Lebanon Reporter

September 12, 2012

What kind of mother am I? Don’t ask my kids

By Ginger Truitt
Reporter columnist

— “What kind of mother do you think I am?” I inquired of my teenage son.

“A horrible one!” he replied.

“Well, if that’s the way you feel about it, then yes, I will definitely have the video camera running when you come out from under anesthesia.”

There really isn’t anything better than fun-loving interaction with your teenage children, unless, perhaps, it is recording them as they start waking up after surgery.

My son inherited my huge horse teeth. Or if you are a school bully, you might describe them as “Chiclet Teeth.” This means that due to lack of space, his wisdom teeth were not only impacted, but actually growing completely sideways.

When I had mine removed, there were a number of complications due to the fact that they had been in my mouth for nearly 40 years. So, I determined that my kids should have theirs removed while they are still young. Besides, ever since I got the giggles while the oral surgeon was ever so gently pressing on my face, I’ve had a bit of a crush on him. So, any time I can get one of my kids into his office, it’s worth the $50 copay.

I sat patiently in the waiting area, thumbing through a Rachael Ray magazine while simultaneously watching her on TV. The nurse kept me apprised of my son’s progress, and I texted the updates to hubby who was 5,000 miles away, and already tucked in for the night. 

Finally, it was time to pull out the video camera and watch the boy wake up. 

Mom: “Hey, honey!  How are you feeling?” 

Son: “Awesome! Anesthesia is the best thing ever! I know how a polar bear feels. Can I have some more?” 

Mom (shoving video camera closer to son’s face): “What’s that? You know how a polar bear feels?”

Son: “Polar bears are so cold, and I’m really cold.”

Mom: “Well, you do have an icepack wrapped around your head.”  

Son (suddenly hysterical): “Aaah! What’s that on my arm?”

Mom: “They put gauze over the spot where you had an IV.”

Son: “They told me I have to swallow the gauze, but I’ll die!”

Mom: “No, son, you don’t have to swallow the gauze.”

Son: “Yes, I do mom! The doctor said I have to swallow the gauze!”

Handsome doctor enters from behind curtain. Mom swoons slightly.

Doctor: “You don’t have to swallow the gauze, just hold it between your teeth.”  

Mom realizes she is recording doctor instead of son, and quickly adjusts the video camera before embarrassing situation ensues. 

On the way home, we stopped for applesauce, ice cream and prescription pain killers for son, and a solid meal for me. At this point, his hunger had escalated, and the smell of my hamburger was driving him crazy.  But since I’d already been deemed a horrible mother, I ate in front of him anyway. 

Keeping in the vein of “horrible mother” I uploaded son’s crazy videos to YouTube, then shared them with his girlfriend. We had a good laugh together, asking him questions like, “What does it feel like to be a polar bear?” 

As the evening came to a close, the surgeon called to see how he was doing. When I hung up the phone, 20-year-old daughter questioned the goofy grin on my face. 

“Oh, I just have a bit of a crush on the doctor. No big deal.” 

“Mom, you didn’t make me undergo $30,000 worth of orthognathic surgery and have my jaw wired shut just because you like the doctor, did you?” 

“Seriously? What kind of mother do you think I am?” 

“A horrible one!” 

Suddenly, I remembered, I still need to upload daughter’s anesthesia videos to YouTube. 

Ginger is an author, speaker and mother of five. Contact her at ginger@gingertruitt.com.