I feel like I need to blow the dust off of the countertops here at Jedi Mama, Inc. and reintroduce myself. I quit writing blog posts, and yesterday I made waffles from scratch that involved a whole lot of BEAT THE EGG WHITES UNTIL STIFF PEAKS FORM, AND FOLD INTO WAFFLE BATTER, AND HOLD YOUR HAND AGAINST YOUR FOREHEAD AND SWOON FROM ALL THE COOKING EXHAUSTION, and then I followed that with a pot of homemade chili for dinner. The boy got out of bed yesterday morning and said, “You’re making waffles? AND we’re skipping church? This is the weirdest Sunday of my life!”
Clearly, my people know me well.
On Thursday, Hubs and I took Thing 2 down to Major Thriving Metropolis (MTM), because he was scheduled for some surgery to correct a little birth defect on Friday morning. We hit MTM at rush hour, and let me tell you this, Denver!
(Oh! Go on! Y’all knew it was Denver anyway, even though I try to keep a low profile around these parts, as far as our location goes, because the crazies in this world know no limits.)
Anyway, I was talking to YOU, Denver! Your interstates are psycho, and your drivers are even worse, and thanks to Doris the GPS, I navigated you just fine. Doris and I are friends now. Official friends, since she got me through rush-hour traffic with more than half of my sanity still in place. Hubs introduced me properly to Doris and showed me how to watch the little pictures she flashes of which direction I’ll need to turn next, and that has solved everything. I had no idea she gave me VISUAL PICTURES for references during all the months that she scared me to death and I wanted to drown her in a fish tank of dirty water to forever end her verbal scoldings of RECALCULATING, SINCE YOU FELT THE NEED TO TAKE THE WRONG TURN! Having visual pictures of which direction I’m going next is almost on a level playing field with DRIVE PAST THE CUTE BRICK HOUSE WITH THE YELLOW FRONT DOOR AND THE POTTED GERANIUMS OUTSIDE, AND THEN YOU’LL SEE A LITTLE CROOKED PINE TREE AT THE END OF THE BLOCK, AND THAT IS WHERE YOU NEED TO TURN LEFT AT.
All I have to say is that we made it to the Red Robin restaurant (say that one five times fast!) and beat Carrie and her boys there by a solid ten minutes, even though I was driving. Carrie had sent a text message as soon as we hit the heart of the city that said, “I’ll race you to Red Robin!” And because of SAFETY FIRST!, Hubs (who was in the passenger seat) texted Carrie back and said, “Mama is driving; she’s not really much of a racer, and she loses easily.”
Hubs’ confidence in me is always so reassuring.
But WINNER, WINNER, CHICKEN DINNER! We were there first!
Justin Bieber was our waiter.
(Oh, not really. But he certainly LOOKED like Justin Bieber, and I’m sure that he considers the ’80s to be the REALLY OLDEN DAYS that his parents lived in, because apparently people who were born in the mid-’90s are now plenty old enough to have jobs and pay into social security.)
Thing 2 was so delighted to FINALLY be out of his carseat, that he threw everything he could possibly throw onto the floor in the restaurant, while Carrie’s two darling boys (ages 5 and 2) sat politely at the table and minded their manners like little princes. Hubs left a generous tip to compensate for the small fact that the janitor and his cleaning crew were going to have to CLEAN UP ON TABLE 15-B when we left.
We stayed with Keith and Carrie on Thursday night, because their house is perfectly clean, and I never felt like I had to wear flip-flops to walk from the bed to the bathroom. Besides, Carrie had Coffee Mate for the morning.
And then Friday came, and I honestly wanted to throw up, because our sweet 8-month old baby was going to endure general anesthetic and surgery, and I still had to navigate my way from the suburbs to the heart of downtown Denver. Hubs insisted that I drive and LEARN TO COPE WITH TRAFFIC. Traffic doesn’t bother Hubs, because Hubs went to college in another major thriving metropolis, and rush-hour traffic just gives him a challenge that he readily accepts with gusto and numerous fist pumps in the air.
We passed two people laying on the side of the road in the downtown area, and I HONESTLY thought thought that they had died during an episode of traffic stress. My adrenaline surged because of DEAD BODIES ON THE ROADSIDE, but Hubs assured me that they were homeless, because LOOK AT THE SHOPPING CARTS AND ALL THE PEOPLE SITTING WITH THEM. Apparently those two dead bodies were simply sleeping in on Friday morning, and I had this enormous urge to buy them breakfast somewhere, only I knew that if I stopped my Suburban, I’d be run over by a Lexus that was breaking the speed limit by more than 40 mph.
I don’t get out much.
We found the hospital, and we met our incredibly fantastic team of doctors, and Mama cried, and Hubs put his arm around me, and Thing 2 went into surgery.
And then all we could do was sit in the waiting room and… well… WAIT. Because that’s what those rooms are for. I tried desperately not to eavesdrop, but the family across from me (which consisted of a grandmother to a child in surgery, as well as the child’s parents) talked with gusto and many hand actions and loud voices. It was exactly like they were Italian, only they weren’t Italian. Grandma’s cell phone rang, and she took the call, and then she announced to her daughter and son that THE SCHOOL COUNSELOR WAS WALKING LAUREN FROM CLASS TO CLASS TODAY FOR HER PROTECTION. That statement put me on high-alert because WHAT IN THE WORLD?! And then Grandma’s daughter said, “Mom, I know you think she’s perfect, but Lauren is a mean girl. We have no idea what to do with her any more, and if the other girls in her group are threatening her, it’s because Lauren brought it on herself, and she flat-out deserves to be harassed.” I kept pretending to watch The Andy Griffith Show on the big screen TV, but the conversation was loud enough to drown out Opie’s little voice. Lauren’s dad went on to say, “She’s started this whole thing, because she kicked a girl out of their group, and that girl is HUGE! She’s as big as a whale, and if you kick the big girl out, she can knock the ever-lovin’ daylights right out of you, and maybe that’s what Lauren needs. What she doesn’t need is a counselor escorting her around campus and pampering her.”
Parents of the year, right there.
I leaned over to Hubs and whispered, “I know I’ve had some moments where my parenting wasn’t perfect, but I’ve decided I might be a normal mama after all.”
And then Lauren’s parents and grandmother were called back, because her brother (or sister, maybe?) was out of surgery and the doctors were ready to tell them all about how it had gone.
After that, a cheerful Mexican family took their seats. Again, it was a grandmother, with her son and his wife, and their child was in surgery. The son (who must’ve been in his late 20s) said, “And, Ma, can you even believe that? Your daughter-in-law ordered tacos AT A PIZZA CHAIN!” To this statement, Grandma snorted and said with a thick Spanish accent, “No self-loving, Jesus-loving Mexican girl should ever — EVER!! — order tacos at a pizza restaurant! You shouldn’t even order them at Taco Bell, because Taco Bell doesn’t know Mexican food at all, either. I know Mexican food! I cook the tacos right!” And her daughter-in-law smiled and said, “I wasn’t in the mood for the pizza there!” Grandma snorted and said, “You come over tonight. We will have MY tacos. I love you like my very own daughter, and I know my son loves you, but you don’t order the tacos from pizza places again. You make my heart suffer from the stroke when you do that, because it is A SHAME! Now you both be quiet, so I can pray for this surgery for our little girl.”
They were a delightful trio, people. I loved them instantly, and I wanted to go to Grandma’s house for tacos done right that night, too.
And then! Well, then I had an opportunity to see the blue-ribbon taker for the Mother of the Year Award in action, and I ended up sobbing. A mama wheeled her boy into the waiting room. I guessed that he had severe cerebral palsy, but I could be dead wrong. If Grey’s Anatomy hasn’t covered the medical topic in an episode, I have no idea on it. My medical knowledge is limited to IF YOU HAVE A HEADACHE, TAKE AN EXCEDRIN. The boy was about twelve or thirteen years old. He was in a special chair. He was non-verbal, and he didn’t walk. What he did do was make loud yells and turn his head from side to side. His mama checked him in, and then she wheeled him across the room so she could sit down in a chair. She wrangled that chair right up next to her, and then she leaned over and kissed his forehead in the most tender kiss I have EVER, EVER, EV-AH witnessed. It was a kiss to the head that spoke volumes about her love for him. And then she kissed his cheek the same way. And then she took his hand in hers, rubbed it, and looked him straight in the eye and said, “Mama loves you so very much. You are perfect, and you are beautiful!” And then he leaned his head onto her shoulder, while she checked her email on her cell phone, and I broke down and bawled so hard, I had to go into the bathroom and clean up my mascara.
Or rather, CARRIE’S mascara, because I forgot my make-up bag in Small Town, USA and had to borrow some so that I didn’t look like death warmed over for the surgeons.
Still today, that boy and his mother are on my heart and mind. It was the single most heartwarming scene I have ever watched, and I have been praying for them.
Finally, our surgeon came out and told us that Thing 2 had come through fantastically, and he invited us to come back and see him. He was just coming out of anesthetic, and his voice was extremely hoarse from the breathing tube that had been down his windpipe. They handed him to me while he was sobbing for me and Hubs, and I broke into hysterical tears again. The nurse asked if I was alright, and if I needed a cold compress or anything.
Mama had herself some EMOTIONS on Friday, let me tell you.
Thing 2 did so well in recovery, that the doctor dismissed us two hours earlier than we had anticipated, and we hit the road for home. The weatherman (who mostly lies) had predicted a nasty storm moving in, and we wanted to beat it home.
As it turns out, we had beautiful, 60-degree weather for the biggest leg of our journey, but we could tell that the sky was dark ahead. We hit the storm about 80 miles from home. Fog, fog, and more fog. Rain. We were fine. Then we had some snow. We were still fine. Then we had some ridiculous roads and some blizzard conditions, and I was all, “HUBS, PLEASE! Let’s get a motel room in Smaller Town for the night!” And Hubs was all, “I’m not getting a motel room 30 miles from home; we’re fine!” So I kept driving, even though we KNEW that we had THE HORRIBLE AREA to drive through.
The Horrible Area is a valley, and it must be under some kind of ancient pirate’s curse, because the weather there is ALWAYS HORRID. Always. It can be 104 degrees outside, and when you head downhill to the Horrible Area, you’ll encounter Bermuda Triangle style weirdness in the weather. Friday night was no different. We hit the Horrible Area and it was the very worst driving conditions I have ever experienced.
The very worst.
The most worst-est of all time.
Visibility was a fat zero. I cried so hard, I just stopped the Suburban and let Hubs switch places with me, because I was flat-out DONE with the driving. Hubs had to keep our tires on the rumble strip on the edge of the road to make sure we were even ON the interstate. We could see NOTHING. We couldn’t even see the end of our Suburban’s hood! So, I simply sent out a distress signal, via text message, because we needed some prayers to get our baby home safely! Hubs kept assuring me that as soon as we drove uphill out of the Horrible Area, the weather would lighten up.
He was, of course, right.
At least at the top of the valley, we could see one reflector pole ahead of us at all times, so we could know that we were still driving on pavement and not in a cow pasture.
THAT was our Thursday and Friday. We got home safely, because Jodi and Sister talked to Jesus for us.
On Saturday and Sunday, we did nothing.
Well, we did nothing on Saturday. On Sunday, I made waffles from scratch and I beat egg whites until stiff peaks formed, and my 3 boys gobbled them up. And then, since it was one million and two degrees BELOW ZERO, Hubs thought chili sounded good for dinner, so I made that, too.
My cooking quota has been met for the month of November, I think.
Also? I’m pretty sure my TRAVELING IN INCLEMENT WEATHER quota has been met for the rest of my life, because? Did I mention? Worst thirty mile stretch of interstate EVER!
And Thing 2? Well. He is doing just fine. He even took a four-hour nap yesterday, which he has done exactly never times before. And… he learned to pinch. I am not fond of this new pinching thing, because it hurts like a thousand bee stings when he surprises you with one.
And that’s it, folks. It was a whole lot of words to catch y’all up on our last five days.
Have a great Monday evening.