September 28, 2010

Miss Manners and the Mobility Scooter

An hour ago, Bertrand and I were leaving an appointment when an interesting interchange took place. We were almost to the parking deck when I noticed a lady coming up behind us. I held the door open for her and narrated quietly to Bertrand, "we're holding the door open for a lady." I don't think she heard me but she proceeded to ram the door and said, "I can get it myself!" I turned to her, looking her in the eye, and said, "I was just teaching him that ladies go first. It's never too early to start teaching kids manners."

I moved to get out of the way, but turned as she started laughing--almost hysterically. With a huge grin on her face she told me, "that's very nice!" To which I responded, "I am from the South. No son of mine will forget his manners!***" She laughed and smiled all the way to her car. Which had my mind spinning. What was so freaking funny?! Lots of moms teach their kids manners! Was it that he appeared too young because he was in a stroller? Was it because she thought it could be sexist?

After I finished loading Bertrand and everything into the car, and as I settled into the driver's seat, I watched her drive past us with her scooter on the back of her car. And that's when it hit me! It was probably because she was in a scooter!!! (Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that this lady was using a mobility scooter.) It was a weird realization to me that I DIDN'T NOTICE HER SCOOTER. I am 5 foot 10 inches tall, people. I obviously looked down at her and I must've seen it, but it didn't register. It didn't occur to me as a reason for which Bertrand and I should treat her differently than any other lady.

I could give you a full description of her face and what shirt she was wearing, but I didn't notice the scooter until she drove off. And, maybe that was it?! Our actions weren't motivated by pity. After her initial overreaction, what apparently made her day: we'd seen her as a lady rather than a scooter.

As I pulled out of the parking lot, I was thinking to myself that this was probably a sign that I've spent WAY too much time up at Shriners Hospital... and then mentally smacked myself! NO! This is a sign that I have finally spent just ENOUGH time! EVERYONE should see the lady, not the scooter.


***Since Bertrand was born I've been gently brain-washing him in the manners and ways of the South. I figure that living in Utah is no excuse! Beyond the non-stop use of "please" and "thank you"--I thank Bertrand for everything from eating well to making peepee and always preface everything I ask of him with please--we go that extra southern step beyond. (1) We refer to all of his nurses, therapists, teachers as "Ms/Miss": Ms. Kirsten, Ms. Meghan, Ms. Michele. It is fused to their names. (2) We make sure to use "sir" and "ma'am" all the time. (No, I don't care how old you are. If you are older than Bertrand, you WILL be sired or ma'amed!) (3) Whether we are opening doors or entering/exiting elevators, ladies ALWAYS go first. Bertrand and I do not discriminate: young or old, girlie or punk, scooter or not. (4) Last but not least, we drink real sweet tea at home. :)

September 27, 2010

Wisdom from the Rolling Stones: A Mama's Meditation

This is a file from the Wikimedia Commons.

I was just speaking with my friend Karen, whose second little boy is Bertrand's age. Bertrand is sick again today and is missing school. So, somehow our conversation turned back to when we were pregnant with our boys. I couldn't help but reminisce:
  • How I'd stricken caffeine, lunch meats, sushi, and non-organic fruits and vegetables (such as peaches and peppers) from my diet.
  • How I'd refused to take pain medication or any drugs during pregnancy and post-partum.
  • How I'd planned on breastfeeding as long as I could and wearing him as much as I could.
  • How I'd been signing with him since birth.
  • How many books I'd read on everything from general pediatrics to elimination communication.
  • How we'd chosen to run additional tests such as the first trimester screen, to rule out three common genetic conditions.
  • How we'd done "everything right".
  • How I never knew more about parenthood than I did then! ;)
There is simply no doubt in my mind that having Bertrand in my life has made me an incredibly lucky mom and a much better person. My little zen master has taught me more about patience, compassion, humility, empathy, courage, and virtue than countless books or lifetimes ever could. I have by no means mastered these lessons but I feel like I am finally walking through life with eyes that are open for the first time.

I joked with Karen that, regardless, I would gladly be the same "horrible person" I was before if that would prevent Bertrand's suffering and grant him a full and happy life. :) Thankfully, that's not something I've dwelled on as my darling Mr. Perfect has taught me to find the beauty in living each day--one day at a time.

The illusion of control is one that is very important for people and, it seems in particular, for parents to maintain. Bertrand, far from making my life harder, has made it much easier for me to go through life because I now realize the only thing I am guaranteed control of in life is my own attitude. How appropriate is it then that the Rolling Stones were on the radio, when I turned it on, singing:
You can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
But if you try sometimes well you just might find
You get what you need!

September 8, 2010

Pneumonia Scare 2.0

This morning Bertrand went in to see his pediatrician. This was the 3 month follow-up for his RSV/pneumonia/edema episode back in June. It was convenient timing since he'd already managed to pick-up a bug after only 2 days at preschool.

Honestly, we didn't go into the appointment thinking that much of Bertrand's condition--he just had a cold, right? Well, our pediatrician was a lot more concerned. From her examination, Bertrand sounded like he could have a little fluid in his lungs. Also, his breathing was labored and heart rate was elevated. She sent him in for chest x-rays.

What the radiologist found was some "stickiness" in his lungs. Bertrand's doctor is not sure if it is new (he is developing pneumonia) or if it is leftover from his RSV/pneumonia last June. He has to go back in to see her early next week. If he's not better by Monday, he gets another x-ray and he'll start oral antibiotics if it is pneumonia.

In the interim, if he starts to have labored breathing and needs oxygen again (we have to use the pulse-oximeter) we have to page her and take him in. She believes what he has right now is viral but could turn into a sinusitis or pneumonia very easily.

He was put on a stress dose of prednisone (15mg) and motrin. We have to roll Bertrand around and such while he is awake (since he is pretty sedentary) to keep stuff from settling in his lungs. Sadly, he can't go to school until he gets better.

I'm hoping the "stickiness" was leftover junk from his June hospital stay and Bertrand will be back and in learning form by Monday.