On a good day, parenting will test the integrity of your character. On a bad day, parenting will test your will to live. Parenting children with trauma histories will cause you to test the integrity of everything and everyone you thought you knew, for the rest of your life.
~J. Skrobisz

Sunday, August 21, 2011

A spot of humor in an othewise INSANE life

I discovered that I wrote this post six weeks ago and for some strange reason, never published it.  Thus, since I have been unable to pull out of this physical funk and therefore am unable to think of anything witty to say, I thought I'd post it now.  First, here's proof of my current state:

Some mornings when I wake up I'm ill right from the start and it won't pass until mid afternoon. Other days I wake up feeling better and by mid day I'm crashing and burning, too sleepy to think, waking up two hours later in a foggy haze. I take my last antibiotic tomorrow and I am concerned that it has not been sufficient to knock out whatever is coursing through my veins. Curses, detestable infection!

And on that note, here's a window into a twenty minute excerpt of our crazy life, the unpublished anecdote I wrote in early July.

The Backstory

Sissy has THIS adorable little nugget, compliments of her Aunt, a Christmas gift she asked for.  She plugs in her mp3 player and it barks, bee bops, lights up and in general, boogies along with her.  She loves it.  LOVES it.  She recently earned it back for good behaviors so it has gotten a lot of mileage, so much so that the factory installed batteries required replacement.  You know the kind, the weird Japanese looking batteries that last longer than God.  Seriously, I'd buy them over D.uracell if I could find them locally.

And so begins my story.
 me seated at kitchen table reading.  In a rush and a panic, AB enters the room

AB:   Mom.  MOM!  It needs new batteries.  It won't work.
ME:  *pushing the button on the dog's nose and it begins to bark and dance*  It looks fine to me, son.  Are you sure you had the mp3 player plugged in correctly.
AB:  YES!  And I checked the mp3 player, it says the battery is good.  it plays music until you plug it into the dog. 
ME:  Um.  Ok, let me see.  *I push the button again and listen.  Sure enough, the dog's movements are slow and jaunty, the intro music it plays is slow and warbly*  Yep.  It needs batteries.
AB:  SEE!  So do we have them mom, the batteries?  Can you do it please?  We're playing with it.
ME:  OK.

*enter the laundry room where the battery bin is located.  AB is so close behind he is practically tripping me.  I open the drawer*

AB:  Mom.  MOM.  Do you have them?  The batteries?  Do you mom?
ME:  Hang on a sec son, I'm just now looking to see.
AB:  And you'll need a little screw thing.  Do you have that too?
ME:  Yes son, just a minute.

*I locate two AAA batteries and the mini screwdriver, shut the drawer and turn to exit the laundry room.  AB is blocking the door*

ME:  Son.  Can you move please so we can go back to the table?
AB:  Huh?
ME:  I want to get out now.
AB: Oh.

*we exit the laundry room and resume our original position at the table; me seated, AB hovering over my right shoulder, barely giving me elbow room to turn the screwdriver*

AB:  Can you do it mom?  I can do it.  Let me do it.  Mom.  I can.  I CAN!
ME:  I've got it AB.  Hold on.

*The two screws are removed and the butt of the dog comes off revealing two AAA batteries from Thailand*

AB: WOW!  What are those?!
ME:  Batteries.
AB: No.  those aren't batteries.  I've never seen them before.
ME:  Yes son, these are batteries.  They just look different.
AB: but why?
ME: because they're from the manufacturer in a different country.
AB:  what country?
ME:  I don't know son.  China or Thailand or something.
AB:  Which?
ME:  I don't know.

* I began putting in the new batteries during this entire discussion, trying to make sure I had them in the right direction, snapping them down, etc.  Sissy entered the room*
S: Did you do it?
ME:  Still working on it.
S: Oh.  Why is it taking so long? / AB: How do they make them?
ME:  One question at a time please.

*Sissy came to my left side and hovered just as closely as AB.  I barely had room to move BOTH arms now and they were asking different questions in each ear.  The Dad was seated in the living room, the pass through doorway making him visible from our line of vision*

TD: AB, I think they are just button batteries inside them.
AB: huh?
*all three of them simultaneously*
S: so how much longer? Are you done? / AB: What's a button battery? / TD: Isn't that right honey?

*at this exact moment I was prepared to screw the butt of the dog back on when I noticed a sticker just below the tail.  "Don't forget the third battery"*

ME: o.O
*the three of them repeat their questions simultaneously again.  Remember, I'm blocked in by S and AB and The Dad is calling out to me from another room and now, NOW there's the mystery of the missing third battery*

ME:  Um, guys, this sticker says there's a third battery.
AB:  no there isn't. 
ME:  The sticker says there is.
S:  It's lying.
AB:  They put it there as a joke.

*I'm turning the thing over and over, trying to determine where the third battery is supposed to go.  I opt to remove the first two batteries thinking I'd missed the third battery compartment beneath them*

AB:  The sticker doesn't mean anything.
ME:  Son, they don't put stickers on toys that say "don't forget the third battery" unless there's a third battery one might forget.
AB:  Maybe they put that sticker on all of the toys and it's only for some of them but not this one.
ME:  No, that's not the way manufacturers work.
AB:  Well, it could be.
ME:  *sigh* Ok, son, maybe but not this time.
S:  No, it's just a joke, to confuse you.  There's no third battery.
ME:  *to Sissy* That's not how manufacturers work either.  They don't sit around laughing to themselves about how they can confuse consumers by putting random stickers on the battery compartments of toys that say, "hey dumb dumb, don't forget the third battery" when there isn't a third battery.
S: yeah huh.
ME:  No.
S:  It's not there.  See?!?  There's no third battery!  it's just a joke!
ME:  This is NOT a conspiracy theory.  This is a TOY!
AB:  yeah, I think Sissy's right.  It's just a joke.

*The Dad, privy to this entire exchange chimes in*
TD: Did you check underneath the batteries?
ME:  *having unscrewed everything down to the electronics board attempting to find the third battery without luck* Yes.  It's not there.
S:  See.  It's a joke.
AB:  Yeah, that's what it is, it's just a joke, to confuse you.
ME:  *exasperated*  It is NOT a joke!  That is complete and utter paranoia, there is a battery here, somewhere, I will find it just STOP BREATHING DOWN MY NECK AND LET ME THINK!!!!

Sometime throughout this exchange, WG had entered the room and was seated at the table watching the entire scene, bemused, not doubt.  Hearing my exasperation, she picked up the butt of the dog, the portion I removed to access the battery compartment.  She flipped it over.

WG:  Mom.  Here's the third battery.

I stared at her for three seconds, saying nothing, realizing that I had allowed Sissy and AB to get me caught up in the bizarre machinations of their convoluted, paranoid, erroneous thought pattern.  In four words, WG solved the mystery.  I gathered my wits and laughed out right, reaching for her and hugging her hard.

ME:  WG!  You saved me!  Thank you thank you thank you for being sane!  I love you I love you I love you! 

I kissed her all over while laughing. 
WG:  Mom.  MOM!  Stop, you're hurting me.  Geez, it's just a dumb battery.  It was in the dog's butt, no big deal. 

She skipped off rolling her eyes.  AB and Sissy, still hovering over me, breathing down my neck during this entire exchange chimed in.

AB: So can you fix it now, can you?
S:  Yeah, because we really want to play.
ME:  *sigh* Just a second while I screw the butt back on the dog.
AB:  YAY! *skipping and stimming*
S: *snatching it from my hands and chasing after him* AB!  Let's play it in my room!


Trauma Mama said...

OMG! I feel your pain! We have had similar scenarios around here.

GB's Mom said...

Thank God for WG!

Amy said...

Ha Ha that is great. So have been there. Hope you soon feel better. Worried about you. Did you get your Tyhroid checked? That is usually symptoms for me that my thyroid is off. Also try taking Vitamin D. Sometimes your body is low and exhausted is a good sign of that too. Or maybe your just too stressed :) I will send some prayers your way!

Ranger said...

ROTFL HOW do you stay calm in the middle of all that??? WG sounds like such a poppet.

Keep a look out for adrenal exhaustion type syndromes maybe? With the stress you've been handling long term, your adrenal system would have to be made of chromium steel to not be affected! Lots of vit B and zinc might also give you a bit of a lift. Hugs, feel better soon. {}

Kerrie said...

I have one insane, one semi-sane, and two sane. And yes, I too have thanked the sane ones for being sane. Repeatedly.

Peggi said...

That is how I felt when I was pregnant.

Integrity Singer said...

@ Peggi - the thought had crossed my mind but I just had a cycle in the middle of all of this and then of course, there's the whole being-declared-infertile bit of my medical history...

Peggi said...

It was just the first thing that came to mind. Crazy things happen and I know more than one infertile people who have ended up getting pregnant. Hope you feel better soon.

kisekileia said...

It's still worth doing a pregnancy test.