"I am your mother! I gave you life, and I can take your life away," my Maw reminded me ever since I understood the words she exclaimed. Fortunately, for her, I was a precocious child, and I understood exactly what her initial introduction and first impression meant.
"I will always be your mother no matter how old you are," she declared even before I could articulate my siren sobs into wordy wails, which is acceptable when you are forty-five days old, but not when you are forty-five years old.
However, my mother stayed with me dutifully in my hospital room as I ranted about overcrowded refrigerator space, and how I had not allotted enough space for her foodstuff, about how I had planned meals for the next couple weeks so that she could focus on overseeing my recuperation once home.
I incessantly droned on, complaining that she had not called me in advance, when she said she would--touch base before leaving to pick me up and take me home, so that I could coordinate with my nurse the publication of my discharge papers.
"My status just changed. The shift just changed. The new nurse is going to have to review all of her cases. I am last, in priority, on the list!!! Now we are going to have to wait several hours while the critical-care patients are attended to. We are going to rack up parking fees. [I WANNA GO HOME, MOMMY! WAAH!!!]"
Maw waived away the concerned hospital staff as she tried not to make sense of her post-surgery, traumatized son's ill behavior. She considered whether or not (or how) she was going to sustain my life. For I was to be released under her care.
"Once I get you home, you are going to get your rest," Maw threatened from her pursed lips.
Alerted, I knew that I was not going to receive the private prenatal care I regressively desired, but would receive the public toddler discipline tactics she could deftly inflict: bicker banter provocative punishment.
"You're not doing what the doctor [intern] said," my Maw tattled.
"You're not doing what the doctor [primary-specialist] said you should be doing, what you said you agreed to do, going to do--as I said before what I needed you to do the last time you said 'OK' to, but did not do, but you promised you would do to get done, that you are complaining about now like you did then, ditty-doo," I scolded incoherently after taking my post-op 'use care when using machines' [or engaging in complex thinking] medication.
"This is not my problem. I am your mother," she said in mantra, intoning infallibility.
Infantile tantrums and maternal tsk tsks were in abundance for the first couple of days in our familial captivity. The two of us recognized and acknowledged the burdensomeness of our emotional breakdowns and the possibility of obtaining satisfaction. Since I was past the critical stages regarding home healthcare assistance, what was of importance now was getting to my follow-up doctor appointments. Maw had some upcoming appointments as well. We coordinated our calendars (aka scheduled conflicts) to determine when she would need to be here with me for consecutive days.
With time spent dining on culinary musing repeaters (and Maw drinking her power protein powder fruit smoothies), we set aside an evening to partake of Continental To-Go from the Orient (aka Chinese Takeout) for dinner.
We ordered menu items that were familiar to us, menu items that she and I have eaten for over thirty-eight years:
- Shrimp Roll
- Egg Roll Pork
- Shrimp Egg Foo Young
- Moo Shu Pork
- Barbecued Spare Ribs
- Fried Noodles
- Duck Sauce
- Pepper Oil
- Fortune Cookies
Continental To-Go from the Orient
The only disappointment was that there were no almond cookies available. I forgot to request hot mustard. Nevertheless, that night, Maw and I were fully sated--with leftovers for lunch the next day.