This whole post may be in bad taste. That said, I was on the phone with my mother yesterday and she was telling me a friend’s daughter had been diagnosed with some sort of mini-seizures. Apparently, the child may have had them for years but no one noticed until recently. From somewhere in the recesses of my brain I supplied the name of the condition. Petit mal seizures. Mom was impressed. So was I. Good news! My brain is not as pickled as I thought.

I googled “petit mal seizure” and read through the symptoms. Eureka! It is very possible my stepsons have had this problem all along, and I too, missed it. (Lord knows I tested them for everything else – ADD, ADHD, autism, depression, dyslexia…) The diagnosis came back the same every time: They’re boys.

I am only half-joking when I say the symptoms could easily be attributed to either of my “steps” AND to most teenagers of my acquaintance.

Symptoms include:
1. The person stops walking or talking mid-sentence. (I always thought they just lost interest.)
2. Hand fumbling. (Don’t get me started.)
3. Fluttering eyelids. (That’s usually the “tell” that they’re conscious.)
4. Lip smacking. (Only after eating cookies.)
5. Chewing. (I assume this is without food involved, so that’s a no.)
6. Staring episodes. (Both these kids space out all the time. I think they are either sleeping with their eyes open, or imagining what their lives will be like once we are dead and they inherit all our flat screens.)
7. Lack of awareness. ( They have both been unaware that sound travels since I first met them. Unaware that they are blocking the TV when standing 6 inches in front of it, and unaware that the refrigerator door does not close itself behind them.)
8. Sudden halt in conscious activity. (One of the boys once left the car parked and running, with the door hanging wide open for several hours until a neighbor called to let us know.)

I will hold out hope they will be miraculously cured upon reaching their mid to late 20s. But I’m not placing any bets. Their father still exhibits symptoms 1, 6 and 8.

Symptoms description from MedlinePlus.

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