I was ready to tell him that Amelia is far too young to join the workforce when I noticed that he was talking to me. A job. J-o-b. The word stuck to the roof of my mouth like peanut butter. Jooooooobbbbbbbb.
But I'm already a professional Google searcher, I tried to explain. And a Netflix critic. And a chicken finger connoisseur. How much can a girl possibly take on in one day? "I'm not Wonder Woman," I tell him.
He thinks that my OCD would benefit from some time away from home. I'd no longer be able to research bacteria levels on kitchen sponges between episodes of Game of Thrones. A job would stimulate my brain; light a spark under my well-rested, growing derriere.
For once, I have to agree with my husband. The worst thing you can give an OCD sufferer is a search engine and time to think. My symptoms lessen when I stay busy; I focus on the task at hand instead of the million catastrophic risks waiting outside my front door. At the time of this conversation, one of scariest scenarios is just days away: Amelia's tonsillectomy.
February 8th finally arrived. There I was, death grip on my rosary with mascara-stained cheeks, staring at a clock that I swore had stopped moving. I could feel every palpitation of my heart, and for a moment, I questioned whether a big ole scaredy-cat like myself had the strength to do much of anything in this life. I looked all around the same-day surgical waiting room and noticed people snoozing and emailing and snacking on protein bars. I found them to be such calm, fascinating creatures.
These unenlightened individuals apparently hadn't studied the hundreds of complications that can occur with any given surgery: bleeding, allergies to anesthetic agents, cardiac arrest, infection, thrombosis. Perhaps they didn't have the time; perhaps they had jobs.
Amelia's procedure lasted fifteen minutes, and the next two weeks were long but uneventful--- she bounced back faster than Britney Spears after 2007. Her pain was manageable the entire time, and all she wanted to do was eat and annoy me.
Fast forward to Wednesday night. Amelia was pretty much back to a normal routine and Matt was on business in South America. As per our nighttime routine when Matt is away, I crated the dog, alarmed the security system, and tucked Amelia in bed beside me.
She wakes me at midnight asking for a tissue. Half-asleep, I grab one from my nightstand and hand it to her. "The bed feels wet, mommy," she says. "Shhhh," I mumble. "Mommy is just sweating. Go back to bed."
Three hours later: "Mommy, I need a drink." Annnnnnd I'm up. I switch on the bathroom light and fill a cup with water. My bed, now slightly illuminated, looks strange to my heavy eyes.
I wonder for a moment if I've been sweating blood---or maybe Cabernet. Then a light bulb goes off in my groggy head and I realize it's coming from Amelia's mouth and nose---she's having a post-tonsillectomy complication. I examine her enough to know that most of the blood is dry and she is no longer actively bleeding, so instead of calling an ambulance, I grab my bra and her coat and rush to the emergency room.
To make a long story short, the bleeding resolved on its own, and Amelia's back at home under my careful observation. It appears this was a one-off (albeit terrifying) episode and is unlikely to happen again.
So the circus is back in town. Amelia stayed home from school and I'm back on Google. I open the door to grab a UPS package and our new puppy makes a break for it. Here I am, braless and shoeless, chasing our deranged, escaped dog around the house and into our woods while Amelia is standing in the doorway screaming, "Your boobies are jiggling, mom!" and I'm yelling back, "Stop screaming, Amelia!!! You're going to re-bleed!"
Sometimes I look at my life, and I don't know whether to laugh, cry, or eat more Girl Scout cookies.
Perhaps I'll ask Google.