Wednesday, October 25, 2006


The Boy's triumphal, uncut return to school yesterday was somewhat marred by--let's call her Nora--Fucking Nora, to be more precise.

Fucking Nora is a class assistant from whom I've been getting much insider information on the exact nature of the horridness that was about to ensue. Her older son had just had the same operation done a little over a month ago, so she was well within The Know.

When she saw Boy and me in the hallway she blinked twice, raised her eyebrows, and looked not even a little bit happy to see us. So I explained the situation, that upon further examination, the testicles were found to be present, if still rather high, in the scrotum so the surgery wouldn't be necessary after all.

Nora nodded sagely, wise in the ways of these cocky, know-it-all doctors, "Yes, we went through the same thing with my son. Then two years later when they still hadn't dropped any lower, they decided to do the surgery after all."

Fucking Nora!

Then I was reminded of a critical detail that I had not thought of before. The urologist at the hospital who actually put Boy on the waiting list back in February, examined him while he was standing up. She got a hold of both testicles and pulled them slowly, geeennnntly down into place. When she let them go, they bounced back up--one faster than the other. She told me then that the connective tissue attached to the left one was not long enough to allow it to drop down and stay in place which would necessitate surgery. But she thought probably the right side was fine.

The surgeon who examined Boy on Monday had him laying flat on a table. He did not attempt to pull the testicles all the way down into the sac, he only located them and assured me that they actually were in the scrotum even if it didn't look like it.

Whether or not any of this is relevant I do not know. Like I said, I didn't remember any part of it until yesterday morning. Probably I should call someone and ask. As I type it now and reread it, it's ringing all kinds of bells and whistles. I was an idiot not to have thought of it while I was standing there with the surgeon. But I didn't. And the moment passed.

I kind of like it here on the foothills of doubt, so I'm thinking I'll just let it slide for the time being. He'll be called in a year from now to be reexamined. It's not like he's going to be needing them between now and then anyway...

Monday, October 23, 2006

The Case of the Not-So Missing Nads

Or, M'Boy Has Balls!

I've been drafting this entry in my head for over a week now. Frittering away countless hours in silent composition, wasting gallons upon gallons of extra water in the shower, losing sleep, and over cooking the pasta--all in pursuit of the perfectly pitched narrative of what was sure to be The Boy's defining childhood trauma.

Alas, all for naught. What was to be the climax of my multi-chaptered tale of woe was summarily cancelled early this morning. My literary thunder all fizzled and stolen. The hapless object of pity and concern transmorgrified into a wee, red-headed Scottish lad barely three years old.

Allow me to explain--

Up until, apparently, 10 o'clock this morning, Boy's manly bits were missing--not the essential Bit, obviously, but the jewels, you know...Nowhere to be found. They were both present and accounted for at birth. But after that initial roll call, they evidently thought better of their assigned seats and retreated back into the murky depths from whence they came. The doctors at his 3, 6, and 12 month check-ups where all unable to find them despite extensive, concentrated, and (I think) unnecessarily rigorous groping.

At 13 months he was examined via ultrasound, which revealed one low in his abdomen, and the other one a bit higher, nearer his kidney. "Mostly normal," said the doctor, "But that one near the kidney may be questionable." (Questionable in the sense that it may not descend into the scrotum of its own accord. It may require surgical intervetion).

By the time he was 3 years old and they still hadn't made more than a handful of brief appearences during fevers and long baths and such, I started asking around. I cornered unsuspecting mothers in the super-market, asking "You have a boy, right? Tell me, have his bits descended? What do they look like? Do his balls swing low? Do they wobble to and fro?" I was genuinely surprised when the answer invariably turned out to be, "Well, um. Yeah, actually. They do."

So then, years pass.  Phone calls are made, appointments a met, referrals are followed through. Blah blah blah...late February of this year, I finally get him in to see a urologist at the hospital who confirms that certainly the left testicle is going to need to be surgically placed in the scrotum. Probably the right one is fine though. Don't call us. We'll call you. Then she literally washes her hands of the whole problem.

Finally, last Monday, I get a letter saying his surgery is scheduled a week from Tuesday.

Today--after much fretting, and fussing, and pawning off of extraneous offspring--I took the heretofore unmanned Boy in for his pre-op consultation. We waited for over an hour in a playroom stuffed to the gills with anxious parents, insecure children, and moldering toys of dubious sterility. Then, after a brief, albeit thorough, examination, the surgeon assured me that both testicles were very obviously already in the scrotum and surgery would be unnecessary. We were sent home forthwith.

Voilá! Instant manhood!

The upshot of the whole thing is this: Jilly Baby's Lad has, by bizarre coincidence, the exact same diagnosis, and must have been right behind Boy on the waiting list. Within maybe 30 minutes of us being sent home, the hospital was on the phone with Jilly saying there had been a cancellation, and would she like the spot? Of course she took it. And, unfortunately, his pre-op consultation (conducted late this afternoon) confirmed that the surgery would be necessary in his case. So now it's Jilly's wee lad who's fasting and resting up for the horrors that tomorrow has in store.

Of course, I'm relieved--both for myself and Boy--that we dodged the bullet on this one. I was not looking forward to any part of it. And of course I'm anxious and sympathetic for the situation that Jill has been thrust so unceremoniously into. I send out to them cyber blessings for a seamless proceedure and a smooth recovery.

But.....God dammit!!!!! It was my story first!!!!!!!!!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Oh, Mister, My Mister

Mister has been making noises lately about wanting to see my blog. Up until very recently he hasn't seemed to bother about it one way or the other. But clearly, something has piqued his interest, and now he wants to know just what it is exactly that I get up to here.

There have been questions:

"So, what? You just write stuff? And people, what? Read it and stuff?"

"Yeah. Basically."

"What do you write about?"


 He audibly exhales through his nose. I graciously opt to throw him a bone, "The kids mostly."

"Me?" There is a wistful, breathy catch in his throat. I'm almost postitive he wants the answer to be yes.

But, "No."


"Welllll..." It seems I have one more bone in my cupboard, "There was the one time.  But you were being a dip shit about the rain pants.  Probably you wouldn't see the humor in it."

"Oh." Not the bone he was hoping for, apparently.

Time passes. Just when I think the subject has been forgotten, he says, "So how do I get to this blog of yours?"

"What do you mean?"

"What's it called?"

"You wouldn't get it."

He squints and purses his lips. He wants to be angry, but he also wants information. So I watch as he calms himself and steels his nerves against my stubborn pig-headedness. All the while he's hedging around with these pokey little questions, I'm silently debating with myself whether or not I really want him here. I've just about decided not.

"You call yourself JEDA, right?"

I'm genuinely impressed he's managed to pick up on that much, "Yes."

"What do you call the kids?"

I get distracted by this last question and I begin to think he might actually be interested in...I don't know...the tone? the voice? the identity? I've created for myself here. So I start telling him all about Elder Miss, and Boy, and how Little Miss is mostly just Missy. How I arrived at JEDA, and why I find it so liberating to write behind these anonymous monikers even though 98% of the people who read me know perfectly well who I am and what my kids answer to. And blah blah blah, maybe he really would get the joke in the title.

Then it dawns on me that all the while I've been chattering away at him, he's been pulling out, plugging in, and booting up his laptop. The clever bastard has been gleaning information for a Google search!

Jokes on him though. Ha! Google couldn't find me. Turns out JEDA is an outrageously common acronym in the business world (something about jobs-economic development and joint environmental analysis yada yada yada) as well as a fairly common word in several European languages. Seems I'm safely buried within the vast haystack of the ca. 32 700 other hits for JEDA. He gave up after just 20 minutes of searching.

Part of me kind of wishes he would keep tyring though. Make a more determined effort to hunt me down, and surprise me with a comment in the busy body gallery. If he reads carefully, he might even learn something new about me.  I'm not sure what.  But something. Tips for the perfect Christmas gift, maybe? Ipod Advice on how to be a better lover, perhaps? More breast action My unguarded and inner most thoughts regarding his manhood, even? Nice enough guy. Shame about the car though..... Oh for Chirst's sake!!! Not that manhood!!!! It's fine Pull your collective heads out of the gutter! Grab my shoes on the way out, will ya'? This is my husband, my partner, the father of my children probably we're talking about! He deserves a bit more respect than that!

Now everyone play nice, and make him feel at home. And talk me up a bit.  He's going to be mad after reading this.....

Sunday, October 08, 2006

UN-dress Rehearsal

As you may or may not know, Elder Miss is fascinated by all things physiological. It started about a year ago this time with 6 billion questions about, "What would happen if we didn't have bones?" And it's progressed all the way to her most recent obsession, "What's it called when your intestines get blocked and you have pain and you have to go to the surgery place?"

She wants to be a doctor. She's asked several times, "What are all the schools I have to go to before I can be a doctor?" She's not even a little bit daunted when I tell her she'll be at least as old as I am before she'll be a fully documented MD.

Given all that enthusiasm, I must admit, I'm a little surprised that she hasn't gotten to the, "Where do babies come from?" bomb-shell yet.

Not to worry though. I've been practicing. What with The Vibrant Ms. M being knocked up and starting to show it, I figure EM can't be too far away from the realization that such a thing as a baby must have some point of origin. And I plan to be better prepared than Michelle who fed her poor deluded son some bullshit line about God and angels and true love, or whatever.....pfft!

So here's my speech:

"Well EM, inside the mommy's bodies there are tiny little eggs. And inside the daddy's bodies there are tiny little things called sperm. And when the daddy puts the sperm inside the mommy's body, the egg and the sperm join together to make a baby."

I suppose it's too much to hope that she will be content with that answer and not progress to the next logical question, "How?" Or worse, "Why?" Getting into the mechanics of genital engagement with a 6 year old seems somehow...gratuitous.  But I fear I may have to. So here's what I was thinking:

"Well EM, the egg lives in the mommy's vagina. And the sperm lives in the daddy's penis. And when the mommy and daddy love each other very much they can put these things together to make a baby. Now run along, dear. Mommy has to make dinner."

I realize that answer may be a little misleading, but keep in mind, the aim here is to get her to shut up and go back to the TV and Sponge Bob where she belongs. "These things" is both redundant and ambiguous. It will force her to go away, mull it over, and hopefully come to her own, wildly misguided conclusions. That's okay, right? I mean she's in the public school system. Surely the punks she socializes with will fill in all the gaps. That's what they're there for, right?

Actually, now that I think about it, after all this stressing and worrying over exactly the right tone and wording, she probably really will learn everything she needs to know about reproduction from her friend who grew up on the horse farm up the neighboring valley.

And I won't be able to use my carefully prepared speech on Boy either. He'll remain blissfully ignorant until 13 or so when his biology teacher will do my job for me. He'll come home jittery and pale, refusing to eat the milk and homemade cookies I've lovingly set out for him. And I, being the thoughtful, tuned-in mother that I am, will ask, "Honey, you look troubled, what's wrong?" In a frantic rush he'll confess to me the graphic horrors with which his teacher has filled his pure, modest little mind, and in the end he'll ask, "Is it true, Mom? Do I really have t-t-t-touch them?" And I, in my gentlest, most reassuring of voices will answer, "Well dear, the breasts are optional, but I highly recommend it."

No. It will be Missy--ever fiesty, ever contrary--Little Miss who will confide to me over her Cheerios one morning, "So-and-so's big brother showed me his penis the other day. I didn't know what to do, so I slapped it twice and hocked a logie on it. What should I have done?"

That will be the day I swallow my unprepared, unrehearsed tongue and die.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The Price of Fun

Turns out, it was my idea.

Hey, let's go to my mother-in-law's cabin for a weekend, I said. Maybe even a long weekend, I added. What a lark that would be. What a gas!

Of course, when I made the suggestion the sun was shining, there was an over abundance of fresh air, and all the kids were off playing somewhere far far away so the noise they're capable of was not immediately apparent.

At times of such good will one simply does not do the math. One does not think it through.

It wasn't until last Wednesday when I started to calculate the amount of food (or more specifically--alcohol) that would be necessary to sustain three families for three days in the very back of beyond that the full horror of the situation began to manifest itself in my mind's eye.

Allow me to summarize my thought process: 6 adults, 7 children, 1 toilet. FUCK!

I admit it, I wasn't looking forward to it. The week before we were to leave, all the kids started getting sick and I thought--yey, must cancel! Then they all recovered, but the rain was terrible and I thought--phew, must cancel! Then it was Friday and I'll be God damned if it didn't clear up, and I thought--fucking snakes on a fucking plane, must start packing.

The stress and pandemonium involved with getting to that first ferry was, honestly, the worst part of the whole trip. Once that was over with, and Jilly Baby had got her damn ipod and had made it safely on the ferry as well, I started to relax. By the time we were on the mountain and I was watching the very same Jilly dragging her posh roller luggage over the soggy, muddy, half kilometer walk (which I bloody well DID tell her about) to the cabin, I was positively giddy with the hilarity of it all.

I got drunk Friday night. Was more hung-over than I've been in years all day Saturday. Michelle's pregnant hormones got the better of her Sunday, and a silent battle of egos was waged all day Monday as a result. Hard to say who won, but it doesn't matter because we kissed and made up today, and life is good again.

In between those low points we cooked, we hiked, we laughed, we made fun of our lazy ass men who did nothing but fish and swill beer. And a good time was had by all. I'd do it all again. know, if the kids aren't sick...and the weather cooperates...