Previous month:
December 2011
Next month:
February 2012

And now you know...the REST OF THE STORY. Sort of.

I got an email today from a friend from inside the computer (Hi, Kary!), who mentioned that she was checking here regularly for updates about Max. And that shook me out of my stupor, because gah, what a jerk am I? Here I invite you all to follow me off a cliff of anxiety, and then I disappear without finishing the story. I'm sorry.

I guess the problem is that I don't know the end of the story yet. The good news is that Max's EEG came back normal. Normal! As in fine! 

See now, I feel like an ass, because I should be happier about this. But something IS going on with Max, and I don't have any answers, and I think we all know that moms have all the answers, always. Ha ha, I know *I* usually do! HA! Right? Just like the rest of you seem to? HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! I'm not malfunctioning or anything!

For now we're keeping a diary of "events" and hoping not to see anything. And then we'll wander away and pretend like none of this ever happened. Sound good to you?

Seriously, though, thank you for all your kind words and concern. The lot of you made me cry, more than once. Just because I'm pregnant and have been known to burst into tears over such touching moments as the end of the toilet paper roll does not undermine that fact ONE BIT. Love you all.

Just be okay.

This afternoon I drove across town to attend a mandatory parent's meeting for the honor band that Max is participating in. Honor band is sort of like a school band, minus the school. It's a pretty sweet deal, especially for a homeschooled kid. Music nerds, unite!

Most of the meeting went over various fundraising opportunities (as if anyone actually think of these as "opportunities." If we were to extend this use of the word, we would have to talk about root canal opportunities and tax bill opportunities too, people). Toward the end, the subject changed to the requirements needed to move up to the next level. This touched off an unprecedented level of parental sharing.

One mom piped up, "I'm CERTAIN that my daughter is ready for intermediate band. CERTAIN. Who do I talk to?"

"I KNOW," another mom broke in, "my daughter was ready in the middle of last semester. Seriously. I don't want her BORED, you know? We deal with that enough in school."

"My son auditioned for advanced band, and he was placed in SYMPHONIC band," a dad shared. "We were...well, not SURPRISED, but happy!"

And so it went for a while. 

I listened, but only with half attention. Max is in beginning band, and I don't really know if he's ready for intermediate. Don't really care. He and his teachers will work that out, I suppose. And eventually he'll move up, but from my position it sounds pretty much the same. Unaccompanied saxophone squawks do not really enchant at either beginning or intermediate levels. 

It may not sound like it, but I'm not actually judging these proud parents. The truth is, I'm lucky. I know it doesn't matter which band Max is in, because I know his achievement is not a measure of his worth. Tomorrow I take him to the Children's Hospital for an EEG to figure out if the...episodes of weirdness he's been experiencing are seizures. I've been studiously avoiding Dr. Google, for obvious reasons, and steadfastly refusing to think about it until we have some actual information. 

But I can't help this: I look at him when he's not watching, and hope so hard that he's okay that I forget to breathe for a moment. And I don't care if he ever plays in intermediate or advanced or any band at all. I just want him to be Max. To be okay, and to be Max. He's the only one who can swing that, after all.

I think about a dear friend's child, as bright and accomplished and beautiful as any parent could hope for, who is basically fighting for her life tonight. I don't care what she ever accomplishes ever again. Be okay. Be your precious self.

I know I've been the other parent before, it's too easy. I've slid my children's talents and abilities on like they were my own to wear. I've turned, just so, to be sure others could see and admire (no one does, not really, you know). I've forgotten the truth underneath what they can do.

Move up to the next level or don't. Play your saxophone, play your flute, play whatever lights you up inside. Find your way and please. Oh please. Just be okay.

A stinky, disgusting, honor, but still.

Last night - no, wait, I guess that would be this morning - a little after 2, I heard a cough and a gasp from Sophia's room. A doomed chill ran down my spine. And sure enough, as I swung my feet to the floor, she gave an anguished cry of, "Will someone come clean off my foot?"

I found her, as I'd suspected, sitting up, barfing into the diamond formed by her legs. And so it began.

Clay and I swung into mess-containment mode (we'd had blueberries with dinner. Of COURSE we'd had blueberries), mopped off the pitiful little urchin, and tucked her in bed between us. 

For the rest of the night we slept in 20 minute chunks, to be then woken up by another round of vomit. I have a system for sick kids sleeping in my bed, and I'm pretty good at containing it. We did use up all the clean towels in the house, though. After throwing up, Sophia would pitifully request just a little water, and I'd give her a drink, then try to wrestle it away before she gulped enough to make her sick again. I swear to you, she growled at me once.

Today was spent mostly just sitting around, with a fever-limp girl draped across me, doling out sips of water and nibbles of inoffensive foods (and NO BLUEBERRIES). 

If you had told me twenty years ago that I would have days like today, when I am on sick kid duty despite two hours of sleep the night before, when I would nudge two other kids through (nearly) a full day of school work, when I would spend many moments wondering idly if the nausea I was feeling at that exact moment was standard pregnant sickness or something ominous, I would have thought you were just being mean.

And if you had told me I would consider it an honor, I would have thought you were insane. 

Shows you what I knew.

Gifted sister

Today Sophia has referred, several times, to herself as "the baby." We were in the bathroom at Target, and she wanted me to put her on the changing table. Then I brought home an infant car seat (passed along to me by a kind family, bringing the number of baby items we have on hand for this child up I am a moron.), and she spent the evening buckling herself into said car seat, demanding a blanket, and even babbling classic baby talk.

More than a few people have mentioned that this new baby will do they put it?...challenging for Sophia. Or "a big change." I keep insisting that I believe she'll be fine, and I do. She is, after all, an intensely social little girl, and what is this baby except another person? Sophia LOVES people. She loves to talk to them and make them smile and take their stuff and bug them and talk to them some more. So yes, ultimately, I do believe she is going to adjust to this baby just fine.

That doesn't mean she won't suffer some adjustment period. After all, adding to your family is sort of like throwing all the cards up in the air. You don't know where everything's going to fall for a while. And while I think the concept is oversold, it is hard for the baby to move out of the baby spot.

However, I did not quite expect her to start dealing with her angst quite so soon. This little person (whom we call "Zyggy" for "zygote" even though s/he's technically a fetus now) is barely the size of a lime. Zyggy's not touching her stuff. And yet here we are, with a great big girl climbing up in my lap and petulantly announcing that SHE is the baby and ga ga goo goo.

You know what this means, right?

Dec11 030

She's clearly gifted.

Don't read this if you are suffering from morning sickness or generally have a sensitive stomach. Really.

I almost threw up in Chipotle today.

Wait, let me back up a little. I'm sick with this pregnancy - relentlessly, horrifically, crushingly sick. I have only thrown up once, but that is mainly because of my superhuman vomit containing skills. Mostly I just walk around, swallowing hard, trying not to smell anything, look at anything that might smell like anything, or think about cooked spinach.

Oh, ugh. *gag* Cooked spinach.

Where was I? Oh yes, so this has been my lot of late. I am queasy. And sleepy. And sort of dumb, but that's another post. If I remember, which I won't. But I am nearly 12 weeks along now (!), and just this week, I have started to ever so slightly edge around the corner into feeling better. So today when my mom offered to take me and my chiddlers out to lunch, I bravely said yes. (Yes, I called myself brave just now. I am EXACTLY like firefighters and soldiers and police officers who put themselves in harm's way for the sake of others, because I dared to face down a burrito. Totes.)

When we got there, I ordered myself a barbacoa burrito, and settled in with the crew to eat. Sitting at the table next to us was a young woman who seemed utterly FASCINATED by us. She openly stared as we sat down, and proceeded to eat her lunch like the entertainment she'd ordered had finally arrived. At first, given her youth, I assumed she was studying Tre, an uncomfortably common occurrence these days. But she was clearly transfixed by all of us.

I tucked into my burrito, and can I tell you? It was AMBROSIA. Just spicy enough, with all that cheesy, carby, calorific goodness. It tasted amazing, and I was thrilled. Just because you're queasy all the time doesn't mean you stop being hungry, see. My body is constantly, uncomfortably aware that I'm not eating enough, and it's an awful feeling. I try, I promise I am trying to eat, but blargh.

But then. Oh, then. I bit into a perfectly promising corner, and got a chunk of meat that was...texturally not okay. Texture is always important to me, even when I'm not pregnant. As a matter of fact, the last time Mir was here, she watched me picking over some barbacoa I'd made, carefully removing every shred of anything that could offend, texturally, and she suggested I have sensory issues. By which I assume she meant, "Oh, Kira, thank you for so meticulously saving me from those horrible icky bits, because they are so clearly bad and wrong."

But nobody with my food ethic works at Chipotle, apparently, because today my teeth sank into a portion of beef that was distinctly...fatty.

Oh, dear. *gag*

I plucked that bite out of my mouth with the sort of alacrity that has inspired the popular new phrase, "Drop it like you bit into an icky bit." Not as catchy as "drop it like it's hot," but more...HEARTFELT. But that didn't mean I wasn't immediately plunged into a battle to keep from losing my lunch right there, in front of God and that lady sitting next to us. I was sort of trapped in the interior of our table, and couldn't quickly and discretely reach a good puke receptacle, so I sat there and fought it. I took drinks of my soda, breathed deeply, and just fought it. I heaved, swallowed, heaved, swallowed. Mom watched me, holding her breath. Heave, swallow. Do you know what happens when you drink carbonated soda and heave? You belch. Loudly. Can you believe that none of my boys noticed that I was belching and trying not to throw up? I didn't get even one "Good one, Mom." What is this world coming to?

Finally I got the upper hand. I looked up, wiped my eyes, and apologized. Mom patted my back. I shoved my burrito away, feeling deep regret (it was SO GOOD, too!). And then I looked up to see the woman at the next table, quietly covering the rest of her lunch and pushing it away.

Is it pathological, you think, that I'm feeling guilty for ruining her meal?