TOTALLY NORMAL: Series Premiere!!!


I am most pleased to present the series premiere of TOTALLY NORMAL!

Ella Parker and Thorin

Ella Parker and Thorin

The series was conceived by Ella Parker, Thorin’s best friend. Ella Parker is the writer of the series. Thorin and Ella Parker are the stars of the series. I am their director, camera lady and editor. This is a Sugar Burger Production.

What happens next? You’ll find out next week!

p.s. — This is not about Down syndrome. The reason I know that is neither of them mentioned it:)

A Wicked Bad Cold & the 10 Things I Learned While Sick


I haven’t written anything in days because our house was hit by a disgusting and lingering cold. Every time we thought it was over another one of us would get sick and the one’s already sick got more sick. The cold was clearly mutating. It could discern what symptoms we individually hated most and then increase those very symptoms!

Also– it was not satisfied just being a cold. It spread into an ear infection for Thorin and asthma for me. Ward was sick but was still able to be vertical for longer periods of time so he had to also take care of us.

I had days to contemplate EVERYTHING. I watched more TV and read more anything than I had in years — and certainly before Thorin.

I could have just wasted my time being sick but I didn’t. I learned some things on the couch, in bed and at the doctor.

Self-care is a privilege:

Being able to be sick and be taken care of is a privilege. No more needs to be said I think.

Being sick might be the only thing that stops me from doing:

I remembered thinking this for the first time when I was about 4 years old. My mother confirms this. I am either going, going, going or I am stopped cold. I should probably look at this.

Team Adams Family vs. Team Munsters:

I discovered I am a fan of The Adams Family and Thorin is a fan of The Munsters—both classics now screening on Netflix! The Adams Family (TAF) is cool and they home schooled until the Truant Officer came to their house forcing Wednesday and Pugsley go to school. Thorin prefers The Munsters because they are more monster-like.

I was forced to watch a fair amount of The Munsters. I realized they also have more heart than TAF. There was particular episode from 1965 where Herman told Eddie something like it “doesn’t matter if you are short, tall, black, brown, yellow or white it is the size of your heart and the strength of your character that matters.” Bonus— Paul Lynde was in this episode.

Watching Project Runway marathon style is good for you:

I discovered the current season of Project Runway (14) was available through Amazon for 67 cents per episode! WTF!

At that point in the cold where you despise yourself for being so weak you lay in bed watching TV you suddenly realize Project Runway is essential viewing. Those designers need us! Thank goodness I was there for them.

Black women have to work a million times harder than anyone else:

The last network television drama I watched in real-time was St. Elsewhere. But, six days into our wicked bad cold I ran out of things to watch so I tried: How To Get Away With Murder starring Viola Davis which is also streaming on Netflix. I have to be honest, I watched because Davis garnered the first Emmy win for an African-American actress in the drama category.

Viola Davis

Viola Davis

I have no idea what other actress are expected to delivery in their series – because I am not watching–but Viola Davis as Annalise Keating is a PHENOMENA. I can put up with the uneven acting and horny hijinks of her law students and co-workers just to watch Davis BRING IT.

Thorin Cheats at UNO:

The three of us played countless games of UNO. I discovered Thorin cheating several times. I was not concerned for three reasons: one, I experimented with cheating at about the same age so I am filing it under normal child development. Two, he is very bad at cheating. I do not see him becoming good at it. Therefore I am not worried he will ever be like Dick Cheney. Three, he is good enough at UNO that he can beat me honestly.

Don’t argue with doctor about taking your dog’s medication:

After having an asthma flare-up I calmly took the remaining Prednisone that had been prescribed to Walt-the-dog, who died in January. I was concerned I would end up in the ER if I didn’t. Taking it helped immensely.

The doctor I saw the next day had absolutely no sense of humor about this. He told me I didn’t take enough of it. He also asked how much was the dog on and how would I get more for the dog? I found the doctor’s concerns off-topic. I should have kept that assessment to myself.

Nora Ephron stills rocks:

Last Christmas my sister gave me the book The Most of Nora Ephron. I finally got the opportunity to start reading it. I was also reminded – again—pie for dinner is allowed. RIP Nora Ephron.

Books are so heavy:

I read everything on my Kindle and had to resort to reading actual books.

Not being engaged in social media for several days is awesome:

No more needs to be said I think.

Boy with Down Syndrome Contends: He’s Not Always Happy


Boy with Down Syndrome Contends: He's Not Always Happy


Big Beast and Slipper Peck


Thorin wanted the story to start with yelling. That gave me an opportunity to introduce ‘conflict’.

I asked: “If it begins with yelling what is the problem?”

“The mother” he said. I told him there is a longstanding tradition in writing based on that very idea.

Today’s story includes video rather than drawings and a little bit about our process. Notice my not so subtle attempts at controlling the narrative.

And now please enjoy:

Big Beast and Slipper Peck

“It’s time to go!” said Momma Beast.

“I DON’T WANT TO!!!!!!!” Big Beast yells and growls. He stomps away and farts.

He sees Slipper Peck who walks with a cane. He is old. He used to be a dancer pirate.

Momma Beast yells, “GO TO YOUR ROOM!”

Big Beast yells: “NO!”

He and Slipper Peck go eat cheese burgers.

The theater classes are paying off in character development:

For more of Thorin’s stories: Home School Re-Boot Stan Lee, It’s Thorin’s Mother Calling, Stephen King Has Nothing On My Kid, Thorin Tells Me A Very Big, Short Story About Heroism, Collaborative Storytelling.