Humor is also a way of saying something serious. - T. S. Eliot

Monday, June 27, 2011

Dads Do it Different

While it may take me a bit, I do eventually catch on to things.  One of the things I am getting lately, is that dads do it differently. And when I say "differently," I mean "wrong." 

Just kidding. Kind of.

Here are a few examples:

1. I watched a dad carry his infant son around by the straps of his overalls.  Since he wasn't my husband and the kid wasn't my kid, I did not yell what I would have yelled had it been Dave, "OH MY GOD! What are you doing?  He's a baby!  Good lord, give him to me." 

2.  Pushing the twins on the swings, I left Dave to watch Andi while we were at the park.  She was 10 months old.  Standing in wet wood chips -- with very little traction to be able to take off running -- I looked in Dave's direction as he yelled from the TOP of a TALL slide, "She can do this right?"  And before I could respond and while my feet were trying to get traction, he releases my infant and she FLIES down the slide, goes airborne at the bottom, and lands on her butt.

3.  It took a year, but Dave finally regained my trust and I let him have responsibility for Andi while at the park this past father's day weekend.  And what does he decide to do?  Hang her from the TALL monkey bars and then let go of her.  "She wants to hang," he told me as I snatched her off the wood chips, wiping the splinters and mud off her bottom.

4.  My dad used to put me on the back of his bike when I was a preschooler and race down the steepest hills he could find.  I'd squeal with delight -- my head bare of any helmet should we crash...I survived and so will our I guess it's okay that dads do it wrong different.

Thanks for putting the thrill, bumps, bruises, and popcorn with waaaaaayyyy too much butter into my childhood Dad.  I love you.  Happy Belated Father's Day!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


It was a Friday night and I knew Sophia had strep for the third time in four weeks.  I knew that the quicker I got her treatment, the less likely it was she'd end up (again) as an inpatient.  So I made the decision to take her to Children's Hospital to get her throat swabbed and get an antibiotic versus waiting til the next morning when I could go to a Minute Clinic and pay a nurse practitioner $85 to swab her throat...Or go to the pediatrician and pay $20. 

I elected to go to Children's because I wanted a pediatrician and I wanted treatment NOW to prevent bigger problems.  I knew that with Sophia's issues with drug tolerance, as well as the potential issues with resistance to drugs given her numerous strep infections, we needed someone who knew what they were doing.

What I got was a nurse practitioner who did not speak English as her first language who did not know what to do with a child with recurrent strep who did not know what medication to give her who left us sitting in the room for hours, only rushing us out the door because SHE wanted to be able to leave at the end of her shift.

What I also got was a $1200 bill.

Now thankfully, we have met our deductible and so I only had to pay $100 because I am fortunate enough to have insurance.  My insurance company got to pay a discounted rate on the bill because -- as is the norm with agreements between insurance companies and practitioners -- insurance pays the provider LESS than what a non-insured person would pay.  The technical term for what an insurance company pays is "usual and customary rate."

While in the ER, we sat next to a woman who was a single mom with no insurance who was sick and worked long hours and had a sick child who ended up needing several expensive medicines. 

The little boy asked his mom to please not go to work the next day, "why do you have to mommy?" 

She sighed, "to give you everything you need."  She looked at me and said, "I hope that was a good enough answer."

I thought it was.

But I wonder if the insurance pigs, hospital CEO's, and doctors who drive BMW's to their executive homes while their patients pay $1200 for a FRICKING strep test -- Good damn LORD this pisses me off -- have a good answer for why they overcharge patients for services.  Do these asses have a good answer for why rich insurance companies get a "discount" when they pay their "usual and customary" portion of the bill, but the patient without insurance pays the FULL rate?

Is there a good answer? No there is not. It's not right.  It's not ok.  And the system is broken...very, very broken.  And so I say to the politicians trying to block Obama, how about you try joining with him to FIX this? Surely this doesn't have to be a republican versus democrat thing.  Surely you have a heart -- even if ever so tiny and shrivelled -- that you could understand why the system needs to be fixed. 

And quite frankly, to the people that are scared of the government "controlling" healthcare and wondering if it will do a good job, I just have to say, do you trust some sociopathic corporate assholes with your healthcare decisions?  I don't.  Not that I trust politicians with it, either, but I can vote them out. 

Really, it doesn't matter to me if it's government doing the fixing or private companies doing the fixing.  Something has to change.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Andi "Be 2!"

"Andi!  How old are you going to be on cupcake day?"

"I be 2!" Andi would exclaim, but only if she was in the mood to do so. 

And now, Andi "be two!"  Here's how she celebrated her day...

Andi you woke up before 6 AM and your sisters fed you a bowl of cheerios.  Eventually you had cinnamon rolls for breakfast once mommy finally got up.  Fed and dressed, you headed outside with your big sisters and one of their friends from preschool. 

The neighbor girls joined us and everyone played happily, ate chocolate Sesame Street Cupcakes with pink frosting, and you opened gifts -- playdoh set and a new coloring book and your VERY OWN set of markers (which I later found Ella using.  By the time I stopped her she had breezed through  6 or 7 pages).

For lunchtime, we headed over to a colleagues house for lunch and play time...when we left shortly after two, you were sound asleep within a few minutes of leaving.  Good thing you took a nap though, because we headed out to Chuck E. Cheese for the evening.  You love that place. 

Andi's fav ride because she can sit by the big cheese himself. 

Andi figures out where to put the coin...

plays the game....

and collects her tickets...which she later traded in for "I Love Chuck E. Cheese" tatoos and a piece of candy.

Leaving Chuck E. Cheese at 8:30 PM, we head home for cupcakes with daddy and presents.  You stuck your finger right in the flame of the candle and I freaked out and snatched your hand back. After that you were afraid of the candle and didn't want to blow it out...but you made me light it and blow it out multiple fascinates and scares you.  You were weirded out by us singing Happy Birthday to you, but by the end of the song, you liked it so well that you requested that we sing again to you.  So we did. :)

After cupcake time was over (by the way, you love cupcakes.  We make homemade cupcakes often.  When there aren't fresh cupcakes around, you ask, "can I have a cupcake?" at breakfast lunch time...after nap time...).  Anyway, your big sisters had worked hard to find you a gift you would love and FINALLY they could give you your gifts.  Sophia went first and she gave you a purse that you loved at Toys R Us. You have been stealing your big sisters purses.  When you pulled the purse out of the gift bag tonight, you were so excited!

Ella picked out a princess boat that blows bubbles and has a battery operated fountain for the bathtub.  When she handed you the wrapped gift you asked her, "Is it chocolate?"  (You love cupcakes AND chocolate).

Holding an Ariel picture that Ella made for Andi
You opened a musical card from Great Gramma.  Aunt H and Uncle Pancake also sent a musical card.  You LOVED these and began dancing around the room before opening your final gift...

Ballet arms...

Looking at pics of Aunt H and Uncle P -- "I want Pat-chik.  I want Heather."    

Your last gift was a Bitty Baby -- your own American Girl doll.  You loved it...the pictures and your face speak for themselves.

Happy second birthday Andi Panda Bear.  You are one well-loved little girl.  I love you squishy face.  Love, mommy

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Eve of Andi's Birthday

Andi has less than 12 hours left of being a one-year-old, though her behavioral development will tell you she has already entered her "terrible twos" months ago. I fully intended to have a thoughtful post written for her, but today's goings on have prevented this from occurring and so hopefully, this wknd, that post will come.

In the meantime, it is nearly 10:30 PM and I still have one more batch of cupcakes to make, 2 batches of pink frosting (per Andi's request) to make, and Dave is searching grocery stores for balloons for us to blow up and leave scattered on the floor. We couldn't have her wake up to nothing.  Tomorrow, according to Andi, is "cupcake day" and, "I BE TWO!"

I spent a better part of the day forming a business partnership with a nutritionist -- not only does it seem that our private practices compliment one another, we hit it off as gentle, soft-spoken kindred spirits.  Like any good introvert, at the end of our meeting, I came home drained, but had messes to clean up, and dinner to make.  While I should have started immediately on birthday prep for tomorrow as well as a trip to the gym, I spent the night ruminating...

Is my brother ok?  Not only did his company lay people off today-- again -- but he's been dealing with a health issue....I hope the diagnosis is nothing...I hope he isn't next to get laid-off.  I'm sorry he has to say good-bye to those that did.  Fucking company.  

Is my friend ok?  Her husband called, their new baby is fine, but my friend is in inpatient psych for the serious but more rare form of postpartum depression -- postpartum psychosis.  I feel helpless and scared for her...because I know the dark and very crazy-feeling, scary place that she has entered.  And these feelings are mixing with a new, gradually emerging anger towards "lactivists" and other "natural birth" advocates, and "natural parenting" advocates.  They have swung the pendulum so far in the other direction...I believe...that their position is also harmful to women and their psyches.  More on this in another post.

Tomorrow's a new day.  Andi's smile will be there, her giggles, her health, her's HER day and as mom always says, "Everything will be okay..."

Friday, June 10, 2011

Parent Coach of the Year

"Today is a gift. That is why it is called present." Quote from Kung Fu Panda movie.

Andi is asleep -- she is worn out from beating me up at Target this morning.  The big girls are coloring birthday cards and get well cards for some folks.  And the house looks like a war zone.  With 8 million things to do and just one hour til the twins are being seen by the pediatrician for strep (again!) and allergies, I am  having a relapse and have turned on the computer and am blogging.  Not the best decision or use of time...

Andi and the girls have been on a Kung Fu Panda kick.  They want that movie running from the moment they wake up to the moment they go to bed.  Andi asks for "Kung POO!", but we know what she means. Though I'm not sure if the neighbors know.  She delivered cupcakes to the neighbors yesterday and the twins informed me that upon entering their home, Andi asked to watch "Kung POO!" at their house.

Let's get back to Andi's behavior -- which is pushing me more and more everyday to want to have LASIK done.  My glasses are now permanently crooked from all the times that she has smacked them off my face in her fits of rage.  They were already in bad shape from Sophia slamming the stroller awning down on me at the library last year. 

Have you done LASIK?  Who does it?  I "know" two people who have done it.  One was happy, the other was not.  He was actually a client at the EAP.  He asked me to let him talk to an attorney because after having done LASIK that day, his vision in one eye was cloudy and he could not see.  He said "the doctor told me that he made a mistake."  The client's voice was a blend of great anger and fear. That was nine years ago, but the interaction with that man stands out vividly in my mind as a reason to fear LASIK despite the benefits of being glasses free.  

Today at Target in the check-out lane Andi saw the Oreos (Thank you very fucking much you damn marketing assholes who place cookies in the motherfricking check out aisles. ALL of us moms appreciate it.)  Anyway, I told her we needed to move along and pay. She refused to budge, I picked her up and she contorted her body such that she was able to grab my hair and tilt my head all the way back.  Once I got that hand untangled, this beast of a toddler bitch slapped me on the cheek and then karate chopped me in the nose sending my glasses flying.  By this point, all eyes were on us.  Andi has a loud out of control scream that goes with her fits of rage.  Not only were all eyes on us, they were the "can't you manage your own child?" eyes?  Or the "what a BRAT!" eyes.  But for the first time I didn't give a flying F and ignoring the need to scan my credit card I focused on putting Andi in her "break" -- which took several tries, but once the battle was on, any good parent coach will tell you you better not back down in this case or you'll only create a bigger monster. 

The cashier got out stickers and handed them to Ella and Sophia thanking them for such polite, good behavior and then told them, "Your sister isn't getting any. I saw her pull your mom's hair and that is NOT ok."

Well played. 

When I got home I called Dave for a debriefing and he burst out laughing, "And you're a parent coach?!"

Maybe...somedays I'm not so sure.  While there has been some support from those closest to me, there has been a fair number of...not so supportive comments made towards me.."YOU?! A parent coach?!  How are you going to do that? What experience do YOU have?!"  or "No one is going to hire a parent coach for normally developing children with normal parenting issues."  or "That's a unique idea, but no parent is going to be willing to say they are a bad parent and THEN talk to a complete stranger about it."

And so on and so forth....

Perhaps the marketing people who place cookies in check-out aisles at a child's EYE LEVEL could do something beneficial with their helping me figure out how the hell to market this business that I do believe in.

But maybe it's not a marketing issue, maybe it's self-belief issue.  Maybe, after trips like today, or after considering how much time my children spend trying to watch TV or begging to go to the neighbor's house, maybe I'm not feeling so confident in my ability to parent well...and so, as my critics say, who am I to do this work?  

That's enough introspection and bitching for now...Time to turn the computer off and clean.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


There just isn't time to get a blog out. Everytime I turn around someone is crying, fighting, making a mess, thirsty, hungry.  It's just more peaceful without the computer these it is usually off and I tend not to miss anything except today when the gathering for parks changed at the last minute and the other moms were able to communicate via texts or whatever on their phones.  At the moment, I can't even tell you where my cell phone that is 5 years old, pay as you go, is located.

I know there are a fair amount of multiples or MOM's who read this (Moms Of Multiples), so I'll just post some Twinguistics that I got from a multiples site.  It's all I've got....

Below Taken From: Multiples and More Blogspot

Oddly enough there are no words to describe a great many of the situations and ideas that pertain to living your life in the company of children. So parents are forced to give long drawn out descriptions of the circumstances they encounter in order to explain that which is going on in their midst. And who has less time for this than a parent? I’ll tell you who – A parent of multiples. Because moms (and dads) of multiples are often the busiest moms (and dads) of all.

With that in mind, The KidDictionary set out to make up and share with you these brand new words designed to describe the predicaments a parent is exposed to when they have a set of multiples in their brood.

TWINSOMNIA (twin-SAHM-nee-uh) n.:: The lack of sleep a mom of multiples experiences when her kids sleeping schedules fall out of synch.

STAYDATE (STAY-dayt) n.: The luxury/burden of always having a built in friend for your multiples to play/fight with any time they’re home together.

TWINGUISTICS (twin-GWISS-tiks) n.: The unique language that baby multiples use to communicate with one another that is completely indecipherable by anyone else.

DUMBASK (DUMM-ask) n.; A person who asks if your Twins who are a boy and a girl are “identical.”

TWINTERFERENCE (twin-tehr-FEER-entz) n.: When one multiple distracts the parent while the other pulls a fast one

TROUBLESUM (TRUBB-uhl-sum) adj.: The increased amount of trouble that can be found when multiple children work together to find it.

COORDTWINATE (co-ORD-twin-ayt) v.: To dress your multiples in matching outfits.

TWINIQUITY (twin-ICK-witt-ee) n.: The fundamental unfairness inherent in having multiples, due to

MULTIPLOY (MULL-tuh-ploy) v.: When Multiples band together and deviously conspire against their parents.

MASSTONISHMENT (mass-TOHN-ish-ment) n.: The shock of suddenly being substantially out numbered by your children when you add a set of multiples to your household

Hopefully by incorporating these new words into our vocabularies we might make some baby steps towards easing our multiple burden. Whoever said “there’s safety in numbers” wasn’t talking about a mom being safe because she had a great number of kids. Good luck to all you Multi-moms and dads.