When I hired my morning sitter to manage the boys before school, I lost touch with my children. The full impact of that really hit home this morning when my sitter had to cancel. She called me at 6am. Her car wouldn’t start. I said ok, no problem, I got it from here.
I hung up and suddenly realized I had no clue. What time should I wake them up? When does school start? Oh jeez, does Calvin have his reading class this morning? What do they eat? What about lunches? Do they take their tennis racquets to school? Is today the tutor?
And I quickly became an anxious wreck. I was convinced at 6:05am I was running late when I was almost certain school didn’t start until some time after 8, or maybe 8:30. The next two hours were hell.
I did everything wrong. I woke them up too early. It was too cold for cold breakfast. They no longer eat oatmeal. They were suppose to have hot chocolate waiting for them on the table. “Elizabeth doesn’t fix it this way. Where’s my marshmallow?”
Jack insisted on waffles. “Mom, I eat three, not two, I’m not a little kid any more.” He grabbed the plate from me and lifted it just high enough to dunk my just washed hair in the syrup. They fought over toothpaste and who got to walk out the front door first.
Finally we load up and hit the road. I turn the first corner and Sam knocked my coffee over, the whole cup into the driver seat where I was sitting in my go to work clothes. Of course there is no towel in the car. That would make too much sense. “Mom, you shouldn’t have put your coffee there. Elizabeth doesn’t drink coffee. Why do you drink coffee?”
It’s a bittersweet thing, losing control. I mean I feel like it should be a bittersweet thing. It’s anything but. I blew kisses to them as they walked away like I did when I was a stay at home mom. Then I sped away as fast as the school zone allowed.
Christmas light update: they are still working. I think we have a truce.
My youngest son, when he was about a year old, was going up the bunk bed ladder and fell down. His mouth took the brunt of the fall and probably hit more than a couple steps on the way down. By the time I got to his screaming little self there was blood gushing from his mouth. I could see his top front teeth positioned in completely unnatural ways. I had visions of the ER and a long night with a suffering baby.
I paged the pediatric dentist. She called me back right away even though she was at a cocktail party. She told me just to move the teeth back where they belonged. I was stunned. I was actually driving the car around in circles not knowing if I needed to meet her at her office or go to the hospital. Instead she sent me home.
I did as I was told and it worked. I put the teeth back. Got a cold compress and saved his teeth. For about two years. Then he came home from daycare, smiled and his upper teeth were gone. They had broken at the gum line. No one saw how or when it happened. He didn’t have an accident. I can only assume they were fractured from the long ago fall and that was the day they decided to fall out.
The roots of those teeth had to be removed. The broken bits were sharp. Which Sam misunderstood to mean “shark” like he had “shark teeth” which wasn’t an entirely bad description. We were at a maxillofacial surgeon’s office to get that done. They don’t like using general anesthesia on babies so they used all locals to remove the teeth. Sam takes after me in that he does not respond to painkillers. The meds didn’t really work. He didn’t dose off and he screamed like murder during the procedure. The roots of these baby teeth were half an inch long. The doctors had to physically pull me from the room while I was screaming I had a right to be with my minor son.
My now ex-husband told me I needed to mind the doctors. I was disruptive, a distraction. I should have divorced him then.
When my son was in recovery I went in. He was literally like a caged feral animal. He hissed at me. The nurses told me not to worry because the meds caused a type of amnesia. He wouldn’t remember a thing. But I would. I toss an imaginary grenade every time I drive by that office.
All of this is to explain why my son doesn’t speak well: he has no upper teeth. And because of that he says the cutest things. He can’t say “you’re welcome” for instance. It comes out “I’m Malcolm.”
“Thank you Sam!”
“I’m Malcolm Mama!”
I just love that. That’s really all I wanted to say.