Second Day, Not So Great. Or?

Martin’s school year started Friday before Labor Day. With the long weekend, the kids had three days off between the first and second days of school. Weird, right?

Labor Day weekend, Martin’s cousin Mandy was staying with us, because her school didn’t pick up until the following Wednesday. Martin and Mandy had an exhausting visit. Friday afternoon they attended a birthday party at one of those “inflatable party zones”—basically, a warehouse filled with bouncy houses. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights Martin and Mandy built blanket forts in our family room and insisted on sleeping in them (which meant not sleeping much). Saturday afternoon and Sunday afternoon we had guests. Although it was cool and rainy, Mandy dragged Martin into our swimming pool. Repeatedly. Monday my father and I took the kids to an indoor fun park with trampolines and climbing equipment, and then Adrian took everyone out to lunch. In trying to accommodate both kids, I let Martin have more sweets than usual: juices, fruits, homemade cake and ice cream.

More or less, it was the last great party of the summer.

When Tuesday rolled around, we received the bill for all that fun. I could barely rouse Martin, he was crabby at breakfast, and he refused even to say hi to the other kids at the bus stop. He ended up isolating himself: sitting alone on a rock, running back and forth, checking out. (Mandy, meanwhile, stood next to me and chatted amicably with the other moms.)

When the bus came, Martin clung to me and said, “Mommy! Mommy!” but then boarded without additional delay.

I escorted my father and niece to Port Authority to catch their bus, and then I returned to my home office, because I hadn’t worked all weekend and had to play catch-up. I was glad to have work to keep me occupied; I couldn’t shake the feeling that Martin would have a tough day, being as tired as he was and also thrown into such a new situation.

I arrived at the bus stop early and waited ten minutes before any other parents showed up. When the bus came, Martin disembarked with the other kids and hugged me. He seemed okay. We walked the five minutes home, where I eagerly pulled his binder to check for any notes from his aide.

I found a note. It said: “Martin had a good day.”

I’m a Wreck

Get used to this: I’m going to post about Martin’s newest adventure, general education. I’m going to post and post and post and post about Martin in general education.

At age two, Martin received center-based Early Intervention services in a six-child, seven-adult setting, that is, one-on-one.

Ages three and four, Martin attended pre-school in a self-contained special-education setting, where he was deemed too unfocused for a 12-child, two-adult classroom. He was placed instead in an eight-child, five-adult classroom, i.e., eight kids, one teacher, two assistant teachers, and two aides.

Martin attended kindergarten, first, and second grade in a self-contained special-education setting, in a classroom with 10-to-12 children and four adults, i.e., two teachers and two assistant teachers.

Two weeks ago Martin started second grade (again; he’s repeating) in our local public school, mainstream classroom, with an aide. That means 21 kids and two adults, i.e., a teacher and a teacher’s assistant, who is designated to assist Martin as needed.

This is a remarkable leap for Martin. For the first time, he will attend school with typically developing peers, and he will have to manage with far less classroom support. He will walk with me to the bus stop—in a 2016 suburb, I’ve learned, an eight-year-old does not navigate two blocks to the bus stop alone—and ride a regular school bus: no more short-bus pick-up and delivery directly to our door. He will eat lunch in a big cafeteria. He will be cast out upon the playground without any planned “social awareness activity.”

He may learn that not every child in his class is his friend.

He may get hurt.

The first morning unfurled with great fanfare. Martin chose to wear a t-shirt bearing his new school’s name. Adrian stayed home from work. He and my mother-in-law (still visiting) and I accompanied Martin to the bus stop, where we found five other families, some we knew and some we didn’t. All the other moms and dads had come to the bus stop, along with an uncle and a couple nannies, so we made quite a crowd. Martin greeted the twins from across the street but otherwise kept to himself. When a parent suggested a first-day photo, all the kids lined up and smiled, and Martin lined up and smiled with them. He even posed and managed to smile toward the cameras. When the bus came, he hugged me and Adrian and his grandmother good-bye—this was appropriate; all the kids were giving hugs—and boarded the bus without hesitation. The assembled adults remained, waving as the bus headed schoolwards. Adrian and I stood in the crowd, waving.

My mother-in-law and I had tickets to the U.S. Open that day. We went, only for a couple hours. I was a wreck, checking my phone constantly. I don’t know what I expected. Maybe a message that Martin was having a meltdown? Maybe a call from the school administrators to inform me, in hushed and apologetic tones, that they’d made a mistake, and Martin wasn’t the right fit for general education?

Our district offers us the services of a behaviorist, Darlene, who has worked with Martin weekly (or so) for more than two years. God bless Darlene. Knowing I would be nervous, she decided to visit Martin’s school that first day and observe him. Early afternoon, she sent me these text messages:

Doing great. When I walked in kids were sitting on carpet. It took me a few minutes to find him. He blended right in. Aide was sitting on the other side of the cluster from him. Teacher said he needs a lot of structure but responds well to it. Said she noticed that he thinks his thoughts out loud but we can work on that. He is participating in discussions and is doing well.

Recess he tends to like the swing. I spoke to Mrs. I [the aide assigned to Martin] and we gave him some small tasks. (Find someone from class, go say hi, go down slide, etc.) Then he could come back and swing. Will explain more later what I’m thinking of how to structure re essential while teaching social skills. Heading to another school! All good though!!

I responded, “Thank you!! This is awesome!”

My mother-in-law and I were home from the U.S. Open in time to join Adrian at the bus stop, along with my father and my niece, who arrived that afternoon for a visit. Martin alit the bus all smiles. With prompting, he told us about his new classroom and teacher and friends.

Day One was in the books.

I was optimistic. Still, as I told my friend Stacey, if this general-education placement doesn’t work out, that won’t mean we’ve failed. It will mean only that we moved too fast.

Food Is Easy

When we first started biomed, I altered Martin’s diet to remove grains, fruits (except avocado and limited tomato), starchy vegetables, dairy, soy, corn, refined sugar (actually, at that time, almost all sugar), and additives. Like any biomed newbie, I had my moment of standing in a Whole Foods Market trying not to cry because I couldn’t find anything my son could eat. I muddled though with elaborate concoctions. Dehydrated flax-seed crackers. Green purée. Spinach pie. When Martin started eating meat, chicken-and-egg bread.

With hindsight I realize that feeding Martin felt so complicated because I was trapped by my prior notions of diet. How could I replace bread to make his sandwiches? What crackers would he use for snacks? Pizza? Pancakes? How could I create a mini-gourmand with few of the ingredients associated with gourmet cooking? Could I invite friends over and offer them a dish of flax seeds?

Labor Day weekend we had three houseguests: my father, my niece (Martin’s buddy, Mandy), and my mother-in-law. In addition, we entertained friends for lunch on Saturday afternoon and Sunday afternoon. In our early biomed days, this might have created a meltdown scenario. (Mine, not Martin’s.) Not so today. Not so with my new mentality: simple meals, few ingredients of high quality.

Saturday morning, Adrian took Martin and Mandy to the gym so that I could prepare. On the counter I had two bags of baby Brussels sprouts; teardrop tomatoes, basil, and two cucumbers from my patio garden; avocados; red onions; garlic; an orange; and three pounds of potatoes. (I don’t do much with potatoes, usually. Organic potatoes are a once-in-a-while treat that Martin loves.)

The Brussels sprouts I washed and trimmed, then stirred with olive oil and ginger-orange salt and placed in a glass pan. The potatoes I washed and quartered, then stirred with olive oil and rosemary salt and placed in a glass pan. Side dishes—done except for baking.

Next I halved the teardrop tomatoes, sliced one cucumber and the basil thinly, and combined them with red onions, olives, capers, fresh lemon juice, crushed garlic, and olive oil. Salad—done.

Before our friends arrived, I made guacamole, which I set on the patio table next to a tray of raw vegetables. I also filled a dish with peanuts (no peanut allergies present that day). Snacks—done. I also sliced an orange and the other cucumber and put them in a glass jug with filtered water and lots of ice. Non-alcoholic beverage—done. Then I turned on the oven and set the Brussels sprouts and potatoes to bake.

Later, while guests were present, I brushed a large piece of salmon with olive oil, then added salt and capers. Main course for non-vegetarians—ready to grill.

The day before I had prepared a quinoa chocolate cake. To compliment the cake, I put coconut milk, vanilla extract, a dash of sea salt, and coconut crystals into my ice cream maker and set it to churn. When the ice cream was almost firm, I added fresh raspberries. Dessert—done.

That was the food I served: peanuts, and veggies with guac; grilled salmon, Brussels sprouts, potatoes, and tomato salad; cake and ice cream.

Everything was homemade and permissible for Martin to eat. Apart from the cake, preparing the entire afternoon’s menu took about 90 minutes. If our Saturday guests realized they were eating “recovery” food, they made no mention.

For our Sunday guests, the main course comprised burgers and vegetable burgers (no buns), sweet potatoes with coconut oil and cinnamon, garlic green beans, and more salad (the garden won’t quit).

When the time is right, I still enjoy making more complicated dishes; yesterday for dinner I fashioned “nutty patties” out of cashews, walnuts, tahini, onion, parsley, flax seeds (in a yummy way, seriously), and spices. But I’ve realized that life is easier when most meals comprise few ingredients simply prepared. I don’t need “replacements” for bread, crackers, pretzels, and other processed foods. No one misses them, anyway.

Martin Out of Paradise

Fact: In Costa Rica, Martin slept beautifully. He requested sleepy-eyed early bedtimes, dozed promptly, rose only after 10 or 11 hours. To my knowledge, he woke during the night just once, when a thunderstorm lingered.

Fact: Since we’ve been home (one week), Martin has slept poorly. He lies awake for an hour or more, tosses or talks during the night, wakes too early. Some nights he’s had as little as eight hours’ rest, and poor quality. He’s been exercising plenty: swimming, bouncing at a birthday party, bike riding, chasing his cousin. He’s eaten better than he did in Costa Rica. He’s in familiar surroundings. He can’t sleep.

Fact: In Costa Rica, Martin’s attitude improved. He seemed carefree, less focused on fixations like his iPad and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. He ate new foods. He walked home alone from a local bar/café.

Fact: Since we’ve been home, Martin’s attitude stinks. He’s been whiny, contradictory, and engaging in opposite-talking. (“I’m never going to use my iPad again! Throw it away!”) He’s grouchy. This morning he refused to try peanut butter on apple. He loves peanut butter. He likes apples. Apparently the idea of combining the two proved too much. An hour later he wandered away from his own bus stop.

Fact: I don’t know what to do with this information.

Martin in Paradise

For the last ten days we’ve been vacationing in Costa Rica. The “we” comprised me, Adrian, Martin, my mother and stepfather, my two older brothers, Adrian’s mother, and Adrian’s brother. Nine people. Nine people together in a house on the beach, off the beaten path.

I had trouble finding organic fruits and vegetables, and I suspect the papaya we ate may have been genetically modified. I used olive oil that was partially refined. The cookware was aluminum. Martin had seafood daily, mercury be damned. He ate way too much rice, probably too much fruit, and even homemade fruit juice. I found some locally made treats with oats, nuts, and raw agave, but I couldn’t get any intel on whether the oats were gluten-free. I gave Martin the treats anyway.

We ran out of several supplements, enzymes, and antimicrobials (poor planning on my part), including mucuna, serrapeptase, MitoSpectra, Nose & Lungs, cumanda, and Boluoke.

We had no set schedule, so Martin never knew what we might throw at him in a day. We didn’t do his vision exercises. His glasses sat abandoned, unworn.

We pushed his limits, sometimes over his protests. We took him zip-lining and horseback riding, made him a passenger on ATV’s and jet skis, insisted on swim lessons.

He had two allergic reactions, one to a horse that left his face bumpy and itchy, and one to an unidentified food irritant (restaurant) that caused a rash to spread from the corners of his mouth down his neck.

In the face of these shortcomings and stress, Martin—soared. Martin’s had trouble sleeping these last couple months. In Costa Rica, he volunteered bedtime by 7:30 pm and slept 10 or 11 hours unbroken. His iPad requests, which at home are a near-constant whine, decreased markedly. On our few prior visits to beaches (I’m not a fan), Martin has refused to let the salt water rise above his knees. After a week in Costa Rica, he bobbed neck-deep as the ocean waves tossed him to and fro. Daily, he refused to leave the beach.

He conversed with his uncles and answered strangers’ questions. He used new expressions.

Overcoming recent food-choice rigidity, he rediscovered tropical fruits and ate mango, pineapple, and papaya with abandon.

Because we were without North American television, Martin could not watch his fixation of late, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. He managed without complaint. Instead, he drew pictures.

One afternoon, Martin was at a local bar/café with Adrian, my brother Eddie, and my brother-in-law, Pancho. The establishment was about 300 yards from our house, past a swim pool, an exercise plot, and a several haciendas. I was in the house showering when Martin entered the bathroom and said casually, “Hi, Mommy. I came home alone.” I told him to scram—after all, I was showering—and his statement didn’t quite register until I was toweled and dressed and found a text message from Adrian: “Martin is coming home. Make sure the door is unlocked?” Adrian had indeed authorized Martin to walk home unaccompanied, and Martin had achieved the feat, without getting lost or wandering off.

Just sayin’, I would not have let Martin walk home alone. But Adrian did, and out of the decision came some measure of independence.

I’m not saying that 10 days in Costa Rica brought a miraculously fully recovered Martin. Not by a long shot. He was too distracted to get the full benefit of those swim lessons. The pictures he drew were all of marching bands or orchestras. (He used to draw only pictures of The Beatles. Now he draws only marching bands and orchestras.) He engaged in a lot of oral stimming: “mouth noises,” I call the sucking-and-clucking sound he makes. He showed virtually no interest in the other kids scampering and riding bicycles in the neighborhood. Our last full day in Costa Rica was a bad day; sneezing and maybe teetering on sickness, he requested another round of zip-lining but then melted down and refused to participate. He repeated himself, nervously. He spaced out.

Still, overall, Costa Rica brought us a behaviorally improved Martin. Indisputably.

I don’t know what made the difference. Sea water? Clean air? Reduced EMF’s and cellular radiation? Extended family? Time to be a kid?

We’re on the plane now, headed home to the New York metropolitan area. (You know how I love to airplane-blog.) Martin just told me he wants to watch Mickey’s Clubhouse, when it’s on at home. I find myself questioning whether full and true recovery might require some bolder step, like removal from urban or suburban life.

Would I have that in me? Would Adrian?

What Will We Remember?

Friends visited us recently with their son Robert, who is younger than Martin and less far along the autism recovery journey. Robert kept his mother busy, as she had to pull him repeatedly away from his fixations—trains, colors—to get him to eat or otherwise join the group.

After our guests left, Adrian said, “Robert can be a handful!”

I replied, “Reminds me of Martin a few years ago.”

“No, Martin never had obsessions like that.”

“Excuse me?” I asked.

“I remember when we always had to take the Brooklyn Bridge home, and how he liked certain train lines, but he wasn’t so challenging as Robert.”

“Are you talking about our son, Martin?”

“Yes.”

“So you’ve forgotten when I had to buy placemats in different colors so he could practice using something other than yellow without having a meltdown?”

“That’s right. I did forget that.”

“And the panic if he boarded a subway and no yellow seat was available?”

“I guess he did that, yeah.”

“Then there were the times when he and I had to wait for the No. 2 subway, because if a No. 3 came instead, he’d scream with fright, even though he knew it went to exactly the same place.”

“You did used to tell me about that.”

“How about when he couldn’t go to school unless he had that pink stuffed bear from Chicago in his backpack? When he had to approach and open every mailbox we passed on City streets? When he refused to enter the wine bar if ‘our table’ was occupied? When he—”

“Okay, fine. He did have all those obsessions. It’s easy to forget what those days were like.”

This conversation made me reconsider the previous posts “So Far Gone” and “Manifesto.” One day, when someone says, “Maybe Martin never had autism,” will I respond, “Maybe not,” because I too have forgotten? How will we bear witness to recovery as more and more symptoms become so far gone that we forget they ever existed?

I have his earliest developmental neurology reports, the ones that describe a child unresponsive to his own parents, unaware of his own name, echolalic, in the first and third percentile of expressive and receptive language. Those tell the early story.

And I have this blog.

Just Had to Get That Out

Some themes get old on Finding My Kid. If you’re a regular reader, you can probably name a few: sleeplessness, detox and die-off, food, the New York Rangers. These are the light motifs that underlie our journey. They are the stuff of my day-to-day.

I have to add another theme to the list: skepticism and rebuke. At least, skepticism and rebuke as pertain to Heilkunst. Recall that we started Heilkunst late in 2014, and that it’s a method of sequential homeopathy designed to help the immune system clear various insults it has suffered. I went into the process with doubts. Then the first clear Martin received (for coxsackie) made him puke and also produced a light coxsackie rash, and I started to see the light. Later, when we cleared the H1N1 and MMR vaccines, plus antibiotics we’d previously used to treat SIBO, Martin’s reactions and improvements were so dramatic that I became “non-skeptical.”

At least for a time. But there were no dramatic improvements for a while, and I grew complacent, and complacency, evidently, reopens the door to doubt. I asked myself: Is Martin still benefiting from Heilkunst?

If you happen to write fiction, you’re probably familiar with Chekov’s gun, which is the rule that a story (or play, or scene, or essay) should be free from extraneous detail. I poked around and found that the gun is usually attributed to a letter Chekov wrote in 1889 to playwright Aleksandr Semenovich Lazarev: “One must not put a loaded rifle on the stage if no one is thinking of firing it.”

Writing rules are meant to be broken, but I will respect the gun—which is to say: I raise my Heilkunst doubts because I intend to erase those doubts.

It isn’t supposed to be all about me. Is it?

To this day, I carry guilt about Martin’s birth. I won’t describe all the circumstances again, except this brief enumeration: In the 42nd week, against my better judgment, I allowed induction by Pitocin, which led to Martin getting “stuck” sideways, which led to continual drops in his heart rate, which led to an unplanned C-section, which upset me so much that I got a fever, which (“maternal fever”) caused the hospital to place my healthy baby in the NICU and pump him with intravenous antibiotics, in an incubator away from skin-to-skin contact.

Here’s a portion of the story I haven’t shared before on this blog: After Martin was taken, I was wheeled into a “recovery room” and told to sleep. Even then, my instinct told me that something was wrong. I needed to get to my child, and so, fresh off a surgical table, I pulled myself from the hospital bed and tried to find Martin. I made it only a few paces before blood collected around my feet and I slipped. A nurse entered and found me on the floor, a mess, trying to rise again. The nurse insisted that I get back into bed. I said, “No. My child. I have to get to my child.” Finally, I agreed to lie on the bed on the condition that she find Adrian: “Get my husband! Go get my husband!”

She left the room. Somehow, Adrian and my mother appeared in the recovery room with Starbucks drinks. (It was early morning.) Though even I didn’t know why, the sight of Adrian and my mother smiling with Starbucks drinks in their hands enraged me. When our child needed us, they’d gone to Starbucks. I told Adrian to go to Martin, to find Martin and protect him. Adrian said Martin was fine, that the doctors were taking care of him, and that I needed to go to sleep. I said Martin needed to be with me, and that Adrian needed to find Martin immediately.

I don’t know what happened after then. I have no more recollection. My next memory is being wheeled into my own hospital room. I may have fallen asleep, or fainted, or become delirious (if I wasn’t already). Or maybe I’ve blocked the memory. In any event, what remained was the impression that Martin was in danger, and I was at fault, and Adrian was at fault, and nonsensically even my mother was at fault. Three years later, when I began to understand what antibiotics do to the gut biome, and the gut biome’s connection to autism, I wanted nothing more than return to the day before Martin’s birth and refuse the Pitocin, and refuse to surrender him to the NICU.

Please don’t chime in and point out that my guilt is unjustified, or that it is ridiculous to be angry with Adrian and my mother for getting Starbucks. I know that most first-time parents have neither the foresight nor the wherewithal to realize how destructive our medical birth culture can be. I know all that. Yet, when Martin was five, I attended a wedding and was seated next to the bride’s brother-in-law, who was holding a six-week-old baby and also full of bravado. “They tried to put her in the NICU,” he declared, after describing some minor complications. “They said they’d call family services if I didn’t let her go. So I said, ‘Go ahead and call family services. My lawyer will be here long before they will.’ They gave up and left us alone. Ha! I know my rights!” His performance upset me enough that Adrian and I had to leave the wedding early.

Two months ago, the envelopes with Martin’s latest two Heilkunst clears arrived by mail. When I had talked with the homeopath, he mentioned which clears were coming, but I hadn’t paid much attention and wasn’t thinking about that when I tore open the big envelope to extract the smaller envelopes with remedies.

As soon as I touched the remedy envelopes, my hands began to shake and I started crying. I had to catch my breath. Unsure what was happening, I set the whole packet down and took a minute to compose myself. Sometimes I experience generalized feelings of unease and have to pause to remember what’s got me anxious—an unaccomplished work project, an upset friend, a fight over a bill, whatever. The feeling that overtook me when I was opening the remedies, however, overran generalized unease or emptiness. It was an immediate affront, and I couldn’t connect it to anything happening in my life.

At length, confused, I retrieved the first remedy envelope and noticed what was inside: the first of several clears related to Martin’s birth trauma and NICU experience.

I have no explanation for this event other than to believe whatever energy was in those envelopes—homeopathy is energetic medicine—provoked a reaction in me, from the spot of my regret.

Just had to get that out.

Along with the clears every few weeks, Martin also takes daily Heilkunst drops. One dropper helps with Lyme disease, and the other is a drainage dropper that helps him move stuff through his system generally.

About a month ago, his drainage dropper became contaminated and I had to order a new one. I could have replaced the drainage dropper with a “paper remedy,” which is where you write the particular remedy on a piece of paper and keep it near the recipient. Believe it or not, however, some aspects of homeopathy, like paper remedies, still seem too far out there even for me. So I ordered a new drainage dropper, which had to be sent from Canada and then reconstituted upon receipt, and a lot was going on, and yadda yadda yadda, Martin went a couple few without his drainage dropper.

Martin’s final week without the drainage dropper was dreadful. He was defiant, resistant, downright crabby. His teachers reported silly and unfocused behavior. His personal trainer said he seemed “out of it.” He demanded constant attention. He couldn’t fall asleep. I had an extra glass or two of wine. (Food for thought on that topic, see this opinion piece.) I connected none of this to homeopathy.

Sunday, the end of that week, was no exception. Martin vacillated between wanting to accompany me to church and wanting to go with Adrian to the gym. Actually, he spent more time complaining about both choices. He wanted to stay home and use his iPad. He wanted to stay home alone. He complained about lunch. He complained when Adrian “made” him go swimming. He whined so much about the notion of going out to dinner that we decided to eat on our back deck instead. (We don’t usually yield to whining. A great blizzard can snap even the most stalwart bough.)

Meanwhile, I finally got my act together and prepared the new drainage dropper, which had arrived at least a week earlier and sat on the counter. Mid-afternoon, Martin had his first drainage drop in several weeks.

He ate dinner without incident, other than grumbling about what I’d prepared. He was two bites into dessert (chocolate quinoa cake, leftover from entertaining Saturday guests) when he said, “My tummy hurts.”

“Why don’t you go to the bathroom?” I asked.

He went in the house.

He didn’t return.

Five minutes later I found him sitting on the toilet, hunched over. “My tummy hurts,” he said.

“Did you go to the bathroom?” I asked.

“I can’t.”

“Let’s see if a warm bath helps.” I ran a warm bath with Epsom salt and baking soda and helped Martin into the tub.

I’m going to yadda yadda some more details here. I’ll report the highlights: a bathtub of water, Epsom salt, baking soda, and puke; Adrian yelling, “Get him to the hardwood!” as Martin started to puke on the family room rug; me grabbing the countertop compost bin to catch more puke.

When Pukefest concluded, Martin said simply, “I need to go to bed.” Within two minutes, he was asleep, at least an hour earlier than usual.

When it comes to Martin, I’m prone to overreacting. Once the house had been scrubbed clean, I proceeded directly to Google to review the signs of delayed drowning, because Martin had spent the afternoon in the pool and now was unwell. Excessive tiredness was on the list. Vomiting, maybe. Martin had none of the other symptoms of delayed drowning, and he’d identified a tummy ache, not any pain in his lungs or chest. None of that stopped me from waking every hour during the night to check on Martin to make sure he was breathing well and not foaming at the mouth. And so I can tell you this: That night, Martin slept. For thirteen hours he barely stirred.

When he woke, at 8:00 Monday morning, Martin was utterly buoyant. He bounded into the kitchen and said, “It’s already 8:00! I slept late!” I replied, “That’s no problem. I will drive you to school after you eat breakfast.” (Martin attends summer school, for which I usually wake him by 6:45.) I steeled myself for protest; Martin will exploit any excuse to get out of school. The protest wasn’t forthcoming. Instead, he said, “Sounds good! I’m going to get dressed.” For breakfast, he ate eggs and veggies in a tortilla. When I picked him up from school, his teachers said he’d had a “fantastic” day. His personal trainer reported “big improvement.” He ate dinner without a whimper. He went to bed and slept soundly again.

Coincidence? Or just undesirable stuff—who knows what?—building up without his dropper?

Once upon a time, I would have said the former.

P.S. According to Wikipedia, Aleksandr Semenovich Lazarev was a pseudonym of A.S. Gruzinsky. Other than that, I can’t find out much about him. Poor Lazarev/Gruzinsky appears to be remembered only for Chekov’s gun.

IMG_3972Martin prepares to take a swim lesson.