Thursday, March 29, 2007

darkness and scary death (not mine)

child: Mum, I cleaned out my cubby today at school.
Mama (absorbed): Mm, hm.
child: And I didn't make darkness or scary death.
Mama: Mm, hm - wha?

You've got my attention, kid.
Attention-getting has been happening all over the place. For example, consider these gems:

* The Eldest has been accepted to the local pluralist school. This is an immense source of delight to me, and I went dancing around the house, post-phone call from the Director of Pluralist Admissions.
We'd love to offer [the Eldest] a spot in our incoming kindergarten class.
I cannot tell you how sad we were not to be able to offer him a spot initially, he's such a taking child, [my brain tunes out here, waiting for the conversational pause in which I can screech YES YES YESSSS]...think he will thrive in our environment.
Oh - ah - well, I'll drop the packet in the mail to you tomorrow

happy Mama war dance
Yippee! Yippee! You are going to be pluralized!

The Eldest looks up from his book, an expression of mild alarm lurking around his ears - afraid to come out, probably. Finally, cautiously, he says, yay?

*The Toddles has been throwing food. Make no mistake, the kid loves to eat, and is even happily acquiring a bit of pudge. Pudginess in my offspring being hitherto unknown, I am happily pointing it out to strangers who are foolish enough to admire the child. Yup! He's adorable. And do you see the little double chin? See? There? And he's got a little extra on the thighs too - it's just fabulous. Seeing me reach for the Toddles pants, the stranger starts quietly edging away, remembering something else urgent that needs to be done in, oh, Stoughton.

Food throwing, however, drives me stark raving batty. I start off with absolutely no perspective (but kids fling food. They just do.) or patience with behavior of the I'm bored/that's yucky/ *fling* variety, leaving my response to range between grrr and a shriek. There is, of course, a perfectly rational explanation for this: when I bust my butt making food for these children, it's especially infuriating to see them disdain both my efforts and the results.

No, strike that, the glory of my children is that they expect food to show up, just like they expect clean clothes and clean tushies/scrotums. Given this, my efforts mean absolutely diddly to them. So it's the food itself they are disdaining, not me.

Nonetheless, it drives me bananas.

To illustrate, here are some pics of tonight's dinner, a make it yourself affair in which I supplied minestrone and condiments (cubed tofu, cumin carrots, cucumber - essentially, the dregs of the pre-Passover fridge).

On the left, you have my bowl of soup. On the right, you have the Toddles, masterfully reworking his soup into a mushy mass, in preperation for flinging it at his brother. Lovely.

Compare that to this exchange:

The Eldest hands a piece of pasta to the Toddles, having thoughtfully cut it up into cute rings.
Gang-gu [thank you], says the Toddles, shoveling it in.
The Eldest smiles sweetly at his sibling and tells him, you're welcome.

I swear they do it to throw me off-balance.
* They've got an easy target today, though, as I am post-breast exam roadkill. The short version: everything is fine. Well, mostly. Except that they make no absolute guarantees. And they can only find 90% of breast cancers, and, um, well, maybe I'd best come back in 6 months. Oh, and my primary care physician may choose to send me for a needle biopsy, but they didn't find anything worth worrying about. Which doesn't mean it's not there, seeyouin6monthsbye.

Umm, fine.

My opinion is that breast exams are like pregnancy: they are uncomfortable and poke and prod you in sensitive spots, painfully, and ramp up until you are practically begging for a needle biopsy/labor and delivery, just to get it all over and done.

I was invited to wear a glamorous, gaping garment over my skirt, and to sit, holding it closed in a room full of anxious (and some weeping) women, also trying to close the damned things. The collective levels of stress and distress in the room were astronomic.

From this room, one was taken to a procedure room, poked, prodded and squashed flat, then returned to the waiting room of terrorized subjects. Then, if you are particularly lucky (I was), you get called back for more photos (why? what did they see? I thought the films of my other, non-lumpy breast were a nice touch - especially with the dramatically circled bits) and more squishing.

Then you wait. And wait some more. All of this, mind you, without benefit of caffeine or alternate hot beverage, in respect for the women who are past the point where they get prodding and squishing, and are moving on to the incising and stitching.

Finally, you may get to meet the radiologist. Or, if you are a favorite with the staff, you may get to be prodded and ultrasounded and generally covered in warm jelly - and then, in that moment of especial glory, you get to meet the radiologist.

So, what did they tell you? The Man, having wheeled around, entertained and fed the Toddles during what was supposed to be a quick appointment, could be forgiven for asking what seems a rather reasonable question. After all, surely I had been told something.

In fact, by the time I met the radiologist, jelly and all, I was so limp an emotional rag as to not register more than this: I have asymmetrical breasts with varying types of tissue, no doubt compounded by continuing to breastfeed the Toddles (d'you plan to stop soon? pleaded a desperate tech), all of which made it hard to tell what was going on. I think - in fact, I'm fairly certain - that the bottom line is that I'm fine. But I'm asking for the radiologist's report, just in case.

I explained this to the Man, who shrugged. Have you ever noticed lumpiness in my breasts? He shook his head. No complaints here, he told me. Well, then. We'll just chalk it up to being (and you so knew I was going to do this)...imperfect.
Next up: the Passover menu!


dykewife said...

good golly! i had a mamogram a couple of years ago (i know, i'm due again, but i hated HATED the whole experience) and the squish left bruises on me. you musta left a puddle of breast milk. :/

boy threw food too. actually, he only threw one specific food, kidney beans. i'd make chili, wonderful, fabulous chili, with kidney beans. he'd eat it all and throw the kidney beans (with alarming accuracy) at me or bran. eventually he stopped throwing them and started eating them...eventually.

mama o' the matrices said...

alarming accuracy, eh? At what age did he become accurate?

Thus far, Toddles only manages to hit the floor and his brother's chair. Which, considering the Eldest's rather fragile state of mind at the dinner table, is just as well.