Friday, July 18, 2008

Mothering... not for the faint of heart

This has been a huge emotional roller coaster week. I am contending with going back to work full time and leaving my precious baby in someone else's care. Apparently my son has sensed this because he has done things that bring me to my knees in tears with the grief of knowing how much I will miss him and then doing something that makes me think maybe I will be glad to get a break from him.

Case in point:
On Wednesday DS has his second to last swimming lesson which entitles him to the title of champion dog paddler. We have spent exactly 18 days this summer going to swimming lessons. I have yet to see any real swimming instruction. However, my child is king of the game "Green Light Go, Red Light Stop"as played in the shallow end of the pool. Anyway, I digress. Lessons are over and DS and I have hopped into the pool for quality mother and son time. This is also known as me being repeatedly splashed in the face as he belly flops into my arms from the side of the pool screaming, "I want to do it again, Mommy." This time though he is distracted by the big kids jumping off of the diving board. He looks at me and says I want to go off the board. I pause, casting about for some reason to keep my four year old safely with me. I am not sure about your community pool, but ours have pretty stringent rules that have not changed in 25+ years (I am not exaggerating, the rules are the exact same as when I swam at this very same pool during my childhood.) For the diving board, you must jump off and swim to the ladder, not the side and no one may be there to help you. This is not a short distance to the ladder and I am certain my kiddo will not be able to make it. I explain this to DS knowing that he will see reason and change his mind. No dice! After asking him,"Are you sure?" for the eighteen billionth time, I know what I have to do. My son is NOT a risk taker. When other mothers are pleading with their children to stop doing dangerous things I am encouraging my son to try it. I must let him give it a shot. I tell him I will go first and will wait for him at the ladder. I figure that way when I go into to save him it will not be as crazy as me running and screaming from the edge to jump in after him. I jump off and swim to the ladder and look at him perched on the edge of the board. I am fairly confident he is going to chicken out and all I will have an opportunity to be the perfect mother as I help him back off the board and comfort his bruised ego. But no, he jumps in with vigor. Holy toledo he is swimming and he keeps going. I am waiting for him to tucker out and look at me to rescue him. But, it never happens., He happily swims all the way to the ladder as I cheer him on and he is beaming with pride. That's my boy!!

Case in Point #2:
We are now at home happily basking in the glow of DS's diving board success. He has picked "Monsters Inc" to watch for family movie night and we are happily cuddled up enjoying the flick while he greedily munches away on his snack. All of the sudden he turns to me screaming bloody murder. "What is wrong, sweetie?" I urgently ask. Through his tears and the blood that is starting to drip out of his nose he informs me that he has stuck a Craisin up his nose and he can not get it out. For those of you unfamiliar with Craisins, they are dried cranberries. They happen to be my child's favorite thing to eat in this world besides any form of pasta. I ask him why in the world he would do that, but he just wails, "I don't know!" We try to get him to blow it out, I go excavating with a flashlight and tweezers. No luck. I guess I will have to call the pediatrician in the morning as it appears that he is fine now and will likely not die during his sleep. (Although I kept the monitor turned to 10 in case the Craisin decides to dislodge and choke him in his sleep. NO Craisin is going to take the life of my child!!) So the pediatrician assures me they remove objects from children's noses and ears all of the time and to give my ENT a call to get him checked. I call the ENT who likes me very much. She likes me because I alone am funding her retirement with the numerous surgeries for ear tubes and removal of mysterious things called adenoids. They are more than happy to take more of my money to remove foreign objects from my child's nose. So we get up the next morning to head downtown to the hospital. We have to park on the very highest level of the parking garage which is problematic given my child's long standing phobia of elevators. We trudge down 7 flights of stairs and make it down to the long hallway to the lobby. We run into a man and his three young sons. I smile and mention that he has his hands full. He smiles back and tells me they are going to get mom and the baby. I continue with the pleasantries saying he will really have his hands full with one more. He proceeds to tell me that the baby will die of a chromosomal disorder and I am searching for the appropriate words to respond when DS pipes in,"I have a Craisin in my nose!" In case you are wondering, there are no rocks to crawl under in that particular hallway. We make it to the lobby and get directions and realize we are going to have to take an elevator. This is not going to be pretty. DS starts shaking and begging me not to go and I remind him we would not be in this predicament if HE WOULD NOT HAVE STUCK A CRAISIN IN HIS NOSE!!! He wisely relents and decides to ride the elevator. We wait in a waiting room for an hour and finally get to see the doctor. Several tools go in his nose, no Craisin comes out. We are pronounced to be in the clear and we are sent on our merry way, after paying our copay of course!

As you can see the first story shows why I am absolutely bereft about leaving my baby behind. What you probably can't see is that the second story does not leave me craving a break like I reported earlier. Quite the opposite. It is in his trying moments, not his triumphant moments that he needs me most. I want to be there for them all. Damn job!!

7 comments:

Hummie said...

Great post! lol..okay, it was well written and had me laughing when I should not have been laughing as you need to be hugged, not laughed at.

You wrote it so well I could picture it all happening in my head.

How great that he jumped in! Wow....so see...you are an adventurer like me. Good for you for encouraging him. You are such a good mom.

That craisen nose story is about hilarious too...I've heard of this happening and I think some of the kinds I babysat did this...seems we might have had rocks up a nose once.

Oh, I got some dried cherries this week and lvoed them...my new snack addition...maybe Brendan would like those.

DanisDelusions said...

Chris, you have taken a page from Julie's book and written a fabulously entertaining post! I was scared for you when he was jumping off the diving board...It would be hard for me to let my 6 year old do *L* And the whole craisin story...just too much *LOL*

I know so well what you mean about being stuck between wanting to be with him and needing a break. There are days I envy working Moms. And yet, I know that I would be heartbroken to miss out on time with them.

Shanners said...

You are such a great story teller. I loved reading your post. :) I know exactly what you mean about wanting to be there for all the important stuff - that's why I'm applying for a job at my kid's school! :)

kmb1234 said...

At least it was not a popcorn seed!

Julie (It is.) said...

I have long maintained that children instinctively know "Just" how many adorable moments they need to have in order to keep their parents from adopting them out. They never cross over the line and throw in an extra, either ;)

Lovely post. I was holding my breath when he jumped in (a combination of your excellent storytelling & my own vigorous fear of water).

Write Moar! as my daughter would say...

lemonandmint said...

Chris, This post blown me away. Your a great storyteller just like Julie. :)

I totally agree with hummie. You need to be hugged but I can't help myself from laughing. It was hilarious. :)

mommykerrie said...

hey you! forget Christmas letters ... this is the new way to keep up and keep it real! i can't believe he is swimming. J. just learned last week!!!!!!!