You will hear a phrase often amongst parents – usually between couples, as they each try to take credit for their kid’s more likeable and impressive qualities - exclaiming their genetic contribution to their child: ‘Oh yeah, he gets (his unbelievable charm and good looks) from me.’ It’s a cross between ego driven pride and…well, it’s all ego, who are we kidding. Conversely, in some instances, there is also mild horror when you realize that like it or not, less than admirable qualities can also be passed down from generation to generation.
Then of course, there is that moment, where it dawns on you that this little person in front of you is in fact their own person, and on many levels, they are much cooler, and more clever than you could ever dream to be. And you find yourself almost envying your child, wishing that some of their youthful unblemished ‘newness’ could find its way into your own genetic code (not to mention the King's grasp of numbers. I'm freakishly hopeless).
The King has many qualities that of course I tell myself that I had as a child (and through adulthood, reality set in and kicked the sh*t out of my best qualities like rebellion, fearlessness and nonchalance) and then of course, I realize I can take credit for very little and purely have to sit back and try to adopt some of his 'je ne sais oblivious goofball', into my own life.
Yesterday was a prime example of that parental moment where I looked at my kid and realised that in many ways, he is simply, a bad ass. He went in for minor surgery (ears/adenoids) and I of course had prepared myself for epic meltdowns, tears, and nervousness abound (yes, I’m talking about me). But in true King style, after we talked about the process exhaustively, he set out to the hospital in his Justice League t-shirt, and his Lego truck with an ‘I got this' attitude that made me think twice about grabbing my Xanax tablets. By the time we got to the hospital, I could tell that he found his nurse, Atlas, pretty darn cute; he soon set up shop in his number 10 bed (for some reason he loved that his bed was numbered) and started making jokes with the anesthesiologist who taped numbing cream to his hands (where the IV line would go) telling her that it looked like crushed eggs.
I of course was pacing a fair amount, checking out to see how ‘with it’ the surgeon seemed, and was making damn sure they were labeling my child with the right name and birthdate so they didn’t remove a kidney instead. See, fearlessness, OUT the window. By the time we were called upstairs, the King was happy to saunter into the lift barefoot in just his hospital robe like he was Hugh Hefner. When we got to the operating theater, they had warned me that some kids freak out, especially when it’s time to be put under (they like the parents there to keep things calm, then again, who the hell is going to keep the parents calm?). I had told the King that they were going to give him ‘magic potion’ and he’d go to sleep very quickly. He emitted one loud OW, when they stuck the line into his hand, then started to laugh at something the nurse said. He then looked at me and said, ‘I feel something in my throat,’ and CONK, out he went. (As an insomniac, I can tell you that I have never felt more envious of someone at that very moment). Of course as any parent can tell you, watching your kid go limp like that can weaken the knees of even for the most formidable of people. At that point the nurses asked if I was okay, as I had that look. God, why didn’t I bring the Xanax?
As I waited downstairs for the King, I of course paced like a loon as they wheeled child after child past me, each one struggling to wake up from the anesthesia, some bawling in pain, others passed out cold. When they finally wheeled him in, he was asleep in a little ball, with his stuffed animals beside him. Of course, that didn’t last long. After about 20 minutes of punch drunk, trying to come to with some crying and moaning about pain, he popped up, took up Atlas’s offer on a box of Lego and proceeded to spend the next hour singing at the top of his lungs, dancing, making jokes and building a three story garage. It got to the point where the nurses were laughing as he Magic Miked his way to the bathroom in his underwear (the kid loves to twerk, I have no idea where he got this from; okay, I have some idea), passing the other kids who were out cold in their beds (yes, I had visions of us happily cat napping for hours in a hospital bed watching movies). Then of course, his stomach woke up too and he proceeded to eat everything that wasn’t nailed down. By 1pm, there told us we were being discharged, most likely to give the others a break from the King’s singing so they could actually rest.
By the time we got home, he was on full tilt, eating, running, singing, and I started to wonder if post anesthesia is like crack for certain children, or if the surgeon was a total liar and was watching soaps instead of operating on my kid. There went my week of playing nurse to a half out of it child while I snuck away and tackled things on my to do list. Clearly nothing holds this kid down, and I can honestly say, I had nothing to do with it….then again….