Friday, March 6, 2009

The Town Elder

So, I have finally reached a pinnacle in my life where I am old enough, and have had enough random life experiences, to be of help to others. It kind of cracks me up, this fact that I'm all grown up. I am comfortable with not getting carded at the grocery store anymore. But, this is yet another new turn in the bumpy, dusty road of my life.

My neighbors had their second child last Friday, and of course, he is the CUTEST baby on the earth. And I have the added bonus of getting my baby fix with the built in safety net of giving said baby back when he is a) poopy, b) crabby, or c) I tire of him. Fabulous! Should have thought of this a few babies ago, but I digress,..

Now, this family has one other boy who just turned four, and they have had a time of it with him. These parents are my heroes; this little boy was born with all sorts of complications and to this day has life threatening allergies to the effect that in order for me to babysit him for even five minutes - and I do consider myself a responsible adult - I've had to sit through two hours of DVD training on my computer. All about the seriousness of food allergies and how and when to adminster the epipen - which seems to be a weekly accurance with this little boy.

Good thing I watched the videos, because I've learned the valuable lesson that you don't stab it into his chest like in Pulp Fiction. The thigh does just fine. But the look of horror when I asked his mother about that really was priceless.

I was a bit peeved when they told me the baby had come early, because I had just gotten through my first hour of video training and was getting all prepared for my babysitting morning when they were scheduled to go to the baby doctor. Oh well, he's so cute, I'll get over it.

Well, last night, I had just settled down with my fried zucchini order from the Fat Greek up the street (free advertising - I'm afraid to go back - the man had no other customers and I was afraid he wasn't going to let me go home and eat, he was a little lonely. But very nice. Shout out to you, Nick!) after two basketball practice drop offs, a run at the playground, speghetti for the kids prepared, dished out and cleaned up, and the baby to bed, when the phone rang. It was the neighbors. New six day old baby had a diaper rash, since "I've had a million kids, would I mind coming to look at it?" No sweat. I thouroughly washed my hands like a surgeon, brushed off the dog hair to the best of my ability and travelled through the shrubbery to my neighbor's house, hoping not to bring anaphylaxic shock to their four year old.

Since I've had hormonal imbalances from five pregnancies myself, I do consider myself extremely skilled and in fact, an expert in new mother psychosis. Just ask my husband. He'll vouch for me. Now, I may not have put my house up for sale without telling my husband, as my best friend from high school's mother did when she had her second baby, but I've been pretty close to lunatic.

My neighbor opened the door and explained the diaper rash was in the shape of the diaper. "We've called the nurse hotline, but they said they can't diagnose something like a diaper rash over the phone. So we called you because you know what you're doing." Yikes.

She led me to the small babe. "Um,.. D, I don't see anything, do you have another light over here?" I ask. We take the baby over to the kitchen where there is a nice, bright overhead light.

I still don't see anything I mean, nothing but healthy, pink baby skin. "Uhm,.. D? I think maybe you had the diaper on too tight."

To which the mom of the new babe breathed a sigh of relief, but then started lunaticking (remember, I can spot it a mile away). "Well, my mom put the diaper on, so maybe it was too tight. But she also said his feet were cold, do you think his feet are cold? Is he okay?"

"D,.... I think the diaper was so tight that no blood could circulate down to his feet. His feet feel fine now."

She's getting really worked up now: "And then we let him sleep for SIX HOURS IN A ROW! We forgot to wake him up! IS HE OKAY?"

At this point I grab her shoulder and tell her, "Look, D, he's healthy, his color's good, he squawked when I held him under the light, so he's very responsive,... he's not going to die. He's fine."

And silently inside, I'm totally high fiving myself that I am NOT alone in my paranoid everything-is-going-to-go-wrong-chicken-little-the-sky-is-falling persona.

Yay for me.

Well, that was it. I solved the problems and unfortunately, had to return to my own issues at home.

Such as:

plastic rat left lying around the house in things like the butter dish. Thanks 12 year old. And did I tell you that I'm no longer paying for your college? Hope you like to play with car engines.

and the three year old who put this up on her wall: Yes, her pretty, feminine, coral and pink, floral and butterfly-y, baby dolled and rocking horsed room has been tarnished by her ripping a page out of her brother's Sports Illustrated for Kids magazine and sticking THIS on her wall.

Not just an athlete, either. A freakin' ICE HOCKEY PLAYER. What the heck is next? Tattoo barbie? With her couch potato Ken doll who comes with his own 6-pack and their dream trailer? (Thanks to Kevin and Bean on KROQ for that little chuckle on the way to work today.)

Lord help me.


Steve and Kelly said...

Ice Hockey player! I was rolling! The rat was cute, but the "poster"... something else. Always love your posts Zee!

Teri said...

I love that she came asking for your advice. Don't you feel like a professional parent? Wish that brought a better paycheck.

You're a crack-up!