Mom

Not Your Bitch

I’m my parent’s computer guru.

Let that sink in, y’all.

Me.  I can’t even turn on my TV to watch football without help from Landon.  In my defense, we have way too many damned remotes and I don’t watch TV but still.

Every summer when the kids and I go to Texas to see family, I install new virus software on both of my parent’s computers, run that shit because they won’t do it again until I’m home for Christmas, and clean up everything for them.

I’m also their personal 24/7 computer diagnostician.  They call me whenever they’re having problems with anything online, which includes Ebay and PayPal accounts and all online order making.  Yep.  They CALL me so I can get on my computer and order something online for them.

I know a lot of you can relate to this.  Technology and parents and all that stuff they seem to be so helpless about.  Here’s a great Amy Schumer sketch about that very thing.

I wish I had taped the last phone conversation my Dad and I had, trying to figure out via YouTube how to fix an issue with Mom’s computer.  It went something like this:

Me:  Okay, Dad.  Click on this video link to watch this tutorial showing you how to fix this.

One minute later.

Dad:  Click on that www thing?

Me:  Yes.  Click on that and it will take you right to the video.  The video shows your computer screen and takes you step by step through what you need to do to remove that from Mom’s computer.

One minute later.

Dad:  It opened another screen.

Me:  Yeah, that’s what it’s supposed to do.  Take you to YouTube.

Dad:  Okay.  All I see are two broads yapping their gums at each other.

Me:  Dad, that’s a commercial.  Hold tight and it’ll get to the tutorial, showing you what to do.

Dad:  Why are they making me watch two broads when I didn’t click on that?

Me:  It’s advertising, Dad.  It’s how they make money.  

Dad:  I clicked on it again to get the broads to shut up.

Me:  Dad, it’ll just start all over again.  They’re going to get their ad time.  

Dad:  I have to watch it to get to the video?

Me:  Yes, Dad.

Dad (mumbling very unhappily to himself while watching it):  Two old broads flapping their gums.  Drink your coffee and get on with it.

Now y’all know what’s wrong  awesome about me and where I get it from.

I went along with this line of thinking, that my parents would be lost without my assistance with all things technological until sometime last week.

For the last several years, right after Thanksgiving, my Mom puts money into a PayPal account.  She came up with the idea to do this.  I use that money to buy presents for my kids that are from her and my Dad.  The gifts get shipped straight to my parent’s house, Mom wraps them up in really beautiful paper with handmade bows and puts them around her tree.  She doesn’t have to leave her house, except to pick up the packages off the porch.

It is always a sight to see when we go home for Christmas to see all the presents around her gorgeously decorated tree.  It looks like she has been shopping with tender loving care and a whole shit load of time all year round.  My kids love her and my Dad to death and are always absolutely floored and thankful for all the gifts, having no clue (nor should they) that I did all the legwork.  Okay, finger work because it was online.  Whatever.

I was getting ready for Gracie’s Birthday party at our house last week so I did not have time to online shop.  Mom messaged me a couple more times, gently reminding me the money is in the account and ready to go.

I’ve also settled a recent Ebay dispute Mom had with a return.  It was ugly and the seller was a real douche bag even though the screw up was their fault.  It took several times of going back and forth between Ebay and PayPal, disputing and responding to the seller for a refund.  I did it because she asked me to and, you know, poor helpless Mom and that big, bad, confusing computer thingamajig and mega companies.

And in between the gentle reminders from Mom about the money and the dispute rebuttals, it hit me.

I’m my Mom’s bitch.

Computer illiterate?  Maybe.  Fucking brilliant?  YES!  This is the smartest woman I know.  I’m jealous.  She’s been playing me like Blue Oyster Cult plays the cowbell.

She transfers money to an account, I go online and buy shit with that money, send it straight to their door in Texas, she wraps it all up, and gets all the credit.   Every single damned bit.

You ever had to settle a dispute with an Ebay seller?  It’s a pain in the ass, especially when the seller is a lying sack of shit who sent you the wrong item and then lied about you returning it, even with proof of return from the Post Office.

After the initial realization that my Mom is actually the smartest woman alive and the awe wore off a bit, the feisty side of me fought back.  I think Mary Tyler Moore said it best:

mary

I’d like to continue this newly found streak of parental defiance but I’d better go.  My Mom’s calling and I have to give her UPS tracking numbers and a detailed spreadsheet of how I’ve spent her money.  She’ll also probably need a refill on that coffee, dry cleaning pickup, and I need to get those packages off her porch.

Have a good week, y’all.

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I Will Crush You, Ivan!

Our son has to receive Remicade infusions every four weeks to keep his Crohn’s Disease in check.  Our insurance changed this year – because why the hell not, I’m a stay at home mom and have nothing but time on my hands – and I officially had it with our new prescription service this morning.

Normally, the meds are shipped to our house, I schedule the infusion appointment with our nurse, the nurse comes to my house on the assigned day, bada bing bada boom, the thing is done and we’re good for another four weeks.

CVS Caremark apparently thinks that method is a load of horse shit.  They ferreted out my Remicade scam almost right away and called me on it.  I just got off the phone with Ivan, who is probably in the CVS Caremark bathroom right this very minute with a makeshift ice pack on his asshole.  This is how Ivan’s last 10 minutes went:

Me:  I’m just a bit confused, Brandon took my $250 copay the day before yesterday without any problem, told me I’d have the meds yesterday.  Guess what, Ivan?  I didn’t get those meds.

Ivan:  Yeah, let me check to see what’s going on here.

Me:  I know what’s going on.  I didn’t get the meds.  The meds I paid for.

Ivan:  It looks like, uhhh, you don’t have a plan in place for administering the med.  Like, what do you once you get it?

Me:  I get the med, I call the nurse, the nurse comes to my house and gives it to my son.

Ivan:  How is it administered?  

Me (MAKING myself not say “We usually put all 9 vials in a tranq gun and shoot him in the ass with it.):  Via a pump.  

Ivan:  Gravity drip?

Me (talking as I would to a very frightened, lost four year old):  A regular battery operated pump, Ivan.  No sorcery involved.

Ivan:  It looks like the reason it wasn’t shipped is because you don’t have a plan on file for administering the drug once you get it and we also don’t have what we need from your Doctor. 

*At this point, I’ve developed a tic in my right eye and I’m popping Bayer aspirin in hopes of living through my impending stroke.  Ivan’s waded into the shit pool without his floaties on and he doesn’t even know it yet.  Also, when I’m getting very angry, I repeat your name a lot.*

Me:  Brandon had all the proper forms the day before yesterday or surely he wouldn’t have taken my $250 copay, Ivan.  Brandon transferred me to the pharmacist, who informed me of all the med warnings, which I know by heart by now, Ivan.  Surely your pharmacist wouldn’t waste time for a call on a med he couldn’t fill due to a lack of Doctor’s form?  Right, Ivan?  Also, the Doctor’s nurse said she had faxed it to y’all twice.  Twice, Ivan.  This is a Doctor we have used for several years and they have never screwed us over.  You have, Ivan.  I don’t have the meds that were supposed to be here yesterday.  Ivan.    

Ivan:  Well, again, I think the problem is a lack of an administration plan.

**I have officially lost my shit.  My shit has left the building, saying “I quit this bitch!”  Also, when I’m past the point of anger but I can’t curse, I use the word “freaking” a lot.  Okay, too much.*

Me (I’m so pissed that he’s forced me to use the tranq gun line now):  This isn’t my first freaking rodeo, Ivan.  We’ve been doing this for 4 freaking years.  I don’t know your process because no one has told me.  I am not Nancy Freaking Drew, Ivan.  Please enlighten me.  Send me a nurse, send the meds to the Doctor, send it to the hospital.  Hell, let’s shoot it up his ass with a tranq gun at this point.  I.DO.NOT.FREAKING.CARE.

Ivan (clearing his throat and nervously laughs):  I mean, what are you going to do with $3,000 worth of medicine that just shows up at your door?

Me:  Seriously?  Congratulations, you got me, Ivan.  I’m freebasing Remicade.  Call me in, do what you have to do to sleep tonight but I do not have time for this SHIT.  IVAN!

Ivan:  Can I put you on hold?

Me:  Sure, Ivan.  I need to step up evasive measures against stroke at this point so it’s good timing for some smooth jazz hold music.

If you are a mom to a kid with health issues, stay at home or not, I just want to send you love today.  It’s not easy keeping up with all this shit, the meds, the appointments, the insurance, all the different offices, all the back and forth, all in the name of keeping your child as healthy as possible.  I hope you’re taking care of yourselves, too.  Go to Starbucks by yourself and just BE.  Take a bubble bath.  Drink some wine, eat some chocolate.  You deserve it.

Ivan does not deserve it.  Wherever you  are, Ivan, I hope that makeshift ice pack gives you frostbite on your asshole.  Bless your heart.

Tightrope Walkers

As we honor our Mothers today, these are the thoughts that come to my mind when I think of my Mom.

I think of all the beautiful handmade dresses she sewed for me, not only out of necessity but also because what she made felt so much better than store bought to me.  I think of every single Christmas, no matter how little or how much money we had, as being the best Christmases a kid could ever have.  I think of Elvis and his Christmas album because that one was and is Mom’s favorite and Christmas isn’t complete for me to this day without hearing Elvis sing.  I think of the cookies baked for an entire high school marching band after I gave her one night’s notice.  I think of my Granny who kept me and my brother while my Mom worked so hard for our family.  I think of all the nights she prayed for me, that I would follow the right path and either not go down or to get off of the wrong one.

I think of her spending many nights with me and E in hospital rooms with our children.  I think of her being there when our son Landon was born and the many hospital stays that followed leading up to and after his colostomy.  I think of her getting Landon to me without a moment to spare so I could say goodbye to him because things went very wrong and they had to fly me to Dallas to give birth to our daughter Gracie.  I think of her kissing me goodbye, holding Landon and trying to be brave for me.  I think of her being there when the Doctor told me and E that Gracie probably wouldn’t make it through the weekend.  I think of her having to make the drive back to East Texas from Dallas right after that Doctor’s conference, back to my Dad who was watching Landon, crying the entire drive by herself.  I think of her doting on her grandchildren and making them feel so special every time we visit, which is harder now that we’re further away.  I think of all the things she still makes by hand for me and my family and the fact that those things are still so much better than anything store bought.  I think of how she insists that even when I was almost 100 pounds heavier, I was still beautiful.

On the lighter side, I think of how alarming it is that she relies on me as her computer expert.  I think of her continued refusal to type in nothing but all caps on Facebook, even though I’ve pointed out her faux pas, and her insistence that she can’t see “small letters” anymore.  I think of laughing with her just yesterday over how she and I used to pretend we were asleep when we were in the hospital with Landon because the med students just asked the same questions over and over every single morning.  I think of her recent acceptance of my magenta hair and the acknowledgement that I could do far worse to disgrace the family.

I think of love, strength, fierce protection, faith and hope.

Landon’s favorite book as a child was “Corduroy“.  Gracie’s favorite book was “The Runaway Bunny“.  I practically have both of these books memorized, I read them to my children so many times.  Both of these books are about home and belonging.  Corduroy finally finds a home and everything he’d been longing for, even with the flaw of missing a button on his overalls.  The Runaway Bunny threatens to become multiple things to run away from his Mom and his Mother counters each one.  Near the end of the story, he threatens to “join a circus and fly away on a flying trapeze”.  His Mother replies “I will become a tightrope walker and I will walk across the air to you”.

I’ve learned after these many years of having a Mother and being a Mother, that is exactly what we are.  Tightrope walkers.

Here are a few pictures of me being both a daughter and a Mom:

And finally, I had to include this picture of my friend Don’s Mom.  Don and I went to school together in the same small Texas town.  I knew his Mother and she was a wonderful lady.  This is a picture of her, attempting to console an obviously very distraught Don, all while desperately clinging to her “happy place”.   This picture makes me smile every time he posts it and I wonder what she was listening to.  She was apparently an advanced tightrope walker.

don

Happy Mother’s Day!  I hope all of you Tightrope Walkers out there have a beautiful day.