Sunday, July 30, 2006

Chad's Incompetence

On this, the eve of the day Missy will finally have her cast removed, I offer--for your edification and general amusement--a true and accurate account of events and dialogues which took place the sunny Friday morning just over three weeks ago that the frail, fractured leg was set.

The Scene: Mid-morning, 10ish. I'm in the car with Missy and my mother, driving home from the orthopod's office. We're late getting home because, although we had had an 8 a.m. appointment, a routine x-ray taken after the cast was set revealed a fold in the wrapping which, if left, would have devastated the skin under the cast. Thus Chad--the long, salt and pepper haired, goatie welding assistant who had done the first cast--had to be re-summoned to saw it off, and start all over again. Missy hates Chad.

It has been an emotionally draining morning. I need coffee--badly. Mom is driving.

Cell phone rings. It's Grandpa Dale calling from home.

JEDA Hello?

D. Hi! How is she?

JEDA She's fine...blah, blah, blah...(recount saga of Chad's incompetence*)...Traumatized, but fine.

D. Good, good. Listen. You need to call Mister as soon as you get home. He's been calling here every 15 minutes for the past two hours. He really needs to talk to you.

JEDA Oooookay. Is everything okay? Did he say what was so urgent?

D. No. Just said he needs to talk to you. Probably worried about Missy. Wondering how the appointment went. Something like that.

JEDA Sure, yeah, okay. We're on 13th now, so we'll be home in 10 or 15 minutes.

D. Great! Bye!
Curious, think I as I hang up the phone. What on earth could be wrong? Trouble with the kitchen? Trouble with the house in general? Did my cat die? Surely if it were anything more serious he would have told Dale what was up. Very strange indeed. I'm in the middle of briefing Mom on what Dale had said when the phone rings again.

It's my dad calling from his cell.

JEDA Hello?

Dad Hi! How is she?

JEDA Fine, fine...blah, blah, blah...(again recount saga of Chad's incompetence)...Traumatized, but fine.

Dad Good, good. Listen. You need to call Mister as soon as you get home. I'm at the park with EM and Boy right now, but apparently he's been calling the house. TJ just called me to tell me that he's called two or three times. Apparently it's pretty important.

JEDA Really? Shit! And he didn't say what was wrong?

Dad I only know what TJ told me.

JEDA Hmmm. Well. Okay. We're only like 5 minutes from home now, so I'll call as soon as we get there.

Dad Righty-o, then. Bye.

Curiouser and curiouser. I'm not exactly panicking, but I'm on the verge of genuine disquiet. I tell Mom to hurry it up a bit.

As soon as we walk through the door, I hand Missy over to Grandpa Dale to admire her gregarious pink cast with orange candy cane stripe, rush straight to the phone, and dial home.

Mister (answers on 1st ring) Hello?

JEDA Hi! What's up?

Mister Where are my rain pants?

JEDA ...I'm sorry, what?


JEDA Rain pants? That's what this is about?

Mister YES! I've got three rain jackets right here in front of me, and not a single pair of rain pants to go with them. I'm supposed to be fishing this weekend. It's pouring rain out there. I'll be soaked. Where are they?

JEDA Ummmmmmm, I really don't know. Have you looked...

Mister (rudely interrupts) I've looked everywhere!

JEDA Missy's fine, by the way.

Mister What? Oh. Yeah. How'd that go?

JEDA Fine...blah, blah, blah...(once again recount the saga of Chad's incompetence, only this time investing the story with a bit more emotion and personal anguish. Because, you know, this is my life partner I'm talking to here, and it really was kind of traumatic to see our baby hurt that badly TWICE without being able to do anything about it, and...I don't know...I guess I was just looking for a bit of comfort, or something.)

Mister (has heard nothing I've just said) It's just so frustrating. I've been searching for over two hours. I was supposed to leave an hour ago. Now I'm going to miss the ferry. I guess I'll just have to be wet all weekend.


He bitched some more. I suggested more places he could look. He pouted, and insisted that there was no point because he'd already looked everywhere and they were nowhere to be found. I asked if he was suggesting that I was dumb enough to have thrown them out with the trash when I cleared out the closets for demolition.


I wondered if he were trying to accuse me of deliberately hiding their where abouts from him.


I pondered the possibility of the pants miraculously having gotten up and walked out of the house of their own accord.


JEDA So they must be in the house somewhere.

Mister No. I've looked everywhere!

JEDA Cuz' ya' have a tendency to just sort of glance around without actually looking under things.



Mister Fine

Mutual hang-up

The next day I received the following SMS:


*I don't actually blame Chad for the bum first cast. I'm sure Chad is a perfectly kind Dead Head, and able orthopedic assistant. Clearly the fault lies entirely with the flirty nurse who was assisting the assistant. But Missy blames Chad. Plus I just like saying Chad's name. Thus we arrive at "Chad's incompetence".

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Things That Make You Go "Hmmmm"

I've just discovered something interesting about MSN Spaces.

You can use all manner of obscenities in the body of your text. You can link to sites the contents of which would make even the roughest of Hell's Angels grumble with grudging approval. You can even post pictures of aroused genitalia in various acts of engagement.

But you can't say "Dip shit" in the title.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

In Which The South Beach Diet Cookbook Lay Abandoned On The Kitchen Counter

One of the few advantages to living abroad is you get to play delusional mind games with your weight. Allow me to elaborate:

As you may or may not know, seeing your weight in kilos is a lot less painful than seeing it in pounds, thus making it easier to fool yourself into a false sense of security. Even if you fancy yourself one of the smarter expatriates (which I do) and you readily reckon that 1 kilo is roughly equal to 2 pounds (which it is), you can still fairly easily content yourself with the....oh....say.....70ish kilos you see on the scales, because 70 x 2 is only 140, and 140 after three kids ain't half bad. Right?


Only problem is see, that the actual conversion isn't quite so clean cut. If you want to get all technical about it, you'd have to multiply that 70 by 2.2046, and I'm here to tell you that the .2046 starts to add up.

Go ahead, do the math. I'll wait.

...........oh, alright, FINE!

You lazy bastards! It's 154.322.

70 kilos adds up to 154.3 pounds.

Not quite so good, eh? And even worse if that '70ish' you were fumbling around is actually closer to 75...ish.

See where I'm going with this?

I knew that I had put on some weight over the past year. I was uncomfortable and unhappy with that fact, but it was only 5 or 6 kilos--barely 10 pounds--easily discarded if I ever decided to really buckle down and work at it. Then I got home and stepped on my mother's scales.

I nearly swallowed my tongue.

The diet started that very day. I went jogging. I skipped the potatoes at dinner. Had toast and grapefriut for breakfast the next morning. I was focused. Intent. Determined.

The next day I read the copy of The South Beach Diet my mother had kicking around and figured, "Three weeks no carbs? 10 to 20 pounds just like that? Doesn't sound so bad. I think I can manage that...."

That night at dinner I skipped both the potatoes and the breadsticks. Had ham and eggs for breakfast. Went jogging again. Focused. Intent. Determined.

I lost 5 pounds in the first 3 or 4 days.

Then there was pizza night. Followed shortly by taco night. Missy broke her leg. At one point, I really needed a beer for one reason or another. Things just lost focus, got decidedly blurry.

I remain quite faithful to the jogging. I went out and bought a pulse watch and have had a grand time tinkering around with that. Just last week I managed 5k in 35 minutes, which I realize isn't exactly competition ready, but it's a significant improvement over what I was capable of just over a month ago.

But, ya' know--Dr. Arthur Agatston and his South Beach Diet can go right ahead and kiss my carbified ass because life's just too damn short to go depriving yourself of pizza night!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


Good Morning America did a piece yesterday on America's attitudes toward breastfeeding. I've been fuming about it all day.  According to their poll, 57% of the American public don't believe women should have the right to breastfeed in public.


And please pay particular attention to the wording of that statistic. It's not 57% don't like to see women breastfeeding in public. Or even, 57% believe women should be discrete when breastfeeding in public. No, no, no.  It says 57% believe women should not have the right to breastfeed in public.

I knew that many Americans were a bit puritanical and old fashioned on this issue, but 57%?  I had no idea!  And that they feel so strongly about it as to start restricting my rights?  Jay-sus!

They interviewed one woman on the street who said that breastfeeding was disgusting and immoral.

Immoral?  Immoral?

So, to sum up:

War in Iraq? For the greater good.

Gas guzzling SUV's? Hey, safety first....

Walmart's questionable business practices? Whatever, dude. Shit's cheap.

Universal healthcare? Fuck you, Socialist, Commie bastards! Not on my watch!

Breastfeeding? Immoral.


I think it might be time for me to go back to Norway now.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Proximal Tibial Fracture

It sounds like it ought to be the beginnings of some grand metaphor, doesn't it? Proximal Tibial Fracture. It could be a sad saga of regret and woe that ends with the legs (if you will) being knocked out from under a once loving relationship. Or maybe a cautionary tale of a toxic crack in the foundation of an already rocky friendship. Or, more boring, but perhaps more apropos of my actual life and leisure, a sudden derailment in the current kitchen remodel.

Happily for you, the story I have to tell today is strictly literal, so you need not suffer any further strained and pitiful attempts at literary gravitas. It's a medical thing, see. The diagnosis is my little Missy's.

It happened Sunday night. She was *cringe* jumping on a trampoline **gasp** with her *cower* brother and sister **shake head disapprovingly**. Although there were four arguably responsible adults on hand, including *bite lower lip* myself, we were all *cover face in abject humiliation* sitting on the patio--just out of sight--drinking a glass of wine **exhale, mutter "My God, what kind of mother are you?"** toasting the long awaited, official engagement of my little brother and his blushing bride-to-be **ahhhh**.

I can only assume (because I didn't actually see it, and neither Elder Miss nor Boy have been very forth coming with an accounting of their actions) that what happened was this: Missy either fell down or was purposely lying prostrate having the shit bounced out of her (as is her wont), and Elder Miss--jumping far too close, as usual--came down, both feet landing hard on Missy's shin and ankle.

I knew immediately that something was very wrong. Like most toddlers Missy has a wide repertoire of wails and howls, but I had never heard anything quite in this ear piercing, soul seering range before.

We all assumed it was her ankle that was the trouble since it was visibly bruised, scraped, and swollen by the time we fished her off the trampoline. My future sister-in-law, who is a nurse, did some poking and prodding. She moved Missy's foot this way and that, then confidently declared it a sprain. I very much wanted to believe this benign diagnosis, so we gave her some ibuprofen, put some ice on it, and commenced with the tut-tutting and shush-shushing. After an hour and 40 minutes of uninterrupted sobbing, I let the frantic mother in me take over and insisted that my dad drive us to the after hours clinic.

To their credit, no one there so much as raised an eyebrow when I explained that my 2 year old had been jumping on a trampoline with my 4 and 6 year olds, and somehow managed to hurt her foot. I was, and still am, completely mortified despite their discretion.

It wasn't until the doctor examined her whole leg that it became clear that the real problem was closer to her knee than her ankle. X-rays were taken. A diagnosis was made. Missy finally stopped crying (four hours later) when they put the splint on.

My poor dad was flabbergasted when I told him that her leg was actually broken. He had bought the tramp for the kids at the beginning of the summer, and I know he was feeling partially responsible.
The next morning, after a fairly horrible, sleepless night, Elder Miss gently petted Missy's Ace bandage and said, "I did this. And I'm very sorry." I, of course, made it clear that it was an accident and that it certainly wasn't her fault. That we, as the adults, should have been watching more closely and that we never should have allowed Missy to jump with the big kids. Elder Miss readily absorbed everything I said and hasn't mentioned it since, but it was still sweet to see her acknowledge her part in the drama that way.

Missy's current status is stable. She's more or less used to the splint now. She's clearly bored and frustrated at not being able to move around at will. But she doesn't fight it. And she's not in much pain anymore other than a few twinges now and then when it gets bumped or moved too quickly.
Life goes on
She'll get a cast put on early Firday morning. I'm told it will take 4 to 6 weeks to heal. I'm hoping against hope that the cast is off by the time we have to leave in August.

So you see, in the end it was a sad saga of regret and woe, as well as a cautionary tale, and of course, it's all very apropos of my life and leisure as having a gimpy baby means I don't have much of either. Still no workable metaphor in there, but it all makes for a pretty good story.

*actions to be preformed by me, the narrator*
**exclamations to be made by you, the reader**
***and, just in case any of you are as ignorant as me, and don't know what proximal means, I looked it up: situated near the point of origin or attachment, as of a limb or bone. So basically there's no displacement, just a tiny crack in the tibia just below her knee. The doctor explained that it's a small crack, but it's a big bone, so it hurts a lot***