This Little Miggy Stayed Home: Help Me Rhonda

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Help Me Rhonda

I'm not one to name my cars, but my husband always did, and so it is that we've named a couple cars in the course of our 7 year marriage.  Our first family car was Magda, named after the East German woman we bought her from.  It fit.  So when we bought our Honda Odyssey this past fall, one day PSP just started calling it (her) Rhonda.  When I gave her a quizzical look she said, Ronda the Honda!  Of course.  And it has stuck.  We drive a car named Rhonda... who happens to be a Honda.  So what?

Anyway, this post isn't really about our car, but that's the necessary backstory.
Here's the second part of the necessary backstory.

 I'm not that into kid music.  I mean we do have some kid music, and the girls often ask for the Disney station on Pandora quite a bit too.  But I tend to think good music is good music and that the right kind of adult music can be just as appealing to kids as well.  In general, I see no reason to offer children watered down, stupid songs that make me want to stick knives in my ears.  So I try to play them songs I like, that I think they'll like as well.  Sometimes this means slow and melodic, other times this means peppy and upbeat with a great hook.  Sometimes I know they'll love a certain song, but other times I'm surprised by the songs they end up loving.  But there was one song I was 1000% confident they'd love.  

Hey, you want to hear a song about a girl named Rhonda?

Of course I was speaking of Help Me Rhonda by the Beach Boys.  The Beach Boys is great parent/kid music by the way.  And I was right, they love it.  But here's the thing, Lamp LOVES it.  Like LA-HUVS it.  She asks for it all the time.  I want Hewp Me Rhonda mom, I want Hewp me Rhonda.  I am her dealer and Hewp my Rhonda is her drug of choice.  After 3 hits I have to cut homegirl off.  The most adorable part of it all is her singing along.

Hewp me Rhonda, hewp, hewp me Rhonda.  And her favorite part...
Hewp me Rhonda, yeah!  Get her out of my heart!

Although that last sentence is just a jumbly mess o' cute Lampy words.

While that song has usually been reserved for car rides I realized just how special that song is to her when it has now become requested at bedtime.  I need Help me Rhonda for a minute, she says as I hold her before laying her down in bed.  So I sing it for a minute.  She likes to ask for a lot of things for a minute.   

Kind of a long back story there....but there it is.

Anyway, today ended up being a pretty big day for Lamp.  It all happened so fast I still can't believe it.  Today she had her g-tube removed.  She's been weaned off her night-time feedings for a couple months now and so I knew it was coming.  She had a GI check up today and the Doc and I talked it over and decided it was time to come out. (For those of you just joing us Lamp had a g-tube placed at 6 months old to help facilitate feeding a baby with an unusually small stomach.  Read posts here and here.)  

The other thing to know is just how sensitive her g-tube can be sometimes.  Sometimes something catches on it--like her shirt or diaper--and even the slightest tug can send her screaming.  So the process of taking it out, while not that complicated--a nurse walked in the room, deflated the inner balloon that holds in in place and pulled the tube out--caused her a significant amount of pain.  It's been a long time since that girl has been medically traumatized, but it happened today and it's like all of it just came flooding to the surface.

She has a giant bandage on her tummy with some gauze, to assist in healing while the hole closes up.  I know, it's kinda nutty, but that's how g-tube removals go...just wait for the hole in your stomach to close up.  After a couple hours of being in bed tonight, she woke up screaming and writhing in discomfort from the tummy fluid collected around the site.  They warned me it could really irritate the skin.  She was screaming, screaming, screaming as we delicately pulled off the sticky bandages (it still hurt) and cleaned the site, changed the dressings and bandage her back up.

She lay in the crib, still shaken and doing that precious yet heartbreaking semi-hyperventilating breathing.  Tired and worn out, she didn't want me to leave just yet.  So I cuddled my face next to hers and softly sang the most comforting song she knows.  When I got to the chorus she spit her binkie out to sing along with me.

Help me Rhonda, help, help me Rhonda...
Help me Rhonda, help, help me Rhonda...
Help me Rhonda, yeah!  Get her out of my heart!

I hate that she's ever had to be in that much pain and I hate the helpless feeling that accompanies it.
But I will treasure that memory, and probably that song, until the day I die.


  1. Such an endearing story. Is it just me or does she speak phenomenally well for a kid her age? My goodness.

  2. oh, poor baby! i am so sorry. and i thought that holding them down while they got shots was hard..
    such a sweet story. you make it all better!

  3. Poor little thing, What a great story!!

  4. Oh Lamp, you've got me bouncing between laughter and tears. That is a really sweet story. I'm so sorry about all the medical trauma and am praying that she doesn't have much more pain, and I'm so happy you get to tell that g-tube goodbye!

  5. So much good here I had to comment - and really, you had me at Beach Boys. My mom raised us all on the Beach Boys. And old school Motown-type stuff. She used to sing "Jimmy Mack" to me all the time, being that I was her Jimmy and all.

    When my nephew had his g-tube removed for good (he has goldenhare syndrome), his parents had a bbq and in celebration, let him throw it in the bonfire as a nice "good riddance"/milestone moment.

    The song I sing for my son (who was two months preemie) is one that stuck with me from the time he was in the NICU. "I and Love and You" by the Avett Brothers. I posted about it here:

  6. Thank God for Help Me Rhonda! (Who ever thought that phrase would be appropriate?)

    Lamp, you go girl. You are one tough cookie and you have some pretty awesome peeps in your corner. You are all truly inspiring.

  7. okay so awesome she doesn't need it anymore!!! and such a sweet story. what a girl. hope it heals quickly!

  8. Anonymous8:15 PM

    Great story, love Lamp even more, can she get any cuter.

    I have to confess, the bit that I liked the most was about the music. I'm not American, I don't live in American but I read loads of American blogs and they nearly ALL come across as super happy perfect families. Ok, so that's not a bad thing but I sometimes have to stop reading for a bit because I wonder what the hang is wrong with me and why am I not super Mum. Anyhow, I'm going somewhere with this, I loved how you wrote about kid songs making you want to 'stick knives in your ears'.

    You are freakin brilliant. Amazing. Go you.

    From a reader far-away-from-America

  9. Thanks all!

    Allison-Yes. Absolutely advanced. Which is why I practically threw down some ninja moves on her OT who once said she was slightly delayed in speech. When I told her other therapists what she said they laughed really hard.

    Deb--I should have written about the mini g-tube funeral we had in the dr's office. It was a simple ceremony, but nice.

    Jimmy--Yes! I love me some Motown...and my dad's name is Jimmy and his last name sorta rhymes with it's a fav of mine as well.

    Anon--So glad that was helpful to hear. I should tell you about trying to get my kids to listen to Jay-Z (edited) or Led Zeppelin...alas, they're still a little too young.

  10. I love this post!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. Oh dear. This is the best blog post I have read in a long time.

  12. This totally made me cry...I can just imagine her spitting our that little binky to sing the chorus.

    It is a funny thing having, "blog friends"...I guess I think of the little Lampstress as a baby still. I kept thinking to myself, "She speaks in whole sentences?!" I recently had a blog friend that I have never met in real life tell me she can't believe my youngest is old enough to speak in sentences...I guess I know what she means :)

  13. Awwww, little lampy!

    My dad just got a peg put in because he had a stroke and cannot swallow. I was telling him that Lamp got hers out today, he's hoping to join her soon!

    Um, I think you need to get some video of this singing!!! Sounds SO CUTE.

  14. So sweet. Got to love the tender mercies that get us through those rough nights. It's crazy that they don't stitch up a home like that. When a trach comes out they basically put a band aid on it till it heals as well, but with stomach acid I would have thought differently. Wow. She is so tough.

  15. Ohhhh I love it! What a precious and tender story. She melts my heart. There is truly nothing more heart breaking then having a child in pain and feeling helpless. But thank goodness that song calmed her a bit. I love it. She's just a sweet tender sole! -Joie

  16. Sweetest story! Love that memory.