Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Dr Mommy

That’s not a new term. I won’t begin to take credit for it. I know I’m not the only mom to consider herself the first medical professional that cares for her child.

I don’t presume to have sufficient knowledge or training to perform an emergency appendectomy. A tracheotomy, maybe. Splinter-ectomy, definitely.


Anyway… I was chatting with My Friend Rachel via email the other day. (Her messenger is dead and can’t be reconnected on her new pc at work. Alas.) We were discussing our blogs. She takes some beautiful pictures and posts them there. I loved seeing the pics from her and Mark’s trip to ND, CO, etc.

I yearn to write. I dream of it. I thoroughly enjoy the process and results. It’s my only current attempt at journaling. I enjoy recording my memories and thoughts and stories about DD’s antics and other crap. It’s therapy. Catharsis (my word for the day.) However I run out of ideas/topics. I’ll get an idea or two then have a dry spell for who-knows-how-long.

So… I’ve emailed myself with a few things that I want to write about. One of them follows…

Dr Mommy recommends the liberal use of chapstick and wet washcloths. These two non-medical treatments are quite versatile in their applications and have amazing, almost miraculous qualities.

As DD has grown (now 5 ½ y-o and 4 feet tall), she has had her share of boo-boos. Thanks to the Good Lord that none have been serious (yet?). But they seemed very serious to DD at the time of the injuries.

I don’t recall the first time that DH and I discovered the healing properties of chapstick. It was probably a bump or scrape or bruise. She might have mashed her finger. (The boo-boos tend to blur together after a while - does that make me an inattentive, insensitive mommy?) Anyway, she had this desperate, pleading look on her face. I do remember that.

Meaning of the Look: “Please do something to make it better. I think I’ll die. I need some relief of this misery. You’re my MOMMY. You can fix this. I believe in you.”

Well, I couldn’t just sit there and let her hurt and absolutely ruin this wonderful image she has of me and the unbelievable level of trust she has in my abilities to care for her. Could I?

No. I couldn’t.

So, I did what any self-respecting, resourceful, desperate mother would do. I grabbed the first thing I could find on my bed-side table.


She never batted an eye. She never doubted that in that magical green tube of Blistex medicated lip balm was the CURE to her suffering and pain. I carefully opened the tube and gently applied the “medicine” to her very serious boo-boo. I held her close, rocked back and forth, shushed and said “It’s ok, Mommy loves you. You’re gonna be allright.”

Healed. It was only the first of many chapstick miracles in our house.

It wasn’t long after she started talking that she’d actually ask for chapstick when she’d get a boo-boo. I remember my mom’s phone call one night when DD was staying with her.

Mom: “DD hurt her finger.”

My memory is vague again about the specific type of injury. It might not have even been her finger.

Mom, with a questioning voice: “She asked for chapstick.”

Me: “Yeah. Chapstick. Is she bleeding? I can tell from her screams she’s not unconscious or dead. How bad is it really?”

Mom: “She’s not bleeding at all. Just a mashed finger.” (or whatever it was)

Mom, again with the questioning voice: “About the chapstick.”

Me: “Get some chapstick and rub on it. It’s magical. You’ll love it. Never be caught without it again in her presence.”

Mom: “Ohhhhh Kayyyyyyy. Come here, DD. Let Nanny put this medicine on you. Yes, it’s chapstick. No, it's not the green tube like Mommy has, but it will work just as good. Nanny promises.”

Now, I don’t have to tell you that my mom was astounded with the rapid recovery she witnessed.

But what strikes me as funny, still today, is this…. I can’t count the different things my mom used on me and my older brother to reassure us or help us that were really just psychological in method. She’s no Dr. Phil (he’s a wimp in comparison.) She always knew when what we really needed was not necessarily some medical treatment, but something to restore our faith in our own survival and to help us see that we were not going to die from a mashed toe or cat-scratch or driving the go-kart into the oak tree (RANDY!!!). Well, maybe he could have died from the go-kart vs oak tree duel. But he didn’t. He had plenty more chances to kill himself with reckless, wild-boy behavior as he grew. (Yes, he has survived them all, thus far.)

God bless my mom. And my dad. I don’t know how they managed to survive raising us (especially RANDY!!!) without killing us (especially RANDY!!!) I suspect there were probably times that they considered making me an only child. They’re super parents – a whole ‘nother post.

Anyway, I’ll quit now. I’ll tell you about the wet washcloth treatment another time.

I’ve rambled enough.

Important note: The exact brand of chapstick you choose does not have to match my preference. Just be sure that if you have an especially observant and particular child that you always have the same kind. DD noticed that one time I tried to use her Cinderella chapstick on a boo-boo. She wasn’t buying it. I had to go dig out a new tube of Blistex medicated lip balm from the bathroom drawer before I could relieve her agony.

Mommy to the rescue!!!

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