Here I sit in my favorite (*gag*) waiting room, shut out of NICU once again for a surgery, bored, but grateful it’s not for Elijah. Two TVs are blaring sports and trash TV. Really, I couldn’t be less interested that you don’t know who the father is. Might as well use this time to write an update on my new strange life.
I just signed consent for a new chemo treatment (which apparently we’re not going to do after all), and am contemplating lunch. I had a very pleasant day yesterday. All the staff are nice, but I really clicked with this particular nurse. We shared our obsessions with new pens and paper, containers, and high-fat candy bars. I lamented about my milk supply. She meticulously documented the day. While mixing one of Elijah’s feedings, she inadvertently dribbled some milk out of a syringe. “No worries, I have plenty,” I playfully jabbed. “Oh, snap!” she replied with a wince. Good times. She was the first nurse we interacted with when Elijah was transferred to Egleston, and she really helped put our minds at ease and instill confidence in us about his care. She’s the only one we’ve had who pulls up a chair and leans in and ask questions when a doctor comes in to consult with us. Consequently, she’s often there late to finish her charting, but we really appreciate her attentiveness and skill, in addition to her fun personality.
The boys at home seem to be settling into the abnormal as the new normal. Every evening, when we come home from our respective “jobs” – Brian from work & me from the hospital, the older two are sitting on the steps by the door, waiting to say “surprise!” or are dashing through the entryway, happily cheering, “Mommy! Daddy!” Grandma Cummings has one of the generously-donated pans of food heated up in the oven and tells us all about their day’s adventures. She is not alone in her interest to get Isaac potty trained. That boy’s sport is the defecathalon. Trying to gauge his interest, I asked Isaac the other night if he’d prefer to poop in the potty or in his diaper. Ian chimed in with, “Igick wants to poop on Daddy. Daddy’s a potty.” I learn something new every day.
Grandma was particularly impressed yesterday when Ian used Lincoln Logs to add head lights to his monster truck. He used a long one across the doors as a cross beam and placed short logs on each end as lights. He did a demo for us when we got home. It actually was quite cool. Then he lined up some Hotwheels and drove over them. Later on, he rigged one of his Jamestown settler’s cannons under the hood so his truck could blow smoke. After we crawl in bed at night and turn off the lights, Isaac tells us he’s afraid of monster trucks. Ian corrects him that monster trucks are not scary; they’re nice. And they like to be petted.
Ian’s 3-year-old imagination grows more vivid every day. One time, after accidentally leaving the door cracked open, we caught Ian coming in from the garage. Brian asked him if he’d gone into the garage by himself. “Yes.” “What did you do in the garage?” “I did cartwheels in the garage. And I hurt myself.” Most days, when we ask him what he did that day, he replies that he “played at Miss Emily and Luke’s house” or “played with Collin and Jayla”. We know he can’t reach the gas pedal on the car yet, so he’s full of wishful thinking.
Apparently, even 22-month-old Isaac can get his fill of Ian’s embellishments. Ian was trying to tell us last night about how sad he had been. He said, “I was sad. Very very very very very…very very…” and after the umpteenth “very”, Isaac curtly interrupted with, “very sad.”
Trying to add normalcy where we can, we took the boys to church last weekend. That probably wouldn’t be their first choice of normalizing activities. OK, I’ll drop the baloney – it was for us. The service was infused with the sweet songs of several children’s choirs. I thought that would spark Ian’s interest, so I stood him on my knees and enthusiastically whispered, “Look! The children are singing!” Always the diplomat, Ian bellowed, “The children are hurting my ears!” Sometimes, Ian is a little more clever with his words. The other day, Ian held out a toy he was done with and said, “Hold this, Dad.” “Please,” Brian suggested. “Yes you may!” Ian cheerfully replied. Foiled, Brian took the toy.