Sunday, April 29, 2012

R.I.P. Mommy

My original plan was NOT to make this a blog about menstruation; apparently this, though, is the life I live this week.

We really are a strange species. Us, fertile females, universally, bleed every month and yet somehow it is a taboo realm of discussion. Poop is funny. Periods are disgusting. I've always wondered why. I remember I read a book once about ancient menstruation huts, tents where bleeding women went and sat on straw while on their menses. I know that at the time they were considered "unclean" and the idea was to send them as far away as possible, until the immortal freaks stopped bleeding, but I still love the idea. In modern times, we could have better amenities in our huts, like well-oiled fanning men, chocolate fountains, heaps of nachos and pedicurists. We would be forced to sleep as much as possible and endure relaxation massages. We would not be expected to still go to work, care for families, take care of homes and gardens, sit in traffic and do all the things regular non-bleeding folks could do. I understand the makers of extra strength Motrin and Tampax might not like this plan, but they could put their resources towards hut manufacturing. The bottom line is, despite menstruation being a monthly reality since the dawn of civilization, people are ridiculously uncomfortable with it. Your monthly cycle does NOT just affect you. It creeps out men everywhere and causes psychological damage to children. This is why I support blood huts for everyone. Modern blood huts, though, because I don't sleep on straw.

It is true, menstruation causes psychological problems in children. I didn't realize this either until yesterday.

So, seriously, this is where I get to the point (if you've made it through this far, congrats, you get star!) My 4 year old's preschool teacher called me yesterday to discuss his BEHAVIOR. I felt myself tense. He is the most loving little guy, but he has the attention span of a gnat. He doesn't stand still, he constantly looks as if he needs to go potty, frequently he does, but usually he just says "my feet, they just wanna dance!" He goes through life pacing, twisting and turning, in search of legos and vampires. His mind is the same way, full of stories and excitement. He is childhood. He is also incredibly loving and too often misunderstood, especially by the adults who obviously prefer the quiet girl who sits criss cross applesauce and always keeps her hands on her lap. But his preschool teacher loves him. She's told me, she adores his little mind and the way he thinks about things constantly. She loves his roller coaster of attention deprived thoughts. So when she called me, I knew something was wrong.

And I have a hard time accepting constructive criticism when it comes to my kids. I, also, think they are perfect. So I prepared myself to be mature and understanding.

She told me he had been VERY unfocused. She couldn't bring him to the task at hand, no matter the technique she tried. He was combative and disinterested. She knew SOMETHING was going on. Finally, at the end of class she was able to get him to open up. "Something has been weighing heavy on his heart," she told me, "he told me you are very sick and GOING TO DIE." Suddenly, my momma bear defenses dissolved as did my mommy-is-going-to-put-you-in-the-longest-time-out-of-your-little-life plan. The poor kid thought I was dying! "Yes," she continued, "I spoke with the day care workers and they also said he has been telling everyone for the past 2 days that his mommy is very sick in the belly and she's probably dying."

"I am not dying." I told the teacher. "I've just been sick." And I laughed hysterically, full well knowing what was happening. Apparently, every time I said "I'm bleeding so hard" and "I'm bleeding to death" and "I just need to lay down", somebody was listening. When I curled up in bed with a migraine, my daughter hushed her little brother, "Shhhhh, mommy needs to rest, she's very, very sick." His little mind was spinning.

I picked him up for school and crouched down, looked in his eyes, clutched his chubby little cheeks and promised him I was OK. I told him I was all better, I wasn't sick and I wasn't dying.

"Momma, you've been bleeding on EVERYTHING. All you do is BLEED." He said, patting my face. He looked at me, seriously, "you are dying, but its OK." He smiled encouragingly, "It's OK because you are going to go Heaven! You are an angel mommy!"

So, I will spend the next 3 weeks convincing him I am well and going to live a long, long time. Long enough to grandmother his babies and need a scooter to get around. And then,  I will fall terribly ill again. It's the cycle. And I need a hut.

Either that or the child is psychic. I'm picking up some life insurance just in case.

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