Feed on

Comic Relief

Relatively speaking, it’s been a long time with no blog activity. This is mostly down to being busy, being worried, and being itchy. But there has been some comic relief along the way, so stay tuned.

The Busy Bits

Last Friday was our annual July 4 party. Every year I am amazed at how much time can be spent preparing for a party that involves hardly any cooking. I can knock out the food in around two hours, so what eats up all my time? The obvious answer is the quarterly scramble to get my house in order, compounded by the need to also get my yard together. If Matt and I didn’t host July 4, Simon’s birthday, Christmas Eve, and Passover, I shudder to think how bad our house would get. Sad but true. Now that I see this in writing, I’m thinking we need to add Memorial Day to the list to get a head start on the yard.

The Itchy Bits

Somewhere along the way, I got mixed up with poison ivy. The one time I know I touched it, I ran inside and scrubbed my hands and arms to the elbow three times. My hands and arms to the elbows are fine. My knees and left elbow, however, are an itchy, blistery mess. And it’s taken nearly a week to find any real relief, due to senseless medical greed/bureaucracy (my GP), stubbornness (me), and incompetence (the pharmacy).

Long story short, both my sleep and concentration have been disturbed by the vile, three-leafed weed. Makes me look forward to our upcoming vacation in the concrete jungle of NYC.

The Worried Bits

Two months ago, Cambria started throwing up his food. At first, I attributed it to his eating too fast. Then the vomiting started coming more often, despite splitting up his food into smaller meals. Then his appetite began to wane and I hauled him to the vet. A blood panel showed elevated creatinine, a sign of kidney disease.

I went down this path four years ago next month when I lost Percy and Tristan to kidney disease within 48 hours of each other. I was devastated. As the days went by and his miserable retching began waking me up in the middle of the night, I feared the worst, told Simon that Cambria might not be around much longer, and had a long heart-to-heart with a hospice vet about in-home euthanasia.

Then three funny things happened. I switched his food, and the vomiting improved. I started giving him Pepcid, and the vomiting nearly disappeared. And when I finally got around to collecting a urine sample—a miserable affair finally resolved by ditching the plastic pellets and ordering special water repellant sand—the results were . . . . .  completely normal.

So Cambria is presumably not in imminent danger of dying from kidney failure. I don’t know if acute gastritis, food intolerance, or inflammatory bowel disease, or something else entirely is the source of the nausea, but whatever it is I’m a lot less worried, and so is sensitive Simon.

Sensitive Simon

Speaking of whom, he is of course the source of my comic relief. I’ve written before about the funny yin-yang in Simon between his seeming mature beyond his years and then giving in to child-like flights of fancy. That’s still around and finding new ways to express itself, most recently with his television viewing.

This summer Simon has watched Jeopardy!, World Cup soccer, The Tour de France (he loves doing the math on the lead, the peleton, and the chase group), and Paw Patrol. Which of these is not like the other? The best part is that Paw Patrol, a show about a 10-year-old boy working with six heroic puppies to protect their community, is a preschool show. We’ve never told this to Simon, but I think he suspects it because he’s sheepish about watching it and tries to make it look like he’s watching as a joke. But he’s not. It’s an innocent show about puppies and his love for it is pure.

Then there is the vacillation in his tone of voice. Matt got a FitBit for Father’s Day this year, and Simon loves tracking all the data. He wants one for himself, and he’s not above snarking on his dad about how much more impressive his own numbers would be. Just this week he informed Matt, whose step goal is 8,000 per day:

“I’m going to get a FitBit and set my step goal to 15,000 just to humiliate you.”

Doesn’t that make him sound like a teenager? Then last night I caught him holding his stuffed animals, rocking them, and singing a lullaby.

“Rock-a-bye baby, on the tree tops. When the wind blows, the cradle will rock. Hmm hmm hmm, hmmm . . .

He didn’t know the rest of the words, so I sat next to him and finished the song. At which point his eyes moistened, his chin wobbled, and he started protesting:

“That’s a terrible song! Why would anyone sing that to their baby? If the cradle falls with the baby in it, the baby might die. I DON’T LIKE THAT SONG AT ALL!”

I did my best to talk him down. “It’s not serious”, I explained. “It’s supposed to be a joke”, I went on. “I don’t like it either”, I finally reassured, “and I never sang it to you when you were a baby.”

But we weren’t finished yet. At 9:20 I kissed Simon on the cheek, left his room, and wished him sweet dreams. At 9:30 I was summoned to his room, where I found him sitting up in bed.

“I just really don’t like that song Mom. The first two lines are OK, but the rest is terrible. Can we skip those?”

I told him we’d go one better and re-write the rest of the song, an idea he liked very much. And then I went downstairs, tried hard not to scratch my miserable legs, and marveled at the sweetness of life with a child who loves watching hero puppies save the day and who could be reduced to tears over an old lullaby.


Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.