Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Smarty pants

I was asked to participate in a panel at the hospital where I volunteer each week. The same hospital where Ruthie and Helen received their care as premature newborns. It is a panel discussing medical decision making for premature babies, and I am asked to participate as a parent. I am honored to be a member of this panel, and I welcome any opportunity to better the experience of a family in the NICU. That said, I believe I am screwed. The panel meets next week. I was asked a couple of months ago to participate and the person who asked me had only been given a general description, so that was all the info I had. Until today. I was emailed an article for perusal before this panel meets. I opened the attachment, and that is the precise moment when I realized that I was screwed.
I was really excited to know I had, essentially, homework. I was gearing myself up for a night on the couch with a highlighter and some little post-it notes, so that I could note relevant material and provide meaningful contributions to this panel. That is soooo not what is going to happen.
You see, I have spent the last five years as a stay-at-home mom. My reading material has varied over these last five years. I have always been an avid reader and motherhood hasn't changed that, but my reading material has become more diverse, and has come to overwhelmingly include passages such as "Look what I found in the park in the dark, I will take him home, I will call him Clark." The material that was emailed to me today, well, one sentence begins "In bivariable analyses as well as analyses adjusted for the center and the factors described above..." Um, okay. That does not rhyme, making it significantly harder for me to understand. And I think a few of those words exceed the syllable limit for my comprehension level.
I know that at one point, say when I was in graduate school eons ago, I probably would have know instantly what that meant. And chances are that if I sat long enough IN SILENCE, I would again know what that meant. And therein lies the problem. When in hell am I going to find an hour during the next week when I can sit in my house IN SILENCE? Evening does not count because by the time my children go to bed at night, I am generally bordering on minimally functional. And really, in order for my house to be silent, it needs to be EMP. T. Except, of course, for me. I will be sure to update you during the week to let you know what kind of progress I have made (i.e. whether or not Cliff Notes are available for this particular article.)
In the meantime, I am sitting here waiting for Benny to arrive home with the final ingredient in our dinner, which I plan to write about tomorrow. So dinner prep has been done, but not the actual cooking yet. But I keep smelling food-something as I sit here typing. I was a bit confused at first until I realized that I just vacuumed the rug which was infested with popcorn from the little party Benny and the girls had last night, and the vacuum is sitting next to me. Mmmm....the smell of stale, vacuumed snacks. Does it get better than this?

No comments: