Love, Your Institutionalized Mother

Dear Maya & Devika,

Though I am not yet in a straight jacket, dictating this blog entry or typing with my toes.. nor am I creating this entry from the depths of a rehab facility.. I look at these future possible situations with a feeling of resignation and possibly a little anticipation.  
A nice, clean-white!, cozy room with upholstered walls.. and silence?  Hmm.. sounds quite spa-like to me at the moment!

If you girls are ever wondering - hm, what happened to mom?  If you are ever looking at pictures of mama prior to raising children and think, 'wow - mom looked so nice!  Clean clothes with no wrinkles (btw I was once a wrinke-phobe).. perfectly coiffed hair.. a relaxed smile on her face..' - well, today is one of those days that made the 'me-of-the-past' recede even further into the cobwebby-recesses of my memory.

Let's just take a little walk through our day together, and remember these special moments, shall we? :

12:00 am:  I fall asleep after being very worried about my brother, who is in a Chicago hospital with a major infection in his surgical incision area.  HIs jaw was reconstructed 2 wks ago (that's a long story - totally bizarre disease he has which has only ~138 known cases worldwide - most of them in Asia.  Caused a cancer-like issue that ate away at his jaw.  Had to be replaced w/a metal jaw and now reconstructed using bone from his hip.  Owch.).

12:30 am:  Maya appears at my bedside, ~2" from my face and frightens me awake.  I walk her back upstairs to her bed.

3:45 am:  Maya appears at my bedside, ~2" from my face and frightens me awake.  I walk her back upstairs to her bed.

5:30 am:  Maya appears at my bedside, ~2" from my face and frightens me awake.  I walk her back upstairs to her bed.

6:10 am:  My alarm sadly awakens me from the partial sleep I had fallen back into.

8:40 am:  Maya and I are dropping Devika at her first day of preschool.  We are standing outside in a crowd of moms, dads, and grandparents (most kids seem to have extended families present plus video and still cameras to immortalize this moment.  No camera in MY hand.. for I know what is coming!), waiting for the preschool teachers to open the doors, have us sign the kids in, and then lead them from us into the classroom.

8:41 am:   Devika yells, "Mommy!  I TOOTED!!"
8:41:10 am:   Devika yells, "I TOOTED!  I TOOTED!!"
8:41:20 am:   Devika yells, "Mommy!  I talking to you!  I TOOTED!!  I TOOTED!!" 

8:45 am:  Teachers open the door and Devi realizes she now has to part from me.  She proceeds to melt down completely.  A look of terror appears on her face - she begins screaming and crying and running for me.  I pick her up and hand her to one of the teachers, trying to avoid the torrent of kicks and clawing of hands at my clothing.  "Bye-bye Devika!  You will have a fun day at school!  I love you!"  
8:45:10:  I maneuver myself and Maya thru the crowd of staring parents/grandparent/wide-eyed children.. smiling slightly and looking nonchalant.   Just wait, I think, for this to happen EVERY morning for lord-knows-how-many-months.  

9:30:  Maya and I are in Target, picking up a new booster carseat for her (the airline lost HALF of her booster seat in-transit a couple weeks ago).  We stop in the restroom.  I go into the stall and Maya asks to remain outside the door.  
Maya:  'are you ok in there honey?'   Me:  'I'm fine, thank you'
Maya then launches into one of her imagination games (as always.. and I do mean always).  Not sure what today's scenerio was exactly, but she was talking to an imaginery person and saying, 
"She isn't here yet, she is practicing her pole-dancing"
I note that there is one other woman in a stall.  All is silent other than Maya's non-stop chatter to her imaginery friend.  "She will be here soon, she WANTS to be here.. but she is pole-dancing.  She has to work on her pole-dancing."
She continues to say 'pole-dancing' at least 10x before I manage to flush and get out the stall door.  I ask her what she is talking about.. and just then the other occupied stall door opens and .. it is the mom of a girl that Maya went to school with last year.  
But of course it is, right?

3:30 pm:  Devika has an appmt at the pediatrician to have her left ear flushed.  She failed a hearing test in that ear a few weeks ago.  Turned out that it did have a good amt of wax build-up, which was covering the entire eardrum.  She did NOT like the flushing.  She might only weigh 20 lbs (actually 20.5 as of today).. but WOW.  She is strong!!  Small but mighty!!  She freaked out completely.  I seriously had to almost lay on top of her in order to hold her legs, arms, and head down.  She was kicking and twisting, etc.  And SCREAMING.  'I SCARED!!' and then just blood-curdling screams.  Like we were pulling out her fingernails or something!  It was hoooorrible.  
I understand that she did not quite understand what was happening, and it WAS scary for her.  I felt so bad!  Nothing I said or did would help her.  And it seemed to take forever for the nurse to flush it!  Meanwhile, Devi - the nurse- and I were all soaked in the peroxide/water mixture.  Lovely.
I would imagine that any child in that office was completely terrorized and traumatized by her today!  Not to mention Maya.  Poor thing was so upset by how upset Devika became, that she was bawling her head off.  I had to ask the nurse to let her sit outside the door with some books.  It helped only a little.  :(

So my dear little daughters.. much as I love you, you do cause me extra trips to the hair stylist to cover my ever-growing amount of gray hair.  You have caused me to give up my ironing and become one with my wrinkle-y clothes.  You have led to increased revenue at the local wine shoppe, which must be nice for them with the current economic conditions.

If you are bothered by the fact that someday you are forced to visit me inside an institution.. please remember why I am there, and know that I am probably enjoying myself.  

Much Love,  Mommy 

1 comment:

Julie & Patrick said...

You too! We had one of those days yesterday too. I must say it is a little reassuring to hear that someone else suffers trying thank you! Yesterday, our Devi stared at a very manly looking woman in line at a store, pointed and loudly asked "momma, is it a boy or a girl?" When I whispered, "Woman", Devi decided to debate the issue. "Its a boy, momma, a boy!"

Sorry about the ear flushing. That is never fun.
Gotta spare big floppy hat and glasses?

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