The next time y'all see me and I've gone completely grey, consider the following:
1. My lovely afternoon shopping trip for Whitney and Clint's wedding present was sullied by this comment, chirped by a toddler girl in my back seat, "Mommy! I swallowed my penny!"
2. This came after I spent an unconscionable amount of time trying to get a box out from under my minivan. I was hot, flustered, and tired. And let's just say that this particular little girl doesn't have a reputation for complete honesty. And she's 2, after all. I replied, "You did not!" To which she replied, "I did!"
3. I'm faced with a dilemma at this point. I need to go to the store. I don't want to rebuckle twins in car seats if I can avoid it. So I called the doctor on the cell (yes, the number is on speed dial) and asked them what the protocol is when a 2-year-old swallows a penny. Their response was to get a bit hysterical. "Can she breathe?"
"Is she choking?"
"Are you sure?"
"How old is she again?"
"She'll be 3 next month."
"Is she changing colors at all?" I was tempted to say, "Um, no, she's still brown..." but I said, "No," and they asked most of the questions again. By this time, the twins were laughing and playing in the back seat and I said, "You can hear her playing back there. She's acting fine. I just need to know what I'm watching out for and if she needs to see a doctor today." So they said they'd call me back. I gave them my cell number and left.
4. And once I was at Target, I was reminded of why it is that I don't like to take the twins shopping anymore. Keziah talks. Nonstop. I do mean nonstop. And loudly and usually in a piercing soprano tone. Fortunately her brother was asleep while I was pondering the intricacies of the registry but awoke after a time. At which point his sister announced in tone which probably cracked glass in the next aisle, "Bubbie's awake! Day-did's awake! Look, Mommy! He's awake!" And David announced, in tones of gloom and doom, "I have to go potty, Mom!"
5. I hate taking them to public restrooms. Enough said.
6. With both the twins awake, talking, trying to stand up in the cart, etc., I was trying to hurry to finish the shopping and get home. Keziah announced to everyone within earshot that she'd swallowed a penny. Yes, I'm the mother with the loud, unruly toddler twins that swallow random pennies, moldy bread, etc., then announce it to the world.
7. When I finally got home, I asked the girls if the doctor's office had called. "Oh yeah, Mom, I forgot to tell you. They called a long time ago and wanted you to call them back." Now I'm the irresponsible mother who doesn't call back the doctor's office until the cusp of the 5PM quitting time. Naturally, they told me I had to take her in for an x-ray, and where would I want that to occur? I mentioned that only one of the satellite offices was open at this point and I'd certainly rather drive 30 minutes there than an hour downtown. They faxed the orders over there. I, completing my role as bad mommy, took time to put dinner in the oven, feed my starving toddlers, and change clothes for church (hoping against hope that I might make it out of the office in time to go).
8. In the meantime, Rachel has been complaining about her ear hurting for the last couple of days. Rachel tends to complain about the least little thing, then pretend that it doesn't bother her and that she's tough. I knew her ear hurt, though, and the outer wall of it (the pinna, if you will) was reddish and hot to the touch. I thought that somehow her ear piercing must have gotten infected but it looked fine, so I was going on the assumption that that was the case. When I got home, she said, "Mom, my ear really hurts." I looked at it, then flinched mightily. In the course of the last 8 hours, it had developed a big nasty blister, filled with nasty fluid, and two smaller blisters. The girl's ear isn't that big to begin with...this was just flat awful. Then comes the weighing of the options. Do we wait until tomorrow and see if it's better? Is it better to go to the Urgent Care (where I was already taking Keziah) and run the risk that it would cost more there than it costs to take her to the doctor? Decisions, decisions. I finally decided to take her with me and get it looked at there. A good choice, as the case was.
9. When I got to Urgent Care, I filled out my two forms to have two different children seen. They called me right away to fill out Keziah's permissions, etc., then called me to another booth to fill out Rachel's stuff. I raised my hand and said, "That's me too..." You'd have thought that people never brought more than one child into a medical office at a time. It flummoxed them. They also couldn't get their heads around the fact that Keziah was adopted and I didn't appreciate their questions about the "natural parents". Yes, she's adopted but I'm not an "unnatural parent". I get so sick of having to correct those sorts of comments. I'm not a PC-type person by any stretch but that one just sticks in my craw.
They finally got it sorted out and took us back for Keziah's x-rays. I was prepared to report that Keziah didn't tell the truth and for once I was happy about that. Fat chance. There was her penny, nice and big, already having passed through her stomach. Oh, and she does have at least part of a second set of teeth. Good to know.
10. Did you know that it can take 1-4 weeks for a penny to "pass"? Who's wishing she hadn't been so efficient in potty training?
11. Rachel's blisters turned out to be a staph infection due to an insect bite. Otherwise known as impetigo. Yay. Very contagious. At least the antibiotics will help. She will be out of the pool for at least a week, though, and she is in mourning. Thanks to Meijer, her antibiotic is free...yay!
12. We made it to church, only half an hour late. My nerves were already shot and I was flat exhausted. I'm not sure what I got out of the study of Jude, but I hope that it will click at some point. At least my son was happy to see me.
13. Oh, and I'm sure I didn't relate why it is that the twins are now banned from my shopping trips to Meijer. Keziah wandered away from the penny horse rides last week. Rachel had taken the babies over there while I was checking out. She came up to me and said, "Tell me that Keziah is over here."
"No, she isn't."
"Well, she isn't with me."
Pause. "Well go find her!"
This was after a long, excruciating excursion with all 5 children. I was nerveless by this time. The cashier said, "Do you want me to call a search?" I must have looked at her like I was stoned. I guess I should have been more concerned but I honestly didn't think she'd run away or even gotten far. I finally said, "Yes, that would be a good idea." (Now if I get arrested for being a lousy mother, you know why.)
It took about 5 minutes and 5 Meijer employees (plus the three big girls) but they found her. She had wandered past the checkouts, back to the pharmacy. The only thing I can think of is that she must have been looking for me and missed me at the checkouts.
And that my friends, is why mothers get grey.
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