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BACK No, I did not misspell IKEA. I would never do that. I meant to write those three letters I-K-A. Because "ika" is my own made-up word. And it is code for another decidedly naughty four-letter word that begins with F that I am no longer allowed to utter because I am a parent. But "ika?" That's fine. I can say it all I want. By the way, it's pronounced eeeeek-aaaaah. Like what you would say if you saw a mouse and then suddenly had an epiphany. You can add my fictional word to your lexicon if you like. I'm not overly possessive.

Warning: The following material is not suitable for anyone who is not currently under the influence of muscle relaxants.

Muscle relaxants? Yes. I am currently one hearty pill into that little bottle that strange doctor gave me around noon. I'm a little bit loopy. But not too loopy. But, that pill? Me likey. Just kidding! Of course!

Okay, let's back up. To last night. Everything was fine. The girls and I waited for Husband to come home from work. All of a sudden, Toddler starting chanting about something. GUMMY BEARS. Did any of you out there introduce my innocent tyke to gummy bears? Because I didn't. Believe me, I have nothing against gummy bears. They're not my favorite breed of gummy, but if I am going to funnel jelly beans down her tiny throat at all hours, why would I forbid those innocent gelatinous bears? I wouldn't. Because I am all about consistency. It's just that I've never handed over a single bear. I asked her who told her about them. And she told me Nanny. Nanny denies this and I tend to believe Nanny. I asked Toddler if she had a dream about gummy bears (because it is obviously the portrait of logic to dream about things you've never encountered) and Toddler said: "Yeah."

Anyway, Husband, upon receiving my frantic text, picked up a bevy of bears on the way home. And before going to bed, Toddler ate a couple dozen or so of them. But sugar doesn't affect her. Not at all. No. Anyway, the point is that the p.m. of yesterday was pretty par for the course. The a.m. of today? Not so much.

I woke up. And could not get out of bed. Literally. My back, the back that never hurt ONCE during all my years playing sports or during either of my pregnancies, hurt. And by hurt I mean it felt like someone removed the upper left quadrant of my back (including a smidgen of neck) and then put it back on wrong. I could not move. Ika.

Now, Husband had a super important business meeting this morning. One he could under no circumstances miss or reschedule. So, what did I do? Like the superwoman I am, I spent forty minutes trying to sit up and get out of bed. As Dora says at the end of every episode, I did it!!

F^*k! I mean Ika!

I insisted Husband go off to his meeting. Before leaving, he and I had a serious talk with the children. We told them that Mommy's back hurt and that Mommy could not bend and pick them up. They looked up at us, blue eyes blazing, and nodded. Good girls. As soon as the front door slammed, Toddler started her high-speed prance around the room and Baby located every tiny item she might swallow. Toddler played a new, exceedingly clever game where she would pretend to be stuck in various spots and then cry (hard) about it until I rescued her. Behind the armchair. Under the couch pillows. At one point her tiny foot was jammed inside her pink potty. Lovely! Because I am a good mother who prizes babies over backs, I hoisted her each and every time to safety. Ika.

This game got old and then she decided it was high time for Play-Doh. Not the moist, malleable Play-Doh in the sunny yellow canisters. No. The rogue ball of Play-Doh we forgot to put away yesterday. That kind of Play-Doh is far more fun. And crumbly. So Toddler continued her graceful prance around the room scattering tiny pieces of dried Play-Doh in her winding wake. Pieces that were so mini that they would really only be visible to a creature on the floor. Like Baby. Yum. So, Baby, ever up to a challenge, began her scavenger hunt around our living room, collecting the delicious little morsels. Because I am a good mother who prizes babies over backs, I hoisted her to safety each and every time. IKA.

Husband called. His meeting had gone well. Yay! He asked how my back was and this happened to be one of the various moments when I was lifting somewhere between twenty and thirty pounds of Rowley girl, so I let out a groan.

He came home.

I called the doctor. A nice receptionist answered. And I bellowed some unintelligible combination of "Ika" and "I can't lift my kids!" and I think I might of scared her, but the point is she squeezed me in. And even though the doctor's office was close, I left early, walking gingerly, head jutted forward, like an Egyptian, down Columbus Avenue. At the office, I was quickly seen. The doctor, a circumspect soul, examined me, asked me to do crazy things like lift arms and turn my neck. And then she made an earth-shattering announcement: "You did something to your back." Genius, Lady! But then she handed me a little script. So I forgave her.

So, script in hand, I walked (like an Egyptian) back up Columbus. Got that script filled. Popped a pill.

I crawled into bed. I tried to read a book. But that hurt. The girls napped. Because Daddy was home and they like to impress their father. When Toddler woke up, she ambled into my room and peered at her Mommy, horizontal in bed in the middle of the afternoon. She told me her back hurt. And that gummy bears might make it feel better. And then she crawled into bed with me (and her mini bagel) and spread some crumbs and then jumped on the bed. And on me. Which hurt.

Husband, darling Husband, was on it. He collected Toddler from our bed and took the girls away. And just as I was about to nod off again, I heard it. The saccharine swells. The screams. Their signature Wednesday aria. I heard Husband's muffled and pleading voice asking: What's wrong? And from my bed, I yelled: "Give her gummy bears! Do it!"

Several hours later, here I am. Hunched over Laptop like the devoted blogger I am. Because muscle relaxants or no, I wouldn't leave you guys hanging. But I'm not going to lie because pain killers might zap the pain (actually, not really), but they're not going to zap the truth. This blogging thing? It hurts.

Today, everything does.

Off to go lift a kid or two.

Thank goodness for magic pills! And gummy bears! And Husband!



Veterans of back pain, any advice? Do not tell me not to lift my kids.

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