Tuesday, March 29, 2011

How We Learned to Love The Things That Suck: Mama's Trying Week or The Can, The Bug, and The Egg

I think I am done now with Life in Exile blogging, as it were. Ready to put that beat bit of prose to bed. I cynically/optimistically now begin a new series perhaps called, "How We Learned to Love the Things That Suck". Past tense, because, of course, we haven't actually learned yet how... If I was learning as I went along it might be called "...Am Learning To..." But I like the irony so... here we go...

So Friday, the 18th my lovey and I are sitting at lunch, just about finished, and somewhat relaxed, considering. Just a couple of weeks earlier he had been let go from his job. It was a stressful, difficult to learn job and he'd been feeling the pressure. Reassured one week that he had time to learn (he'd been doing investigations on his own for only 7 months) and would not be allowed to fail, (in fact, they had just implemented the ironically named "No Investigator Left Behind" program) only to be let go another. In the letting go process the company had made a number of, one could argue, cruel mistakes. Being reassured that you won't lose your job and then being let go shortly thereafter is bad enough. But they had let AMX know he was being un-employed long before they let him know. So the letter canceling his company card arrived before the canning did. They also called on a Monday to schedule a "we've got to talk to you" meeting on a Friday. ??? "Honey, I'll be home from Paris in a month. Can we have a sit down and talk about the continuation of our relationship then? No, we'll talk about it then... buh bye" - like that, only more vague and evasive when asked a direct question.

So during the "we've got to talk to you meeting" they make some noises about stats and not being up to par and "should be farther along"s and whatnot - and hem and haw when shown the reassuring "don't worry we won't let you fail" letter. So they make it look like a firing for cause, but really it is more like a layoff. A number of weeks earlier supervisors had requested a volunteer to go "independent contractor" status, and no takers. Weeks after being let go, his job is still not posted on their website - they never had any intention of replacing him, only getting rid of low hanging fruit. So much for No Investigator Left Behind - probably modeled on Bush's No Child Left Behind, which should probably be renamed, Failing, Well Screw You! (Either or, take your pick)

The company also did the not so nice, and a violation of state labor statutes, thing called delay in getting final pay stub to former employee. When you let someone go, 24 hours baby. That's all you get... a week or so later, lovey's finally arrives so NOW he can file for unemployment... and with a high unemployment rate in our county, that nerve wracking phone call is delayed by a further week.

So by the time we find ourselves at lunch on a sunny Friday afternoon, after a morning of us both volunteering at our kids' school, we are finally feeling some sort of equilibrium come back into our limbs when... the phone rings and it's the school - come pick up your kids, they have head lice.


This is not a phone call one welcomes. But spring into action we did. So 12 hours later - after treatments and nit picking hair and spraying and washing and changing of sheets and towels, etc. - the last load of laundry goes into a hot hot hot load to wash out any potential critters at 1am. Oh no, but that is not the end, my friend. If you, or some small one you love, has ever had this affliction you know, our party was not over. It seemed like (though this is not literally true) I spent my entire weekend with my face in children's hair, combing out lice eggs (nits) and squashing live ones between my fingernails. I now have a new appreciation for and deeper understanding of some parts of the English language, such as "nit picking" and "louse" and "bug eyed".

Come Monday morning our daughter was still not ready to go back to school. No live ones allowed in school! But thank goodness for the leniency of NOT having a No Nit Policy. That would just be maddening, and detrimental to a little girl who is already behind in her studies. Finally, she gets the go ahead on Thursday. I relax, just a little too soon because...

When the kids and lovey came to pick me up from work that afternoon I noticed a red spot on her forehead. She had bumped her head on a metal pole at school and a giant egg had grown there. I asked her a few questions and she seemed to be fine. But as we made our way home and I began to make dinner (breaking a glass sending me into a stress-tizzy for a moment), Natasha Richardson kept creeping into my head. I was worried. But I couldn't exactly point to anything to be worried about. After dinner (Thursday is dessert night, don't you know), having no treats, we headed to Dairy Queen. When girlie started complaining her egg hurt we were close enough to the Urgent Care to swing by, so we did. As the physician asked the girlie questions her face changed. Seems she lost consciousness for a couple of seconds - and any loss counts. Off to the ER we go.

You learn things, being in the ER, for 6 hours on a Thursday night.

Number one) If you land yourself in the ER everyone will show up. If they are within driving distance they will arrive, if only to wait and worry-ish in the lobby (there will be a good amount of giggling, though I don't think at the inflicted's expense). So be heartened if no one shows up in your actual room they are probably all in the lobby. Making noise.

Number two) It's scary when the ER goes on lock-down because 'something' is happening or criminals or suspected criminals or some unknown something is happening 'back there'. As subtle as the staff try to make it, being a mom alone with a 6 year old daughter in the middle of the night in the ER, when it goes on lock-down, is not the most comforting place to be. Trust me, I experienced it, three times.

Number three) If you must go to the ER on a Thursday night and you are in Palm Springs, make the hike to Indio to JFK. Thursday night Street Fair apparently attracts trouble and the ER ends up busy. Who knew?

Number four) After midnight hysterical single women will visit the ER. That's not entirely fair, I don't know, they might have been married. But three of them, really. I think they just wanted to talk. I know how that is, I've woken up in the middle of the night too all stressed and worried that my life isn't going the way its supposed to. I suppose that is the prophylactic effect of children - they (mostly) keep you from going off half-cocked in the middle of the night. (Bet you never thought you'd read that sentence in your whole entire life.)

So, there you have it. It is now Tuesday and I am still tired. I feel something like someone has taken a cheese grater to my psyche. And yes, still nit picking, thanks for asking! Every night. Twenty one days. Go on, I know you're jealous you don't get to make your children hold still for you for twenty one days.

Note to self: some day this will all be funny, some day this will all be funny, some day this will all be funny...