Friday, November 26, 2010

The Price of Peace of Mind...there is no number too great.

I feel terrible posting a blog about our trip to the ER tonight without informing any family members...but the short version is...Sam is fine.

Now for the long version...

Tonight, after returning home from Tiggy and Pop's house, we began our evening routine. Our evening routine includes about 20 minutes of potty time while we wait for something to happen. In the middle of these bathroom antics, Samuel sat on the ledge of the bathtub, fell backwards and hit the back of his head. The sound was loud. Samuel started to cry hysterically, and I screamed my head off. I was not the calm presence my son needed at that moment. I have never heard him cry like that and he's never had a knot that big. It was several moments of frantic and terrifying decision-making.

Because this story ended well, I can tell you that the few minutes of running around the house before getting into the car to go to the ER are somewhat comedic. It's that feeling like you should know what to grab to take with you but you don't. You feel the need to act in a quick thinking, rational way...but really you are trying to decide if the four extra seconds it takes to put back on your bra is, in fact, an act of selfishness that would take valuable response seconds away from your screaming child or is he going to be fine and you will be in the hospital painfully aware that you are without support (and not the emotional kind). I'm not gonna lie...it's a tough call.

I began to prioritize this way. "Okay, I can change from pajama pants into jeans, throw on shoes but only ones with no laces, and I have no idea where my jacket is." Unfortunately, the fleece pajama top covered in sledding polar bears that was never meant to be seen by other humans has to stay. I couldn't rationalize one more second of potential head swelling for me to complete an ER appropriate ensemble. Nope, the pediatric ER will have to see the fleece. On the way out the door, I grabbed a blanket. No one knows why you do this...but everyone does. Emergency rooms are filled with cumbersome "life-saving" blankets.

As we drove to the ER and Sam started to perk up I beat myself up for worrying about being partially in pajamas. It's an ER for crying out loud. Who has time to get dressed? Flash forward to the actual ER waiting room, however, and I quickly realized that we were there on the one day everyone had time to get fully dressed and bring in their sick, lethargic kids. It was a completely calm room of quiet children and fully dressed parents. Andy and I entered frantically with crazy hair and looking very, "ma in her kerchief and I in my cap," donning half of our pajamas. Andy had on his pajama pants. The worst part was the fact that Samuel was now laughing and reciting all the words to "Fox on the Run." I'm sure they were wondering why we didn't get fully dressed before bringing our well child into the ER.

On the way home tonight, Andy admitted that after we sat down and he realized Samuel was probably fine, he spent several minutes trying to determine if he even had underwear on under those pajama pants.

The waiting room, like I said, was filled with pitiful looking children laying on their mothers and whimpering quietly. Samuel chose to spend his time spinning around on his chair, screaming at the Little Mermaid to, "Watch Out," on the tv screen and trying to figure out how to get his hospital bracelet off his leg.

Ah, the hospital bracelet. A few minutes after arriving, we were called back to get the dreaded bracelet put on. A month ago, Samuel and I got into a wrestling match on the ground of a certain corn maze over the orange bracelet they wanted you to wear to tell what you paid to participate in...and I lost the match. So when the nurse looked at me and said she was going to put it on his leg, I wished her luck and did not volunteer to help. Three seconds, a fistfight and some screaming later, someone named 'Big Sam' was called in for back-up. My Sam continued to scream his head off. The waiting room must have thought Sam was having needles driven into his arms because we got sympathetic nods from the entire waiting room as we walked back to our seats. Nope, it was just the hospital bracelet. At one point, Sam told me - in so many words- to go find a doctor and tell him to take off the bracelet.

By the time we actually saw the doctor, we knew our child was fine. The goose egg on his head had reduced dramatically and Sam was saying things like, "Erryone...Erryone....Uh Oh, all the people disappeared," and waving to himself in the mirror on the ceiling that hides the security cameras. The doctor asked Sam what happened...Sam told him that he fell in the bathtub and bumped his head. The doctor asked him if he felt okay...Sam felt like that was the cue for this:

Five little pumpkins sittin' on a gate.
The first one said, "oh my it's getting late."
The second one said, "There are witches in the air."
The third one said, "But we don't care..."

Not only did he recite it, but he had apparently choreographed it at some point in the waiting room because there was an array of hand motions that neither Andy nor I had ever seen before. Through his laughter, the doctor said we were in the clear and left.

When Nurse Tracy came in to take some vital signs, Sam had this conversation with her:

Nurse: Ooh...what happened?
Sam: I fell in the bathtub and bumped my head.
Nurse: You fell in the bathtub and bumped your head?
Sam: Yes, right.
Nurse: Oh no, (pointing to her own head indicating for him to show her the bump) Where did you bump your head?
Sam: (pausing, to be sure she understood this time) In the bathtub.

I'm not sure when he had time to work up that "Who's on First?" bit, but let's just say the pediatric ER loved it when he played there.

Tonight, Sam had the time of his life. For a copay of $200, we received a popsicle, some stickers, and some much appreciated peace of mind. As we walked out of the ER in our half clothes, half pajama outfits, our superfluous blanket and a perfectly healthy child over our arm, Andy patted Sam on the back and said, "I'd gladly pay $200,000 for peace of mind any day."

Sam's mommy

Monday, November 22, 2010

Time to UPGRADE!

I thought I'd go ahead and update you on what is happening outside of the floral department of our local grocery store. This update is not as edge-of-your-seat or informative as the balloon post, but it'll have to do for now.

We are moving.

For one of the few times in my life, I will exit the school district that I am from and embark on a whole new journey. Yes, in two weeks, this household will pack our covered wagon, Andy and I will get in an epic fight over something like how to properly label a box and we will strike out into a whole new world...a few miles North of where we are now. Not far, I know, but technically we will even be in another county.

We really do have that spirit of adventure, don't we?

As we debated on whether or not to sacrifice the Holy Grail to us that is a normal commute to work, we decided that it would have to be what we gave up in order to get into something newer and bigger...and with a washer and dryer inside the house.

I used to laugh at people that moved there. Why would people sit in traffic and sacrifice sanity for granite counter tops and space? And by people, I mean those of us without 800K to spend on shelter. Forgive me...I knew not what I was saying. I get it now.

As Andy and I walked through the house-to-be, we made comments like, "Wow, it has a pantry..." "Look, there are two bathrooms where you can sit on the toilet AND shut the door (not possible in our current 2nd bathroom)..." and of course, "you mean you can use the microwave and the toaster at the SAME TIME without the lights going out? Unbelievable!"

We are not hard people to please.

I used to think that we lived in a house with character. We have character, after all. Who wants to live in a new house with no character? Flash forward to Dishwashergate 2010 when my dishes were in the bathtub for five days while my dishwasher was in the backyard and...*raising hand* I DO!

I feel as though I should stop right here and tell you that the neighborhood I live in is awesome for people who like projects. A lot of people have done a lot of great things with these wonderfully built homes. Andy and I are not project people. We don't work well together on fixing things up. We are home improvement pansies.

We have had a wonderful experience in this house, despite the fact that a big fear of mine was that my 86 year-old landlord with the naked lady tattoos on each leg would die in my crawl space one day and I'd be too afraid of bugs to go look for him.

Truthfully though, it will be sad to leave this vintage (and not in a good way) 1950's ranch with it's mysterious cracks in the walls and the perpetual feeling of being watched. Even though we did not own it (thank you, Lord), it was our first house. We were still newlyweds when we came here. This is where we were when Andy graduated from college. There were people in our lives who were living when we moved in and aren't as we are moving out. I brought my newborn baby boy home to this house and set him in his crib for the first time in the nursery that we painted blue. One day, we might even talk about this place, fondly (not anytime soon, though).

The good times and memories, we will certainly miss. The mismatched lighting fixtures on our ceiling fan, we will not.

We have decided to sellout for walk-in closets and a garden tub. And I'm really fine with being a sellout.

Sam's Mommy - we are movin' on up!

Please don't comment on where we live or where you think we are moving to. Message me on FB if you are curious...I'll probably post where we're going on there soon.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Intro to Balloon Handling

Did I really have the following conversation at the floral/balloon counter at our grocery store yesterday? Why, yes...yes I believe I did.

Me: Hi, I want to get that Thomas balloon as well as two other blue balloons and a yellow balloon to go with it.

I said this to a seemingly normal woman except for the lip liner that ran 1/4 inch above her natural lip/skin border. I don't want to rat anyone out, so we'll call her Denise.

Denise: Sure. Now, are you going to tie these balloons to something?

I hate when customer service involves quizzing me about my post purchase intentions. I've bought balloons before, just trust me.

Me: Oh, I don't know. They are just going in my house so I'll probably just let them go when I get in there.

Denise: Well, unless you tie them to something, they will go straight to the ceiling.

You don't say.

Me: Yes, I know. I have a low ceiling.

In my 1950's ranch house with no pantry and the washer and dryer outside in an outbuilding.

Denise: Is this for a child?

You mean the Thomas the Tank Engine balloon?

Me: Um...yes.

Denise: Well you should know that these balloons are made of latex. They are dangerous if a child swallows them.

Denise, I had my child in 2007. This was right at the time that every cough medicine for a child under the age of 4 was taken off the shelves, Jenny McCarthy had written books on Autism and vaccinations and the BPA scare was coming to light. I tied up all the pull cords on my blinds, baby proofed my entire home, front and backyard and got a magnifying glass to determine the batch number on our children's tylenol no less than four times in three years. I have read every book, magazine, pamphlet and cereal box factoid about every possible danger to my child. I laugh at you thinking I don't know that swallowed latex is harmful. I had a baby in the age of paranoid...go ahead and quiz me.

Me: Yes, I realize this.

Denise: (still not sure I can handle this purchase) Okay, here you go. (handing me my balloons) Now, you'll want to hold on to these because if you don't, they will float away.

Is there a helpline I can call if I forget any of this?

Me: Thanks.

Sorry I had to pick on Denise, but...geez. There are some purchases that I believe involve a conversation not unlike the one above. I think it's good to discuss electronics, cars and pharmaceutical purchases with the appropriate sales person or expert. These are helpful and necessary. There are other purchases, in my opinion, that one does not need to discuss. For instance, I don't need a consultation at Starbucks to discuss my latte, I really didn't need that woman at the drugstore a few months ago explaining to me that too much of the sugar free chocolate I was buying acted as a laxative and I certainly don't need Denise at the balloon counter assuming that I don't know how helium works.

Sam's Mommy
PS - We had a small family birthday party for Sam last night and tomorrow - he will be THREE! What a privilege it is to be entrusted with a child and what a reward to get to see them grow.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Strippers, Really?


Now that I have your attention.

All normal parents dread the day when their child repeats something that they've said that they shouldn't. We ALL fear this. No one is immune to the "please don't say that in public" conversation that goes way over your child's head and, let's face it, only makes you feel a little better after you've slipped up and your child is running through the house screaming "What's a baby daddy?"

Before I was a parent (in the golden age of sleeping past 7AM), I assumed it was always going to involve someone slipping up and saying a curse word. What else did I have to fear than uncapped road rage speak? I realize now, that THAT was the least of my problems. It has been EYE OPENING to me to see ALL of the words and phrases that infiltrate our child rearing bubble and make me cringe when I think of how it could be taken out of context if heard in bits and pieces or just flat out said at all. When I say infiltrate our child rearing bubble I actually mean all the crap I say in a given day (like the word crap).

MOST of the phrases have gone completely unnoticed by our child and I have crossed myself (even though I'm not Catholic) in thanksgiving every time we dodge that bullet. And just to clarify...I'm not talking about shocking talk. I'm talking about things used in conversation EVERYDAY. Like saying someone was stupid. Or in my case, since I work in sex education. Saying the word Chlamydia. Thank God that's hard to pronounce.

There are two things that are going to be wrong with what I'm about to say. (Well, you've already said strippers and Chlamydia, Rachel). The first part involves discovering a picture of a scantily clad blonde girl drawn on the hood of one of my son's Hot Wheels monster trucks. You know the cars that say, "For ages 3 and Up" and don't say, "For drunk fraternity brothers." You know the ones? Right. Okay so the 2nd part involved me showing it to my mother and exclaiming..."She looks like a stripper right there on the hood of my son's Hot Wheels. Can you believe that?"

No sooner had the words exited my mouth than my son turned to my mom and says, "She looks like a stripper, Nina."

Dear God,
What is there to say? I've done it again. Please please please don't let him say that about another kids' artwork in school one day. I don't want to have to go to a parent/teacher conference and explain why my son now knows the word, "stripper". Amen.

I spent the next ten minutes trying to use CIA/Men in Black type mind erasing methods by exclaiming that it looked like a "turtle" on the hood of the car. Or it looked like a "monkey" on the hood of the car in the hopes that I would confuse the word "stripper" right out of his vocabulary. It will work, he'll forget...for now...then one day, when I least expect it...that word will come back to haunt me like an unearthed scandal in a political campaign.

Until that day and that blog post...

Sam's Mommy

PS Just in case I do have to explain myself, I'll be blaming and writing a letter to Hot Wheels.