Thursday, May 27, 2010

How To Talk To The Kamikaze Bugs In Your Head

Jamie: Mom, my ear is buzzing.
*pulls ear...yelps...then tries to give his ear the evil eye*
Jamie: Hello? Hello bugs! Please go away, you're annoying me.
*no response from offending party*
Jamie: Get out of my ear right now.
*bangs head against wall*
Jamie: Mom, there are bugs in my ear and they are punching me.

Me: I know babe, but they can't hear you.

You'd think I would have figured it out earlier. The cold that set up camp in his sinuses, the return of a slight fever, the huddled moaning in the corner, but instead I always feel like I'm late to the mommy instincts game, coming to the brilliant deduction my son had an ear infection only after he was sobbing uncontrollably and talking to himself like some sort of deranged narcissist who was directing a symphony of bees.

Even though I seem to be the type of person who needs to see something like jagged bones poking out of arms to be convinced of a fracture... once I get worried, I really get worried. How do you console a distraught four year old? Particularly a four year old that doesn't get distraught very often. The last time Jamie sobbed uncontrollably for any length of time was when he was a colicky infant. So I did what I used to do when he was a baby--I rocked and sang to him and just hoped it would go away soon-- completely bewildered as to what else to do. We are not a family prone to ear infections and my mom's old remedy of garlic oil in the ear was not an option. (mostly because I don't have any, since I was desperate enough to try it, despite its propensity for turning one's house into a rancid Italian restaurant.)

In a brief stroke of brilliance I called on my friends. I remembered Kat had more than her fair share of ear infections as a child. She came to my rescue with the heated rice sock idea, back rubs and anything else that would help him calm down and thus relieve some of the throbbing. Bethany said she always watched Dr. Doolittle and Willy Wonka when she had ear infections, so we turned on the TV, asked daddy to pick up the antibiotics, and settled in for an afternoon/evening of movies, books and cuddles.

May that amoxicillin do its job quickly.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Lampshade Wearing Princess.

I woke up this morning and promptly tripped on a mangled dog bone that took half the skin off the bottom of my foot. Jamie stuck a lampshade on my head and called me a princess, and while the hobbling lamp princess was trying to fashion a bandage for her injured appendage, Charlie tried to cut off his nose with the gauze cutting scissors.

This sort of thing shouldn't be allowed to happen before breakfast.

My kids are going to grow up thinking jam filled crepes are what everyone eats for breakfast because here we eat them almost every day. They're cheap, comprised mostly of eggs, and I can now make them in my sleep. I did a double batch this morning so Jim could have some too, but his offspring one-upped him and ate them all before he got his truck loaded. That's right, my 2o lb baby ate five plate sized crepes, and Jamie ate six. How am I going to feed them when they're teenagers. I see cooking lessons in their future.

Because this sort of appetite shouldn't appear until they are at least 13.

Since the day was already off to a doomed start, I decided laundry might as well join in the fun and take a few punches at me. We pretended to be air bison, as we pushed and flew armful after armful of dirty clothes to the laundry room. The laundry baskets were being used to hold up a fort, so fifty small trips later, we got all the clothes this household owns to the front of the washer...piled into a awe-inspiring, ceiling reaching summit. Three loads later and Jamie decided to mix up the clean clothes with the dirty clothes (because the mountain was beginning to shrink in stature just a little). I confess I actually picked through the laundry piece by piece, smelling each sock and underwear to see if it was clean or not.

Because this much laundry shouldn't have to be done twice.

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Drunken Frog Doctor

There was a ruckus on the side of the house the other day, and since we're at the peak of rattlesnake season, I sort of flew in a supernatural panic when I heard Barnabas barking and Jamie yelling at something to hold still. Turns out it was just a really large frog (toad?) who looked like he was rather regretting his decision to take a pleasant walk (hop?). He didn't understand Jamie's repeated explanation that he was really being saved from a far worse fate at the paws of our playful 120lb dog. The frog seemed a little stunned, or maybe he was just old and fat, but whatever the case, Jamie set up a frog hospital and named himself chief surgeon. I came to the frog's rescue and told Jamie there was plenty of time to be a frog surgeon in biology some day (in what grade do you dissect frogs? This frog, I'm sure was grateful it's not preschool).

Jamie got his own taste of doctoring today... this time from the tooth doctor. I somehow missed the memo you're supposed to floss your child's teeth from the time they get them. We're doing good just to get them brushed suitably well twice a day. Consequently, Jamie had four cavities (two on each side) that had to be taken care of. I absolutely adore his pediatric dentist, and the whole office is fantastic. There are TV's on the ceilings that play Pixar films to watch while you're leaning back in the chair. The staff is sweet as can be and there are books and puzzles in literally every nook and cranny, in every single room. Plus, they all have more kindness and patience in their pinkie fingers than I contain on a good day, and that alone is reason enough to celebrate. Despite all that however, Jamie's dismay at having breakfast withheld this morning caused shrieks of despair that could be heard in a five mile radius. Such cold hearted parents we are, but a couple doses of oral sedatives, laughing gas and novocaine later...he doesn't even hardly remember he missed breakfast. In fact he's not even really sure what happened except that there was definitely Finding Nemo involved. I'd really like to know what that was like.

He's been in sort of a drunken daze ever since. On the way home I caught him in the rear-view mirror punching himself in the face. I asked him what in the world he was doing and he mumbled something incoherent about how he was spanking his lip for disobeying and that his tongue wasn't listening to him. It's gotta suck when you can't feel anything in your mouth and you think it's because your lips and tongue are staging a political coup.
I bought the starving child a hamburger and milkshake because that's what he wanted. He took a bite of hamburger and unsurprisingly it all fell right back out. He picked it up, stared at it cross eyed for a few seconds and tried again. Same result. Frustrated, he threw it across the room, swearing in a language that could only be Orcish. He had better luck with the milkshake, but he was still so hungry he ripped the hamburger up into tiny pieces and stubbornly forced it down despite his uncooperative hippopotamus lips.

I have to admit, there is a silver lining...a couple actually. For one, I don't think I've ever been so secretly amused. Two, it sure is nice to have a cuddly child in my arms who tells me twice a minute I smell like mommy and that he loves me. On the other hand, it's a little horrifying how truly stoned my child is. I think it would break my heart to give a kid of mine behavior modifying drugs for ADHD or anything. It would be like I was covering up their personality or something, dampening it. Jamie has been keeping me on my toes and knees since the moment he was born and while it's a pleasant break to have him sitting on the couch reading all day (or napping)...I think I'll be happy when the real Jamie re-emerges.