At Least He Had Fun

At Least He Had Fun

I ran to the Post Office, drove across town, and picked up the boys from school. I picked them up early, thus ruining the last nine weeks chance of perfect attendance, but I picked them up exactly on schedule to make it to the dentist.

We sang a few songs on the interstate. BigBrother told me he did well on his spelling test. (Spoiler: He admitted at bedtime that he did not, in fact, do well. That bedtime confessional still runs true.) I somehow managed to avoid traffic, and we pulled up to the dentist’s office at exactly two o’clock.

I’ve never been on time for the boys’ dental appointments which is exceptionally embarrassing as my mother-in-law works there. I usually call from the interstate.

“We’re coming. I promise.”

Which is better than the time I called and said, “We’re supposed to be there now but I completely forgot and we’re at home.”

I have a paper planner. I utilize the calendar on my phone. But sometimes, and especially during baseball season, I get a little lost in the details. Or completely go off the rails. Either or.

So I smugly walked into the dentist’s office and sat down in the swanky waiting room. The receptionist said hello, and we sat for approximately ten minutes.

And then my mother-in-law appeared.

“Your appointment is tomorrow.”

“I know. The boys’ is today.”

“No, it’s not.”

“Yes, it is. I have a text from…” Scroll, scroll scroll. “The pediatrician.”

I didn’t say “shit” out loud but it was definitely implied.

I rushed the boys out the door, hustled them in the car, and voice dialed the pediatrician.

“Hi. Yes. We have an appointment at two, and now it’s two-ten. I accidentally went to the dentist instead of the pediatrician. We’re about five minutes away.”

The woman on the other end of the phone laughed but said she had to check with the doctor. Which, I understand. I kept driving. And hitting ALL THE RED LIGHTS. She came back on the phone and said they’d hold my appointment. So I kept driving and HITTING MORE RED LIGHTS.

I squealed into a parking space and rushed my not-so-little-kids into the building, waited for the elevator, waited as it stopped on another floor to pick someone up EVEN THOUGH THAT NEVER HAPPENS IN THIS BUILDING, and nearly ran into the office. I told the woman sitting at the desk our name.

“Your appointment was 20 minutes ago.”

“I called. I went to the dentist instead of here. The woman who answered asked our doctor and she said it was okay.”

“She did?”

No. I’m lying. Who makes up a story that makes them look like a total moron?

“Yes, she did.”

“Okay, you have to fill out eleventy billion new papers for this year.”

“Thank you.”

Or something like that.

We didn’t wait long at all before a nurse ushered us back to room eight. She asked about their eating habits and school and baseball. She took them off for weight checks, measurements, and ear and eye test while I wrote the same information on approximately 72 pieces of paper. (It was just two, but why does it always feel like so many?)

The boys returned, donned their gowns, and in just a few minutes our doctor walked in.

Can I tell you how much I love our doctor? We inherited her five years ago when our previous doctor, whom we also loved as he was so patient with my First Parented Child Overreating, retired. We love her. Her smile is contagious. She’s very encouraging. She backs me up with the boys when she asks about technology time and even reinforced with LittleBrother that, yeah, he’s supposed to be in the booster seat for another four and a half inches and, sorry buddy, but just because your friends don’t ride in one doesn’t mean you get to skip it.

Sometimes I want to hug her.

I don’t think that’s appropriate.

Anyway, she found it HILARIOUS that we went to the dentist first. She literally laughed out loud.

“That sounds like something I would do!”

Then I loved her more.

The older of the boys got three shots, which none of us expected, but the nurse who administered them gets a big gold star for knowing what questions to ask and when as she gave him all three shots. Like seriously. Major kudos.

It’s not all great news.

One kid needs glasses. This was not a surprise as I got glasses in fourth grade and my husband thinks he was in fifth grade when he got his. LittleBrother will be near the end of third grade when he gets his. This also possibly explains the headaches he’s been experiencing. To which he said, “Yeah, I sometimes get a really bad headache in class and get aggravated with everyone.” Really, kid. Tell me these things before appointments with the nice doctor, okay?

The other kid’s hearing has worsened in his bad ear. We knew this. He failed the school test. Again/always. His volume when he speaks has increased, and not just because he’s genetically a Swearingen. We have another referral to the audiologist to figure out what’s going on.

Did you know that hearing aids are 100% NOT covered, even with ACA? Did you know that even with vision insurance, we’ll fork over hundreds of bucks for LittleBrother to see clearly and not experience headaches that make him vomit? And some of you want to reduce our health care that we, as a family of four, already pay mightily for? Uh. Okay. Here’s my middle finger.

We got home in time to sign agendas (…) and relax for a bit before the rain started. I thought, “Ooh! They’ll cancel the baseball scrimmage and we can spend time at home.”

It’s like I’m new at this baseball mom thing.

The scrimmage was canceled but our practice was moved to an indoor gym. I got 1.25 miles from home (I know because running) when BigBrother asked, “Did you bring his baseball stuff?”

No, I didn’t. Thanks for asking. So we turned around, grabbed the gear, and then drove a little more quickly to the gym.

After I got LittleBrother pushed into he gym, I read the novel I’m working on for a half hour and then worked for an hour. BigBrother watched practice, but I wouldn’t let him go get his glove to participate because his younger brother needs to be able to experience things on his own from time to time. When he came out of the gym, he was all smiles.

“I had fun.”

Crazy day in which my husband worked and I did all of the things wrong and it rained and I felt alone and like a failure as a mother? Worth it with those three little words.

At Least He Had Fun

 

Land Of Nod: Design for Kids and People That Used to be Kids

When You Do Something Right

Listen. I support all women however they chose to act today. I feel like last year, International Women’s Day came with less “This Is How We Do” because we weren’t actively fighting for our lives. Literally. But today I saw a lot of, “I am/am not participating in #ADayWithoutWomen because reasons.”

All of those reasons are valid.

Of note: All of the men telling all of the women that all of their reasons were invalid are why we need a day dedicated to women around the world. But I digress.

Today for me? Well, today was a day.

I woke up the youngest child a little later than usual, hoping the extra sleep might magically make him all better from the illness he procured from a friend the day before; germs are gross. I took his temperature. No fever. I asked him how his belly felt. “It feels good now.” I fed him oatmeal. He got ready. They waited for the bus. And off he went to school.

You know what’s coming right?

He got to school and within 15 minutes, the kid puked. Because of course he did.

I went and picked him up, drove us home, and covered him up in bed. He slept for a few hours while I did a little work. And then he woke up in a state that I can only call Post-Sickness Hyper.

“Mom. Mom. Mom. Hey, mom! Do you wanna do this? Do you wanna do that? Mom! MOM! HEY, MOM!”

When you work from home and you have a Sick Child at home who, post-nap becomes a Very Unsick Child, the guilt rolls right on out. I mean, especially if you already sent him to school once and he puked. Way to get it wrong, mom. I tried to find a balance between sitting on the couch and watching Ninjago (…blink, blink…) and getting some work done.

If you’re wondering, I failed this task in an epic manner. No balance was to be had. I didn’t get my daily workout in until 8:15 after I rushed my sons through their showers, tapping my toe like some kind of task master. I hate feeling like that, doing those things. It leaves a truly awful feeling in the pit of my stomach.

We’re told that we’re supposed to enjoy every moment of motherhood. Don’t rush bedtime. Spend time reading and resting together. Like some kind of linen or pajama commercial. You guys, I just can’t hang with the commercial style life. I’m a mess nine times out of ten, flying by the seat of my pants. No company is ever going to put me in a commercial about our bedtime routine.

But I need to back up. Way to the beginning of the day, before I even woke the hopefully-better but still-sick-child.

Our oldest son always wakes up first. He’s an early riser in a family of non-early-risers and has been since birth. His face is always the first thing I see every single day. THISCLOSE. I got him situated with breakfast before I went to wake up his brother, so he was done, teeth brushed, and off to get dressed while I got Booey up and to the breakfast bar.

I heard him call from his room.

“Mom! I thought you said you were going to lay out a red shirt for me today.”

I nearly sat down and cried.

As you know, women who, for whatever reason, could not strike today during #ADayWithoutWomen, as well as feminist men, were asked to wear red in a show of solidarity. During the news the night before, which yes, my sons ask to watch every night, International Women’s Day as well as the strike came up. Our oldest son asked what wearing red meant. I explained. He asked to wear red. I, being the giant, overwhelmed, semi-failure that I am, had already laid out clothes for the next day, and didn’t remember to switch out his shirt for a red long-sleeved tee.

And he remembered. And called me on it. At 7:35 AM.

I don’t even know my middle name at 7:35 AM.

“Your red shirt is close to the top of your long sleeved shirts drawer. Grab it and put it on.”

And he did.

Yes, I had to work today, both in the form of a working woman and in the form of a mother who has to clean pukey things and wash dishes and do laundry and take dogs out as well as the trash. Yes, I did both paid and unpaid work today. I also shopped from a few women owned businesses. But my eleven-year-old son, my tween, recognized some kind of importance in something I said. Somethings I said, because it’s not like this is the first time I’ve discussed feminism and equality and respect and protest to my sons. No. My greatest task in life is to raise these boys into men who will go to bat for their female counterparts, who view women as equals not as sexualized objects, who don’t view feminism as a bad word.

Today I learned that I’m doing just that. Well. I’ll be.