You know the day. Your's may not have looked just like mine, but you've had it.
I could give all the details. I could tell you about the fact that our puppies have been sleeping inside each evening due to outsmarting their new porch enclosure. I could tell you how excited I was when I heard them crying -- "supposedly" needing to go out to potty at 2:30am. Typical Wendi can't fall back to sleep after a major middle-of-the-night-wakening so she tossed and turned herself onto the couch.
At some point, Hannah joined me on the other couch and randomly called my name to wake me up at 4:30am. Then the light came on as JB made his eggs to go into work around 5:30am. I relocated back to my bedroom only to find Hannah playing Magnatiles instead of sleeping. Into time-out she goes.
I could tell you how cold it was as I let the dogs out to run and quickly jumped into the shower. JB was gone. My in-laws were still out of town. And we don't have a WWOOFer so it was just me needing to get everything done before I did the thing every mother loves to do -- take all four kids with her to the doctor.
I got out of the shower as fast as humanly possible and went to call the dogs. They usually come pretty quickly (especially Arabelle who is proving smart as a whip) so I was a bit confused when I couldn't hear or see them in the black of the morning. I went from door to door in my robe urging them to come in.
Here comes Arabelle. Good girl. And, well, why not ... she's covered in blood.
I put her in her kennel, and quickly changed into farm wear and boots to go and find Ritter. I find him covered in blood as well with a deer skin lying in front of him. Somehow they had gotten into one of the garbage cans with things needing to go to the dump today from JB's weekend hunting expedition.
So now I'm seriously livid.
I have no idea what to do with the dogs as there is no way I have time to add dog baths to my already-way-too-full morning. I check the temperature. It's warm enough for them to be outside so I place them in a secure gated area we have near the end of our driveway. They will have to wait until I get back from the doctor to assess.
Back into the house. Glance at the clock. Set all kids up with a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse so that I can go out and do animals. Ewes watered. Rams watered. Chickens fed. Chickens watered. Chickens counted. Ducks fed. Ducks watered. Pigs fed. Pigs watered.
(Did I mention that I am doing most of this one-handed? I've developed a pretty intense case of tennis elbow. Not sure from what, but it has left me pretty lopsided in what I can do on the farm.)
Back to house.
Undress. Redress in clothes suitable for public consumption. A bit of mascara. Call for kids to do get dressed. Hannah comes down in outfit pictured at right. (Temperature is 41 degrees outside.) I head upstairs to pick something a bit more ... warm. Socks for everyone. Shoes. Teeth. Water bottles. Let's go.
And out the door we go.
So now the story of our pediatrician. We have not been seen at a doctor since we moved to the farm a little over a year ago. With JB at home, we don't have much need. All I really wanted was to make sure my kiddos are up-to-date on their vaccines. The nurse who I talked to on the phone told me that they would all have to have a well-visit/physical before we could get vaccines at this office since we have never been seen there.
So I got four appointments for well visits. But by the time we show up, I have two boys who are showing signs of strep throat.
I walk up to the counter. The nice lady asks me how I am going to pay. I tell them we are self-pay. She tells me that each physical will be $400.
I multiply. Fast. $400 x 4 = $1,600.
She looks at my face and says: "I'd just go to the health department and get vaccines if I were you."
"But I want to have a pediatrician," I say. "We need a doctor."
She understands and decides to change our appointment to two sick-little-boy visits. She tells me to ask the doctor if we can just have this count as a visit for the girls too.
We do the wait-in-the-room-for-a-long-time thing. I'm answering a million questions about bad diseases you can get without vaccines due to a chart on the wall featuring all kinds of scary diseases. Sidge will not stop. I keep saying, "Dad will explain that when he gets home," but it isn't working. "What is tetanus? I can die? That one looks bad. Oh man. I don't want that one."
Our nice doctor is the husband of one of my co-op friends. He readily agrees to get all kids into system without physicals. Oh Praise the Lord for small miracles on a day like today.
Tests boys. Isaac gags when swabbed and throws up. This sends next-to-be-swabbed-Sidge into a crying mess as he watches his brother go down for the count. Somehow he gets swabbed without throwing up himself.
Test comes back.
Both have Strep.
That evens out my day quite nicely.
Prescriptions written, we move onto vaccines. All kids are up-to-date. Very good news. But he offers the flu vaccine for all of them. I agree, but tell him that Isaac is allergic to eggs and can't have the flu vaccine. He informs me that the rumor I had heard is true. These vaccines are now safe for egg-allergy patients.
This leaves Isaac in tears. He always had a free pass on flu shot day. Now he is trying not to cry. The other kids are feeling things are finally fair. I'm just thinking I have one more kid to try to get through a shot.
The doctor leaves, and I am again left in the room with four kids -- trying to entertain them with only the one book they each brought in. We discuss the order of our shots while we wait for the nurse to return. Somehow, through very little discussion, we agree that it will go: Abigail, Sidge, Isaac, and then Hannah.
So after what-feels-like-an-eternity the nurse returns. Abigail is sitting next to Sidge on the big table. I hold her hands, and she gets the shot. She thinks about crying but doesn't and even smiles a bit -- proud of herself for persevering.
But then I look over at next-to-go Sidge. He is freaking out. Apparently he watched the whole thing while I was distracted with Abigail. "Mom did you see that?!" he is crying. "That needle goes all the way into your leg. I can't do that."
He sobs his way through until the shot goes in and then stops crying. "That didn't really hurt," he says.
I don't even say: "I told you so."
Isaac does well.
And then we are in the waiting room "waiting" to be checked out and go home. It's only been two hours since we first arrived (said facetiously.) I'm usually not an overboard mom and am a recovered germ-a-phobe, but sitting in that waiting room with all these snotty kids really has me a bit overwhelmed. Maybe that's because Hannah is laying on the floor, and Abigail has her mouth on the back of a chair. Ugh!
I walk up to the window. If I can pay today, they can offer me 40% off. Well ... done. Yes. Please! In the end it was under $400! A far cry from the $1,600 I was originally quoted. Maybe that was their plan all along. To have me skipping for joy at only paying $400. Either way, if I wasn't so busy trying to keep my kids mouths off of germ-filled surfaces, I'd have been skipping.
We take prescriptions to Walgreens and decide to pass the time waiting for it at TCBY. This was a good mom move. I apologize during our ice cream outing for acting like a raving lunatic on numerous occasions that morning.
Morning? Yes! It is only 11am! Seriously. Isn't it bed time yet? While each of the kids is saying that they forgive me for my poor behavior (not that their's was stellar, but that's not the point. I'm a grown up) Hannah wanders off and creates a foot stool for herself.
I should have done that too. Great idea.
We pick up prescriptions and head home. I grab the mail out of the mail box, and get the kids set up with a Netflix Christmas movie so that I can go and do the noon animal chores.
First I check on dogs. Somehow, they have managed to clean themselves up. I won't ask how. At least they don't need an immediate bath. Good news.
Feed chickens. Water chickens. Collect eggs. Check ewes and rams. Feed and water crabby geese. Feed and water pigs. Discover I never watered the ducks that morning after all. Apologize to them and quickly give them a whole dish of nice fresh water. Let dogs out. Give them treats. Put them on leashes in front yard.
Back in the house. I feel like I have run a marathon and it is just 1pm. I sit down in front of my mail, and God gives me a tiny hug. It's the book I helped edit for Julie Lessman with a note included! I'm still exhausted. Overwhelmed that my husband won't be home until 7:30pm and that Isaac just threw up again.
But seeing this book in print is a good stopping point for my bad day.
Time to make lunch.