Robby missed school all of last week due to the flu. I hate that he lost so much classroom time, and part of me can't help but fret about everything he missed. He doesn't get sick often, but when he does, he is usually out for an extended period of time. I know that his teachers will work with him to help him get caught up, but I'm his Mom and I guess I'll always worry.
My little guy was feeling better on Friday but his low grade fever convinced me to keep him home. By Saturday he had limited energy but no fever, and was beginning to show an interest in eating. By Sunday his appetite returned with a vengeance. I went to bed last night confident that our little Koopa could return to school in the morning.
Robby went to bed with a growing sense of optimism that his weekend would be extended. For the past few days the weather forecast was touting an epic snowfall in our area. Although no flakes were dancing from the sky when we turned off the lights for the night, he was convinced that school would be cancelled.
I remember the excitement of impending snowfalls, which is perhaps why I felt horrible bearing the bad news in the morning. Our predicted snow never materialized, and instead we were dealing with a yucky cold rain. Why adults across the region were rejoicing not needing to shovel, kids were devastated. Robby angrily declared that the weatherman was a liar after I finally convinced him that school was not cancelled. I know that we dodged the bullet with this snowfall, but Robby sees the rain through a different, slightly angrier perspective.
So instead of our traditional snow day breakfast of cinnamon buns and bacon, Robby sat on the couch and complained (non-stop) about the "stupid stupid rain ruining the snow." Just when I was reaching my limit on listening to his lament I received a text. It was from Robby's school reminding parents that today is a teacher work-day and that there are no classes. Are you kidding me? He still isn't going to school!
Robby began jumping up and down (just before grabbing the Xbox controller) when I revealed the news. His rainy day smile has turned completely around, and it seems that the weatherman is almost forgiven for his mistake. Hopefully we can resume some sort of schedule this week and life will return to normal, but I guess today is not that day.
- I am a below knee amputee. More importantly, I am also Mommy to two boys, a very active eight year old (Robby) and an infant (Timmy). I have learned that being a parent with a disability can create some unusual and sometimes humorous situations. This blogger is available for hire! Let's talk and learn how a blog can expand your business.
Friday, January 23, 2015
Everybody told me not to worry about turning 40. "It's just a number," they said. "Your life will be no different," they said. "You'll love being 40," they said.
They all lied.
I have been dying my hair for two decades. For the past 20 years my hair color has been a source of self-expression. I have sported blond, red, black, various shades of brown and auburn and on one occasion blue locks. I used to love walking into the pharmacy and randomly picking a box, paying no regard to the strength or longevity of the color.
I swear my hair turned silver the moment I turned 40. I no longer dye it for fun. Rather, now find myself desperately trolling the hair color aisle trying to find a color, any color, that will cover the extremely stubborn grey. I have wasted a lot of time, and money, pretending that I could use the more contemporary colors. The fun brands aren't strong enough, and I am relegated to the strong smelling, scalp burning applications.
Ironically, the hair that seems to be sprouting from my chin and upper lip have retained their dark brown pigment. What's up with that?
Yesterday while I was plucking even more chin hairs, I noticed a dark spot on my cheek. I rewashed my face, thinking (and hoping) it was soot from the fireplace. Frustrated that I couldn't scrub it off, I went to the internet to find a verdict. I either have ring worm, or it is an age spot. I have been wearing a huge glob of anti-fungal cream for 24 hours, hoping against hope that I have ringworm.
After checking on the still omnipresent spot, Robby asked me to put more lead into his pop-a-point pencil. Without hesitation I picked up the pencil and lead and proceeded on auto-pilot. After all, I think that 35 years experience qualifies me as a refilling expert.
When did that lead become so thin and the hole so minuscule? Seriously, I don't remember it being that difficult. I ended up standing next to the lamp, trying to get a better look at what I was doing. The illumination didn't help; I couldn't see to refill the pencil. I found myself pulling the pencil towards and away from me like an "old lady," trying to find a distance where I could focus. I ended up throwing the pencil in the trash, telling Robby that it was broken.
Rummaging through the drawer to find a replacement, sporting a big old glob of fungal cream on my age spot, I cursed the fact that I have become the "old lady." I am sure, at some point in time, I will learn to embrace my age. That time is not now.
at 5:50 AM
Thursday, January 22, 2015
A few nights ago we watched the State of the Union address. Instead of the doom and gloom, the sky is falling type reports we are accustomed to hearing, this time the news was encouraging. According to the experts, the economy is rebounding. We looked at each other and knew that no words needed to be exchanged. It is ironic that the economic forecast is so positive when Scott and I were just discussing the dire straits that many of his students are experiencing.
In 21 years of teaching, Scott has never had so many students who are truly hungry. I'm not talking "I'm a teenager and can eat a lot" hungry. I'm talking about the type of hunger where they can't concentrate on their school work because of a need to eat. Too many of his students are reliant upon their free lunch voucher for their only source of nutrition. On weekends, holidays or snow days when school is closed, we've learned that many of these kids simply don't eat. It is absolutely heartbreaking!
For the first few weeks of school I was unaware of his student's hunger problem. He brought home a list of his student's birthdays at the beginning of the school year and asked if I would be willing to make cupcakes to celebrate each one. While I was happy to oblige, I was surprised by his request. He casually remarked that he doesn't think some of these kids will have anything other than our cupcakes to celebrate their birthday, and instead of selecting the few in need he thought it was best to just do it for everybody. I put the names and dates on my calendar and have not yet missed a birthday.
While I thought the cupcake request was odd, I began to suspect that the issue was more pervasive. I began to notice that our leftovers were disappearing. Knowing that Scott couldn't eat half of a lasagna for lunch, I finally asked him what he was doing with all of our food. It was then that he explained that some of his students this year are truly hungry.
I wish we could feed all of them, but I know that is impossible. Instead, we are desperately trying to put a band-aid on the situation. I have come to expect that any left over meals will be taken and distributed to his class. We buy ramen noodles by the case so that we know these kids have something to eat over the weekend and holidays. Every Thursday morning he drives by Costco to pick up their expired baked goods. It saddened me to learn of the excitement of his students when they eagerly pick up stale bread and rolls to take home to their families.
The experts are touting economic success, but I doubt that his students would agree. I look at Robby and Timmy and it breaks my heart to envision them eagerly accepting their teacher's left over meals and old bread. I am reminded of how lucky we are to not be in that situation. I know that our stopgap measures will not fix the situation, but that doesn't mean that we won't try.
at 5:04 AM
Wednesday, January 21, 2015
I woke up yesterday morning fully anticipating a return to normalcy. Seeing Robby stagger out of his bedroom and plop onto the couch, I knew that he was going to be staying home from school. My little Koopa was sick, only this time he complained of his head hurting instead of his ears.
I called the pediatrician and scheduled an appointment for later that morning. Robby sat quietly on the couch, filling the time with an endless stream of Spongebob while we waited to go tot he doctor. He didn't have a fever, so I was perplexed about what was dragging down my little guy. I was glad that he was squeezed into the schedule so quickly because I didn't want whatever was brewing to get out of hand.
The doctor's exam yielded few answers. He didn't have a fever, his ears were clear, and his glands were not swollen. Although he wasn't terribly congested he did have the sniffles, so a diagnosis of a cold virus was bestowed. He was also deemed dehydrated, which was the probable source for his headache. We left the office with orders to drink, take Tylenol for the pain and to rest. I have to admit that I felt like a maternal failure when he was diagnosed with dehydration!
Robby assumed his position on the couch while I prepared a large glass of ice water for him to sip. As Scooby Doo played in the background, I watched my little guy completely disintegrate throughout the afternoon. He quickly went from complaining of a headache to experiencing full body aches and fatigue. He said that he felt "like an old man without a cane trying to cross the street." By mid-afternoon he had begun to spike a fever, prompting another call to the pediatrician.
Flu. I really did not want to hear that diagnosis! I know that he will be better in a few days, but the constant news stories touting the nightmares of the virus have terrified me. I spent the night by his bed, waking up at his slightest movement. Today will again be spent on the couch. Hopefully the steady stream of Tylenol, Ibuprofen and Tamiflu will provide comfort. I feel so helpless when he is sick.
at 7:56 AM
Tuesday, January 20, 2015
Yesterday everybody was home (again) because of the holiday. While I do enjoy my family, I am beginning to think that there is, indeed, something behind the idea of too much togetherness. I don't think it would be as frustrating if I could lounge with them, but I am still working and having the extra bodies home only serve to vie for my attention.
The weather was chilly and Robby was still recovering from his ear infections, so he opted to stay inside for the majority of the day. The fact that he wasn't begging for me to set up the moon bounce was the only confirmation I needed that he wasn't quite feeling up to snuff. I feel so badly for him when he is sick.
When Robby wasn't playing with his toys, he took an uncanny interest in his brother. He woke up determined to teach Timmy how to crawl. At breakfast he announced that his baby brother "has been living on earth for a lot of months and so far he hasn't learned to do anything. Today I am going to teach him how to crawl so he can move by himself."
Robby was true to his word and spent a considerable amount of time trying to teach Timmy to crawl. He tried a variety of approaches including but not limited to physical manipulation, providing an example, and bribery. Despite a valiant effort by his big brother, we still have a baby content to roll and sit in lieu of crawling.
While I was delighted that Robby wanted to spend time with Hamlet, I wasn't exactly thrilled at the prospect of having a baby on the move. I know that he is on the verge of mobility, but as far as I'm concerned, the longer I can keep him still, the better. I just don't know if I'm ready to chase after a little one!
at 5:44 AM
Monday, January 19, 2015
Friday morning was spent getting my leg adjusted. As I predicted, it took longer for me to drive to the office than it did for the adjustments to be made. Within minutes Elliot had slightly shortened my leg, creating the perfect walking length for me. I was strutting and walking through the office as if I were a bi-ped.
On my way home I received a call from Robby's school telling me that he was complaining of his ears hurting and a headache. I drove straight to his school, and after I took one look at my pale little Koopa, I knew that he was sick. I packed him up and we headed to the doctor. My fears were confirmed when she diagnosed him with a double ear infection.
The weekend was relatively low-key and quiet. Robby was recuperating and had minimal energy, so he was content staying in his pajamas and playing video games uninterrupted. Knowing that he still had a fever and needed to rest, I didn't push him to run errands or play outside. Timmy was happy scooting around the floor, trying to put everything into his mouth and playing with his toys. While he hasn't yet mastered traditional crawling, he is certainly quick when he puts his mind to commando crawling!
While I hate that my little buddy was sick, I did enjoy the forced relaxation. I can't remember the last time I just sat by the fire and watched movies. I think that everybody is feeling better after our quiet, do-nothing weekend.
at 6:42 AM
Friday, January 16, 2015
It's finally Friday! This week hasn't been especially busy, but it has been incredibly stressful. I'm looking forward to a weekend of relaxing and binge watching Breaking Bad. Of course, I'm sure that my boys have other plans, and I'll be lucky if I can squeeze in half an episode while rocking Timmy. I keep telling myself that someday I will regain my weekends, but during this stage in my life, the days are monopolized by my kids.
Today I was hoping to put Timmy in school for a few hours so that I finally could see the newest Hunger Games movie which I swore I was going to see the day it was released in November. Things kept popping up, and seeing the movie never made it back to the top of my list. Obviously the stars are not aligning because it is again being bumped down on my priority list. Instead of relaxing with a tub of popcorn, I'll be driving to get another prosthetic adjustment.
I probably could wait for the adjustment until Monday, but I am not willing to be uncomfortable through the weekend. I'm just a tinge too tall on my prosthetic side, which is starting to impact my back and hips. I know all too well that those little twinges can quickly become debilitating. I'm not willing to take the risk, so I'm going to head into rush hour traffic this morning to get shortened. I have no doubt that it will take me longer to drive to the appointment than it will for my leg to be adjusted.
Driving to the prosthetist, dealing with ingrown hairs and not being able to go on my toes when Timmy and I are Sweating to the Oldies are all amputee annoyances which are beginning to wear me down. Hopefully this will be the last adjustment I need for a long time. I miss the days where I would just step into my leg and not think about it for the rest of the day.
at 6:40 AM