Thursday, April 7, 2011

One of Those Days

This week, I'd like to start by addressing you, my fellow women at large.

Dear Ladies,

I understand that when you see my large self out and about, oh, I don't know, let's imagine waddling past you in your local Target store - you notice me.

I get that I am extremely large, and that at any given moment I can be found emitting loud groans while attempting to bend over to wrestle a mid-tantrum Snood off the floor, where he's gone rigid like a WTO protester.

Who could blame you for being drawn to his screams of,


as they echo forth, magnified by the store's miles of linoleum flooring?

BUT, ladies! Having been then lured to the scene, when you find  yourself compelled to add some saucy color commentary to the proceedings such as:

"Looks like somebody's having a bad day!"

"And to think you are going to have TWO!"

...or my personal favorite...

"It only gets harder, mama!"

PLEASE......let me urge you to resist.

Because, ladies, I must warn you in all fairness: I have A LOT of sleepless nights these days and when you say things like this to me, it forces me to use those newfound waking hours PLOTTING YOUR MURDER IN INTRICATE DETAIL.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.



I guess you could say I'm cranky.

I've reached that end stage of pregnancy where everything is just exponentially difficult. It's the stage where if I drop my wallet at eight o'clock in the morning, I spend the rest of the day making elaborate concessions so that I can get by without it, rather than having to bend over to pick it up.

So, you can only imagine how I felt late last week, when I realized that I had to take Snoodie to the hospital to have his blood drawn.

You see, our health care provider (for the sake of this entry let's call them "Paiser Kermanente") is generally quite satisfactory. The doctors are friendly, the staff is helpful, and the facilities are nice and clean. But the place has a few epic downsides, and one of them is that when you need any kind of tests done you have to make a whole separate trip to:



The lab at our local facility is a subterranean purgatory that routinely involves waits of more than an hour while you sit clutching a little paper number in your hand like a disgruntled deli patron, all for the privilege of eventually being stuck with a large needle by a harried medical technician.

And it sucks. Royally.

Which is why, when I took Snoodie in for his 18-month-checkup last month and they told me he needed some bloodwork, I came to the ill-advised conclusion that it would be best if I "brought him back for that some other time" (thus ignoring the tried-and-true parenting rule that when you are deep into a crappy day you might as well get all the crap out of the way, rather than postponing said inevitable crap and wholly ruining some other potentially crap-free day with it).

So it was that I found myself dragging Snoodie to the dreaded lab last Friday. It had been over a month since his appointment, and the doctor was quite unequivocal when he called to follow up on the tests that no, I could not just "assume" that the Snood's lead levels were fine. I needed to get his blood drawn. For realsies.

So there Snoodie and I sat in our vinyl chairs at the beginning of what was shaping up to be the WORST...DAY...EVER. I grabbed NUMBER 59 and looked up sadly at the ticker to confront the fact that they were "Now Serving" NUMBER 23. It was going to be a while.

As the numbers ticked by with INSANE slow-ocity, I was trying to keep the Snood entertained, so as not to add to the plight of our fellow lab patrons. I was swimming Goldfish into his mouth one by one while making fun (yet subdued) fish noises...I was reading "Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus" repeatedly in the quietest silly voice I could muster. We were going for walks. I was changing diapers on the bathroom floor for want of a changing table. I was dancing as fast as I could.

Here's a brief sample of my internal monologue for the hour:

"Grumble, grumble, grumble....I hate the stupid lab....oh, Snoodie, give me a break...please don't drop Goldfish down that man's've pooped? Really?..... *sigh*....OK, let's try the goldfish again...I'm in hell, I'm in hell - I'm in a laboratory purgatory from which I may never escape....OK, how about we read our book one more time? NO?  You'd rather punch me angrily in the jaw? That's unfortunate. How is this my life? I hate the universe."

I was miserable, and things only took a turn for the worse when our number was finally got called and I had to pin the Snood down while the tech stuck the needle in. Snoodie started screaming a desperate scream that seemed to translate to:

"What? Mommy?! How could you be any part of this? I thought you loved meeeee!"

It was heartbreaking.

When it was all over I limped back towards the waiting room with the now-whimpering Snood in order to belt him into the stroller and beat a hasty retreat, genuinely hoping I could forget the whole day had ever happened.

As I was throwing the last of my scattered items into my diaper bag an elderly lady who had been sitting next to us throughout our whole wait tapped me gently on the shoulder and said:

"I just wanted to tell you what a joy it was watching you all this time with your little boy. You are such a good mommy for him and I know how much he must appreciate you."

Then she tapped the knee of her 60-something son, who sat next to her and added,

"I wish I could tell you how fast it all goes. Enjoy every moment with him...I know I did with mine."

I smiled at her as Snood and I rolled away.

I think it might have been one of our best days ever.