Not Boring, Always Weird

“Mom!” Abby yelled, indignantly.  “Ian called me weird!”

“Yes, Abby.  You’re weird,” I replied.  “Ian’s weird.  I’m weird.  We’re all weird in this family.  We only let the weirdos in, because normal people are boring.  Sorry.  It’s something of a family curse. You see, once upon a time, approximately forty years ago, your Papa vowed to your Nana that she’d never be bored.  From that point on, we were doomed.  Our special contribution to the No Boredom Curse is being a family of weirdos.  You’re welcome.”

Some kids have to find out they’re adopted.  Adoption’s old news in our house.  Instead, we have to break it to them that they’re weird.  (Oh, and we had to break it to our twins that they’re not adopted… that was a sad day for them.  Who can blame ’em?)

Today was a Weird, Not Boring day.

Not Boring

I got to visit the hospital.  As a patient.  Oh, woe is me.

I share this for two reasons.

Reason #1

Attention and sympathy.  Duh.

Reason #2

I realized that I needed to be a good friend to myself, and I thought you other moms out there might need a friendly reminder to do the same.

It’ll come as a complete surprise to you (because I suffer in silence and haven’t already mentioned this in, oh, the last 4 blog posts) that I’m sick.

Like, deathbed sick.

Like, I’ve never missed this much work ever sick.

Like, my husband is getting sweet, sweet revenge for all the times I’ve said, “Well, when I’m sick I still manage to parent.”  (Yeah, I probably had it coming.)

Got that?  I’m sick.

It’s respiratory.  I was thinking it’s that kind where you wait 2 weeks because it’ll go away all by itself and paying money to have a doctor say “yep, you’re sick” seems financially irresponsible.

In the meantime, I made 2 of my kids see the doctor.  I made Greg see the doctor because I told him I didn’t want to wake up next to his cold, dead body, and if I had to spend one more night listening to the wheezing, I was going to drive myself insane with worry.  I made my friend Leanne see the doctor because she was coughing for days and eventually you have to acknowledge that you’re just not getting better.

Greg told me to see the doctor.  Leanne told me to see the doctor.  Other friends told me to see a doctor.  I tried to see a doctor on Thursday, but my plans got waylaid when I took one of my kids instead.  I made a camp nurse listen to my lungs for free… she said I had “diminished breathing capacity” and told me to see a doctor.

I’m stubborn.

But then I couldn’t breathe, and I kind of freaked myself out.

I still considered not getting medical help, but I then realized that I’m not a very good friend to me some of the time.  That’s gotta change.  So off I went to the hospital for treatment, medication, and the sincere hope that the incessant posts about illness can end.

There’s nothing better than a personal life-lesson to make me want to preach to others, so I say to you:

Be a good friend to yourself.  Talk to yourself and treat yourself the way you’d want a friend to do.  Friend up.  All the cool kids are doing it.

That’s the Not Boring part of my day.  Here’s the…

Weird

Try this on for weird.

My children love visiting the dentist and the doctor.

Love.

If one of my twins gets to go to the doctor without the other, there is deep and abiding angst.  “But I want to go to the doctor!  I never get to go to the doctor!” (Actually, you were there three days ago with a weird body rash, but whatever, kid.)

Today, I took 4 kids to the dentist.  I would’ve taken 5, except I double-booked my oldest and she was out of town.  Oops.

My 4-year-olds were counting sleeps ’til they got to go to the dentist.  They were SO excited that the big day finally arrived.

The best part of living close to family is when they serendipitously show up to help.  The only thing better than a visit to the dentist is a visit to the dentist when Grandpa stops by.

Clearly, these are two boys who don’t like each other very much.  I wish my kids’ grandparents would invest in having meaningful relationships with them.

The only thing better than a visit to the dentist when Grandpa stops by is when he also reads books.

Miss Aden bravely offered to go first to show the boys how it’s done.

That’s my girl.

Cai was next.  He was very clear that he was next because he was the most brave.

“Courage is not the absence of fear.  It is the triumph over it.”  Oh, Cai Cai, my courageous boy.

Cael was equally clear that it wasn’t his lack of bravery that made him willing to have Cai go first…

…it’s just that he thought that Grandpa might want to finish reading him that book.  So thoughtful.

Eventually, Cael made his way to the chair.

As confidently as Cai.

Ian perfected his simultaneous gaming/dentistry technique.

For my kid with the sensitive gag reflex (read: voluminous vomiting at the dentist), I was thrilled with this new skill.  Yet another surprise in parenting: filled with pride at my son’s love of video games.  Who knew?

While my kids were troopers, I must say that the credit for their stellar experience goes to the staff and dentist at Dr. Brecke’s office.  Gosh, you just can’t underestimate the value of good peeps.  They are unfailingly kind and encouraging, and of course, it doesn’t hurt that they have toys

and prizes.

My kids’ liking-the-dentist weirdness is firmly in tact.

And how does the mom do it?  Hospital then dentist’s office?

Caffeine and drugs.

The secret of my success.  Caffeine and drugs.

Here’s hoping to dial that back to just caffeine in the very near future.

Keep it weird.  Keep it boring.

Beth

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ABOUT BETH WOOLSEY I'm a writer. And a mess. And mouthy, brave, and strong. I believe we all belong to each other. I believe in the long way 'round. And I believe, always, in grace in the grime and wonder in the wild of a life lived off course from what was, once, a perfectly good plan.
19 comments
  1. I love the “friend up” 😉 Totally cracked me up. Now, my hubby didn’t get the humor in it, but I laughed for quite awhile. BTW my kiddo’s love the dentist to. My 3yo dd (2 at the time) let them do a full cleaning and exam on her – even the floss!!! I guess she had to be like her big sister and brother, who love the dentist. I thought I was the only mom who had kids asking, “Mom is it time to see the dentist yet?” “No, dear you just went last week.” LOL!!!!

    1. Ha! Sometimes, I think I should send out a blanket apology to husbands of women who read the blog… I may be making their lives more difficult. 🙂

      Love the story of your daughter… too cute!

      Beth

      1. Ah yes, those husbands… Though my husband does feel he gets a lot out of it too! 🙂 Especially with watching Demolition Man and stuff like that!

  2. Aww, poor Bethie! Thank you for being a good friend to yourself and seeing the doctor! Feel better soon!!

    Love the weird. I’m totally gonna use that one next time. And love the dentist too – esp. the simultaneous gaming. That’s a multitasking skill that we can all strive for.

    1. Thanks, Kristen!

  3. Hope you’re feeling better soon. My family is weird, too. Except for the Doctor/Dentist thing-there we are completely normal. As a matter of fact, it used to take several big adults to hold down my youngest daughter just for a throat culture. Good times.

    1. Thanks, Cathie!

      Your daughter’s story reminds me of being a kid in the hospital and 3 nurses laying on me to give me a shot. Your daughter and I should hang out sometime… sounds like we’re peas in a pod. 😉

      Beth

  4. ps: how’re you feeling? The combination of drugs&caffeine sure sounds powerful… Is it? I sure hope so!
    pps: I suppose your dentist doesn’t have a European office, does he? 😉
    ppps: wanna hear something funny? Sure you do! The girl you see peeping over the coffee cup looks just like a very famous Dutch actress, Katja Schuurman! Of course you can only see her eyes and curls and part of her nose, but still the resemblance is striking! (seriously, you should totally google her and see for yourself)

  5. Yeah Beth, tell us about the stuff in your teeth! All of us Dutch peeps (well, it might just be me…) would really like the down low on that one! 😉

    1. ps: so glad there’s such weirdness in the world! I’m loving it! (wow, now I REALLY want a McChicken sandwich… 😉 )

    2. Sigh.

      For you, Carina, I’ll spill. 🙂

      Of course I made my children all brush their teeth before going to the dentist. Poor little dears, so confused about brushing their teeth in the morning since we usually do it at night. There’s a confession for ya… not brushing teeth twice/day per the recommendation.

      Ooooh! I just thought of a way to make myself the Mommy Martyr. Perfect! Here goes… so I was SO busy at the hospital getting misdiagnosed with bronchitis instead of my raging case of pneumonia (there’s a solid martyr start for you) and then getting barely any sleep what with all the coughing, lack of breathing and time spent at the hospital, that I had no time for my own breakfast prior to the kids’ trip to the dentist. I did manage to make it to the Coffee Cottage, directly across the street from the dentist’s office (praise be to God for coffee in close proximity!) for my morning brew (no time to make some at home), and I found a double dark chocolate fudge Zone bar smashed in the bottom of my purse (thankfully still fully enclosed in its original packaging). The Zone bar was my hasty breakfast at the dentist’s office… and the culprit for the black gunk Cael pointed out to the entire lobby of folks at the office. I suppose my teeth-staining coffee didn’t fully wash it all down.

      So there you have it. Zone bars being my main sustenance, I probably have some stuck in my teeth right now! 🙂

      Beth

      1. Zone bars sound good 🙂 Mental note: get me some this summer, yay!
        ps: over here brushing twice a day is the goal, but hey you can’t always score, right? Right! (and fortunately I manage to score at soooo many other things, ha! 😉 )

      2. ps thanks for spilling! I love it when you do 🙂

  6. Two reasons why I love this post:

    1. Your father-in-law is one of my family’s most favoritest persons in.the.world. It’s true. And not just my immediate family, but my extended family as well. He is just the best. Ever.

    2. I started seeing Dr. Brecke this last year and I LOVE him! He and his entire office staff are just FABULOUS. My husband sees a different dentist and he and I have an ongoing battle called “My Dentist Is Better Than Your Dentist.” I’m winning.

    1. Miriam, he’s my most favoritest person in the world, too! What a coincidence. Beth, I love these pictures! Dave wants to know why you left out the part about the stuff in YOUR teeth, that Cael pointed out.

      1. Whoops! I’m not sure how I forgot that tiny, little detail! 😉

        Beth

    2. Thanks, Miriam! We’ll keep him!

      Tell your husband that you now have unequivocal proof that Dr. Brecke is the best dentist because everything on this internet is true. 🙂 Congrats on winning.

      Beth

  7. No wonder I fit in your your family so well… I am also extremely weird (as you already know). I love going to the dentist! I have loved it since I was a kid. I even almost fell asleep while getting a root canal! 🙂

    1. I was watching my children laying back, relaxing in the dentist’s chair and thinking bitterly “they don’t even appreciate the rest they’re getting.” I’m such a great mom, but you already knew that.

      Beth

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