Wednesday, November 18, 2009


There are days when the fight just isn't in ya. Days like this morning, when I just didn't have one more syllable left to negotiate with my three-year-old.

It's been a rough patch. Owen has been testing his limits and forgetting his manners. I'm feeling a bit emotionally abused. I mean, seriously, who talks like this? "Mommy, you need to listen to me right now or I will throw your coffee into the trash can!" or "Mommy, stop talking to me. Not. Another. Word."

I can't imagine where he gets this. (Kettle, meet Pot. Screw you, Pot.)

And, the noise. Oh, Good Lord, the noise. We're working on getting dressed by ourselves, because it's time. On purpose, I swear on purpose, he puts both legs into one pant hole, then screams "HEEEEEEEEEEEEELP! HEEEEEEEEEEEEEELP! RIGHT NOW MOMMY!"

I feel bombarded. Add to the mix, Joel. Joel has opinions. Lots of them. Unfortunately, he has next to no expressive language skills, so EVERYTHING is a "Unh-UNH!" followed by his one word: "THIS! THIS! THIS!" He moves his hand in the squeezing sign for milk and points in the general direction of whatever he wants. Often, it's whatever I have. For example, he'll have a waffle in his left hand. He'll be frantically squeezing his right hand and panting, "THIS! THIS!" wanting the waffle in my own hand.

It's relentless. The phone rang this morning, and my friend wanted to talk about health care reform policies. As we attempted to talk, Owen was screaming "HELP ME!" with his underwear around his neck, Joel was standing on a kitchen chair, attempting to grab my yet-eaten toast, saying "UNH-UNH THIS! THIS!"

My friend, the mother of two boys herself, said, "Oh my God, I'm never having kids."

And, y'all, this isn't even the worst part of my day.

We went to the doctor for Joel's fifteen month check-up. I asked Dr. S to look at Joel's scrotum, because it looked weird, a bit swollen. Paul had told me that it was probably nothing. Since I don't have balls of my own, I defer to the original owners in regards to All Things Gonads.

Alas, my suspicions were correct. Joel has excess fluids in his scrotum, and will require surgery. This makes, in his short life:
1 stay in the NICU, including intubation
1 surgery to correct his funky Eustachian tubes.
1 set of beautiful blue glasses to correct his eye that likes to party.
1 super-size scrotum, thus ANOTHER surgery.

He will have three specialists AND will have been treated at least three different hospitals.

And believe me, I know how lucky I am. These are all treatable childhood ailments that are not connected to a larger umbrella disorder. I am blessed, believe me, I am blessed.


One of my favorite authors, David Sedaris, writes:

"When a hurricane damaged my father's house, my brother rushed over with a gas grill, three coolers of beer, and an enormous Fuck-It Bucket - a plastic pail filled with jawbreakers and bite-size candy bars. ("When shit brings you, just say 'fuck it,' and eat yourself some motherfucking candy.")" 

Today, I opened up my own proverbial Fuck-It Bucket and decided that I just wasn't gonna fight anything. I didn't have it in me. Owen wanted to go to Panera. We went. He wanted to go look at the animals at Petco. We went. He wanted to go the library. We went. Owen steered the ship; I just held on.

At the library, I ran into some friends. I told them about Joel, and started crying because I'm worried about my kid and it's troubling to hear that he has to go under the knife. So, I boo-hooed, and they were wonderful as only fellow mothers and friends can be.

Owen saw me crying and got very alarmed. He put his hand over my mouth and said, "Please stop crying, Mommy. Don't cry Mommy." He looked like he was about to cry himself, so by an act of will, I pulled myself together. Once again, I let him steer the ship.

We came home, and because I had out the Fuck-It Bucket, I ate cake for lunch. It was orgasmic. I'll write about it tomorrow.

As I put Joel down for his nap, I let Owen play with the vacuum cleaner. It was humming noisily, and I heard Owen screaming over it. Screaming. AGAIN. But yet, he was screaming pure poetry: "HEY! Hey! Hey Mommy! I LOOOVE YOU! I LOOOVE YOU!"

Once again, I forced myself not to cry as I replied, "I love you too, Buddy."

He turned off the vacuum and toddled upstairs. He touched Joel's head gently and showing me that he picks up more than I think, said, "Let's pray that Joel's penis gets better."

Since this was neither the time nor the place for an anatomy lesson, I simply swallowed yet another wellspring of tears and held Owen's hands as he said, "Dear Jesus, please help Joel get better. Amen."

With all the nonsense of the day, I've got this: proof that my son is developing empathy and a relationship with his God. My son knows, already, how to build up a fortress of love, protecting those he loves, providing shelter and security.

All things considered, not too bad. Even for a Fuck-It Bucket kinda day.


michelle said...

I love the penis prayer. And the Fuck-it bucket. I had a smooth day today so my kids will actually get a hot home cooked meal that doesn't involve icing.

My middle one had a hydrocele repaired. Piece of cake. So to speak.

Hope your day tomorrow is easier.

Jen A said...

Let us know when the surgery is so we can keep him in our prayers! Good for you for having that sort of day and just letting it be. I, too, just melted my day away and picked up a pizza at Exxon (aka Movie rental shop and pizzeria) and a movie for me for later. Sometimes its nice to just check out of the daily grind!

erika said...

I think blogger is just screwing with me, but now I knew the trick, so take this word verification.

So, you had me smile, smile big, laugh, get teary, and then go aaaaaaaaaawh, with just one post. And I'm not even PMSing, it's you being a good writer. I will pray for Joel's scrotum- or does it sound creepy? Well, I will pray for the surgery and lots of strength and peace for you.

Unknown Mami said...

I love me some David Sedaris and although you may not literally have balls, you have balls!

I'm sorry about your wee one's situation.

Corrie Howe said...

Love how you had enough in you to follow Owen around. I don't know that I could claim those kinds of days when mine were little.

Susan Sferra said...

Nancy- I love your blog! I follow it all the time, though I'm not a registered follower, mostly because I hate all this computer stuff - registering for stuff seems to be beyond my technical skill (though I am quickly becoming addicted to FB). Anyway- just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy reading your blog, how much every single entry seems to resonate with me, and I love how much you are willing to share. Just wanted to let you know I love your blog.

I'm sure Joel will be fine, but my God- how much crap does one little boy have to go through? (Not to mention what YOU have to go through!) Please let me know if there's anything I can do to help.

Renee said...

Nancy, I thought you were a little bit crazy for buying a Snuggie, but now I know why you did! I remember those days with Isaac, trying to cope with his
"independence" and the many trips to the pet store. At the end of the day when you hear an "I love you Mommy" you know your doing your job.

I will pray for you and your family.

won said...

"Owen steered the ship; I just held on."

Just keep holding on Nancy. It's all we can do sometimes, and all that we have to do other times.

Keeping you in my thoughts. I understand how scary surgery in our children is. I'm glad you trusted your mommy instinct.

noisycolorfullively said...

Laughing and crying, crying and laughing. You have great boys and a great sense of humor. Being a mom is a hard job, way to keep it all in perspective!

Simeon does the same stinkin' things, I swear it was like reading about my kid. This morning I put myself on the time out chair, just so I could have a moment with no demands. So, um... yeah, I get you.

The Rambler said...

I am so adopting the F-ck-it bucket. Like right now.

I,too, will say a little penis prayer for your little guy!!

Hope the surgery goes well.

Jen said...

I am SO making a Fuck It Bucket the minute I get home from our Thanksgiving trip. I am going to get a bucket and fill it full of things for THOSE DAYS. LOL!