Tuesday, July 31, 2007

refusing to argue

Overheard today:

Nice one!
pause, then a small voice says, nice two!

In case anyone was wondering, the electricians are here. After two years of debating, changing our minds and scraping together yet more funds, changing the plan again and putting needed funds elsewhere, we are finally getting overhead lighting. No, really.

Buh-bye Mister Halogen. The boys were getting pretty good at the Bang the Halogen Into the Wall percussion bit, and I'm sure they're going to miss you. But I won't.
En route home from San Diego , we were stopped by TSA. Now, mind you we'd come and gone through various airports to and from Australia, we've flown within and without the US of A, and each time, this is how it goes.

Excuse me, sir/ma'am, but you should know that this bag has needles and medication, and that bag has food for medical purposes. I have documentation for all of it.

TSA person looks up from the scanner. Okay, they say, and wave us on through.
I'm almost disappointed, the Man muttered as we sailed past one especially aggressive checkpoint. Shhh, I said. You'll wake up Murphy.

And so he did.

Excuse me, sir, you should know that I have needles, medication in that bag, and food for medical purposes in the other bag. I have documentation for all of it.

The TSA person looks up. Okay, he says absently. But at the other end of the belt...

Ma'am, is this yours?
Surprised, I look up. I'm almost excited to get the chance to use my documents, my notes from conversations with TSA showing that we have permission from this exalted group to do as we have done.
Yes. Can I help you with something?
(pointing at the bag labeled 'Medical Supplies') Ma'am, do you have liquids in here? They'll need to go into ziploc bags.
Well, now, yes we have liquids. (thinking of the Benadryl, the Tylenol)
The TSA guy points to the boxes of factor, in which the nifty scanner thing found vials of diluent, used to mix the factor for use. Would you remove those, please, ma'am?
(pause, while adrenaline makes the back of my neck prickle) Those vials are part of medication. They are currently sterile. Before I change that, we need to be very, very sure that this is necessary.
The TSA dude takes a step backwards. I'll go get my supervisor, then.

Two supervisors later, it becomes clear that the problem is not the diluent for the kid's clotting factor, nor is it the food we're carrying, the empty sippy cups or fruit salad - it's the icepacks keeping it all cold.
Icepacks are only for medical purposes, ma'am, I'm told as the supervisor's supervisor leafs through my documentation, but I'll make an exception for you. This time. (stern look from on high)

I swallow the explanations: I'd specifically discussed food and icepacks with TSA, a conversation with TSA on this subject is documented among the papers she's shuffling, she's mistaking food for food, and not recognizing its role in this circumstance, oh what the hell let's go.

And we do.

Ducking arguments is high on my priority list right now. The Eldest is a match lit, looking for tinder, and I spend as much time as I can with alternately bland and loving expressions plastered on my face. It takes astonishing amounts of energy to make the expressions seem more than paper-thin. The rest of the time I spend with my eyes closed, breathing carefully, letting tension drop out of my shoulders, my face, my hands.

There's factor still on the sill - did you give him different factor?
The Man, midstride, stops. He's racing out the door, the Eldest in tow.
No. He said he got factor yesterday.
I pause. Yesterday, the Man was in Maine, the Grandmere was helping me juggle kids and school events, and there was absolutely, definitely no factor.
Every so slightly nastily, I ask the Eldest: When did you get factor?
yesterday, he hollers up the stairs. He's putting his shoes on, ready to sprint out the door.
Before or after Grandmere left?
After, floats back the reply, not a whit of hesitation in it.

The Man and I look at each other. We will spend the rest of the day debating what we should have done, how we feel about what we did do, and worry about implications. The one thing we did do is avoid the argument, refusing to be drawn into what all too easily could become a power struggle made nasty by chronological urgencies.

The Cat's Away Pineapple Salsa
Dad's going away, I said, so let's have a chocolate fest! (The Man is allergic to chocolate.) We did, and yet this was the favorite new recipe of the weekend...go figure.

Most of 1 pineapple, diced
1 diced apple, very crisp and sour
2 Tb cilantro, finely chopped
2 Tb mint, finely chopped
1 cucumber, diced
2 limes, squeezed

combine and serve. Excellent with this supremely easy, make it with a spoon Olive Bread recipe, courtesy of Gluten A Go Go. My suggestion: make the bread with good kalamata olives. Oh, and thanks to Karina for the GF blog logo! Fun.

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