Hola from flu-la-palooza 2009. Hamish kicked off the festivities this year by getting a flu-mist vaccine, free of charge through his school. He fell ill the following evening, has missed three days of school and went to bed on his own this evening at six. He can currently be heard whining in his sleep through a tropical fog brought to you by his humidifier. Hamish's sister Stella has hacked and coughed her way through the week, as she loves to copy her big brother. She missed one day of school and awoke at four the other morning to yak her guts out all over her bed, and thank you CJ (Ceiling Jesus), she managed to hurl some chunks into the toilet as well.
When the kids are feeling up to it, they like to smack each other in passing, or spit at each other or break the other's toy, then fall into a puddle of tears and run to tell me all about it. Stella also takes great pleasure in mutilating Hamish's drawings and homework, while one of Hamish's new favorite pastimes is to grab for the nearest adult crotch. They are at eye level after all. Who doesn't like a spirited kid?
With all the craziness at home, these are the days when I miss working at the old private school where instead of handing out grades, we gushed to the Wall Streeters and world famous artists that their destructive little maniacs were "energetic and creative!" Their uncooperative hooligans were "independent and enthusiastic!" And so forth. I think of this now also because we just had Hamish's kindergarten parent-teacher conference. A very different experience. At public school it's, "shaky pencil grip" this and "mistakes 16 for 26" that. And, "had a visit to the school guidance counselor about those anxious first days of school." Yup. There was nary a wisp of smoke blown up my ass on that day. This, obscenely wealthy people, is what life is like for the rest of us.
And speaking of inappropriate behavior, I have not lost my doo-doo at my kids (at deafening decibels) since October 23. I'm planning a celebration on November 23 if I can make it that far. Maybe a vacation. Far far away. Without the kids.
One of my funnest and warmest and cuddliest friends came to visit and now is an official "auntie" of my kids. They refrained from grabbing her crotch, in case you were wondering. My friend and I had all these plans to talk about writing, as we met a decade ago in a NYC writing workshop and have shared our work and project ideas with each other over the years but wouldn't you know it, we never got around to it. We did however manage to shop, complete with a sunglasses montage at the local open air mall, share laughs over lattes, socialize and make it to Gymboree for an awesome birthday party.
The chiropractor visits continue, and I'm better some but not entirely. It's a process, lumbar region. I keep telling you that. I want to tell you, dear reader, about the strange relationship Dr. M and I are inadvertently building with each other, due in part to our coy sarcastic natures coupled with my feelings of mild terror when laying on a piston powered table that clangs and drops when the guy cracks my spine. Nervousness seems to bring out the cocky bitch in me, and yes, that does include swearing. It's a protective armor, my haughty bluster. But he called me on it this afternoon and he was right. Even if he does tell awful jokes and swagger just a little, I could be nicer. So I apologized because I am a spiritual warrior and it is more important to be free than to be right. (Eye twitching.)
This experience reminds me of another obnoxious person who is riddled with anxiety: my five year old son Hamish Miller. I've described his behavior above and beyond but there are a couple new quirks in the mix now that he's been sick. Ever since he had a nosebleed this week, he's been pressing balled up tissues to his nose for four-hour stretches, "in case it bleeds again," he tells us through muffled wads. And this morning he didn't want to go to school because he thought he might throw up there, even though ralphing has not been in his repertoire this week. The spitting is a new development, and it takes much less for him to revert to 100% jerk-power. Does this kid need a shrink? Or vitamin C and sunshine?
And speaking of shrinks, mine was on holiday for the past two weeks and I didn't miss therapy to the point of considering it a luxury I might do without, and which would save me a hundred bucks a month. If I decide to end it, I might have to make a pact with myself to never forgo a day of Pema Chodron because that Buddhist mindfulness stuff keeps my neurotic ass out of trouble.
On a tender note, I've come across some douche-bag guys this week and I could kiss their douchey lips for reminding me how freaking blessed I am to have married Mr. Bryan Miller. He is a rock of sanity and kindness and honesty that I don't think I will ever be in fifty lifetimes and continues to inspire me to not be an asshole (even if I can't quite deliver on the adjusting table.) So friends, if you can't be a Buddha, marry one instead.