When I started feeling poorly last week I assumed I was dealing with the same virus Luke had been battling, so I put off going to the doctor at all. A few days later he was a lot better and I was not. When Friday rolled around I knew it was time to give in.

I’m such an attentive mother that when we got out of the car at my doctor’s office I was surprised to see Luke wearing pajama pants and one of my headbands. I felt badly enough that it barely registered on my care-ometer. However, the look on my face must have said enough because he immediately offered, “It keeps my hair out of my eyes.”

When we walked into the office there was one other person in the waiting room. Luke couldn’t handle the silence.

“So my name is Wucas, also known as Wuke. This is my Mom. She’s name is Wori. She has a sore froat and diarrhea, so that’s pretty gross.”

I went from wanting to die, to wondering if I already had and gone to hell. Luke was quickly given a blue raspberry Slush Puppy from the receptionist, so that kept him quiet for a little while. By the way, if your doctor’s office doesn’t have a free Slush Puppy machine, then you need to change providers.


The four-year-old’s favorite video of the week was Elmo Visits the Doctor. I’m guessing that’s what inspired the following. 

  • He was attempting to resist hair combing before school Friday morning. For some reason he detests having his hair combed, but a Mom’s got to do what a Mom’s got to do. “Stop it, Mom. Stop it! You’re not even a real doctor.” Huh???
  • That afternoon he came into my bedroom and announced, “I’m a penetration!” I was terrified, but had to ask, “What are you talking about, son?” “I need to use your stefo-scope,” he said plainly. “Because I am a penetration.” Since then, we have practiced pronouncing the word, “pediatrician.” It’s tricky. (pē-dē-ə-ˈtri-shən)

We Got The Funk

I picked up Luke from school yesterday and it was apparent he wasn’t feeling well. It was his first day back and he had been there a mere three hours. By yesterday evening he was complaining of his back hurting. With all the talk of flu going around I was not excited to hear that. He ran a low grade temperature and went to bed early.

When he got up this morning he was covered in an itchy rash and felt really hot. I took his temperature and shouted downstairs to Brantley. “It’s 101 degrees!”
“Damn!” Luke replied. He had obviously not lost his spirit.
“What did you say?”
“Nuffing. You wook fancy.”
“That excuse will only work so many times, Mister.”

Brantley and I took him to the doctor where he was diagnosed with strep throat and Scarlett Fever. In all my years of nursing I’d never seen Scarlett Fever. Poor kiddo. It looks rough. However, despite his itching and clawing, headache and fever, he still wanted to show everyone in the office his dance to Funky Cold Medina. He did the whole thing complete with ground routine, but I have to admit that it didn’t have its usual pizazz. I’ll forgive him this time.

“This song makes my booty dance, Mom.”
“Indeed it does, son. Indeed it does.”

(To be clear, Luke’s never seen the video.)

Look Out Below

Today was a good day right up until 3:30pm when Luke “fell” off one of our bar stools leaving him with a bum foot. His reaction was quite dramatic, but I couldn’t help but wonder if the pain was that bad, or the time of day was bad. Around our house things usually fall apart around the four o’clock hour and go downhill until someone, anyone falls asleep.

On closer inspection I could see some swelling and bruising, so I deferred to someone with a little more education and phoned his pediatrician. She said to ice it and put a walking boot on him. We happened to have one handy because Luke fractured his foot a year or so ago. However, when I came at him with boot in hand, he expressed that he would have no part in it. He quickly hobbled over to his tricycle and pedaled away with one foot. The smart bad guys always have a getaway car handy. He was so fast it was hard to feel sorry for him.

I later told my friend about our afternoon and she reminded me of what happened in our home a couple of weeks ago. I hadn’t forgotten about poor Baxter because I’m still medicating him twice a day, but I certainly hadn’t considered there had been treachery afoot when the stool hit the floor.

You see, it was early-ish morning- the time of day that I like to parent from my bed. Luke was awake, had already created a path of destruction, and had accidentally let Baxter (our Yorkie) up the stairs. I asked Luke to make him go back downstairs and he complied. However, instead of shooing him down the way I do, he grabbed his collar and “helped” him down the stairs resulting in my first born (Baxter) tearing his ACL.

Now I can’t help but remember this afternoon when I was on one side of the counter, Luke and Baxter on the other, and wonder if Baxter gave that stool a nice shake with his good leg. It hasn’t been proven in a court of law and I hope it never has to be. I have no idea who I would side with.

After Luke and Baxter had limped off to bed I began plunging the toilet that Luke had earlier stopped up with hand towels. I couldn’t help wondering if I would be next. I feel a little bit like I have one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel. How will it happen? I’m guessing I’ll fall down the stairs and shatter my hip, although none of it matters as long as we keep Brantley healthy. He’s the reluctant leader of our motley crew. Very, very reluctant.



Luke accompanied me to my yearly physical on Monday. Bad idea. He was casual and cool as we entered the waiting room still sporting his Lightning McQueen sunglasses, and carrying a milkshake. He slowly surveyed the crowd before finally announcing, “Somefing smells phony in here!” I corrected him despite the fact that it was a pretty astute observation.
“Try not to breathe too deeply,” I told him.

After a twenty minute wait we were ushered back to the exam room to wait some more, but Luke decided he needed to go to the bathroom. When we’re at home this isn’t a huge deal, but in a public restroom it becomes a nightmare. He absolutely CAN’T go without taking off ALL of his clothes. Also, being in the ONLY bathroom designated for patients, there were knocks at the door every fifteen seconds from people needing to pee in a cup. With every knock Luke lost his concentration, which was apparently essential. I was desperate to speed things along which meant I had to stand with my back turned AND my eyes closed.

Finally, he was finished, but as I began getting him dressed he slipped away and went running through the office in only a T-shirt and boxer briefs as he laughed hysterically. I wrangled him, and we made it back to the exam room to find out that I had been skipped over for the next patient and would have to wait some more. So we sat in the cold exam room awhile longer while he pointed out every rectangle in the room. There were twelve.

The doctor eventually came in, felt me up with her cold hands, poked me with a needle, and told me how cute and charming my kid was, all of which took no longer than five minutes.

“Thank you,” I replied. “Now, can you refill my Xanax?”

Bad Dreams

“You’ll never get those sunglasses off.” My niece, Ciara plainly stated.

“Yes, I will!” I tugged and tugged but they were stuck to my face with what seemed like industrial strength cement.

“Didn’t you read the tag that came with them?” she asked. “It said guaranteed NOT to come off.”

“I don’t care what it said. I’m tired of wearing them,” I shouted back.

I awoke from the dream with a start. The strange thing was, my arms actually felt tired. It was as if I had really struggled while I was dreaming. That’s when I looked down and saw the nose splint that had previously been affixed to my freshly fractured and post-operative nose. It was resting in my hands, and my hands in my lap.

I jumped out of bed after realizing what I had done. “I ripped it off! I ripped it off!” I shouted. Brantley finally rolled over and removed his ear plugs. “Why did you do that?” he asked.

“I was dreaming, Brantley. I thought I was wearing sunglasses and I ripped it off like the freaking Incredible Hulk!”

He rolled BACK over. “You have the weirdest dreams.”

All of this excitement occurred before 6:45 this morning. So now, we wait for my 9:30 appointment with the surgeon. Happy Wednesday.

Just Breathe

The Loripalooza well has been running a bit dry the last couple of weeks, and for that I apologize. I have had some personal business to attend to, including my septoplasty surgery one week ago. The surgery itself went well, but wound up being more extensive than the surgeon had first anticipated.

The doctor took cartilage from both of my ears to repair a section of my nose that had collapsed. He also corrected the septum, and removed a bone spur. But, the piez de resistance would be the intentional fracturing of three bones in my face. Part of me is now questioning why I paid money for this??

Luke and my Mom met us at the door when we arrived home from the hospital. As I should’ve expected, Luke summed up my appearance in three words. “Oh no! Spooky!” He cried as he buried his face in my mom’s shirt. I wasted no time getting to bed where I remained for several days, arising only occasionally to socialize with my family. It was during one of these encounters than Luke demanded, “Takey off your mask, Mommy!”

“I wish I could, buddy, but I have some boo boos under there.” I told him.

Luke is growing accustomed to my ghoulish appearance as quickly as the bruising and swelling fade away. I am now in ‘hurry up and wait’ mode as I eagerly anticipate the removal of the splints. I can’t wait to try out my new sniffer, but it probably won’t be for another week or so. Until then, I will just try to breath and enjoy the fact that my sh@! really doesn’t stink.

Love, Rocky Dennis

Happy Anniversary!

I dropped Brantley off at the dermatologist on Friday, and as he was walking in the door I shouted out the car window. “Hey, good luck with that rash!”

He later explained to me that he is immune to my embarrassment and that the only rash he has is the one resulting from our seven year itch. Ouch!

In a related story, he and I got married seven years ago today, thus beginning the best years of his life.

Happy anniversary to the best husband ever!! Thank you for putting up with my lousy housework, my big mouth, and my constant need to “get my way.” Also, thanks for putting up with the way I wait for you around a corner, then jump out and scream in your face to scare you. (Nothing makes me laugh harder than hearing you scream like a girl.) Thanks for constantly giving me material to write about and giving me your blessing to actually put it on the internet. Also, thanks for not getting too mad when I hide the remote on purpose and laugh while you search around the room for it.

I should probably take this opportunity to apologize for writing, “ink poisoning kills” directly on the fruit you take to work in your lunch. That reminds me, thanks for cooking all the time, too. But mostly, thanks for not divorcing me yet. I love you!!!!