La La How The Life Goes On

Posted on: April 19, 2010

So my mom visited last week. She was supposed to visit anyway to meet Baby Sister, but came earlier since I was in the hospital. (Or, for those of you interested in the truthful particulars, I called my sister and told her to send my mom up that day because (among other things) I felt so not well that I was sure I was going to die without seeing her, and I was none too psyched about that possibility).

What triggered the drama was, of course, the fact that I was exceedingly fucking sick. My blood counts were so bad that I remember thinking they hadn’t looked that embarrassing since before my transplant (30,000 platelets? Are you kidding me?). Then, when they said I had “strange interstitial spot-like marks” on my lungs I almost came out of my craftmatic automatic adjustable living bed to run home and avert what seemed to be my rapidly-arriving dismal fate. Those of you who know, know that my Dad died of pulmonary fibrosis. He died three days after we took him to the ER for what seemed like something else, maybe congestive heart failure, maybe pneumonia. But regardless: three days later, the man was dead from a lung problem we hadn’t seen coming. So when the doctors were all, “Hmmm…[scratch chin]…interstitial lung blahdeeblah” and I’m looking at the calendar, my brain went into overdrive, like, Dad I love you, but fuck if I’m repeating your story. That is YOUR story, not mine. Not gonna happen. And how will it not happen? Easy: my mom will be here, and we all know that nothing bad can happen when your mommy is around. Right?

So that’s how the Sunday visit became the Wednesday visit. And how the Meeting of Baby Sister ended up being not at all the ceremonious familial baton-passing I’d had hoped. Instead of me gently introducing BabySis to her PoPo, PoPo just arrived in a cab and set to work doing laundry and hanging out with Bambina. Funnily enough, the totally non-exciting nature of the meeting seems to have been the right one, because BabySis totally is cool with Grandma. It helps that (Mum, do forgive me for saying this, especially after all of your help with the Bambina lice problem and the Molly almost-dying problem and the mountains of laundry problem) both of them are a bit socially anxious as people go. My mom was of course excited to meet BabySis, but was pretty much expecting and seeking no love, focusing instead on keeping Bambina distracted and busy. Well, turns out Baby Sister likes it when you don’t really want anything from her and don’t act like she’s all special (and therefore seem threatening, like maybe you want to take her somewhere away from us), because they were hanging out alone in no time, two initially-shy, avoidant ladies doing their thing together. (I probably don’t need to add that this lasted a couple of days and then she went into full grandma mode–because you can only suppress the grandma stuff for so long before you just have to pinch a cheek or two). But by that time, the foundation of “let’s just look at each other surreptitiously and not say anything until we feel more comfortable” had been laid, and things were fine.

In the interim, my left arm started hurting. The arm that had had the PICC line in it. I emailed my doctor, who said breezily, “It’s probably a blood clot. Apply warm compresses and I’ll see you next week.” I’m sorry. Did you just say “blood clot” and then “next week” in the same sentence? Apparently, this is not a big deal where he comes from? I’m not sure about you, but whenever I hear “blood clot” I’m picturing myself seizing up pulmonarily a la Fred Sanford (You hear that Elizabeth? I’m comin’ to join you!), and heading off into that great junkyard in the sky. Him? No big deal. See you next week. Heat it like it’s a charlie horse. Nice.

Speaking of nice, my youngest daughter is a prolific pooper. Just today Dada had to change her in our bedroom because the stench was so pungent and we couldn’t stand one more second of what we now call a “Code Brown.” (We totally stole that from a good friend whose son required changing at our house one day due to said Code Brown incident). Anyway, Dada and I did that initial look of “do you smell..? Is that? Surely not…Oh dear. It IS.” So a Code Brown was called, the diaper stuff was retrieved, and the bunda was fresh and clean in no time. Only, Dada forgot to throw the diaper into the (totally effing useless on my kid’s brand of poo) diaper genie. So we’re playing upstairs with the girls, and I walk back into our room a while later and say out LOUD, “Oh my god, who crapped in our room?!!” Which precipitated a whole other situation, because Bambina then said, “What you mean by ‘crap’?” Awww, CRAP!! Dada shot me a look. The look that said, “I have asked you to stop saying that word and now look what has happened! You have opened the gateway to our chlid using a diatribe of expletives as if she’s ordering a Shirley Temple!” So I had to humble myself before my 5 year-old and confess prostrate that “crap” is a “not polite word for poopies, and Mama didn’t mean to say it and shouldn’t have said it.” Unfortunately, Bambina is a girl who knows that Coffee is For Closers, so she “innocently” offered the idea that “Well, we can say it in the home but not at school, right?” Um, no. We’re just not going to say crap anymore. dot dot dot! Aww, crap! I just said Crap again in front of her! Noooooo! At this point, Dada was just beyond. Beyond what I don’t know, but suffice to say he was beyond it. So I began my long march back to ethical and decent mommyhood by telling Bambina that Grandma and Bumpa kicked my ass soundly when I said crap. (I keeed! I told her I “got in trouble”). That the word is for people who don’t have better, bigger words to use. That we just need to have a “no crap” policy in our house because it’s just rude (aww, crap! I said it again!). Luckily I droned on for so long about actions and consequences in the Groundskeeper Willie home circa 1979 that she finally said, “That’s boring!” and begged to read a book about bugs instead of hammering the word crap to death for another five minutes.

Looks like Mama will be having that coffee now, doesn’t it? 🙂

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3 Responses to ""

Nathan already said “shit!” in a totally appropriate, grammatically-correct way. Not even parroting me. So yeah, been there!

Yeah, both monsters have said “Shit” at inopportune times as a result of mommy’s mouth. Its to the point that when I say it now, they don’t remind me that its a bad word but rather ask “What’s wrong Mom?” in their angelic monster voices…..

Your nieces just look at me when I say “Shit” and say either “Mommy that’s a bad word, your in trouble” or “its ok, we won’t tell daddy!” and burst in to laughter. I do have to say its funny when you turn in to dad and now give the 20 minute speech of why you Do/Don’t do something!!!!

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