So...if I were to mine my own life for a post topic today, I'd unfortunately be forced to report that Noah is once again home from school with an ear infection.
(Scene: Doctor's Office. Yesterday.)
DOCTOR: (after hearing Noah's cough) Has he been checked out?
AMY: (waves dismissively) Oh, he's fine. Just a cold.
(Scene: Noah's Room. Like, Not Even Eight Hours Later.)
NOAH: (holding his ear and howling in pain)
AMY: Wait. Don't tell me. I think I know this one.
(Seriously. Fuck this noise and this nasal drip. Fuck them DIRECTLY. Noah attended a birthday party on Sunday at one of those little gym-type places, and I made a joke to another mother that I SWEAR, we walk into one and within 48 hours Noah is sick. It was a JOKE! You didn't literally have to whip out the stopwatch, Universe. Christ.)
(I am maybe getting the hang of this, though. Crank up the humidifier in Noah's room, start calling his bookshelf the "library," haul out a Duplo train set and dub it the "imagination center," declare the laundry pile the "tactile center," climb into his bed with baby, laptop and coffee and ta-da! Instant preschool. With way less germs! Except for the ones he's coughed and oozed all over his sheets...in his bed...where I am sitting right now. With the baby. And. Hmm.)
(Please hold! Going to do some laundry real quick.)
Anyway, I cannot even imagine how sick y'all must be of hearing about how sick we all be, so I'm going to break format and tell a story about someone else, simply because I don't know if this individual has her own blog, and the story MUST be told.
Because of a scheduling mix-up, I had no choice but to bring Noah to Ezra's appointment yesterday. (Apparently a 9:45 am appointment on a Wednesday actually means a 1 pm appointment on a Tuesday in Pediatric Office Receptionist Land.) It was raining, Noah was coughing, we got a late start out the door and I ended up breaking all the usual traffic laws to get us there on time. In order to keep things as streamlined as possible, I left the carseat in the car and opted for a sling instead, so I could have two free hands to corrall Noah from the ultra-fun waiting room with the televisions into the boring exam room.
And there, we waited. And waited. Finally the doctor stuck her head in and apologized, because it would be a few more minutes. I was wedged into an armchair with both boys -- Ez on the boob while I read a Charlie Brown book to Noah -- and assured her that we were fine. When Noah tired of the book I had no problem letting him compose a "song," an awesome (AND TOTALLY NOT ANNOYING) activity that involves banging out a rhythym on every available surface in the room to hear the differences in pitch. It's educational! And also, not my house! Have a blast, kid. You just may drown out the screams from the flu shot clinic two rooms down.
I noticed a weird, bemused look on her face right before she closed the door.
When she reappeared, I was reading a medical brochure about ADHD to Noah (he thought the dark-haired little girl on the cover was Dora, and did not seem to notice the difference several pages in), and she apologized again.
She was running late because her last patient was late. Very late. Because she'd been out in the parking lot, panicking. Because she could not get her infant's carseat out of the car.
She didn't want to leave the baby, and since she did not, apparently, have the doctors' office number on her phone, she ended up calling her mother, who drove all the way from God knows where to help her get the carseat unhooked from the base and into the office.
"And so I asked her," the doctor continued, "'Why didn't you just unbuckle the baby and bring him in without the carseat?' And she looked at me and admitted that had never occurred to her."
I stared at her, not knowing whether to bust a gut laughing...or rush out after that poor woman and give her a big hug and let her cry into Noah's snotty tissues that I had mashed into every available pocket. She went on.
"And then I look in here, and you're alone with two kids and one is coughing and the other nursing and you have the smallest diaper bag I've seen all day and no stroller and you're just as relaxed as can be and..."
She trailed off and shook her head. "You're doing SO GREAT."
I flashed back to that morning. How irritated I'd been when I realized that I needed to keep Noah home from school. The TV I'd bribed him with so I could nurse and maybe squeeze in an extra 30 minues of sleep. How my lunch consisted of some microwaved mac and cheese that I frantically shoveled into my mouth while drying at least some of my hair and Ezra howled in protest from a swing. The not-very-nice tone I'd used while mushing Noah's feet into his shoes because we had to go go go right now hurry up, even though I was the one who chose the extra 30 minutes of sleep that was costing us DEARLY, and dear God, thank you for realizing that you can't take the empty wrapping paper tube with us but why do you have to put it down so slllloooooowly, and how can the baby be hungry AGAIN and Noah! Cover your mouth when you cough, pleeeeeeease.
Then I looked back down at Ezra's rolly polly body and over at Noah, who was adorably hamming it up in front of a mirror, raising his arms and announcing that it was time for DA NOAH SHOW YAAY!!!
Maybe not always so great, and definitely not perfect, but eh. Good enough. And I'll take it.
And to that other mother, wherever she is: We've all been there, and we've all eventually figured out how those blasted carseats work, and regained at least some of our problem-solving abilities.
You're doing great.