Last Saturday I brought the big-ass pillow with us (the kind that you use as a backrest, with two “arms” on either side) and we successfully got all 4 of us in the car for a ride. The pillow served to protect the backseat occupant with its bulk and punching-bag-like sturdiness.
The way we accomplished it was to put the pillow in the backseat right from the time we picked Boo up at the residence, and then after his lunch, we told him “we’re all going to the grocery store and grandma’s coming too.” When he started to protest we reminded him that we’re going to buy chocolate donuts but only if grandma can come. And by gosh, it worked. He was even good in the car — he liked the pillow and rubbed it as we drove along.
I taped a small conversation we had along the way, though he’s parroting through most of it:
Overall it was a good visit. At the store Boo successfully navigated the cart politely around other shoppers to the exact location where the beloved chocolate donuts awaited his arrival. This Saturday we switched our visit to Sunday, so I will see him tomorrow, on Father’s Day, then come home in time to take my own dad out for dinner.
Instead M and I indulged in other plans, afterward ending up driving near Thatcher Park. What a gorgeous day.
When we got home M wanted a nap so I took a walk alone to Buckingham Park and took some more pictures, then made some “nature art.”
On Wednesday Jonah had another follow-up appointment with the eye doc/surgeon. It wasn’t a good visit. I’m grateful that sometimes it is easier to handle Jonah’s outbursts/aggressions/whatever-you-wanna-call-them. Sometimes they roll off me like rain washing river-paths along my body, navigating around my heart. I don’t know why – I wish I could tap into those “sometimes” all the time. Maybe it had something to do with the rain falling on us all week…
…but, at first, he was good. Two care-givers from the school brought him up, so I felt more secure knowing they were there. Still, I came armed with fruit snacks and a yellow octopus I’d bought ahead of time. He liked both of these gifts.
She told us the pressure in his eye was 18 – nice and low. She doubted herself and took the measurement again, and got 17. She looked in his eye and said there was a lot less blood present. We asked if he could go without the eye shield now but she said no. This means he’s been wearing the thing for more than a month and has to keep wearing it for we-don’t-know-how-long. Then she asked Jonah to sit back in the chair and he suddenly freaked, arching his back and standing up, his face melting into anger and sadness.
And yes, in case you’re wondering, it is awkward for me to whip out a camera at these moments to take a picture (all in the name of photo-journalism). One more pic, and then I was required to enter the fray.
Moments after this picture he bit N’s wrist, hard, drawing blood. (The dude is about to retire; I bet he feels it’s none too soon).
After this we got Jonah down on the floor, where he thrashed, kicked, hit, head-butted…the usual whole 9 yards. In the interest of protecting the two of us at his feet, I leaned in to take off his left shoe and BAM he thrust forward at the same time and kicked the shit out of my right shoulder and, afterward, scratched me up right between the eyes. (I never wear glasses around Boo anymore). Eventually it took me, the two caregivers, and even the doc herself to get Jonah under control.
My tears were brief, and all for Jonah this time, whose face crumpled, desperately upset — innocent even in the midst of the aggressions. The doc hadn’t yet done the ultrasound, which is an important part of the whole exam, but she made the wise choice to put this off, scheduling another appointment for a week away, making this coming Wednesday another anticipated & exciting attempt at examining his eye properly.
Then we somehow convinced Jonah that it was all over, that there would be no more doctor, that we were all done. N was able to stand him up and guide him out of the office, holding both his arms. I stayed behind to check out and make the next appointment. Of course I could feel all eyes on me, all the seated, (mostly) senior citizens who’d heard the screaming and carrying on, but I’m used to that. What I’m not used to is what happened next with the elderly lady in line behind me. I glanced at her and smiled, but she narrowed her eyes at me, the corners of her mouth turning sour-down in disapproval, shaking her head as if to say “what a shame you can’t raise a child who isn’t such a brat.” Instead of shoving her over like I wanted to, I turned back to the receptionist, got our paperwork and appointment card, and quickly walked away.
Andy just called and said Jonah was good today, both with him and at the residence. May tomorrow be a happy day too.
Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers out there, all the step-fathers, foster fathers, grandfathers, and people who act as fathers to others….to all the fathers no longer with us, to all the brand new fathers, and to fathers who are sick or alone, and to all the men who decided not to be fathers because they were mature enough to know they didn’t want to do it.
When it is Mother’s Day I usually also give a shout-out to all birth mothers who selflessly made adoption plans for their babies, but I don’t feel the same way about birth fathers. Perhaps I should, but I just don’t. At least not about the ones who don’t stick around long enough to see the whole thing through, and I haven’t heard about too many of those. I couldn’t give a crap about my birth father…who he is, or where he is, or why. At least my birth mother carried me in her womb and then had whatever it takes to watch as they took me away.
I miss my mom’s dad, who I called “Poppy.” Jonah’s middle name is Poppy’s first name — Russell. He died just after I’d gotten engaged to Andy. I wish I could have known my other grandfather, my dad’s dad, but he died when I was a year old or so. He was a deputy fire chief in Albany, and was just 57 when he passed away.
I honor Andy as our son’s father, and I’m looking forward to honoring my own father too, by spending some time with him and taking him out to dinner later in the day.
It has been good. I feel like I can handle things. And I’m grateful for that.