism?

Centers of Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) scientists deliberately destroyed all physical data and records of an internal study that showed wildly higher autism rates among African-American boys under the age of one who received the Measles Mumps Rubella (MMR) vaccine, according to a letter written by William Thompson, Ph. D., one of the scientists who participated in the records destruction, and read Tuesday on the floor of the House of Representatives by Rep. Bill Posey (R-Fl).

Thompson’s letter is just one of thousands of similar documents that have been in the possession of Congress for more than a year awaiting action by the Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

The records were destroyed specifically to prevent the information from becoming public according to Thompson. Thompson stated that he retained copies of the destroyed records which are now in the possession of Congress. Thompson and his colleagues later published a study that dismissed any connection between the MMR and higher autism rates in African-American boys.

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GoFundMe, Stem Cell Therapy Today!

Gracie’s stem cell therapy is today!  Please help us defray cost of treatment.


I’ll try to provide brief updates throughout the day.  Thank you all!



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