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Different Than What I Thought

May 22nd, 2006

We’re winding down on another school year, which means we’ve had a handful of asthma scares (Wacky Girl. And thank God it was just a handful), the flu and colds (all of us), pinkeye (Wacky Boy, twice), bronchitis and bronchial pneumonia (me, two or three times? I lose track) and general ennui (especially Wacky Dee and myself. Could it be ALL THAT REMODELING? Yes, we have no money, thanks), all since last September. Well, huh.

And last week, for me, our little friend Norovirus. As as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would like you to know: “People infected with norovirus are contagious from the moment they begin feeling ill to at least 3 days after recovery. Some people may be contagious for as long as 2 weeks after recovery.” This virus is blazing through Portland and Vancouver. C’mon by! We’d love to share it with you.

So when my friend S’s husband told me yesterday that I was still contagious, even though I stopped puking a week ago, and even though I’ve been feeling better since Friday (not tons of energy, thus no blog entries, sorry. But better). He said you could be contagious for even three days after you start feeling better. All I was thinking was, “Please let him be wrong.” He’s rarely wrong, being an OCD kinda guy. But he was wrong! It can be two weeks.

Neat-o. Guess Pregnant Wacky Cousin will not be visiting Wednesday, after all. Dammit. I wanted to see her and her baby belly.

So when I volunteered almost the entire day at school on Friday, yep, I was probably exposing all the little dumplings and their sweet teachers to my little friend, Norovirus. Oh, please — who do you think exposed me? So whatever. But I will feel bad if anyone gets it.

All of which reminds me — parenthood, marriage, volunteering… None of this is what I thought it would be. It’s fine, I’m rolling with it. But friends I’d known and loved forever, once we all became parents we could not stand the very sight of each other. Whereas some of my swingin’ singles friends, who are childless (or in some cases, grandparents or stepparents, without having given birth. And to me? To skip straight to grandparenting without the stretch marks sounds like the sweetest deal of all)… some of these friends are now nearer and dearer than ever before.

Go figure. No, don’t, it’ll drive you crazy.

Also — my writing has changed. All I heard was, “Good luck getting a book finished now.” (I didn’t know if they meant written or read; I figured written.) I’ve finished one manuscript (novel, fourth draft, blech) and have written some and sketched some out for two others (non-fiction — “Wacky Mommy: A Manual” ha! and “Neighbors From Hell” — uh, fiction.) My writing has become sharper, more focused, more wicked, mo’ bettah than it was before. You may choose to disagree, that is fine. I’m happy with it. WTF? I have never been satisfied with my writing, and I am now. Weird. Maybe it’s all the domesticity. I think it agrees with me.

As for community service: Jesus-what-a-nightmare. I was so gung-ho to take on the flawed schools, volunteer my ass off, be a PTA mom, go on field trips. I think I’m going to hire a nanny to do my field trips from now on, I hate them that frickin’ much. Those kids — I just want to… Well, nothing I’d follow through on, so let’s not discuss it here.

And volunteering in the classroom is way different than I thought it would be. I have my English B.A., so I figured I’d be helping kids with reading. Ha! Am failure at that. Have no patience, no skill. I sharpen pencils, tidy up the desks (I heart wet wipes, scotch tape and erasers more than anything else now), and make sure kids come back from the bathroom. All of the kids in WG’s class Really. Love. Going. Potty. Some of them for up to a half-hour at a time. Longer if you forget about them and don’t go fetch them. They’ll be in there singing, talking with their buddies, trying to poop.

Kid: “I STILL HAVE TO GO! I HAVEN’T GONE YET!” (This, after 20 minutes of effort in the stall. Kid needs to see a damn doctor.)

Turns out the only area where I’m of any assistance is Pencil Sharpening 101.

J (one of the kids in WG’s class): “You’re always sharpening pencils for us, huh? I mean, you must really like sharpening pencils.”

Me: “I am good at it, no?”

J: “Don’t forget our table, okay?”

1 Comment

  1. edj says

    I love this. Parenthood is so different than what I thought, too. Because I was practically an only child (sibs way older) and longed for close sibs when I was growing up, I thought I’d be the house on the block where all the kids play. Guess what? I like my peace and quiet, and I don’t have warm fuzzies for my kids’ friends…far from it, a lot of the time. Oh well; my mother didn’t either and I survived ok.

    May 28th, 2006 | #

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