Surgical Fun With Hobos

My son, Conor, had a little “work done” a couple of weeks ago. That’s the Hollywood term for surgery, though in Conor’s case it doesn’t refer to a cosmetic procedure. No Brazilian Butt Lift here. In fact, nothing major at all. Just a little abdominal surgery to repair a hernia. No biggie. I was totally casual about the whole thing. Totally.

On the outside.

On the inside, I was a ball of anxiety because my baby was going under general anesthesia and I worried that he would handle it as well as I do, which is to say not well at all. My body is generally against drugs, especially anything that threatens to relieve pain, and reacts like a tweaker in an imaginary snake pit. It’s charming to watch, just ask Hubs.

My daughter, Riley, was also experiencing some anxiety over Conor’s surgery, saying comforting things like, “when they cut Conor open…” and “if Conor dies…”, so I scheduled a busy day for all of us the day before the surgery to keep our minds off of the whole thing.

Riley has an overactive imagination. I don’t know where she gets it.

This picture is in no way meant to suggest that she gets it from me.

This picture is in no way meant to suggest that she gets it from me. Or that I’ve lost half my teeth.

At the end of the day Conor collapsed into bed, which is when I noticed that he was FILTHY. Evidently at school he’d decided to roll in the sand and climb through a carburetor. Since it was well past bed time and my sweet boy is not known for his sunny morning disposition or ability to retain a great attitude without sleep or food, I let my little hobo fall asleep in the midst of his filth, thinking that I’d clean him up before we left in the morning.

Good plan…

if the giant Coke I had for lunch hadn’t fed my anxiety, which in turn fueled some situational insomnia. I stared at the ceiling most of the night and slipped into a deep sleep right before the alarm went off. At least I assume it went off. I didn’t hear it. I woke up with just enough time to throw on clothes, grab Conor, plop him in the car and make it to the Children’s Hospital by his 6:00 a.m. check in, where I repeatedly apologized to every nurse within earshot for bringing in a stinky, unwashed child for surgery.

Seriously, I can’t remember the last time I was ever that embarrassed over my parental shortcomings. I mean general incompetence is fine but hygiene neglect…that’s just wrong.

"He's cute. It's a shame his mama doesn't wash him."

“Mama doesn’t wash me til the creek thaws and the hogs are slaughtered.”

Three hours of shame and two meltdowns later (Conor found the blood pressure cuff and tiger pajamas traumatizing), he was in surgery and I was staring blankly at a wall in the waiting room.

The elephant tranquilizer is just kicking in [looks like I'm not the only one hallucinating]

Don’t let the drunken joie de vivre fool you, he despises those pajamas.

According to the surgeon, the procedure went off without a hitch. The recovery nurse might have had a different take on the whole experience however, because it seems that Conor also suffers from a tiny sensitivity to general anesthesia, which came in the form of explosive diarrhea and an intense desire to roll around in it. Thank God, Hubs had arrived by that point to help our recovery nurse because I had all but shut down and could only stand there with a box of juice and a popsicle in my hands watching the carnage with mild detachment.

Standing there uselessly I had plenty of time to wonder about things such as why Hubs has absolutely no problem with gay men, but is deeply offended by Vespas, Mazda Miatas and small fluffy white dogs. And also why the nurse didn’t know what the word “defecating” meant which seemed to me like a word that a nurse should know.

The recovery nurse finally shoved Conor into an adult sized diaper and signed his discharge papers before he soiled the entire recovery wing.

At the end of the day Conor had face planted off the recliner and the couch, as well as crapped his way through two gurneys, four diapers, two pairs of pajamas and a new rug. Impressive. But we are fairly certain the hernia is gone.

conoraftersurgery2

And he got to take home a glove balloon and crap-filled adult diaper. Score!

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To Overprotect and Serve

Cops can be a little overprotective of their loved ones. It’s not their fault really. They see all kinds of horrifying things and automatically overlay the faces of their loved ones on the faces of the victims. It’s human nature, like nose picking.

(Look, let’s not lie to each other and pretend that we don’t all occasionally mine the nasal cavity. I think we’re beyond that point in our relationship.)

Anyway, Hubs sees disturbing things. Then he thinks about my giant noggin and how much he wants to keep it safe. After all it holds the secrets to which medicines and snack foods each of our children gets. Then he comes home and puts unfair restrictions on me, like telling me that I can’t take the kids and drive around South Central Los Angeles so that I can accurately describe the smell of ghetto in my unpublished work of genius that will one day pay for the kids’ college. Now tell me, how will I ever finish my future best seller without an accurate description of the olfactory qualities of ghettotude? It’s almost like he doesn’t want the kids to go to college.

“It smells like drivebys and Colt 45, you patronizing bourgeois biznitch.” (image via JonathanRosenbaum)

Anyway, yesterday Hubs came home from a long day of collecting parole violators and saw me lying on the kitchen floor with our son’s train set and my smart phone, taking pictures from different angles in order to best capture the joy that the train set could bring to a child who had not suddenly decided to outgrow trains between putting said train set on his/her Christmas list and discovering it under the tree. This hypothetical child’s parents are probably combing Craig’s List in search of an affordable train set right this minute, because they can’t afford to purchase one from Toys”R”Us since they both lost their jobs at the coal mine. Are there coal mines in Southern California? Maybe they worked at the Cheesecake Factory. Either way, it’s heartbreaking.

I explained this to Hubs who promptly told me that he didn’t want me to use Craig’s List because serial killers and child predators cruise it to find unsuspecting housewives for their next victims. Hubs apparently didn’t fully grasp the selflessness of my intentions–that for a mere $20 (or best offer) I could bring joy to an underprivileged train lover and his/her economically burdened parents. Such selflessness transcends personal danger. Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I shall fear no evil…except boys named Damien who bear the mark of the beast, because I saw The Omen and there’s no way I’m selling a train set to a kid who is pure evil. That would be irresponsible.

“Mommy didn’t get me a train set so I threw her off the balcony.” (image via tvtropes.org)

I helpfully explained that I was avoiding the sociopaths on Craig’s List by omitting “sensual massage” from the product description of my ad. Hubs was not amused. I offered to include “toy comes from a non-smoking, gun-filled household.” Hubs didn’t find that comforting either.

I had no choice but to launch into the speech wherein I explain that I survived 30 years before meeting Hubs because I make extremely good decisions (except for occasionally in my teens and twenties, a fact that I don’t include in my speech because it doesn’t support my argument). I further explained that because I now tote around two dependents and am more burdened informed about the dangers lurking everywhere I am even more cautious and observant in my day to day dealings. Plus I just watched two Steven Seagal movies back to back that were filmed before Steven got fat and started exclusively wearing those Chinese jackets. I’m more in danger, statistically speaking, riding in the passenger seat of Hubs’s decrepit jeep while he practices his agro New England driving skills.

“Are you making fun of my size and fashion choices? I’m going to take off my beautiful jacket and kick your ass.” (image via wikipedia)

I deliver this speech periodically when Hubs starts to worry about the safety of my plans. It does nothing to waylay his concerns but I like to occasionally deliver the speech anyway because I enjoy hearing myself talk. I finally put Hubs at ease by promising not to let anyone come to the house without Hubs’s armed presence. Sometimes Hubs just wants he and his weapon to be included.

Honestly, it’s exhausting to be so well protected. It’s almost enough to make a girl want to shop the Walmart Black Friday super sale with an open fanny pack or go to a Burning Man festival in a Romney/Ryan t-shirt as a part of a midlife rebellion.

Just kidding. I mean it’s not like I have a death wish.

The Galloping Consumption

This is not a real post. Consider this an excused absence from my normal blog writing. i have what my father affectionately referred to as the Galloping Consumption, a term he applied to any respiratory illness that makes you doubt your will to live. Having spent six months in the hospital for tuberculosis, I consider him an expert in this area.

I’m in my second week of the Galloping Consumption. I haven’t been able to sleep, hold a conversation or even read a story to my children. Hubs is renting out my side of the bed and taking applications for a new wife and mother, should I finally blow a major blood vessel on my next coughing fit.  Meanwhile I entertain visions of myself in a cane-backed wheel chair with a lap blanket, being wheeled around by an attendant or lying supplicant on a velvet couch while Johnny Depp recreates Neverland in my sitting room. In my visions I cough with an English accent.

Now I wouldn’t publicly declare myself an optimist but I am prone to want to look at the bright side of a situation, so I can say that I’ve lost ten pounds, though most of it has been in muscle tone and breast tissue. I’m on the verge of obtaining the coveted lollipop figure that LA is known for. Rachel Zoe actually considered taking me as a client until she realized that there was movement in my forehead and declared me dead to her until I developed the good sense to paralyze my face with Botox.

However just between you and me, even a career as a geriatric super model isn’t enough to raise my spirits while I am coughing mercilessly through the night. I can be tough and resilient for short stretches but I grow impatient about hardship quickly and then I’m just irritable and nihilistic.

I’d be terrible at war. Sure I’d be focused and bad@ss for a couple of fire fights but then I’d grow weepy, start complaining about a lack of coffee breaks and finally I’d lie down in a fox hole and wait for enemy fire to claim me. They never would’ve made a mini series about my war-time heroics. So don’t hold out for Band of Brothers and One Sister. It ain’t coming.

Anyway, thank you for your patience. Normal posts will resume shortly.

Tacky Tuesday: House of Davids

If one replica of Michelangelo's David is good then 19 are even better! Throw in some Venus di Milos and gold lion heads for good measure, then frame it out with white wrought iron and you've got yourself a Los Angeles icon.

I used to drive by this house on a fairly regular basis before I got married. Admittedly, the first 20 times or so that I saw it in all of its excessive glory, its garishness seared my retinas. Repulsed yet fascinated, I imagined that inside Liberace played piano while Siegfried and Roy lounged out back by the pool petting their white tigers. I started to look forward to seeing the house, like a drunk friend who never acts right but always entertains. The sheer tasteless audacity of it wormed its way into my heart as a testament to all things gutsy enough to thumb their noses at good taste and let it all hang out.

Thus when I packed my kids into the car to take them on a field trip to witness this piece of true unabashed LA tackiness and we found it stripped down and looking like a normal house, I was a little heart-broken.  I’m sure the neighbors are relieved. The neighborhood is certainly more dignified. But sometimes dignified is a little boring.

And so on this Tuesday, I’d like to send a shout out to the House of Davids and all things that over shoot good taste. You might be tawdry, but you also make the world a more interesting place. Thank you.