Friday, January 31, 2014

Potato, Potato, Mychina, Vagina—Let’s Call The Whole Thing Private

Many parents have kids that love to be naked.  We are not those parents nor do we have those children.  We have become even less those people after the pinworms incident of February AND March 2013.  If you have to ask what pinworms are and/or how they are spread then you should just take what I say at face value (and not Google it) that it forever changed naked time in our house, forever.  A common phrase after bath time in our house is, “DO NOT SIT ON THE COUCH WITHOUT UNDERWEAR!”  Last night we had a couple new ones that made me laugh and wonder what if someone could hear the conversations in our house especially post-bath time.  My son SH1 is laying on his back in the 2 inches of water slowly draining out of the tub (for why it drains slowly see my previous post about pooping in the tub) and my daughter SH2 peers back into the tub to catch my son singing and ‘flexing’ to which she singsongs, “I see someone’s wiener wiggling.”  This then dissolved into giggles on both sides of the bathtub.  Cut to 30 seconds later when I hear my husband speak to the same SH2, “Stop playing with your vagina and put your pull-up on.” 
Popsicles in the tub!
I had another mom physician who I respect very much tell me several years ago, before I had even thought about calling privates anything at all, that it is okay to not call private parts by their proper name because there is little worse than having your daughter tell everyone on the subway that grandma has a vagina which her daughter did.  I took this to heart and we called them ‘privates’ for the longest time until there was concern raised by my children regarding the differences in the parts and needing further name clarification. 

My mom recently retired from being an elementary school teacher for many years and had a student (whom she loved very much) whose name was ‘Mychina’.  I can only suppose her parents decided that she was precious like china and she was theirs and then her name basically wrote itself.  I felt similarly about girl private parts that they are precious and to be handled carefully by very few people and thus started calling girl privates ‘Mychina’ and as luck would have it, it also rhymes with vagina—poor Mychina I can see years of teasing in her future.  As with all nicknames that don’t make sense to the people who didn’t invent them, this was later shortened to ‘China’.  I thought nothing of it until my husband, playing fly on the wall, thoughtfully said, “We should not call it China anymore, she is going to go out and start telling people about her China while pointing to her privates and we are going to look like a-holes.”  Ugh.  Oh God, now we are racists.  He is 100% right of course.  Vagina it is.

I do have a point.  These fly on the wall moments are of value.  This week we had a lot of discussion with the residents (doctors in training) at my hospital about ‘situational awareness’ and when to take a step back, rethink, and re-look at the situation because sometimes we are so wrapped up in trying to keep a few drops of water actually in the tub or getting a patient the pain medication that she wants that we don’t see our actions for what they really are and who they could hurt.  Maybe we are not teaching our children good habits or kind words or doctors are not listening to the other members of the team trying to help them and we miss an opportunity to change the trajectory before something bad happens.

To date, I don’t think SH2 has called her vagina ‘China’ to the general population and I pray the nickname has slipped from her memory.  I hope we have nipped that in the bud, but speaking of nips and breast buds I wonder who the term ‘chee chees’ (aka: nipples) is going to offend.

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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Please help me Captain America! I am out of deodorant.

In my Christmas stocking this year was a stick of deodorant.  I was surprised.  I had, until this point, felt like deodorant was a very personal purchase and assumed the world felt the same.  Sure I would borrow a swipe in a pinch, but I can’t just use any anti-sweat smell stick.  I prefer Fiji rain to baby powder scent and anti-antiperspirant to perspiration.  I knew I would never use it.

I am a creature of habit.  I use the same hair, face, and body products for years.  My sister, not someone weighed down by ritual, laughs at my routines for applying face lotion and hair volumizing.  She does admit my skin is soft and youthful and my hair is bouncy and full, but is not interested in the 10 years of anecdotal evidence I have for getting it there.  She puts all kinds of fabulous care products in our Amazon cart after some stranger on a plane tells her it saved her life.  “I used to look like a wet dishrag and this fancy $75 an ounce lotion helped me book Cover girl photo shoots.”  I am not buying it. 

I feel like on some level my routines and rituals are getting the best of me.  I explain coin denominations to my exhausted five year old SH1 to hear my sister yell from the other room, “Yelling it louder and louder at him is not helping him get what you are saying!”   Change tactics, breath deep, I need a minute, new strategy, recognize his frustration and fatigue, break it down better—these thoughts tumble like a hamster wheel in my head. 

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Pooping On Purpose

I will start at the end.  Sunday night bath time turned sour quickly when SH3 pooped in the tub.

It was a great weekend.  I had done a super fun "Color Run" with my sister in law on Saturday morning, had a backyard picnic with the kids afterwards and even got a nap. 

My best friend checked in with me via text to tell me how she had been having a much more difficult weekend.  Kids were sick and a lot of sleep lost by all.  I told her about my new blog adventure and her response surprised me after she read my most recent post (see "bright eyed and bushy tailed" here).
She took my words and turned it around to less concern about her lack of sleep and more about how crummy her kids felt and that they were not purposefully torturing her.  She read me for better than I really am.
Those words hung heavily with me all weekend.  They are not doing this on purpose, they want to be kids.  They want to squirm, spit, and yell in the car to insanity-inducing decibels.  I played the "Call Me Maybe" song for my SH1 and he yelled for me to turn it up and proceeded to sing the chorus at the top of his lungs.  "So here's my number, call me maybe!  Mom can we play this song at my birthday?"  It is that simple.  Hearing a song that you love or one encouraging word from a friend to turn things around.  

SH3 pooped in the tub.  One week ago this would have ruined my night.  I would have stressed about the germs non-stop, cursing the baby while scrubbing the tub with knuckle bleeding vigor.  Tonight?  I laughed.  I ran to pull poop covered kids from the murky depths.  I retrieved the bleach and a bucket.  My husband donned the gloves and went to work.  It was barely a hiccup and an event that will be forgotten tomorrow.  

SH3 pooped in the tub and it was most certainly NOT on purpose to torture me; she had to poop.

Friday, January 24, 2014

High five! I am bright eyed and bushy tailed

So my husband and I are detoxing from caffeinated beverages, alcohol, sugar, and processed foods for 10 days...and then my girls, SH2 (small human 2 is 3 years old) and SH3 (small human 3 is 18 months old) picked up colds.  Despite this, we remained prayerfully resolute in our goals. 

I am 100% certain my kids high-five in the bathroom when I am not looking to hand off tasks to each other.  My husband and I envision their conversations go something like this:
SH1: "OK so I have been eating for like three weeks now, it is my turn to starve on three green beans and a piece of cheese a day, I will just stuff myself at school when they can't see me eat."  
SH2: "Sounds good, I will now start drinking all my milk and polish off tons of fruit and beef so much so that they won't even recognize me as their child".  

I have a feeling this was the conversation last night between SH2 and SH3...
SH3:  "I feel a tickle in my throat, I plan to cough non-stop from right before mom and dad are done with their movie at like 10:00pm until 1:00am.  I will ignore all black voodoo magic bull-crap that she tries on me in attempts to stop my cough, but at 1:30am they are yours!"
SH2:  "Okay sounds great, I know it makes her crazy when I complain of ear pain in the one ear that doesn't have a tube anymore, so I will wake up crying with that every 20 minutes or so until 2:30am.  Okay?  I have to get some sleep after all. High five?" 

Thursday, January 23, 2014


How do they always know?

A kind and precious patient comes into the hospital.  He is crying with me on his admission terrified something bad is going to happen.  He is not crying that annoying, "Whoa is me, I am so miserable in my life right now" type of crying that I am trying not to be numb too.  It is the sincere fearful crying that makes you take a step back and rethink.  He reassures me that he trusts all the staff but he is just so scared something bad is going to happen.  Why is he reassuring me?  He is so sweet.

He was diagnosed with several bad things but we are treating them.  He is feeling better.  This is the first time he didn't cry, he is so happy and optimistic.

He walked around with physical therapy, he is doing so well.

He coded and died. 

Damn it.  

How did he know?  I should have prayed with him.  Don't get me wrong, I silently prayed for him to have peace as I walked out of the room each time I met with him and he cried.  I should have prayed with him. 

Damn it.  DAMN IT.

I left the house upset today because I think all of my kids are getting a cold.  The baby, SH3 (small human 3), coughed a few times last night and that is my anxiety sleeplessness trigger.  I am awake for hours waiting for SH2 to start coughing. 

I want to leave work and go home and wrap them all up in my arms, smell their hair, wipe their boogery noses and thank God that today I have no such premonitions.
Instead I will pray right now where I sit for my kids, his loved ones, and my family.  I will finish my work.  I will thank God it is just premonition-free boogery noses.

Is that an angel? Nope, it is a kindergarten teacher.

My son's kindergarten teacher is amazing.  I am worried because we are only in kindergarten and the bar has been set very high.  Too high?  Perhaps.  Meh who cares, we love her, all of us.  I have given my husband permission that he can marry her if I die, she is a suitable replacement caretaker for my precious angels.  It is, of course, going to require that he breaks up her own relationship and be willing to live more frugally, teacher salary and all.  He reports that he is willing to do this but just for her. 
My son's, SH1's (small human 1), kindergarten teacher sends us emails sometimes during the day.  My son is a charmer and as a charmer who loves his teacher he often says charming things to her which she then re-tells to us. 
I share with you the exchange right before Christmas break.  
**Names have been changed to protect the innocent.

SH1: "Miss Awesome Teacher, is that moonshine?"
Ms. Awesome Teacher: "Nah, just water with lemon. What is moonshine?"
SH1: "My dad watches moonshine shows so that's all I ever think about.  Plus that kinda looks like it."

Asthma-Shmasthma, it is all voodoo magic anyway

I recently had the asthma/allergy specialist tell me, "We can stop calling it reactive airway disease at this point, your daughter (3 years old) has asthma".  Why did this hit me like a ton of bricks?  I am a physician; I know how it is diagnosed and what the symptoms are, I take care of people every single day that have asthma.  



Had they failed me?

My 3 year old, SH2 (small human 2), has asthma.  Whew!  There I said it.  I don't blame anyone or anything for her asthma, well except the winter where she had RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) with bronchiolitis three times and my husband who also had childhood asthma.  I vaccinate my kids on schedule, flu shots and all, and I don't blame her vaccinations for a common hereditary condition.  I don't blame myself for giving her the demon medication (*sarcasm*) acetaminophen (you may know it as Tylenol) as a baby.  Placing blame on someone or something else does not help her get better or get me more sleep on those white-knuckle nights I hear her cough and wheeze all.night.long.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

New beginnings

As I sit down to write this blog post, my inaugural post, I cannot help but feel weighed down by the fact that I have an article I am supposed to have written the outline for and resident evaluations piling up.  

Is this more important?


But here I still sit.  A number of people have told me, "You should write a blog."  I have a feeling that these people have told lots of people this same thing hoping that eventually one day it would stick and when that one person goes on to write a blog that is rich and famous then they can sigh and say, "I was their inspiration."  Okay okay so that is a bit negative, but that is how I feel getting this started...

A bit about me.  I have three small humans, I work full time as a physician, I am married to a Godly man whose love language is very different from mine and I love to make people laugh.  Perhaps it is a bit more selfish than that, I love it when people laugh at my jokes/quips/anecdotes.  You get the point.  I feel like this is a way to say what I want to say without necessarily hearing the accolades of laughter but at the same time an opportunity to get a few things off my chest.

I have written other blog posts that I never published, I guess then they would just be called 'essays I never showed anyone'.  I really do love to write, but am terribly conscientious about it looking for affirmation in all my writings before I post for general readership.  This first post is on the heels of our annual Christmas letter, a few extra, "you really should write a blog"s have come from our most recent 2013 installment.  Our letter is a summary of our year in review highlighting the treacherously funny job of being parents to three small humans and our readership was up to 150 people this year.  My husband and I write it together, by 'together' I mean that I write the first flowery (aka: wordy) version, he slashes it apart and adds a few things I forgot, and I then flower it back up just a little.  No one else in the world may ever read this and if that is the case then so be it.

In reality, I am writing this for me.

Eyes closed and breath held.!