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i’ll savor this moment forever, and this one, and this one…

i’ll savor this moment forever, and this one, and this one…

August 15, 2006

The beauty of the digital age is that we can document every moment of our children’s lives.


Every mundane event or non-event in our children’s lives is documented and preserved for all time. When I look back on the photographs from my childhood, they are all mostly staged. Either grainy with the colors fading into a dark panelled, orange and avocado green world, or completely washed out from the overexposed flash. The kind that sat on top of the camera and turned around after every click.

Pictures were more thoughtfully taken then.

Certainly even the most photographic mother of the bunch thirty years ago would not take 500 pictures of her kids at the playground in one afternoon, like I routinely do. She couldn’t instantly purge the ones that weren’t good. She wouldn’t know for two weeks when her film came back to her at the local pharmacy if any of the pictures had even come out.

How much would it have sucked to get them back and discover that the lens cap was on the whole time, or that they blinked in each and every picture. And then you grow up and wonder if Christmas of 1975 found you temporarily blind, or sleeping the day away.

I know there is not one photograph of me at any doctor’s office waiting room.

In the waiting room

Or sitting inside the office reading a book while I patiently waited for the doctor’s arrival.

Reading a book

My little marked up arm:

The arm of pokes

Or my love of stickers, with which I would paper the front of my shirt:

Foraging for stickers

Or a photograph of the gas pump to document the price of gasoline.

Hopefully, 35 years from now my children can understand my fury and understand why I would shout, “What the fuck?!?” everytime we pull up to a gas pump. They would finally understand why gas pumps stir such feelings of inappropriate anger and provoke the desire to shout expletives, within themselves. This photograph could very well serve as an ah-ha moment for them.



Dr: Well, based on these tests he isn’t allergic to anything.

Me: Hmmmm, well what does that mean?

Dr: Blah blah blah, maybe allergic to other things, blah blah blah most likely environmental blah blah blah*

Me: Like what kind of environmental allergies are you talking about?

Dr: Dust mites are the most likely culprit. I want you to try x, y, z, stand on your head and spin around five times in a counterclockwise direction and then come back and see me when Miles turns 2 years old. We will test for environmental things then if it isn’t under control. But most likely you will have to work on managing the dust in your home.

Me: Hahahaha

Dr: blink blink

Me: Seriously? Did my husband call you?

Dr: Ha ha. uh no.

Me: Can you write a prescription for a cleaning lady?

And so we have no more answers than before we went into his office this morning. Well, I guess technically we DO have answers, they just didn’t give me the answers I was hoping for. Like why the heck my poor child is a hive covered itchy mess.

Miles came right home and ate a Fluff and peanut butter sandwich on Wonder bread, with a side dish of tortellini salad in celebration of his non allergic status. His request, of course. An I obliged because so great was his disappointment over not be able to wear one of those allergy alert bracelets.

* (I believe those are in fact the exact technical terms he used)

Posted by Chris @ 12:26 pm  

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  1. Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah says:

    I would also like a prescription for a cleaning lady.

    (and I take 70 pictures on an avgerage trip to the park - but I only have two kids. I love digital cameras.)

  2. Beth says:

    Well, it’s no fun to not know what’s wrong, but SO happy for him that he’s not allergic to all the delicious things in the world.

    And also — it’s amazing that you have pictures of your younger children at all. As a youngest, my mom gave up at some point at trying to document.

  3. Jamie says:

    Now you can tell your husband you need a cleaning lady…doctor’s orders! I am the youngest of five and I have one very small, album with my baby pictures and they are all Polaroids. I keep meaning to scan them before they disintegrate. And Fluff and peanut butter….I had forgotten about that little delectable treat!

  4. menoblog says:

    Prescription for a cleaning lady. Brilliant.

  5. veronica says:

    I am certainly inspired to take more random “stuff of life” pictures.
    The problem with my current baby albums- still in my computer.

  6. peepnroosmom says:

    I’m so glad he isn’t allergic to any foods. What a bummer about the blah blah blah the doctor said. I think they have to take a course on Blah just to piss off the parents.
    As for the baby pictures, like Veronica said, all of ours are still in the computer, too.

  7. Susan says:

    I think Miles’ allergies may be a reaction to the price of gas. Because really, what the fuck?

  8. Nicki says:

    I’m sorry about the frustrating visit. It’s really hard not to have an answer. Equally frustrating dealing with the hives. Did they give him any medicine? Zyrtec and Singular are our best friends!!!!

    Does anybody have their pictures of the computer yet? I’m at least 1 year behind closer to 2, really.

  9. pink-diamonds says:

    Definitely a cleaning lady.

    When the toddler was a baby we took him to get tested as well. The appointment happened to be exactly two week after he was no longer going to grandma’s house daily. Which also seemed to clean up his symptoms completely. He still swore that there was no allergies to dogs/cats. RIIIGHT. Um, yea that’s why anytime we still visit cats/dogs he gets his symptoms right back.

  10. Elizabeth says:

    My parents only took photos of us on holidays, posed stiffly in uncomfortable clothes. Now I take a bazillion photos of Kaitlyn trying to eat her first Veggie Puff. How times have changed!

    We had Ryan allergy-tested when he was about a year old, because he threw up most of his bottles, even soy. The first test said he was allergic to milk, wheat and eggs, but a follow-up test with the best allergist in town said he wasn’t allergic to anything. I’m sorry you didn’t get help for Miles. Maybe you could get a second opinion?

  11. mothergoosemouse says:

    A script for a cleaning lady. Brilliant!

  12. Pam says:

    Hi Chris,

    this may be more info than you want or need but did you know that food intolerances can share a lot of symptoms with allergies but not show up at all in the allergy tests as it is a completely different response that your body is having? Your body sends out its fighters to do different things but the end result looks the same.

    The only way intolerances can be picked is by doing the elimination diet and then challenging with specific things. Intolerances are probably more common than full on allergies and harder to pick.

    We’ve just been through all this, so thought I’d share what’s helped us.

  13. joanna says:

    Oh, if only cleaning ladies were available on the National Health Service!! I actually wonder sometimes how we ever managed without digital cameras - I can’t imgaine it now. It is such a joy, being able to snap away and not worry about using too much film, wondering whether the shots will come out. And, like you, I have photos of the children in the dentist’s chair, at the supermarket (why??!!) and doing the most mundane of everyday chores. They’ll thank us for it later!!

  14. Chris says:

    Nothing like building yourself up with faith in the medical profession to have them shoot you down with blah blah blah, with some yadas mixed in. Jerks.

    Um, what is a fluff?

  15. :o) says:

    So.. what’s fluff?

    Also, we got an air cleaner (completely silent!) that sucks the dust up. Also, we got a shark vacuum thing that works on hardwood floors. Its been a huge improvement. My husband is allergic to dust/dust mites.

  16. Michele says:

    Fluff is marshmallow fluff…. mmmm pb and fluff sandwich, also known as a fluffernutter.

  17. Maddy says:

    When your children look at that petrol pump photo they will also say “what the f***” … followed by “look how cheap gas was back in the old days”.

  18. Adrienne says:

    As a parent of a child who wears one of those cool allergy alert bracelets (”Look, it has a SNAKE on it!”), I have to say that the perks is highly overrated when considering all the hell it puts the family and the allergic kid through…so I’m raising a fluffernutter to Miles!

    I would push for Zyrtec on the idiopathic hives, though. It’s a wonder drug!

  19. debbie says:

    Why do Americans bitch about the price of petrol - you guys have NO IDEA what us Brits suffer - 80% of our price is TAX so to fill a tank up over here is like, er £30 ish . Which in realy money is like $70 or something??

    Come on people - what do you pay?

  20. liz says:

    Gas per gallon has only just passed milk (non-organic). It has a looooong way to go before it’s more expensive than say, Dansani (if you bought a gallon litre by litre) or a latte (even Venti by Venti).

    I’m glad it’s not allergies, but then WTF is causing his hives???

  21. Katie says:

    Cute pictures! Except for the gas pump one. I’m getting annoyed because several pumps around here seem to have a $75 max debit/credit charge and to fill the 30 gallon van tank at $3.25 is over $90.

  22. Jean says:

    Just fyi about the hives: my son had sporadic hives (big welts that would cover his body) for about 18 months. I couldn’t find any triggers. They would happen indoors or out, summer or winter, no matter what he ate. My dr. said his daughter also had something like that. My son’s would last about an hour and then just go away. I would give him Benedryl if he needed it. Eventually they just stopped. He also has excema, as does one of my daughters. Aveeno works great on that. Hope this helps.

  23. Kathy says:

    My 7 year old son doesn’t have hives but has had eczema his whole life. I took him to an alternative doctor who ran food sensitivities and urine peptide tests which both showed that he is sensitive (not allergic) to wheat/gluten. These aren’t regular lab tests - the peptide one was sent to Great Plains Lab and the other to a special lab in Florida. Anyway, after 10 days being gluten free, he stopped itching. Maybe try eliminating wheat for a week and see if it helps!

    Love your blog!

  24. Turtle says:

    Chris, definitely look into food intolerances and sensitivities online and consider a less mainstream (read: homeopathic) approach. Truly, I spent my entire first thirty years with asthma, eczema, sneezing, wheezing and horrid stomach discomforts and cured it ALL by eliminating wheat and other gluten products. This is after a lifetime of allergy testing that was negative. Carry on, sister - Poor little dude shouldn’t have to live with hives because the AMA doesn’t yet have a clue as to how to handle food sensitivities.

  25. Susan says:

    Tell me you really do say things like that (”WTF”) in front of your kids, and I’ll love you even more than I already do.

  26. rachel says:

    we’re another “food intolerances not allergies” family. Well, except for the one kid with the cool snake bracelet. :)

    Middle kiddo got hives for no reason, zyrtec did help, and then they just went away. she tested negative to everything too.

    our doctor says there are just kids who don’t test “allergic” despite there being allergies (false negatives) and kids who are not classically allergic (but can’t eat the food because they get hives/diarrhea/ excema/whatever) and other kids who only are “allergic” to a food when they’re also triggerd by something else (evironmental or other) and still other kids who just get hives from a virus.

    good luck figuring it all out! at least you have photographs of everything! :) and WTF on your gas prices? I’m about 3 hours away and the prices are under $3 here.

  27. Carrie says:

    I enjoy your blog immensely. :o)

    My girls all have eczema when they’re exposed to too much scented stuff–soaps, lotions, detergent, fabric softener. I now use Suave kids shampoo and conditioner on them–only two or three times/wk, All Free and Clear, and occasional half sheets of fabric softener. It has made a HUGE difference–bumps and rashes are rare now. Mine also seem to react to food colorings (bubble gum, etc.) with the same kind of a rashy thing on their faces. We’ve done Prednisone for urticaria with my asthma kid (eczema and asthma are related, but you probably already knew that) because he turns out to be allergic to wild strawberries–only wild ones. Did you know there are actually wild strawberries in Wild Strawberry Jello? And here I thought it was all artificially flavored. Silly me. Good thing not all new information comes with a steroid script.

    Hope your little guy finds some relief. I’m off to wrench the bubble gum away from the little monkeys. Argh.

  28. Shelby says:

    Ok, hippie gal from San Francisco chiming in with the unsolicitied advice! I have always suffered from allergies and asthma, since I was a little girl. I now echo the statement above about Zyrtec and Singulair (I’m a wreck without them, even now at 32), but also would suggest alternative methods that seem to have allowed me to avoid the dreaded steroid treatments (prednisone) for about the past 5 years. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs, baby. They have made all the difference in the world for me. Here’s a place where you can find an accredited one, if you’re interested: http://www.nccaom.org/ Good luck with all of this! The immune system can be a tricky beast.

  29. Teri says:

    To poke a small hole into your bubble. Did he tell you that just because he tested negative doesn’t mean he isn’t allergic? At his age the test is still very unreliable. We knew my littles were seriously allergic to some food, but all the test came back negative. At 6 and 4 we finally got results.

    Have you tried elimnating things? We knew our’s was soemthing in everything, our 6 year old is allergic to soy and corn! They are in everything! And of course all three of my kids have different food allergies.

  30. CaliforniaGrammy says:

    I thought I knew most everything (just kidding) but I’ve never heard of Fluff either. Do you really mean spreading marshmallow cream and peanut butter to make this sandwich?

  31. Laura K. says:

    just to make you feel better… gas here in The Netherlands is around $8 a gallon if you do all the proper conversions.. it’s been this expensive since I moved here almost 5 yrs ago..

    Think how GOOD you have it there ;) and think of poor us on bikes to save money.

  32. Heather says:

    I love that picture of him with the book! Snapping that picture of him,was worth the trip itself ;)

    Wow on your gas prices! We are currently paying about $2.77 a gallon here. I am PRAYING it doesnt get that high again.

  33. kathy says:

    I’m glad you got some really good advice on allergies from your commenters. My anecdocatl experience shows hives and excema with milk products but tests show I’m not allergic. I’ve had this all my life but it took adulthood and an elimination diet to figure it out (doh, dairy is SO the first thing you do). I still get hives from something else, but it is so random I can’t figure it out.

    Good luck, fuck the gas pump and come to Mexico. We’ve been paying about 1.80 a gallon (5.45 pesos/litre) for a good year. Oh, and you get BEACHES and SAND and (oh, chris just ran away…) PANDO serving good liquor in a (chris peeks back around the corner, but I’m not sure if it is due to Pando or the liquor) skimpy something…

  34. Mom101 says:

    I’ve thought so much about the digital age of photography and whether we’re luckier because we capture all the moments the right way…or not so much so, since we don’t value the photos the way we did when there were 12 in a roll and you had to use it wisely, praying it would come out perfectly. It’s a great post.

  35. Darren says:

    What I notice while going through photo albums is that there are a LOT more photos of my older brother than there are of me. My parents clearly gave up after a point and decided, “Eh, you’ve seen one three year-old opening a Christmas present, you’ve seen them all.”