Thursday, August 30, 2012

All in a Day's Work

This year I've been sick quite often - as in full-fledged-sinus-infection-stay-out-of-my-way-because-my-head -is-about-to-explode-with-hot-green-snot sick. So I finally started setting up some doctors appointments to find out the cause of my malady.

Well, being the brilliant strategist that I am, I deftly scheduled all my appointments on one day. One day! I was brimming with pride when I told my loving hubby that I was taking the day off work to make the medical rounds and get a few errands done in between. He asked, "Are you sure that's a good idea?"

Of course, it was!

So here's pretty much how the day went:

7:00am - Drop Little Dude off at auntie's house so she can take him to school while I start my medical odyssey.

7:20am - Arrive at my internist's office for my yearly physical and filled out the same exact paperwork I filled out a few weeks ago when I was there for another sinus infection.

7:45am - Weighed and measured like a prize-winning cow at the state fair.

8:00am - Interrogation by doctor, uh, I mean routine physical complete. Follow medical assistant to lab so that I can joyfully pee into a cup and bleed into several vials.

8:20am - Discover that the lab tech taking my blood today is an old friend. After chatting and catching up, I realize that he will get to see my cup of pee. Oh, goodie! At least my urine looked better than the other samples sitting on the counter. (Yes, I'm competitive in all areas!)

8:30am - Run to sister's house to pick up a few items. Hang out with her and my nephew for a little bit.

9:15am - Since I have a few minutes to spare, I stop at home (on my way) and let Furry Dude out. Who knows when I'll be back!

9:45am - Arrive for my CT scan. Hand them the set of paperwork I filled out ahead of time. Receive another set of paperwork to fill out. Listen to a very chatty nun complain about the chalky drink she is downing for her test. She is clearly trying to get the receptionist to change the flavor of chalky drinks everywhere for the better of mankind.

10:30am - Get a 3-minute CT scan and go back to the waiting room to wait for the films (per request of my ENT). Get a phone call from my wonderful hubby asking me if I can call ahead to our weekend destination to find out a few details. Just as I start discussing the details of my wonderful vacation over my cell phone, people with missing limbs, wheelchairs, and assistance animals begin filling every nook and cranny of the waiting room. I pretty much feel like a schmuck.

11:30am - Finally get my films and head to the car. Drive over to service station to get my oil changed.

12:00pm - While sitting in service station waiting room, get a panicked call from work.  Begin discussing details of work project over my cell phone while surrounded by strangers waiting for their cars. Again, feel like a schmuck.

12:30pm - Oil change complete. Decide to drop my films off at home so they don't have to sit in the hot car.

12:40pm - Arrive home and let Furry Dude out once again.

12:50pm - Lock myself out of house. Call hubby in a panic. He calmly instructs me how to open the lock with a credit card.

1:00pm - Still unable to open lock. Starting to wonder when someone will call the cops about the strange woman trying to break into a neighbor's house. Hubby says he is on his way.

1:10pm - Ignore my caring husband's advice and finally get the door open with one brilliant (and accidental) move. Question the security of my home. Call my husband, who is now only a few minutes away, to tell him his services are no longer necessary.

1:15pm - Leave house for next appointment and soon realize I did not eat lunch. Stop at fast food along way and quickly eat lunch in parking lot. Hoist my armpits directly in front of the air conditioning vents to stop the mass of sweat beading down my body due to standing outside in the sun while I attended Breaking & Entering 101.

1:40pm - Wipe excess shredded lettuce and crumbs from my shirt and lap, shove a pack of gum into my mouth to beautify my breath, and walk into allergist's office. Hand receptionist the small booklet of paperwork I filled out the night before. Receive another ream of paperwork to complete. Write down every detail of my life and my family medical history all the way back to Adam and Eve.

2:00pm - Weighed and measured like a stuffed pig ready for a luau.

2:15pm - Meet new allergist and proceed to answer detailed questions about my nose, my boogers, my itchy skin, my irritated eyes, etc., etc., etc. Doctor says she would like to see the results of my CT scan. Sure. Let me run home.

2:35pm - Prepare for allergy scratch test by replacing my tee and bra with the designer paper shirt given to me by the nurse. Upon removing my clothing, I realize the window blinds are halfway open with a view to the street. Stop caring about any modesty and convince myself that the windows must have reflective film on the outside or else they wouldn't leave the blinds open.

2:40pm - Nurse comes in and stabs, I mean, gently pokes me in the back 77 times. Try not to wince every time he hits my tickle spots. Realize that if I can endure the stabbing of an allergy test, I can probably endure the pain of a tattoo. Wonder if the nurse is actually tattooing a large dragon across my back.

2:45pm - Keep my hands from scratching my burning, itching back by answering work emails on my cell phone. Wondering if the earlier heat and stress are affecting the hives that are sure to be forming on my back.

2:55pm - Nurse knocks on door. Screaming ensues as he sees the ginormous hives on my back. He calls the Guinness Book of World Records to have me entered as the world's most-allergic person. (Yep, my grammar has flown out the window.)

2:57pm - Nurse calls in a second nurse to help him record the record-breaking hives on my back. Number of positive test results? 76. The one thing I am not allergic too? Pine trees.

3:05pm - Nurse claims to be out of anti-itch cream and sprays my entire back with some ice cold pink concoction. Leaves the room so I can get dressed. Bra and tee congeal to my back.

3:15pm - Nurse reappears to give me two tablets of Zyrtec and one prednisone. Apparently doctor is concerned that my body will spontaneously combust into full-body hives. Deep wrinkle appears on forehead.

3:30pm - Doctor reappears. Gives me a bunch of medical instructions and tells me to take two more Zyrtec before bed. Wants to see me again so that they can use my allergy-prone body for medical experiments that are sure to net fame and fortune.

4:00pm - Arrive home and change crusted tee for a fresh one. Hubby offers to drive to pick up Little Dude. Says something negative about women behind the wheel... or maybe that was medicated women behind the wheel. Keep myself from bludgeoning sensitive hubby with purse.

4:30pm - Pick up Little Dude and treat the family to a fast food dinner.

5:00pm - Go back to school for book fair and ice cream social.

5:30pm - Big Dude and Little Dude sit at table eating ice cream while I stand in line to buy books. Realize my sweat has turned pink thanks to the stuff sprayed on my back earlier. Hope that the woman behind me doesn't notice.

6:00pm - Return home and change shirts once again while Big Dude makes Little Dude take a shower. Read new books to Little Dude (he needs to win that read-a-thon!) and help him get ready for bed.

7:00pm - Tuck Little Dude into bed. Take two more Zyrtec and pass out. Day is done!

Friday, August 17, 2012

It's a bird! It's a plane! It's a mohawk?

So this morning Big Dude cut his hair and I mentioned that he really should try a mohawk sometime. Being the straight-as-an-arrow guy he is, Big Dude was not amused. So Little Dude piped up in his defense, "Mommy, no mohawks!"

I replied, "You don't even know what a mohawk is."


"What is it then?"

"It's like this." Little Dude held his finger across the center of his eyebrows.

I said, "No, that's a unibrow!"

"Then it's this." Little Dude held his finger across the bottom of his nose.

"No, that's a moustache."

I could see a light bulb go on in his eyes. Then Little Dude said, "Oh! I know what a mohawk is!"

"What is it?"

He sat down and put his knee up to his chest. "It's when you get big like Daddy and you have hair up and down your legs." He emphasized his statement by rubbing his shin.

Don't worry. After I stopped laughing, I finally explained mohawks to Little Dude.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Kindergarten Casanova

So last week, Little Dude managed to come home with green smileys three days in a row. We thought we have finally overcome the bad behavior issues and were looking forward to happier colors of the rainbow.

But then Friday happened...

When I got home Friday evening, Daddy and Little Dude were waiting in the living room.

"Your son came home with purple today," Daddy announced. Then he turned to my son, "Tell Mommy why."

"Um... I kissed a girl and I hit my friend."

My child's school life sounded like a bad soap opera.

Hubby interjected, "Not at the same time."

Luckily, years of experience with interviewing people for their product testimonies to use on infomercials has given me the skills needed to interrogate, I mean, question my child.

*Names are screened to protect the guilty party.
"Tell me what happened."

"Um, I kissed a girl on accident and then I hit my friend"

"Who was the girl?"

"Jessica. She sits by me."

"Why did you kiss her?"

"It was an accident. I didn't mean to."

"What happened that made you kiss her?"

"She was asking me the name of a boy and I, um, was whispering 'Geovanni' to her and our noses were, um, touching and I forgot and I accidentally kissed her." He finished the line with the world's cutest shy-smile ever leaving me to wonder how accidental it truly was.

"And did she tell the teacher?"


"Did the teacher see it happen?"


"Was Jessica embarrassed that you kissed her?"

"I think so."

During the entire inquisition, my husband and I were both trying not to smile or laugh. It's wasn't easy.

"So tell me why you hit your friend."

"He hit me too."

"Where were you when this happened?"

"We were in the reading area and I was bopping him on the head like this," he said as he proceeded to curl his little fist and bop himself on the head. "And then, then he got mad and hit me back."

"And then what happened?"

"And then we went to the Principal's office."

"So you both got into trouble?"

"Yeah. He hit  me."

"But you hit him first."

So Little Dude is not only learning about letters, numbers, colors, and shapes in Kindergarten. He is also learning to keep his hands and his lips to himself.

Who knows what lessons he'll be learning this week!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Curse of the Rainbow, Part 2

So after a weekend of Behavior Boot CampLittle Dude was ready to listen to his teacher and be a model of good behavior. We expected him to start earning some higher rainbow colors... or at least stay on green.

So Monday, when he came home with a purple, we were shocked. Seriously, purple? And another note from the teacher explaining that Little Dude is a very friendly child and tends to talk to his friends when they're supposed to be working.

Yes, that pretty much sounds like him.

So that evening, Little Dude wrote an apology letter to his teacher:

*Names have been blurred out to protect the innocent and guilty!

Little Dude decided exactly what he wanted to say in the letter and I helped him spell everything out. But, yes, that is his own handwriting. AND his own apology.

The next morning when I walked him to his class, I met another mother who said her son has been bringing home purples and even a pink! She admitted she called the teacher up and argued that her son could not have possibly deserved a pink because he is always so well-behaved.

It's nice to know I'm not alone on the crazy, defensive mom train.

That afternoon, Little Dude came home with... green! He stayed on green all day. The next day, he came home with green again! This time he actually got up to yellow, but then went back down to green.

I asked him if anyone has made it to red yet. "No."

"Has anyone made it to orange."

"One person did."

"Who was it?"

"I don't know. It wasn't me."

We're just glad to see that his behavior is finally improving!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Curse of the Rainbow, Part 1

So Little Dude started Kindergarten and the world rejoiced. What teacher would not want a completely brilliant child like him in their class? He knows his alphabet sounds, is able to write all his letters, can count to 100 (and to 10 in Spanish), and is starting to read. Yes... I'm bragging because my child is a freaking awesome genius! (Seriously, all mothers should think that about their child. It's our job!)

But Kindergarten has some differences from Pre-K. For one thing, there are a lot more rules. And being the start of the year, the rules are enforced a little more strictly. The teacher tracks each child's behavior on a rainbow chart. They all start with their names on green and they can move up or down depending on how well they behave. Red is reserved for only the most astoundingly well-behaved child. Purple is for the child who tends to tune out the teacher. And they even added pink below purple, which means, uh oh, time to talk to the teacher!

Our child has always been the model of good behavior, so we were positive he was going to come back with red, or at least orange or yellow on his first day.

But that wasn't the case. He came home with blue. OK, no problem, we thought, it's just the first day and he's adjusting. We had high hopes for the next day.

He came home with purple. Purple! The offensively violet smiley face (as if!) came with a note attached saying that Little Dude was having trouble listening to the teacher, but she was sure that once he adjusted to the new class, that he would be much better.

I've already learned that Little Dude doesn't want to talk about school after he gets home. Instead, he usually talks about it during the morning drive to school. So I was shocked the next morning when Little Dude said, "I'm not ready for Kindergarten."

"Who said that?"

"The teacher."

"What happened?"

"When I went down to purple, I cried and the teacher said maybe I'm not ready for Kindergarten."

What?!? I had to get to the bottom of this. So being the mother of a child genius that I am, I emailed the teacher and told her what my honest-as-Abe-Lincoln child said and that I was hoping for a misunderstanding.

She called me.

Now, I know that she has 30 other students and at least 30 other parents to contend with. So getting a call from the teacher during the lunch break on the 3rd day of school is like getting a call from the Pope.

It was all a big misunderstanding. Thank goodness! But she could understand how Jacob could have thought she said he wasn't ready. She explained they are focused on getting ready for 1st Grade, and she tells them that they need to learn these things in order to be ready for the next grade level. And I know my child... he definitely reads between the lines. She also explained that she is much tougher at the beginning of the year and that blue is not actually a "bad color," but a warning.

She then told me that it's especially hard to get after Little Dude when he's just so charming. She said, "One of the things the kids all need to learn is how to settle down after activity." That morning, the kids were running around the classroom for half an hour matching colors and shapes. When it was time to return to their seats and settle down, she asked the kids to be quite. They were pretty noisy so she told them that the next student to talk would "clip down" to a lower color. All the kids were quiet... except mine. He started singing. Yes, singing!

She told him that he was supposed to stop talking or else he'll clip down. He replied, "But I'm not talking. I'm singing. It's different."

She couldn't clip him down for such valid reasoning. Instead, she modified her orders to "no talking and no singing."

After our wonderful conversation, I felt so much better and was looking forward to seeing her at back-to-school BBQ that night.

Little Dude and I heading back to school that night for some fun and pulled pork. He was less interested in the food and more interested in the fun. He was ran around like a wild child: not listening to me, not listening to anyone. Holy smoke stack! The child that I had just hours earlier defended like a courtroom lawyer, just proved that he really isn't the world's most well-behaved child. He hogged the ball while playing basketball. He ran to the opposite side of the field when I called him over. He ignored his teacher when she said hi. He stood on a desk. Yes! Stood on a desk. Basically, he behaved like a spoiled rock star!

Wow. I cannot even express the level of embarrassment I felt. I know kids will embarrass their parents from time to time, but I was not ready for this. This was bad. Fall on your face and accidentally expose yourself to the entire world bad. That's pretty much how I felt.

So last weekend, we had Behavior Boot Camp. It's a very prestigious academy where only the most qualified children (meaning worst behaving child geniuses) get in. In fact, only one child has ever made the cut. Little Dude relearned how to say please and thank you. Little Dude relearned how to be polite. Little Dude relearned how to listen the first time when asked.

We're hoping the boot camp will help whip Little Dude back into the amazingly well-behaved child we know he is. Stay tuned...

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

First Day of Kindergarten!

Today is my son's first day of Kindergarten! He is super excited. Can't you tell?

Daddy surprised us by meeting us in the school parking lot. Little Dude was definitely "too cool for school" as he walked to his class like a pro. When we got to his classroom and found his desk, he even pretended like he was already bored! Of course, he couldn't stop smiling!

I managed to get through the day without any tears. OK, maybe I was a little moody... but I was honestly too excited for him to cry about my baby growing up. That will come later.

Fun and exciting things are going to happen this year!