A Very Short Story About The Little Brother Who Loves His Big Brother (and tries to hang on his every word ;) ) …And the Vast Difference Between 18 and 9

I was washing my face last night when The Baby walked (a little sulkily) into the bathroom, but obviously with some news he needed to share with me. I asked him what was up.  He announced to me that one of Mini Me’s favorite musician’s had died, and he asked me if I already knew that information.  I told him I did.  He stood there for a minute and we looked at each other.  Then, with complete and total veneration for his musician-big-brother (and said big brother’s sadness over the loss of Chris Cornell),  as well as  a little bit of rockstar-little-brother-EGO, The Baby says to me: Yeah. I’m pretty sure it was the guy from Radiogarden. 

(Yes, I whispered Soundgarden 😉 )


Mother of the Year….

Mini Me has displayed tendencies of being a hypochodriac pretty much since day one.  I say this in my own defense.  In Mini Me’s defense; however, I should probably say that he inherited said tendencies from, well, Me.  Mothah loves to tell about how she would have just gotten us the hell out of the house, and she would be getting into her daily routine and the damn phone would ring.  This was in the days before cordless phones even existed.  She would race to wherever the nearest phone was plugged in to answer it, and it would be me on the other end. “Whatcha doin’?”, I would ask her, rather nonchalantly.  “Jennifah! What is wrong? Is something the mattah?”, she would ask.  “I don’t feel good. I want to come home”, was always my stock answer.  I really did not like going to school.  I wanted to stay at home with my mother!  She was, and is, awesome! I just liked being near her all the time.  We were not allowed to use the telephone at school any time we wanted, so I had to lie my way to the Health Room, so that I could sneak a call to my mother and hear her voice!  I knew she would say, “No, Jennifah. I am not coming up theah to that school to get you. You don’t have a fevah. Go back to youah class and have a great day. I will see you this aftahnoon when you get home.  I love you.  Bye bye.”  She said it every time, but at least I got to talk to her.  I would not understand this whole routine until I grew up and had children of my own.   Oh how wrong I had been! All of these years, I had thought that Mothah had pined away for us from the time we left for school until the time we ran back through the front door.  I was just certain that she waited for my daily call, and was disappointed if I was unable to talk my way to the Health Room!  I had this great epiphany when Mini Me was in first or second grade.  I could not have been more off my rocker.  Mothah was not sad that we were leaving for school! She could not wait to get our asses out of there! In fact, it was probably more like ‘don’t let the door hit you where the good Lord split you’ on the way out!  The minute that Daddy was gone to work and my brother and I were off to school, she was not crying in her coffee! It was time to partay!  I have this great mental image of Mothah, in her long, red bathrobe, with her longish Kramer hair, coffee cup in hand, dancing down the hall to the beat of Leo Sayer.  BWAHAHAHA.   That probably actually happened.  She did play bridge, but other than that, the partay of which I speak is the one that consists of doing laundry, making the beds, cleaning, ironing, etc., but without anyone constantly asking her questions or asking her to come look at something!

So, with all of that being cleared up for you now, I will start by briefly telling you about The Thumb Incident.  When Mini Me was in the third grade, I decided to go back to school.  I was teaching Art three days a week, and commuting to Athens to UGA two days a week.  On one of my commuting days, the principal of Mini Me’s school called me on my cell phone.  “Jack is here in the office, and his thumb is hurting really badly.  He says he needs for you to come get him.”  I was speechless.  “His what?”, I said.  “His thumb”, the principal said.  It was not swollen or black or blue or red.  It just hurt for some reason.  I explained that I was at school in Athens, and I could not just come back to Atlanta to pick Mini Me up because his thumb hurt if nothing was visibly wrong with it.  “Well, I know, but he wanted me to call you, ” she said.  “Put him on the phone, please”, I said.  He went back to class.  I then told the principal that this was over the top, and that she was just going to have to send Mini Me back to class unless anyone had witnessed him vomiting or having diarrhea, or unless he was bleeding profusely, or had a fever that was over 100 degrees.  That pretty much put a stop to the calls……for a while…….

Mini Me is a Senior in High School now.  He spent five glorious weeks on his own at Berklee College of Music in Boston this summer, and it was very, very hard for him to transition back to  living at home with his parents and siblings, not to mention going back to regular old high school……When the messages started coming in that he was not feeling well and needed to come home, I really thought it was a bunch of his hypochondriac B.S.  I, Dr. Psychomother, diagnosed him with a really bad case of Senioritis.  It went on and on and on.  The complaining got worse and worse. He was driving me insane.  He did not feel well….the fatigue was awful.  Yes, he actually used the word fatigue.  I was rolling my eyes and sighing.  I did not think I was going to make it through this year. It is not even the end of September! So, I made him an appointment at the pediatrician–thinking that they would send him for blood work and that would scare him into straightening up and flying right.  I am so damn mean like that.  I took him on Friday afternoon.  The doc tested him for mono, which was negative.  His hemoglobin was perfect.  Then Mini Me happened to mention that his chest had been really tight.  This was the first time he had mentioned this symptom.  The doc listened to him breathe, then whisked him off for a spirometry test.  Mini Me has had asthma since he was old enough to be diagnosed with it, and he used to have to use the nebulizer a lot, but he has not had a flare up in years.  Well, well, well……he had 72% lung capacity.  Add the fact that he takes stimulant ADD meds, and that kind of doubles the fatigue.  He was not making it all up.  I felt like the meanest old mother on the planet.  I apologized to him for not believing him, but did tell him that his description of “feeling fine at home, but not fine at school” did not help things.  He now has a new steroid inhaler and a new rescue inhaler and we have to go back in 30 days.  He is feeling much, much better.  Just go ahead and give me “Mother of the Year”……

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