Life Among the Never-Winged

Once upon a time I was writing a book called, "Just Another Love Letter", about angels behaving badly. Now I just quietly ask myself each day, "What the hell am I doing?"

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Location: The Rocky Mountain Empire, United States

My friends always knew I was going to hell. My only hope is that God likes good jokes and bad redheads.

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  • Saturday, December 02, 2006

    When the Food Nazi Says, “Let's go for ice cream instead!” Run the Other Way

    While I type, I'm staying out of the way of my boyos, who are reenacting yesterday's big event, a trip to the pediatrician.

    They've elaborated. The trip did not include an accident with a double-decker bus. I don't remember there being a surgery, or a feeding tube. And no one died, or came back from the dead, as I recall. But sometimes I miss things.

    No, there was no accident, no heroic measures, no death, no rebirth.

    So why do I feel like I've been through all that?

    Let me back up. Declan took a nap yesterday, which is way out of the norm, and awoke fevered and complaining of an upset stomach, a sore throat and sensitive eyes. The first word to go off sizzling in my brain pan was 'strep', so I called the doctor and got an appointment. The minute he heard 'doctor' Declan decided he felt fine. I spent the next five minutes getting kicked in the face as I tried to apply socks to the boy. With 20 minutes until the appointment, a fifteen minute drive, and a hysterical boyo I wasn't sure what to do.

    So what pops out of my mouth but, “Let's go for ice cream instead!”

    Now, I know my boyos are smarter than that. They aren't two, for heaven's sakes, they're four. But I was desperate. The next five minutes turned into the toddler-edition of Law and Order:

    Jack: Will we go to the doctor first?

    Dancehall: We'll get ice cream! Get in the car.

    Declan: *sniff* At the Doctor's?

    Dancehall: Of course not. The doctor doesn't have ice cream. Get in the car.

    Jack: Will we go to a restaurant for the ice cream?

    Dancehall: Yes, we will. Get in the car.

    Jack: Will it be a drive-thru?

    Dancehall: Yes. Get in the car.

    Declan: Then we'll go to's?

    Dancehall: Um. Do you want chocolate or vanilla?

    Declan: Answer me. *sniff*

    Dancehall: Get in the car. Now. Ice cream.

    Jack: So we are going to the doctor's AREN'T we?

    Dancehall: Um...

    Declan: NO!

    As you can see, I'm not that great with kids. I don't understand how they work. I'm trying to raise little adults here. Jack knows the difference between Bach and Mozart, Declan can tell you that a Madeline is a cookie, a mandolin is a bluegrass instrument, and a mandoline is very sharp. But they are toddlers, and I don't know what to do with toddlers. Especially when they act like toddlers.

    So that's why the next part is so disturbing.

    As I closed the car door, something came over me, something completely foreign. I had an idea of how I might get them to the doctor's without all the screaming and wailing and gnashing of baby teeth.

    Dancehall: You know, Mommy doesn't feel good.

    Declan: You don't?

    Dancehall: No. My tummy hurts, and so does my throat.

    Jack: You should go to the doctor.

    Dancehall: Really? Do you think so?

    Declan: Yes.

    Dancehall: Well. If you're sure. I guess I should go to the doctor.

    Declan: But ice cream first?

    Aw crap...wait...

    ...another totally foreign transmission entered my brain...

    Dancehall: Well, you know, let's swing by the doctor's first and see if he's still open.

    Jack: Oh! Yes! He might be closed.
    Dancehall: Yes! Exactly! I'd hate to miss him if he closes early.

    So I drove to the doc's without another complaint. And as we drove, it just kept going, this foreign line of thinking:

    Dancehall: You know, Mommy has no idea how this doctor-visit-thing works.

    Declan: Well, they take your shoes off, and they look in your ears–

    Jack: And they listen to your heart–

    Declan: And you gotta open your mouth, like this–

    Dancehall: Oh. Really? I still don't get it. Will you show me when we get there?

    Boyos: Yes!

    So, I was driving along, thinking that when we got to the office I'd give everybody there a big wink, and tell them I was sick, and could they look at me for strep? And I imagined them all winking back, playing along, something they did everyday. And then Declan would 'demonstrate' for his sick mommy how to get his mouth swabbed, and he wouldn't throw a tantrum.

    And by God, if that isn't how it all went down.

    And by God, if I didn't feel like I'd infiltrated the Mommy Skull and Crossbones Fraternity. Like I'd found a scrap of paper with all the secret codes and handshakes of Good Motherhood and executed them perfectly.

    And by God, if I didn't feel like a complete phony. Like Morticia in pink pumps and pearls.

    I even figured out how to get the boyos some ice cream afterwards while avoiding rush hour traffic as well as a melty mess.

    And I had this weird, dual-feeling in my chest. One feeling of having bested some sort of ordeal, and the other of a panicked, what-the-hell-has-invaded-my-head-and-why-is-it-a-


    Plus, the trip proved to be unnecessary. Which is, I suppose, a good thing, considering the alternative was strep throat. He's got a virus, nothing more. If I hadn't overreacted, I could have saved $27.14, and never known this weird, Dr. Doris Day/Ms. Morticia Addams duality I seem to possess.

    I'm just a great big faker. And I have no clue as to what I'm doing as a mother.

    So now the three of us are sitting here in the basement watching old 80s and 90s music videos on the computer and eating popcorn. And I just realized we've all been eating out of the same bowl.

    I feel stupid, and contagious.

    Oh, denial.

    16 people left me a love letter:

    Blogger amusing wrote in a love letter...

    I called my mom. She said you did a great job and brava! (Cuz she can unthinkingly give praise to anyone else, just not her own daughters...)

    Glad there's no strep. I hear an ice cream a day keeps strep away! (okay boyos -- pay up!)

    5:27 PM, December 02, 2006  
    Blogger meno wrote in a love letter...

    No one knows what they are doing as a parent. And if by chance one day you do know what to do, they change.
    But any trip that includes ice cream is okay by me.
    Morticia in pink pumps and pearls. Great visual on that one.

    6:09 PM, December 02, 2006  
    Anonymous Anonymous wrote in a love letter...

    As Schwarzkopf says "when put in charge, take charge". Just remember that it's not a democracy, and you're obliged to give them at least a few neuroses for later in life.

    In our little cosmos, I tend to gravitate toward the confusing and absurd. I told Z that if he didn't eat his veggies, Mt. Rainier would erupt and we'd have to look out for hot lava. As you can see, I have no need for credibility, just cooperation.

    6:48 PM, December 02, 2006  
    Anonymous Anonymous wrote in a love letter...

    I think you did some fanTAStic work there.

    I am guessing in mommyhood, that sometimes the ends justifies the means. Toddlers don't have reason yet, so don't feel guilt for not persuading them to do what's best for them by reasoning it with them.

    Lies and bribery. It was effective, strep was ruled out, and popcorn and 80s music is had by all.


    p.s. I don't need to tell you to start slamming gatorade and vitamins, of course.

    12:55 AM, December 03, 2006  
    Blogger Des_Moines_Girl wrote in a love letter...

    I think you were fan-damn-tastic! IMO - 50% of parenthood is improvisation. What works today, won't work tomorrow but it might work again next week. And for crying out loud don't ever feel guilty or weird about it. Just go with the flow.

    8:18 AM, December 03, 2006  
    Blogger Bud wrote in a love letter...

    The popcorn was the only dumb thing you did all day. The rest was genius! ANYthing is fair with toddler twins. ANYthing. It's the law of the jungle, girl!

    8:39 AM, December 03, 2006  
    Blogger Bud wrote in a love letter...

    The popcorn was the only dumb thing you did all day. The rest was genius! ANYthing is fair with toddler twins. ANYthing. It's the law of the jungle, girl!

    8:39 AM, December 03, 2006  
    Anonymous Anonymous wrote in a love letter...

    Heh! I love ice cream and I love stories about how moms handle tough situations. You're my hero!

    I'm with Bud. I hate popcorn. Ask O. I tried to throw away a 12 lb bag of popcorn during the move, hoping Stucco wouldn't find it. He did. He dug it out of the trash and it is here with us. Stucco was deeply offended.

    10:31 AM, December 03, 2006  
    Anonymous Anonymous wrote in a love letter...

    That was a brilliant!

    4:24 PM, December 03, 2006  
    Blogger Maggie wrote in a love letter...

    Hey, you survived, the boyos survived and peace reigned. At least for that day. That's what we call a win in Mommyland I think.

    8:39 AM, December 04, 2006  
    Blogger Nancy Dancehall wrote in a love letter...

    It's not so much that I decieved my children (I mean, that's what they're for, right?) but that I felt like some alien mommy intelligence had invaded me. It left me wondering who exactly I am.

    Well, Amusing, as long as I have your mom's approval, that makes it all worth it. ;-) Does it help to know that if you and I ever got into an arguement, my mom would side with you regardless?

    Yup, ice cream makes the world go 'round, Meno, at least in my world. And you're so right; they change faster than a mutating virus, and are about as frustrating to keep up with.

    *snort* Stucco! Pace yourself! You've got to save the Mt. Rainier threat for something really big.

    See, Jo, what bothers me is that I'm just not that creative when it comes to manipulating toddlers, not that I have any qualms about doing it when it is in their best interests. It was WEIRD. Especially when everyone went along with it, like it happens everyday. Hello, Pod People!

    Bud! What have you got against popcorn? You and Schmoop both are just derranged. ;-)

    Stucco was deeply offended. As am I, Schmoop, as am I. ;-) Well, the popcorn would just get soggy up there anyway, right?

    Thanks, Jaimie! And thanks forstopping by. You ight want to check out Justcallmejo's site, as she is a nurse too.

    I'll take all the wins I can get, Maggie. And all the twin tips I can find. Got any? :-)

    12:03 PM, December 04, 2006  
    Anonymous Anonymous wrote in a love letter...

    Kids...they are smarter than we think they are.

    Hope you don't get sick. Try that Airborn stuff. It works WONDERS!!! I LOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE IT!!!

    6:34 AM, December 05, 2006  
    Blogger Maggie wrote in a love letter...

    Nancy, I'm putting up a twin tips post tomorrow. Watch for it. I'm no expert, but we're still alive so that counts for something!

    9:51 AM, December 05, 2006  
    Blogger Nancy Dancehall wrote in a love letter...

    MD: Oh, yeah. That stuff is GREAT! Cold-eze works for me too. Not sick yet!

    Put 'em up, Maggie!!

    11:18 AM, December 06, 2006  
    Blogger Cheesy wrote in a love letter...

    "It left me wondering who exactly I am."

    You are a memeber of the Mommy club that's who! It's a constant state of re~invention.... I'll be sending your mom o' twins decoder ring,,,, you deseve it after today. Most EXCELLENT solution sweety! Just remember ... it's all just a "one day at a time" adventure!

    6:29 AM, December 08, 2006  
    Blogger Nancy Dancehall wrote in a love letter...

    Thanks Cheesy! I'll be checking the mail every day. :-) I loved your anniversary post, btw.

    12:27 PM, December 08, 2006  

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