Is “Esoteric” Another Word for “Quirky”?

Yesterday the school nurse called me half an hour before school let out because Sam was complaining that his ear hurt. If you’re keeping track, this is Painful Left Ear, Episode III (Revenge of the Inner Ear) for the month. By the time I got to the school, Sam was collapsed on a chair in the front office. He shuffled out of the school, tears falling down his face, lower lip trembling, shivering, and complaining of thirst.

I guess I should have believed him that morning when he said he was sick. The school nurse stepped up the stink eye element by asking me on the phone, “Didn’t I call you about this yesterday?”

For the record, it was at least a week and a half ago. It was pretty much irrelevant whether he was sick today. There was no way I was sending him to school and risk another phone call from the nurse. It turns out, however, that it was a good thing I kept him home because when I took him to the doctor, she took one look at his left ear and said, “Oh yeah, that’s infected.”

She prescribed an antibiotic and told me to give him 9 mL once a day for ten days. Sam then immediately said, “If I took another 991 mL, then I would have taken a liter.”

The doctor, who is one we’ve never seen before, laughed, told Sam he was right, and then cocked her head to the side. I believe I could actually see a gear kicking into motion in her head.

There was a longish pause as she clearly rewound through our entire conversation (which included Sam telling her that his ear had started hurting at 6:07 a.m. yesterday) and then she asked, “Does he have a lot of esoteric interests?”

I had a little internal laugh because I knew exactly what she was getting at. She might not know my family, but trust me, we are not in need of any more developmental evaluations, thankyouverymuch.

“Um, yeah,” I said. “Our whole family is kind of quirky. His little brother has autism.”

This was obviously where she was headed, because once she seemed assured that I was on top of the quirkiness—or esotericness*—of my family, she dropped the subject except to imply that my kids were a lot smarter than I am, which is true, but still, ouch.

I’m pleased that in a quick exam for a routine sick visit, this doctor cared enough to start a line of inquiry. It amused also that I am so used to my kids and their quirkiness

* Shut up. It is so a word. Also, I just drank a really strong margarita, so I’m not entirely sure that I’ve written any real words at all. Fibbertyjib.

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The End of the School Year Is Kicking My Ass

Oh my. You would not believe my May. Well, maybe you would. You are all probably in about the same end-of-the-school-year panic as me. I’m not even worried yet about the crushing weight of three children home with me all summer because I’m not quite sure that I’m going to make it until school lets out in mid-June.

I actually have my fingers crossed for the rapture on Saturday. I imagine that such an event could only do good things for my to-do list, which could then be consolidated down to one item: Go looting.

I’m not hopeful though. And even if does happen, it’s not going to get me out of chaperoning Jack’s 2nd grade field trip to the Natural History Museum tomorrow. Although I’m sure that trip will be fun…unless Jack knocks down a dinosaur or something. I’ll be sure to take a photo if he does.

I have been doing a lot of writing over the past few days for other, non-Stimeyland venues, so I didn’t quite realize that I haven’t written here for more than a week. I do assure you, however, that I have been compiling lists of topics to write about over the course of the next few days, rapture notwithstanding.

Here are your options/topics I will foist upon you/reasons why I didn’t write last week:

• It was Jack’s birthday last week. He’s eight now. That’s all I have to say about that.

• We are still mid-dental nightmare for Jack. At this point, he is scheduled for complete sedation in a dental office in another state. I have a lot more to say about this.

• You wanna know what I did on Tuesday? I took my cat to the vet in the morning, went home to discover that my dog had ripped her nail to pieces, and went back to drop a whole other sackload of cash at the vet in the afternoon. I am currently dispensing nine medications to four species every morning and a similar, if not larger number, in the evening.

• I chaperoned Quinn’s kindergarten field trip to the zoo last Friday. As mentioned, I’m chaperoning Jack’s field trip to the Natural History Museum this Friday. Next Friday? I chaperone Sam’s field trip to the National Building Museum. It might be worth it to get a daytime job so I’m not available during the day anymore.

• Jack and Quinn shared a birthday party on a rainy day last weekend. It was a blast. I served margaritas. Not to the kids. Well, not to most of the kids.

• I haven’t returned an email for, like, three weeks. I am so behind on, well, on everything. Bear with me, okay? Until I return, I offer you the post I wrote for the Wheaton Patch about how I have never correctly determined if my kids are sick or not when they ask to stay home from school.

Okay then. Barring rapture, we’ll chat again soon!

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