The Best Way To Stop Tics

I speak to so many of you worried mamas offline. I was once like you – scared about the future, dreaming of fearful “what if” scenarios, wondering if my kid jumped up and down in excitement over a surprise Disneyland trip if this might, in turn, make him jump up and down 1000 more times and he’d develop a compulsive tic that resembled a springy clown from a jack-in-the-box. In fact, what if he started obsessing about clowns or, worse, started shouting the word “Clown! Clown!” when he was supposed to be sitting quietly on the tram or paying attention in Circle Time?

I want to tell you that none of those things ever came to pass which is a great thing for me, my kid, and any people on public transportation or at public school who have a terrible phobia of clowns.

What I did start doing, however, was the best thing that could ever have happened since my son’s T.S. diagnosis. It was a cure I didn’t think would be more powerful than a Tic Tamer, Bonnie Grimaldi Vitamins, NAC or Gluten Free/Dye Free/GMO organic elephant poo from India – but it really was magical. It was called Faith over Fears.

“Oh, man, this is not what I wanted to hear,” some of you might say. (In fact, you one mama in the Midwest who has been Googling for cures all night… I just heard you groan from here.)

To your “arrgs” I want to say, “I know. I wouldn’t have wanted to hear my advice at the beginning either. But I wish someone would have told me anyway, because it’s the best cure there is.”

It looks something like this:


Obsess over his neck spasm


Encourage the things he loves



Banish the Stuff You Can’t Stand


Teach him moderation and time management



Obsess about invisible bullies


Be intentional about encouraging real friendships with kind hearted people

da boys


Obsess that he’ll feel weak


Surround him with family that make him strong

dom and pip


Worry about impulsive manners


Remind yourself that T.S. is not an excuse for bad behavior. Surround him with lovely ladies for encouragement!


When you remember to focus on your child’s gifts, not his tics, T.S. will be something he has, not something he is.

And that, my friends, is the cure for this maddening disorder – both for your child and… bonus… for you.

Until next time, hug that ticker of yours today!


PS: My boy started fifth grade today, along with his sister and Miss L who started fourth. I can’t believe it! They had a great morning. Hope your babies are doing okay, too!

trio 2


Summer is Ending!

When I used to write for BabyCenter, or Good Housekeeping, I’d use all sorts of clever titles to get readers’ attention. It didn’t matter if it were necessarily true or not. It simply meant that it was enticing enough to get someone to click on my post.

Because then, for $13/post, I was able to make some fancy advertiser a gijillion dollars for investing in the site.

I’m not saying that ensures me a ticket to hell, but it’s not entirely honest.

So now, while I’m not writing for any corporate sites right now where my title would say, “Having baby #3!” (which would then go on to explain that the baby I’m really having is not in my uterus but instead a dream for a peaceful start of school) I’m just going to be more honest.

Which is why maybe 34 people regularly visit me here.

For those of you who do, God bless you. And this is what my title means today.

Summer is ending!

It was glorious. It was full of Miss L and Cam and Jul. We took my mom on errands every Tuesday. While she did not ever win the Lottery, she did make sure the 99 Cents store, Vons, the post office and Bank of America stayed in business.

Every Monday we would visit Pasadena where my kids would do art with my best friend, Topanga T, while I chatted with Sam about life, love, tics and religion.

Almost every Saturday, Topanga and B would come to us. After dinner, we’d do “Bella-Tations” with the kids – a combo of Meditation that involves zen stories of T’s quirky bulldog, Bella.


Occasionally we’d take a weekend in a beach house or camping or our cabin (oh, the cabin upgrade) where my discipline schedule would turn into Lord of the Flies. (Free food! Stay up late! Whoo hooo!)

pic 4for grace 6

My children learned that if they did not adhere to their one hour/day of computers they would not get computers the next day.

Mama learned not to feel guilty.

Instead of saying “Why why why?” they learned to answer “Yes, Mama.”

My beautiful daughter met a new neighborhood friend. In addition, her best friend, Miss L, is moving directly across the street as of, um, now. They will also share a class next year. Their teacher is so fxxxed.


My husband and I are learning to communicate day by day.

My faith is getting stronger.

And while my house still needs painting and my floors still need varnishing I’ve accepted the fact that I’m not going back to work to make these things happen. Instead, I will finish my book and see if it sells.

And if it doesn’t sell through a fancy publisher, and it’s not done yet, I have learned to forgive myself. Because more important than anything else in my universe is the love of my babies. Their soul, not my finances (and certainly not a few tics) are what will define my life.

I am feeling sad that soon my daughter – who is sleeping at her new friend’s home tonight – will be embarking on fourth grade. My beautiful boy is starting fifth. I will be here. Alone. With an empty screen and an empty start.

And while having some alone time sounds incredibly glorious, I’m a bit weepy. Because these two little beings mean pretty much everything to me. (Even when I’m screaming at them, on occasion, to GO TO SLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

Until next time, I pray that tics don’t steal too much of your joy. Because who you have in your home right now, tics or not, that’s enough.



dom and pip

PS: That’s Stinker and his new “masked ranger! Squeeeker!”