to pretty much every human being who had the fabulous adventure (um, serious misfortune) of interacting with her during the first two years of Stryker's life -- before she had more offspring onto which to focus her considerable energy. And anxiety.
You see, the Matron?
When her firstborn was approximately 43 days, 11 hours and 32 seconds old (not that she was tracking), she noticed yellow snot oozing out of said child's nose!!
Her instant instinct was to dial 911. She is not kidding. Thank God her mother-in-law was nearby to physically hold her back from the phone.
The Matron apologizes to the female pediatrician she interviewed while four months pregnant. Oh My God! Repression has its merits. The Matron actually did something like this:
Newly Pregnant Matron: "How many years experience do you have?"
Pediatrician: "Twenty-five. Twenty of those as a mother of four."
NPM (sooo not impressed): "Hmmmm. Did you see the recent AMA study linking ultrasound noise to fetal discomfort? How about the Congressional hearings on vaccines and autism? Lead as a public health issue? Correlation between the Great Lakes and thyroid disease? My notes indicate that your clinic recently partnered with the University of Minnesota, offering in-services on childhood nutrition to doctors. Did you partake in this opportunity? Knowledge of scoliosis and screening? How do you tend to children with clear gender identification issues? Gay or lesbian children or those wondering and when do you consider these things? Are you able to glance at a child and guarantee they will not be run over by a minivan or contract the nation's only case of malaria?"
Funny how just after that 'interview,' the pediatrician's nurse called to say the doctor was no longer taking new patients.
The Matron is sorry for being utterly unbearable!
She also apologizes to the preschool staff who suffered through the Matron's intense scrutiny of their school, perched on a child's stool for one week solid while she scoped out 3 year old education ONE FULL YEAR in advance!!! With questions and unsolicited advice!
Matron to preschool teacher: "You know, I read in Psychology Today that squabbles among children are actually a good thing, that one should allow the fight. So maybe you should NOT have intervened when little Sally hit Theo on the head."
Note how this was not a question.
Preschool Teacher: "Mary, is that your stool in the corner? You should go there."
But -- a glimmer of hope! When Stryker was just 9 months old and at a friend's house with the Matron, a messy house full of children and half-eaten food and complex Game, Stryker picked up a muffin that someone had dropped and popped it in his mouth.
The Matron didn't miss a beat in her adult conversation.
More experienced mother: "Are you okay with Stryker eating something that Lucy dropped on the floor?"
Matron: "Oh my God. Yes. If it's not poison, have at it."
Experienced Mother: "You're going to do just fine."
Today, the Matron noticed how Merrick runs wild up and down the block. He has several adult, childless neighbor friends with whom he spends quality time, helping them garden or unload groceries or walk the dogs, the things the Matron is TIRED of doing with underage aid.
Merrick: "Mom! I going to Chip and 'Sanndwa's! Be back soon!"
"Mom! I wide my bike now. Bye!"
"Mom! Wosy (Rosy) has cookies fow me. Bye!"
If he's not bleeding, screaming or breaking a bone, the Matron assumes he is fine. What a difference one decade (plus two years) and more children make. She thanks Buddha-God-Oprah that she had enough self-awareness to know that intensity-anxiety like hers demanded distribution among three, rather than razor-like focus on one.
But maybe she should've had four. . . . ?