Friday, March 28, 2014

Getting the Brush Off

            St. Bob says men won’t read this blog post because they’re uncomfortable with the topic.  Are you kidding me?  Man up and read this, guys.  If I promise to amuse you, can you read one blog about breastfeeding?  I think you can.  I believe in you.  Here we go: 
            Zillions of mothers are right now nursing their babies.  Okay, maybe not zillions, but certainly millions.  And they’re doing just fine with it.
            They probably don’t have monkeys for children.  For some reason my babies were born with an extra comedy chromosome, and have proceeded to make a mockery out of this lovely bonding moment. 
            I’ll share just two examples, to illustrate what these children, who think they’re going to be in my will, did while nursing.  Nicole decided she only liked one side, flatly refusing the other breast.  I know what you’re thinking: So hold her like a football and trick her, and she’ll never know which side she’s on.
            Wrong.  She knew.  No amount of slight of breast could fool her, so I walked around looking like Quasimodo for six months-- except with a hump that had slipped around to my front side.  Here I was with a normal breast on one side and a cantaloupe on the other.  
            With Richie I made the mistake of using those little plastic bra inserts that look like donuts, advertised to catch the milk that leaks out.  Unfortunately they also press on the breast creating the problem in the first place.  I had taken 6-month-old Richie along with me to my eye doctor appointment, and was holding him on my lap in the waiting room. 
Where I waited and waited.  Finally, to entertain him while I read a magazine, I gave him the hairbrush from my purse.  Now remember, I have that hyper-focus problem that comes with ADD, so I was totally engrossed in my reading when I realized I could faintly hear Richie banging on something with my hairbrush. 
For just an instant I thought he might be hitting the wooden arm of the chair, and I lowered my magazine.  There, staring at me with a dozen eyes, were six other patients who were aghast at what they were watching.  Richie was hitting those stupid plastic inserts in my bra!
            Yep, here I was with a baby on my lap who was banging LOUDLY on his mother’s chest with her hairbrush.  Every expression in that room said, “What on earth is she made out of?” as they watched him hitting my plastic breasts with a hairbrush.  Clack, clack clack!  
            And of course I couldn’t leave, because I was waiting for my appointment.  So I was trapped with a baby, a brush, and six dumbfounded patients, every one of whom appeared to see just fine, which made me wonder why they were even there.
            “Gimme that,” I remember saying, snatching the hairbrush and shoving it back into my purse.  I could still feel their eyes, piercing me like lasers as I waited, red-faced, for my name to be called.  Those eyeballs could do Lasik surgery, I tell you.  One by one the nurse called in the other patients, who continued to stare as they stepped around me, as if avoiding whatever I had.
            And what I had were children who were determined to embarrass me at every opportunity.  That, my friends, is what teen years are for: Payback.
            See, Gentlemen?  You survived a post about—horrors—nursing!  Now you can check that off your bucket list.  And for heaven’s sake, subscribe in the little box on the upper left hand corner of this page!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Nurse Joni Strikes Again

            I like to think I am a wonderful nurse. 
           I am wrong. Case in point.  St. Bob comes down with a sore throat and a cold.  What do sensible people do in such a situation?  They drink plenty of liquids, get plenty of rest, and I forget the third one. Whatever.

             Bob gets home from work and I suggest we bundle up in blankets and watch TV—I’ll even pamper him and bring him treats.  “Hey,” I say, “some popcorn would be perfect!”  He agrees.  After all, this is a man who loves popcorn so much that he stops at movie theatres, talks his way in to the concession booth, buys popcorn and then leaves.

            “You know what?” I say, just as we’ve finished off the popcorn, “I think there’s some cake and ice cream in the kitchen!”  So I bring in two big slabs of cake heaped with scoops of vanilla caramel.
            By the time the third show is starting I have taken the plates back to the kitchen and noticed a bag of candy I am going to be using in one of my YouTube Mom videos.  May as well break it open for the patient, right?   So I bring it in and give him some candy for dessert.
            By bedtime he not only has a cold, but a stomach ache.  And then I realize I haven’t even made dinner—I’ve just been filling him up with junk food, grease, and sugar.  What was I thinking? People eat better than this at the circus!
            Now I feel terrible.  Instead of giving him nutritious, virus-fighting foods I have turned his illness into a party.  He is sneezing and coughing and getting worse because of me!  Only now does my brain click into gear and I offer to make him dinner.  But he’s full and doesn’t want any.  He can barely swallow the cold remedies I dash upstairs to get, all hours after the fact.
             How on earth did I raise four kids?  I guarantee I never did this to them.  But I’ll tell you, this is why middle aged women do not have children—that and the line you’ve heard that they’d put them down and forget where they left them.  Honestly, poor St. Bob, stuck with a nurse who’s losing her mind. You’ve heard of Nursing 101? Well this is more like Nursing Run-oh-Run.  Away.
Luckily, none of my books are medical texts, so you can buy them without fear of malpractice.  Although, in my defense, I will just remind you that laughter is the best medicine.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Lava My Life

            My son is in a volcano.  More specifically, he is in Hawaii in the Kilauea Volcano.

              I do not approve of this.  Mostly I do not approve of his going to Hawaii without letting his mother tag along.  But even more, I don’t think many mothers relish the idea of their children stepping inside volcanoes.
            It all started with his interest in science, which you know from the blogs I’ve written about his blowing up my kitchen, making his own firecrackers, shooting crystals out of geysers, and wanting to make a death ray out of my television.
            Seriously—is this all just one big scam perpetrated by hair dye companies, to make mothers gray and then make them need hair coloring?  Is Clairol behind all the planetariums and science museums that get kids excited about this stuff? 
            When I heard that Richie, and a bunch of other UC Davis geology majors, were seriously going to do this, I called to ask him if Kilauea is an erupting volcano.
            “Well, it depends what you mean by erupting,” he said.
            THIS IS NOT WHAT A MOTHER WANTS TO HEAR.  “That is the wrong answer,” I said.  “The right answer is no.”  Here is a picture of this kid, who could easily have lied to me so that I can sleep at night, but had to be Honest Abe, instead:
             I looked it up and one of the tourism sites said Kilauea is “The World’s Most Active Volcano.”  Marvelous.  I looked up “volcano precautions” and the very first bit of advice on one safety site was, “Stay away from active volcanoes.”  Nobody mentioned that the word “kill” is encased in this volcano’s name; I can see that for myself.
            Now, lest you think getting swallowed up by hot lava is the only problem with this trip, let me tell you that I have even more to worry about.  There are the jagged edges of cold lava that comprise the hiking area where these students will be stumbling and falling, twisting their ankles and scraping their arms.
            There are irresistible lagoons where a kid who certified in scuba will at least go snorkeling, and probably get a coral cut.  And those bleed like crazy and take forever to heal; I’ve had four of them, myself.
            There are carnivorous creatures in those same waters, starting with sharks and  barracudas,

 but including an anemone that can send you to the hospital,  moray eels that can take a jagged bite out of you, scorpion fish, Portuguese man-of-wars, jellyfish and sting rays.  Basically this is the scary teeth capital of the world.
            There are hula dancers over there.  They are shaking their hips, I just know it.
             Why couldn’t they go to Disneyland and study the Matterhorn?  That’s an interesting mountain, right?  Snow-capped in Anaheim?  A dang miracle, if you ask me.  AND it has an abominable snowman inside. 
            Next time you hear that Hawaiian song that goes, “Aloha-oy” you may rest assured that a mother probably wrote the “oy” part.
Speaking of mothers, I am The YouTube Mom, teaching you all the life skills you need to know—how to cut an onion, how to fold a fitted sheet, and so on.  If you subscribe here, you’ll learn all kinds of cool stuff.  I should have made a video about steering clear of volcanoes, but who knew?

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Get Yourself an iBob

            I used to pity the husbands of women who blog.  Generally these guys find themselves the topic of discussion on a regular basis.  But now I realize it’s their own fault-- if you don’t want to appear in a blog, stop providing so much fodder, right?
            This morning Bob showed me a new phone I could switch to for free, available in five different colors.  I asked, already knowing the answer, if it would require reading an instruction book and learning a whole new system.

            I guess we define freedom in different ways.  Bob is thinking free, as in free of monetary charge.  I am thinking, is there any limit to the money I would pay for freedom from having to learn how to work a new gizmo?
            I know the entire rest of the world sees cell phones as toys.  I know they jump in with both feet when they hear about a new app or a new trick their toy can do. 
            I cringe.  I want my pencils back. 
            I have three girlfriends who have offered to show me all the exciting features of my iPhone.  Their eyes light up at the idea.  St. Bob is the same way.   Technology entices these people and they can’t wait for the next doo-dah to come along.  They like strolling through Best Buy the way I like strolling through a bakery or a fabric store.
            The other day I had to go into an Apple store and told the woman it was the first time I had ventured in there by myself.  She high-fived me. 
            I do know how to text, take pictures, use my microphone, and—okay that’s pretty much it.  I do not play music, watch videos, look at maps, read the paper, or store my boarding pass on there.
            This morning I asked Bob what the weather forecast was.  “Why don’t you look it up on your phone?” he asked.

            “Because I have you,” I said.  “You’re my iBob.”  He is a well of other information, too—directions to anywhere, a summary of the latest breaking news, movie reviews, jokes, and can even sing whatever tune I feel like hearing.  I simply have to ask.  Hey—maybe this is where the word, thingamabob came from.
All I know is that the man puts Siri to shame.  So why should I get a new cell phone?
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