Monday, April 13, 2015

The Disastrously Successful Outing

I never get to see the doctor. That is, any doctor that is not checking on an in utero child of mine. My husband only has one day a week where he is off early enough to schedule appointments for kids, dog, myself, etc, during other people's business hours. Friday afternoons. That's all I get. And up until recently, those afternoons were taken up with my OB check ups. Any free ones were quickly taken up by my husband's dentist appointments, children's check ups, car inspections and oil changes. Fridays are super fun. So, as always, I haven't seen a dentist now in almost 3 years, and I've been wearing the same contacts (the trial pair given me at my last appointment, because like a complete idiot, I kept forgetting to order the prescription) for 10 months. By the way, I thought they were 3 month lenses. Turns out, there's no such thing, and they were actually 2 week lenses. So I was even less responsible about my eye care than I originally thought. Woops. So this past week, my eyes got to such a state of dry irritation, that something HAD to be done. The WalMart doctor was booked solid on Saturday, so I, going without contacts or glasses at all, had no other choice but to make an appointment for Monday afternoon which meant taking all four children with me. Oy.

I was optimistic. I could do this. Easy. Make sure Charlotte's nursing schedule works out so that she eats about 30 minutes before we have to leave. Easy. Make sure we complete at least half of our school lessons before we leave. Easy. Make sure Isaac's diaper is changed and the three older children are ready to go out the door before I pack up the baby. Noooo problem.

We did no school. None. I didn't get a single lesson in, between the needs of each child, the dog, myself, there was never the time to get started, so I gave up. Then, I forgot to take into account the number one rule of being a baby. They are always in desperate need of something at the exact time you should be walking out the door. I knew I was in trouble when Charlotte wanted to nurse at about 10 am. She eats about every two and a half hours during the day, so that would mean her next feeding would be at my appointment time of 12:30. Greeeeaaat. I tried like heck to squeeze in a feeding at noon (which was when we should have been heading out the door). Though she acted all about it and hungry as anything, that 30 minutes early feeding resulted in a whole lot of spit up. At 12:20 I was finally getting her strapped in, no time for an outfit change. She spit up more all over the car seat. At 12:25 I was getting everyone into the car. I forgot the infant carrier. Turn around, get it, she spits up some more, this time, hitting her car seat cover. We were in the car to leave by 12: 32, two minutes after my appointment time. 

I also forgot to take into account the nice weather. Oh, as soon as the sun shines in Buffalo, there's a traffic jam any given time of day, so we proceeded to our destination at a snail's pace. I arrived in the WalMart parking lot at 12:48. Now, there is no way of looking like a seasoned, experienced mother while trying to get 4 kids out of a car, including a toddler and infant, and not lose one to one of the ever so famous WalMart parking lot speed demons, who pay no mind to pedestrians.

I had the oldest two crawl out first, while I was strapping Charlotte into the infant carrier on my chest. They were so thrilled to be outside, in sunshine and warmth, that Chastity nearly darted out behind the van. "Stay RIGHT next to me!" I yelled, wishing I could duct tape them to the side of the van while I got everything. As I strapped Charlotte on, with careful burp cloth placement, my cell phone fell out of the diaper bag, crashing onto the pavement, battery flying. No time to put that back together, I threw the pieces into the diaper bag, and asked Chastity to hold the bag...which she promptly grabbed from the bottom, nearly turning the whole, open thing, upside down, "Chastity!" I took the bag back, zipped it back up, handed it to Elijah. Except the keys were in it, and I still hadn't gotten Isaac or the stroller out of the car. I took the bag back, got my keys, got Isaac into the stroller somehow, and by 12:56 we were on our way. That's right. 8 whole minutes at the van. Not even inside yet.

Disastrously successful. That's the optimist in me. I could have titled this, Successfully Disastrous, but I felt that would have been misleading. It was not, in fact, a complete disaster, because once we got inside, everything changed. The doctors were all incredibly patient and understanding. Charlotte slept through the whole appointment, right on my chest. Isaac sat in the stroller, playing with his car quietly while the doctor examined me. Elijah and Chastity sat in the waiting room, just two doors down, reading the books I had told them to pack. (Yay me, for remembering to pack entertainment! Win!) The whole thing took just under an hour, from appointment to frame fitting, to paying. And just as we were about to walk away, the woman who had checked me in, asked me, "What is your trick?"

"I'm sorry?" I asked, not understanding the question.

"What is your trick, you know, to such well behaved kids?" She smiled, "They are so well behaved!"

Oh, you know, frequent whoopings, I thought to myself, but decided she may not find that funny. I laughed, "I couldn't even tell you," I shook my head in disbelief of how smoothly that actually went. "We've just been blessed with these great kids!"

We walked away, and I took the kids to pick out a treat from the cookie isle.

That whole time, I was acting like a spaz. I was throwing tantrums. First rushing Charlotte through a feeding, in a panic about being late, then yelling at traffic, which is completely unproductive. Then muttering under my breath about my broken phone.

These kids were being dragged somewhere boring, somewhere they didn't want to be, when all they wanted was to go to the park. They were ripped from their normal, daily schedule, and asked to be still, be quiet, and behave in strange surroundings. And in spite of my own spaztacular behavior, they did so, no questions asked. They did not blink an eye at the things which were out of their control, and if I don't try, with all my strength, to be more like them, they, will inevitably become more like me.

Yes, they deserved the day off from school. They deserved cookies, they deserve the park, and, no matter how tired I may be, they deserve fun mom! Not beat down, dog tired, grumpy, whiny mom, who begs them to never act that way themselves.

Fun mom is putting on her shoes. Let's do this.

1 comment:

  1. ah! been there. My kids to, when they were little, acted quite good 60% of the time when we were out and about. My oldest is autistic, didn't know it when he was little. Explains the screaming-throwing-himself-on-the-floor-or-at-sharp-corners that happened the other 40% of the time. I got adept at reading moods! I hate parking lots and to this day have to fight the urge to hold my 14 & 16 yo hands while walking to the stores - so I just herd them now. lolz