Today could have possibly been the hardest day of my life, and I truly hope you don't remember it when you're grown.
This morning was your four year check up with Dr. Stone. I was so proud of myself. I got you there on time. By myself. Your Dad ended up having an emergency with a calf that ruptured and had to go back and meet the Vet.
Smooth sailing I thought. After all, you're four years old now and since that magic number came knocking on our doorstep last week ... life has been wonderful. I can do this. Alone. People that work in daycares have more kids than three .. and I know other Mom's that have even a higher order of multiples, and they do it, ... and so can I. Well, after today, I vow to admire them greatly.
We arrived. We checked in and I was smug. You of course had already started crying because you didn't want to be there .. but I blew it off and helped you suck it up.
When I saw the receptionist looking at me repeatedly with a very frantic look in her eye, my smugness started to disappear. I felt panic in my stomach and knew that something was terribly wrong. Then with a white face she leaned out through the window and said to me, "You are NOT on the schedule for today."
WHAT! I have to be ... I just moved heaven and earth to get these kids here on time, juggled my job and pulled myself together to boot. "You're mistaken", I said, "You're the one I spoke to on the phone and I wrote it down on my calendar right then, and again in another place while we were talking."
Of course, the entire waiting room was full of Mom's with kids waiting to get their flu shot and they all got that same smug look that I was wearing only two minutes before.
The receptionist then said to me, "There is no way we can see you right now .. but you can come back at 3:00pm today or reschedule. Today was not the day you were scheduled." I was feeling defeat and was almost ready to reschedule, then I said, "Well ... when was I scheduled?"
She said to me, "Well ...... (long pause ) Your appointment is for this same date and time ... only it's in 2009." The light bulb suddenly clicked on in my head and my smugness reappeared as quickly as it turned tail and ran, and yes, you were all still clinging to me and whimpering and whining like I was sending you to the gas chamber.
For once I knew that I had to stand my ground ... for I knew that they wouldn't cut me any slack if the shoe was on the other foot ... and I said, "I'm sorry, but you put the appointment in for the wrong year ... and I can't come back later today. I live 30 miles from here and what am I supposed to do with three kids in town all day. I have to go to work, and it's flu season, and I want my kids to have their flu shots today like I was scheduled." ... and yes, you continued to climb up my legs like Opossum babies with red eyes and snotty noses dripping on my shirt tail. I was able to keep my balance and stand there with almost 100 lbs of kids hanging from every limb while the receptionist called the nurse and told her that we could/would not come back later in the day.
Yes, you had your appointment and yes, it took right at one and one-half hours as scheduled. You had your four year exam, your flu shots and your four immunizations. It wasn't pretty kids, but I survived. You screamed until the walls shook, and I held my head up high as we walked out through at least 30 patients into a waiting room that was so full, that people were standing up ... and they were no longer smug.
(The rest of the story will be added tonight when my Littles are safely carried up the stairs after being sedated with Tylenol.)
ADDED: I love you kids ... more than you can ever imagine, but today I wanted to disown you for a short period of time. You are smart kids, and you proved it today with Dr. Stone. You were totally in charge. When she came in to do your well check, she talked to you and kidded around and ask you all questions that you know. You all gave her the silent treatment. After you made that secret pact that you make with only a gaze in each other's direction ... you huddled and ignored her, and stared right through her. You never uttered a single word to her. Not one. The entire visit.
I'm sure she thinks I'm fibbing when I told her how smart you were and that you know your letters, and your numbers, and you can trace your name and carry on full conversations, and you can identify almost every thing you see. You huddled and you refused and became almost stuporous and catatonic until she gave up. I vow this day to pay you back when you're a teenager ... out of love of course.
I was never so thankful to leave a place in my life. But I had to get you out the door, and you refused to walk because your legs hurt. I felt like a bad Mother because I knew that I couldn't carry all three of you out, and I knew that if I just kept walking you would follow. So out the door I went with all of you screaming after me. All in a row.
So I learned today .... that magical number four has a bad side to it, and it hopped aboard and went with us today. Let's pray that when you go back next year ... it's long gone and you will at least utter a sound and make eye contact with Dr. Stone ... and remind me, to not do this again alone.
Did I like you today? Not much. Do I love you? Forever and Always.
Thursday, October 23, 2008