Thursday, June 28, 2007

The Reluctant Goodbye

Scene: Airport. Moments from the mass-boarding of KiKi's flight back home.

"Finn, don't you want to say good-bye to KiKi?"



"I'm mad. I want her to stay."

"She has to go home, Finn. And I think you should give her hug."


"You sure?"


"You don't want to give her hug?"



We start to walk away. Finn's on my back, piggie-style. We're almost to the doors. I turn to give one last wave to KiKi. I'm so going to miss her. Finn gets a last look and throws out a last wave.

And then: "Wait, mama. Wait, mama. I do. I do. I do. I do."

I set Finn down and he runs back to KiKi, arms outstretched. She squats down to catch him, arms wide, eyes watering. And despite the throngs of people that are boarding and disembarking and otherwise dodging the trajectory of an erratic preschooler, they prove, once again, that ain't nobody gonna get between a boy and his KiKi.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Because the World Spins a Little More Thoroughly When KiKi's Got the Wheel

Last night, Aunt Kiki gave Finn her first bath. Well, she's had baths before, and she generally smells quite nice. And Finn, of course, has had baths before, and he occasionally smells quite nice. But Kiki has never given Finn a bath. Ergo, the firstiness.

I started the bath water at 8:30 p.m. (note the time), with the full intention of giving my kid his bath. But when he demanded those services of KiKi, I reluctantly (and yet with a speed that would impress even Wally West) handed over the reins to this most cherished duty and ran to take full advantage of this pocket of rare time.

I cleaned.

(Hey, I heard that. A little quieter with your your disapproval, please. I'm trying to write here.)

The bath could've gone a lot of ways. You see, Finn is an unpredictable taker of the baths. He prefers, for example, to be a splasher, not a splashee, and if any trace of tear-inducing or even tear-free shampoo or really even just water shimmies near his eye, he will scream. And I use scream in that blood-curdling-thrice-the-force-of-the-Wilhelm scream-to-which-chocolate-must-be- administered-immediately sense. It could've happened. And if Finn screamed, odds are good KiKi would scream back and then I would be out of chocolate and that is simply no good.

But, we must be honest. Finn really wasn't our concern.

You see, I've had my eye on Aunt KiKi. She's been helping me hold down the fort this past week (and as of yesterday, quite literally, as a 20 ft. blanket and couch-pillow fort took over our living room). I've seen her sneak peeks at Finn's toy dinosaur eggs, glee-ing out at every crack. I've heard tales of their Monster game, where Finn chases her (the monster) with his toy chainsaw, for something like 45 minutes. I've witnessed her roll-race down our grassy hill. I was there when she made Finn and his blanket into at least six pizzas, five burritos, and one cream puff. And I've seen her fall prey to the manipulations of a four year who'd rather play with her than take his nap. (Sure, she apologized, but she wasn't winning any awards for that performance.)

So Finn really wasn't the one to worry about. KiKi really takes her godma role seriously, in that very unserious chase-the-blanket-turned-into-a-tail way that gets Finn's supergiggles going.

But since I didn't hear any screams from either boy or aunt, I just kept going, changing the sheets on the bed, putting the laundry away, dusting the lamps, mopping the bedroom and hallway hard woods, cleaning baseboards, re-alpha'ing our 400-volume library, regrouting the tile, detailing our car.

Wait a minute. What were they doing in there?

And that's when I finally looked at the clock. It was 9:20. Almost a full and quite pruny hour of bathing--for Finn and KiKi's jeans alike. And where I sincerely doubt my son was irreparably damaged by such a thorough "cleaning," I do wonder if KiKi will ever be the same. If her sparkly eyes and bubbly giggle were any indication, I don’t think she’ll mind.

(Although she may have permanently de-aged about 20 years.)

Saturday, June 23, 2007

I Had No Idea

In our last episode, Bear had just come home from an emergency cauterisation surgery-type thing. We were happy, I made jokes about his new nose. Things were good.

About six hours after we got home, Barry started bleeding. Again. Two hours later, he got another nosebleed. He controlled it and I started frantically calling our ENT--who is apparently difficult to reach, as he serves all of the nether regions outside of the Kansas City's asteroid belt. We were determined not to go the ER, so I started calling other ENTs that we had visited in Bear's last episode two years ago. They wanted nothing to do with us. Then, an hour later, he got another. And that's where I packed him in the car and headed for the ER.

They admitted us on Tuesday. On Thursday, the doc (and the only ENT that serves our hospital, what's up with that?) scheduled Bear for "real" surgery. On Friday, Bear had lost so much blood from the nosebleeds (that continued after the surgery) that the doc signed him up for a blood transfusion.

Yeah, that's what I said. From nosebleed to blood transfusion. That's one way to spend the week.

So, in all and in short, Barry has spent the past five days bleeding and turning various shades of white and green, pre- and post-op, and I've spent it arguing, fussing, and hiding in the vistors lounge under the pretense of making phone calls so I could cry and generally freak out of Bear's ear shot.

Thank God for Barry's parents and my best friend KiKi, who drove and flew up special. Apparently, Kiki's spidey-sense is so keen (or I'm so very transparent) that after about five seconds on the phone with me, she dropped everything, including her tickets to see her hunk-a-tv-love Stephen Colbert and booked a flight to KC.

Yes, I have a friend like that.

And I've learned a lot that I didn't know over the past week. Like which ER you go to severly affects your after-ER care. That choosing your hospital is as, if not more, important than choosing your doctor. That getting a second opinion is excessively discouraged and some nurses will even bully and terrorize you to make sure you're scared so shitless that your husband and father to your child will bleed out in the ambulance that you won't dare to mention the request-that-will-not-be-named again. And that not even doctors will cross the Missouri river willingly.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Nose Knows

Reader, forgive me, for I have sinned. It's been nearly two weeks since my last confession. And I do feel really, like, bad about that, because I, like, totally, promised to keep up with this, both for my sanity and your occasional amusement (or disparagement, just don't tell me which one).

Last night, Bear was checked into the hospital for an emergency surgery. Since last Saturday, he's been having these uncontrollable nose bleeds--or I suppose it's really just one uncontrollable nose bleed. We visited three ERs in two different states, and on Monday, finally got into an ENT (which reminds me of those tree monsters in Lord of the Rings). After a prod and poke and an endless stream of blood, he decided to do something besides stuff tampons up Bear's nose. Thirty minutes later, Bear was in surgery.

His nose looks the same, and I'm very glad. He has this nice Roman nose (minus the hook, so maybe not very Roman at all), and he looks much lovelier than he did Saturday and definitely better than he did Monday before the ENT, with bloody (I'm using the American and English sense of the word at this point) gauze strapped to his nose and a bucket of blood waiting anxiously underneath his chin.

I was secretly hoping--you know, after I controlled the panic and screaming--that they'd do a little something something for the snoring. We'll see how that works out.

I have to say that I much prefer being on the other side of the OR doors. I don't handle waiting well, and if you know me, you know I like my information, on my terms and my schedule. I didn't much get my way on either count. There were no diagrams, I didn't even get a chance to research the ENT we went to see for what I thought was a follow up.

It's nerve wracking, this bloody thing. This getting older thing, this seeing someone you so dearly love in pain and, at the same time, trying to figure out how to communicate all this confusion to a four-year-old with the right tone and information. I always thought I'd get to check out a book from the library first before I had to explain to Finn why his dad is bleeding into bucket and why he has to go to surgery. Seriously.

(And this is where you're either gasping at my naivete and or laughing. Indulge. I am a silly, silly woman.)

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

It Just Seems Like We're Lazy

But we've really been busy bees--social fluttering, working, and a couple o' thangs on the presses.

First, from me, because, you know, I write the blog the mostest and I simply got here first: my latest art review.

And this excerpt is from a review written by Nick Malewski about Barry's Always Becoming Something at the Dolphin:

"Barry Anderson’s pair of archival inkjet prints, Always Becoming Something, is derived from his video (not on view) by the same name. Two long, narrow and horizontal images of young adults, hung side by side, show the expanse of what is experienced in the high-definition video as a slow, steady pan from left to right. The figures of varying ethnicity, in a sterile space without a horizon, at various distances from the camera, stand in place and face in numerous directions. Neither in the video, nor in the composite stills do the people seem to interact with or even notice one another. Their facial expressions are that of boredom, impatience and anticipation. Their implied lack of trajectory suggests that they are subjects caught in what Fredric Jameson calls “postmodern hyperspace,” which has “succeeded in transcending the capacities of the individual human body to locate itself.”2 Such a condition might evoke the recent development of Second Life, an Internet-based environment full of human-controlled avatars, together but alone, at times paralyzed in a space of boundless possibilities."