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Days Like This

I've given up trying to predict the timing of life. The past three months have been challenging to say the least, and just when I think I'm getting back on track, I get hit with more bad news from some unexpected source, or two or three unexpected sources.

At a recent checkup, our pediatrician suggested we have our 2-year-old son tested for speech delay. Now, we had experienced speech delay before with our oldest son, so I wasn't too concerned, until I started talking to the Speech Evaluator.

He tells me that, because we live in an older home, and dangerous lead levels in paint are common in this area, all of our children should be tested for lead.

I thought about how many times the ceiling has ended up all over the floor of our living room because of plumbing mishaps in the bathroom upstairs. Our landlords take forever to get the ceiling repaired — the tile is hard to find. It would have been very easy for a rambunctious toddler to come across some paint.

As if that isn't enough to worry about, I take my children for a routine dentist appointment and find out that my oldest son doesn't have four of his near-front permanent teeth.

"It is a rare occurrence, so just make sure that he takes care of these four teeth here," says the dentist, pointing, "because there will be nothing to grow in their place."

"How is this possible?" Ooops...the Frantic Mom (FM) is starting to peek her way out. Retreat, FM, retreat!

"Well, he probably didn't get enough calcium — either from you, or from his diet."

Oh, how smug and nonchalant. Is he trying to tell me that it's my fault? That I was malnourished during my pregnancy, or worse — that I have not properly cared for my child? I just wanted to... Frantic Mom turning into Crazy Mom... WARNING! WARNING! Disperse!

I take a deep breath.

"Well, thank you so much for letting us know. Have a great day!"

I'm almost in tears the whole way home. Immediately, I call DH and ask him to go on the Internet and research if our son has some kind of disease. Then I recall that my mother had a condition as a child that caused her to grow teeth three times and still not be able to keep them. She doesn't even know the name of it, but I think it was related to her gums. Could this be it, skipping a generation?

Gotta get to Whole Foods and buy tons of spinach and calcium pills. Wait, I have issues with my gums too. Maybe we both need calcium pills. I'm already taking a multivitamin, liquid minerals, flax seed oil, and green tea extract. One more pill and I could officially be a pharmaceutical... Ooops! Crazy Mom driving... Pull over, PULL OVER!

I stop at the gas station.

We have a car that we bought under duress (such a wrong way to buy a car, wouldn't advise this method) and it has so many challenges, but the biggest one is that it only seats five. Yeah, and I'm the one with a family of seven! Did I mention that I have to open the trunk to access the fuel door manual lift? And I need the help of a crowbar to actually open the fuel door.

I was cold, worried about calcium and lead, screaming at my kids for arguing with one another, and then I just stopped.

Taking care of life first requires that you take care of you.

I got back in the car and I cried...and laughed...and sang "I'm Every Woman" by Chaka Khan.

Mama said there'd be days like this!