Again, what’s with the stupid Family Fun parenting models of laughing, happy, always-joyful families making me feel inadequate!?! Or maybe *I’m* fine, but Kendrie sure as heck has her moments (sometimes unbearably long moments that seem to last all day long!) when she isn’t the smiling, pleasant model-child like the kids in the magazine. (Do you think it matters that the kids in the magazines all have hair? Yes, three cheers for advertisers for putting photos of kids in wheelchairs in magazines, but come one! Let’s see some baldies out there!)
Anyway, since the last time I checked our family tree, there was no actual, hard physical evidence of SATAN sitting on any of the branches, and she hasn’t been on steroids for two months, then I just have to assume “it’s a 4-yr old thing”. Here are a few of the issues with which we have dealt the past few days, which I repeat in this forum just so none of you are surprised when 'the men' show up with a little white jacket for me.
CLOTHES: I gave up a long time ago trying to get Kendrie to wear anything but jeans (or jean shorts) and a t-shirt. Now we’ve just topped off the ensemble with a ball cap and that’s the extent of it. So far, she has been the epitome of “low maintenance” when it comes to fashion. Suddenly, however, the other day, she decided she had an opinion ….. and heaven help us she wouldn’t budge. I bought her a new shirt with a number on the chest (like a sports jersey) and a picture of some kind of sparkly fruit on the back. Obviously, wearing the shirt properly means you can’t see the fruit, no matter how sparkly, so she insisted on wearing the shirt backwards. Fine. Whatever. The problem arose when she said the tag was “itching her neck” and wanted me to cut it out. For some reason this annoyed me and so I said no ….. (will I never learn?) and that upset her. Greatly. I gave in on the hiking boots that she has worn pretty much every day for the past four months, and the super-hero ball caps she insists on …. But something about cutting off that tag so she could wear the shirt backwards just so she could see the sparkly fruit … I don’t know, it just rubbed me wrong. Lord knows I paid for it all day with complaints and tears. Would she even consider turning the shirt around properly??? Heck, no. That was too much work. But she had the energy to whine and cry about the tag for twelve solid hours. Next time I’m just grabbing the scissors.
FOOD: OK, as a special treat, I took her to a local bakery one morning while out running errands. We stood in line, I showed her all the choices, she stated she wanted a *roll* (Kendrie-speak for cheese bagel) “Just like Mom’s”. I double checked, “Just like mine?” and she replied, “Yes, JUST like yours, only fat” (ie., not sliced in half) So I bought two cheese bagels and gave her one. Immediately she said, “I wanted it cut in half”. So I grabbed one of those little flimsy plastic knives and sawed it in half. Then she informs me she doesn’t like cheese bagels. I said, “Kendrie, you said JUST like mine, and mine is cheese” to which she replied, “yes, just like yours, but different.” (sigh) Just so you don’t think I cave to all demands, she did go without a bagel that day.
CONTROL ISSUES: We went to the commissary (military grocery store) on base and I promised her ahead of time that she could ride in one of the special carts with the big-kid seats up front, even though they are 30-feet long and incredibly hard to steer, as anyone who has ever used one of those carts can attest. I normally wind up knocking over more displays and doing more damage than the elderly people in the motorized shopping chairs. Naturally, when we arrived at the commissary, every one of the special carts was already in use by other stay-at-home moms like me. I quickly looked around to see if any of them were close to being finished, and the answer was no … half-full carts all around. So I explained to Kendrie she would have to ride in a regular cart. She was adamant that the little seat up front was for babies and she wanted to ride in the big cart part. I asked where was I supposed to put the groceries? And she said I could push two carts. She refused to get in; I suggested she walk; she said her legs hurt; you know how it goes. I was getting very frustrated until some old man witnessing the entire scene said out loud, “Looks to me like he just needs to walk” --- Rude. If *I* want to be mad at my spoiled rotten brat that’s my business, but people should keep their opinions to themselves in public. The one good thing to come out of it was-- it WAS the first time Kendrie used the phrase I taught her: “I’m not a boy, I’m a girl with cancer!”
MUSIC: OK, this is where it gets bizarre. Riding home after the commissary episode, Kendrie announced she wanted me to sing the “bridge” song. The bridge song??? Yes, the bridge song. So I launch into the most obvious choice, “London Bridge is Falling Down” only to have her slap herself in the forehead, roll her eyes, and say “Not THAT bridge song!” Hmmmm. Just how many bridge songs are there? So I tentatively begin with “Bobbie Jo McAllister jumped off the Tallahassee Bridge” in my best smoky voice karaoke club imitation, all the while thinking “Bobbie Jo? Is that right??? Or is it Billy Joe? What is the rest of that song? Tallahassee Bridge? Waxahachie Bridge??” Kendrie, again, says out loud, “Not THAT bridge song, either!” So I’m really thinking now, bridge, bridge, bridge … what on earth is she talking about and Boom! It comes to me, and I burst out in my best singing voice (the one that Clay Aiken would be jealous of) “Like a BRIDGE over tro-houb-led water …. I will lay you Dooo-ooo—ooo-wnnnnnnn” and I’m telling you, even Simon and Garfunkel could not have done it better. After my grand crescendo of a finale, there is total silence from the back of the van and then I hear Kendrie’s little voice, “what the heck was that?” So, realizing I’m 0 for 3, I tell her I have no idea what bridge song she means, and the entire rest of the drive home she keeps insisting I sing the song. Like if she demands it enough times, the words and tune will just suddenly pop into my head.
What is up with my child???? Does anyone know what the bridge song is? I’ve said all along that our family will need therapy before this whole leukemia thing is over and done with, but now I’m thinking maybe behavior modification therapy, for HER, needs to start sooner rather than later. A friend of mind who shall remain nameless (I don’t want to embarrass you Jadine) was talking about her boys and said she was considering (and I quote) “stapling their little mouths shut” and I’m beginning to think she might be on to something.
Let’s see, what else? We had a clinic appointment today for IV meds; vincristine and methotrexate, plus the IV zofran ahead of time. She also had a spinal tap and received more methotrexate in her spine. An unexpected bonus today was running into our friends Regina and Wild Girl Madie at clinic today. Kendrie and Madie were getting spinals in the new procedure rooms right next to one another and afterwards we went to the park for an impromptu picnic. You should have seen the two of them parading their treasure-box items through the clinic afterwards and showing off – Barbie/Kelly stuff for Madie, and a 4-ft Hulk puzzle for Kendrie. (I’m telling you, she doesn’t have a girly-bone in her whole body!) They were a sight to see and made everyone smile. I did have a terrifying moment at 4:55 this afternoon when our phone rang -- of course my mind immediately leapt to it being the oncologist, calling us at the end of the day to tell us the spinal fluid wasn't clear. Never so glad to hear from a telemarketer in all my life.
Anyway, if you have a few spare minutes, please visit the sites of Spencer Rocket, who just had his transplant yesterday, Cameron, who recently returned home after having his bone marrow transplant with his brother Chad as a donor, and Christopher, whose family is making the decision now about how to treat his recent CNS relapse. As hard as this whole leukemia/chemotherapy crap is, the paths their families are following are even harder and I’m sure they would appreciate the support.
In the meantime, I hope you all have a great weekend!
WORST PART ABOUT HAVING CANCER TODAY: Getting my port accessed and having a needle stuck in my back. I knew what was coming the minute my mom pulled over on the highway and started putting that magic-cream on my back.
BEST PART ABOUT HAVING CANCER TODAY: That's easy! Having lunch and playing in the park with my sister-friend Madie because she is a little kid like me who has sick blood (just like me!) and we have fun, fun, fun together!!