Friday, June 29, 2007

Monkey Spoons

Today I bought some cheapo, lightweight spoons to go with the cheapo, lightweight plastic bowls I let my son pick out. We're always running out of bowls at our house before dishwashing time because my son eats a lot of oatmeal and noodles. Anyway, my son was sitting in the cart, playing with the stuff. As we approached the checkout lane, he held up the spoons and asked me, "Are these baboon?"


"Are these baboon?" he repeated.

Of course they're not baboon, I told him. Baboons are monkeys, and monkeys are not spoons. Silly rabbit.

"No! BABOON!" He was getting annoyed and people were looking.

Dude, I said, I don't know what you're talking about.

"Argh! BABOON! BABOON! You know, like the spoons we already have!!" *

Oh, I said. Bamboo!!

"Oh," he said, realizing his mistake. "Yeah. So, uh...are they bamboo?"


At least we had a good laugh over it, after he stopped thinking I was deaf and stupid. ;^)

* The spoons we have are stainless steel, but the handles look like bamboo stalks. Like this.


Well, my dad got his pacemaker this morning at about 8:30, and my sister just called to say everything went extremely well. My sister and my mom are at the hospital right now, and she and my other sister will take turns keeping Mom company so she doesn't have to be alone at home today. She's still got about four weeks left on her recovery from intestinal surgery, so she isn't feeling a hundred percent just yet. I told the kiddo about Grandpa's pacemaker, and he was momentarily concerned because "[his] heart sometimes beats really fast, like when [he's] excited about a video game or something!" I told him that was normal. ;^)

Today the kiddo is performing in a play put on by his summer theater class. He gets to be a dragon and "a good ninja of the present." Well! The kids will have costumes, too, and a little cast party afterward. Time to take a shower, pack up the party snacks and bust out the video camera!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

And I Never Even Really Liked Baseball

Tonight my son wanted to watch the baseball game on TV. His dad had told me the kiddo was amazingly good at keeping track of the game and made it his business to know the stats, but I had no idea how good he was. As we watched the game and my son gave me a nearly constant rundown on the players and teams, I told him, "I'm sure glad you're here to tell me all this stuff!"

His face turned serious. "Really?" he asked. "Are you just complimenting me because you love me, or do you really mean that?"

I said I really meant it, but secretly I wanted to say, "Both."

Monday, June 04, 2007

Worried, Sick

Where do I start? My mom had emergency abdominal surgery last week. She'd had belly pains that came up rather suddenly and, after spending some time on the couch with all sorts of heartburn and indigestion medications (as I discovered when I went to clean up the house while she was in the hospital), finally asked my dad to take her to the emergency room. There she had a range of inconclusive tests and was admitted to the oncology wing, where no one seemed to know anything. Of course, I was getting this information from about 93 miles away; my siblings were actually there and I'm sure the frustration was about a hundred times worse than it was for me (and it was making me sick with worry and dread, so multiply that by 100).

Eventually a doctor decided my mom probably had appendicitis, and plans were made for surgery. After a couple of hours, the doctor emerged and informed my family that Mom's appendix was, in fact, fine, but her fallopian tube had somehow become wrapped around her small intestine and started to kill it. In case you're wondering, yes, this can be fatal if not corrected in time.

Insert the requisite hospital visits and caretaking and worrying about one's mom looking so vulnerable and frail and...pained. This is not a merry phase of life we're entering now, this time of learning to care for one's slowly aging parents, this peeling away of yet another layer of the onion before we kids are the outermost layer. Vote no on mortality.

Anyway, after several days in the hospital, Mom was released and sent home to recover further, and I spent some time over the most recent weekend taking care of both of my parents. Dad was exhausted after being at the hospital every day to reassure Mom, and stressed out by the thought of his upcoming surgery to have a pacemaker installed on June 11. The two of them were alternately loving and argumentative, and I had to leave the house at least once because their bickering flare-ups reminded me too much of the bad parts of my childhood. Mostly, though, I hung around and tried to be useful. When Mom was up several times during the night, I got up and helped her into chairs or searched for medications that had been misplaced during the bathroom renovation that had begun prior to Mom's surgery. Between my hypervigilance and my Mom's constant igniting of the gas fireplace (she was cold and I was sweating) and the too-narrow couch, I slept only a couple of hours on Friday night. As a result, I fell asleep in my car in the parking lot of Wal-Mart the next morning, and returned to my folks' house to find broken glass all over the kitchen. Another mishap to fix and manage. My son has told me he wants me to "never get old," and I want to promise that more than ever.


At the moment, I have no voice. Granted, my voice was already a little compromised at the beginning of the day, due to a very slight cold, but now I can only whisper and croak. I told my son that I hope my voice is all better tomorrow and that I don't sound terrible, like I do today. His reply: "I like your voice no matter how it sounds, Mom." Now, where can I find an adult male with that kind of acceptance? ;^)

Today I helped chaperone a trip to SeaWorld for my son's kindergarten class, hence the current lack of voice. I often forget that other kids don't work the same way that my son does. Of course, the kiddo has been with me since day one, so he knows all my rules and most of my limitations and manages to pretty much stay within those parameters. It's more of a challenge for me to handle a small group of very excited boys in an aquatic amusement park, however.

I should have known the day would be tougher than usual when I was watching the kids as they sat on the classroom rug before our departure, listening to the teacher read them a story to keep them from asking when the bus would arrive. Another mom stood nearby, and I joked that I was on "potty patrol," as I herded last-minute pottiers toward the facilities and kept them from walking in on other kids in the middle of doing their business. (I'd gladly taken on the task after my son shyly emerged from the bathroom, having been startled by a knock on the door and, it turned out, not having actually peed.) One particularly rambunctious boy was unable to sit still on the rug, and the other mom, knowing I volunteered every week, asked me if he'd "gotten better" throughout the school year. "Well," I said, "he's always been..."

"Busy?" she finished. I laughed. "Yeah, that's a good word for it," I said. Turns out the busy boy was in daycare with the other mom's son a few years ago. "He's in my group today," I told her. She wished me luck.

My group consisted of Busy Boy, the kiddo and one very sweet, mellow boy whose speech is very mushy, partly due to missing teeth, language issues, and shyness. As we made our way to the bus, the kiddo's teacher remarked, "Don't hate me for giving you Busy Boy." I told her I was equipped.

The trip started out with "Good job!" and "Is everyone making good choices?" and wound up with "Busy Boy, I'm counting to three!" and "No, I do not have a penny to throw in the pool. I don't have a quarter, either. It is not polite to open a lady's purse. No, we are not buying popcorn. Busy Boy, come back here!" So much for good intentions! Nevertheless, I managed to return to the bus on time with all three kids alive and intact, and really, they had a good time despite my cranky croaking. ;^)


Today my sister said Mom tried to drive her car yesterday and was steering erratically and unable to otherwise maneuver. (My brother followed her.) Finally she gave up, parked the car in the driveway with the keys in the ignition, and my brother hid the keys. She also turned on a burner without noticing there was a plastic cup on it, and a small fire started. She was only able to watch it and my dad put it out. Sis says we need to check on all of Mom's medications, as there's some possibility that she's not on the right doses, or having trouble keeping track of everything. Dad is supposed to have a pacemaker installed on Monday, and may postpone that until Mom is better.

I'd hoped Mom would be doing much better each day, but the latest incidents seem like a setback. I'm feeling very worried, and I want my parents healthy. I'm also frustrated at living too far from them at this time. More to come.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Stuff I Always Mean to Write Down

My son told me yesterday that he wrote about me in his school journal. "I wrote that you are gorgeous," he said shyly. "I was going to also write that you are beautiful, but I ran out of room."


Last night he had gas and his tummy was hurting, so I suggested that he try sitting on the toilet to see if that helped. "I don't want to do that!" he wailed. When I reminded him that pooping or passing gas sometimes help certain kinds of tummy trouble, he told me, "But I already pooped today, and I only pass gas once a season!" (Editor's note: I beg to differ.)


We were in a rush today, so I told him I'd make his lunch later and bring it to him, but I'd probably just sneak it into his backpack and not hang around for lunch. He left with his dad, and a few minutes later the phone rang. "Mom?" he said. "The sneaking-my-lunch-into-my-backpack thing is really a good idea, because I don't want the other kids to hurt your hand, okay?" (Editor's note: When I stand in the breezeway as the kids file by for lunch, they like to give me some mighty hard high-fives.)


The other day, he was getting ready for bed and was wearing his ever-fashionable t-shirt and undies combo. I hugged him and patted his cute little bottom, then jokingly asked if he would still let me pat his bottom when he's a big boy. "Well," he said after some thought, "yes, but not when anyone is looking."