Friday, February 5, 2010

Staying Humble

I’m taking a break from the eBay saga for this week’s update . . .

Violet’s asthma has flared up in a way that's never happened in her three and a half years. This time, instead of getting sick then having issues, her asthma symptoms appeared from out of the blue. I suspect the cold, drafty house during the construction has something to do with it. It makes my mama senses tingle – I am poised for action. She’s taking her breathing treatments well but is pale and her oxygen was a little low at the doctor’s yesterday.

After a couple sleepless nights, I curled up next to my sick daughter as she was trying to settle down for an afternoon nap. Our contractors were here banging away not too far away from us on the other side of the wall and I wondered if she’d be able to sleep. I woke up in darkness and quiet. I stumbled around looking for a clock with the actual time on it (we have clocks all over the house that don’t work – it’s on my list) and realized daycare, where Daisy was, had closed half an hour ago. Daisy was one big walking drama when she got back with her dad.

Daisy's nightly first grade homework is killing us. She’s the youngest kid in the class, which I think is why she's lagging. There’s a trend of parents enrolling their kids in kindergarten later than before because the older kids tend to perform better academically. But with Daisy, that was a hard call to make. Not only is she one of the tallest kids in the class, she’s socially and verbally advanced. I am comforted by the research that shows the younger kids catch up by fourth grade, but it looks like we have a few challenging years ahead of us. Our fight for second grade is not over yet.

Little Dragons is going well. Daisy walks out of her martial arts class with a confident swagger and that's exactly what she needs right now. Yesterday, I got her to class just in time . . . it was miserable weather that made for slow driving. I sat on one of the folding chairs they have set out for parents. The chairs are crammed together so tightly that you can feel the parents on either side of you. I had Violet on my lap and explained that her cough wasn’t contagious. I was sitting next to a nice lady who told me it was OK . . . she was a mom too and was used to vomit and whatever else on her bare hands. We got to talking about asthma as her daughter also has it. The conversation turned toward the shortcomings of Western medicine, a pretty standard theme in my town. I’ve gotten some heavy advice around this recently. I am open to trying all kinds of preventative measures, but when it comes to making sure my daughter is getting enough oxygen, I kiss Western medicine’s feet.

Our conversation was cut off by Violet’s announcement, “Me need to go poo poo.” As I got up to take her to the bathroom, she changed her story and was full of attitude about it, “I ALREADY DID! I ALREADY DID!” I had pulled the amateur parent maneuver of not having a change of clothes in the car, so we faced the storm to get home and back before Daisy’s class was over. I really should have known better . . . a super sensitive stomach plus a wracking cough is a recipe for disaster. Earlier in the day, we had about 20 minutes to grab lunch, so I swung by a Whole Foods. Violet loves to get a questionable combo at the food bar – hardboiled eggs, baby shrimp that are always a little watery and fishy smelling, and a side of grated parmesan cheese. They didn’t have the hardboiled eggs and it threw her whole game off. We couldn’t find a single thing that would do, so I picked her up and ran to the McDonald’s next door. I knew she’d drink a strawberry milkshake if nothing else. I wanted to get something in her belly because she’d really hadn't eaten much for about 24 hours. She drank about a quarter of it. Good enough . . . that is, until it shot out of her other end while she was sitting on my lap.

I wonder what the nice lady with all of the alternative medicine knowledge would have thought of my McDonald’s solution. I tend to keep my distance from those people – when I hear a self-righteous tone about things like organic milk or Spongebob, I check out. Once, a mom I had just met in Violet’s gymnastics class told me I was wasting gas by keeping that Tulle box on top of my Subaru. She was new to town and was trying to be friends, and I had agreed to meet for a picnic with our kids after class. I should have known when she made a big deal about her apples being organic. I like organic apples too, but I don't have to talk about them to people I barely know. I let the little piece of paper with her phone number fall to the floor of my car, the bermuda triangle of my life.

And one last thing I wanted to mention. Amy, my good friend, guest blogger and longtime source of entertainment, started her own blog. She’s so upwardly mobile, it’s not even funny and she’s good at everything she does. She’s already gotten more followers in a week than I have in a year but that’s typical. Do you know she even upstaged me with my own grandmas? Not only did she go out of her way to impress them every time she saw them, she was exchanging love letters with one of them behind my back. Amy gleefully showed me one of the letters . . . my grandma had never said those kinds of loving things to me. Oh well, staying humble is the theme of my life right now, so check out her blog, The Brown Knows.


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