Feb 232010

Top Three Most Embarrassing Melton Pediatric Visits

When Chase was six months old, I took him to a pediatric optometrist because he looked completely cross eyed in every picture we took of him. After the exam, the doctor left the exam room* and when he returned he said:

“Ma’am. I have identified the issue that’s causing Chase to appear cross eyed.”

I took a deep breath and held it. The doctor continued:

“Chase…. is…. Asian.”

Long pause.

He’s Asian? I said. That’s your diagnosis?

“Yes, ma’am.” He pointed to Chase in his car seat. “That’s just what Asian babies look like.”

Well. Fine, I said. Shall I bring him back in three weeks if these Asian symptoms continue or worsen?

“No, you shouldn’t.”

Kay. Goodbye, then.

Not a lot of room for humor in optometry, apparently.

When Chase was three, I took him to the pediatrician to get his ears checked. He was really struggling to hear Craig and me and didn’t even respond to the simplest, loudest directions. After the doctor examined him, she left the exam room*. When she came back she said:

“Mrs. Melton, his hearing is perfect. Chase is hearing you. He’s just not listening to you.”

Nother long pause.




I said.

When Chase was three months old, he developed a very strange orange rash on his face. It started small, just around his mouth, but started spreading further, past his nose and chin. After a week of watching it grow and deepen in color, we started worrying about jaundice and took him to the pediatrician. The doctor examined Chase’s teeny face and left the room.* When she finally returned, she said:

“Mrs. Melton, I couldn’t help but notice that your skin is tinted the same orange-ish color as your son’s face.”

Nother. Long. Pause.

Say what? I said, eventually.

The doctor looked uncomfortable, but continued:

“Are you, by chance, using a self tanning lotion?”


“And you’re using it…all over?”


“And you’re still breast feeding, right?“

Double Pause.


We don’t go to the doctor anymore unless we are currently on fire.

*I noticed a pattern while writing this essay. Doctors always leave the room for several minutes before they’ll speak to me. I talked to several friends about this phenomenon, and they all said that their doctors never leave the room before offering a diagnosis.

I am now convinced that the doctors leave so I can’t see them burst out laughing. They close the door on us and then they run into an empty exam room and pull out their cells and call their doctor buddies and spouses and say “you’re not gonna believe this one” and then they quickly update their Facebook Statuses with “So this crazy lady just came into the office and….”

Then they return to our room when they’ve decided they are capable of looking at me with a straight face.

Whatever, honestly.

Swing by here and here for the Melton Emergency Room Greatest Hits. So far.

Love, G

Carry On, Warrior
Author of the New York Times Bestselling Memoir CARRY ON, WARRIOR
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Feb 222010

Meet MK, my old, and new, friend.

I am

I am the blanket, dependable, frayed and warm . . .

I am the scribe, the keeper of memories, the promise

of remembrance . . .

I am the fire . . .

I am the constant, the touchstone unwavering . . .

I offer kisses of magic, concealed notes of love, unyielding perseverance,

safety in darkness and tempest, fierce expectations and unflinching love . . .

I am a warrior against the relentlessness of time and culture . . .

I am the advocate of aspiration, even in the shadow of failure . . .

I am open arms . . .

I am the protector . . .

I am the provider . . .

I am the potter . . .

I am the mother.


You are mine, but you are more your own

Changing, bending, turning back, but always heading steadily toward your intrinsic light.

And it is yours. Separate from mine.

Do you remember where you grew in my warm rhythmic darkness? Do you remember when we were one? Do you remember how I held you, nourished you, singing softly in the shadows of the night?

Must you leave this behind as you find your place in this world? Must my remembrance be solitary?

Of course you will find your own space apart from me . . .

still, I mourn the tiny person you were.

Soft skin so sweet I would clench my teeth in resistance, tiny voice expressing thoughts I had never quite considered, opening my world as surely as I was opening yours.


You are my dichotomy:

Fierce, but intensely gentle.

Ever moving, but so very still.

Scowling, with exuberant laughter that is the happiest sound I know.

Confident, yet deeply unsure.

Strong and powerful, but fearful in the quiet of night.

Tough, but tearful.

You are everything at all times, canceling yourself out with every fleeting whimsy, every mood,

until you become, mathematically, nothing at all.

But yet, you remain my everything; my fiercely powerful snuggly little laughing man.


How do you turn a moment, in the blink of an eye, from funny-clever-precious to oh-my-God-how-fast-can-we-get-out-of-here?

Log rolling across the scuffed and dingy store floor, collapsing in a heap at that unfortunate, unsuspecting woman’s feet.

Running down the up escalator in a frantic attempt to escape my grasp.

How do you hold my heart, spellbound, while frustrating me to the very depths of my soul?

How do you melt me with that crooked smile and crazy eyes, at just the moment I was wondering why I even bother?

How can you make me weak in the knees, head on my shoulders, arms wrapped tight, when I thought we had just exhausted all reasonable options?

Is it because you’re only two? So perfectly perfect but on the brink of something new?

Carry On, Warrior
Author of the New York Times Bestselling Memoir CARRY ON, WARRIOR
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Feb 212010

My dear friend Christy took me to get my first tattoo the year before I got all sober and suburban and normal. Just in the nick of time, thank God. I love my tattoo. When I’m in my mini-van it reminds me of my bad good old days and when I’m at church it signals to others that maybe I’m not as safe as you think, there, Missy. I like that.

The only problem is that I’m not at all sure what my tattoo says. When Christy and I went to get it, I was either completely wasted or royally hung over. I don’t remember which one. But based on the way I spent my time those days, there is a 100% chance that I was one or the other. Likely, both. So I didn’t do any homework. I just stumbled into the tattoo parlor with my Britney bleached hair and sequinced tube top and low rise frayed jeans and plastic neon green heels and asked for…you’ll never guess…Japanese characters on my lower back. Clearly, originality was not my main concern. It was either the Japanese characters or something tribal. I don’t even know what something tribal means, to tell you the truth. Regardless, I’m just grateful that I didn’t go with my third choice, which was a barbed wire arm band in honor of Pam Anderson. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Come to think of it, I actually remember purposefully applying a fake barbed wire arm tattoo to wear to a friend’s wedding one time. Lilly. Oh Lord, I think it was your wedding. Are you there, Lilly? Are you reading? So sorry, Lilly. Really sorry. Also, I’m pretty sure I forgot to get you a wedding present. I’m really sorry about that, too. I know it’s been like twelve years but I’ll send you something soon. Who else do I owe gifts to? Email me privately, please. Also Lilly, I think I was poorly behaved at your wedding. I’m sorry about that, too. I was grossly and recklessly overserved. I’ve been told that it was a lovely wedding. Just lovely, Lilly.


So I teetered into that DC parlor in those neon green heels and announced that I wanted “teacher, sister, friend” written on my back in Japanese characters. The artist looked me up and down and smirked a little and said “Cool.” And then he took me into the back room and Christy held my hand while he buzzed away. But the thing is that I don’t remember him, like, looking at a book or anything. And I don’t remember him looking Japanese either. So I’m not really sure how he knew what he was writing. I don’t remember caring that day because, really, all I wanted was a cool tattoo. I just thought of it like a fun new accessory to wear to clubs between my Wet Seal halter top and feloniously low jeans. And I worried much less about details back then. Now, however, I sort of wish I would have taken a moment to Google what I was preparing to permanently add to my body. Oh well.

Here it is.

I assume it really says something like “Drunk Fake Blonde Who Sleeps in a Tanning Bed.” That’s what it says if the dude was paying attention, anyway. Regardless, some things are better left unknown.

I’m getting a new tattoo soon. Bubba, just joking. Everybody else, I’m really not. Lou and Tattoo Tom voted for “Here I am” from Isaiah and I like them and trust their judgment, so I might go ahead with that. Plus, I get lost a lot so that tattoo would be especially helpful to me. This time I’m gonna get it in English though, just to be safe.

Are you Inked? If not, what would you get?

Carry On, Warrior
Author of the New York Times Bestselling Memoir CARRY ON, WARRIOR
Join the Momastery on-line community on Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest