I lamented to Otto this morning that “I don’t have anything interesting to write about!” Otto—deeply embroiled in the home stretch of grading and finishing up the semester—gave me several suggestions of guffaw-worthy student gaffes, none of which I’m actually going to share. That’s mostly because they’re not my stories, but also because I don’t want Otto to lose his job. He’s so nice to the students’ faces; there’s no need for them to know he makes fun of them here at home.
See, the problem is that all I want right now is… nothing. No drama. No excitement. I want boring and predictable and utterly ordinary. I’m not sure we’ve quite gotten there, but we’re getting closer. And I like it, but it doesn’t make for fantastic storytelling, in general.
NEWSFLASH: With about half an acre of safely gated area in which to roam, my rotten dog only ever wants to go find (and apparently roll in) the one plant (which I cannot locate to save my life) which immediately spits tiny green burrs all over her fur. That’s what passes for excitement here right now, and I know, it’s pretty boring.
[Not that I don't really enjoy locating and picking off all of those burrs while she glares at me like it's MY fault she's so beleaguered. That's superfun. Yes.] [Also from the Licorice files: There is also apparently a small pine tree somewhere out there which I've yet to locate. But the pine sap, I know EXACTLY where that is. Because crunchy, pine-smelling fur goes really well with tiny green burrs.]
So did I mention that Chickadee had strep throat again? Because she did. Maybe she picked it up during one of her 57 doctors’ appointments last week. And you know—call me crazy!—but I am starting to feel like JUST MAYBE taking my immuno-compromised kid to all of these germy waiting rooms may not be such a great idea. Nutso, right? Maybe if I simply must continue doing it, I can get her a teen-sized hamster ball thing to travel in. Or I could have her wear a surgical mask, because the only thing Chickie likes BETTER than being sick is people staring at her like she’s sick!
The latest round of blood tests threw us a new bit of fun, too. It seems she’s now Vitamin D deficient? Not a bit deal, and easy enough to supplement, but THANK GOODNESS for another daily pill, because that honkin’ pill case I load up for her every week still had a little room in it. Ahem.
Monkey is not without his own little medical adventures, too, y’know. Since discovering that his sinus issues continue apace he’s been on constant antibiotics, and we went back to the ENT to find out if things were better. Of course, I didn’t have very high hopes.
“He’s still got that weird little cough, at night, you know?” I told him. “There’s still some drainage going on, even with the antibiotics. I dunno.” The doc checked his hearing (better), looked in his ears and then reached in there with a big scary metal thing and plucked out his tubes (which were just hanging out in some earwax), peered up his nose, and then talked Monkey into having some numbing spray applied to his throat. Once Monkey was all but howling “IT TASTES WEIRD! IT FEELS WEIRD! WHAT DID YOU DO??”, the ENT stuck a little camera scope aaaaaaall the way to the back of his throat and took a look around.
“I know it’s going to sound crazy,” he said, finally, “but I think we’ve been overlooking something. Any chance he has reflux?”
This was bewildering. “Uh, he had reflux as a baby…? But I don’t know about now.”
Then I was treated to an interesting lesson about “silent reflux” and how it can actually get so bad that it causes… sinus infections. Even with Monkey’s silent, um, EVERYTHING, that just seemed preposterous. But we accepted a prescription for Prevacid and said we’d give it a shot.
The cough is completely gone. Huh.
The pool is open for the season, though you understand that opening the pool in May means it’s plenty hot outside to swim, but the water is still really cold.
Owning a pool is a colossal pain in the ass (just ask Otto, who does the lion’s share of our pool maintenance). It’s time-consuming and expensive and you know how I feel about the occasional surprises I find in the skimmer basket (bleah). But it’s totally worth it when Monkey jumps in and refuses to get out until I notice that his lips are blue.
We had some of Otto’s students over for a barbecue this weekend, and it happened to be unseasonably hot that day, even for here. I saw several of them glance longingly at the pool as we sat up on the deck, sweltering. (I have often suggested to Otto that he make the student gathering a swim party, and he always looks… somewhat stricken, really. “I… don’t think I’m ready for college students in our pool,” he says.) We fed the students and they were all very polite and sweet, and the minute the last one left, I turned to the kids, all three of them [we had borrowed Mario for the afternoon], and said, “Okay, pool’s open, go get your suits on.” The boys were a blur as they ran inside, whooping and hollering.
Chickadee was a bit slower, but within 5 minutes everyone was in the pool. (I even dipped in to cool off, but it’s still too cold to stay in if you’re over 12, I’m convinced.)
We spent over an hour watching the boys splash and play and have a blast, and when they’d both turned into blue-lipped prunes, we made them get out. They complained, then they went inside to play Minecraft.
“It’s almost like having a regular kid,” Otto said to me, watching the boys play together.
“Shhhhhhhhh,” I said. Some miracles are best enjoyed quietly.
There are 10 days left before our family is done with middle school forever. I suppose most people would find this time bittersweet, but I am so ready to be done with this year, this chapter, everything that reminds me of any of it. All we have to get through now is all the final stuff (exams, band concert, field trips, field day) and then the “moving on” ceremony—not a graduation ceremony, NO NO NO, because you don’t graduate until 12th grade. STAY IN SCHOOL, KIDS! Because clearly if they called it “8th grade graduation” otherwise dedicated students would drop out of school right then and there.
Not that I have any opinions on that little bit of syntactical spin, of course. But whatever. 10 days and it’s all history.
Like I said, nothing earth-shattering is going on. I’m hoping it stays that way.
*Otto never ever makes fun of his students, actually. He only occasionally laments that their brains are not yet fully formed, is all.