Monday, July 16, 2012

Leaving Las Vegas (Where We Never Went in the First Place)

A few weeks back, Dr. Husband noticed he had multiple days in a row without any shifts scheduled at the hospital. Since the baby is (so far) really easy (knocking hard on wood here), we decided to take a little trip. I was thinking maybe a cabin in the woods so the two-year-old could run around outside all day and Dr. Husband and I could enjoy the glories of an internet-free life. Dr. Husband had other plans.

“You’re going to hate this idea,” he began one night after the kids were in bed, “but I think we should go to Vegas.”

Um, no thanks.

“Think about it.”

Um, no thanks.

While he was thinking "quick flight," “fancy hotel room on the cheap,” and “random fun activities involving rides and games and exotic animals” I was thinking “babies crying in fancy hotel,” “babies burning in hot sun,” “babies suffering eczema outbreaks from constant sweating,” “babies overwhelmed by people, noise, and flashy lights,” and “babies eaten by sharks and tigers.”

No one in our family does well with heat or overstimulation or clowns. We are people meant to spend vacations in cabins in the woods, not places teaming with strippers and magicians.

Eventually common sense—or my bad attitude—won out, and Vegas was nixed. I think just to spite me, a cabin in the woods was also nixed.

And so, our staycation was born. Five days of ferry rides, breakfasts out, hikes in the woods, and trips to random small towns to eat strawberry shortcake in senior centers.

Five days of changing diapers in random dirty places, eating greasy food, nursing while perched on rocks and coming home at the end of every day to laundry, dishes, crumbly floors and counters and tables, long to-do lists, a leaky bathroom faucet, a clogged bathroom drain, two small plastic potties begging for disinfectant, and a needy cat. Five days without preschool. Five days without a babysitter. Five days without a single childless moment, save for sleeping—in a bed badly in need of fresh sheets.

Plus we still had the internet, the answering machine, and our cell phones beeping, blinking, reminding, taunting.

We watched an old episode of Modern Family in which the extended clan goes to Hawaii. Someone chastises Claire for being such a tightly wound stress case and she snaps, “I have three kids. This isn’t a vacation, it’s a business trip.”

On the last night, as I was overstuffing the washing machine—just as I had the previous four nights—Dr. Husband announced what a great time he’d had. “I think our staycation was a grand success.”

I glanced up from the laundry, past the dishes and the crumbs and the to-do list languishing on the counter and bit my tongue—hard. If a vacation with kids is a business trip, a staycation is a business trip without the trip. We probably should have gone to Vegas after all. At least then we would have had clean sheets and maybe one of those cool flattened souvenir pennies. Instead we stayed home and all I got was this stupid t-shirt—and three basketfuls of other dirty clothes—to show for it.

photo courtesy markmiller, morgueFile

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Flowers in My Lady Garden

You know how some writers invite other people to contribute guest posts when they’re feeling stuck or busy or lazy or uninspired? After much contemplation (read: not very much at all) and a regular-strength (read: double) Gin-and-Tonic last night, I decided to invite my vagina to write a post.

Disappointingly, my vagina declined.

Something about not being able to type efficiently.

In any case, it’s long past time for a vagina update! Mine’s doing fine, thanks for asking! The only thing is…well…apparently my “flora” is out of whack after that whole pregnancy/childbirth shenanigan—too many dandelions where there should be roses, or perhaps vice-versa, or perhaps that’s not the kind of flora the nurse practitioner meant.

She took a sample and—god bless ob/gyn personnel—sniffed it and declared nothing to be obviously awry. Then she sent it to the lab to determine what kind of antibiotic I might possibly need.

Anything I could try instead of antibiotics? Perhaps a yogurt shooter?

Eh, no. Apparently that’s only legal in Canada.

A few days later the results are in: my floral arrangement can be tidied up with a round of mild penicillin, or I can use “a little boric acid.” In my vagina.

Type “boric acid” into Amazon, and the first result is “Roach & Ant Killer.”

“If you go to a compounding pharmacy, they’ll show you how to make the capsules,” the nurse assured me on the phone.

In reality, if you go to a compounding pharmacy the old dude working there will look embarrassed when you ask where they keep the boric acid and the empty capsule thingies. “You know, for my vagina?” you’ll say, just in case that wasn’t clear. He’ll nod and disappear into the back for a while and you’ll ask the woman working behind the counter, “Is it really okay to stick boric acid up my vagina even though on the label it says ‘for farm and household use’ and ‘do not get on skin or mucus membranes'?” She’ll blush and shrug and tell you she’s just a cashier.

You’ll fret that the nurse on the phone was actually some kind of sadist begging to get fired and you ask the old dude if it’s really okay to get this on your skin (much less up your garden) because it says on the label—

“Look, it’s not nuclear waste or anything,” he’ll say.

Which is great because if you’re going to stick something up your vagina you definitely want it to be just this side of nuclear waste.

Wish me luck. If nothing else, my lady garden will—for sure—be free of ants and roaches for the next little while.

Wait...what's that, vagina? You say you've never even seen an ant or roach, much less granted entrance to one? Well, if you want people to know your side of the story, you're going to have to tell it yourself now, aren't you?

photo courtesy clconroy, morgueFile