7 Quick Takes, vol. 139


Last Friday, we took Julianna to the ophthamologist to have her post-lazy-eye surgery checkup. We hadn’t had her glasses on her in 10 days, and in the squabble of getting three little kids dressed, toys and books packed, and out the door, I forgot to bring them. But apologizing for being a loser mom opened the discussion of whether she needed them at all. The doctor said let her go without for a few months, since they her farsightedness has eased off by more than half. No glasses to lose! To scratch! To break! Freedom!


Heart Monitor
Image by Rennett Stowe via Flickr

Our next doctor visit, to the cardiologist, was not so successful. Julianna has firmly associated things as innocuous as a scales, stethoscope and pulsox machine as INSTRUMENTS OF DEATH. DEATH, I AM TELLING YOU. Now just imagine what happened when they started sticking leads to her chest, arms and legs to do an EKG. If you’ve never had one, this is an almost-instantaneous reading; it takes longer to place the leads than to do the test. But there’s no reasoning with a four-year-old who had eye surgery two weeks earlier. It took four people to get Julianna’s EKG.  I held her arms and sang while her screams rattled my eardrums; one nurse held her legs; another tried to entertain her while the third ran the computer. Now we have a new family tradition: post-doctor visits, we will go for ice cream to soothe the trauma.


Lately I’ve been shaking my head over the dumb questions reporters ask sometimes. This week Joplin schools reopened, and the TV reporter asked the mayor, “So how important is a sense of normalcy to the kids?” Puh-leeze. “Oh, for crying out loud,” I said. “What do you expect him to say? ‘Actually, we think it’s terrific for kids to live in crisis mode!’ ” I shook my head and told Christian, “I will never be a good person to go on TV, because sooner or later I’ll short-circuit and say what I think, instead of what I’m supposed to say.”


Can I just say how much I hate the Sears service line? I either want to talk to someone, or punch buttons. I do not want to have a chat with a machine. I give the machine all the info, and then they send me to a person who promptly makes me tell her everything all over again, and expects me, apparently, to leave my son languishing after school on the day of the appointment–because they refuse to be any more specific than “between 1 and 5.” I mean, come on. Everybody’s kids have to be picked up from school! How can anyone commit to this kind of a wacked-out, open-ended schedule? This is the problem with a centralized, national system for something that has to be done locally. Grr! Can I get an Amen?


Image via Wiki Commons

I’ve always been a little crazier than most pregnant women, but I think this one probably takes the cake. On Monday night I found myself standing atop a fifteen-foot pile of mulch, sunk up to my knees, flinging shovelfuls down as we helped prepared the school playground for the first day of school. It wasn’t until I had huffed and puffed my way to the top, using my shovel as a climbing pole, that I thought, Is this wise? Several people commented on my perch and my condition…but no one volunteered to take over. Alex and a couple buddies joined me, though.


At rehearsal last night, I remembered a story I wanted to share, which will probably not be meaningful if you aren’t Catholic and a trained musician, but hey. My first 5 QTs have been pretty universal today. Humor me.

When you enter music school freshman year of college, the first thing you encounter in music history class is Gregorian chant. This is the beginning and origin of all Western music, and the concepts that underlie chant–including the structure of what was written–exert a huge pull on music for centuries to come. So oddly enough, this Catholic girl went to college and started learning Church history, in the form of “ordinaries” and “propers.” It was kind of cool, actually, because it added depth of meaning to going to Mass, since we still use largely the same structure.

Years later, we were doing a wedding with some non-Catholic professional musicians. Mid-way through rehearsal, the trumpet player said, “Oh!” He had a funny look on his face. “It’s like a mini-Mass.”

No, I wanted to say, it IS a Mass.


I’ve had one of those low-key blogging weeks, where I didn’t feel I had the creativity or energy to blog in depth. But I have some posts stewing for next week, on pregnancy, fear, and being put together (or more accurately, not). Stay tuned, and have a great weekend!