Monday, April 13, 2009
Driving home this evening from my Venice meeting, I was on the phone with Troy Barrott in Sydney. He manages Dangerbird Records band Dappled Cities and is a longtime friend. He's known Pablo since he was less than a year old. I put Troy on hold when another call was ringing on the other line. I was sure it was Jo Ann checking my ETA, so clicked over and said 'I'm getting off the 101—be home in five minutes.'
An unexpected voice with an unexpected message started barking at me. 'Papa! That's not what I need to tell you,' the voice said. 'We need A-A batteries for the walkie-talkies that work. Pick some up on the way home!' I couldn't hold back my laughter. The sound of his husky little voice and the promise of walkie-talkie fun inherent in its tone brought a much-needed warmth to my heart. This last hospital stay was indescribably tough. I assured P that I knew what double A batteries were, and that I'd get pick up a couple packs at 7-11. I clicked back over and told Troy this story. We both rolled with laughter, recalling the days when Pablo's main use for his lips was drooling, not talking.
When I came home, Jo Ann was drawing a bath for her and Pablo. He is able to put his legs in, but total immersion won't be possible while his port remains accessed for his three-times-daily antibiotic drip. As the door shut behind me, I announced that I was home. That husky little voice from downstairs: 'I know Papa. I can hear you!'
A few moments later, the voice and the little body behind it emerged from the stairwell. There was a pillow case strewn over the shoulder of the little body, filled with something heavy.
'What's in the bag?' I asked.
'Stuff,' the voice replied.
A moment later, he asked me to join him in playing robbers. His bag was filled with $40 in small bills and rolled coins.
'Is that all the money from your piggy bank?' I asked.
His reply: 'Of course. I'm a robber!'
From there, we introduced the walkies and things went uphill on Mt Fun until Mommy called Bath Time.
The photo below is Pablo's 10 p.m. antibiotic drip. The first one will be at 6 a.m. daily, followed by a bag at 2 p.m. Jo Ann has become a home nurse over the course of the past few months. She can give Pablo his GCSF (white blood booster) shots in his thighs. And she knows the entire protocol for flushing the port in his chest and hooking up the bags and pumps that carry antibiotics directly into Pablo's heart. Serious stuff. Like anything Jo Ann sets her sights on, the home nurse game has quickly and easily become part of her motherly repertoire. I think we'll keep her.....
at 9:46:00 PM