Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The start of the semester

*This post is in response, at least in part, to some of the things my friend Anastasia has been blogging about.

Classes start next week.  I'm feeling the typical mixture of dread and excitement that I feel at the start of every new academic year.  I'm dreading the start of the term because, yes, it does mean the return of the students.  This means a lot more traffic around CU Land, which inevitably means that, daily, I will narrowly avoid running over one student who can't be bothered to look both ways before crossing the street or to obey the cross walk signals.  I'm also dreading it because it means the end of the uninterrupted writing time I've enjoyed for at least 2 hours every day. 

I am excited about teaching though because, not unlike Anastasia, I actually like my students.  Yes, they annoy me, and I complain about them.  But I really enjoy teaching.  I do what I do because of the teaching, not because of the research (I do enjoy the research, don't get me wrong, but teaching energizes me in a way research doesn't).  So while I will complain quite loudly about how the return of students affects almost every aspect of life in CU Land, I am quite happy to have them returning to my classroom.

I have . . .

business cards and a name plaque on my office door! 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

We're moved in

Indeed, we are officially moved into our new home, and the new owners of our old townhouse take possession sometime today.  I would love to say that everything happened as planned, but there were quite a few glitches, which I'll likely blog about later.  I'm happy to say we have many more good friends in CU Land than I realized, without whom this past weekend would have been much, much more traumatic.  We survived, and we're settling into our home.  That's all I hoped to get out of this past weekend.

I will also say that leaving our townhouse was much more difficult than I anticipated.  While I know we made the right decision to sell and to move (which was reaffirmed Saturday evening.  While I was making dinner, I glanced out of the window, which has a full length view of the backyard.  Thus, I was able to keep an eye on Wild Man and Bear, who were happily playing in their water table, while cooking.  That was a great feeling.), I was in tears on Sunday afternoon as Archer and I moved the last few things out of the townhouse.  That little house, with all its quirks and irritating features, was the first house we owned, the first place we were able to make ours.  It is the only home Wild Man remembers, and it is the only home Bear has known.  As I told Archer, we were happy there.  And as he told me, we'll be happy in our new home as well.

Thursday, August 25, 2011


That is how I'm feeling.  Archer and I are packing up all the odds and ends that are still around the house, and we're anxiously awaiting a phone call from our lawyer telling us that all the money has changed hands and that we can pick up the keys to our new home.  My stomach is in knots.  I know it is just a matter of waiting for all the people to do their jobs at this point, but I'm very, very anxious. 

On top of that, I'm feeling a lot of anxiety about the new house.  I think it will be perfect for us, but it isn't perfect right now.  As I tried to explain to Archer, our townhouse is us.  We've spent three years painting, organizing, and decorating.  We've painted every room in the house except for the laundry room, and we've updated the fixtures, redone the kitchen and one of the bathrooms, and made it ours.  The new house is bigger, with a lovely yard and deck.  But it doesn't feel like home, at least not yet.  I know that it will, but it is very disconcerting for me to feel as though we're starting over again. 

I'm also really worried about the weekend.  We're hoping to get some things moved in today and to move everything else in tomorrow.  The plan is to sleep at the new house tomorrow night, to spend Saturday unpacking the essentials, and to clean up the townhouse on Sunday and Monday morning.  I've hired our go to babysitter for Sunday.  She'll be with the boys for much of Sunday, giving Archer and I time to clean.  I really want the weekend to be as calm as possible, as both boys are a bit stressed out already. 

I will now stop voicing my anxieties and finish packing.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


I love our new house.  I love our new house.  I love our new house. 

I'm hoping that if I repeat that sentence over and over again that I will forget how much I hate moving.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Would it be so hard . . .

to respond kindly to someone rather than being an a**hat, to borrow a phrase from Anastasia

My sister tends to post requests for good thoughts on her Facebook page--yes, that damned Facebook.  I do not respond to such posts very often, although I do email her to check on her.  I would like to think that I'm not a heartless person; rather, I prefer to offer my support privately.  Last night, she posted such a request, something about gearing up for a really stressful week.  Several of her friends posted, and in a fit of I don't know what, I also posted.  I wrote "Remember to breathe."  I wrote this particular phrase because it is something that actually helps me when I'm really stressed out.  I find that I'm often not breathing properly, so if I remember to breathe, I actually feel calmer.  Instead of writing "thanks," as she did to every other person who responded, she wrote "It's really hard to breathe when you're shaking uncontrollably, M.  Thanks for the really helpful advice."  When I read that, I had to remember to breathe.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Keeping Tabs

Following Wednesday's post, I've also decided to keep tabs on myself in an attempt to keep myself motivated.  My friend Anastasia often blogs about her writing progress, and she truly seems to get stuff done, even with three children underfoot, as she herself often puts it.  So here is my tally for this week.

Monday: read/took notes on three articles
Tuesday: New Faculty Orientation, day was a wash
Wednesday: wrote 2 1/2 pages, met with my writing group
Thursday: took the day off from work to pack b/c, you know, we're moving next week
Friday: yet to be determined, but I'm hoping to write 2 1/2 more pages and finish a syllabus

I'll update this later today to see if I managed to accomplish my goal.

*By 3:00 I have written a 1 1/2 pages and finished a syllabus.   I have also, unfortunately, spent an inordinate amount of time on hold trying to get some questions answered in anticipation of next week's closing.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

New faculty orientation

Yesterday I attended new faculty orientation, which was sort of weird as, well, I've been teaching at CU for three years now.  I enjoyed it though as I got to meet several really cool people, one of whom I think may become a good friend.  I also had the opportunity to get some really excellent research/writing advice.  As of this morning, I have blocked out 6 hours during the work week for my research/writing.  I will not allow myself to schedule meetings of any sort during that time.  I have no idea why I didn't think of that before.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Mothering two boys; or, When is nudity no longer appropriate?

Archer and I were married for six years before Wild Man was born.  Prior to getting married, we were in a long distance relationship for two and a half years.  Immediately after getting married, we lived with my parents for two months.  By the time we were in our own apartment, we were more than ready to take full advantage of being in our own space together.  For six years, I didn't have to worry about putting on a robe when I walked from the bathroom to the bedroom.  I would strip out of running clothes in the kitchen and make dinner in my sports bra.  I would pull off my shirt and bra and throw them directly into the washing machine.  On really hot days while we were living in Southwest College Town, Archer would come home to find me in my underwear lying directly beneath the air conditioning vent.  Suffice to say, I have no problems walking around our house naked, and neither does Archer.

After Wild Man was born, my attitude toward nudity didn't really change.  I was breast feeding, and I was exhausted.  I doubt I have a single friend, male or female, from Southwest College Town who hasn't seen my breasts, and frankly I didn't--and don't--care.  While lots of my friends were hesitant to let their children of the opposite sex see them naked, I honestly never thought about it.  Wild Man was colicky, and for the first three months of his life he cried for 3 or 4 hours straight every night.  One of the very few things that soothed him was the shower, something we discovered by total chance.  Archer was showering one evening while Wild Man screamed.  I was simply unable to take it anymore, so I took all of his clothes off and handed him to Archer.  I expected him to cry louder--even though that seemed impossible at the time--but I didn't really care.  I just needed five minutes to myself.  Amazingly, however, as Archer held Wild Man under the shower, he relaxed.  As long as he could feel the spray hitting his back, he was calm.  I was delighted to see my newborn so calm, so I joined them in the shower.  Thus began a nightly ritual. 

By the time Wild Man was six months old, we were no longer showering with him every day, but at least two or three nights a week one of us would plop him down in the tub and turn on the shower.  While I washed, Wild Man would play in the spray, and then I'd wash him.  Then Archer would take him out and dry him off while I got dressed.  When Archer was on the job market and gone two or three nights a week, every week for almost two months, showering with Wild Man became the only way I could ensure we both got a bath before midnight.  Wild Man got accustomed to seeing me naked, and I didn't think much of changing my clothes in front of him or taking a bath with him.  When Bear was born, we took him into the shower as well, and while he wasn't colicky, he enjoyed feeling the spray on his back as much as Wild Man did.

In the past few months, Archer and I have been talking about whether it is still appropriate for Wild Man to see me naked.  This has been a difficult conversation to have for a few reasons.  First, we only have one full bathroom, so often while I'm showering in the morning, Archer and the boys are brushing their teeth too.  Second, my children think seeing their parents naked is normal.  Wild Man rarely comments on it, except for the few times he has asked why my body is different than his.  I didn't want to change things unless we absolutely had to.  Plus, I enjoy the freedom of being able to walk from the bathroom to the bedroom without putting a robe on or getting fully dressed.  A few weeks ago, however, it became very clear that somethings were going to have to change around our house.

We were getting ready to go to the pool.  While Archer put sunscreen on the boys, I was changing into my suit.  Wild Man walked into our bedroom just as I had taken off my bra, and he said, "Mommy, you have such beautiful boobies!"  I quickly put on my suit, and then I sat down with Wild Man for a chat.  I tried as carefully as I could to explain that that isn't a sentiment one expresses to one's mother.  We then had a quick talk about bodies and how bodies are private.  I left it at that, but from that day on, I've been wearing a robe and keeping the door to the bathroom closed.  I've asked Wild Man to knock before entering, simply explaining that "Mommy wants some privacy."  I thought we were past the hard part until this past weekend.

Friday evening, while we were at the pool (I'm seriously rethinking our decision to get a family membership to the neighborhood pool), Wild Man said, "Mommy, what do you call a girl's penis?"  This seemed like a simple enough question, so I answered.  The rest of the conversation proved both hilarious and enlightening.

WM: S (a girl in Wild Man's daycare class) showed me her vagina the other day.

M: She did?  While you all were in the bathroom? (The bathroom in their classroom has three sinks and three toilets and no doors; the boys and girls are allowed in there at the same time.)

WM: Yes,  it was right before lunch.  Can I ask you something?

M: Sure, what?

WM:  How come S's vagina is prettier than yours?  (At this point, Archer, who was changing Bear out of his swim diaper, had to turn away so Wild Man wouldn't see him laughing uncontrollably.)

M: What do you mean?

WM: Well, yours is all furry, and S's isn't.

Following that statement, we had a brief conversation about the differences between children's bodies and adults' bodies.  Archer took over at that point because I was also struggling not to laugh.  Archer explained that bodies have "private parts."  He explained that Wild Man should keep his "private parts" to himself and that, if he doesn't want to see his friends' "private parts," he should tell them that when they are in the bathroom together.  Wild Man was satisfied with this, and he hasn't mentioned it since.

I, however, am over analyzing as I am apt to do.  I understand that children this age (he's almost 5) are curious about their bodies, and I also realize this was very likely to happen even if I hadn't been open with being naked in front of Wild Man.  But the reality is, I have two sons.  And in light of these recent events, I'm wondering if I shouldn't be more modest around Bear, who is 2.  I like that my children are comfortable with their bodies, and I do think that is, at least in part, due to the fact that Archer and I have never really talked about nudity.  Neither of us has ever drawn much attention to being naked in front of them; it just happens at our house.  So they see it as normal.  But now that Wild Man is asking questions I am wondering if I should have stopped showering with and changing my clothes in front of him sooner.  When is nudity no longer appropriate?

Friday, August 12, 2011

I'm tired

I need a break from real life, just for a day or so.  I want to lie on a beach and drink margaritas.  I want to watch Archer, Wild Man, and Bear build sand castles and play in the water, all the while knowing we don't have to be anywhere or do anything.  I want to throw the clock and the calendar out of the window and just be for a few days.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

I should be working, but . . .

this is too cool not to share! 

A breastfeeding group in Salt Lake City celebrated World Breastfeeding Week with a Babywearing Flash Mob!  So awesome!

My Office

 This is my office.  It is now completely unpacked and better organized.  I've requested that it be painted a pale peachy-pink color, although I actually like the blue.  I think, though, that the blue will prove to be too dark in the winter, you know, when the sun hardly ever shines in CU Land and sets by 4:30.  I'm not sure when it will get painted. 
One whole wall has floor to ceiling bookshelves, and I actually do not have books to fill them.  But it is nice to have all my books and files in one space.

More writing

Well I was on track to finish my essay, but then I asked Archer to read it.  I asked him for two reasons.  First, I value his opinion, and more importantly, he knows the theories I'm using much better than I do.  So he read the first seven pages, in which I set up my argument and address the theoretical framework I'm using and challenging, and he got very, very excited.  It seems my argument is challenging some key theories, and it also seems I'm doing this without even realizing I'm doing this.  How do you ask did I not know I was doing this?  Well, that's easy.  I'm primarily using one critic (a political scientist, as it happens) and one theorist (the great and wonderful Foucault--and yes, that is sarcasm you detect).  I'm mostly saying these two people say X, which is really smart, and now I'm applying what they say to this text, which they've never considered.  But at one point I do say something like, these two people are really smart, but here is where they miss something key and this text proves that they miss it.  Apparently in saying they miss something I'm turning lots of theoretical models upside down.  Now this is good in that it definitely means that I'm adding something to the conversation.  It isn't good as it also means I'm not done with the damn essay. 

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Writing and French fries

I'm on track to finish revising an essay today, one that I will then send out to my writing group.  I do, however, think I will need some french fries for lunch to ensure I accomplish this task.  French fries seem like the perfect writing fuel.

Monday, August 08, 2011

For sale

I'm selling a lot of Bear's baby things--his vibrating chair and boppies (nursing pillows), for example.  Last week, I gave away a lot of the boys' baby toys, and when we were preparing to put the house on the market, I donated a lot of their baby clothes.  How does this make me feel?  Meh.  That is how I feel.  It is inexplicably hard to name the emotion I'm feeling right now.  It is somewhere between ambivalent, nostalgic, and downright sad.  While it seems highly unlikely we'll have a third child (if I were a betting woman, I'd bet against it), it still feels odd to sell and/or give these things away.  Why?  Well, first, I'm an intensely practical person.  These things are expensive.  So long as there is even a remote possibility we'll have a third child--and by remote I mean, Archer has yet to schedule an appointment for a vasectomy--it seems really impractical to give these things away.  Second, giving them away feels like I'm saying Bear is no longer a baby.  And while I know he isn't and I know that he will never again use the vibrating chair or the boppies, it is still an odd feeling knowing that our house is almost entirely devoid of baby things.  I know I should also give away or sell my breast pump, but I honestly don't know if I can.  The thought of doing either literally makes me want to cry.  How is that for practical?

Friday, August 05, 2011

A brief rant

One of my very best friends in the world--a person who has been my friend since 5th grade and is the only person from high school that I go out of my way to keep up with--is getting married in October.  This person, whom I'll call Prudence (a reference she'll get, I think), was my maid-of-honor when Archer and I got married, so there is absolutely no way I am missing this wedding.  That said, the wedding is in a hard-to-get-to location, and it will take place in the middle of the fall semester, both of which make it difficult and expensive for our entire family to go.  Originally we had planned that I would go by myself while Archer stayed home with the boys.  After some investigating, I discovered that it wouldn't be terribly expensive for Archer to come with me, provided we could find someone to stay with the boys for about 4 days.  So I mentioned this to him.  He loved the idea--especially since we haven't had a night alone together since Wild Man was born almost 5 years ago.  We discussed our options for childcare, which are somewhat limited.  We decided, against my own reservations, that Pita and Yetta were the best choice, so we asked them if they would come up to CU Land to care for the boys so we could go to the wedding.  They immediately agreed, provided Pita could get the time off of work.  Archer and I began making tentative plans to attend the wedding.  The plans, however, have gotten increasingly complicated.  And to be honest, I don't know why I'm surprised as everything involving Yetta and Pita gets complicated.

In the past 5 days, Yetta has called every single day to ask us when the wedding is (you know, because Prudence and her fiance change the date every 5 minutes), how long we'll be gone, and when we need them here.  Whatever.  I can handle this mainly because I'm not the one on the phone with her.  Apparently she called Archer earlier this morning to ask one more question: "Is there anyway you could come to Home State first and leave the boys here with us?"  Um, how in the hell would that work?  The wedding is in, as I said, an out of the way location, so doing this would necessitate that we buy 4 plane tickets to Home State, drop the boys off, and then, having purchased 2 tickets to the wedding location, fly there.  Then we'd have to do the exact reverse--all in 4 days.  Plus, we'd have to pull Wild Man out of school and haul all of their stuff to Home State.  I mean, seriously, on what planet is this even practical? 

Why would Yetta ask if this was possible?  Well, she is likely more comfortable in her own home than in ours, and it also seems that she is not sure Pita can get the time off.  So she wants to ensure we are able to go to the wedding, and in her mind, bringing the boys to her makes the most sense.  And no, she will not come take care of the boys on her own--we wouldn't even ask her because we don't think she's physically up to it.  Archer just suggested asking my mom, who would happily come and could (more or less) manage it, except she refuses to drive in CU Land.  Thus, the boys would be trapped in the house with her for 4 days, and Wild Man would still miss school.

Really, I just want to go to Prudence's wedding--with my husband.  Is that too much to ask?  Is it wrong to hire Bear's teacher, our go-to babysitter, for 4 days? 

My Office

For the past 2 weeks, I have been taking advantage of having my own office.  I have all of my books unpacked and my files are semi-organized.  I've compiled a list of things I need to purchase (for which I will get reimbursed!), and I've been working away.  I've done research on a new project--the first completely new project I've started since completing my dissertation--and spent time revising a dissertation chapter into an article.  While I've been in my own office every weekday for almost just over 2 weeks now, I don't think I really grasped the fact that I was, in fact, in my own space until late last week. 

While doing research on my current project, I read yet another critic who disagreed with the argument I'm making.  In frustration, I logged onto Facebook, hoping one of my academic friends would be online.  Sure enough, I found a friend and messaged her.  We chatted for a few minutes, and she affirmed that my argument makes sense.  She then pointed me to another book to consider as evidence that my argument is valid.  Her suggestion was fabulous, so I grabbed a piece of paper to jot down the reference and the title, thinking, "I'll have to get this off my shelf at home."  Then it occurred to me that I was in my own office--with all of my books unpacked and neatly organized on the floor to ceiling shelves.  I spun my chair around, found the book, grabbed it off the shelf, and found the part my friend was referring to.  I was so thrilled that I was able to do that.  As soon as I ended my chat with my friend, I was able to jot down some notes about this reference, rather than waiting until I got home to do so.  It was wonderful! 

Wednesday, August 03, 2011


Yesterday morning I woke up with some tension in my neck and shoulders.  Given that this is where I carry my stress, I didn't think too much about it.  By mid-day, however, I also noticed that my triceps and biceps are really sore, so sore that picking up Bear was a bit uncomfortable.  But, again, I didn't think too much about it.  This morning, however, I'm really, really sore, as in so sore it hurts to lift my school bag, which doesn't contain anything out of the ordinary.  I'd like to say it is from all the exercising I've been doing, but unless you count picking up Bear and taking books to and from my shelves while I do research exercise, that isn't it.  I mentioned it to Archer, and he said, "Well, it makes sense."  I gave him a quizzical look.  He said, "M, you had to hold Bear down for over an hour on Monday night while the nurses at the ER tried to give him an IV.  He weighs 27 pounds and is as strong as an ox."  Right.  That would explain it.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Another question for my readers

This question refers to my previous post

Is there a way to ask someone, who is well intentioned, not to post personal information about my children or me on Facebook?  After last night's ordeal, I woke up to find that Pita (yes, we're friends on FB again) had posted a prayer request for Bear.  While I do appreciate that her intentions were good, I don't appreciate her sharing the news so publicly, especially as she is friends with my father and brother, neither of whom yet knew about Bear's trip to the ER.  As soon as I saw her post, I had to call my parents and my brother, so they didn't see her post and get worried--or be hurt that I hadn't yet called them.  Again, I know she was well intentioned, but I really, really don't like that she posted something like this so publicly.  I also know this feeling is a bit ironic given that I just wrote a blog post about the incident.  I also realize that it is entirely likely I'm overreacting, but it really bothers me.  I know I will likely just have to let it go, but if anyone can think of a tactful way to make this request please let me know.

*As an aside, Pita knew about Bear's trip to the ER b/c Yetta called right as Bear and I were leaving.  Archer told her to get her off the phone quickly.  This is usually the sort of thing we don't share with our families until after the fact because it makes life less complicated.

A frustrating evening

Last night Bear and I spent the evening in the emergency room.  He is absolutely fine now, and it seems as though what we experienced was a complete fluke.  That said, the entire experience was an exercise in frustration for me.  Here is what happened.

We spent the afternoon at the pool swimming with the boys.  Both Bear and Wild Man love the water, and in an attempt to help them learn to swim better and to give our backs a rest, we bought both boys life jackets.  This meant that Bear was not attached to my hip and that I could allow him more freedom in the water.  It also means that he was much more active in the water than he has been the last few times we've gone to the pool.  We left the pool at 4:20 and headed home to prepare for a dinner with friends.  By the time we got home 10 minutes later, Bear was crying.  Archer and I both thought he was either tired or hungry.  As I took him into the house, it became very clear he was not tired or hungry.  First, he wasn't crying as much as he was screaming.  Second, he was squirming a lot, as though he was struggling to get comfortable.  I took him upstairs and laid him down on my bed.  I quickly changed into dry clothes and then took off Bear's diaper.  I though he might be struggling to poop, but he wasn't.  His stomach was, however, as hard as a rock.  I pumped his legs a few times to see if that would relieve the pain, and while he farted a lot, he continued to scream.  By then, our guests had arrived.  Archer came upstairs to check on Bear, and he tried to comfort him as well.  Bear responded by screaming "Mommy!"  So I sent Archer back downstairs to entertain and finish getting dinner ready.  Then, I walked with Bear, hoping that would calm him down.  Then, I put him in his crib (after he asked me to do so, something he has never done).  I rubbed his back, and he fell asleep for a few minutes, only to wake up screaming in pain.  Archer came back up to give me a bit of a break and to ask me to finish making cole slaw, something he thought would be easier for me to do than to explain to him.  He managed to get Bear calm and brought him downstairs a few minutes later.  For the next ten minutes or so, Bear clung to me, but he was calm.  He asked for water and tried to eat a potato chip.  Just as I was starting to relax, he started screaming again.  I took him back upstairs leaving Wild Man and Archer to deal with our guests.  After another 10 minutes of trying to determine why Bear was in so much pain, I decided to go to the ER.  I told Archer, who seemed a bit taken aback,* and we left. 

Being in the car seemed to calm Bear down (and in hindsight, I think the pressure of the straps on his stomach helped alleviate the pain), but he started crying as soon as I took him out.  Luckily it was a quiet night, so we were taken back almost immediately.  It likely helped that Bear screamed the entire time the triage nurse examined him and refused to let her touch his stomach.  The doctor saw Bear within 15 minutes of us being taken to the exam area, and he assured me I had done the right thing bringing him in.  He said, "It may just be that he drank too much water at the pool, but he is clearly in a great deal of pain."  He explained that Bear's pattern of getting very upset and then calming down was concerning him.  He said if it was just gas the pain would be more consistent until it dissipated in some way.  He was further concerned by the fact that none of the farting or belching Bear had done seemed to alleviate the pain at all.  So he ordered an x-ray, which only showed a lot of gas in Bear's system.  He then ordered an abdominal ultrasound to make sure it wasn't some sort of obstruction, assuring me if it was we would be catching it very early as Bear hadn't vomited.  Before we could do the ultrasound, Bear had to have an IV to get him hydrated as well as blood taken.  It took the nurses three tries, an hour, and my insistence that they put the damn IV in Bear's leg before we were through that ordeal (I also had to hold him down and endure my very verbal two year old telling me, "Mommy, please no more hurt!" as well as him asking for both Archer and Wild Man before it was over).  By then it was 8:30, and we'd been in the ER for 3 hours. 

After the IV was in, Bear cuddled in my arms and rubbed my hair.  He was so calm that one of the nurses just wheeled us back to radiology in the hospital bed.  He actually fell asleep during the ultrasound, which amazed both me and the technician.  By 9:30 we were back in the ER, and Archer was there.  After he'd gotten Wild Man asleep, he'd asked one of our friends to stay with Wild Man so he could come to the hospital to check on us.  By 10:20 the doctor came over to talk to us.  The ultrasound showed nothing out of the ordinary, and he told us we could go home once he'd gotten the results from the blood work.  By 11:10, those results were back, and they were clear.  So after giving us some instructions, the doctor released Bear.  We have no idea, really, what caused the sudden and severe pain.  The best explanation the doctor could give was that Bear had ingested too much chlorinated water, although he again admitted he was concerned about the level of pain and the way it seemed to come and go.  Bear slept through the night, and he was in good spirits this morning.  Aside from a bruise on his arm, where the nurses attempted to put the IV, he has no signs of his traumatic evening.

I, however, am frustrated.  Why?  Well, I'd like to give everyone at the damn hospital, with the exception of the doctor and the ultrasound technician, a lesson in dealing with children.  Everyone we encountered needs to work on their bedside manner, especially considering that this is an ER solely for children.  From the nurse who asked me if I wanted to wake up my just turned two year old to take him to go pee before trying to give him an IV (I mean, seriously?  And the way the question was framed made absolutely no sense.  It was as though the nurse was telling me that Bear was old enough to be potty trained) to the x-ray tech who told Bear to stop crying so she could get a clearer image (really, I'd like to know what two year old doesn't cry when his mother is forcing him into very awkward positions while he is clearly in pain) to the three nurses who preferred to keep trying to get the IV in his arm (they looked at me like I was nuts when, after three failed attempts, I adamantly insisted they put it in his ankle, where they got it on the first try) to the medical student who insisted on speaking to Bear like he could understand everything she said (I do understand that they are students, but seriously?  Has no one ever pulled them aside and said, "You don't need to raise your voice to speak to children.  And it's better if you explain things in a soft voice as simply as possible."  She literally seemed to want him to respond when she said, "Do you understand I'm going to examine you now?"  I said, as calmly as I could, "The only thing he understands is that he is in pain and in a strange place.  Get on with it, ok?").  Almost every person we encountered needs some instruction on how to deal with children and their parents.  And this isn't the first time I've experienced such frustration at the Children's Hospital.

Thankfully, however, Bear is fine. 

*Archer was taken aback because this is typically the kind of decision I agonize over.  I do not like hospitals.  I do not like taking my children to hospitals.  Every other time we've had to take the boys to the ER, we've only done so after a lengthy conversation and after consulting with either our own doctor or getting a friend's opinion.  He was taken aback, I think, because I made the decision without any discussion.