Personal Statement

Personal Statement

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Proof of Life

Parker is, most assuredly, a victim of "second child syndrome." No ifs, ands or buts about it. With Son #1, there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth (mostly mine, some of it from grandparents) over the decision of where he should matriculate for kindergarten - then, once we decided to "dance with the one that brung us" and enroll him in the local public school, I distinctly remember fastidiously assembling his enrollment packet, well in advance of the enrollment period. All exhibits were carefully labeled. I practically had the thing professionally bound.

Fast forward a few years. It's been common knowledge for a couple of years that a certain teacher is waiting for Son #2 (postponing her retirement, even), so in our minds, PJ has been locked and loaded for some time. Thus, as tends to happen, the actual details of enrolling him in kindergarten got pushed . . . to this week, being the week prior to school. Once we became fully engaged, we remembered a couple of things:

(1) To enroll a child in school, one must demonstrate that the child, in fact, exists.

(2) Evidence of the existence of a second child - yeah, not the cakewalk that one experiences with first children. (Hey, we consider ourselves stellar parents in that he is represented in roughly half of the photos on display in our home. Based on comments I have received from grown-up younger siblings, we're firing on all cylinders.)

In the words of Yo Gabba Gabba's DJ Lance, "Uh, let's break it down!":

Item A: Birth Certificate. Seriously? You need proof that he was born? He's standing right. Over. There. Clearly, he serves as his own evidence on this point. But, um - yeah, I've got the application for the birth certificate right here. Says we were supposed to expect it . . . some time during my maternity leave. So, yeah, blame that one on Dad. I wasn't opening mail during that time period, what with the lactating and the recovering from major abdominal surgery and all. Which recovery, by the by, was totally ad hoc and on the fly. If I haven't said this before, let me once again go on record: C sections are notable among surgical proceedings for the distinct lack of regard afforded to the post-surgical patient. Immediately after being wheeled out of the surgical suite, you are: (1) weaned off of the good drugs (because poor, widdle baby shouldn't have to deal with all of that icky-wicky stuff . . . really, because the reality of having a mother who is cranky, in all sorts of pain and therefore potentially entering "wiggin' and homicidal" territory is so much better?); (2) asked to get up and move freely about the cabin - sans the good drugs; and (3) thrust headfirst, without ceremony or any form of orientation, simultaneously into your new roles as:

(1) Social secretary! ("Mom! The birth certificate guy is here. Oh, were you trying to sleep? Yeah, he's on a bit of a schedule, sooooo . . . if you could just sign here, and fill this part out here.")

(2) Personal stylist! ("Here comes the First Foto photographer. Time to dress baby in an outfit that, by all rights, should fit the kid, because he weighed a metric ton when he arrived eighteen hours ago, but, oh, he seems to be shrinking - so, maybe a little tuck there, and another one over there?")

(3) Nutritionist! (Self-explanatory.)

(4) Julie the Cruise Director! ("Hey, all of your husband's college buddies are here to see the BA-BY! Oh, were you trying to nurse? Well, could you postpone that, maybe, and hide those bits upfront back in your gown, there? They're on a bit of a schedule, sooooo . . . .")

By no means discounting the fact that non C-section moms are dealing with equivalent ickiness and discomfort of their own, and not intending to place the C-section experience above all of that. No, my basis of comparison (and complaint) is the hysterectomy - basically, the same incision as a C, but I could not help but notice that, 24 hours past surgery, my mother was on all sorts of good drugs (THE DAMNED SPINAL BLOCK WAS STILL IN PLACE!), no one was asking her to dress anyone (herself, even) or obtain a Social Security card for anyone, and a lot of concern was given to "letting the patient sleep and get better."

Bollocks. Total and utter bollocks.

Cost for a duplicate birth certificate: $23.

Item B: Social Security Card. Yeah, here's the letter acknowledging that we've filed for one - it's right next to the "we're going to send you a birth certificate" letter. But no actual, factual social security card. We received one, based on the fact that, once upon a time, we gave the number to our accountant. But we don't carry the physical card, because of identity theft concerns - not that misplacing the physical card is any great shakes on that score. He does have a number, though, for sure. I don't actually know it off of the top of my head, but our accountant totally does, soooooo . . . .

Item C: Shot Record. Okay, we have MULTIPLE copies of that. Can't find any of them, but we definitely have them. Oh, here they are - discovered minutes after another one was procured from the pediatrician's office. Would have needed another one, anyway, as all of them are identical . . . in that they are current through eighteen months, and then just sort of stop.

Item D: Utility Bill. I mean, we GET them - and we totally PAY them. But, uh, we pay them online and, in the spirit of a paperless environment, we receive most of them electronically, and we shred and recycle the ones that come in hard copy. You would think we would have at least one of them laying around . . . .

Love you, Parker James. Too busy loving you, and your brother, to fret over all of the silly details that seemed so blessed important when we were new at parenting and didn't have our eyes fully focused on the real ball. So take our scatter-brainedness as what it is - evidence that we, finally, got a clue about what is really important. Neatly indexing and cross-referencing only OCCASIONALLY relevant data was "rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic" behavior, the stuff that we did to fill time before you and your brother came fully online and demanded our more direct attention. You know, the stuff that fell by the wayside in favor of teaching you to read, taking you to soccer games . . . oh, except we haven't spent nearly as much one-on-one time reading with you as we did with your brother. Hope you absorbed a lot by osmosis. And is late soccer registration still open?

Bollocks. Wanna hit the toy aisle at Super Target?

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