Thursday, June 17, 2010

Earaches and Mama Bear Cussing

Yesterday, my little guy had his 9 month checkup. He's in the 70th percentile for his head circumference, and 30th percentile for his weight. The doctor isn't concerned because that's typical at 9 months for a boy. She said he's just burning up those calories with movement.

The big news from this appointment was that he has two ear infections right now! That could be why he has hated to go to bed lately - laying down makes those hurt worse. And my baby boy went on his first two plane rides, very likely with ear infections! And he STILL didn't cry much. I'm trying to stop berating myself for not knowing that he had 2 ear infections. I'm trying very hard. The doctor said absolutely nothing to make me feel guilty. My sister the nurse was around him this past weekend and didn't notice. My mother was around him even more and she didn't notice. We all noticed his enormous snot problem, but we thought it was just allergies.

So I get the terrible mother of the week award for that one.

As my mother would say "DING" meaning "subject change".

While we were all together this past weekend, the subject of my traumatic swimming lesson experience came up. I still can't swim very well at all and have inherited from my daddy the ability to sink like a stone. He still can't swim well. Whenever we're out on the boat, he wears a life jacket the entire time because none of us are big enough to save him if he gets in trouble. Also inherited from him is a small nasal defect that when underwater, no matter what we do, water will go up our nose and choke us unless we are holding our nose with our hand. I can be blowing water out my nose as fast as I can and still pool water trickles down my throat. Weird.

When I was little, some of my first swimming lessons were given by a woman and her adult son. The son didn't believe me about my nose problem (who really would at age 3 or 4) and decided the best way for me to overcome my fear of having my head underwater was to systematically dunk me until I liked it. He would put me on his hip, walk to deeper water and take us both underwater. We'd come back up with me coughing and sputtering and screaming at the top of my lungs and we'd go back down again, sometimes with my mouth still open from screaming. Loads of fun, right?

My sister was nearby and remembers asking him what on earth he thought he was doing. He said, "I'm teaching her to swim." She remembers thinking at age 7 or 8, "what does dunking have to do with swimming? And should she really be screaming like that?" I also remember from these lessons that they would put toys on the bottom of the pool and we were supposed to fetch them with our teeth. I didn't understand why THAT was supposed to be fun either. Can't I just fetch them with my hand? I'm still having to travel underwater and that way, I can hold my nose! Not allowed. I still get violent pretty quick if someone tries to dunk me for fun.

Anyway, I do remember the watery image of my Mama showing up at the edge of the pool at the end of one of these dunking sessions. I remember her leaning over to yell at him while she jerked me out of the pool by one arm. My sister remembers my mom cussing him up one side and down the other - her first memory of Mom cussing! She remembers staring, gap-mouthed, during the tirade. We promptly all left and never returned.

My mother hardly ever cusses even now!

This story reminded Sis of another time that Mama's cussing shocked her. My sister broke her arm twice in her childhood. The second time, in junior high, she knew what to do, and what to expect. As soon as she broke it, she was in the car with Mom and I. She just said, "I think I just broke my arm." Mom said, "so do we need to go to..." "YES!" Off we went to the hospital. Sis put her language arts book under her arm to stabilize it.

In the X-ray room, Sis was still standing there with her textbook holding her arm up. She had stopped crying and no longer looked green in the face. As a result, the X-ray tech didn't believe that the arm was broken. She jerked the textbook out from under the arm and my sister promptly passed out from the pain. When she came to, Mama was still cussing at the stupid X-ray tech.

Years later, by the side of the lake, with my son, my nephew, Sis, and Mom splashing in the water, we all laugh about both events. Mama says, "and that's the mark of a good Mama. Willing to cuss out whoever does her baby wrong, no matter the audience."

I have to agree completely!

1 comment:

  1. Don't feel bad about the ear infections!! Adalyn had a double ear infection every time we went for her check-ups and I never knew she had them- never. We ended up with tubes a year ago in March and when we went for her follow-up this last March one of her tubes fell out and she had another ear infection- I had no clue- and she is now 2!! So you can't always know and you should have no Mommy guilt!!