Saturday, December 8, 2007

Beat That!

Jill is having a Christmas party tomorrow. Eight six-year-olds decorating gingerbread houses. Doped up on sugar. Running through my house with sticky fingers.

I sent out the invites last week. I asked parents to RSVP, as I need to know how many houses to have ready. I had responses from all but one parent. Then she calls. Stepping out of the shower with an hour to blow my hair dry, get dressed, and make it to Emmi's appointment, my phone rings.

Momma thanks us for the invite, asks for directions to our neighborhood, gets the gate code. All in slurred speech. Oh hell. Momma is a drunk. Why? Why does Jill keep picking friends with loony parents? Oh but then Momma explains.

"I know I sound drugged or drunk. I don't want you to think I am."

Oh nooooo.....I wasn't thinking that....yes, I was. I really was.

"It's just that I have severe anemia. To the point that I can barely walk. There is an underlying problem. I was tested for......"

Drunk Momma perks up to share her thirty minute long story of doctors, testing, needles. Seriously? I liked you better when you were too sleepy to talk to me. I. NEED. TO. GET. DRESSED. She keeps going. I keep trying to interrupt. I pull my hair into a pony tail, wet hair hanging down my back.

"...and then the doctor said he could test me for......"

I uh-huh her, half paying attention, slap on what little makeup I can manage while balancing my phone on my shoulder.

"...and I didn't have that, so the did a colonoscopy....."

Grab Emmi. Buckle her in the car. It has now been forty five minutes. SHUT UP. I try to interrupt again. Momma is not having it. Not until I hear every nanosecond of her medical history. Then I get my in.

"..and I see so many doctors. It is hard to coordinate that. I feel like I spend my life in doctor's offices." She takes a breath, and I pounce.

"I completely understand," I say. "I spend many hours at doctor's offices each week. Countless hours."

"Really?" Momma sounds curious. And threatened. Uh-oh. What if I top her medical history story? What if mine is worse?

Then I do it. I throw it out there.

"Yeah, see Jill's sister, Emmi, she is a very sick child. She has a metabolic disorder. Duplicated collection system in her left kidney. Malformation of her soft palate. And. She. Is. DEAF!" There I did it. I win! I win!

And Momma shuts up. Unable to top that with her anemia.

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