Archive for December, 2010

tales from the derm…

Monday, December 20th, 2010

We started the first real day of Christmas break with a trip to the dermatologist this morning. YEA! Abigail has been having a couple of issues and we were due for a follow-up visit. She had some bumps on her knee removed a few weeks ago and today we were facing the removal of one on her chin.

Let me begin by telling you that Abigail does not handle shots well. It started three years ago with a flu shot…the least painful injection in the universe. Out of nowhere, Abigail wedged herself behind the exam table at the pediatrician’s office and tried to throw a chair at the nurse. My skinny little girl has a LOT of strength when someone is coming at her with a needle. I was stymied and mortified all at once. Between me and the nurse we were finally able to get the shot. Abigail’s blood pressure tanked and the nausea began. The nausea was followed by many hours of complaining, wailing, moaning and gnashing of teeth…it was a day-long ordeal.

Since then, we have had several chances to discuss ways to remain calm during doctor visits. Abigail is old enough to understand the importance of vaccinations and the like but that doesn’t mean that she is over her phobia. She has been very lucky with the invention of the flu mist. She has also reached the age where she doesn’t have to get a shot every time she goes for a check up. Nonetheless, we have worked on taking deep breaths and trying to calm her mind so she doesn’t get so worked up.

Today our practice was put to the test because bump removal requires more invasive action than a simple flu mist. To our advantage, our dermatologist also has a 4th grade daughter so she is very in tune with how Abigail thinks. She looked at the bump on Abigail’s chin and explained that it had to go. She also promised a less painful experience than the last time. Abigail was not happy about all of this but she took the news well and was using some of her new coping skills to stay in the chair and remain calm. She asked the doctor if she could see the tool she was going to use. It was a small extractor with a scalpel on one end. I was praying that Abigail wouldn’t see it. But the doctor made a deal that Abigail could see it beforehand but she couldn’t back out of having the bump removed. Abigail reluctantly agreed and it seemed like we were going to breeze through this visit. The doctor held up the tool and Abigail stared at it for a few seconds. Deep breath – all was okay. Or so I thought…

At that exact moment, Hattie, who had been quietly reading her book the whole time, looks up and announces “Boy, that sure does look SHARP!” Are you kidding me? Really? REALLY?? The doctor and I glared at Hattie like it was our job…she quickly shut her mouth and went back to her reading. Meanwhile, Abigail’s blood pressure hit rock bottom. What little color she had in her face had been replaced with a light tinge of green. The clock was ticking toward full stomach upheaval. With swift precision the doctor removed the minuscule bumps from Abigail’s chin and we began the recovery process. It took longer to get over it than the time it took to wait for and see the doctor. All of that hard work reversed in less than 2 seconds. We were so close to a perfect visit only to be sabotaged by the 7 year old.

By mid afternoon, Abigail had forgotten all about the doctors visit. She will forget until the next time she has to see a doctor. I can safely say that before the next visit we will have to practice her deep breathing just to get out of the car and into the building. I think I’ll get Hattie a babysitter….

warranty expired…

Thursday, December 9th, 2010

Yesterday while doing a little Christmas shopping, I had to make a big purchase for myself. A new mixer. My old one lasted 13 years with no complaint. I have made countless cakes, batches of bread dough, bowls of mashed potatoes, dozens of cookies, icing, whipped cream and beaten about a thousand egg whites all with nary a cross word from the mixer. Much to my dismay, the bellyaching began about 6 months ago. It started with a faint whine that got louder and louder until it sounded like I was mixing ball bearings in the bowl. I was relieved that the mixer limped through Thanksgiving pies and potatoes but when it came time to make cupcakes for Hattie’s birthday, my beloved Kitchen Aid had taken all the abuse it could stand. The only two remaining speeds were “one foot in the grave” and “beat the heck out of it”.¬†Thanks to a birthday gift from my in-laws, I set out to replace my mixer. I loved the original so much that I picked the same model in a different color. If you’re shopping for a mixer, the Kitchen Aid is worth every penny. But I digress…

While standing in the L O N G line of impatient Christmas shoppers waiting to pay I had the thought, “We sure have bought a lot of appliances in the last few years.” Which brings me to my point. When you are a newlywed staring lovingly at all of your new kitchen appliances, no one tells you to enjoy them while they last. A little pearl of wisdom left on the strand…much like many of the truths about birthing and raising children. Anyway, the day after our 10 year wedding anniversary our warranty ran out. On everything. First it was the toaster. Then the hand mixer. Then the blender. To be completely honest, the coffee maker went first but I don’t think slinging the coffee pot into the wall to its demise while trying to catch yourself after tripping over a gigantic dog counts as “appliance failure”. Just trying to be fair…

The rest of the little appliances failed on their own along with a few of their larger relatives. I, of course, enjoyed picking out replacements and upgrading as our budget would allow. But I still did not think it was fair that they all chose to quit working all within the span of a few years.

So just a little advice to all of you newly married folk: enjoy your new things while you can…and save up…inflation is a bitch…

passing the torch…

Tuesday, December 7th, 2010

A couple of years ago, my in-laws started the American Girl tradition at our house. Abigail got her doll for a birthday present. Addie quickly became a member of the family. At that time, we made it clear to Hattie and Laura that an American Girl is something you don’t get until you’re a little older.

Hattie has waited patiently for 2 years. Last week, her grandmother promised her an American Girl for her birthday. Amanda arrived today. Hattie had just endured her 7 year old check up complete with a finger prick and a shot this afternoon. She had no idea that the box she had been waiting for was in the play room. Imagine her surprise! (The shot miraculously stopped hurting the moment she saw the box!)

The furious unwrapping of little boxes was over in a flash. Typical of any 4 year old in this situation, Laura was not happy. The truth is that while the doll and all of her clothes are fabulous, none of them are hers. She knows that this is Hattie’s birthday present and that she too will someday receive an American Girl doll of her own. But that doesn’t make it better right now.

In a move that shocked me into a stupor, Hattie noticed how Laura was feeling. She went into her room and got the smaller doll that she has played with since Abigail got Addie. She gave it to Laura without blinking an eye. Laura was hesitant at first but when Hattie handed her the dresses for this little doll, Laura was sold. They have decided that Laura’s doll is the little sister of Addie and Amanda. Laura is giddy with glee. I am speechless.

This moment lasted a split second before the girls ran off to play, dolls in tow. But the selflessness lingered. In all the craziness of our life, these are the moments I live for. Those tiny unspoken acts that prove that we might be doing something right!