Ups and downs…

I wanted to write a cheery “spa day” post with pictures of Jeremy and I enjoying family time but that didn’t happen. Not that our spa day wasn’t good, or should I say spa half-hour… or to be more accurate our very distracted spa half-hour while Jeremy watched The Young Turks and disassembled electronics…

electronic relaxation

Not the togetherness I’d been anticipating

The best part of the evening was the masks I scooped up at Shoppers Drug Mart, which smelled like chocolate. I came home from work two days ago to find Jeremy wearing another mask simply because zie liked it so much. Apparently Jeremy loves spending the afternoon giving zirself a facial while deconstructing electronics. I forsee three for $5 chocolate scented masks in Jeremy’s stocking this year.

Zie also shaved zir arm pits and let me paint zir toenails. Jeremy had always shaved from the moment puberty started (if not before). Zie loves the silky smooth feeling of freshly shaved skin and only stopped when zir teachers made a big deal about teaching gender roles in class; telling the girls they had to shave while explaining that boys don’t (meanwhile they didn’t have enough time for regular math lessons). This was one time they didn’t try to force gender roles with Jeremy but their pointing out to the entire class that zie shaved and stressing how manly it was, because body builders shave to show their muscles, didn’t help either. Jeremy doesn’t want manly, bulging muscles and didn’t want to be centered out in class. Zie immediately stopped shaving and has been anxious about starting ever since.

Jeremy was also worried about people seeing zir toenails and teasing zir about them. The sparkly polish disappeared into zir room and quickly vanished again as soon as it surfaced. Then came a comment from a stranger in our building while Jeremy was on the elevator alone. A man who looked at Jeremy, smiled, and said, “Hey, you aren’t wearing toe polish anymore? Why did you stop?” Sometimes people can be awesome! Jeremy was more than happy to put zir purple glittery polish back on when I found it once again.

slightly blurry purple toeses

Zie gets zir hobbit toes from me. Nothing like shaving your big toe for sandal season.

I woke at 3am several nights ago to find Jeremy curled in a ball on zir bedroom floor, crying that zie was a failure. Jeremy had connected one of zir tablets to a monitor, keyboard, and mouse then zie decided to upgrade the tablet to Windows 10, without realizing the upgrade would switch the tablet back to using a touch screen. The screen’s shattered and the tablet immediately refused to start. Resetting the tablet to factory settings didn’t help and doing this all in the middle of the night while exhausted definitely didn’t help. I assured zir that zie wasn’t a failure and reminded zir that the tablet screen can be replaced. Finally zie was willing to sleep.

Two days ago Jeremy happily cleaned up zir entire balcony, right down to scrubbing the balcony floor and washing the windows. Today zie washed most of the dishes, cheerfully went out grocery shopping, then came home and cried because zie was sad and didn’t know why.

Yesterday we went out for a picnic and Jeremy took selfies on my camera…

Zie melts my heart

I’ve made an appointment with our family doctor so we can get a referral to a psychiatrist (both of us, not just Jeremy) and I’ve adjusted zir medication slightly so zie’s taking the pills at the same time as me; breakfast and dinner instead of both at dinner. I’d have asked the doctor first but he’s on vacation. The sobbing on zir bedroom floor at 3am was before the medication change. The grocery shopping and cleaning the balcony was after.

Now zie’s washing the dinner dishes before we watch Doctor Who. I’m exhausted but zie’s looking forward to watching it with me and I’m not going to mess with happy family time; especially when it involves the Doctor.

Hopefully tomorrow will be another good day.

Angel and Jeremy

Sometimes all we need is a purring cat. Sometimes all the cat needs is a loving human… and sometimes both are lucky. Jeremy and Angel.

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Excitement over electronics…

If there’s one thing Jeremy loves, it’s electronics. If something involves wires and circuits, it’s amazing. Beyond amazing… it’s the best thing ever. If you add solar panels, lights, or sound you can watch Jeremy soar to the stratosphere with excitement.

The two of us went for a walk on Friday night. We were in the middle of our local green space, talking about camping, when I suddenly realized our camping spot at Unicamp might not have electricity. We’ve never camped without electricity before. We camp in my parents’ tent trailer which has built in fans, ceiling lights, a sink, and a tiny electric fridge plus I bring a toaster so I can make english muffins for breakfast. Most importantly, we can plug in our phone chargers. You know… really roughing it. We’re going camping for a week this July. I’m lucky if my phone lasts for six hours. I can take pictures on my real camera but can’t exactly send L 50 odd smoke signals a day.

“Jeremy? Where did we see that solar panel charger?” I asked idly. I should have known better because there’s nothing idle about Jeremy and electronics. But I knew we’d seen one recently and for a reasonable price too.

“Oh! At that new discount store! We should go there tonight and pick one up!” If zie could have opened a portal right there to the mall zie would have.

“It’s probably going to be too late tonight,” I pointed out. “I’m pretty sure the store closes at 8pm and it’s 7 o’clock now.”

Jeremy nodded and we walked a bit further down the trail. Suddenly zie let out a moan and staggered a little.

“What’s wrong?” I blurted, automatically checking for blood and/or dismemberment. I always go right to the worst case scenario. Everything looked okay but Jeremy had complained of a stomach ache before eating. Zie’d been fine ever since and did say it was probably from hunger. Maybe it had come back?

“These sandals are giving me a blister.” Zie slipped zir foot out of one shoe and showed me a blister. It looked fairly old and I thought it was from zir last pair, the ones we’d thrown out a week earlier, but it wasn’t like I’d sat there counting them and marking their locations.

“We can go home,” I pointed out, trying not to look longingly at the trail ahead. We’d only just started our walk and it was gorgeous out.

“It’s okay,” zie replied, “I can go a bit further.” Jeremy’s tone made it sound like zie was dragging zirself across the finish line by zir fingernails.

“There’s a short cut just up ahead,” I reminded zir. Jeremy perked right up.

walking

We walked slowly toward home, stopping so I could take pictures of the trilliums and Jeremy could drive zir newest remote control car. It wasn’t until we were back on the sidewalk and zir car battery died that zie remembered the solar panel charger.

“We need to go to that store,” zie said urgently.

I slid my phone out and shook my head. “There’s only 20 minutes left until the store closes and we’re at least 15 minutes from home. We can go tomorrow after work.”

“I might not make it but I have to try.” Jeremy’s voice was firm and zie started walking even faster. Zie’s almost a foot taller than me, there was no way I was going to keep up.

“If you’re going to leave me behind, could you at least give me back my apartment keys?”

Jeremy rummaged through zir bag then handed them to me before running off. I watched zir sprint away without even a suggestion of a limp then shook my head and continued home.

Jeremy called as soon as I walked in the door to let me know they no longer had the solar panel charger and was going to check out Value Village just in case. It wasn’t a surprise when zie called back less than five minutes later.

“Mom, guess what I found at Value Village???”

“A puppy?” I had to guess something. Jeremy expects an answer even if there’s no way I could know. One thing I knew for sure was zie hadn’t found a charger there.

“No,” zir voice dripped with scorn. “I found a broadband radio!!!”

This was presumably the best thing in the world although I had no idea why.

“O-kayy? And this is good because?”

Mo-om… it means I can listen to both AM and FM radio and it has a CD drive and it has a USB port so I can plug in my MP3 player or my phone and it has a light!!!! I can add it to my kitchen!!!”

The light was the best part. Jeremy has been planning zir own kitchen for about three years now. Zie has plans to someday build a counter in zir room for a tassimo, some sort of tiny sink, and a bar fridge. The plans get more elaborate by the day although nothing’s been placed on paper yet.

“I can attach it underneath the counter instead of adding pot lights and I can play music there! And the best part is it’s only $8 and they’re usually a hundred dollars so I’m saving $92!!! And I’ve been wanting it forever!!!”

Which makes forever a lot shorter than I thought considering I’d never heard zir mention one before.

“You have no money so you’re not spending anything,” I pointed out.

“Okay, you’re saving $92.”

Technically I wasn’t saving anything because I’d never had any plans to buy a broadband radio. I was spending $8. But it wasn’t worth telling this to Jeremy.

“What happened to yesterday when I bought you that pair of purple headphones because yours broke and you kept borrowing mine? You said you wouldn’t ask me for anything all week.”

Jeremy was nearly in tears. “I know Mom and I’m sorry. It’s just stuff goes so fast here and I might not get another chance to get one of these again. Please!!! I’ve wanted one forever and we might never see one at this price again!”

I gave one of those full lung sighs. “Okay, fine,” I said reluctantly.

“Oh yay!!!! Thanks Mom, you’re the best! And I promise I won’t ask for anything else for the rest of this month!!!!!”

Sunday we went out to buy some more paint for my bedroom and took a walk through Marshalls, one of Jeremy’s favourite stores.

“Oh wow Mom look!!! They have a bluetooth keyboard for phones and tablets and it’s purple!!!! I’ve been wanting one of these forever!!!!!”

“You promised you wouldn’t ask me for anything else this month,” I reminded zir and got a sheepish smile.

“I know,” zie said ruefully. “I’m just not good at stuff like that.”

Jeremy might have no concept of forever but at least zie knows zir limitations.

Now Jeremy’s cleaning zir room after telling me zie’s going for “style over functionality”. I’m scared to look. Zie says it’ll be fabulous.

I’m going to need a crowbar and forklift…

Jeremy went to school willingly on Monday, which not only floored me but surprised all my coworkers. I was thrilled with this… until I came home. I’d barely walked in the front door when Jeremy informed me zie’d gotten so fed up with being misgendered, zie started calling the teacher and EAs “he” and “him” to see how they’d like it. It turns out they didn’t like it at all.

One EA told Jeremy that she didn’t mind at all, her voice dripping with sarcasm. Zir teacher complained that she was promised zie wouldn’t make a scene if they forgot the right pronouns. Jeremy informed her that was supposed to be an occasional lapse, not non-stop for half a year. The teacher then went on to complain about Jeremy’s rudeness and told zir that she was going to write a letter to me about it. Then she sent zir out of the classroom ten minutes early sans letter. I figure she had second thoughts about writing me an angry note about being misgendered. Good choice on her part because I’d have either laughed hysterically or put that letter someplace letters should never go.

The irony of the whole situation is that Jeremy figures zie used the wrong pronouns for about five minutes.

I half joked on Facebook a few days ago that I was going to need a crowbar and forklift to get Jeremy out to school today. I could have used them because zie didn’t go. Jeremy was positive they were going to be mean to zir, which made zir anxious. Jeremy uses electronics to calm down, meanwhile they’re constantly fighting zir on having “gadgets” in the classroom.

There’s a meeting with the school board tomorrow night called Families Engaged, where they want to hear from LGBTQ families (either LGBTQ parents with children in the school board or parents with LGBTQ children). Emma and I are going and I’ll be sharing what’s happening with Jeremy. I also have a meeting with zir school on Tuesday. Jeremy’s not back in school until Wednesday so hopefully we can get something sorted out before zie returns; although considering my track record with this school I’m not hopeful.