Unanchored Thoughts

Bits and pieces of musings about family, friends, social issues, and whatever else travels through my head without a purpose.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Mommy Test

I know it's cliche, but I'm just now realizing that Graeme is testing me. My mother observed this when she was here putting our lives back together last week. (Side note: Last week was the first week since the beginning of March when we didn't go to the pediatrician. And where was I this morning? At the pediatrician. I seriously may be crazy. Perhaps I would have gone to the pediatrician last week were it not for my mother reassuring me that we could manage my child's health issues in-house. Anyway, I digress. My sanity, or lack thereof, is a running theme in this blog.)

I probably knew on some level that Graeme was testing me, but it was driving me crazy. Haven't I passed enough f----g tests to be a parent? I had my FSH, LH, estrogen and all sorts of other hormones measured and tested billions of times while trying to get pregnant. I charted and cycled and clocked and timed and did all sorts of other humiliating things while trying to get pregnant. I read every book I could on recurrent miscarriages, optimal nutrition, exercise and stress reduction, and more while trying to get pregnant. And now I'm a parent. I PASSED the test. What does this child think by TESTING me? I've had enough tests to qualify me to write the SAT, LSAT, and MCAT in three languages. But, it seems as though that wasn't enough. Or, maybe it was just the beginning of the REAL test. The one that really matters. Who cares what my hormone levels are and whether or not my cycle is 28 or 35 days or whether I have ripe follicles or old ovaries. None of that really matters when it comes to parenting. Now that I realize that the real test is right now in front of me I'm actually enjoying it a bit more. The years of infertility were just an irritating warm-up (irritating being the operative world....but since this post isn't about my anger at infertility I'll try to stay on topic).

Graeme is constantly testing me. I'm not sure if he's making sure I'm up for the job (and he has good reason to doubt my capacity, for sure). Or, if he's testing boundaries and stretching his own wings. Or, if he's just messing with me. But, he tests me all the time.

If I kick the walls at 6:00am will she respond? When she tells me NO does she mean it? What will happen if I keep kicking? Will she really take away the pacifier? What happens if I don't eat my dinner? How about going one step further and throwing the plate? Will she give me a bowl of cereal, a stern look, or a time-out? Do we really have to hold hands in parking lots? What exactly constitutes a parking lot? If I pull away will she carry me instead - I kind of like that. Or, do we have to forgo the library trip?

When I think about it this way, Graeme is just trying to figure out how the world operates and I'm the teacher. Only instead of administering the tests I'm taking them. And, I'm probably a confusing teacher (I sort of knew that from my days of teaching Econ 101). Some days throwing food results in a time-out and other days I deliver a tired look. Holding hands in parking lots is a constant, but sometimes "hands" means "grab the handle on my bag because my two hands are occupied with Ian, school bags, pump, work material, and coffee."

It's all very confusing...to the teacher and the student. So, while I really hope I pass this is probably good training for how the real world does in fact operate...confusing.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Will They Always Play this Nicely?

We retrieved this toy from our attic, thinking that Ian is ready for the next stage in baby toys. It was Graeme's, though he never really had much of an interest in it. Then, that is. The minute Steve brought it into the living room Graeme was all over it and has been playing with it pretty much non-stop. It's one of those "boxes" you see at doctor's offices with a different feature on each side. Ian also seems to like it and it's a perfect complement to the Bumbo seat. I wonder how long they will play this well together? I probably should freeze this moment, right?!

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Melanoma In Situ

What is it? Well, I've got it. And, I'm none to happy about it either. Melanoma in situ is skin cancer of the outer-layer of the skin. In situ means, literally, in it's place, meaning that the cancer has not spread to the deeper layers of the skin. It's also considered Stage 0 skin cancer, with Stage V being the worst. This is good news, according to my dermatologist. He caught it early and the treatment merely involves a small surgery to remove the spot. However, I'm a bit unsettled nonetheless. Yes, I'm covered with moles or freckles, as I like to call them. And, I spent a good 15 years worshiping the sun with the goal of getting the deepest darkest tan I could by June. Often this involved baby oil, with iodine added for extra measure. No idea what the iodine did except stain my skin, but I did it. So, I have every risk factor imaginable. But, I'm still a bit scared by the whole experience.

I went to the dermatologist about a month ago for a plantar's wart and he suggested a "body scan" while I was there. He "scraped" two spots at that visit and scheduled a surgery to remove two others that were bigger and deeper. One of the spots on my leg I've been watching for several years and had examined by a crack-pot dermatologist about a year ago who said it was fine. Dr. Glassman took one look at it and said it needed to go. I dragged my feet on scheduling the surgery for a time when it was convenient for me and finally had it done about 10 days ago. Last Tuesday he called to drop the "melanoma in situ" bomb and said I needed to come in ASAP for additional surgery to make sure they get "clear margins" (i.e., at least 0.5cm of cancer-free skin around the site). I went that day and now have a nice 2 inch scar on my leg with internal and six external stitches.

I'm just a bit unsettled and haven't quite processed all of this. Truthfully, it is good news, but it's news that I'd rather not have. I'll go back for future scans every 4 months and he'll likely continue to scrape and dig at my skin for many years to come. I'm OK with that. I'm on an anti-sun campaign right now. I ordered some sun-protective clothing from LLBean. We have every type of sunscreen imaginable. I'm in a hat all the time and avoid the sun like the plague. And, I'm about to go get some new prescription sunglasses. You can do me a favor by getting into healthy sun habits and getting a body scan if you haven't had one in the last year. Please.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

I Make You Happy

The other day Graeme gave me a big kiss when I was leaving the house. I hugged him and said "I love you." "I love you too, Mommy," was his reply. Which made me cry and hug him more. "I make you happy, Mommy. I don't make you sad."

How is it that the deepest insights can come from a 2 year old?

(The wheels are being repaired on the Maguire bus. My mother is now here helping us put ourselves back in order. Bless her. I could feel the stress melt away as soon as I heard she was on her way. Ian is a sick little fellow (ear infection #7, or just one non-stop infection since January, depending on how you look at it), so her presence is very, very, very welcome.)