I have been on hiatus. It's been part self-imposed and part "Do I really want to bore everyone with my retread kid stories?" After a while, they start to seem the same. And I promise myself I'll come back at least once or twice a week, but time constraints intervene and I opt for sleeping. Or sleeping opts for me, and I startle awake at 2 a.m. with the remote clutched in my hand and my glasses askew.
No sleep makes me crabby and not able to function well in the Momdom.
But no writing creeps in and makes me feel off center, you know, that feeling of something not being quite right that you can't put your finger on. The Momdom suffers but no one knows exactly why.
I busted Mr W and Nolan on different occasions, too, clicking on in here looking for something new but hearing the crickets chirp instead. I realize that maybe that's how they take my temperature, stopping by to see what's on my mind, knowing that sometimes I will only spill my guts to the audience that doesn't live in the house.
All three of you.
So. Todays' installment of Anna's World finds me speeding to the high school to pick up Nolan, while calling Mr W to make arrangements for him to pick up Ben, while texting Nolan to let him know I was on my way to him. I was at work, asking a question that my director was explaining to me (with pictures) about something I was about to work on when my phone rang. Vibrating away, I knew it wasn't a text, so I looked at the number. Hmm. I ran through the prefixes in my head, that one is familiar...oh! it's the high school. "I am sorry, excuse me, I have to take this, it's the school," I said as I hastily stepped out into the hallway. It was the school nurse.
"Nolan is here now," she began, and my mind began with her (is he sick did he get in fight what's going on) and he's got a red cuticle, it's pretty puffy, and he said he took some Motrin this morning for it (what? when?) and I cleaned it and put some ointment on it but he will probably need something not topical as it's not open (staph, god, mirsa what did he rub against has he fallen lately wait is it his foot or his hand) ..." "Wait. Is it his foot or his hand?" I ask. "Hand, middle finger, it looks quite inflamed and he said it's hurting," she said, "Can he have some Tylenol?" "Of course," I add. "Is it oozing, does he have a fever?" I turn into lab-Mom. "No, it's not." I talk briefly to Nolan, envisioning all kinds of horrible red infections in my head (why didn't I sleep through that class) and getting my self worked up into a CDC-calling frenzy in moments while I wait for the doctor's office to answer and calculate mentally how I will make this work, picking him up, then Ryan and Audrey, and finally, Ben while getting him an appointment and then showing up to said appointment on time.
Picking up the kids from school should definately be an Olympic event, an event with two sections, the Planning being Part A and the Execution being Part B.
And not getting a ticket? Part C, the bonus round.
I am an Olympian today, Gold Medal caliper, as I whoosh along, get to the doctor, early even, Ben being the only duck not in a row.
The doctor visit was interesting, in that the boy is about 5'9" now and a whopping 128.8 lbs. Nolan pointed out that this was in jeans, with a cell phone, iPod, and a wallet in his pockets, wearing a belt. I resist the urge to counter with that even with all that cargo, he's still basically a supermodel with a cocaine problem, and surfing along at my ideal height and weight, all jutting hipbones and surly attitude that I would love to have for just one day. I'm sure to be reported somewhere to my relatives, the boy doesn't realize that a Hispanic woman with a child as skinny as he is borders on sacrilege and that a bucket of refried beans (with lard!) will be delivered to the door any day now to rectify the situation. "Que flaco!" I can hear them now, tsk-tsking and patting his back and handing him a tortilla, lamenting that I work outside the home so how can I be expected to feed him properly?
The bottom line is he's not got MIRSA, or anything life-threatening. "Keep an eye on it, here's an Rx; if it does get worse, start it and call me," she said, sending me on my way. "Shake out your bed," she adds to Nolan, "I'm not convinced it's not a bug bite."
This is where Ryan steps in. He cutely positions himself between the doctor and the door, "Really? We have cockroaches in the house," he begins, as I am immediately horrified, too mortified to get up and clamp my hand over his mouth. Of course, moments before the doctor came in, I gave him and Audrey a lecture about how they were to be quiet as the doctor was coming to see Nolan, not hear about how their day at school went. They're talkers, these children of mine, I have no idea who they get it from.
"No, we don't," I vehemently deny, even though we have had a couple, a few, sightings of them over the last couple of months. A stray one here or there promptly being dispatched by my "Ew" stomp reflex. "Yeah, Mom, we do," he insists, "remember, that one, the BIG one.." "RYAN!" I interrupt, exasperated. The doctor takes it in stride, but I am sure the "cockroaches in house, she must not clean" was added to the chart anyway.
The door is hardly closed before I am reading him the riot act and reminding him that he was supposed to be seen, but not heard. And that cockroaches, while unsightly and all, don't bite. (I hope. If they do, please don't tell me.)
Finally, in the car, we are leaving. I'm a little harried as we are all starving and Ben is still unaccounted for, and when I call Mr W, who agreed to pick him up, he tells me he's on a call (what? Ben is out in five minutes, and I'm about 15 away, you're not supposed to stop someone, aaarrgggh!) and I am trying to maintain my composure as Mr W says, "No, I got it" when I know he could be done in two minutes, or twenty, so I start heading towards Ben when Mr W calls me back to say that he's got it. Meanwhile, Nolan is excitedly telling me a story, and he's quite animated, when all of a sudden, I hear "and they don't understand that the fuuc--" I start raising an eyebrow, he's past the point of no return but tries to turn down his voice "cking, freaking..." and the rest of the story is now irrelevant as the boy realizes he's just made a HUGE error in front of the Mom and he's got the big-eyed holy cow look, the super she's-gonna-smack-me-cringe on his face. I realize, at this point, I can react one of two ways: Yell or let it slide.
I chose........let it slide. I doubled over the steering wheel, giggling, his face, oh, his face, so hilarious. I raised an eyebrow anyway and let him finish his story. Then I said: "Mijo, I remember when you were a tiny baby, and I couldn't wait for you to say your first word. From "Dada" to F-bomb, where has the time flown?" and after we both chuckled, I added, "You know that was totally not cool, right, and I'm granting you a pass this one time?"
Sheepishly, he replies, "Yeah." "Dude, now you know why I don't like 'freakin' either."
I don't plan on letting him live it down. I will continue to remind him to watch his language, knowing he will slip and hoping he won't.
Anyone who has listened to the Shrek2 soundtrack more than twice (and
believe me, I have) knows there is a special circle in hell for Ricky
Martin. But when you are running errands with four kids you'll do
anything to maintain the peace, even if it means enduring the song
stylings of Eddie and Antonio.
Thank heaven for their Dad, without his help, I'd truly be in dire
straits, or at the very least, a straitjacket.