You must be joking

I swear to Neptune I feel like I’m living in a cartoon today. Brace yourself for a long panel.

This morning was a pediatric appt. for both boys. (Aside: One and Five? Holy guacamole, how did that happen?) Predictably, the young one with strong opinions protested the ear check (oh, shocking…ear infection number eight in nine months) and getting his diaper back on.

Also predictably, the older one with strong opinions (and intensity and persistence and resistance to change and sensitivity) refused to get weighed or measured or checked until it was on his terms. I convinced him to see if he was taller than Dad, to see if he weighed more or less without his clothes, and to let the doc probe him by explaining what a liver, hernia, and scoliosis were.

And then, while I was cuddling the baby post-iron-check, the nurse got tired of waiting for Peanut to agree and told Spouse to hold him down for shots. He screamed, used his words, and tried to hit them, but they gave him four shots completely against his will.

That became the topic of the day.

“Mom, I’m going to kick that nurse if I ever see her.”
“P, it sounds like you’re really angry. We don’t kick when we’re angry. Can you think of a way to say how angry you are?”
“Dear nurse, you’re a fucking nurse.”

He went to school and hung out with the wrong crowd, and I watched him making horrible choices in the yard while I sat in the car with the sleeping toddler.

We went to ice cream with a friend and got several seconds of happy silence.

Went home and he went to wash his hands while I fed Butter. I heard something unusual. Three times. And as I hollered, “What are you doing?” he came crying, terrified, up the stairs.

“I turned on that fire thing.”

I figured he meant the wall heater, which he is forbidden to touch, and which I feared would cause a fire if used. I went into the downstairs bathroom and saw smoke everywhere but no flame or source. I freaked out. And as I whirled to go get the phone to call the fire department, saw the fire extinguisher. Pin removed, covered in white powder. The same stuff floating in the air.

Cue parenting moment…

Charged up the stairs and he ran, face registering that he sensed a beating coming. (NB: we don’t believe in beatings. Or spankings. Or hitting of any kind. But that kid is no fool.) I yelled.

M: Get back here!
P: [terror, tears, compliance]
M: [hugging him gently] I’m not going to hurt you. Don’t ever ever ever ever EVER do that again.
P: [nodding, sobbing]
M: That is dangerous. The chemicals in that can hurt you. That is for grownups in emergencies. Not for playing. Don’t ever ever ever EVER do that again.
P: [nodding, sobbing]
M: Don’t touch things that you don’t know about. There are reasons for rules, reasons for high shelves in cabinets, reasons for locks on doors.
P: [nodding, sobbing]
M: What you did was very dangerous. You could have been hurt. You are not hurt. You are okay. The bathroom is okay. I am okay. Butter is okay. Don’t ever ever ever ever EVER do that again.
P: [nodding and sobbing]
M: I can clean up the chemicals. The very dangerous chemicals. Very hurtful chemicals that are bad for breathing, bad for seeing, bad for bodies.
P: [nodding]
M: Ask before you do new things.
P: [nodding] That fire thing hurt me! [sobbing resumes]
M: Hurt you?
P: Yeah, it hurt my feelings that I did that.
M: Good. It should. That means you know good decisions from bad decisions. And you made a bad choice. Choose differently next time.
P: [nodding]

And then there was soccer. And dinner. And bath. And bedtime. And the poor kid was nice to his brother and calm and fun to be with every moment from 3pm on.

Apparently he needs the sh*t scared out of him, twice, to be an easy little creature.

Worth it?
No.
Cleaning monoammonium phosphate SUCKS. That stuff goes everywhere; burns eyes, nose, and throat; and lingers after sweeping, sweeping, mopping, and vacuuming.

And writing letters to fucking nurses tries my patience.

If Dennis the Menace and Bill Waterson’s Calvin and Eeyore and Yosemite Sam had a love child, s/he might give my kid a run for his money. Barring that…

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18 thoughts on “You must be joking

  1. Wow. I always think Cartoon characters must think their lives are nightmares, and worse, recurring ones. You’re amazing for not losing your cool in front of P. Sorry that today has been such a trial, and that is definitely euphemism.

    P.s. I swear I commented on your last post too. WordPress somehow has pegged me as spam lately…

    • @subWOW what’s up with wordpress mislabeling you? I just pulled four of your comments out of the spam locker. Doesn’t the world label you enough without this indignity?
      If you’d have seen his face, you would have been gentle, too. He was so scared by what he did it was a classic “let them punish themselves” moment.

  2. Dear fire extinguisher, you’re a fucking fire extinguisher!

    I say have the little rascal scrub the deck for the next month. And yeah, cover the wall heater with an electric fence and/or force field.

  3. OMG I’ve forgotten to use my force field powers! JC, darling, you’re a genius. And I’m glad you’re not cleaning this up. It’s not even lying to pretend it’s organic. You should spray some on your TPS reports.

  4. Dude, your day sucked way harder than my day yesterday.

    Which went like this:

    1. Hubs wakes up at 4:30 am, riddled with anxiety
    2. I can’t just let him suffer, so I get up, too
    3. (good part) We drink coffee and watch The Social Network (really good! but Mark Zuckerberg–played by Jesse Eisenberg–obviously has Asperger’s). Hubs doesn’t believe me.
    4. 6:37: Daphne wakes up with epic bloody nose.
    5. Sheets/pillows in the wash, calm drama queen
    6. Harryboy pees in hubs’ gym bag; hubs deposits all of the goods in my laundry room.
    7. 6:48: Mira wakes up and demands: pancakes, yogurt, bacon, bread and butter. WTF? Does she have a hollow leg?
    8. Check stepson’s grades: F, D-, C-, C-, B-,B
    9. Call school, wondering why they haven’t notified us about failing grades.
    10. Discover that stepson has filled out a change of address form, and the phone contact given is now HIS cell phone
    11. FUME
    12. Hate the kid but reluctantly admire his ingenuity.
    13. Husband has day off and wants nookie.
    14. Really?
    15. Order husband to take M to school (1pm), shower, inhale a big glass of wine and pony up.
    16. Receive call from stepson’s Calculus teacher. He’s skipped 4 days of detention. With, of course, no notification, since it’s all going to HIS phone.
    17. Harryboy barf.
    18. It’s not yet 3 o’clock. What next? Where the fuck is the gin?

    At least I got a movie, right?

    ps: I’m with ck. Letter to Fucking Nurse should be forthcoming.
    pps: Spouse goes with you to doctor appts? I am so damn impressed.
    ppps: Must be something about age 5. Miss M. told her brother the other day, “Why are you so fuckin’ weird?”

  5. Last week my 6-year-old said, “Oh fuck.”
    Also, when he was 5 he threatened to bring a backhoe to the pediatrician’s office and “knock this place down” if anyone ever attempted to give him a shot again. Flu mist, anyone?

  6. I have no idea who is WINNING! or losing anymore, other than people 1) who give shots and 2) fill out change of address forms. They clearly are WINNING!

  7. Oh, honey! That’s…that’s QUITE an experience! Would have left me curled up in a fetal position.

    May I just say how much I admire how you handled that conversation with him? Because (1) I’m pretty sure you made your point, what with the repetition which is KEY for young’uns to hear, and (2) you were kind but also clear and firm and boundary-setting and loving all at once. Wow. I nominate you SuperMommy Extraordinaire. (I think we already agreed that you’re a SuperMommy, so now I’m adding to the title.) You’re my hero.

  8. Oh man.
    My daughter could be your son’s lost twin. Why does it take them getting the bejesus scared out of them to just re-fricking-lax?
    I’m glad he’s ok.
    (but I’m still giggling a little at the nurse comment)

  9. P and my oldest could be brothers! My oldest is entirely too smart for my own good. Note to self – hide the fire extinguisher better … Of course, then I won’t be able to find it in the event of him actually setting a fire. Which, of course, will happen!

  10. Dude…Five year olds are FUCKING strong when it comes to holding them down for shots. Profanity from other people’s 5 YO for blogging fodder. Hysterical.

    I am with the crew. YOU MUST post the fucking nurse letter.

    In an attempt to salvage Peanuts dignity, I often feel like kicking my fucking OB/GYN when I get a Pap, so fair is fair. That bad nurse is bigger than him AND heavily armed…Just saying….

    AND…Perhaps you could borrow Kitch’s Harryboy as protection for the heater and the fire extinguisher. You know, for an extra yuck barrier. Cat pee and barf=extra tears…

  11. Oh, M’dear! I rolled laughing, but only because I totally get it after the weekends we had at two different gas station/service plazas! And that stinking nurse — not cool!

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