Thursday, January 27, 2022

Pile of Kisses

I got my first concussion Tuesday night.

Not even a cool story. I wasn't drinking tequila. I wasn't break dancing. I wasn't snowboarding.

Nothing cool.

I was momming.

In the bathroom.

Yeah. So, after rinsing out a little boy's poop potty in the bathtub, I reached over to set it back in its Paw Patrol holder. I must have taken a step forward to do so because, on my spring back to change the faucet to shower mode, I CRACKED my forehead on the wall that divides the tub and toilet.

I saw a bright flash of light, heard my teeth gnash and bounced backwards.

Well, that was a shocker!

I grabbed my head and wailed a bit as I hung over the side of the bathtub. Brady P looked at me timidly. I don't think he saw exactly what happened as he was preoccupied with his animals (go figure).

I opened my eyes, and... and... I opened my eyes! I was conscious! Oh, happy day! My daylights were still burning!

I was immediately filled with gratitude. As I heard (and felt) my head smack a fortified tile wall, I thought for sure I should be a heap on the bathroom floor, leaving Brady P to wonder why he couldn't wake Mama up by shouting "Boo!"

He would have been on his own. And nobody would have known. (Side note: I am now prompted to teach him how and when to call 911 once I can do something productive again.)

I was quite euphoric about the fact that I was conscious. I rejoiced while I iced the lump on my head. I rejoiced while I rubbed Frankincense oil into my inflaming flesh. I rejoiced!

Then my mom called. 

I told her what happened. She is a nurse, and she is keen to these things, so she said, "Amanda, you might have a concussion."

I thought about that for a moment. I just re-certified my First Aid/CPR training, and I had the signs and symptoms for a concussion mostly memorized. But now I was embodying them.

"I guess that's why people don't diagnose their own concussion," I joked. "Yeah, coach. I'm fine! Put me back out there! Haha!"

But Mama Wais wasn't really laughing. She was becoming a bit concerned. We decided it was pretty mild, so she gave me a list of things to do and don't and wanted me to check back with her later.

Brady P kissed my bump as gently as he could. 

We made it though the night, and I managed to get him up and ready for school on time the next day.

The day was really rough. I felt like I got shot with a tranquilizer dart. I moved like a sloth. I talked in slow motion.

But I was alive!

Miss Liz dropped B off after school (That angel woman. I was not driving anywhere!).

After she left, I went over to snuggle by him on his little trampoline. He looked flattered.

"Mummy, let's take a rest together," he said, holding my neck.

In a moment, he got up. I stayed resting because that is what I did best that day.

"Here, Mummy! Here!" he was prodding.

I looked up, and he handed me my water glass. "Have a drink!" I was so flattered that I drank it all. "Oh! Good job!"

He took my cup away and brought my tea. "And here is your coffee," he said.

"Thank you, Brady!" I said. I took a little sip and set the cup down.

He was off to the next thing... and then back with his Guess Who card people.

I half-watched him as he took off the clip. I was still horizontal on the trampoline.

Then I felt a little card on my cheek. 

"This is Eric," he said.

"Did Eric just give me a kiss on my cheek?" I asked. 

"Mmm-hmm!" he confirmed.

"Thanks, Eric." I said, closing my eyes again.

Then I felt another card on my cheek. He told me who it was, and I thanked them for the kiss.

Well, that little boy when through the whole deck and had each one of our card friends kiss me on the cheek. Then he did the same thing with his own sweet little lips.

"I love you, Mummy."

My smooch pile

Seriously. What a little lover. This boy has so much love to share. I am extremely blessed to be a daily recipient of it. It will definitely help my head heal.

One day at a time. I am still alive... and loved.

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Mama the Mule

We've had some blizzards and such lately. High winds too. Even single digit temps.

I'm not complaining, just stating the past weather report in case you were curious. Besides, it's winter, so if we didn't have those things, it would mean the world is coming to an end.

Or something...

But I've been feeling super awesome lately, and I want to make sure B and I get out for some fresh air without getting frost bite.

Saturday was the day.

The sun was even shining!

I somehow convinced him that we were going for a ski. I would wear my cross country skis, harness up and pull him in his Thule Chariot on skis -- one of my saving graces of motherhood.

I bundled him up with blankets and set one of those hot water bottles in his lap. He must love to watch me ski because he is quiet back there now.

When he was younger, he would cry shortly after we got out, and our trip would always be cut short.

The two times we got out so far this year have been miraculous in that department.

But back to Saturday.

Yes, the sun was shining, and he commented on that several times. We hitched up, and I took him on the Fort Wilkins trail starting by Our Lady of the Pines church. 

The wind was from the south, so it blew over the East Vein ridge and across Lake Fanny Hooe.

But the sun was shining!

I pulled him to the Fanny Hooe Creek and promised he could get out because he was getting antsy. The trail then takes a curve and parallels Hwy. 41 on the way back to town.

You know the one.

He got out and pushed the Chariot while I skied. Before we started this leg, I asked, "Should we go see the lake? We are right by the lighthouse overlook."

"No, thank you, Mummy. Let's go."

A bit disheartened, I forged back home. He was good at pushing from the back. What a great break for me!

But not more than 30 yards along, he yelled, "Stop!"

"What's up, Dove?"

"Let's go to the lakeshore."

Now when I am all hitched up, my total length from the tip of my skis to the back of the Chariot has to be about 10 feet. Not an easy turnaround stunt on a ski trail.

But the lake was worth it, so I maneuvered us 180 degrees to go see Her Majesty. It's been so windy and cold, that B hasn't been there for quite a while.

So to the lake we went.

The shore is different in the winter time, of course. Thick layers of ice create a false shore and extend out above the lake itself.

We crawled down a bit over some frozen wave formations.

And we sat.

"Let's sit together," he said.

He sat on my legs, and I wrapped my arms around him.  What a sweet moment in life.

But then he did was I always do.

He got up and kept going... toward the water.

"Mummy, let's go!" he charged.

Oh my goodness. He is me. 

He crawled over those frozen humps on a mission.  On all fours, if he had to.

Suddenly I was all the people who I nearly give a heart attack to when I bolt to the shore over unknown conditions to the very edge.

But I had to let him go.

I don't let anyone stop me, and I'm not going to stop him.

We went together, of course. I love it too. I just finally felt it from a more cautious person's point of view.

So there we sat on the edge of the thick ice -- maybe two to three feet from the water. The depth below was probably to my knee or thigh, so, on the off chance we went in, we wouldn't die.

At least not from drowning.

There we sat and watched the low waves roll in and splash the ice in front of us. It was a dream come true.

There I was, doing something adventurous (and a little precarious) with my offspring. On the shore of Lake Superior in the sunshine. In the winter. In Copper Harbor.

We both loved it.

My heart swelled so big.

It made all the hard times worth it. I felt victorious. 

So we sat watching the undulations creep toward us.

"Oh! Here comes a big one!"  he would shout. Or I would.

Then we would mimic the sound it made.

"Do you feel safe?" I asked him.

"Yes, I feel safe," he said.

I explained to him why it was safe for us to be there at that moment. But even so, we had to pay attention to our surroundings.

He agreed to pay attention.

And he really did. He listened to the sounds. He watched each wave roll in. He felt the ledge beneath us.

He did great.

He is getting it, and I am so proud.

But I was also getting cold.

Pulling a 70 pound sleigh makes you sweat. Well, at least it makes me sweat!

So I was getting chilly sitting on a shore made of ice.

"Okay, Braeds. I'm getting too cold. We have to go now."

Mind you, I also gave him plenty of warning that this moment was coming.

"No, Mummy. I can't."


I could tell that it was going to be a real challenge to convince him that we had to go back. I get it. I didn't really want to go either, but I was only going to get colder until I could be a mule again.

I did my pretend walk away in hopes he would follow, but he didn't even care. I went back to sit beside him for a "couple more" waves. 

Finally, he agreed to walk back with me, so I didn't freeze. It didn't take long before I heated up. Even just walking helped.

We crossed the highway and waved to some friends driving by. I bundled him up and harnessed myself up.

Down the trail we slid. The trail was not tracked, but it was quiet and peaceful. I was in heaven. That whole ordeal meant so much to me!

Boy, this post is getting really long, but those are most of the good parts, so I'll leave it that for today. Just know that we made it back with only a couple tribulations. Ha!

We are tough.

Oh, and a picture of Her Majesty from a different sunny day... when I had my camera.

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Other People in the House

I know I've said this before, but this time of year, it's me and Braeden at home. 

Braeden and me.

He hears my voice laughing, singing ("No, Mummy. No singing!"), adoring him and, you know, telling him what to do.

He hears my voice a lot.

My voice.

Over and over.

Luckily, I've been doing impressions of other people and creating new voices from my own since I was a child. You can ask my family... they were not always entertained, though.

Have you ever noticed that you can ask someone to do something a dozen times, and they refuse, but if somebody else asks, the person just does it?

This has been our struggle.

Until I bring in "other people."

First I created "The Officer." 

I realized that Brady would often answer more to men, so I had to figure out how to be more, um, manly. And authoritative.

One pair of mirrored aviators on my face makes him look at his reflection and covers my eyes. A masculine tone mixed with a slight southern accent demands compliance.

The officer appears when Mom can no longer get a positive reaction out of a small boy.

"Excuse me, Sir?" the officer will say as he saunters toward Brady P. "Do you know what time it is?"

"Yes, Officer, it's bed time," he'll reply coyly.

"That's right, Sir. Bed time. What do you do first to get ready for bed?"

"Pee on the potty."

"That's correct. Do you need me to carry you in there, or can you walk by yourself?"

"I walk by myself," the little boy says and slides off his comfy chair to walk into the bathroom.

The officer doesn't have to come out for long. Once Brady P gets a move on, things go smoothly.

But that's been going on for almost a year now, and the officer doesn't always work. Especially in the morning.

Luckily, I got little man the Guess Who? game for Christmas last year. You know, the one with all the people's faces and names, and you have to guess who the other player has by asking yes or no questions and elimination options with each turn? It's pretty fun.

He wasn't so good at it right away, but we have come to really enjoy playing it when the power goes out. We shine our flashlights on the people, so we can truly see if they have a mustache or earrings.

Sometimes we have a successful round, but sometimes not. It's all okay. Just a learning process.

I noticed that he would keep the cards out after each game. The cards have each person's portrait and name. He read them with me relentlessly until he learned all 24 of them.

Not long after, he would keep a few of them out in pairs. Mike and Mia. Al and Joe.

Sorting his "friends"

I was a bit confused as to why he picked those particular people, but then I realized that those are characters' names from some of his favorite videos. Although the faces do not resemble the characters, he pairs up the names and personifies them.

This kid.

So I have used this to my advantage. I can now bring out those pairs of people and have them talk to each other and him in order to get him to get ready for school in the morning if we hit a snafu.

Suddenly, he is part of a conversation with two other people, and I am not involved directly.


That is my mind blowing up.

So when times get hard, it is no longer just him and me. Me and him. We have other friends to help move things along and impart different perspectives.

What a relief!

Too bad they can't babysit...