Category Archives: Are Ya Kidding Me? (Questions Relating to Kids)

10 Worst Celebrity Baby Names of 2010 (and Some from 2009 too)


Yeah, yeah…I know I usually do these type of lists at the end of the year, but truth is kittens, mama missed doing the Top Ten Worst Celebrity Baby Names last year, and there are some real doozeys already for 2010.  So let’s get started, shall we?

10.  Mars Merkaba (child of Erykah Badu  and Jay Electronica)

Neo soul/R&B artist Erykah Badu has always been an original creation of her own making.  A little wackadoo, but worth the trouble nonetheless.  And I loved when she named her first son, Seven, because – as she said – “Seven as a number and a force cannot be divided.”  How fuckin’ cool is that?

But I take issue with naming your baby Mars, after the Red Planet.  Maybe the name stands for something else, but to this white Jewish matzoh cracker, it just looks random and stupid.  ‘Nuff said.

9. Kaydnz Koda (child of  T Pain)

Y’all know I do not really keep up with rap artists, and this includes T Pain. But I do know the African-American community likes names with a  (how do you say it…)  um…unique sound. 



Uniqua (that one’s from The Backyardigans, doncha know)

You get the idea.  So you tell me this…is the latest trend amongst the rap artist community to adopt names with more consonants than a Polish province?  This name’s just a hot mess, and it goes perfectly with his daddy’s mouth grill. Yeah, I said it.

8. Ikhyd Edgar Arular (child of M.I.A)

Okay, I stand corrected. Maybe it’s not just African-American rappers who are all consonant-crazy cuz M.I.A. hit her son up with a mouthful as well. She showed me there boy.

7. Sparrow James Midnight (child of Nicole Ritchie and Joel Madden)

Well thank GOD for Nicole Ritchie and Joel Madden because without them coming up with the pussy of a choice name – Sparrow – for their son, then I would’ve thought all the crazy was relegated to the rappers.

I adored the name they picked for their daughter (Harlow) – so much so, I wished I would’ve thought of it.  But naming your boy Sparrow is just asking for an ass whoopin’.  Although I guess it’s better than naming him(gulp) Swallow, but who am I kidding? Either choice makes him sound like a gay pirate.

6. Atlas Heche Tupper  (child of Anne Heche James Tupper)

Ok, speaking of wackadoo celebrities, few have anything over Anne Heche.  Jesus, she’s a whole carton of crazy town, so I should probably thank her for only naming her kid after a book of maps and not after one of her hallucinatory characters she ‘heard’ when she snapped and went off the grid after Ellen dumped her sorry ass way back when. So Atlas, consider yourself…um….lucky?

P.S.  I can’t WAIT ’til that kid grows up and writes the tell-all about growing up in that household.

5. Petal Blossom Rainbow Oliver – Jools and Jamie Oliver

I like Jamie Oliver. I really do.  I think what he’s trying to do for our kids, by making school lunches healthier, is admirable and desperately needed.

But the name of his latest creation reads like something you make up while tripping on Ecstasy at a bad 1990s rave revival. It just sucks weinis.

I’m sure Petal Blossom Rainbow will end up in some crunchy granola West London preschool co-op with other unfortunately labeled celeb spawns like Apple and Moses Martin, or some other self-important Brit.

4. Bandit Lee (child of Gerard Way, My Chemical Romance)

I’m sure Gerald Way and his pretty baby mama are too young to catch this cultural reference, but sorry…everytime I hear the name ‘Bandit’, I can’t help but think of that Baaaad 70s movie, ‘Smokey and the Bandit.’

Which makes me think of Burt Reynolds.

Which then makes me think of Burt Reynolds in ‘Boogie Nights’.

When always make me think of porn. Bad 70s porn.

Which mean when I hear of Bandit Lee Way, I think this child was born to act in porn. And I can’t imagine any parent wants people to relate their offspring to anything porno-related. 

Oh and the band, My Chemical Romance, is worse than 70s porn… and won’t last as long.

3. Dexter Lloyd (child of Charlotte Church)

When did Chalotte Church grow up, btw? Last I saw her, she was this precocious child star with this amazing operatic voice.  Now she’s popping out babies!

And in classic British fashion, she has given her child a name guaranteed to prevent him from getting laid for a long, long time.  Good job there Char…oh and don’t forget to forgo all basic dental care…another British classic worthy of repetition.

2. Bob (child of Charlie Sheen)

Let’s see if I can stop laughing long enough to write about this gem.

Jesus, what’s NOT wrong with Charlie Sheen? Well, the fact that he named one of his twins the most boring name, like, EVER, is a start.  OR maybe we should blame the baby mama for not only allowing Charlie to name a child he’ll never be around long enough to raise, but for believing the age old lie every woman has told herself at least once,  “He’ll be different with ME this time. I can change him.”

We never learn.

Anyway, for all my bitchin’ about the strange tongue twisting names many celebrities come up with, at least they’re not boring like Bob. There’s just no excuse for such right-brain laziness in Tinseltown.

1. Nakoa-Wolf Manakauapo Namakaeha Momoa (child of actress Lisa Bonet and actor Jason Momoa)

I swear, I didn’t make up this name just so I could end on a high note.  Just let me know who should call Child Protective Services first, you or me, because this name is just pure, unadulterated abuse.

I didn’t think it could get worse than the last time I wrote this list, but shut my mouth.  I’ve been proven wrong again.


Ms. Mix & Bitch’s Confession #14: Help! My Kid’s Reading My Blog

I probably should have put this together way before now.  Call me slow.  Sweet Pea’s 10 years old, and like most kids her age, she’s online trolling around just like the big kids do.  However, up until recently, all she’s been interested in is, like, Disney Channel and Webkins and other such age-appropriate garbage I can’t believe people get paid to program.  Anyway, over the weekend – the dreadfully cold, rainy and miserable weekend with very little to do – she strolled into my room and casually asked, “So your blog is Mix Tape Therapy dot com, right?”

“Um, yeah…why do you ask?”

“Oh, no reason,” she replies, then dashes out of the room faster than a Mexican tourist with the runs. 

Sweet Pea comes back about 5 minutes later, asking me about her nickname on my blog, and did I really like Katy Perry and why is she with a guy who likes all those girls, and what’s the movie,  Saturday Night Fever about, and what does it mean when someone comes out and on and on and on.

“So, you’re reading my blog now?”

“Yeah, you sure curse a lot, Mom.”

“Well, I curb myself in real life. Do I get extra credit points for that?”

She just laughed.  “So, can I read some more?”

Now, I’m stuck.  I mean, I don’t want to censor her, but I’m also not up for explaining about some of the stranger sexual proclivities of my readers either.  I’d like for her to stay 10 for as long as possible, if you know what I mean.

“Well, to tell you the truth, honey, some of the stuff I write about is very grown-up.  I’d like for you to read it all someday, but there’s a more foul-mouthed, racier side to me online that I’m not up for you meeting right now. Ok?”

She rolled her eyes and said, “Oh Mom, I know all your sides.  I know you’ve got a potty mouth.”

“Hmm, uh…yeah. About that.  It’s more than just curse words.  Just wait a few years,  k?”

She said she wouldn’t read anymore, but if I were her, I’d be reading every single word on the down lo.  I probably should have just let her read it. Now I’ve made it “forbidden fruit” which means I’ve made this blog more enticing than it actually is. Stupid, stupid me…

So I’m constantly spewing out advice like vomit.  What do you think I should’ve done?  Really. I want to know.




Mom of the Living Dead

Dear Ms. Mix & Bitch,

I’m writing to you to ask if I should be concerned over something going on with my kid.  My 12-year-old daughter is obsessed with vampires.  She got hooked after reading the Twilight series and now only wants to wear black, pretend  her bed is a coffin, and sneaks my bright red lipstick and face powder so she looks more “vamp” (her words, not mine).  I know girls go through phases, but this is getting out of hand.  What do you think about this, and what should I do?


Mom of the Living Dead

Dear Mom of the Living Dead  (that’s funny, btw),

I could throw a bunch of psychobabble in your direction, marrying together classic developmental physiological milestones with psychological stage theory – and throw in a bit of Jungian archetypal symbolism as an amuse bouche just to keep it interesting.  But kitten, the short answer here is this: don’t worry about it. It’s a phase.  Don’t ignore her or get your knickers all in a twist over it.  The bigger deal you make of this, the more you fan the flames of drama. 

She’s in the first throws of adolescence (lucky you) so imagine you get to live a version of Halloween everyday, meaning, she’s going to be trying on different identities  to see what feels right.  All normal, by the way.  She’s also testing you, to see if you’re going to love and accept her no matter what.  Underneath the way-too-thick black eyeliner and smeared red lipstick (we can all thank Robert Smith from The Cure for that priceless combination), she wants to know if you’re going to still be there for her, even as she abandons the little girl she used to be. 

Also, the whole vampire thing is nothing new…in my day, everyone was going ape-shit over Anne Rice novels and listening to Bauhaus on a constant loop.  Most people, including your daughter, will merely dip their toe into the whole goth scene (short for “Gothic”) – be viewed as posers by the die-hards – and find some other costume to wear shortly after.  If her vampiric fixation begins to interfere with her school work or if she becomes increasingly isolated, then it’s time to worry and you may need to seek counseling at that time.  And even then, the issue is not vampires or wearing all black or listening to maudlin music – it’s classic depression, which teenage girls are especially susceptible.  Write back if it gets to that point, and I’ll help you find some resources. 

So that’s that scaredy cat. Enjoy the ride. Oy.

Oh, and here’s a mix to get you up to speed…

Old School Selections

10.  “Bloodletting (The Vampire Song),”  (Concrete Blonde) Bloodletting.

09. “Bela Lugosi’ Dead,” (Bauhaus) Bauhaus Singles.

08. “Taste of Blood,” (Mazzy Star) She Hangs Brightly.

07. “We Hunger,” (Siouxsie and the Banshees) Hyaena.

06. “If I was Your Vampire,” (Marilyn Manson) Eat Me, Drink Me.

05. “Burn,” (The Cure) Join the Dots: B-Sides and Rarities, 1978-2001.

Stuff Your Daughter Probably Likes

04. “Supermassive Black Hole,” (Muse) Twilight , Original Motion Picture Soundtrack.

03. “My Immortal,” (Evanescence) Fallen.

02. “Vampires Will Never Hurt You,” (My Chemical Romance) I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love.

01. “Satin in a Coffin,” (Modest Mouse) Good News for People Who Love Bad News.



Mama Said Knock You Out


Dear Ms Mix & Bitch,

I’ve had it. My children have officially gotten on my last nerve and I am contemplating selling them for science experiments. Nobody told me that having kids was this much heartache and work. I’m frazzled and annoyed! How many sticker charts can I make and positive strokes can I give them before my plastic smile melts into a pool of waxy goo?

Okay. I’m all better now.

Not so long ago I realized that my stress is greatly relieved by (the dreaded) exercise! I not only bore my neighbors to tears with my constant chatter while they exercise in my basement gym, but I actually feel better in the end. Probably a combination of gentle nodding from understanding girlfriends and loud rock music (hello, AC/DC!). I’m a child of the 80’s and early 90’s. Do you have any inspirational music that will keep me going and allow me to immerse myself into a world without timeouts and penalties as I exercise my heart out?

Yours Truly,

Rockin Mama with Attitude

Dear Rockin’ Mama,

Okay, first of all, I’m in need of some prescription or vino therapy after just READING your letter, nevermind living it.  So let’s just pause a moment, do that deep cleansing breath crap, and appreciate how well you’re doing under pressure.  Really.  Why do I say that?  Because without even knowing  the details (like how old or how many kids you have), I can tell from your positive parenting efforts (the gold star chart gave you away sista) that you’re taking your job as a parent very seriously and that you’re not giving yourself enough credit. Most moms don’t. 

The dirty little secret of parenthood is that so much of the job sucks ass.  For every Hallmark-inspired, cutie-patootie, aaww moment you get, there are thousands more which resemble minimum wage grunt work.  So kudos to you for not falling for the stupid-American-pet-trick of “I can do it all myself” and  instead, reaching outside yourself for some self-care, such as talking to a friend and exercising. Sure beats my stand-bys of booze, pills, and man-whores, but I digress  😉

My advice? Find even more opportunities to take care of yourself.  Other favorites of mine? Any part of my body getting rubbed works for me.

So in honor of kick-ass chicks just like yourself, I am happy to provide you with the perfect 80s/90s-inspired workout mix for ya. 

PS: While I’m happy to accommodate the specificity of your request, I’m going to steer you AWAY from the AC/DC a bit to some other noteworthy, yet still mainstream, hits of that era.

10.  “Sunday Bloody Sunday ,”  (U2)   War.

09.  “Cult of Personality,” (Living Colour) Everything is Possible.

08. “Lithium,” (Nirvana)  Nevermind.

07. “Stop,”  (Jane’s Addiction)  Ritual de lo Habitual.

06. “Man in the Box,” (Alice in Chains)  Greatest Hits.

05. “Suck My Kiss,” (Red Hot Chili Peppers) RHCP GT.

04. “Mama Said Knock You Out,” (LL Cool J) The Def Jam Recordings.

 03. “Head Like a Hole,” (Nine Inch Nails)  Pretty Hate Machine.

02. “Alive,”  (Pearl Jam)  Ten.

01. “Enter Sandman,” (Metallica) Metallica.

Can I Get that Prime Beef without the Side of Kid?

 angry.gif angry image by Solnuwko


“Dear Ms. Mix & Bitch,

I met this amazing woman recently. She’s gorgeous and smart and I’m already in love with her after only dating a couple of months.  The problem is her kid. He’s only seven years old, but he’s a royal pain in the ass. He acts like he’s the man of the house, telling her what to do, giving me dirty looks every time I come over. I gently brought it up to my girlfriend, and she thinks he’s not serious when he bosses her around ( she thinks it’s funny), and tells me to understand that he’s going to feel threatened by any man in her life. I tried being nice to the kid, I’ve tried to ignore him. I don’t know what else to do. I really want to be with her, but the issues with her son are mounting for me. You have kids. What do you suggest?


Exile in Guyville”

Dear Guy (like the Liz Phair reference, BTW),

Jeez, falling in love as we get older with more baggage handling is tough, ain’t it? This is a good question…on one hand, you’ve fallen in love and she loves you back. That’s hard enough to find in this mess of a world. But then you’ve gotten stuck with Damien-incarnate…which is spoiling your party. So here’s what I think – and then YOU can decide what you want to do.

First off, the fact that your lover girl is so casual and dismissive about her son’s behavior (and frankly, yours and his feelings) is not a good sign. You didn’t tell me how long she’s been divorced and dating other men before you, but it sounds from the tone of her response that this is not her first rodeo. I am also suspect about anyone who brings around a boyfriend or girlfriend to their kids after just a couple of months of dating. Do you sleep over there, in her bed? I bet the answer is yes. And that’s a no-no.

Now, imagine you’re seven years old. You’ve seen your mom through all her emotional ups and downs with men – not to mention a possible revolving door of “uncles” coming in and out the door. Even if she hasn’t had a lot of other men in her life since splitting with the kid’s father, there seems to be a sensitivity chip missing here. It’s not enough to break up over, but it’s a red flag.

As far as what to do about her son, if I were you, I’d shoot straight. I would tell him that you know he doesn’t like you – or any guy around your mom – and that you’re not expecting to replace his dad, but you hope that some day, you two can be friends. Then, take him out – just the two of you – to wherever he wants to go. Expect him to test you. If he’s being rude or hurtful, call him on it. But remember one thing….


If you are consistent in your efforts with him, and you look for the good instead of focusing on the bad (remember, he’s your girlfriend’s spawn – some of her must have cracked through the genetic code), then you two will find your way in time.

Then, I’d sit your woman down and tell her that you need her to set some more boundaries, because while you are in this for the long haul, this shit has to be ironed out now. If she continues to blow you off, then I’d say you’re at Defcom 1 and you need to bail. Because then, she’s not honoring your feelings – and frankly, she’s not looking out for her son either. And if a mom can’t shelter her own child, then how well do you think she’s going to care for you when you need her?

 Sincerely, best of luck to you all.

 10. “A Martyr for My Love for You,” [The White Stripes] Icky Thump.

   9. “Even a Child,” [Crowded House] Time on Earth.

   8. “Goddamm Lonely Love,” [Drive-By Truckers] The Dirty South.

   7.  “Godgrudge,” [Polly Paulusma] Fingers and Thumbs.

   6.  “Mama Who Bore Me,” [Lea Michele] Spring Awakening.

   5.  “Mannish Boy,” [Jimi Hendrix] Blues.

   4.  “My Lady’s House,” [Iron & Wine] Woman King -EP.

   3.  “Newborn,” [Elbow] Asleep in the Back.

   2.  “Spitting Games,” [Snow Patrol] Final Straw.

   1.   “The Other Boys, [Lori McKenna] The Kitchen Tapes.

Mama’s Boy

d34e310e329e4ad.gif baby image by Browneyez86

 Dear Ms. Mix & Bitch,

I know my problem will probably get me lots of hateful comments.  I am pregnant with my first child. My husband and I just found out the sex of our baby – it’s a boy. My husband is elated, but secretly I am so upset. I really, really wanted a little girl. I actually thought I was having a girl (everyone kept telling me I was carrying as if I was having a girl).  The reason why I don’t want a boy is because of what I see. Some of my friends have little boys and they’re a nightmare. Yelling, screaming, running around all the time – practically terrorizing their parents. I don’t want that for my family and I really don’t think I could handle that myself.

Please, please, please help me look at this differently. I really need help!

Signed, Baby Boy Blues”

Dear BBB,

What a great question! Perhaps you will get some razzing, but not from me. I think it’s great you’re being honest about your feelings and looking for a different perspective. I have seen so many parents with unacknowledged gender bias and trust me, the kid senses it (although may not consciously understand why).  All he or she knows is that something about them isn’t good enough. And they never get over it.

While I agree that  little girls and boys have differing “energies,” it doesn’t mean you are sentenced for life with a Tazmanian devil. In fact, I wish more parents would understand that just because boys have a more physical way of expressing themselves doesn’t mean that all bad behavior should be dismissed with “boys will be boys.” That’s a bunch of outdated patriarchal crap.

I have a couple of friends with little boys I adore. They have energy and like to run and play, but they aren’t terrorizing their families. So I ask their moms point blank what is their secret. They tell me that they make sure their little boys get to  release their energy, but they also establish firm boundaries over issues such as yelling in the house or making big messes or physically going after anyone. They establish rules and consequences – and they follow through every time. Plus, both parents are always united – with disagreements over child rearing done behind a closed door. It works.

Let me add just one more thing: you have an amazing opportunity here.  You not only have the chance to raise an incredible human being – but you are raising someone’s future boyfriend and husband. Teach your little man about how to really treat a girl –  someone that sincerely loves and respects women. There are too few of those out there – and too many mothers look at their sons’ potential partners as a threat or competition. Don’t do that.

May I also suggest a little reading: “Raising Boys: Why Boys are Different and How to Help Them Become Happy and Well-Balanced Men,” by: Steve Biddulph and “Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys, by: Dan Kindlon, Michael Thompson, and Teresa Barker.”

And remember…many people cannot have children or have to deal with horrible health issues with their children. As long as your son is healthy and happy, you’ve won lotto in my opinion.

1. “Accidental Babies,” Damien Rice. [9]

2. “Beautiful Son,” Without Gravity. [Tenderfoot]

3. “Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy),” John Lennon & Yoko Ono. [Double Fantasy]

4. “My Boy,” Elvis Presley. [History]

5. “Carry On Wayward Son,” Kansas. [Two for the Show]

6. “Fortunate Son,” Creedence Clearwater Revival. [Willy and the Poor Boys]

7. “Godchild,” Miles Davis. [Birth of the Cool]

8. “Just a Boy,” Mojave 3. [Puzzles Like You]

9. “Amazing Grace,” LeAnn Rimes. [You Light Up My Life]

The First Cut is the Deepest


 Written at 10:00 am from a hospital waiting room. Then again, late at night from home.

When you’re a mother, they let you come into the operating room.  I held my 3-year-old’s daughter’s hand, as we walked through the double doors. Up until now, I had convinced Drama Queen that we were on an exploratory mission, with our special “travel wear” (code for hospital gowns, hair nets, and paper slippers). She knew that she was seeing a doctor for a “boo-boo” in her throat, but I had helped her forget about that part – at least until we walked into the operating room. Standing at the threshold and gazing upon a bunch of mask-wearing, rubber glove draped grown-ups, she wasn’t buying my bullshit anymore. “I want to get out,” she said in a voice between a scream and a wimper, “I don’t like this.” Yeah baby girl, neither does mommy, I thought.  But I can’t say that out loud. I am the mother – and as much as being in this sterile, steel-plated lounge gives me the creeps, I have to play brave. Because children are just like animals in that way. Once they smell fear, that’s it. Game over.

I can tell from their squared off shoulders and sympathetic eyes peeking behind their surgical masks that this wasn’t their first rodeo either. While they would be as caring and patient as possible, they were prepared to play bad cop, in order to get my kid on the table and under general anesthesia as quickly as possible.  This was a tightly-run ship. Surgery was scheduled to start at 9:00 am and they were going to do their damnest to stick to the schedule. Trouble was, I knew Drama Queen’s emotional rollercoaster was already amping up – and I knew she was going to skid from 0 to 60 if I didn’t think of something fast.

“Remember I told you we were going on an adventure?” I said, without trying to sound fake or patronizing.

“Yeah,” she said hesistantly, not looking at me, but staring directly at the crew by the slab.

“Well, you get to go on a ride to outerspace, and this is your space team.”

Her face brightened. I knew I had found my hook. I looked over at the doctors and nurses with a fiercely determined look in my eyes that said, “You’re gonna work with me on this one, right boys and girls?”

They all acknowledged our unspoken deal with quick nods and winks. Now I needed to seal the deal and get her on the operating table.

“And you see that bed? It’s going to be part of the ride.” On cue, one of the nurses pushes on the foot level and the gurney slides down, up, then down again.

“O.k!” she squeals with delight. “Let’s go!”

At this point, to answer the question you probably have in your head – yes, I feel terrible for tricking my daughter. I am a manipulative freak of nature, whom doesn’t even get the full repercussions of my chicanery. The only way I get through it is knowing that she’s too young to fully understand what’s happening to her, and if I gave her the real story, she’d freak out and thrash around, making the medical team have no choice but to strap her down and handle her in ways no mother wants her child to endure. I think of the film, “Life is Beautiful,” where a father lovingly fools his young son into thinking that the unbearable life in a Nazis concentration camp is actually part of a long-winded game, with the prize being a ride on a real army tank.

Besides, the doctor, nurses – especially the anestesia team – seem to revel in my “trip to the moon” story, thinking I must have played on the same 1970s or 80s burn-out drug culture scene they obviously did. They can barely hold in their chuckles, saying, “Yep kid, you’re taking a ride into outer space – and it’s going to be great.” Almost made me wonder how many of them in that room would have switched places with my daughter in a nano-second, if they had the chance. Anything for an FDA-approved high, I suppose….

So now my daughter’s on the operating table, has taking a couple of rides up and down, when the anesteciologist says, “O.k. kid, now it’s time for your space mask.”

This is the part I’ve been dreading the most. Seeing a kid – your kid – go under can be traumatic for a parent. When my eldest daughter, Sweet Pea, was 3 years old, she also needed surgery, only hers was for a trigger finger. The nurse had graciously warned me of what would occur, but as Sweet Pea breathed in and out of her mask, her eyes rolled back, her body twitched involuntarily, and she kept struggling away, gasping for breath. I had left that OR barely holding it together; the minute I saw my husband and mother in the waiting room, I  broke down in tears.  I was a wreck for hours.

So here I was again, bracing myself for a similar scene. Mr. Mix & Bitch had offered to come in this time, instead of me, but I wouldn’t hear of it. So what if it’s tough on me.? I’m not the one going under the knife. No, I am going to the last person my baby sees before going off to sleep. This wasn’t martydom – it’s being a parent. It’s suppose to suck for you sometimes. I’ve been thrown up on, cleaned up out-of-control diarrhea off of her and everything in her bed at 3am, all the while trying to keep her from freaking out. I’ve sat for hours with their caked on blood on my clothes when they’ve had a rare accident. I’ve rubbed their tummies when needed, inspected their poop in the potties when asked, and held their hair back when they hurled their guts out into the toilet. It hurts. It stinks. It lingers. And that’s the deal.

But God decides to give me a break today, and Drama Queen quietly closes her eyes and goes to sleep, without any struggle. In no time at all, the team brings me to the recovery room, where they lay her in my lap, cover her in a blanket, while I hold her for about two hours. She sleeps almost the entire time, occassionally jolting up – only to see my face for a brief moment – then relaxes and drifts back off. I really can’t describe the boundless joy I feel in getting to hold her so close for so long. And as I look around at the other little ones around us, I quietly thank the Universe in making this a basically minor problem in the scheme of all that could go wrong. I don’t know how these families do it – handle the hearbreak of a chronic or potentially terminal malady. It’s the depths of hell for all parents – and frankly, this little tourist view from the nose-bleed seats is as close as I ever hope to get.

She is home sleeping now – occassionally crying over the pain until the Tylenol with codeine kicks in. We’ve gotten off easy. We’re very lucky. And still, I’m exhausted.