Category Archives: Parenting

Five Days Gone Forever

I’ve never been much on religion or fate or astrology. I’ve dabbled in all three at different points in my life and eventually abandoned them all and just lived day to day thinking that everything that happens simply happens with no rhyme or reason. Then something happened that makes me question that theory. I don’t know which of the three was in control of the situation (or maybe something else entirely) but something bigger was calling the shots to make everything fall into place perfectly. There are just too many coincidences for this to all have happened on its own.

About five months ago, I was in the middle of a horrible break-up. We had decided to go our separate ways and I was looking forward to spending some alone time to focus on my three year old son and  myself for a change. I had reconnected with a very special person from my past and we agreed that we would see one another but take things very slowly and get to know each other again after nearly  30 years.

This special man and I had seen one another three times when I collapsed on the floor out of nowhere and wouldn’t wake up. He called an ambulance and searched through my cell phone for family to call. I was taken to the hospital and placed in ICU. For days I slept and the doctors couldn’t figure out why.

While I slept my family and friends all gathered together at the hospital. Family that I hadn’t spoken to in years, friends that cared more than I was aware of and old friends from high school that I hadn’t seen in years poured in to wait together for a verdict  on my condition. There were wars and reconciliations as well as accusations and apologies and I slept through it all. I slept long enough for all these people to settle their differences and talk out their issues. They all had the opportunity to see from their own perspective that I had a lot of people who cared about me in their own way.  They were able to see the role I played in each of their lives and when I finally woke up, I was also able to see how important I was to each of them.

Eventually the doctors were able to diagnose bacterial meningitis and began to treat me accordingly. After five days, I opened my eyes. There were a lot of after effects that I had to deal with and five months later, I am still recovering. That special man never left my side and has turned out to be the man I’ve been looking for all my life. He just happens to be the man that my parents didn’t approve of when we were kids, but they were given the opportunity in those five days to get to know him and see how much he cared for me. He came home with me from the hospital and took care of me until I was able to take care of myself.

I gained so much from the whole experience. I now have a relationship with my mother and brother and because of that, I have a lot more contact with my oldest son. My family was able to talk to the people that have been closest to me over the last several years and to know that I have been responsible and thoughtful and worked hard to be a good mother to my little guy…and I had worked hard to do the right things for my oldest son as well. I also gained an appreciation for life and the little things that I never noticed before. I realized the importance of slowing down and taking time for myself and taking care of myself.

I lost a lot along the way as well. Most of which I am getting back slowly over time but some things may be gone forever. I look back now and see how far I’ve come in just five months. When I left the hospital, I had problems using KathyV2013my hands, words wouldn’t come easily, my thoughts were slow, I walked on a walker and I slept most of the days away. Now I am back at work full time, I have use of my hands and my legs and I’m back to a somewhat normal sleep pattern. My words have come back and my thought processes are still speeding up. I think I’ve regained most of my mind but it seems to work differently now. That is something I will learn to work with over time.

I also lost five days of my life that I can never get back. That is emotionally very hard to deal with. The ‘not knowing’ of what really happened and having to rely on what I’m told from each person’s point of view. I gained so much from the whole experience that in the end it doesn’t really matter what happened. It only matters that it happened and it changed my life forever.


Mommy Memories

This is the second time in my life that I’ve had the pleasure of contending with a two year old on a day to day basis. I love it but it’s tough sometimes. Every now and then I’m given a hard situation that, on hindsight, will be one of the funny memories I’ll keep close to me forever. My super awesome two year old, Gavin,  handed me one of those moments last weekend and I find myself thinking of it now with a chuckle.

Here’s a little history in the situation:

Gavin’s Dad is pretty open minded when it comes to letting him play with things that bump the borders of the gender line. He has a pink Minnie Mouse blanket just because he likes Minnie and a friend gave him a tiny baby doll that he carries around like “his baby.” Lately, it seems he’s been gravitating more toward the “girlie” things and I think it’s beginning to wear on Dad a little. So, when we changed daytime caregivers and all the toys came home from “Grandy’s” house this weekend, Dad was a little taken aback by the little dark haired barbie doll in the princess dress he found in Gavin’s bedroom. I explained that he had found it in some of Grandy’s things and started calling it “Princess P” after one of his favorite characters, “Princess Presto” from a PBS television show. It wasn’t a “doll” to him. It was a television personality.

So, Saturday morning, I went into Gavin’s room to get his day started to find him sitting in the middle of his bed. “Princess P., Mama!” flew out of his mouth and he pointed to the barbie laying naked with no arms in the middle of his bedroom floor. “Arms gone, Arms gone! What to do? What to do?” became the chant and I soon realized it would be chanted over and over again until Princess P was reunited with her arms…and her dress.

For the nearly twenty minutes that followed, this chant when on. I thought my ears would bleed. I searched absolutely everywhere for her severed arms. I asked him where they were and he just kept chanting.

“Arms gone, Arms gone! What to do? What to do?”

I looked through books and stuffed animals and toy boxes. I searched under the bed and behind the dresser.

“Arms gone, Arms gone! What to do? What to do?”

Finally I found, the left arm in the corner between the bookcase and the wall. It was obvious to me that he had ripped them off and thrown them.

“Arms gone, Arms gone! What to do? What to do?”

I moved the bookcase to look behind it, but still no right arm. I searched his room inch by inch and finally in the opposite corner of the room, under Chuck the Dump Truck, I found the right arm!

“Arms gone, Arms gone! What to do? What to do?”

I feverishly began cramming arms into tiny little sockets and tried not to pop them back off in the process of shoving her back into her princess dress.

“Arms gone, Arms gone! What to do? What to do?”

The moment the Velcro reattached on the back of her dress and just short of my skin falling off my bones, the chanting stopped. All was once again well with the world.

I took a deep breath and sat in the floor with him to have a talk about respecting our “friends” and how we shouldn’t rip their limbs off to throw to the far corners. That’s just not what friendship is all about. I can only hope the lesson he took from that day was something  more than: “Chanting the same thing over and over, makes Mommy move really fast and get things done!”

Bad Mother? What Do You Think?

First, a little background. This is a typical day in my life:

I wake up around 6:00 a.m. and spend about a half hour in the bathroom getting ready for my day. I then pack my gym bag, my purse and my 2 year old son’s backpack. I feed the dogs and then make breakfast for my son. (Scrambled eggs, toast, fresh fruit…not just cold cereal or some vitamin “pouch”) I wake him up, help him get dressed, and give him his breakfast to eat on his own. While he’s eating, I’m usually cleaning this or that and sometimes I help him a little or just talk to him. Then we comb his hair, brush his teeth and head out to preschool. I work 8 hours each day, 5 days each week. My lunch hour is spent at the gym.

When I pick my son up from preschool after working all day, I spend time with him… in his room doing puzzles, reading books, playing in the yard…. while his Dad makes dinner. I spend an hour every night doing a bedtime routine with him and just before he falls asleep, I tuck him into bed. When he is down for the night, I’m up very late doing laundry, cleaning dinner dishes and preparing fresh fruits and vegetables for him to have the next day at preschool. Then a shower, a little internet time and off to bed usually somewhere between midnight and 1:00 a.m.

I’ve been informed that I am a bad mother because:

  1. It is my opinion that giving my son a “vitamin pouch” (filled with preservatives) to suck on in the backseat of my car instead of feeding him real meals with fresh fruits and vegetables, is NOT okay.
  2. I help him get dressed.
  3. I don’t let him run wild in the grocery store.
  4. I spend quality time with him in the rocking chair before bed.
  5. I put my son before myself, and don’t take enough time for myself to just be an adult.
  6. I don’t sleep enough and I’m likely to have an accident while driving my son to preschool.
  7. I don’t mind staying up a little later at night or get up a little earlier in the morning to make sure my son has what he needs to be healthy.

If that’s a bad mother, I’m guilty as charged. I don’t care what these people do with their own children and I didn’t attack the things they do. I just voiced an opinion about their precious “vitamin pouch” and they unleashed the wrath of hell on me. My opinion was no longer than a two sentences and they managed to touch on all 7 of the points above in their paragraphs and paragraphs of stretching to drag a complete stranger down.

I guess an opinion is okay as long as it fits in with the opinions of the majority of readers. What was I thinking?

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