Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Those who have known me for a few years have keyed into this very important fact about me—I am a flippin’ klutz. I may not be the most accident prone person you have ever met, but I should rank in the top three. I have lost count of the concussions, x-rays, CAT scans, sprains, strains and plethora of other injuries to my person because there have been simply too many to remember. I was the girl who was in a walking cast for her first prom because she fell down a flight of stairs. I was also the girl who almost broke her wrist opening a door. Speaking of doors, have you ever opened a car door, and managed to clock yourself in the eye? I have. Twice.

As I’m in pain and unable to do much from my most recent graceless escapade, I decided that I should recount some of my most impressive ungainly feats.

I’ll start with my first concussion, which is only somewhat impressive as I was playing national league basketball with female giants from Dallas (they grow ‘em big out in Texas), who were supposedly in the 11-14 age bracket. The girl I was guarding shot, and I went in for the rebound before I remembered that my coach would chew me out for not blocking out. I backed up to block out, and somehow my feet ended up over my head. The next thing I knew, I had about five worried adults leaning over me, and the ambulance was on its way. But hey, I got the only standing ovation of my basketball career that night, even if it was as I was carried out by the paramedics.

Over the course of a few years, I banged my head on cabinets, refrigerators, car roofs, doorways, walls, and the ground without worrying too much because I learned from my first head injury that I have unnaturally strong bones. My neck and back would be sore for a few days, then I would be free to go about my business as usual. That was until the incident in the dressing room.

I was shopping for a swimsuit at the Pecanland Mall, and like every other body-conscious female, I was determined to find the most flattering one. I went all over the mall, so I don’t remember the exact store in which I executed the most monumental moment of klutziness of my life. I had what I believed was “THE ONE” in hand as I traipsed off to dressing room. I put it on, and found myself a little disappointed with the effect. I was impatiently taking off the bottom piece when I lost my balance, fell over to the side, banged my temple on the clothes hanger thingy, and lost consciousness for what I guess was a few seconds. I came to, head throbbing, dizzy and annoyed that the swimsuit responsible wasn’t even worth purchasing. Imagine my embarrassment when I had to explain what had happened to my mother, my doctor, my radiologist, my nurse and my friends when I missed the blasted pool party.

After marrying Brandon, my inner klutz went into hibernation for awhile. I thought I was safe, that maybe I had grown out of it. I was wrong. Dad had an operation awhile back at St. Francis Hospital, so Brandon and I went to visit him on a rainy day. Mom chose to walk out with us to the parking garage for some reason or other. Knowing that she liked the take the stairs when she could, I headed that way. I did not make even a full step before the condensation and the slick underside of my shoe did me in. My foot slipped out from under me, I flew halfway down the stairs, which would have been fun had I not landed on my (you guessed it) head. I managed not to succumb to the dark, painless bliss of unconsciousness, so I heard the shrill voice that shouted, “Oh my Gawd!” from several feet away. A nurse who was trying to head home couldn’t pass up the opportunity to care for one more patient. She called the EMTs despite my earnest pleas that I didn’t require medical assistance, that I have the hardest head in the universe and that I would be just fine. Anyone other than me would have sung her praises, given her a plaque, and offered to buy her dinner. I was just disgusted. And horribly embarrassed. No less than two EMTs greeted me with a wheelchair in which I was required to ride as I was wheeled back into the hospital, right into the ER. Naturally, the ER doctor stated his belief that I had a concussion, prescribed me some pain medication and recommended I take it easy for a few days. I didn’t tell him that I probably had pain medication left over from my last injury, and that I was well-aware of the recuperation procedures by now. When the hospital tried to bill me for this ER visit a few weeks later, I laughed, refused to pay it and hinted to hospital billing that they didn’t want to press the issue.

While I could recount several other injury stories, I choose to close with my most recent one. Monday evening, I had the task of folding two weeks worth of clean laundry. The towels and washcloths had formed a mountain in the laundry basket, and several strays has tumbled over the side. I bent to pick up what I had fallen to the floor. Believing that I was clear of the cabinet overhead, I stood with a good bit of force, and found myself right back down on the floor. I swore. I couldn’t help it. Pain and surprise do that to me. I stood up, dizzy and seeing black spots dancing in my line of vision. I went back to folding clothes. A few minutes later, I was horribly nauseous, and I had quite the knot forming on the crown of my head. Yesterday, I awoke with pain from the top of my head to my lower back. Today, I am barely moving. So I had to explain myself to my husband, my mother and the parents of the piano students I was supposed to teach today, who are probably all thinking as I am, “WHO gets whiplash from a CABINET??” As if my humiliation was incomplete, my husband’s response to whole ordeal was this little condescending stinger--"While we’re baby-proofing the house, I need to goofy-proof it too.”

Monday, July 6, 2009

Tummy Time Adventures

Friday before last, Micah began creeping. He did it again the next day. But the week after that, he pivoted a little on his tummy, and hasn't shown much more interest in mobility (which is kind of fine with me). It wasn't for a lack of trying though. After the doctor ordered us to give Micah more tummy time to help round out the flat spot on the back of his wee head, I put him on his tummy everyday as often as he would allow. I now invite you to witness our Friday adventure.

Here is Exhibit A. He had spat up on his other quilt, and this one was too thin to cushion his head by itself if he rolled over. I folded it, but then he couldn't find the traction he needed to actual move from point A to any point B.

Here is Exhibit B. Since he had so much trouble, I put him on the hard (but mostly clean) floor. I didn't anticipate his tummy sticking to the floor as it did. I suppose I kind of worked against him there. Daisy decided she wanted to play too. So, she offered her toy to Micah, expecting him to throw it.

Finally, Exhibit C. When he didn't throw her toy, she decided to get his attention first by barking. That didn't work. So she tried nuzzling him. That didn't work. So then she tried to get his attention as she would mine. I didn't like this too much. I liked it even less when Brandon told me that she apparently does this all the time.

All in all, Daisy and Micah have a pretty good relationship. I'll let them play more when I'm not so afraid she will hurt him by accident.

The Waiting Place

"The Waiting Place . . . for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or waiting around for a Yes or No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for the fish to bite
or waiting for wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting."

-Dr. Suess, Oh, The Places You'll Go

Like 80% or better of the world's population, I relate to several specific points in this passage. I wait for many things, but I do not presently feel any pressure to be impatient about most of what I wait for--a slightly larger house, a life-change for a family member, a successful career (whatever it may be). That could change tomorrow because I am human and by nature, not really very patient. However, there are two things I feel a bit antsy in my pantsies about--SLEEP and progress with my novel.

Sleep is of primary importance. After six months of not sleeping through even one entire night, I'm feeling a little worn down. I takes me at least five seconds to process and respond to simple questions such as "How old will your husband be this year?" and "What is your phone number?" and "What is your first name?" My feet are dragging, and I am late for everything regardless of when I get up. I just can't move with speed anymore. My lack of sleep has also made me delusional. Last Saturday, I was on my way to a birthday party in Ruston, when I decided I would find a shorter route to my destination by taking a road I had never even been on, much less driven. If I had been in my well-rested, right mind, I never would have attempted this because I have been known to get lost driving home. Anyway, I finally called for help when I realized I was over halfway to Homer, Louisiana. With the combined efforts of my husband, the On-Star emergency service (whom I accidentally called) and the On-Star navigation personnel, I found my way back to the interstate, and arrived an hour late for the birthday party. Lack of sleep is also making me mean. I'm really a kind, loving wife, but I've become snappy and short and a little bit contentious. Poor Brandon. Thankfully, my mom stayed last night to give me a reprieve from what I've begun referring to as "six-a-nights," which I imagine are almost as bad as "two-a-days" for football players. Micah wakes up to six times a night to have the pacifier put back in his mouth or to be comforted. The poor little guy is gassy and teething, and having a very hard time. I feel better today, and am looking forward to mom taking "six-a-night" duty next weekend, which leads to the next thing I'm waiting for.

I knew when I began writing my book a few weeks ago that it would be slow because I have a four-month-old son, but I wasn't yet anticipating the looming challenges of teething and general gassyness. As opposed to my baby two months ago, I now have a baby who needs lots of attention during the day and is too uncomfortable to sleep through the night. When I actually DO sit down to write, the creative part of my brain refuses to work. It just sits there, stagnant and pouting and feeling sorry for itself because it also has to get up six times a night and work hard throughout the day to come up with various ideas to get my son's mind off of his inflamed little gums. Moreover, my book is set in a real location that I will be visiting this weekend. I feel that I need to let this place speak to me, tell me its story before I can move on. I'm bringing reinforcements (Brandon and Grandma) to help with Micah so the place will have its chance to say all it needs to say. So this week, I'm in the Suessian Waiting Place with my novel, just waiting. And I am really hoping to get enough rest this week so the creative part of my brain will be alert enough to interpret all that it will hear this weekend. I'm not expecting the floodgates to magically open after this visit because when I leave, I will still have a beautiful baby boy who is my primary responsibility. However, I do believe that I will see the shape of the story I want to tell. Maybe with a little of this coming sleep I've been repeatedly promised by moms who have been doing this thing much longer than me, I will begin to witness that beautiful and illusive thing "they" call progress. In the meantime, I will enjoy the most beautiful thing in my life, the one I waited for almost five years.

Oh, the places you'll go, my little one. Just don't go there too fast.