Terrible Wonderful

Nothing gets the old adrenaline pumping like our four year old puking across the threshold into our bedroom at 5:30am. The adrenaline got us through the immediate aftermath-we divvied up responsibilities. Z got T out of his pukey pjs. I cleaned up the vomit on the floor and tracked down the lysol. Usually I avoid antibacterial cleaner. But vomit is in a different category. I do everything I can to make sure no one else is going to catch the bug. Even if I know that effort is futile.

After T was settled on the sofa with some TV and a puke bucket Z told me he’d stay downstairs and I should go back up for a bit more sleep. At that point I knew I had it, too. Z felt queasy as well-it is impossible to care for a kid with a stomach bug and not get all psychosomatic about it, so he was pretty sure it was in my head as well.

About five minutes later the diarrhea started. And within the hour I was hollering for Z as I was puking myself. He rubbed my back for a few minutes, but C was stirring and he had to leave. Z offered to clean out the sink. Unfortunately I’d started there before transitioning to the toilet, but I wouldn’t let him. He wasn’t sick yet, there was no way he was allowed to touch puke, even with latex gloves on.

Things get fuzzy after that. The diarrhea was unrelenting, violent, and painful. My body developed that pain you forget about when you are well. My skin felt bruised all over, the ache was terrible, I had the chills and was feverish. Somewhere in there C tossed his cookies. Z whisked him away and I cleaned up and put the soiled laundry in the washer. But I didn’t throw up again. And I besides the cleaning and peeing out of my ass (sorry, just calling ’em like I see ’em) I stayed in bed. Till after noon.

Somehow Z managed to wrangle two sick kids, feed our friends’ cat, get the the grocery store, and let me be alone until after noon. On this December 1st it felt like a Christmas miracle.

The thing that is impossible to explain to those who are embarking upon parenthood is how fucking unrelenting it is. How unreasonable. How permanently your life changes.

I am a princess when I get sick. It’s gross. But even with all my princess entitlement it took more than 4 years for me to have a full day to myself while sick. And please believe me, I’m not trying to say I’m some hero or special for not being able to have a break while sick before now. Every parent does it. If someone told me that the boys and I would have a stomach bug on day one of Z’s five day business trip last March I would have told you I couldn’t get through it. But I did. Not because I’m a kick ass human, but because that’s life. Man, recovery was rough from that one for me because I never really got a day to rest. I wasn’t myself for weeks.

That is what makes today so special. I got up after noon, tried to eat and drink a little something, discovered it was way too soon and was hustled up to bed again by Z. He even sat in bed with me for a sec and rubbed my back some more. I was mostly in bed all day. Z did everything. He made the boys meals and occupied them. It was a fucking awful day for all of us.

I’m still weak. My skin still feels bruised. When I eat the stabbing pains return to my gut. I’m running to the bathroom, although now it is about once an hour instead of every few minutes. But I got rest today. Honest to god like before we had the kids rest. It is going to make tomorrow a million times easier.

Thank you, Z. Thank you. This might just be the biggest gift you have given me in the last four and a half years.

And just so you don’t think I’m a total monster, the boys are fine. They were keeping down food by the afternoon. For some reason the stomach bug just wasn’t as severe for them. I’d rather it was me anyway. No matter how selfish you are (and I speak as one who is extremely selfish) the pain of watching your kid be violently ill is unbearable. You’d do anything to trade places with them because it actually hurts more to watch them go through it than it does to deal with it yourself. True story. Parenthood really is nuts.

harry potter marathon

Yesterday was much nicer. T and I cuddled on the sofa and watched the Harry Potter Marathon on ABC Family.

c with stick

Walk softly and carry a big stick. Also yesterday. After I snapped the picture I grabbed the hunk of wood from him and returned it to the basement.

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Pacifier

This is my fault. I still think of C as a baby and it is a major disservice to him. He will always be my baby, T will also always be my baby. But C is the youngest, the last one. Accepting that he is growing up means accepting it is time to start letting go tiny bit by tiny bit, a torturous process I’m guessing I’ll wrestle with for the rest of my life.

His delayed speech has made it easier for the baby charade to continue. It’s been an excuse for so much. How can we transition him to a big boy bed if we can’t have a conversation with him? How can we potty train him? How can I wean him when he is so comforted by breastfeeding? How will he understand when we take the pacifier away? The truth is he understands language. I simply do not give him enough credit. It isn’t fair to him.

Last January we explained to him that he could only have the pacifier at night. Sometime over the spring he started taking two pacifiers to bed-one in his mouth, one to hold. And he’d switch back and forth between the two as he settled. Sometimes he’d lose them overnight and cry until we got them for him, but it was occasional-a small price to pay for a good night’s sleep. A couple of weeks ago he started losing the pacifiers more often. And more often. And more often. Suddenly Z and I have found ourselves up half a dozen times a night. We are at our wits’ end.

I need to be on a daily maintenance med for anxiety. Not only for my mental health, but for the health of the entire family. It isn’t fair to Z and the boys that the anxiety has been so acute lately. It puts a strain on everyone. I need to wean him in order to start the drugs. I’m still struggling with the letting go.

Parenting is triage so much of the time. It is easier to get up in the middle of the night every once in a while to pop a pacifier into his mouth than it is to deal with the struggle of taking the pacifier away. Until the day you wake up and realize you are getting up six times a night. A monster exists. And you created it by taking the path of least resistance.

So the time has come for us to do the hard work. Yesterday when C got up we asked if he was a big boy. He nodded. We told him big boys don’t need pacifiers. We suggested that we give all his pacifiers to our friend who is expecting a baby soon. We talked about it on and off all morning. I put him down for nap without one. It was terrible. He wept. I cried because when he hurts I hurt.

And then he slept for three and a half hours.

Last night it was another struggle, but he went down without a pacifier again. He did wake at 4am. And dude was up for the day. So this is going to take some work, this no pacifier deal, but we are facing it. We are back to making choices rather than letting the whims of a two year old dictate our behavior. He needs us to parent a hell of a lot more than he needs us to fetch his pacifier.

And in a few weeks I will wean him. The goal is for him to be done with the boob by the time we embark on our annual winter sojourn down south to see family. A friend was kind enough to come by yesterday to talk to me about how she weaned her daughter. She had great advice. And she listened, really listened to me. Which was a huge kindness. The talk made me feel armed with information. It reminded me that weaning him isn’t going to ruin his life. Kind of embarrassing that I needed that reminder, but I’ve gotten myself ridiculously spun up over this.

In other news, C’s speech therapy is going swimmingly. He has picked up a few words after about a month of sessions and both he and T love his therapist. He is working hard to overcome the communication issue. Z and I are working hard on letting him become a big boy.

bumblebee c

My littlest man rocking his brother’s Bumblebee costume.

family cuddles

The fam. Last night we cuddled on the sofa and watch Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

still running

The only social media my Dad follows is Instagram. He digs the pictures my sister and I post of our kiddos. Yesterday we were chatting and he asked me if I was still jogging. “Five days a week.” I told him. He wanted to know why I wasn’t posting pictures anymore. I told him I thought they were boring. And he told me it was the way he knew I was still doing it. He and my Mom have been wonderful cheerleaders during my foray into exercising. He asked for another picture. Guess he needs evidence. I’m in love with the top I’m wearing, by the by. Super comfortable and great for chilly days with the high neck and thumb slits so it goes over the hands.

Radio Silence

It’s been a shit week. Started off with T informing me I was fat. There was a stressful and involved homework assignment I left to the last minute. A terrible therapy session. Yesterday I wrote 700 words about the it. But they were the wrong words. I deleted the post. Found out that someone I loved a very long time ago lost a person close to him, a person I rather adored. C got another cold. The hot water heater broke rather dramatically to the tune of nearly a grand. The boys went on a sleeping strike. Z and I haven’t spent time together in, oh, I don’t know how long. The anxiety has been…..constant.

sad C

C in this moment=how I’ve felt all week.

Many other people experienced real tragedy over the last few days. I’m just being a whiney brat. But it is why I haven’t been writing.

Today wasn’t so bad. Found out a friend from a million years ago sent a scoby to me. Sometime next week I should be trying to figure out how to brew my own kombucha. Was the room mother for T’s class and had fun with my boy. Except when he told two gals that the tree he was playing under was “No girls allowed”. Yes, I might have performed an impromptu monologue straight out of a women’s issues class. But other than that heartbreak it was delightful.

bumblebee

T’s Halloween costume arrived in the mail this afternoon. He is rocking this look. One of the cooler parts of parenthood? Six months ago I had no idea who Bumblebee was. Personally I still don’t give a shit about him, but because T adores him he has sort of crept into my heart a little.

photo (20)

After a trip to Target to score Mommy more crazy lady drugs and the boys some more play doh (What? I don’t make my own play doh? I know! Call Child Protective Services!) I decided I was pretty much done with the week. Z wasn’t home for dinner. So we got take out, I told the boys we would pretend it was a picnic, cracked open a bottle of cider, and I threw in a Harry Potter Movie. T was pissed I made him take off the Bumblebee costume. But I was not born yesterday. And no, we don’t have a flatscreen TV. I realize we might be the only people on the planet. Someday I hope we join those living in the 21st century.

friday night

So there you have it. Rough week. Better Friday. Hey next week? Can we be friends?

Decay

T asked what the word god meant the other day. Talk about feeling unprepared.

“Some people believe that there is a higher being who looks over humans. The higher being is god.” Ugh, a four year old can’t comprehend that. But it was all I had. The conversation meandered until it somehow reached death.

Eventually I asked, “What do you think happens after you die?”

He looked at me like I was an idiot. “I will decay.”

In the wise words of the Dead Milkmen, “Jumping Jesus on a pogo stick!

When we were at my folk’s this summer T and my Dad watched some show on PBS Kids. That night T woke with nightmares about Decay. I assumed Decay was a bad guy on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or something. Nope. The show they watched was about science. There was a jack-o-lantern in a classroom and after a period of time they showed it all collapsed and decaying. Unbeknownst to my father T was basically scarred for life by the rotting pumpkin. Little man talks about decay all the time now. The nightmares have also continued.

Cut to bedtime last night. Z was on campus at a lecture given by Tony Kushner (according to Z it was awesome) so I put both boys down. At first everything was normal with T. I got him ice water. We read a book. He turned off the light. I tucked him in and snuggled beside him. I started to sing I’ll Fly Away.

“Some bright morning when this life is over I will fly away” Didn’t get much further than that when T burst into tears. “I don’t want to die!” he choked out. “Stop singing that song!”

We’ve been singing that to him since he was born, it is one of his favorites. I didn’t realize he’d been paying attention to the words. Hastily I started singing Wagon Wheel instead. But the tears continued. This wasn’t T trying to get out of going to bed. He was terrified. “Mama, cuddle me really tightly! I don’t want to die. I don’t want to be alone. I’ll miss Daddy. Daddy is my best friend. Where is Daddy? I need Daddy?”

“Oh baby, Daddy is at work. He’ll be home later.”

“Call him. Call him and tell him to come home. I need him.”

“Baby, when he gets home he will come in and hug you. I promise you. Right now I am with you. What is going on? Why do you think you are going to die?”

“I am going to die! And I don’t want to! I don’t want to be alone! I want to be with Daddy and Mommy and Charlie! I don’t want to die!”

“Baby, baby, baby. You are not going to be alone. You are not. Do you know what I believe? I believe there is something inside us that makes us who we are. Our soul. And our soul never dies. If it loves other people it will always be with those other people. You and Daddy and Mommy and Charlie will always always be together. We love each other that much. And I don’t think you are going to die anytime soon. I think you will live to be a very old man.”

“Mama, I don’t want to die! I don’t want to decay!”

“People believe so many different things about what happens when you die. Some people believe that you are reincarnated. That means that you are born again after you die. Some people believe in heaven, which is a place you go forever with the people you love. Some people believe that nothing happens. You get to decide what you believe.”

“I want to be born after I die.”

He cried for a long time. I held him tight and tried to hide my own tears from him, tried to make him feel safe. I asked him why he was so worried about death, but he couldn’t explain it. Finally, finally he settled.

I, on the other hand, was badly shaken. What. The. Fuck? I felt sick to my stomach. His distress was so palpable, so overwhelming. How do you help a kid who is scared to die? Did I tell him the right things? Did I make it worse? I don’t want to lie to him. I can’t bring myself to tell him he won’t die. Death is the only thing I am sure of when it comes to his life. That and he will be loved by his family.

These are the moments that scare me the most when it comes to parenting. More than when he is sick or hurt. What is the right way to help your child navigate complex emotional problems faced by every member of humanity? As an agnostic how do I explain god? As someone just as frightened of death as he is how do I ease the burden that we all carry- that every one of us will die? How do I talk about an afterlife when my beliefs are shaky at best?

This child I love so fiercely, my boy who is already an overthinker, who is filled with fear, who is anxious, who is terrified of nighttime, how do I help him? It seems like it should be easy, he and I are so alike. So far I can feel his pain perfectly. His fear slips into my heart where it grabs the hand of my own terror. I didn’t think I had room for more anxiety inside me, but he has proven me wrong. I will always be able to absorb his. But what good does that do? I want to help him, not just understand him.

When Z came home I explained what happened. Z had tears in his eyes. T hadn’t brought up death to him, the whole thing seemed out of left field. Z did go up to T’s room and hug his sweaty little sleeping body. T slept through the night and well past his usual wake up time. Z and I both went in to wake him. C joined us and there was a family pileup in T’s single bed.

He didn’t bring up death this morning. At school I asked his teacher and he hasn’t been talking about it there. Who knows? Maybe he’ll only be scared at night time. That’s how it was for me when I was his age. Maybe it will pass for a while. Maybe long enough for me to take a philosophy class on death and dying so I’ll be better equipped to help him. I’m kidding. Kind of.

serious face

Photos by Ellie Leonardsmith

Let’s end this one on a happy note. Z’s sister, our sister-in-law, and their daughter visited this weekend. Ellie is an amazing photographer and she took some family shots. If you are reading this in an RSS feed you might actually want to pop over to the blog itself if you are interested in seeing the new header picture. This was our “serious face” one. I really almost chose it for the header….

leonardsmiths

The lovely Aunt Dr. Kelsey and Aunt Ellie along with Graylyn.

cousins

Cousins! So many blue eyes!

happy k z

This man. He makes me so happy.

There will be more photos from the shoot on the next several posts. Ellie is amazing. If you are in the Twin Cities area and need a photographer check her out.

Pee Monster

It has been a shit week for anxiety and that is what I should be writing about because the writing helps me face what is going on. But I can’t right now. I just can’t. Maybe tomorrow I’ll be less of a coward.

So one more bedtime story and then I promise I’m done. We are running out of bodily fluids anyway. I mean, unless he asks me to tell him a story about Puke Monster. But what are the chances? Ok, ok, in this house the chances are pretty great…

The events of yesterday’s post actually happened on Monday night. Didn’t get around to writing it down until yesterday. On Tuesday night he did not get a bonus story, he just went to sleep when he was supposed to. And I felt all self righteous and like we were doing an awesome job as parents.

Yesterday was a rough one in T Land. He is acting out a lot. He is frustrated. We are frustrated. As I was nursing C at bedtime I heard T weeping and screaming from his room. He wouldn’t listen and Daddy took away his book. When Z and I met up in the hall Z said T wanted me to tell him a story. I asked if it was cool with Z if I did that being he’d taken story time away and Z said it was, so while Z tried to figure out where the FUCK the chirping sound was coming from that had been happening every 40 seconds for almost 8 hours I crawled into bed with T.

“Dude. What the heck. You have been a mess today. You need to have a good sleep so tomorrow you can really have the energy to listen and then Daddy will read a book at bedtime!”

“But I WANT Daddy to read a book today.” he whined.

“Nope. I don’t think so. If you wanted the book you would have done what he asked before he counted to three. He was very clear about what would happen if he go to three. So you made the choice not to have the book, babe. And I think tomorrow you’ll make a different choice. Now I’ll tell you a quick story. What do you want it to be about?”

“Ummmm,” he was clearly thinking, “I’d like a story about Pee Monster. And Batman.”

“Who the heck is Pee Monster?”

“He is Pee Monster. And he has pee bubbles.”

“Oh my lord, T. You are a nutter butter. Ok. So do you remember Green Lakes Park?”

“Yeah.”

“So all the kids were swimming at the beach in Green Lakes Park and it was really awesome. But then Pee Monster appeared and ran into the water. He was yelling and splashing. He scared the kids and started throwing pee bubbles and the pee was in the water! The kids began to cry and the parents were screaming and all of the sudden Batman swam from deep in the lake up to the surface! He was wearing scuba gear so he was safe from the pee! And he had a vacuum and he sucked up every last pee bubble! Pee Monster wasn’t a monster anymore, he was just a dude. He turned around and ran to his car and drove away and he felt really terrible about what he’d done. After that he was a really good guy. The end.”

And then I fell asleep for a few minutes. Hey, cuddled up to your kid who is all sweet smelling from bath time is not a bad way to spend time.

He was almost asleep himself when I snuck out of his bed and joined Z in the basement where we eventually found the chirping culprit–a smoke detector we’d never noticed on the landing of the basement stairs. And yes, when we moved in we had smoke/carbon monoxide detectors hard wired on the first floor and basement. Safety first, people. Safety first.

c hits t

Should I have stopped this from happening? Yup. If it makes you feel better I totally yelled at C as soon as I was done taking the picture.

he wants to go outside

He keeps handing us layers to put on because he wants to go somewhere. He’s wearing a hoodie and a jacket and he’s reaching for a raincoat.

Growth Spurt Bullshit

Z will probably freak when he sees that I’ve written this down because it will anger the gods who will surely rain fire and brimstone down upon our humble abode. C has slept through the night for the last three nights. We have no idea what changed, but we will fucking take it. Particularly because T isn’t sleeping so well these days.

All the parenting books say that when kids regress a bit or start to act out a lot they are going through a growth spirt or developmental leap. After T’s current spirt or leap or whatever he better fucking be ready to take college level courses. Kid has been potty trained for a year and he’s been having accidents right and left. He’s also decided that a fantastic wake up time is somewhere in the 4 or 5 o’clock hour. Strangely enough neither Z nor I are cool with either development.

Would you guys like to judge me and feel all superior and really good about your parenting skills? No problem! T is addicted to TV. It is all he wants to do. He begs for it, he cries for it, he refuses to play. And we cave. A lot. We tell ourselves that it will be better when he can go outside. Syracuse really does blow in the winter when it comes to easily entertaining kids. And right now Z is crazy busy with work stuff, I have been dealing with a sick toddler (fingers crossed-he’s well right now), homework and class, trying to get  dinner on the table every night, and a pesky anxiety disorder.

So we use the TV to our advantage.

I am probably going to hell for this, but I had no patience for the pee accidents even if they were a developmentally normal event. I told him if he peed himself he’d lose TV for the whole next day. Worked like a motherfucking charm. He has had two accidents since then, rather than multiple accidents a day.

The night thing has been tricker. He’s scared of night time. And jesus, it kills me. Because at his age I was also scared. Hell, I’ve been scared of nighttime for almost my whole life. Z is going to be away for four nights next week and I’m already sweating it. So I want to help T, but he also needs to go to sleep and Z and I have stuff (work in the shop for Z, homework for me) that we actually have to do after T goes down. He’s been crying in the middle of the night and he’s been up super early. We take turns comforting him in the middle of the night, but fuck getting up at 4:30am. So I came up with the bright idea to let him veg in front of the TV while we slept an extra hour and a half. Thank you for existing Nick Jr! And seriously friends, go ahead an judge me for my shitty parenting again. I deserve it.

I was explaining this new early morning TV thing we’d been doing to my shrink, all proud of myself for coming up with a solution. I also told her that his teachers can’t wake him from his nap at school, so the rest of the kids do a cool activity and he just sleeps through it. The teachers and I are worried about it and have been brainstorming ideas on how to get him up. Especially because he gave up his nap last summer.

And here is why therapy is awesome, folks. My lady has a degree in social work. She is also a physiatric nurse practitioner. She is certified to perform talk therapy and to write scripts for meds. It’s a fantastic body of knowledge. She said she agreed his behavior was a major problem. “He is having his REM sleep during naptime and he is napping during the night.” It seemed so obvious when she said it. She kindly told me she understood why we (ok I-Z was totally not crazy about my plan) were letting him watch TV in the wee small hours, but she said we were rewarding him for getting up. “Let him be up in his room. Give him crayons and paper or books or toys, but make him stay in his room until 6. He’ll get bored and go to sleep. And stop the napping at school.” Again, it seemed so obvious.

So every night we talk to him about what is going to happen. We tell him if he comes into our room before his clock says 6:00 that he will lose TV for the whole day. From 4:30 to 6 little man has been curled up on the rug in front of the heating vent in our bathroom. He’s been cuddled up in the hall, he’s been in and out of his bedroom. But he has only lost TV one time, and he isn’t napping at school.

I might be squashed like a bug by those angry gods for saying it, but things are getting on track at night time in this house. I think we are close to sleeping through the night. And by we I mean Z and me.   We don’t really give a crap about the kid’s sleep at this point. Our sleep deficits are too great to care about others.

star wars operation

Playing Star Wars Operation with Daddy. T just likes hearing the noises R2D2 makes when he hits the sides with the tweezers.

tenor guitar

One of the projects Z has been franticly trying to complete is this tenor guitar. He finished it last night. It’s made from the leg of an antique piano that might have been in the Lincoln White House (anecdotal info backs it up, but there is no documentation). He’ll be playing it in a performance with a Modern Dance company in DC next week. And the picture doesn’t do it justice, it really is beautiful. Sounds good, too.

Doctor’s Office

Thursday we rushed into the doc’s office, barely on time as usual. C developed a fever on Tuesday morning, but it stayed below 102 until two days later. Kid was burning up and when I took his temp it was 102.9. Didn’t seem like I could blame the fever on the fact that two teeth are breaking through anymore. And frankly, I’ve been on a hair trigger with him since the events of early January.

At the check-in counter I had C on my hip and was digging through my purse for the wallet when I glanced up. My breath caught in my throat. Walking towards me was a boy of probably twelve or thirteen. He moved with the awkwardness of a very young man who had recently and improbably shot up to over 6 feet tall. He was skinny as a rail, but his face had not yet lost the softness of childhood. His coloring was just like my boys. For a few moments until I caught myself I stared slack jawed at him. Suddenly there were tears in my eyes. I blinked them away and resumed the hunt for my debit card.

Babies and little kids fill the waiting room of our pediatrician’s office. Older kids seem to visit with less frequency. The tall boy caught me off guard, I wasn’t expecting to see someone his age. While genetics basically ensure neither of my boys will ever see a height of 6 feet the fact remained that the boy looked enough like my guys to be their big brother. What I saw when I looked at him was them in a decade.

The boys have been sick for what feels like months. They can’t seem to catch a break this year. Which means night time is pretty hellacious. Last night I was out of bed five times-twice for the big kid, three times for the little one. C has gotten worse since Thursday and was back at the doc’s yesterday morning. He has pneumonia. T has a cold and while he is doing fine during the day, he is a stuffed up mess at night and it keeps waking him up. So the boys are sick and Z and I are exhausted. We don’t remember what it feels like to get a good night of sleep, although we did have the one in December. There is a big part of us that cannot fucking wait until it is a few years from now. The kids will be sleeping through the night, so we will be sleeping through the night. The kids will be able to occupy themselves so we have a tiny bit of our lives back. Our day to day is a little brutal right now.

But.

I already look at pictures of T when he was a baby and can’t remember the feeling of holding him in my arms. C is the last baby I’m going to have. And the truth is he isn’t a baby anymore. Through our sleep deprivation and general exhaustion Z and I forget to marvel at the wonderful parts of our current life. T wraps himself in his bath towel every night while curled up in my lap and he pretends the towel is a shell and he hatches out. C is a cuddler and is constantly trying to bury his face in our necks. They are small enough that we can scoop them into our arms and really hold their perfect and tiny bodies. They still let us hug and kiss them whenever we want.

So that big kid at the doc’s office.

Man, seeing him broke my heart. Because I am going to blink one day and my boys will be his size. I think I’m so ready to skip past this hard part and get into the meat of the parenting business. But that is bullshit. It’s going to go too fast, all of it.

I wonder if that boy’s mom caught a glimpse of C. If she did I wonder if her eyes filled with tears as well, if she considered how fast the years had gone, if she felt like her boy was C’s size just yesterday, if she was shocked to realize she couldn’t exactly imagine what it was like to hold him close when he was just 21 pounds and fit perfectly on her hip.

robot robot

Z chasing the sick robots.

playing at the warehouse

T hammering away during a visit to Daddy’s work.

sick guy working

Pneumonia didn’t stop C from hanging with his dad in the shop this morning.

What follows is a typical conversation concerning the physical health of our kiddos:

“Have you noticed the rash on C’s eyelids?” Z, “Nope.” Me, “Hmm, you should take a look. And I’m going to google it.” Z, “Jesus Christ, Karen. Don’t. Please. Don’t.” Me, “Too late….and the first hit for “rash on eyelids” involves cancer.” Z, “I told you.” Me, “I’m sorry. You were right. Navigating away from the search right now.”