The Inevitable Ouch of Being a Parent

I just finished reading Number the Stars, by Lois Lowry with my daughter Ruby.  She is in an accelerated reading group and I knew we would run into this problem.  Her reading ability is more advanced than her emotional maturity.

She’s just nine.  She loves to play with her American Girl Dolls, ride her bike, draws fairies, BELIEVES in fairies for cryin’ out loud! So when she said the latest book selected for her reading group was too sad I asked what it was about?

The Holocaust.” she says.

WTF?!? She’s nine!  Ok.. almost ten, but I don’t think she is ready for this.  I remember recently we asked the kids if they knew what the Holocaust was.  I believe she said, “No, but I sure know what Hollandaise Sauce is!”  Now you can understand her frame of reference.

“Mama, it’s too sad. And scary.  I don’t want to read it on Valentine’s Day. IT’S TOO SAD! But I have to finish it by next Wednesday.”  I said I would read it with her.  I used to read to my kids all the time, but pathetically I don’t seem to find enough time for it anymore (blogging, tweeting, face-booking).  Priority adjustment!

It’s not that thick.  How sad could it be? She already read through chapter six.. so I did a speed read for me/review for her one night to get caught up.

Crap!  The main character’s older sister died, and the kids best friend is a sweetie-pie Jewish girl.  And there are damn Nazi’s all over Copenhagen. I choked up, like 3 times the first night. My kid is all, “See what I mean?”

We skipped reading on Valentines Day.  Because that day is only for JOYLOVEANDKISSES! And chocolate. Not Nazis emmer effers.

So after our love filled day off, we hit the book again. Curled up together. Sometimes she read. Sometimes I read.  She’s really good at reading aloud. I helped her with the Scandinavian sounding words. I’m an impatient reader and will speed ahead with my eyes while my mouth is on some far back sentence. I’m smart like that. Or just impatient.

Things got heavy. Things got scary.  Children were called on to be brave and this made my heart ache so much.  Poor little dears. I hated the soldiers.  Hate.  I would read something, and you all have no idea how hard it was to NOT use some of my choice obscenities.  But I had my girl all curled up at my side and all I could do was give a tearful stink-eye to the book.

I’m so glad I read with her.  What if I hadn’t ?  What if she had to come across these scenarios, these words, with her unprepared little heart?  She would come to me confused about the hatred and cruelty of that war. She’d be in tears, I know her.  And then I’d be fumbling trying to stop the hurt.  But it would be with no reference. Like trying to help a child that you didn’t see fall, and can’t tell you where they hurt, just that it hurts. But I read it with her, and I know why it hurts, and where. So much.

So.  Now… I’m not sure if I should talk to teachers about maybe giving a heads up on books subject matter prior to the kids reading it. I want to trust them, but this seemed too heavy.  But then, maybe they know what they are doing, and are calling on my child to be brave.

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Dieting theory…

So, for the last several weeks I have been on a diet adopted a new healthy eating plan.  I cut out sugar, salt, wheat, and dairy.  All of them. At once.  Why?  Because I just turned 39 *gasp* and I want to reduce the size of my ass before 40 hits.

No Sugar. Giving up sugar is tough. I loves me my chocolate. After a while, I was craving it less and less, so……Sugar–I’m over you.

No wheat. Really not an issue.  I’m not a big bread lover. Quitting wheat was a piece of cake. Or rather, not the cake, whatever.

No Salt.  More difficult. Especially during ‘that time’ of the month when I pretty much could use one of those salt lick blocks my grandpa used for his cows. Don’t know what I’m talking about?

I can totally relate to this kid. Nomnom.  So giving up salt is a struggle.

No Dairy.  None cheese.  None.  I don’t drink milk…so whoop dee doo.  I don’t eat ice cream much.  I’m on the lactose intolerant side so Milk and Ice Cream are no biggie.  But Cheese.  People, you don’t even know.  I lay in bed and fantasize about cheese. I. Really. Do.  Like fantasizing about quietly sneaking out of bed in the middle of the night and gently opening the refrigerator, stealth-fully opening the ziplock bag of sliced swiss cheese and peel off 2, maybe 3 slices and then tear them into strips and savor them, slowly.

But I never do that. I just fantasize about doing that. I won’t do that later tonight. I’m pretty sure.

So… with all this giving up of the good stuff, my waistline has gotten smaller.  And my butt, maybe a little.  But(t) she gots a long way to go.

You know what word I loathe? Plateau.

I hate that word.  I’m there.  My metabolism has hit the plateau phase of my diet.  It has become all too comfortable with the healthy nut bars, low sodium smoked turkey, and non stop fruits and veggies.  So, I decided to, uh, make my metabolism uncomfortable. Confuse it a bit so that when I eat my celery it goes back to slimville.

Tonight I had a cheeseburger with bacon on it, and I ate the bun, and I washed it down with a Dr. Pepper.  Take that you stodgy metabolism!  You didn’t see that coming did you?  You were expecting another bell pepper, or apple, or…or… a handful of almonds huh?  Well I sure as shit shocked you, so tomorrow when you get the healthy food again….get back to work!

That’s my theory anyway.  Every now and then you gotta throw something crazy at your metabolism so it doesn’t get too comfortable on health food.  I’m already plotting my next attack.  Steak with Bleu Cheese crumbles served on a bed of french fries. And a chocolate malt.  *sidenote- while typing ‘chocolate malt’ I accidentally typed ‘male’ instead of ‘malt.’ That makes me giggle.*

The Long Painful Death of #31

Father Interwebz,  forgive me, for it has been a LONG time since my last confession blog entry. What’s that you say? 3 Hail Mary’s and drink a bottle of communion wine.  Shucks! OK!

*sips wine*

So, it was the week before Thanksgiving and as I slothed off to bed, I had a bit of an ache in one of my teeth.  Lower left, #30.  I popped a couple of Ibuprofen and pulled the covers up.

No. Sleep.  #30 decided to keep me awake all night as she cranked up the pain.  This would be a Thursday night.  By Friday morning I had left a 2:30 am message with my dentist and pretty much fantasized about pulling the tooth out of my head with a friggin monkey wrench.  I’m not kidding.

I went to the dentist first thing.  X-ray shows nothing. Really?!  He says it is prolly just sensitivity.  Use this toothpaste, and baby it a bit.  Take Ibuprofen and call him if it gets worse over the weekend.

We head out of town to my parents to celebrate my mom’s birthday and an early Thanksgiving, all the while I am downing IBU like  they are M&M’s. I’m googling “dental pain home remedies” in hopes that Dr. Google can throw me a bone.  And he does, Vanilla Extract.  You swab that on the tooth, and the pain dies down.  For. Five. Minutes.  Or maybe longer.  I’m not sure if it was working, or if I was just drunk from the bottle Vanilla Extract I was carrying around like a baby.  All weekend. Yeah, I was drunk.

So by Sunday evening at my parents, I am dying from the pain.  In total disbelief that this is just a ‘Sensitive  Tooth,’ my father, in good problem solver form, gets out a butter knife and convinces me that I should let him tap on my teeth to see which on is hurting. Remember I am drunk on Vanilla Extract.  I open my mouth.. and tap tap tap.  Yeah.. it hurts a little bit  Dad…..Let me check the one behind it. Tap tap tap……

<insert shriek of horror here>

OHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYMOTHEROFGOD!

#31, that little bitch, was the one trying to kill me.  I call the dentist, and wind up in his office first thing on Monday.  He confirms the eminent death of #31.  Gives me Tylenol #3, and says..get yourself to this here Endodontist ASAP for a Root Canal.  Wait a minute, aren’t root canals for old people?

Endodontist is booked and can’t get me in for 2 days. In which time I consume all of the Tylenol #3 because this tooth hurts like an emmer effer you know? I go in to get the refill on the meds, and the pharmacist says it is too soon.  Wow, did I feel like a druggie.  But they filled it, after I grabbed the tech and threatened to pull out her teeth.  By the time I made it into the Endoguy, he says… wow… we better open that up and let it breathe for a few days. Nice. Now I’m a bottle of wine.  That is better than an old druggie I guess.  I’m numb, lots of novocaine. Loads.  He said I had a lot of nerve (ba dum pa!) He proceeds to drill away.. and drill… and drill.  I was left with the shell of what was once #31, and instructions to care for it while it remained ‘open’ for a few days.  These days would include Thanksgiving.  The biggest eat fest on the planet.

If I want to eat, I can chew only on the right side, and prior to eating, I must shove a wad of cotton into the hole where the tooth nerve once lived.  Complicated. Awkward. But I followed directions.

Now, as fate would have it, the day just before Thanksgiving I was scheduled to have my routine teeth cleaning.  My kids too.  Dentist says it is fine and they can work around the bad ass tooth (my words, not his).  On the way to the dentist, I pop a piece of gum in my mouth, to freshen my  breath for the hygienist. I remind myself to chew on the right side only, I have no cotton wad shoved in the hole. Kids are in the back.  We are rockin, smiling.. on the way to the dentist la tee da de da…..gum slips to my left side and I bite down.

PAIN.

I’ve had babies, and I have felt severe pain. I have broken limbs, cracked my skull, herniated a disc, blah blah blah. I am no stranger to pain, but this was different.

And I was driving. And my kids were in the car. I screamed. And cried. My whole body shuddered and felt warm.  It was like a grenade went off in my mouth. It lasted, and lasted.  I kept waiting for it to let up, but it didn’t.  My children were crying, and praying.  Asking if they should call 911. Shouldn’t I pull over?  I could not stop. I had to get to the dentist.

We made it, safely, thanks to my concentration and probably angels. But all teary. I explained what happened. Essentially, when I bit down, I forced an air bubble down the empty root canals of the tooth, through a tiny hole at the base of the root, and into an area that was swollen from infection, with really no room for an air bubble. None room.

River was crying for me, Ruby was crying for him. The hygienists were crying for them.  We brought that place to their knees. The pain gradually went away, but I was terrified to eat anything.

But then it was Thanksgiving, so I got over it.  I ate. Nomnom.

I had the root canal finished on the Monday after Thanksgiving.  A whopper of a price.  Pretty much my Christmas present.  I will be getting a crown for my birthday in January.  Getting old sucks. So much.