Off Peninsula –

Friday we moved from the apartment we resided in for 5 years – three as non-parents and two with Thorin.  It’s also the neighborhood I lived in for twenty. While our city has many neighborhoods, the most important distinction is whether you live on the Peninsula, which is hip and cool or “Off Peninsula,” which is…not. We now reside in burb-lite – not quite the suburbs but  close. It’s the place you move because as non-parents you could tolerate crack dealers across the street, but as parents who rent you don’t have to.

The final straw in our old – beloved neighborhood – was “the stabbing incident.” In May, I walked into the living room to find Thorin standing on the couch with the shade pulled up. Outside was an ambulance, a fire truck, a crime scene investigation unit and three police cars. Ward talked to one of the officers. The victim claimed they had fallen on their own knife. Somehow that didn’t seem plausible to us having watched all five seasons of “The Wire”.  Regardless, Thanks Universe! We’ll take that as our sign.

Thorin is not thrilled yet with no longer living next door to LaLa, Bobo, VV, ShoSho and Immy (all names are approximations of their given names).

Thorin and I took the dogs for a few of walks on day three in burb-lite.  I thought seeing the new neighborhood from a few vantage points would be helpful – make him feel at home and all that. Also – our twelve-year-old mini dachshund is incontinent (she goes to the vet Tuesday for tests).

On the first walk, Thorin alternated between walking with us and refusing to walk with us – standing with his arms crossed about 10 feet behind. I started with, “You said you wanted ice cream. Well, you have to help me by walking next to us if you want it.” The walk ended with me saying in a mean voice, “Oh, you are so not having ice cream!” and him screaming “Ice cream!”. We all screamed ice cream, but it wasn’t fun.

On Walk Two, he made no pretense of wanting to walk with us and started stomping a new neighbors flower garden, running in another’s backyard – while Coco-the-dachshund got away and Walt-the-German-Shepard started rolling on the really plush manicured yard. That walk devolved into me making him hold my hand for the duration, him screaming and Coco peeing about a million times.

Walk Three could be titled My Marcel Marceau Story. I have written about Thorin’s mad mimicry skills that might be related to children with Down syndrome. Well, some neighbors on walk three got to see Thorin on the boulevard pretending to pee like Coco: laying almost flat with his arms stretched in front of him, his legs outstretched in back and head held high. He had seen her pee enough times today to really nail that one.

I fear the new neighbors are saying things like, “Good lord, Denise, another one of those families from the Peninsula moved into the neighborhood!”

This entry was posted in Adopting, By Notatypicalmom, Down syndrome, Inclusion, Parenting, Random life, Special Needs by Kari Wagner-Peck. Bookmark the permalink.

About Kari Wagner-Peck

Kari Wagner-Peck lives with her husband and son in Maine. She is a writer & storyteller who home schools with her son. She is the author of the memoir Not Always Happy: An Unusual Parenting Journey, May, 2017, Central Recovery Press. She has been published at CNN, Psychology Today online, The New York Times Well Family blog, The Huffington Post, The The Good Men Project, The Sydney Morning Herald Daily Life blog, BLOOM and Love That Max among others. Author page: Twitter @KariWagnerPeck and Facebook: Email:

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