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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Kind of Day I Had

Today is an eat chocolate buttercreme frosting straight from the tub kind of day. And, that is exactly what I am doing as I type. Not one of my finer moments but I don't really care!

My day today actually began at 12:45 a.m. with a screaming child who was sweating profusely with a 103.7 temperature. Jonas. He had a hard time being comforted. What was pretty funny though is our little glass half full sweetheart couldn't stay mad at me long enough to reject me entirely. In between being spitting mad at me for not knowing how to make whatever was ailing him go away he'd play a little pat-a-cake and give a smile and snuggle back into my chest.... then remember he was really not feeling well and get mad all over again.

Here's my day:

I call the pediatrician's office as soon as they open (9am) and am able to get an 11:45 appointment. It takes me the whole morning to get myself and the four kids ready for the doctor appointment and for the ice skating lessons the girls would have that afternoon since we won't have time to stop back home for their gear. Also, I spent more time than I would have imagined was needed looking for the right outfit to camouflage my heart monitor. I arrive at the office at 11:45 on the dot. I find the nurse to be... uncheerful. Next, I get my first "Are they all yours?" Wow. How did I not see that one coming?

The Nurse Practitioner introduces herself to me by asking why my kids aren't in school. "We home-school." I replied. I notice the smug little look on her face but chose to ignore it.

I like to give people the benefit of the doubt. Even arrogant ones. I am pretty young to have as many kids as I have. People just don't understand that I am a genius- a home schooling genius! How could they? And certainly they must not comprehend the insane amount of self sacrifice it took for me to venture out into this strange, new-to-me world of home education. They couldn't understand the pressure I feel from choosing to take on so much responsibility for our children's educational foundation. All of this is joyful but that doesn't mean that I've got it all figured out. They don't understand how sometimes all the challenges that come with this lifestyle can make me wonder if I've got what it takes. And, how more common than uncommon the questioning attitudes are that wear on me so. They have no clue how often I pray over this decision for the kids' sake.

No, she's not going to put herself in my shoes today. She only wants to stare down her glasses at me. And ask me if Jonas is adopted. "Yes. He just came home from Ethiopia."

"Oh," she says turning to the girls, hand on her hip, "And what do you all think of this?"

Blank stares and crickets chirping.

"They really are such wonderful big sisters!" Pause. LONG pause. "It's very different having a baby in the house, huh girls?" Again the crickets. Can I at least get a little help from my kids please?

She probes for more information. Wants to know his history. And not his medical history.

I politely explain that we have no medical history to share (that should have been in his file since I covered all that with his physician) and that we have limited personal history for him. Then stare her down in silence challenging her to go on and ask me something personal about him again. That shut her up. Pretty unprofessional, me thinks. I;ll just go ahead and file that one in the Con column for this office. Right under being asked every time we go there if I am his mother by every new nurse that sees us. (Would someone please make a notation that "mom is white" in his file!?) It's a good thing I LOVE LOVE LOVE the doctor. He's the best. I don't want to give him up. Even if some of his staff leaves a bad taste in my mouth lately.

So we leave the doctor's office and head to lunch. A treat. Mom's day out with the kids. I figure since we have a good amount of time to burn while we're waiting for ice skating lessons to begin I'll take 'em to lunch. I'm feeling brave despite that small little voice in my head warning me that my first major venture out in public with FOUR kids shouldn't include a child with a double ear infection. Oh well. I can do this! This ain't my first rodeo anyhow. The old me would have panicked if, say, the baby would have knocked his head into the table and split his lip open 5 seconds after sitting down. But not me! I don't mind a little blood. Even when it's floating in my ice water after I share my glass with the baby in hopes that the chill would help stop the bleeding. It does. Crisis averted. Man I'm thirsty. Haven't had a drink ALL day. Que decision to drink from same cup I watched traces of blood dissolve into. Yea, I know I'm gross but thirst will do that to you. It makes a gal desperate. You just gotta put your mind over the matter. Does this mean that maybe I could hang on Fear Factor as contrary to my previous assumption?

Baby back in high chair happily enjoying his first taste of french fries. Something I never would have let the oldest child do before her first birthday. Enter annoying waitress telling me "Boy you got your hands full today!" ( This statement triggers an imaginary laugh track in my head. You know. Like the ones they use for a sitcom. Only this one sounds like warped vinyl)

"Today and everyday" I say with a smile. (Note to self: try not to feel compelled to explain that your not babysitting your son to every Tom, Dick or Sally you meet. Get over it! And if you simply must speak come up with something better than that. Goodness sakes. It sounds kinda depressing. Is that the image you want to convey?)

Oh look at the time! We better get going. I still haven't really figured out how I am going to get the girls dressed and their skates laced while holding the baby. My quick mental calculations tell me I'll need at least 30 minutes.

30 minutes later I realize I hadn't taken into account the baby having a blow out and the girls getting fully dressed (tights and all) before realizing that peeing before they hit the freezing rink might be a good idea (despite my telling them so). Ooops. Someone had a little accident. I do understand. It's hard to get all those layers off (especially those dern tights) when your in a BIG hurry. I wonder how chilly that hiney will get when she hits the ice again. Oh well, she's only slightly damp. (Question to self: does this make me a terrible mommy? That I would sent that child right out in slightly peepee panties because I really don't want to undress her completely to get at them and then have to re-lace those ice skates one handed? Again. On second thought, I will address this deep maternal dilemma some other time....)

Okay the girls are on the ice and the baby is only half delirious from not having any nap at all today. Enter loud mother walking up beside me to startle him just as he was drifting off. She's "talking" to her her baby, "Would you hurry up and go sleepy already!" Funny, I think to myself, that's just what my kid was trying to do. She turns to me and kindly points out that I'm wearing my sling wrong. "See here and here." she embarrassingly calls to my attention, what must have been to the rest of the world, my obvious sling incompetency. "Thanks." I offer. Truly could I be any bigger a goober today!? I think not.

"I was in a rush and I just needed to get him in it so I could have my hands free." At this point I can't tell if the look that crosses her face means that she is identifying with me or thinking I am a complete.... well, you know what.

After the circus that was getting the kids out of their gear we finally left the building and loaded into the car. More accurately I feel like I slinked out of there. A little voice in my head asked me. Did I think I was super woman? What made me think I could do this? Again with the self dialogue: "Oh great now I gotta fight the battles in my mind too. Great!"

The car ride home was oh so special. The two int he back were trying their darnedest to wrestle while buckled. Several threats later I remind them that I am "SUPER SERIOUS!" about what's about to happen to them when they get home.

Pull in the driveway and send the two littles to their room. For. The. Night.

You know what's coming next. The teacher from Charlie Brown. What's her name? We'll the girls start channelling her.

"Yes you can have dinner."

(inaudible whining)

"You'll be dining in your room."

(inaudible yelling)

"I assure you this is not child torture. It's actually saving your lives at this point!"

.....Que chocolate buttercreme frosting.


Melinda said...

Oh Jen, I feel for you, I really do, but you gave me a good laugh as well. :) I have been praying for you all and I hope everyone is doing well with your new normal. It will get easier navigating the world with all four. I am with you on praying daily for God's will on homeschooling. It is such a huge responability and I am daily needing God's grace with me.

Apryl said...

I would have KILLED for a big tub of chocolate icing yesterday. Many incident occurred, involving all children--one, remaining nameless but wearing a body cast, wiped feces on the bathroom wall then secreted away her soiled panties and put on a pair of her sister's. Without wiping her bottom (since she can't and ALWAYS needs my help). Rough day, very rough. Oddly, most of it revolved around spills, poop, and the baby climbing up to high places and trying to fall to his death. Life is so good :)

Btw, when I go to the dr office (since I practically lived there for a few months a while back) during the day with my brood, I always bring along a few pretentious homeschool books. Sometimes we read them, sometimes they are for looks. It's a win/win in my mind :)

Hugs to you!! Just keep pressing on and laughing at the silly situations that you find yourself in!

kangaj1 said...

Oh Jen! Sending you an electronic hug! It was so nice to chat with you today!

Julie said...

Your alive and the kids are still alive so really, I call it a win! You did good girl. Don't let them get you down. "Just smile and wave boys, smile and wave." (Can you tell I've watched Madagascar a few too many times lately????)

the Steiger's said...

Sounds like one of my days. Thanks for sharing. I hope Jonas will get better soon. By the way I did have hazelnut chocolate ice cream tonight.
love, Lenka

Derrick Logan said...

Dang Jen. That's a day. I can identify in no way. You handled ignorant people and blood a heck of a lot better than I would have. My hat's off to you.

It was great to meet Jonas a couple Sundays ago!

Jaime said...

that cracked me up!

Stacey said...

I'm sorry to hear about the bad day and I can only pray that today will go much, much better! You're a great mom and I think you are doing an amazing job! Hang in there :o)

Brooke said...

WRITE. A. BOOK. I will be the first one to buy a copy!

Danielle said...

Why are you so funny even in the midst of your pain? Perhaps because if you weren't, you'd cry. I wish I could TP those nurses' homes. Or at least give them dirty looks. SOmetimes I'm a horrible pastor's wife. Hang in there. I hope Jonas' ears are getting better.

P.S. Owen has decided he will be potty training until he's a teenager. I try to keep him in his slightly peed in undies whenever I get the chance. I've even allowed it in a McDonald's playplace when I was really desperate. Okay, a little more than "slightly peed in undies." There's my confession for the week.

Audrey said...

Oh my gosh, Jen. I just had a chance to read this whole post. I'm glad that you can keep your sense of humor about all this. I felt bad laughing out loud at your very unfortunate day. :)

I have never really understood how it is that people think that they can just say ANYTHING that pops into their heads - inner speech, people!

Hang in there - you are doing great!!

Zack and Rebecca Caldwell said...

You are the best. I was laughing silently so not to wake Caleb....good to know even super moms's like you have those days. You really are a super mom!