Every mom has her own style. Some moms are the kind that bring adorably-decorated baked goods to their kid’s school in coordinated Tupperware (that they labeled with a cute little sticker with their name on it that they probably ordered online from a website run by moms just like them). I am not that mom.
Other moms have a carefree style of mommying. You know, they sort of let their kids do their own thing, be their own person, etc. They may or may not worry about things like multi-vitamins, clothes that match and developmentally appropriate toys. I am not that kind of mom either. Hell to the no. Although I occasionally daydream of what that must be like.
So what kind of mom am I?
I’m the kind that overreacts.
You see, I worry about all manner of things like multi-vitamins and developmentally appropriate toys. I painstakingly tracked all of my children’s milestones, progress on the growth charts, and can whip out vaccination records, medication lists and emergency contact numbers (laminated of course) from my purse.
This may just make me sound well organized. But when my children get sick, this overreacting gene really goes into high gear. I once took Lily to the pediatrician because she stopped bearing weight on her legs, convinced she had bone cancer. Turns out she just wanted me to carry her. Which is apparently quite normal for a two-year-old.
And I remember when Grant was five, and undergoing chemotherapy. I had all of the possible side effects of every single medication he was on memorized. So when his tooth fell out, I went into full-fledged panic mode. What the hell?!?! I knew his hair would fall out, but his teeth? I paged the oncologist at 9 p.m. on a Sunday. Turns out that losing teeth is quite normal for a five-year-old. Even one with cancer.
I would like to say that I am this way because I am a parent of a child with special health needs. But have you met me? I am (happily) high-strung. A low-key, laid-back Carrie just wouldn’t seem right, somehow. I mean, what the hell would I do all day? I don’t have time to be laid-back, people. I’ve got shit to do.
But there was this one time, a couple of years ago, that I didn’t overreact.
I can picture it like it was yesterday. I was about to put Grant onto the school bus, when he mentioned to me that he felt a pinch on his side. He sorta pointed in the direction of his waistband. Grant is no complainer, so for him to even mention pain is really unusual. That should have tipped me off.
But nope. In a completely un-Carrie like manner, I didn’t leap to conclusions. Or overreact in any way. I just calmly decided that the reason he felt a pinching pain on his side was because – wait for it, this is good – his underwear was too tight.
I know, genius, right?
So what did I do? Why, I changed him into boxers and sent him out to the bus of course.
And then two hours later, I received a phone call from a hysterical school nurse that Grant was urinating blood, screaming, and projectile vomiting. Imagine, if you will, that the nurse’s station at Grant’s school is in the administration area, so everyone from the principal to the secretary was also hysterical.
Apparently, the problem wasn’t his underwear.
An ambulance was called, and Grant was rushed to the hospital. His principal and teacher’s aide followed behind in their car. My co-worker drove me to the hospital to meet them. Because I also was hysterical and couldn’t drive myself.
We now have a hysterical Grant, hysterical principal, hysterical teacher, hysterical mother and a hysterical school nurse. And an ambulance. And bloody pee.
Definitely certain at this point the problem wasn’t his underwear.
A bit later, it was determined that Grant had three kidney stones. Because he has the worse luck ever and turned out he has a kidney diagnosis we had not yet uncovered. But the good news is he quickly passed the stones, and he now takes special medication and eats a low-sodium diet to prevent this from happening again.
But my point is, look at the shit that happens when I don’t overreact.
So now I am back to overreacting.
It’s just better for everyone that way.