Friday, February 22, 2008

The Eternal Miscellany of a Cluttered Mind

Larry and I did the teamwork thing this evening in order to get the Sudafed into Susie's mouth before bedtime. He held down her legs and arms; at the same time, I immobilized her head with one forearm while sticking the medicine syringe (lovingly) into her screaming mouth. We're quite good at this maneuver, having had much practice over the years. Which made me realize: soon I won't need this skill (and others like it) at all. In a few years there will be no screaming toddlers or babies to force into hard-to-buckle car seats (damn those 5-point harnesses!) or strollers. There will be no incredibly messy diapers to clean up, and we won't need syringes to administer medicine. In fact, all the skills that I have so painstakingly developed over the past 16 or so years will soon be completely irrelevant.

In other words, my iceberg is melting. And it's a frightening feeling. The only useful know-how I'll be left with will be some rudimentary knitting skills. That and a few bucks will get me a tall latte.

Speaking of knitting, I made the mistake on Wednesday of (brightly) announcing to my Stitch 'n' Bitch group that there would be a lunar eclipse that night! Silence. Everyone looked at me for a second, and then they continued talking to each other as if I had done nothing more than emit an embarrassingly loud belch. Apparently, knitters don't care much (as a group) about the moon. After all, there are no sheep there.

I got confused, you see; in homeschooling circles, a lunar eclipse is the conversational centerpiece for days surrounding the actual event. Everyone keeps their kids up late to watch, and if yours don't get to see it, they feel left out. You would think that an eclipse had never happened before, the way we carry on. It's almost pathetic.

But the eclipse was really cool.

Perusing the news online, I stumbled across Midlife Suicide Rises, Puzzling Researchers. Might I suggest that said researchers must be happy young people in their 20's and 30's, people who, I daresay, don't have teenagers yet? Because I, for one, am not puzzled by this phenomenon in the least. Just let one of those researchers get up morning after morning to look in a mirror that utterly betrays her and then go downstairs to face an adolescent who is only too happy to let her know what a loser she is, what with having been dumb enough to grow up and do boring things like work and pay bills and boss her kids around. Let this young chippy of a researcher do that, and then ask her if she is still puzzled. That is, if she isn't crying too hard to talk.

And, no, that above paragraph is not a cry for help. I plan to live long enough to see my children suffer at the hands of their teenagers. In fact, I smile just thinking about it.


  1. I think you are on to something with the researchers there. Military Man looks forward to the day he can quote Bill Cosby when we go visit our grown children and their little off spring....he just can't wait to say, "Having a little trouble are you son?" -and then laugh.

  2. And here everyone thinks menopause is the trigger for Prozac prescriptions. It's really the teens.

    I've got a new coping mechanism idea: nude baby pictures of each of them, posted -- no, not on the fridge! -- on the inside of your medicine cabinet door (so you can see them when reaching for the Prozac, and every time you're in the bathroom, as needed). Whenever they say something smart-alecky, instead of crying, write it in a quote balloon on a sticky-note, and post it over the respective picture.

    Two-year old Beastie, buck naked except for a New Year's party hat, holding a noisemaker and saying, "Maybe if someone taught me manners instead of shoving them down my throat, I wouldn't be so rude."

    Try it.

  3. Nah. You just told the wrong knitters, that's all. :-)

    Although I did not keep my kids up. (Totality was near midnight! Talk about suicidal...) The next one is only in 2010, and they watched the last one. Plus, it was unbelievably cold out on the deck.

  4. amy - we might just have to kick you out of the home schooling club.

    kalynne - my husband and I are loving that quote from Beastie. If you and your husband lived near us, we would definitely have to double date.

    mary alice - I think about it all the time.

  5. You will still get to use your skills one more time when your children call to ask how to get meds into their own children. And you get to be a "know it all", hang up the phone and know, you do know it all. hehe Then you wont need those skills anymore, your grandkids will call your children not you......probably.

  6. Well sure, when we middle-aged women finally lose ALL hope of EVER looking really good again, and the media keeps shoving an unceasing barrage of younger, sturdier, more fertile women at us, WHAT THE HECK DO THEY EXPECT?! And that's not counting the women whose husbands trade them in for younger, sturdier, more fertile models. YA THINK?! (Damn, you mean I can't get by on my charm and good looks anymore? No one told me this was coming!)

  7. Cripes. You hit me on about three fronts here, from realizing my best skills will no longer be needed, to missing the eclipse, to not missing the imminent adolescence that will fill our house in a few years.


  8. When Mr. Farklepants got home from work the night of the eclipse he came bursting through the door, all excited, "come on! come here! come see!" And I said, "you didn't buy a new car did you?" LOL!

  9. I truly did not want girls because I was so insanely cruel to my mother as a teenager.

    And now I have two girls.

    And I am terrified.

  10. I would have responded to your eclipse comment. I even went outside to see if it was visible here, but it was cloudy. (I love the moon, under any circumstances.)

    You made me laugh about the researcher. The results of that study are no surprise to me.

  11. This was a great post! I agree with Mary Alice, you are on to something about those researchers being surprised. They are obviously not living this life. And I assure you, you can be in your 40's with a mirror that taunts you and preschoolers who think you hang the moon...and who are scared of eclipses because there are "bears and skunks out here" and still be on that suicide watch. Although I, too, look forward to seeing my grandchildren go through the terrible 2's, 3's & 4's!

  12. had to laugh at the whole sudafed drama! if aliens wewre watching us, they would think we were torturing our children! lol and those car seats are a nightmare - I totally agree! but you're right - we spend years perfecting these skills only to have them rendered obsolete...maybe we can use them on the grandchildren?!

  13. i have done exactly the same thing with the kid and the syringe. it always reminds me of pilling the cat.

    and yes, you told the wrong knitters!

  14. My genuine excitement about the eclipse got about the same reception at moms' club book group. Meanwhile we had the telescope set up to watch it at home. Now my kids are calculating how old they'll be at the next one. Good stuff.

  15. I watched from inside my bathroom window. I looked several times, going back to bed inbetween. I thought it was cool, and if I was still homeschooling, I would've let the kids stay up.

  16. The special skills that you have learned and used over the past 16 years will not be totally wasted. Being a grandma, I draw on those skills alot. I've held grandkids down to give medicine, buckled little ones in 5-point harnesses (actually I had to learn this skill as a grandma - didn't have those things when I raised my kids) and still change poopy diapers. It's amazing that long dormant skills are still of use many years later. Guess it's like falling off a bike.

    P.S. I found you a while ago from my niece's blog "Naval Gazing".

  17. I have a ten year old. Maybe I should just go ahead and kill myself right now?

  18. I'm so jealous you saw the eclipse! I was going to keep my 4 year old up and then it was snowing and, well, apparently you could see it here around 10 which is pretty late for us. Love the syringe post, we have SO been down that path. I may have to put the Beastie quote on my fridge!! LOL

  19. Coming off seven days of Amoxicillin three times a day. WTF? What joker prescribes that?

    I need some moves for handling it solo. He wins every time. And yelling, 'you'll never get better!' probably wasn't the best idea.

  20. Oh amen, from the mom who has raised five daughters. Just remember, time wounds all heels!

    I wish I had been nicer to my folks when I was a teenager. Mom got even; she invoked the Mother's Curse on me.

    I not only had *one* just like me, I had *three*. The oldest is now a stepmother and considerably humbled. I just smile.

    I went outside in bare feet to watch and poorly photograph the eclipse. [We had lots of clouds, but it was relatively warm.] The only eclipses that I could see for any length of time had Mitsubishi stamped on them.

  21. Okay, so what do you do when you've immobilized the child and administered the syringe, but the child knows how to gargle and expel the medicine from the mouth?



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