Procrastination City

Z took the boys to a park Saturday morning where they met up with friends. He’s been trying to get them out of my hair as much as possible so I can work on my paper. I’ve been trying to procrastinate as much as possible because the reality of my paper is freaking me out.

We were invited to a birthday party that evening and I volunteered to make cookies. So my Saturday morning procrastination was quite useful rather than a waste of time. For once I listened to the tiny bit of reason that I posses and didn’t plan a complicated decoration. I just piped outlines and dipped them in colored sugar. As I was finishing up the piping I realized I’d had a hell of a lot of fun for a few hours. The whole process-making the dough, rolling it out, getting the perfect consistency of icing, deciding on the decoration and then executing is satisfying to me. I know that repetitive tasks bore a lot of people to tears, but I dig ’em. It’s like you get a bunch of opportunities to chase perfection.

2 e cookies

When I’m done all I see are the mess ups. How to I ease up on the amount of icing at the corners of the Es so they don’t collect more sugar than the straight lines without breaking the flow? How do I get the curve of the top of the 2 to look more uniform? Is it easier to knock off the extra sugar as soon as I’m done decorating or when I’m ready to pack them up? Identifying the flaws and trying to figure out a better way to do it next time is part of what makes it exciting and satisfying.

I got to do something I love completely unencumbered by the boys. I felt energized and, as corny as it sounds, really grateful.

truck cookies

I miss baking for a living.

My procrastination activity on Friday was doing our taxes. Not a lot of fun while I was doing them, but holy shit, I swear I’ve shed a weight that has been hanging around my neck since the first tax document arrived in the mail in January. Yesterday’s procrastination activity was an epic nap. Today I’m writing this and making pierogies and gnudi. But the best procrastination event will happen on Saturday. Z and I are driving to the city so he can attend a work event that only lasts two hours. He’s got a free hotel room for the night so he convinced me to go with him. We’ll be gone for about 30 hours and our amazing friends will stay with the boys.

The paper is due on April 25th. So far procrastination has been pretty wonderful, but I do need to get my ass in gear. I’m looking forward to the morning of April 26th. The feeling of relief at having it done, man, I can’t wait for that.

naked dance party

This weekend T had a naked-save-for-one-sock dance party.

sick boy

C’s first cold since the ear tubes were put in and so far he isn’t spiking a crazy fever. The damn things seem to be working!

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Baby’s First Surgery

By the time we got to the outpatient surgery office this morning at 9:45 C could not understand why we would not let him eat anything. He was cranky and frustrated and completely bewildered. Because he lost so much weight during his illness at the beginning of the year he is used to us basically shoving food down his throat. This morning he stood with his hand on the door to our pantry, head thrust back pathetically howling at the injustice of the universe. I watched him and laughed and cried at the same time.

hungry hippo

Poor kid was trying to chew off his hands when we got in the room.

Ever since the crazy beginning to the New Year C has found medical settings frightening. Usually he is an easy going little man, so to see him dissolve into tears and scramble frantically into his father’s or my arms when we enter an exam room is awful.

pre surgery

He might be pissed, but he still rocks that hospital gown!

When we walked into the pre-op room and I saw the crib just like the ones in the hospital in GA my breath caught in my throat. I felt like an idiot, but I was fighting back tears myself. We were there so C could have tubes inserted into his ears. It was a low-key, outpatient, completely planned in advance surgery. In fact it could not have gone better. They were running early by more than half an hour so our wait was almost nonexistent. The procedure was finished and the doc joined us in the waiting room to tell us everything was perfect in under 10 minutes. We were back with C in recovery less than 10 minutes after that. He’s fine. He’s probably hearing a hell of a lot better than he has before. This was the right choice for his health and I’m glad we did it.

water and goldfish

Yumming up some goldfish crackers and water during recovery.

But the big metal crib with the high walls, the hospital gown, the anesthesiologist asking  why he had a spinal tap and CT Scan a year ago, it all made me feel terrified and fragile. I know we have been lucky with our boys, I know parents deal with much worse illnesses, ones I don’t want to contemplate. Still it has been a rough year with C’s health. I’ve said it before, but I’d trade places with him in a second to spare him the pain and distress he’s gone through. And please, it’s not because I’m some selfless hero, no fucking way. I’m a coward through and through. The truth is it hurts less to be sick or hurt myself than it does to watch my kid be sick. See? It’s still all about my selfish ass. I simply can’t bear to watch him in pain.

I know he needs to eventually understand that shitty things will happen to him in his life. He needs to develop coping mechanisms. But I am starting to empathize with those helicopter parents who would do anything to prevent their kid from discomfort. As he makes his way through life I will have to fight myself not to interfere or try to smooth the road for him. He needs support and love from me. But I can’t prevent him from hurting. And as much as my heart wants to try my head knows I shouldn’t.

Z and I need to be here for the boys when they do suffer hurt and failure and unfairness. We need to teach them to pick themselves back up and try again, that every failure is an opportunity to learn more, that life isn’t fair and it sucks but that we will always be there for them. What I’m learning as I watch my baby struggle with fear in medical situations is it isn’t as easy as having good intentions when it comes to parenting. Already watching my boys get hurt suffocates me with pain. I will want to go batshit crazy on the asses of anyone who hurts them. I will want to be unreasonable and rail at the universe for being unfair. I will want to take their pain away.

Of course, in some instances I will step in. If they are bullied at school. If they are physically attacked. If they are struggling academically and need a tutor. But a lot of the time I’ll have to do what I did today. Hold my baby close and tell him I love him with my whole heart and that he’d be back in my arms so soon. Then hand him to the lovely nurse who carried him to the Operating Room and listenen to the fear in his screams as he was walked away from me. I will have to hide my tears until he is out of sight. Thank god/goddess/whoever-might-be-up-there that I have Z to hold me. He tells me it will be alright and I believe him.

shark

C’s new thing is bringing us various hoodies and coats to put on him in the house. It’s his little signal that he’s ready to go out and tear up the town. He brought Z T’s shark hoodie and wore it for most of the afternoon. The little roar he’d make when the hood was up was fucking adorable.