As I mentioned in my last blog post, I recently had knee surgery. I’ll spare you the medical jargon-laden details (and the rather ghoulish post-operation photos), but suffice it to say I had a complex tear in my knee and the only real fix was to go under the knife. Don’t bother asking me when and how I damaged it in the first place, as I’m clueless. I suspect I busted it at some point during my second pregnancy while that lying, deceitful hormone Relaxin was coursing through my body and making me think I was capable of stretching in ways I really wasn’t. As my post-pregnant body began to transition back, I suddenly started experiencing intense pain that hadn’t been there before. Good times. I would’ve loved to have skipped surgery altogether, but there are two little girls who wouldn’t stop running long enough for me to catch up, which posed some logistics issues. Nonetheless, I made it through the surgery and I’m present. Limping and cursing my crutches, but present.
Let me first say that dealing with crutches (which my three-year-old refers to as “crunches”) whilst parenting two energetic kids has been nothing short of challenging. Or, for that matter, exhausting. And no amount of caffeine can really make a dent in that. It’s always fun when your ten-month-old can walk faster than you, especially when she has already mastered the art of being a living, breathing wrecking ball. Thankfully, my husband took two days off from work, and my mom flew in from the East Coast to help out… and by help out, I mean she wrangled kids 24/7 on my behalf. She conducted make-believe tea parties, bathed squirmy, wiggly arms and legs, packed preschool lunches, cleaned never ending Lego messes and catastrophic food spills, thwarted tantrums (but only sometimes) and wiped cherubic little bottoms. God bless her. During the aforementioned activities, I was laid out on our couch in a deliciously foggy state of delirium I like to call “vacation,” watching back episodes of Boston Legal — the story lines of which I wouldn’t recall even if getting cast in the next David E. Kelley drama depended on it.
Given my anticipation of said state of delirium and my propensity for sarcasm, I left an itinerary for my husband– which, as you can probably imagine, was something special. And I do mean special. I decided to take a new approach to list-making… micromanaging by comedy. And since my husband got such a kick out of it (or at least he was polite enough to tell me he did), I thought you might enjoy it too…
My Awesomely OCD Itinerary
Brad- Thank you, in advance, for taking care of me during my doped-up delirium. If you’ve ever wanted to tell me something wacky from your past, but didn’t because you were afraid my memory was so good I’d never forget it and I’d dredge it up again when we’re 80, now’s the time to tell me. I won’t remember jack while I’m on Percocet. I will, however, remember I love you. And that’s the important part. Thank you for taking the day off from work to be with me, and for calming my nerves while I’m an uptight, freaked out worrywart.
- My Advance Directive is in the brown pouch with my phone and Kindle. You’d better not need it, or I vow to come back and haunt my surgeon for all of eternity. I can be SERIOUSLY annoying when I want to be (and sometimes when I don’t), so he doesn’t want that. As a side note– If you do wind up needing my Advance Directive, I also hereby bequeath you my iPhone and brand new Kindle. It’s the least I can do.
- Please text my sister, your mom, and my four closest girlfriends to let them know I made it out of surgery without croaking. (Provided I did, of course.) You can find all of their numbers in my phone. Please also call my mom so she doesn’t go any crazier than she already is. If anyone offers to bring a meal over, please take them up on it. You and my mom in the kitchen together is a disaster waiting to happen and I have enough to worry about right now. If they offer to make dessert, and I find out you turned that down, I’ll need some additional time to come up with an appropriate punishment. It may or may not involve my crutches being used as weapons. I want that damn dessert. I’m medicated, not mental.
- Please remind me to pump and dump after I wake up from my surgery. We don’t need a comatose baby, and I’m worried I’ll forget to do it. You may have to help me set the contraption up properly if I’m too out of it. Just think: it’s a good excuse to touch my boobs. Not that you need one.
- We need to pick up Gray after my surgery– it should be done in plenty of time for that. I’ll have knee scars, but they’ll be nothing relative to the scars our kid will have if we forget her at school. On a good note, they’re expecting her at aftercare until we can get there, so if we’re running late, we have a back up plan in place.
- Dinner: Please make the pre-prepared stuffed peppers for dinner. I may not eat them. Or it’s possible I may eat them and not remember I ate them. Either is fine. Please make them anyway so they don’t go bad sitting in the fridge for too long.
- Baths: Please give the girls a bath tonight, because I won’t be able to do it. (PS- When I try to convince you it’s because I’m not allowed to get my bandages wet, know it’s really an excuse to get out of it just this one time.)
- Other: Don’t let me convince you not to drink wine just because I can’t. I’m sure my mom will join you. She should consider it a preemptive gift before she spends the next two weeks watching our kids while I’m an invalid.
- School Preparations: I’ve already picked out the girls’ clothes for school (Yes, this is partially because I’m worried about what you’ll choose, but more because I’m afraid Gray will choose an outfit herself, then hypnotize you with whining until you numbly agree to a giant tutu and light up sandals). Please put sunscreen on them. The girls, not the clothes. With any luck, I had enough forethought to pack them lunch too, but if not, tell me to get off my lazy ass and make it for them. It’s not like I just had surgery or anything.
- Pick Up and Drop Off: Before you can go to work, you’re stuck chaperoning/chauffeuring my sorry butt to daycare with the girls so we can stick to our normal routine… and so I can leave Marlowe and Gray with people who are clearly in better shape (physically and mentally) to care for them than I am. This way my mom gets a much-needed rest, and I can sleep on (read: drool all over) our couch. You will then have to drag my zoned-out, zombie self home again before you head to the office. But you should definitely plan on some super exciting car conversations if I don’t fall asleep. If you’re lucky, I might remember your name by the time we pull into our driveway.
- Managing Me: Don’t let me convince you I can drink. Or drive. Or drink and drive. Who knows what kind of spell those magic meds will put me under!
- Managing Our Girls: Please give our girls extra love. (Though not in the form of sugar.) I know this will be a challenging time for them. Seeing Mommy in pain is tough, and needing Mommy when there are physical limitations will be frustrating for them. Please try to be as patient as possible and don’t be afraid to ask my mom for help!! I love you all stars and moon.
Love, your list-happy, micro-managing wife. xoxo
As you’ve likely gathered, I combat stress with humor. I promise I’m not really that glib about dying— I’m just terrible at letting other people take care of me, so comedy becomes my crutch. (Not that I don’t have enough crutches to deal with at this particular juncture!) Nevertheless, I realize there are circumstances in which I have no choice but to hand over the reigns… After I write a ten-minute dissertation on how things should be handled while I’m out of commission, of course. Isn’t that what being a mom is all about?
Until next time… Peace, Love, and Dirty Diapers,
Jenna von Oy
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