Last night, I dragged The Daver and The Guy on my Couch outside to play with the two smaller kids – the big one, Ben, was off doing his chores. While Daver hid out in the tree-house with Amelia, Alex and The Guy on my Couch began to play a rousing game Alex called “Goomba,” which was, to the best of my knowledge, Dodge Ball with a Mario theme.
I sat nearby, weeding my rose garden, cursing myself for spraying anti-fungal shit on it too soon in the season, listening to them play.
After a half an hour, my eldest, Ben, burst out of the back door of the house like he was being chased by a particularly vicious washcloth.
“Oh. Em. Gee.” he sputtered, punctuation clearly evident in his speech, “THERE you are.”
I laughed at his vehemence, “Where’d you think we were?”
“I. DON’T. KNOW.” He staccato-ed out.
“Did you think we’d been abducted by alien ghosts or something?” I asked playfully.
“Mom,” he looked at me, hand on his hip, dead serious. “I’m SO over ghosts.”
He went over and got on the swing-set as Daver took Amelia up to bed. (Big) Ben and Alex continued to play their bizarre game, giving each other 1-Up’s whenever they’d get hit with the ball. Dave soon joined me on the patio, my roses long weeded.
“I can’t believe you’re going to spoil my kids,” Ben semi-hollered from the swings.
Without missing a beat, I replied, “It’s called payback, my son.”
(He’s referring to a conversation I had with him threeish years ago wherein I told him how excited I was to spoil his kids when he got older. I listed out, in no particular order, all of the various ways I’d planned on spoiling his kids rotten. He finds it hilarious.)
(I’ve learned, for those of you playing along at home, that certain kids on the autistic spectrum will vividly remember conversations and events that occurred many years ago and bring them up in conversations as though they happened yesterday. I only wish he were so dedicated to remembering to wash his hands after cleaning up the cat boxes)
He hollered happily, “Oh MOM! You can’t give my kids candy all the time!”
“We won’t,” Daver teased. “We’ll do pizza too. Lots of pizza.”
“Oh DAD,” Ben giggled before he yelled, “YOU CAN’T DO THAT.”
“Uncle Ben will buy them tons of video games, too,” The Guy on my Couch chimed in. “Especially the kinds you don’t want them to play.”
“BIG BEN,” my son hollered, laughing so hard he nearly toppled off the swing, “NO! YOU CAN’T DO THAT.”
“Before you drop your kids off, I’ll buy them each a five pound bag of sugar and dump a can of Mountain Dew in it,” I contained. “I’ll give ‘em that to drink before you pick them up!”
“What if my wife doesn’t like that?” Ben giggled, still swinging.
“I will be the one choosing your wife for you, Ben,” I said, as sternly as I could. Dave and Big Ben burst out laughing, “THAT’S gonna go over well,” Daver said.
“Sorry I can’t date you,” Big Ben chimed in, “My Mom says your name is stupid – and I can’t date girls with stupid names.”
The laughter woke up the birds trying to sleep in the big pine tree in my backyard.
“Okay,” my son said, still laughing, “What if my wife doesn’t want kids?”
“That’s okay,” I reassured him. “You can BUY kids off eBay. Or the gypsies.”
He laughed and laughed and laughed.
“When I grow up, I’m going to work at Band Back Together dot Com with you guys. And then I’ll tell the REAL story,” my son countered.
“We got editors for that sorta thing, Boy,” The Guy On My Couch (Big Ben) bantered.
Back and forth we lobbed it until it grew dark and the wind began howling, indicating that it was, at long last, bedtime for kids.
“Alex,” my son said conspiratorially to his brother as they walked into the house together, “be careful. Mom might make you buy kids.”
“I want a Yoshi – not babies,” Alex replied.
Touche, my (second) son.
In an odd twist, I am taking the day off. You’d think, “Aunt Becky, didn’t you just have two days off?” And the answer would be, “Bwahahahahahahahaha! I got three crotch parasites who, unlike OUR parents before us who’s answer to ‘I’m booooored,” was to boot us outside and lock the door, I can’t stand the way they stare at me through the windows until I let them back in. So I played with them instead.”
That meant that I was introduced to those stupid Crayola colored bubbles which are like kid crack and yet, such a bad, bad idea. Just trust me on this one. Colored bubbles = no bueno.
Today, I’m going to go and venture out into the real world, where people don’t speak in hashtags and LOL Speak. Which, also = no bueno.
So I leave you with this, a copy of my newest edition of MS word:
Many, many moons ago, before I was Your Aunt Becky, I was Nurse Becky. However, Nurse Becky had a problem – namely, she didn’t want to be Nurse Becky.
(okay, that’s me being done talking about myself in the third person)
No, I’d given up my medical school dreams for a young lad I’d indelicately booted out of my crotchal regions at the tender age of 21. Me, not him. That would be pretty weird – pushing a 21-year old outta my vagina. Mental picture of a full-grown frat boy (including crappy shamrock tattoo from one drunken night in Cancun) climbing out of my vagina is full of the awesome, though.
The biggest problem I had was that I had no desire whatsoever to actually BE a nurse. Which came to light day one of nursing school. I held on, worked my ass off, and graduated at the top of my class, hoping something – anything – would change my mind.
Of course, it didn’t. The same way I’d make a terrible teacher because, hello, it’s not as though I should personally be ministering to small, impressionable minds. Parents would take one look at me and run for the hills quicker than you can say, “bong water.”
So there I was – freshly graduated, diploma in hand, mind not magically changed to, “Imma let you finish – then Imma administering you some morphine – can I have a drag?”
Blithely, I applied – and got – a job working on a cardiac floor at a hospital in Elmhurst. That lasted six weeks before I quit. I’d been told that the floor I was on was one that “made a lot of people ditch nursing a career.” Apparently, I chose even more poorly than I’d thought.
When we moved to our current house, faced with the prospect of dueling mortgages (this was almost immediately before the housing market bubble burst), it was decided that I’d go back to work. After spending a few months sitting alone in our condo with a small autistic boy all day, I was more than happy to get back on the (work) horse and ride that fucker all the fuck over the place.
This time, I knew better – I wasn’t going back to a hospital – oh no. That shit was for the GOOD nurses out there. Instead, I chose a desk job working for a major insurance company. I’d be approving certain claims as well as finding ways to extend the benefits for people who were using in-home hospice.
Now hospice, if you don’t know, is for people who are no longer pursing active treatment of their terminal illness. Hospice is designed to let you die with some dignity at home (or in the hospital) as comfortably – and pain free – as possible. Hospice is also one of the last options for people who are terminally ill, which means that most people don’t stay in hospice for very long before they pass.
However, some people had certain hospice benefits provided through my company – but the terms and conditions were, as many people forget, set by the employer – and some of their hospice benefits were way weird. So it was my job to look for loopholes, draft care plans, and show the insurance company as well as the employer that being in at-home hospice was far cheaper than being hospitalized.
It wasn’t as glamorous a job as, say, BLOGGING, but I liked it – I was actually helping people in a way I knew how – by finding and exploiting the system.
But elevator conversations always turned sour:
Someone Else: “What do you do for a living?”
Nurse Becky (prays they’ll stop questioning there): “I’m a nurse.”
Someone Else (warmly): “My [insert relation here] is a nurse! That’s so wonderful! You’re a very special person for doing all that you do. Where do you work?”
Nurse Becky (mumbles): “[Company that shares a name with an airline]“
Someone Else: “Oh, FUCK YOU! That’s a fucking BULLSHIT company. I fucking HATE them – you know they denied my claim for a routine appendectomy? HOW THE HELL COULD YOU WORK FOR SUCH EVIL CORPORATE BASTARDS? You’re one sick puppy, you know that?”
Nurse Becky (mumbles): “Well, I’m one of the good guys – I look for ways to….”
Someone Else: “Fuck you and fuck your mother for birthing you, you soulless bitch.”
Nurse Becky (crestfallen, to herself): “I gotta remember to say I’m an astronaut or something.”
Eventually, the soulless heart-slurping company switched my job to that would primarily involve cold-calling people and giving them health examinations over the phone – not my cup of tea. This, at the same time I’d found out I was pregnant with Alex and couldn’t stop yarfing everywhere meant that it was time for me to mosey on down to greener – nicer – pastures. Like blogging. And wearing ass grooves into my couch.
At least then, only my couch could really bitch at me.