My week started to go awry on a Wednesday, when my son was scheduled for his 2.5-year check-up. Our "pediatrician" is one of those mega-offices employing two dozen practitioners in half a dozen different offices. I picked up my son from school and sat in the waiting room for 10 minutes before learning that I was in the wrong place (wrong city, even). No worries, I was told -- they could squeeze me in. I might have to wait "a little while." Were I using my brain, I would have canceled on the spot. But of course there's that Mommy Guilt. And so I drove and waited -- 1.5 hours -- to have my son seen for 5 minutes and to learn (as I already knew) that he is perfectly healthy, even if his projected adult height is 5'2". I missed the start of naptime at school, so Mommy didn't get much work done that afternoon.
Thursday afternoon, my daughter had a sedation dentistry appointment for two cavities so tiny they didn't even require novacaine or drilling. Six hours and many tears later, we were finally home. Success! But again, Mommy didn't get much work done.
Friday, both kids had no school. I had a conference call mid-day and somehow acquired a neighbor child for a play date. Five minutes into the call, my kids got into a tug-of-war over a bag of Goldfish, with much shrieking entailed. (Of course everyone knows when Mommy is on the phone with work, it's the best time to cause much mayhem.) The highlight came (at a moment when the phone was not muted, naturally) when my daughter exited the bathroom, shouting, "Mommy, is my butt red?"
Saturday, my daughter woke up with sniffles, rubbed all the skin off her toe at a play date, and cried when we tried to leave her with a sitter, which we ultimately did not have the heart to do.
By Tuesday, she was home sick. Wednesday -- more of the same. Thursday she was better but not better enough to go to school. I dragged her with me to the community college where I teach. "It will be boring!" she wailed. It was a 45-minute trip, and she asked to stop twice en route to use the bathroom. Once we arrived, she asked for cereal. She asked for a drink. Finally, she tugged on my sleeve and said, "Mommy, is it okay if I sleep on the floor?" And then she lay, flat on the tile floor in the middle of my classroom. "Maybe we'll end early," I said to the class. On the way home, I got a call from the air duct cleaners who had previously been scheduled to try to eradicate the odor of cat urine from all our vents (courtesy of one territorial kitty). He (the man, not the kitty) was early; he did not speak English; and he was lost. He called four times. We beat him to the house and quickly departed for a hastily-arranged appointment to check my daughter for a UTI. This time we made it to the right office, but my daughter refused to pee in the cup, so all was for naught. We were sent home with a new cup, just in time to see the air vent cleaner (yes, I left a stranger in our house alone) depart. Our house still smells like cat pee. My daughter, meanwhile, was so determined not to pee in the cup that she "held it" for over 12 hours. I decided this capability ruled out a urinary tract infection, master diagnostician that I am.
They say nature abhors a vacuum. Our vacuum cleaner is, of course, broken.
After many days of watching me "work," Kate made me proud by declaring that she wants to be a writer when she grows up. Or a cowgirl, she later amended. Yee-hah!
Someday all these crazy years will make me a better writer and not just insane, right? Someone please reassure me if you've made it this far! Does anyone have any tips for Butt in Chair that don't involve shaving any more hours of sleep or neglecting my children any more than I already do? All you Mommy Warriors who have been there -- please share! TIA and with much gratitude! JM