Sunday, September 09, 2007

Alien Children, Tingly Feet, Optometrists and the Police

We made it through the first week of back to school.

First weeks are notoriously stressful in this house. Usually it starts during the last few weeks of summer vacation, where suddenly Jake is waking up from nightmares about school. The tension builds until that first morning, which is when Jake clings to his bed like a cat with it's claws outstretched, demanding that he DOES NOT WANT TO GO TO SCHOOL. Which makes it hard to get to work, especially when you want to make a good impression on YOUR first day.

"Hi, I'm the new special ed paraprofessional and I'm so happy to be here. Sorry I'm an hour late, I had to physically drag a kicking and screaming child to school and them peel him off of me before sitting in the car and crying, feeling like a completely inadequate parent to subject my child to such torture."

Every day this week, Jake was up, dressed, at the door with his shoes on, tapping his foot and looking at me as if to say, "What is taking you so long?" Sure, he'd give the statement, "I don't want to go to school, " which is required of every kid over the age of 10, but that was it. I'm beginning to think that aliens took my child and replaced him with a different model-it was that creepy. He even came home every day telling me what an AWESOME! day he had. I keep looking at him, wondering...

"Who the hell ARE YOU? And can you PLEASE stick around? Maybe I can convince you to do the dishes or something. " (I've actually tried, his good will didn't extend quite that far.)

My first week back at work was basically the same old school year start up-people coming and going, winging it until I have a defined schedule, and getting to know routines again. My hands, having had a lovely summer of not too much writing, have ached in protest at the sudden demand of their services. Every day they've tingled, ached, burned, and generally been very annoying. Of course, not wanting to feel alone in their venture, they've invited my feet to join in. I've had to resort to wearing not-so-fashionable runners instead of sandals or other nice shoes to work because my feet are also burning, achy, tingling appendages. As I'm hobbling through the crowded hallways I feel closer to 80 then my actual 30 something.

This weekend I ventured to the city to an optometrist, mostly because you have to be going blind in order to procure an appointment in less then 5 months here. I pulled rank and mentioned that an neurologist and my family doctor had recommended it, but that didn't help. I gave up and called a place in the city, which kindly had a spot available in two days, so I was in.

So a day in the city all by myself resulted in me finding out that my eyes are in perfect health, my prescription for my glasses is a little too strong, finding a very cute pair of new frames, and discovering that those drops that make your pupils dilate makes people think you're stoned. Good thing I wasn't driving. I tried to shop, but it was a little like buying lingerie when you're on Claritin....I don't recommend it. Hubs was relieved, but still concerned when I came home. This whole medical thing is frustrating...but at least all the docs agree with each other on one point-it's neurological and I need an MRI.

"Maybe it's all in your head," Jake, being the scientist, knows what it could be but can't bear to go there.

"What if you have a brain tumour? Or Multiple Sclerosis?" at home, Hubs cornered me out of Jake's earshot and voices what we're all thinking but are afraid to say. "You don't look well at all."

What if? What if? I could be playing that game all the time and all it would do is make me scared and anxious. I'm not going there. Call it sticking my head in the sand, but I refuse to even think about it until after that MRI, which is thankfully, coming very soon. This whole thing has been so hard on Jake and Hubs that I keep holding onto hope that it's really nothing; just a small glitch that can be fixed. Not for my sake, but for theirs.

This weekend we also have a police officer coming to the house to interview us about an incident that happened in the neighborhood awhile back. Jake was all excited when he heard; it was as if I just said that some hot celebrity was visiting.

"Oh we'll make coffee, and I'll have tea, you can put out some cookies, and we'll have a chat, right?!" he bounced up and down excitedly on the couch, as if I had just announced that he'd won a trip to meet the MythBusters.

"Why are you so excited?" I mean, we ARE such law-abiding people that we have never had a police officer ever enter our house, much less have to talk to us. This really is a first.

"Well," he leaned in closer with his eyes shining....

"An officer is coming to talk to us. And it's not ME that's in trouble."

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