#MassholeMonday - blog 67
It’s been two months and three days since Mama went back to the Ukraine. And even though she’s halfway around the world, I can still hear her voice bouncing off the mountains and crossing the ocean like a bolt of lightning, like Sauron collapsing the mountains in Lord of the Rings. Since she has left, a number of things have taken place that in some way, shape and form have been my fault or my wife’s.
Our baby started daycare after Mama left. Having Mama here did a lot of things for us that were great; having an in-house babysitter, a cook, and a voice to tell you how stupid you were. Those are priceless things. But Mama had full control over our baby, and when she left, he went to daycare. We were not ready for what was coming. Our son has barely had an immune system because we hardly went anywhere with him. Now that he’s around so many people, he’s had everything from stomach bugs to a full case of the flu; a double ear infection to a double case of pink eye. My son has been to the doctor so much since Mama left that all of the doctors and nurses know him by name. Now, you might think that’s cute. But being at the doctor’s office all the time is Mansy.
While all of these things were going on, Mama had something to say all the way from the Ukraine. She has a home Ukrainian remedy that could solve anything and get him back to his old self. When he had his ear infection, she said to boil an onion and pour some of the hot water in his ear. I had never heard of that in my life and I told my wife that I wasn’t doing it. It sounded a little extreme. When our baby had pink eye, Mama’s witchcraft remedy was to put hot tea bags on his eyes. This was starting to sound like some kind of medieval torture. When he got his stomach bug, she wanted us to give him charcoal pills. When he had the flu, she wanted us to give him fresh basil. He has a hard time eating Cheerios – how is he going to eat fresh basil?
Now that I’ve heard all of these home remedies – and to me they sound only a little crazy – Mama is vigilant about them. Mama is also happy to take a shot at our medical system, saying that once again our doctors don’t understand how medicine works. She is convinced that we do everything ass-backwards here. Her love for the United States shines through like always. Then, like the battle of Stalingrad, Mama sets her sights on daycare itself. She is full of piss and vinegar, asking what kind of place have we sent our baby to and what is wrong with these people. How could they let him get sick so much? I tried to make Mama understand that this is just the way these things work; this is how he will build his immune system. She fired back that you don’t send him out to get sick and think that that’s a good thing for him. I told her that we were not doing that, but that he needs to learn how to fight things off. Mama was disgusted with my answer. That was okay. She wasn’t in my living room anymore; she was halfway across the planet. So I only have to hear it for a few minutes each week before it’s over.
Mama is just concerned about our baby and I understand that. But her constant berating of the American medical system is old and entertaining. She keeps me laughing and nervous because I don’t know what my trip to the Ukraine this spring has in store for me – or my son. There will be no witchcraft remedies performed on him, I can promise you that. But Mama is alive and well and cannot wait to give me two long weeks of bullshit. I told you all that Masshole and Mama was not finished – not by a long shot. Stay tuned.
Dave ‘The Masshole’ Friedrich
Want to check out what it’s like to live with your mother-in-law for six months? Check out my #MassholeAndMama blogs on Tumblr.