I used to pray for patience, you know, because I figured that was what I needed. But it turns out that if you pray for patience you get a whole lot of “character building” experiences wherein your patience is “tested” and you want to say “lots of blasphemous and profane things” to whoever’s in charge. Go figure. (I swear to you I just typed “Fo gigure,” and almost left it like that, but after admitting to such poor behavior, I reasoned it was best not to further tempt fate just now.)
But hey, sometimes I learn things! Slowly, sure—always pretty slowly—but I am capable of learning and changing. So now I pray for boring. Boring is good. Boring is AWESOME. At least, I think it probably is. I don’t really remember. The first time Chickie was in the hospital, I prayed for her to come home. And then she came home and things were still scary and drama-filled and she ended up BACK in the hospital, so I started praying for boring. Now that she’s home again, any moment in which I am not actively caring for her or being screamed at by her (these two events coincide more often than you might imagine, incidentally) is one which is boring and therefore GOOD.
We’re still a long way from boring, but getting closer.
[Sidebar: Allow me to do a shout-out to our local middle school for what turned out to be the most productive and pleasant school meeting I’ve ever had. Chickadee now has a 504 Plan, but more importantly, she has a few creative solutions to how we’re going to get her through to the end of the year, assuming she can stop screaming about what a mean and horrible person I am for long enough to actually go to school occasionally. In a particular stroke of genius, she was allowed to drop her Spanish class, which was fantastic—fantastico?—because even long before she was sick that class was unanimously viewed among the parents as The Class Most Likely To Send Either A Student Who Has Learned Nothing Or A Parent With Very Little Patience For An Inept First Year Teacher Into A Murderous Rage. Would you like to know what the kids have learned in there so far? Here you go:
You are welcome!]
So. As I’ve been praying for boring, Chickadee came home, and now I spend a large chunk of time every day either taking her to doctors’ appointments or taking her to or from school, with a lot of “I hate school, please don’t make me go” or “I’m tired of doctors” thrown in just for good measure.
Some of you may remember that the deal I have with my children is ONE CRISIS AT A TIME, so true to form, Monkey has been a complete doll baby over the last few weeks. I’m making all sorts of fabulous discoveries, in fact, like that he thinks it is SUPER! FUN! to pack his own lunch. He’s been trying so hard to make things easier for everyone around here, and that’s just part of what makes him such a great kid.
But it was clear that trouble was brewing when I came upon Monkey a few days ago, sitting on the couch, reading a book, and—it looked like—trying to scratch one of his legs off. Specifically, he was scratching away at the underside of one knee. The kneepit, if you will.
“Hey Monkey,” I said, all casual-like, “what’s up with your leg?”
“I don’t KNOW!” he bellowed in response, surprising me. “It’s just so ITCHY!”
I took a look, and he did indeed have a large, round, red mark under there. Hrm. I gave him an antihistamine and put some cream on it, and then he went to bed.
The next morning I forgot about it, because I’m a jerk.
That evening, though, Monkey came into my office and commenced rolling around on my floor in agony. “IT HURTS SO MUUUUUCH,” he said, so I looked, and the large, round, red mark had grown to twice its former size, as well as spawning two smaller, equally-angry looking welts on either side of it. The child’s entire kneepit looked like it was on fire.
Naturally, I took a picture and posted it to Twitter, because Googling only left me trying to decide between a poisonous spider bite or leprosy. Also, given our recent sojourn in the woods, I was a wee bit concerned I’d somehow missed a tick on him last week, and now he was dying of Lyme or some other tick-related nastiness. My pals inside the shiny box nearly reached consensus on “something allergic,” although a few people did try to kill me by suggesting it was ringworm. (I can’t even SAY ringworm without dry-heaving a little.)
I put some cortisone cream on the kid and sent him to bed, vowing to make him a doctor’s appointment for the following morning.
Well, I would’ve, but Chickadee already had a day of appointments and Otto was somehow magically busy when I started ranting about leprosy and ringworm and parasitic creatures that eat kneepits.
Anyway, the point is that I finally took him to the doctor THIS MORNING, when of course the whole mess was looking MUCH better and not nearly so threatening or parasitic, and I apologized to our pediatrician for even bringing him in, but pointed out that had I not made an appointment, surely it would’ve spread across his entire body by now. She nodded in game agreement and told me that really, it was probably only making the appointment that had saved him from certain death.
She looked and probed and finally announced that his kneepit had… eczema. Eczema! Just one kneepit-full! That’s a little weird, no? But mostly it’s… boring.
We left with a prescription for a slightly stronger cortisone cream, and I made sure to thank Monkey, in the car, for being so boring. “I am not boring!” he said, indignant. “This is George,” he continued, miming cradling something in his arms. “I will love him and hug him and squeeze him and… you know. Call him George.”
I chuckled. “Aren’t you a little old for an imaginary friend?” I asked.
He rolled his eyes. “Silly Mom,” he said. “George is not an imaginary friend. He’s an imaginary PET. Totally different.”
Well, at least his kneepit is boring.