December 17, 2008
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.
Never posted a comment before, but had to this time. Well said. Very, very well said.
Posted by: Laura | December 17, 2008 at 01:57 PM
Ezra is just a cutie! And I hope Noah is feeling better soon!
Posted by: Joy | December 17, 2008 at 01:58 PM
Isn't it nice to have affirmation from a professional?!
Posted by: Sarahd | December 17, 2008 at 02:12 PM
Wow, you are such a better person than I am because I would've wanted to hunt her down and choke her (not that I actually would have, of course)...but I'm not technically a Mommy yet so my patience training will come I'm sure. I only hope I can have things as under control as you do.
Posted by: Shelley | December 17, 2008 at 02:13 PM
My mother always said if you can't dazzle them with brilliance you should baffle them with bullshit. That's so true with motherhood -- it's NOT easy, ever, but sometimes you're able to make it look simple. Other times, not so much.
Good luck battling the latest bout of germs.
Posted by: Hillary | December 17, 2008 at 02:14 PM
As a new mom of 7 week old twins, I really, really needed to hear that today. Thank you.
Posted by: Bekki | December 17, 2008 at 02:17 PM
hrmm. there are so many simple solutions like that, which NEVER seem to occur to me. bless her heart.
Posted by: Cary | December 17, 2008 at 02:24 PM
Oh, that poor mom - I am laughing hysterically here at the thought of her mom driving in!!
Poor Noah - hope he's feeling better soon. My girl is sick & sniffly right now too. Sucks.
Posted by: bessie.viola | December 17, 2008 at 02:24 PM
that poor poor mother! i'm not a mom, but i have fought with a carseat before. too bad her mother didn't suggest taking the baby out as well.
Posted by: angela | December 17, 2008 at 02:37 PM
The problem, as I see it, is that they never tell you that the first kid is the "practice kid". It's the second one that really counts....lets not let Noah or my Gameboy know that ;)
Posted by: cursingmama | December 17, 2008 at 02:37 PM
The problem, as I see it, is that they never tell you that the first kid is the "practice kid". It's the second one that really counts....lets not let Noah or my Gameboy know that ;)
Posted by: cursingmama | December 17, 2008 at 02:39 PM
Wow. I cannot count the number of times I have wanted to kill absolute strangers or my own husband for inconveniencing ME! THE ONE WITH THE BABY! WHOSE SCHEDULE IS SO MUCH MORE IMPORTANT THAN YOURS! And my one kid is 8 months old, formula-fed, and pretty damn flexible. Maybe by number two I'll figure out how to chill the hell out. You give me hope.
Posted by: Alyssa | December 17, 2008 at 03:08 PM
Wow. See, now I think that's the main reason my husband was dead set against me getting an infant carseat that unsnapped. It wasn't the cost...he was sure I'd be that woman sobbing in the parking lot, calling him at work to come rescue the baby from my cluelessness.
That poor mom. But no matter what our limitations as mothers, if our kids are healthy, happy and feel loved, I think we're doing a swell job of it.
Posted by: Karen | December 17, 2008 at 03:16 PM
Thank you for sharing that story.
You know, I've been both moms -- the serene one and the OTHER one. Sometimes both, in the same day. It just depends on what moment you happen to catch me.
Congratulations on your ability to keep your cool, despite the mom marathon of events that transpired prior to the doctor's appointment. Been there! Worn that T-shirt so much it's threadbare. LOL
I also just want to give hugs to that other mom. Those days just make you want to shrivel up and cry.
Posted by: Liz | December 17, 2008 at 03:24 PM
Amy, take hope with my story. My kids seem to live at the peds between 18 months and 4 years old. Nothing unusual, just ear infectsion, blah blah...and now, glory be, they are 7 and 10, and have missed 0 days of school, ever! They are really the most healthy kids, and I attribute it all to the first few years germfest.
Posted by: susan | December 17, 2008 at 03:26 PM
I have a similar story about a friend who had just gotten her driver's license. She was driving her mom's stationwagon when it started to rain. She panicked and ended up driving home with her head out the window!
Posted by: Rae Ann | December 17, 2008 at 03:33 PM
Oh my gosh, I can so relate. I think it was nearly 3 months before I dared to carry my daughter somewhere without the car seat. that poor, poor sleep-deprived woman.
Posted by: chiquita | December 17, 2008 at 03:35 PM
Hah. More importantly, why did it not occur to that mother's mother, who drove from God-knows-where, to unbuckle the baby?
Posted by: @tiffany | December 17, 2008 at 03:48 PM
Posted by: Sprite's Keeper | December 17, 2008 at 03:53 PM
I don't usually post (read every single entry, though, oh, yes I do!), but just had to say that's the funniest thing I've heard in a LONG time. Thank you for sharing.
Posted by: Krista | December 17, 2008 at 03:54 PM
Ha! That is great; you are supermom. And my son (who is 3 months old) totally has that owl onesie too!!!
Posted by: fluffy | December 17, 2008 at 03:56 PM
I hope Noah is feeling better soon.
Will you pretty please tape DA NOAH SHOW for us?
I'm not laughing at the poor woman. I'm laughing at her mother. She doesn't have a baby as an excuse.
Posted by: mdvelazquez | December 17, 2008 at 03:59 PM
That's hilarious! But also heartbreakingly understandable.
When they're that little, it's almost like the carseat and newborn are one joined component. The benefit to that is diaper explosions are contained to one surface.
Posted by: MaureenKL | December 17, 2008 at 04:14 PM
Ok, I understand the new mom not having a clue. But her MOTHER couldn't have said, "Um, honey, take the child out of the carseat." That's what's got me thinkin...
Posted by: Monica | December 17, 2008 at 04:31 PM
Look at those chubby, happy chins! I do think you are a frigging amazing parent right now, because having one four-week old baby has been taxing enough for me. I so feel for that woman - when we left the hospital with our newborn, it took us like an extra HOUR because the stupid straps on those carseats are SO NOT INTUITIVE. My husband was in the parking garage digging through the car for the manual, with my MIL on the phone searching the internet for the instructions, I was crying, and two nurses were trying to figure out the carseat straps, while a very bored orderly with a wheelchair rolled her eyes in the hallway. It was a brilliant start to our parenting career. (And BTW - on your last post - you made me feel better b/c my daughter has only rejected 3 kinds of pacifiers, and that pacifier nipple thing is PURE GENIUS.)
Posted by: RJStewart | December 17, 2008 at 04:38 PM
Oh man, I really feel for that woman. Sleep deprivation and baby gear do not mix.
Posted by: Catherine S | December 17, 2008 at 04:42 PM
I'm with you on being torn between wanting to run after her to give her a hug and wanting to laugh 'til I cry.
Why must going to the doctor's office render us new moms to brainless lumps? I'm the mom who took her kid to the doctor's for her 4 month shots, survived the visit and patted herself on the back for being so brave and not crying as she buckled the car seat back in and the nurse came running after her to say that they hadn't actually done the shots yet... Oops.
Posted by: Jessica (from It's my life...) | December 17, 2008 at 05:02 PM
I feel bad for that poor woman. I think we've all been in that sleep-deprived state where you aren't thinking rationally. However, am I the only one who wondered what was wrong with her mother? My mom and husband were fantastic for talking me out of these types of meltdowns when I was a new mom. I wonder why her mom drove all the way there rather than just saying "hey unbuckle the kid."
Posted by: Shawnna | December 17, 2008 at 05:03 PM
I totally wondered about the mom too -- but my guess is that the poor girl was so hysterical that she might have not been explaining the situation very well, so her mom may have thought that the baby was LOCKED in the car, or simply heard her daughter crying on the phone about the baby and the doctor's office and a car and just flew out the door to go "help" with whatever the problem was.
Or, the whole family is a bunch of whittled-down brain-dead pencil erasers. You just never know.
Posted by: amalah | December 17, 2008 at 05:08 PM
I don't even have kids but needed this post anyway. I remember your more nervous posts about Noah and it's pretty bad ass to hear how calm you are. Sorry about the sickness, seems entirely unfair to me.
Posted by: Hilary | December 17, 2008 at 05:21 PM
I'm sorry about his ears that's a bummer. If he keeps getting them every 4-6 weeks for awhile (over 4-5 months) you might want to see an ENT doctor. It made a huge difference for us and I wish I'd done it sooner.
Posted by: Amanda B | December 17, 2008 at 05:35 PM
aw, that poor woman. we HAVE all been there. and lived to tell about it :-)
Posted by: MommyNamedApril | December 17, 2008 at 05:55 PM
Awesome. Great post!
Posted by: nonsoccermom | December 17, 2008 at 05:58 PM
Beautifully said, Amy.
That photo is absolutely perfect, to boot.
Posted by: Angella | December 17, 2008 at 06:13 PM
I've been that mom. The freaked out mom to a 4 year old with a newborn & a new car that I had never put gas in, calling my husband, sobbing, because I AM OUT OF GAS!!!!!! But he talked me down off the ledge and I did get gas.
Maybe her mom just knew what she needed and that was her coming there.
Posted by: Christy | December 17, 2008 at 06:32 PM
ohhh! ahahhaaa, that poor thing! we have ALL been there, that's for sure.
ps, congrats on doing such a great job!
Posted by: just beth | December 17, 2008 at 07:55 PM
Seriously, I actually enjoy reading that your kid(s) is/are sick again because we're on cold #3 in 2.5 months (not including the round of stomach flu) and I'm about to lose my mind.
Oh to not have to wipe a nose in the next 3 weeks. It would be glorious.
Posted by: Motherhood Uncensored | December 17, 2008 at 08:21 PM
Isn't it nice to get recognition when we need it the most?
Posted by: Kristin | December 17, 2008 at 08:54 PM
My pediatrician always tells me I am so together. Hahahahahaha.
But when I go for well baby/child visits I only have one or the other. Not both. THAT is the answer.
The other answer (that I pull out for sick visits) is to have more snacks than a 7-11.
Posted by: Kate | December 17, 2008 at 08:56 PM
I'm always amazed at the number of moms I see shlepping those heavy detachable carseats through stores when it's so much easier to just sling the kid over your shoulder. I bet there's a whole lot of moms who hold their babies only at feeding time and have them strapped in one place or another (carseat, swing, bouncey seat, stroller) all the rest of the time they're awake. So actually carrying them from place to place seems unnatural. Me, I wanted to hold those little bodies to mine as long as they'd let me. And hey, tell your pediatrician that patients who actually show up on time get priority over those who don't!
Posted by: Janie | December 17, 2008 at 10:57 PM
Wow, I don't even have kids and I am totally that other mom! There are the occasional jerks out there who feel compelled to point out my ditzy mistakes, and then there are nice people like you! I love the way you're honest and admit to your own bad days- you make the rest of us feel normal :)
Posted by: Parker_B | December 17, 2008 at 11:01 PM
I just have to say, in regards to this amazing smooshy baby picture:
I can't stop picturing him with a top hat, a monocle and a cigar.
Just thought I'd throw that in there...
Posted by: Monica | December 18, 2008 at 01:37 AM
Isn't it funny how everyone's parenting looks perfect from someone else's viewpoint?
Posted by: ng | December 18, 2008 at 06:43 AM
Janie: I didn't want to be too snarky about the other mom because I'm sure part of her problem was just being sleep deprived, but I would bet the habit of carrying the car seat led to her not being able to think of an alternative in that state.
I also think lugging the whole car seat looks like a mega pain, and am planning to buy just a convertable car seat and not bother with the infant one. It may take a little longer to get out of the car, but using a sling or other carrier looks way more comfortable for baby and mom /or dad.
Posted by: Olivia | December 18, 2008 at 08:47 AM
Oh my god that poor, poor woman. I want to hug her, too. Hope Noah is feeling much better soon!
Posted by: Cat | December 18, 2008 at 09:19 AM
My mom always said if you haven't got it in your head, you need to have it in your legs. I think she was talking about brawn, not beauty. I vaguely remember those days of sleep-deprived stupidity. Fortunately only vaguely... I really don't want to recall details.
Hope it gets better soon for our unknown friend, and for you too.
Posted by: Heide | December 18, 2008 at 09:47 AM
ah, i just love you.
Posted by: jeni | December 18, 2008 at 11:39 AM
Amy - I don't know if anyone has ever suggested this ("anyone" being a doctor) - when my son was litle he was getting ear infections about ever other month. My doctor gave him the pnuemonia vaccine - and he never did have another ear infection after that. just thought I would try & help!!
Posted by: slick63 | December 18, 2008 at 11:51 AM
I just died. The picture at the end killed me. Expect a charge of involunatry manslaughter to be filed shortly.
Posted by: ali | December 18, 2008 at 12:16 PM
Actually got teary from this one...and then forwarded the link to my baby sis, who is due with her first in 7 weeks and starting to freak out. Thanks Amy! You ARE doing great!
Posted by: Jane | December 18, 2008 at 12:46 PM