This week's been a bit tough on several levels, although we certainly have a lot for which to be thankful too. David's reversal surgery and recovery could not have gone more smoothly thus far. As close as I can tell, the actual procedure lasted less than 20 minutes, and he was situated in his hospital room having a delicious lunch of clear liquids within three hours. The nursing staff was wonderful for once, and everyone on the colorectal ward seemed shocked that David was able to go home after only one night in the hospital. They teased him about setting a record and said that they'd have to put his name on a plaque somewhere. He's been feeling great since, and has said that his pain level really isn't even as bad as the skin irritation was at times around the stoma. Praise God! Besides, I will NOT miss my job of stoma care-taker/pouch changer!
1) Three months of Yikealo waking up to snuggles with at least one of us (and usually both of us) can be completely undone by one morning of waking up to both of us being gone to the hospital already. It doesn't matter how many times we talked about it beforehand and told him that Grandma would be there the next morning when he woke up. It doesn't matter that we talked to him on the phone within minutes of him waking up and told him that we would see him later that day. It doesn't matter that he acted fine with everyone else that day. He's made sure since to tell us repeatedly that it was very scary, and he's made it pretty clear that he's not exactly trusting us again yet.
2) Seeing his precious Ababa hooked up to all kinds of IVs in the hospital was pretty scary too, although it was great fun to "help" him push his IV pole while he did his laps around the colorectal ward. This caused Ababa to walk a bit faster than normal to keep up - all the better to get him out of the hospital sooner - and it also caused everyone on the floor to stop and smile and go on and on about how cute Yikealo is.
3) Incessant baby-talking as a means of attention getting will drive your parents absolutely crazy. Loud, manic, I'm-trying-way-too-hard-to-be-funny-in-hopes-that-you'll-think-I'm-cute laughter does the same thing.
4) Rules like the fact that Ababa can't lift more than 10 lbs. for the next 4-6 weeks are pretty hard to take. Picking up Yikealo's 33 pounds is a definite no-no, and a certain little boy is NOT happy about it. Asking every five minutes, "Ababa's ouchie all better?" doesn't actually help Ababa heal faster, although I'm not sure that we've actually LEARNED this lesson yet.
5) LOTS of extra hugs, kisses and "I love you's" have helped a little bit, but he's been very clingy or very distant by fits and starts all week - which has been kind of tough on Mom, since he's been doing so well for so long.
6) Temper tantrums can be thrown about almost anything - even the fact that Ababa was eating instant oatmeal out of the new box that Yikealo had decided was HIS, even though Mom had actually bought it for Ababa.
7) Losing sight of Mama while he was climbing around inside the children's play area at Chick-fil-A caused a nearly hysterical melt-down. The fact that he could clearly see Ababa through one of the little look-out windows didn't help AT ALL.
8) It IS possible to for an adult woman to wedge herself inside the plastic labyrinth of said children's play area (even while wearing a straight skirt and high-heeled boots) to rescue the afore-mentioned sobbing child. It is NOT, however, comfortable, and may, in fact cause Mom to become a bit cranky.
9) Everything can be made a little bit better by getting "away from it all" - especially if the hotel that you visit has a very nice, deserted, warm indoor swimming pool and Mom lets you swim with her for a couple of hours, and you have Mama and Ababa's undivided attention for awhile. It's also pretty exciting to see some "BIG woha" (Lake Erie) and to walk along the shore, even if it is colder than anything that you ever experienced in Ethiopia.
10) It's still great fun to imitate EVERYTHING that Ababa does. Since Ababa has an ouchie on his belly, Yikealo has to pretend to have one too. If Ababa is shaving with an electric razor, Yikealo has to do the same. If Ababa is wearing a belt, or gloves, or a scarf, or shoes, or a button-down shirt, Yikealo MUST be wearing the same item of clothing. If Ababa dumps his french fries out of the container onto the sandwich wrapper, Yikealo needs to do the same. Okay, I have to admit that it's pretty cute to watch him idolize David!