Saturday, January 17, 2009

Momentary Loss At The Grocery Store

Oh man.  I am not winning any mother of the year awards.

Today, we did our normal Saturday grocery shopping.  We go the same route through the store every single time.  We hit produce first and then the bakery.  Pokemon Boy wanted to hit the bakery first - to get his bagel.  I told him we'd get there soon enough and to just hold on.

As I turned around from putting my fruit trays into the cart, I couldn't see Pokemon Boy.  But I figured he was just around the bend near the bananas - our next stop.  I turn the corner and no Pokemon Boy.  So I said to Lil'Bro (sitting in the cart with me), "Man, he is in some SERIOUS trouble."  I assumed Pokemon Boy had gone on ahead to the bakery section.  I could see it but not clearly enough to tell if he was over there.  So for that one sinking moment, I thought, ok, I can't see my kid.  This sucks!  I called out his name pretty loud.  Loud enough that a few people looked my way.  No answer.

I poked my head back around where I just was.  No Pokemon Boy.  I look back around near the bananas and start heading to the bakery.  I call out again.  Nothing.  But then I see a big store employee walking with his hand on Pokemon Boy's shoulder - they were heading to the front of the store.  So I yelled his name even louder.  He turned and saw me and looked SO relieved!

He let me hug him and started sobbing "I'm sorry!  I'm sorry!" over and over.  I guess he had just kept walking our circuit without stopping.  When he turned around, he didn't see me and I guess started to panic.  BUT, he had the sense to stay calm enough to find a mom and ask for help (I've always told him to ask a woman - especially a mom - for help because they will usually stick with the story until the end).  She had brought him to the closest store employee who was walking him to the front where we all met.  PHEW!

The woman walked up as we were hugging and he was crying and kind of filled me in.  I mean, this happened in less than 3 minutes.  He was with me by the fruit trays.  And I turned away long enough to grab the 3 trays I need for church.  I turned back and he was gone.  Guh!  I do have to say I hadn't reached panic mode yet.  I was still operating on the assumption he had gone ahead to get his bagel.  When I told him that, he looked at me so earnestly and said, "I would never do that, mom!"  I felt like such an idiot.

I'm sure Lil'Bro was sitting there wondering what punishment I'd dole out.  Pokemon Boy asked if he was in trouble.  So we had a nice little talk about why I always ask him to stay right there with me.  I also reassured him, "I will never leave this store without one of you.  Do you understand that?  If you get lost, I will not leave without you."  I also told him that this scare was punishment enough for him.  So nothing was off limits.  I can tell you, that kid stuck to me and the cart like GLUE for the rest of our shopping stint.

You know, I think (very briefly) about how this story could have turned out.  And man, I am so glad God protects me and my boys.  It's the kind of story that, in hind sight, it makes my stomach turn.

Thank you God.  Thank you for letting me be mom to these beautiful boys.  Thank you for keeping them safe in this big huge world.


Sunday, January 11, 2009

Terrifying New Moms: It's A Gift

Lil'Bro is awesome.  Thanks for all of the comments and emails about him.  I love little dramas that don't hurt anyone in the end.

I thought I'd share a funny story about my boys:

One of my Awesome Blogger Chicks is Gypsy Girl - Darlene.  I met her when Trish posted a link that sent us to her blog to give support.  At this point in my blogging, I wasn't brave enough to comment on anyone's blog.  But reading how Darlene almost lost her son in a horrific car accident, I just had to leave a prayer in her comments.  Which is not something I normally did at that point.  I had no idea if Darlene might think I was a nut job.  But it started a wonderful relationship that later introduced me to her friends Wanda Mom and Angela.  All of these women have been staples of my emotional & spiritual support.  And I've never met them!  Isn't that funny?

Ok, as usual, I have totally gone tangential and threaten to go WAY too long.

Anyway, that was a bit of back story.

Recently, I have been spending lots of car rides with my boys answering all sorts of questions.
PokemonBoy: "Ok, who would win in a fight: Mr. Freeze or Big Chill?"
Lil'Bro: "Does Mr. Freeze have his freeze ray?"
PB: ""
LB: "Big Chill."

They have both been asking a lot of questions about what would happen if they got hurt.  What if I lose a leg?  What if my head comes off?  What if what if what if?  So they were peppering me with this particular line of questioning recently.  I don't recall the exact question but they were asking about what if this body part was cut off or that body part.  And Lil'Bro asked what would happen if he was cut in half.  Pokemon Boy asked if that could ever happen.  Like a moron, I didn't just fluff it off with some lame "Oh I doubt that could ever happen.  Oh look!  A shiny car!"

I told them about Darlene's son Mark.  I recall her descriptions of his accident.  He had nearly had his torso torn in two.  They wanted to know every detail.  Which I had trouble recalling because - thank you God - it has been a long time and he has been fully recovered for so long!  I was able to at least end on that note with them.  How he was fully recovered and happy and working toward working in the medical field to help other hurt people (am I remembering that right, Darlene?).

Well, we had a very long conversation that day.  They asked everything from how long had he been in the hospital to did he believe in Jesus.  (A long time and yes - they were relieved at the latter answer.)

We decided to stop for ice cream.  While waiting in line to order our ice cream, a new mommy with her gorgeous little three-month old in a front carrier waited near by.  Both of my boys are totally in love with babies.  Pokemon Boy went over to start the usual questions of what was her name, how old was she, etc.  Lil'Bro joined in with his 5-year old version of similar questions like why she wasn't talking yet.  We had a cute little conversation and then sat down to our ice cream.  At which point, Lil'Bro asks at a pretty good volume, "What if SHE was cut in half?" pointing to the baby.  "She would probably die," he pronounced.  I was like, "DOH!"  Can you imagine this new mommy who had just had two cute boys adoring her new baby girl?!  I mean, like you're not paranoid and terrified enough as a new mom!  I quickly assured Lil'Bro that nothing like that would happen and then had to explain to the mommy that we had just been discussing a friend who had been in a horrible accident, etc.  Thankfully, new mommy was extremely gracious.  But I still wonder how terrifying her dreams were that night.

Good grief.  I will never get Mom of The Year.  That is for SURE!

No sooner had I posted this when I heard Lil'Bro upstairs getting out of bed, running into my empty bedroom and then the horrifying sound of SPLATTER SPLATTER...(10 second pause)...SPLATTER SPLATTER SPLATTER!!!!  I was halfway up the stairs calling, "Where are you?!" at the 2nd round of splattering.

[Insert 10 minute break here for yet another, but smaller round.]

But back to the 1st round: I found Lil'Bro standing in my bedroom doorway, unceremoniously emptying the contents of his stomach onto the carpet in my bedroom doorway.  Poor kid.  Void of color and completely silent.  He's a stoic puker.  No crying.  No complaining.  All business.

I got him changed, cleaned and into my bed.  The rug took longer.  My kingdom for a wet-vac!  And much thanks to my friend Paul who, via Facebook, reminded me of the virtues of baking soda.

So I came down here to share my little "Ha ha, my kid puked just as I posted this," story.  And back up at the inserted break, I heard him get out of my bed.  I ran up to find him sitting at the bucket I left him, getting the last bits of round two out.  No tears.  "I fink I'm done now," he informed me.

And now I have that nagging pit in my stomach that makes me wonder if I'm next or if I'm just having that weird sympathy nausea you get when your kid kecks.

Note to self: when you get your severance check, buy a wet-vac.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Lil'Bro Visits The ER

Today, Lil'Bro had his first visit to the ER.  It was extremely mellow for an ER visit so I'll take it!  Nothing is broken - no blood - everyone is whole and alive.  It was actually very undramatic.  Very not me.  But very Lil'Bro.

Here is a game NOT to play with your kids: any kind of tug-o-war where your kid is the rope.  Ok, all you perfect parents get the laughter and judgement out of the way now.  Pokemon Boy and I had been playing a game where lazy mom (that would be me) was laying on the couch under a nice warm blanket.  Pokemon Boy would pull on my hand as hard as he could and I would eventually let his hand go and he'd go flying onto the other couch.  Great fun!  Well, Lil'Bro wanted a go.  So I did it with him a couple of times to great laughter.  Then, Pokemon Boy pulled on the other side of Lil'Bro.  When I let go of Lil'Bro, BOTH boys went flying onto the other couch.  Even better!  The 3rd time we tried it, however, I felt a pop in Lil'Bro's right arm and he was in pain.  Stupidly, I assumed it was just a pop that meant "ow" but nothing more.  So I wiggled his arm around to show him it was fine (it wasn't) and lifted it to my face to cover it in kisses (which hurt him).

When I saw that his pain was not stopping, I decided to use the health insurance I still have for the month and take him to the ER.  One of the reasons I picked this house is because we're spitting distance from a great hospital.  And two spits away from yet another.  It's the kind of perk you hope you won't be using a lot.

I called mom, asked her if she would come hang with Pokemon Boy, and got the very pained Lil'Bro ready to go.  The poor kid.  I had to lift him into the car because he couldn't use his arm to get in.  I had to buckle him, etc.  We drove the short spit to the ER and were seen immediately (we just got in after a very busy period so they were empty!).

As it turns out, there are a myriad of other stupid parents like me out there who regularly pop their kids' arms out of socket.  Most kids are younger and get dislocated arms from the innocent swinging between two parents while walking or being swung around in circles by the hands.  Good stuff which we all do.  Apparently, even the tug-o-war fashion in which Lil'Bro got his dislocation is more common than one would think.  They even have a name for this kind of dislocation: Nursemaid's Elbow.  Which begs the question: Were nursemaids always swinging kids in fun or where they always dragging them around by the arm in frustration?  The nurse and I didn't find an answer to that one.  But it was fun musing on the subject.

Lil'Bro is insanely brave.  Let me tell you, if I ever have to have my arm popped back into place?  Knock me out.  Just dope me up.  That was AWFUL!!!  He cried and kept saying, "Please stop now!" over and over.  I probably would have screamed and kicked someone.  But he just cried and held onto Buddy (his stuffed dog) with the other hand.  After the doc got it popped back in, he asked Lil'Bro, "Are you mad at me?"  He shook his head no as he wiped tears.  "Not even a little bit mad?  It's ok if you're mad.  I would be a little mad."  Still no.  What a good kid!

They wanted to keep him for about 20 minutes to see if he could get it moving.  If not, they'd x-ray him.  After about 10 minutes, the nurse came in with 5 different colored lollipops and made him pick with his hurt arm.  He tentatively reached for a green lollipop and just kept getting better from there.  She unwrapped it for him and then gave him a walking tour of the ER.  We showed him the room Grandpa (my dad) had been in last year around this time.  He was very impressed with the size of the room and had to walk the whole perimeter to check it out.  After his little tour, his arm was fully functional and he was swinging it around and shaking hands.  So they let us go before the 20 minutes were done.  YAY!

Lil'Bro and Buddy in his ER room:

Lil'Bro picking a lolli from the nurse:

Lil'Bro and his green lolli:

As I signed the papers that basically said, "Your kid is not a tug-o-war rope, you dolt, and you have to pay a $50 copay just so you remember that" I heard Lil'Bro ask the nurse, "Can I get a lollipop to bring to my brother?"  Dude, seriously!  The nurse was impressed.  I was impressed.  Pokemon Boy was impressed when we walked in with a red lollipop for him.  Lil'Bro rocks on so many levels it's just ridiculous.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Strange Places In Which I Find Myself

So here is 2009.  Technically, I still work for the Big Ol' Financial Corporation.  They will pay me with full benefits until the end of this month.  But my last work day was 12/31 and I'm pretty sure, were I to try to log into their network, I'd be blocked.

I find myself in a place not travelled since I was 20.  I'm not 20 any more.  It will take a pretty big work by God to get me motivated.  I don't really want to do all the resume writing, pavement pounding (albeit, mostly on cyber-pavement), clothing buying, self promoting, etc., that needs to be done.  But since my friends have failed to find me my 40-something, single Christian rich guy with no crazy ex-wife, I must go through the job hunting thing.  Blyeck.

Today, I spent a good portion of the day putting thoughts together for a resume.  I sat there going, "Hmm...what exactly have I been doing these last 22 years?"  I sent out emails to former managers and coworkers saying, "Hey, mind if I put you as a reference?"  I tried to put a true list of skills and tools that represent my current knowledge.  I know plenty of friends who put down every piece of software they've ever touched, seen, spoken of, etc as actual skills.  I refuse to oversell myself.  I can read enough java to debug some coding problems.  But I usually end up needing help because it's still rather Greek to me.  So I certainly won't tell them I can code java.  I hesitate to put any of my coding languages down because I haven't coded in over 4 years.

I mean, if I could put down the best parts of my skill set, it wouldn't look all that good on an IT resume.  "I provide the comic relief.  I kill the tension between adversarial IT groups.  I make sure everyone is heard.  Even the timid wallflower with no self-esteem that usually has the best ideas.  I deflate over bloated egos and keep technical people rooted in reality and not in Star Trek ideals.  I speak techie.  I speak end user.  I speak tester.  I can communicate with the lowest pee-on.  I can talk to the highest up mucky muck.  I make things pretty.  But I also make sure the pretty actually works.  I make sure all the different groups in a meeting understand each other and aren't reliving the Tower of Babel.  I'm a unificator."

The hard part for me is, putting all of the above in corporate speak.  I have to use all the correct buzz words.  Whatever the hip corporate vernacular is at this moment.  I have never been good at blowing my own horn.  Not in the business world.  Singing, yes.  But not in the corporate world.

Anyway, I will be going on interviews.  They will be interviewing me to see if I'm made of stuff they want in their company.  I will be interviewing them to see if they are a company in which I want to work.  I will dance the dance.  I'm just hoping God gives me big signs.  I don't want to just grab the first thing I'm offered.  But I also don't want to be stupid thinking there are 8 million jobs from which I can choose.

I'm pretty chill.  God totally rocked the whole move and house purchase into the most awesome neighborhood.  I'm sure he can get me into a great job with the most awesome coworkers.

Anyone who likes to pray?  I'll take anything you're willing to send up.