Friday, October 8, 2010

A Really Long Journey Starts With a Single Step

I'm out of shape and incredibly lazy. Bassett hounds get me. All this talk about people needing to take 10,000 steps a day to be considered "active" exhausts me. Ten thousand steps. That's a lot of steps, people. My extensive research shows I don't even come close to 10,000 steps. Unfortunately, I barely break one thousand. (Thank you, sedentary desk job.)

That being said, I've also discovered it takes me 67 steps to get to the bathroom from my desk, with an additional 7 steps to reach the toilet. (This includes one pivot turn required to turn on the light and shut the door.) It takes roughly 74 steps to get back to my desk. That's a grand total of 148 steps just to pee!

I will now up my daily bathroom visits to 68 per day to reach (and exceed by 64) my total goal of 10,000 steps per day.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Way to stick it to me, kid.

My daughter drove a nail through her nostril.

On purpose.

I arrived home late after a meeting and, like the loving mother I am, checked in on my precious fifteen year old daughter. I opened her bedroom door and the light from the hall fell across her angelic, sleeping face.

Oh, look, I giggled to myself. She's using one of those  BiorĂ©® pore strips. Except, well, it didn't look anything like the pore strips of my youth, so I flipped on the light switch. That's when 65 watts of lighting exposed the medical gauze taped across her nose.

Was she kicked in the face by a cow again?  That's how she broke her nose the last time. I bent down, straining to see if there was any indication of black and blue bruising under her eyes, silently cursing out Big V in my head because what kind of man doesn't call the mother when her baby gets beamed in the head by a hoof? But there was no bruising that I could see. So I moved closer. A mere inch separated my caffeine ladenned breath from her carefully covered nose. Around and around  her face I searched for something, anything, a clue of some sort that would tell me why my daughter's nose was bandaged.

And that's when I saw it. You see, they always leave evidence at a crime scene. CSI taught me that. And there it was -- someone had shoved the back of an earring into the right nostril of my daughter.

Oh no she didn't! I yanked that bandage off so quick and with such force she immediately sat up in bed. "Wha -? Huh?"

"Don't you dare say a word! What the hell is in your nose? You pierced your nose? What the hell is wrong with you? Are you some sort of idiot? Do you know how stupid that looks? Did you get a tattoo, too? Maybe a nice grim reaper to go along with the body mutilation? Were your bored? You couldn't find a toilet to clean or a floor to scrub to keep you busy? You had to pierce your nose?!"

(Don't worry; I'm not running for Mother of the Year. Ever since that one time when I kind of didn't believe that her arm really hurt that bad, and way later when I finally got around to taking her to the doctor and the x-rays showed it was actually broken in two places, they told me I wasn't even allowed to apply.)

Gingerly touching the side of her nose - the mutilated side with the piercing sticking out of it - she quietly asked, "Aren't you proud of me?"

"Proud of you?" I spat. "What, exactly, would I be proud of? Please explain to me where the sense of pride would come in to play."

In a quiet whisper she spoke: "I did it all by myself."

And just like that she was standing at the bathroom sink, three years old, way up high on her tip toes, trying to get a peek at her beautified face - smothered and slathered with bright red lipstick she had found in my drawer. "I did it all by myself!" she had explained so proudly.

And just like that she was bursting through the door, five years old, pigtails flying, shouting at the top of her lungs "I rode my bike! I rode my bike!" and throwing her arms around my legs. "I did it all by myself!"

And just like that she was seven years old, sitting on the floor surrounded by eight of her Barbie doll friends all sporting the same pixie hair-cut, scissors still in her hand, smiling up at me, "I did it all by myself!"

And just like that she was nine years old, covered in blood, fleeing from her dad, miles from where she had been - where she was supposed to be, tears streaming down her face as she ran into the driveway, frantically screaming about running and falling and the police and me not understanding asking her over and over how did you get here? Her answer, "I did it all by myself."

And just like that she was ten years old, opening my bedroom door with a tray full of breakfast: soggy cheerios that had sat too long, a tall glass of milk I dreaded to taste, and a plate of scrambled eggs hot off the stove. Eggs? You made eggs? "I did it all by myself."

A thousand examples I have of her doing things all by herself. Things she was too afraid to do, but faced her fear and did them anyway. Things I didn't agree with. Things I thought she was too young for. Things I thought she'd never be able to do. Things that pained my heart when I learned she did them. A whole lifetime of "I did it all by myself" already lived, and yet a whole lifetime of "I did it all by myself" awaits.

Just when I think I'm seconds away from strangling the life out of this kid who makes me want to scream and pull my hair out, I'm left with this overwhelming feeling to wrap her in my arms and never, ever let her go. To hold her, and protect her, and love her forever.

But don't let that fool you - the first runny nose that girl has I'm not feeling sorry for her in the least. Good luck blowing that two thousand times a day, kid!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Opposites Attract

Big V was in the hospital for three days. Two nights. Three days. His leg almost fell off. And he didn't call anyone. In fact, he announced (quite sternly, I might add) that "I'm going to call one person and one person only - and that's my boss to tell him I won't be in tomorrow; I won't have any visitors." Then he warned me that he would not under any circumstances tolerate any facebooking, twittering or blogging about his adventures. Wha-?! But I live for this stuff! Especially when the nurse blew out his vein he went, "woah... hold on... now I'm dizzy..." I started snapping pictures - but then he threatened to call security if I continued. He was serious, too.

That's one major difference between Big V and me. I would be mass texting while the nurse was playing with my veins. When I was in labor with Cletus the Used to be Fetus I instructed the nurse to feel free to jot down anything blogworthy. As they were rushing me to the operating room for the emergency c-section I yelled out, "Grab my phone! I need to change my facebook status!" Those nurses grabbed everything but my phone. It's so hard to get good help.

But back to V. Here he sits in a hospital for three days. Days filled with spirited nurses telling him about how they favor Pantene Shampoo products over anything else (but only when there's a coupon, because that stuff is expensive), and the doctor who checked on his leg and gushed about how good it looked (only to be told that it was, uh, the other leg that was the bad one), and the patient next door who kept yelling get out of my house, whydoncha! and I wasn't allowed to blog about any of it. I had to sit there. And conversate. And not take notes because everytime I did he'd give me the stink eye and say, "you are not putting that on the internet."

Now that he's been home (leg still attached) I asked if I could please, pretty please, please mention some of the fun that was had and he said I could. But I'm not allowed to tell you anything about the sponge bath.

Monday, October 4, 2010

In Sickness & In Health

It's been a while since I've posted. That's because I've been nursing a patient and his bum leg. Big V took a turn for the worse and landed himself in the hospital for 3 days. They sure do take bright red, swollen legs seriously.

I think I'd make a great nurse if I only had to deal with the male patients. See, to me he was complaining and whimpering about how this hurt and how that hurt and how his foot was all tingly and losing feeling - but to the nurses he was all chipper and fun loving, exercising stereotypical machismo: "I feel happy! I feel fine! I wanna take a walk!" He was the easiest patient on the floor because nothing was ever wrong with him. The nurses would smile, pat him lovingly on the arm and walk out the door. Then he'd turn to me moaning about how it would be easier if they would just amputate the damn leg already. You can clearly see how easy the nurse's job was as compared to mine. I bet if he had lied to me about the state of his leg I wouldn't have given him the stink eye so much. Just sayin'.

Anyway, the second those antibiotics kicked in and he was released from the hospital, I propped him up on the couch and retreated to the basement where I told him I had tons of laundry to catch up on. He couldn't take the stairs so he had no clue I was actually just lounging on the couch watching Sister Wives and reruns of Real Housewives of DC, surrounded by the laundry I had folded earlier in the week but was too lazy to haul upstairs. Every half hour or so I'd take an arm load up, taking care to wipe my brow at just the right moment when I knew he'd be looking. At one point I asked how he was doing and if he felt well enough to help fold, but he thought he might be getting a tad dizzy, what with all those antibiotics he was on, so I told him he should probably just take it easy and don't worry, I'd take care of all the laundry. Sure, he managed to watch every single football game being played, but he also had the baby. That means I win.