What do you get when you combine a minor (don’t tell Steve) surgery, a pinched nerve, and a sick kid? Two working adult arms and zero adult working days. Sometimes a week away from life can teach us some very important things.

  1. Oxycodone makes you itchy. If you ever want to see your husband act like an ape just slip him an opiate. It’s pretty funny. It was a live action version of The Itchy and Scratchy Show. Which was even more funny because he had a Simpsons marathon on in the background as he itched and scratched.
  2. I really shouldn’t drive at night. I have been avoiding driving at night for years. Every once in a while I wonder if I have possibly exaggerated my status as a safety hazard. There are times when I allow a preference to become a rule, and it seemed possible that this was one of them. After Steve’s surgery we drove home. I mean I drove home. He lolled next to me itching himself with his good hand and offered turn by turn directions in the style of Garmin, or her cousin Siri. He didn’t once have to recalculate. Despite the impeccable performance of the half human half ape beside me I barely got us home alive. It was like this. Stay between the lines. Just look down at the lines and keep the car between then. Thats it…see the lines. What’s that? Car. Just look at the lines. Car. So many other cars. Wait thats a tree not a car. Thats why it is moving so slowly. Don’t look back at the tree, look down at the line. See the lines. Stay between them. Car. Another car. Tree? No car. All of this is to say I can see almost nothing at night. Cars have lights and are moving. Trees (except those festive ones) don’t have lights and are still. Both can kill you when you are driving as poorly as I do at night. So we will be ubering after the next surgery.
  3. I haven’t hosted the worst 9 year old sleepover. The kid returned with a big smile and a bruised thumb with a not long for this earth nail, a bloody foot and skinned elbow. When I asked him how the sleepover had gone he gave a huge grin. GREAT! He told me showing off his battle scars. “This one is from airhockey, this one is from the treadmill, and this one is from getting the orange off of the fan.” Excuse me? Although we all know the incredible injury risks of air hockey it was the orange fan part that confused me. “Well, it was after we got busted for 12:30 pitch black hide and go seek…then we were hungry so we snuck one at a time to get oranges. Then after we peeled them we needed to break them into section so we threw them at the fan.” “Hm.” I responded. “It didn’t even make a mess.” “Hm.” I responded again. “Ok, so a little mess…and one of my pieces ended in the bottom of the earth.” “Hm.” (Its all purpose people) ” You know so I didn’t want to leave it to rot so I climbed on the top bunk and fished it out of the bottom of the earth. I had turned off the fan light but (name redacted) thought I needed light so he turned it on and then I got a little hurt.” “Hm. Hm. Hm.”
  4. A tired kid speaks the truth. So the next morning (AKA today…Monday…school day) things weren’t so GREAT. He overslept. “Why didn’t you waaaaaake me?” “Hm.” “My thumb hurts.” “Aw.” (Sometimes I mix it up.) “I can’t put my sock on.” “Hm.” Then just shuddering weeping sobs as he limped around the house in one shoe using one hand to gather his things. As the sobbing crested and his face was red and slick with tears I decided to speak more than a syllable. “What is it you need sweetie?” “I don’t know what I need.” He wailed back at me. Isn’t that a truth we can all relate to. “Hm.” I said letting his soggy self melt into my arms.
  5. I can’t write 12 articles a week and like my life or my writing. I don’t think I need to elaborate. But I will. In this week of pain and illness and itchiness I still felt better than trying to squeeze out 1600 words a day. Hm.
  6. I totally dread sneezing. I know you all know how I pee when I sneeze, which has led to me avoiding fabric seats outside of my own home, and screaming out with full lung power to try to vent another way. Since the pinched nerve I have a new problem…each sneeze send an electrical current of pain from neck to finger tip. Which adds injury to insult. You might find me sitting in my own pee, holding my arm, and rocking while humming tunelessly. For a few moments I would be better off in the psych ward.
  7. There are people that don’t like clogs. There are people that don’t like clogs! Take a minute and let that sink in.  I rarely use exclamation points. But listen: there are people that don’t like clogs?!?! A Facebook friend had this as her recent status:

“No matter how many years I live on this Earth I will never get used to seeing people wearing clogs. Exceptions made for medical professionals and Dutch farmers.”

  1. 7b(this is not number one…this is what happens after a quote imbedded in a list when you don’t really know how to work wordpress) In my opinion there are two women on earth that shouldn’t wear clogs…Venus Williams and Alison Janney. The rest of us should learn from the hardest working people on earth….servers and health care personnel. Clogs are the best. They give you height, posture and comfort. You may say they are not stylish, but what is more stylish than being able to stay on your feet without shifting from side to side and counting the minutes until you can get home to take off your shoes? Clog up people. Love your feet.
  2. You need to have strong hands for socks. I know. That sentence doesn’t make sense. I am with you. I used to think getting a tantruming two year old into a snow suit was the worst secondary dressing I could do. Wrong. Putting on my Steve’s socks is the worst. I stretched them as far as I could and still couldn’t get them over his instep. He was so surprised. “I never realized my hands were so much stronger than yours.” Obviously he has never struggled to open a jar that he used his vise like grip to close. But second, why would you need strong hands for socks. I get my socks on every day without raising my heartrate. Its not as though they puddle around my ankles like a magnum condom on a minor penis…they stay up. So somehow I have learned that I need strong hands for socks. Or that Steve has strange socks.
  3. Never have a bartender at a party. We went to a lovely holiday party.  The food was great, the company stellar. The host balanced keeping the lights dimmed and the tables bussed with actually visiting with her guests. She was poised and welcoming. Not so the aproned woman who stood behind the bar. She mixed specialty cocktails and poured wine with something between a grimace and a growl. At the beginning of a party it feels posh and polished to have a professional. By the end there is a long line of semi drunk guests getting under her skin while they wait for drinks and forget what they wanted. One of the benefits of house parties is being able to mix your own drink. Make it a double in half the time of the pro. I have made this mistake muself
  4. I can’t work the numbered lists on WordPress. See 1b/7b for example.

What about you? What did you learn this week? Also- what is your position on clogs, bartenders and sleepovers. And are you itchy?

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Anna Rosenblum Palmer is a freelance writer based in Denver, CO. She writes about sex, parenting, cat pee, bi-polar disorder and the NFL; all things inextricably intertwined with her mental health. In her free time she teaches her boys creative swear words, seeks the last missing puzzle piece and thinks deeply about how she is not exercising. Her writing can be found on Babble, Parent.co, Great Moments in Parenting, Ravishly, Good Men Project, Sammiches and Psych Meds, Playpen, Crazy Good Parent, and YourTango. She also does a fair amount of navel gazing on her own blog at annarosenblumpalmer.com.