I can do this, she said. I'm a pro, she said. We've got this, she said. And it's true. It was just a minor outpatient surgery. Some parents live with terminally ill children who need constant medical care. Some moms have kids with special needs. Some care for children with severe challenges. I salute those people. I am not one of them.
We kicked umbilical hernia repair surgery's butt. Kicked it to the curb, hard. We showed our 17-month-old's doorknob sized bellybutton who was boss. I just assumed we'd ninja kick this tonsillectomy to the same curb. Apparently, I was mistaken.
I opened the door yesterday covered in chunks of spit up string cheese and sticky saliva mixed with snot. My house was a wreck. My hair was disheveled and I wasn't wearing a lick of make up. "If the doctor tells you your kid needs a tonsillectomy, tell him NO," I said to my friend who was standing on the porch. I looked like the mother of a house full of children who also just so happened to have a brand new baby (except, without the added bonus of a chest made for nursing).
See, here's the thing. Have you ever known a crazy person? I mean, like, a certifiable, institutionalized crazy person, not someone you've decided is crazy. Because I haven't. I know a lot of people that I think probably ought to be certifiable but I can't recall that I know anyone who is bona fide bananas. But my son is behaving exactly like I expect a true nutcase to act.
Here's a partial list of things my son said to me yesterday:
I want applesauce.
I DON'T WANT THIS APPLESAUCE.
I want yogurt.
I DON'T WANT YOGURT.
Can I have a smoothie?
TAKE THIS SMOOTHIE AWAY. I DON'T WANT IT.
Cut this string off my jammies.
Can I watch Lazy Town?
NOT THIS LAZY TOWN.
Mommy, pudding please?
Cut this string off my monkey.
I DON'T WANT MY MEDICINE.
I DON'T WANT TO PUT CLOTHES ON.
Can I have my medicine?
I WANT TO GO OUTSIDE.
I DON'T HAVE TO GO POTTY!
I need to go potty.
Yes! I want macawoni and cheese!
I DO NOT WANT MACAWONI. TAKE IT AWAY.
Cut this string off my shirt.
My froat hurts.
My froat doesn't hurt.
My tummy hurts.
I DIDN'T SAY MY TUMMY HURTS.
I'M NOT TIRED!
Will you snuggle me?
Will you leave me alone?
WILL YOU CUT THIS STRING OFF MY UNDIES?
All. Day. Long.
Sometimes I wouldn't even be to the table with his food when he'd declare that he didn't want it. And I know what you're thinking...this is a kid who is ruling his mother. Believe me, this is not a child who usually gets his way. He knows he's not in control. On the other hand, I have no idea what his pain level is. I read a blog where a woman stated that it is like trying to swallow boiling water. That's how much this thing hurts. His obsession with strings has nothing to do with his tonsillectomy but it sure seems heightened and obnoxious in the face of all the whining about macaroni.
And it's exhausting.
Just when I think I'm likely to check myself into the nearest hotel, I remember the mournful noise he was making when he came out of surgery. I remember the tears flowing from his eyes as they pulled his wagon up to the doorway of his room. I remember how inconsolable he was until everyone else left and he could just snuggle into me. I remember that I'm his mom and that means I get all the good parts of Matthew's life. And that means I get to endure him asking me just one more time to cut the stupid string or stop cuddling him.
But, seriously, if the doctor tells you to have your kid's tonsils removed, maybe get a second opinion.