Yesterday afternoon, I took my sick son to an urgent care where he was seen by a kind and capable nurse practitioner. She quickly assessed him and wrote a prescription before sending us on our way. I kind of wanted to tell her this story. Kind of…
When our daughter was born ten weeks early via emergency c-section, my husband and I got a crash course in medical terminology. We learned all about NG-tubes, picc lines, desats, brady’s and many more words I hope you boys and girls never need to know.
We spent hours in the intensive care unit each day and picked up invaluable information from the neonatologists and our child’s primary care nurse. For 35 days straight, we sat at our daughter’s isolette reading her chart, working the monitors, and reapplying electrodes. By the end of that journey we felt like medical professionals ourselves.
Our son was born premature a few years later, but because of his heart condition he was immediately transferred to a children’s hospital where they had equipment to better care for him.
It was déjà vu with a twist. We were thrown into a familiar situation, in unfamiliar surroundings. Yet, we figured we were ahead of the game. At the very least, we knew the lingo and could communicate with the staff.
Or, so I thought.
Because I’m sure the nurse practitioner who met my husband upon our son’s admission was quite surprised when she introduced herself, only to have him say, “We’d like a real nurse, not one who’s just practicing.”
Yesterday morning I was giving my son some medicine when I accidentally bumped his head on a kitchen cabinet. Without even thinking I said, “Bonk!”
My son laughed. So I tickled him a little and said, “You’re bonkers!” He laughed even harder.
Then I remembered where we would be fifteen minutes later and I said, “By the way, when we get to school you can’t go around calling people bonkers. I was being silly, but it wouldn’t be nice to say that to your classmates.”
To which he replied, “Okay. I’ll just call them crackers.”
My six year old son, who has a penchant for blatant honesty and who often makes people uncomfortable (Read: Me) with his embarrassing remarks, has begun to develop some manners. Recently, he started apologizing in advance before hurling insults or doing something wrong.
“Mom I’m sorry to do this, but I’m going to step on the dog’s tail.”
“Mom I’m sorry to say this, but you have really big feet.”
The good news, is that he is finally understanding right from wrong. The bad news, is that he still doesn’t mind being wrong.
Last week, we were watching A Christmas Story (“You’ll shoot your eye out!”) with the kids when Ralphie’s father blurted out, “Smartass.”
I said, “Whoops. I forgot that there was a bad word in this movie.”
My son asked, “What? What bad word?”
I replied, “I’m not going to say it. It was bad.”
Completely dissatisfied with my answer, my boy questioned me further. “Did he say stupid?”
I shook my head.
He asked, “Was it dumb?”
I said, “No.”
Then came the pre-apology.
“Mom I’m sorry to ask this, but did that guy say balls?”
Yesterday morning, with family gathered around, my daughter presented my husband with a homemade present…101 Reasons Why I Love My Dad.
The list included, “You fuss about how old I am and tell me I am too big for being tucked in, but you still tuck me in anyway.” And, “You help me with math homework. DON’T TELL MOM I AM WRITING THIS!!!!! You are the only one I can ask for help, because Mom can’t do the math.” Sad, but oh so true.
As my husband read each line, I held my six year old son on my lap and we listened. It was wonderful and sweet, and the kids’ Grandma and I both began to cry.
He read the last item on the list, “You work and try as hard as you can. And you do it just for us.”
Grandma, who was clearly touched by the outpouring of love said, “That was really beautiful.”
And without missing a beat, my son said, “That was really boring.”