“I see you’re purchasing medium-bristled toothbrushes,” said the cashier.
“Actually, it’s best to purchase soft-bristled toothbrushes. Dentists recommend them because they’re a lot gentler on your gums.” She ceased scanning the remainder of my items as she waited for me to have a come-to-Jesus moment about my toothbrush selection.
I stood my ground.
“So you want to stick with these, then?”
“I think so,” I said. She sighed.
The gum-destroying toothbrushes went into a bag, along with other assorted items she did not pass judgment on, including non-organic spinach and a bottle of Mountain Dew. Her disapproval was implied, however, in the way she handled my peanut butter.
“Do you want your milk in a bag?”
“No, that’s okay,” I sniveled. I tried to forcibly send the tears back into the ducts from whence they came, but, alas, it wasn't happening.
I mean, who was she to pass judgment on my toothbrush choices? I feel like my teeth are smoother and cleaner when I use the medium-bristled toothbrushes. It’s not like I’m forcing them on my kids. I’m not pushing a medium-bristled toothbrush agenda on my friends and family. I’m not making it a topic of debate in the upcoming presidential election.
Emotions are raw. The kindergarten teacher has already had the school psychologist come in and observe Ella. This happened on the first day! I’m concerned this is some kind of school record that will be discussed in the faculty lounge for years to come. Yesterday, the school counselor came in to assist with Ella because the teacher was unable to handle her on her own. Meetings are being scheduled, IEPs are being revised, and an emergency school-wide assembly about how to handle my daughter is being organized. They’re doing it on the same day as the first fire drill.
Dear God, I can’t imagine how Ella’s going to respond to the fire alarm. I hadn’t thought about that.
Every single fear I had about Ella and kindergarten has already come true. (Except the fire-drill concern, which just came upon me 20 seconds ago.) The first week, and all my fears were realized. As you can imagine, I am ridden with anxiety and have been rendered physically unable to do any housework. Also, I cry a lot.
Like on the phone with the secretary at the Kirch Center.
I told her I needed to get in as soon as possible, that Ella was having serious problems at school.
“I can get you in March 9th at 2:00,” she said. My heart dropped, like, into my feet. This was unacceptable!
“This is-“ (snivel) “unacceptable,” I said. Then I threw a minor tantrum. As I said, emotions were raw. But you’ll never guess what. The secretary found an opening on October 2nd! Isn’t that amazing?
There’s a method to Ella’s madness, at least in the tantrum department.
Caleb had a bone scan last week and his results came in on the first day of school. He has a rather severe bone growth delay. He is 9 ½, but his bones think he’s 6.
The tears came forth. Ramona was perplexed.
“It’s okay. I don’t mind putting the milk in bags,” she said.
“I have kids,” I blubbered. “and it’s the first week of school.” Ramona nodded. An unspoken understanding passed between us. She is a mom as well. Her kids are lucky, to have a mom so passionate about gum health.
My kids are lucky, too. Because when she’s done crying, their mom is going to move mountains to make sure they get the help they need. Then, and only then, she might clean the house.
“Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.” Elizabeth Stone