Saturday, April 23, 2011

Parental Failings of the Ironical Sort

"Yep, I see it."

The doctor points to the exam room and I scoop C up mid-run for the next part of the appointment.

She clambers up onto the exam table and he starts checking her hips for alignment--or rather, checks them for a lack of alignment to explain the hitch in her gait.

"We could do some x-rays but it probably wouldn't help at this point," he says, frowning at her apparently symmetrical pelvis, "Could be neurological."


I had a housemate in college who was a stone, cold fox.

I maybe had a few weeks in 1995 when I was a solid 7. I may even still be a 6 for those who are attracted to sturdiness and sarcasm. But, truly, I'm a 5* most best.

My friend, J, is a solid 10--perhaps an 11. Back then she looked like a veela as interpreted by one of those pervy animators responsible for the Disney princesses.

Living with her was just how I imagine it would be to run a base camp at Everest. Hordes of men show up all aflutter with adventure and conquest on their minds. Even those who are vanquished can't talk about anything else but the next try. The ones with any sense stay far away.

I won't lie, my ego was definitely bruised up by the end of it but I came away with a solid understanding some basic truths.

Comparing yourself to other people is a short road to disappointment.

*In case it's not obvious, I'm including this as a bit of a sly wink--I am, however, serious about the sarcasm part.


It was probably intended in the spirit of upward mobility that marks members of the middle class but, it still seems like a bad idea to me, especially now that I'm a mother myself.

On my second birthday my mom went to the trouble to get out my baby book and a pen and note that I "still had a miserable personality" but "had shown some improvement lately."

Guess who doesn't have a baby book of her own? What would I have written in there during her first year?

C still defies expectations by continuing to be alive. She's alive!!!! She's alive!!!

It's still the predominant thought in my head when I look at her--holy shit! She's still here! Please, please let her continue to exist.

Right after we were pounded by the fickle sledgehammer of fate, I gathered up my tiny daughter and ran as fast as I could away from the trouble. Along the way I've done my best to shed her lingering association with loss and grief.

I've ditched any hard-wired expectations.

I don't compare her to other children as a matter of principle.

Those things just slow you down.

And now I've charged face-first into the enormous, spiky outstretched fist of the universe.

I can't escape the notion that I've been making this all about me this whole time.

It could be neurological.

Is that better or worse than a deformed pelvis?


  1. I often think 'she's alive' too. I try not to think of that as the best thing about her...

    Have you taken C to a chiropractor? It's nonevasive and really couldn't hurt. We take Beanie (and us too).

  2. I think you are a ten.

    "It could be neurological" is one of those phrases that makes me want to punch a doctor. Not for any other reason than those words need to be followed up with reassurances and answers, not that hellish land of Hurry Up and Wait, with its little city-state Go Insane In The Meantime.

    Abiding, as always, and here if you need to talk about it. xo

  3. I agree with Angie--it could be neurological . . . AND . . . then what? I'm getting a little tired of hearing that the people who went to medical school still don't have the answers.

    Hoping you get the answers you are looking for, and thinking of you as you search.

    And you know what? Effing A RIGHT you're alive! I think that every day about our little O.

  4. Yep, agreeing with Angie and Mary-Beth. And I too just praise the face he's here! he's alive! I will never stop feeling lucky about that.
    I will be thinking for you and checking in for updates.

  5. Yup, another who had to refrain from filling in all the pages in her daughter's baby book with 'alive, alive-o!'

    As Angie says, "it could be neurological" is just one of those annoying medical phrases. I have had some similar annoying doctor-y pronouncements hanging over J ever since she was born. And you should have heard the various proposals for what turned out to be a BRUISE on R's neck!

    It's hard not to compare even when you know that no good will come of it. And I don't think you've been making it all about you.

    Oh and glad I'm not the only one who lists 'sturdiness' amongst my best attributes. Or 'sturkiness' as my mother has been known to describe me. x

  6. "And now I've charged face-first into the enormous, spiky outstretched fist of the universe."

    Good grief. Why can't everyone write like this!?

    And you do it over and over...

    Cathy in Missouri