Hey, gang. I've got some major changes happening in my life right now, and blogging is going to get a little sparse between now and September. I'll pop in when I can, especially since there's nothing like moving to generate a whole bumload of amusing anecdotes ending with the words, "So we took more pills and then everything was all right again." Enjoy your summer, and light a candle for me and my supply of tranquilizer darts. ~D
See this cute little owl?
He's thinking so hard his eyes are bulging clean out of his cute little owl skull.
That's how I look these days.
(Dan Rizzoli drew this, not me.)
In this season of graduations, I find particular entertainment in this oft-used, tear- and snot-filled tribute:
"And finally, I'd like to thank my parents, who have supported me in everything I've done. They always told me that I could do anything I put my mind to."
How cute is this kid??
I've now graduated three of my four kids, and I am very proud that so far I've resisted pulling out a bullhorn and hollering from the stands, "Hey! Did they support you changing out of your modest little one-piecer into that macrame bikini once you arrived at my house for the end-of-year pool party? Cuz I'm kinda thinking -- not."
And my favorite really is that 'you can do anything you put your mind to' line. That one always gets a good chuckle outta me. I hold the land speed record for 'putting my mind to losing 30 pounds at seven a.m. and then putting my mind to polishing off a pound of peanut clusters by noon.'
I'm sorry, you cute little Valedictorian, but you can not, in fact, do anything you put your mind to. Your parents are big, fat liars. Have they talked to you about Santa yet? Or how the second you leave for college they're turning your room into a Zumba studio?
You may want to bring that up when they're "supporting" you by boxing up all your belongings and shipping them to your dorm three months before you're due to arrive. They have an agenda, sweetie.
So, today's wisdom has to do with kids and school and how some things only seem to end at graduation.
From the second your children are born until their 93rd birthdays, you will be expected to produce their shot records at a moment's notice. We're talking rabbits and hats here. "I'm sorry, ma'am, but you can't continue with this labor and delivery until your mother can demonstrate you had your eleventh MMR booster some time before you entered the third grade." That kind of card trick.
And in this uber technologically miraculous world in which we live, how do the doctors make it 'easy' for you to keep track of all that information? They hand you a card the size of a PostIt note and say, "Whatever you do, don't lose this. We can't emphasize enough how important it is that you keep track of this incredibly significant PostIt note. If your house catches fire, and you have a choice between saving your child and saving your child's shot record, well let's just say, shot records don't drive your Buick over the neighbors yard lamp, now, do they?"
My 23-year-old, married, grown-up son called me a few weeks ago, voice a-quiver, and informed me that if the ROTC didn't have his immunization record by sundown he'd have to walk the plank -- pretty nervy talk from a branch of the armed forces lacking the word "NAVY" on their stationery. When I demanded proof of life from the Army, they sent a picture of David, bound and gagged and strapped to a teeny-tiny chair in a pediatrician's "sick room" lobby.
Dora the Explorer was beating a fox senseless with her backpack, exclaiming in Spanish that this is what happens to naughty children whose naughty parents lose their shot records.
The Army does NOT mess around when it comes to shot records. So what could I do? I faked a shot record and sent it to the pirates in the ROTC's documents division. I hope they don't look too closely; I mostly just strung together a bunch of letters, put a dropperful of ink into each nostril, and sneezed on the "doctor's signature" line. So it looks totally real.
Here's the thing: We've lived in four different cities. Our kids have been shot in four different butts, so to speak. And all four doctors offices have insisted we start a new, improved, far-superior-to-that-last-PostIt-note shot record. Hell, one set of records is completely in Spanish. I couldn't tell you if the kid had his DPhQl immunization or an order of carnitas on a stick. What would you call a booster in that scenario? Seconds? Dessert?
So my wisdom concludes with this bit of advice: Bring a tattoo artist along to your kids' immunization appointments. And as soon as the nurse leaves the room, set the tattooist to inscribing just what injection was given to your little darling, with an arrow pointing to the exact location. Meds, date, name of clinic, schedule of follow up immunizations -- all memorialized right there on their little kiesters.
If I had thought to do this 23 years ago, my son's Army induction would have been a very different and far more efficient experience.
Certainly adds new meaning to the phrase "de-briefing," doesn't it?