We had survived our first week of the Russian invasion. The boys spent every day in the swimming pool and took periodic breaks to eat. I fed them yummy American delicacies such as hot dogs and peanut butter sandwiches. But the main staple of their diet continued to be apples, bananas, cucumbers, raw onions, and cabbage. Bodies crave what they need, and these boys were making up for lost nutrition. I wondered how their tiny little digestive tracts could handle all that roughage. Turns it, they couldn’t.
At 5 pm Friday night, one week later almost to the minute that they arrived, Oleg was bent over in pain. I tried getting a Russian translator on the phone, but none of them were available. I then called the Russian doctor who had given them their booster shots earlier in the week. Thank God she was still in her office. “Poot Olig on phone,” she said. Oleg took the receiver, and I watched him answer a series of questions with “da” (yes) or “nyet (no).” He then started jumping up and down, still holding the receiver to his ear. He then handed the phone back to me, and the Russian doctor said, “not appendicitis. This boy is constipated.” Thank goodness, I thought! “So I have him rest until it passes?” I asked. “No!”, she snapped back. “You must give him suppository.” I froze in horror. “Can’t I just give him a big glass of water and a hand full of almonds and let nature take its course?” Her voice barked back at me like Nikita Khrushchev’s did when he pounded his shoe on the table at a 1960s UN meeting. “Do you want this child to be in pain?” Of course I didn’t, and so I hung up the phone and mimed to the boys to put their shoes on.
While driving to the local Sav-on Pharmacy, I called my sister, who had four children of her own. “You’re going to stick a suppository up a poor little orphan?!! He’ll hate you for it! Give him a glass of water and a hand full of nuts and wait it out!,” she said. I told her the Russian doctor ordered me to do it, and my Catholic guilt wouldn’t allow me otherwise.
As I walked into Sav-On with my new little communists holding my hands, their jaws dropped in amazement as if they were walking into Disneyland for the first time. They yelled out, “VAAAAA!” (Wow!) and took off running to the toy aisle while I entered a new world of children’s suppository products. There was an entire section of liquid, glycerin stick, and pellet shaped suppositories. My head was spinning from so many choices, along with the inevitable task of having to insert one these products into a little boy’s unmentionables.
As I scanned the options of products on the shelves, I heard a tiny voice whisper, “Soodsan?’ (Susan?) I looked down to find Dennis holding a can of Campbell’s tomato soup. “Pliez?” (please?) he asked sweetly, with his big brown orphan eyes looking at me while tenderly cradling the can. Was he hungry, I thought? No, he wanted me to buy him the soup can. “Nyet” I said as I turned my eyes back to the suppository shelves. I had narrowed my upcoming purchase down to two choices when Dennis came running back to me again with a brand new extension cord. He apparently made his way from the food aisle to the home supplies aisle. “Soodsan!” His voice more desperate than before. “Pliez!!!” Did he think it was a jump rope? “Nyet!” I said back, and changed thoughts back to suppositories. I got in line to ask the pharmacist which suppository would be the fastest acting. By now, it was 6 pm, and everyone in town was picking up their prescription. As I waited my turn, with seven people ahead of me, I heard a tromping of little feet running up from behind. “SOODSAN!! PLIEZZ!!” I turned around to see Dennis. Determined and undaunted, he was holding onto a small red box with a kung fu grip and thrust it up to my face. Was it toothpaste? Frosting? Dennis now stamped his foot, as if to say, “I let the can of soup go, I let the extension cord go, but I’m not leaving without THIS!!” I looked at the printing on the box and in large yellow flaming letters it said “Anal Itching Cream.” “NYET”, I said sternly. Dennis began stomping his feet, and closed his big brown orphan eyes tightly as he howled, “PPPLLIEEEEZZ!!!” To the left of me, the line of customers glared at me as if to say, “if your kid needs the anal itching cream, just buy him he anal itching cream.”
I gave up. I caved. The past hour had beaten me down. “Da,” I said in defeat to Dennis, and he jumped up and down in victory, then turned and ran down the aisle to show his little brother his new prize possession. I got to the head of the line, the pharmacist suggested the best suppository, we went to the check out counter and made our purchases, which included a Hot Wheels car for Oleg and the anal itching cream for Dennis. Surprisingly, Oleg was not complaining of stomach cramps anymore.
As the boys sat in the backseat of the car on the way home and chattered to each other in Russian, I heard a loud, flatulent honk that could only have come out of a large carnivore. I looked in my rear view mirror and saw both boys laughing hysterically. “Pook!” giggled Oleg, which I found out later was a Russian slang term for fart.
As we entered the house, Oleg ran to the bathroom and slammed the door. Twenty minutes later, when Oleg’s bowels were emptied and the toilet was plugged up again, he walked out into the hallway, pointed to the bathroom, and plugged his nose.
He then ran down the hall to play with his new Hot Wheels toy.
What a crappy day.
Copyright © Sioux Falcone 2012