Wednesday, June 29, 2011

O Wise One Wednesday - Putting My Mind to It

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?


Momza said...

You're moving too? Or just moving your valedictorian's stuff?
I'm writing from a brand new loft/study with approximately 17 boxes lying around me as I guiltily (is that a word? spell check just dinged me--ok fixed now) as I guiltily ignore them all and read your blog. Cuz you're more fun than unpacking.
As for shot records..we're exempt, so I never have to look for those postcard sized notes and for that, I am thankful as I have no clue which box I would even begin to look inside of.
HAGS, DeNae!

Brittany said...

Are you moving from the last rung on the ladder to Hell that is Las Vegas? Congratulations to you if that is the case and best wishes that your move involves someplace that is not the inside of a neon oven. But sad for me if you are not going to be blogging because I really look forward to your posts. Your wisdom and your cursing brighten my days.

Brandy Rose said...

So in other words, my kid will appreciate me putting her med records on her butt? I'm gonna be such a good mom!

TisforTonya said...

So, what I'm taking away from this is that my kids should never join the armed forces... but they could probably run for president.

I'm debating signing the "religious exemption" line at school at calling it good.

Becca said...


Though I surely could NOT, the internet might just survive without you. All of us will be here when you have time for us. We're just that kind of groupies. XO

Rebecca said...

Love that post! I hate moving from state to state and them telling us that the kids need some new shot or another. And I especially love it when they look at me like I am so neglectful in not knowing that this new strain of strep or virus runs rampant in their city and I should have gotten their shots for it before I showed up.
Well, good luck in the endeavors you have going on the next few months. I will be breathlessly waiting for your next post!

Korea Daejeon Mission said...

Absolutely brilliant! I love you!

Camille said...

I'm new to your blog. Your writing makes me laugh. Thanks!

Melanie Jacobson said...

The tattoo solution is why you will go so much farther in life than I ever will.

annie valentine said...

This is the first post I've read in weeks and I might as well stop here. I think someday the mark of the beast will be shot record tattoos.

Kara Herron said...

We recently tried to get proof of my son's birth. Not an easy thing to do! The birth certificate I have is not really a birth certificate. It's a certificate to prove that I have the right to ask for a real one. (?!) See, Michael let his driver's license run out. So, now we have to prove he's who he says he is. Now, even though we already used the not-really-a-birth-certificate thing for his first driver's license, that's not gonna cut it now. (He might be a terrorist trying to get an illegal license, right?!) When we called NJ dept of records to get an "actual" birth certificate, they wanted a driver's license as proof of his identity. Yeah. We need the license to get the birth certificate and visa versa. After going around in circles for a few weeks, I finally called them (instead of Michael calling). They said I could request one - no problem. I just needed to provide my marriage license with my maiden name. I'm sure you can guess where this is going. I looked for HOURS - couldn't find it. My mother couldn't believe that I didn't know where it was. (After 25 years?! Are you kidding me? I did find all of the gift cards that people gave us, though. They wouldn't take those.) It's just ridiculous the hoops we have to jump through, isn't it? You'd think that moms could get a break - don't they know we lost our minds/memories YEARS ago?!

Denae, you make me laugh. :-)

Gotta go look for those damn shot records...


wendy said...

Well...even though we'll miss your regular posts, enjoy your break (did I say enjoy?, cause it sounds like if you need tranquilizers, it may not really be a Break)
LOVE that you Put your mind to loosing 30 lbs in the a.m. and by noon have put your mind to polishing off (what was it) food.

Love the photo of your daughter. Graduations are so full of hope and promise...until they hand in their cap and gown and scream "What happened to if I just put my Mind to it??"

you are brilliant with the shot solution.
or how about a micro chip?

Kazzy said...

Oh, you are so right about the obnoxious shot records. I keep a little school folder for each guy with shot records and ss cards and birth certificates, but, let me tell you, every time the shot record is needed I sweat a little and say a silent prayer that it is in there. At least in an email I could search for it. Ugh...

Once at girls camp a few years ago someone came to give a talk on faith and spent the entire time telling the girls that faith was knowing you could do anything you set your mind on. I almost lost it. I cannot stand that little platitude.

I have you on my mind as you are packing up. You will have the chance to clean up and declutter and start fresh. That is a blessing.

Lucy said...

Isn't the red tape in this world out of hand? Who cares about immunization records?! What are the odds that childhood immunizations are still effective anyways? Geez...

Valerie Ipson said...

I just found your funny!

I'm going back to college to finish my degree and am worried about having to produce a shot record. I could ask my aged father if he has the stone-tablet record laying around somewhere. Actually, I had mumps, and probably measles, too, as a child. I remember getting the rubella shot in grade I really have to have the MMR shot to get my degree?

Lara said...

Shot records. Hate them.

I know where all three of mine currently are, but what I don't know is how accurate they are. And having lived in 5 different places since my eldest was born, where half of the doctor's offices never filled the thing out because they have the record in the file. Ugh.

But, I bet if I put my mind to it I could totally update them correctly.

Kristy said...

Good luck to you! Lots of busy and change ahead it sounds like!

Cori :) said...

whoa now, whoa. i do not remember giving u clearance to use my sexy body shot on ur blog. ur lucky i love u or else...*knuckle crack knuckle crack*