Saturday, May 9, 2015

Headless toys and magnet puzzles

As someone who reads parenting books and still relates more to the kid side of things than the parent side, I think one of the reasons teenagerdom can be difficult enlightening is that everything seemingly makes sense.  The well structured pieces of life that have been handed to you oh-so-carefully for the last 15 years collide with a new found ability to reason abstractly like an adult.   It's like tapping one of those Melissa and Doug magnet pattern things that kids are supposed to learn from (but instead end up using as a slide for a herd of dinosaur), a little tap and everything falls into place....

I liked that feeling.  I want that feeling back. 

Dissected apart, I love every bit of life.   Sleep deprivation is a mere twiddling annoyance. Crayons on the wall lead to good work ethics and life lessons. Climbing over the neighbor's fence is just an opportunity for meaningful conversations.   ....peeled zucchini for secret veggie chili...homemade math flashcards for optimal left/right brain integration... essential oil cleaner to wipe up the thrown up fermented cod liver oil... nine loads of laundry... four baths.... gardening....mud...more laundry and baths. When you put it all together it's much messier than I envisioned grown up life.   And it's not that it's hard or praiseworthy, it's just a long enough list that being adult is a lot more like playing life-tetris than I thought.  Ahem.

My biggest shortcoming seems to be that I either freak out too much or not enough.  Jump off the rope swing onto the jogging stroller to propel yourself across the backyard?  Fine.  Teach long division?  Totally lose it.  Growing up with an RN for a mother, I couldn't count the number of times she'd haul off with the random contents of the diaper bag to administer first aid in an emergency.  She's that person who pulls her van of children off the road in an accident to slap a disposable diaper on someone's bloody wound until paramedics arrive.

   I've always hoped this was genetic somehow and I would naturally react the same way in a real emergency.  Unfortunately, I got a real life practice session yesterday.

 I was in the middle of trying to do vision therapy exercises with the older two, while Robbie emptied every container of toys he could find and William sat in a plastic laundry basket trying his best to slobber on every article of clean clothing.  The phone rang and I excused myself down the hall so the person on the other side could hear something more than a modern impression of the Battle of the Bulge.   Meanwhile, while I was doing my best impression of a polite, chipper, helpful human being, Jamie dragged William in and yelled that the baby wasn't breathing.    Now this is where I'd expect myself to drop the phone, hang up, or start screaming... Or you know... react like the expert my mom is, but no... instead I continued to talk on the phone.

"Yes, 6:30 would be perfect..."

Check airway, breathing and circulation.  Note that there is a toy lodged deep down his throat.

"Yes, we live in La Mesa, right off Grossmont Blvd..."

Turn baby over knee, administer three hard whacks.  Finger sweep.  No change.

"Feel free to bring  something to dip in fondue..."

Repeat Heimlich, finger sweep.

"Sounds awesome, I'll see you tonight..."

I did finally get the object out on the third try.  It was a random Playmobil head from Robbie's French Revolution tendencies.   I managed the thank Jamie profusely for his awesome big brotherness, and then William and I sat down for a good long bawling fest.

For Mother's Day I should probably thank my mom for all the first aid certifications she made us take.  Apparently they stuck somewhere in there.

May I never have to use them again.