Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A Morning in the Life

It's 6:30, I'm in bed and listening to Joel thrash about on the monitor. He's always such a happy baby in the morning...unlike Owen, who woke up screaming, Joel will coo, examine his hands, and kick the air joyfully for a good fifteen, twenty minutes.

This would be the quietest part of my morning by far.

Fast forward through breakfast, getting dressed, etc. to Joel's morning nap. Or, I should say, lack of it, since he was awake after snoozing for a whopping twenty-five minutes. I pile the boys into the car, pleased as punch that there will be enough time for me to run a few errands before Joel's four month well visit with his doctor.

I go to the dump, which, I'm frustrated to find, is staffed by Old Cigar-Chomping Man, who is too busy talking about the Redskins game to help me with my trash. I far prefer slightly less old Elmer Fudd Cap Wearing Man, who always helps me heave the bags into the dumpster. For those of you reading this outside of Calvert County, yes, I have to go to the dump, usually at least two times a week. You have to pay for trash pick up in these here parts.

Dump run complete, I arrive at Educate and Celebrate, the only place in town besides Wally World that sells toys---we have two birthday parties this week. Naturally, it's closed for another fifteen minutes. We walk over to Safeway, buy some coffee, and then go to the Hallmark store to kill some time. Bad idea. EVERYTHING in Hallmark is breakable and makes noise. So, I have Joel in the Bjorn, I'm attempting to hold Owen's hand, and a cup of hot coffee (away from Joel's head, thank you very much) teeters in my remaining free hand. As soon as the clock strikes ten, I head next door to the toy store.

I enter the store, and literally, as soon as I enter the store, a woman asks me if she could interview me for the local paper, The Calvert Recorder. How could I refuse this, possibly my fifteen minutes of fame? (Okay, total disclosure: I was in The Calvert Recorder a few years back for a "Meet your Teacher" feature. So, let's call a spade a spade and say that I am a publicity hound and take any opportunity for attention, no matter how fleeting...) Anyway, she asks me what I'm getting my kids for Christmas, and how the recession is changing my spending habits. Since I wasn't planning on buying much for the kids to begin with, I'm not a very interesting interview topic. However, I do steal an idea from my friend and say that I'm going to take Owen to the dollar store so he can learn how to "give, not just get" by buying small gifts for family members. Thanks, Jamie, for the idea. We'll see if it makes the paper this Friday...

So, after my interview, I realize that I have five minutes to select three gifts, pay for them, pile the boys into the car, and make it to the doctor on time. I can so do this. I'm racing around the store, putting items in the cart, and then, I hear it:

"Mommy, I need to go poo-poo." Naturally, I have no diaper bag, since I need my hands to hold my coffee, lug around the baby, and push the cart. If Owen poos his pants, it will be a disaster of epic proportions. The cleaning alone would make us late for Joel's appointment. My eyes dart around the store, frantically looking for the bathroom.

"Moooommmmy, I need to go poo-poo! It's a very, very big one!" Oh dear! I finally make eye contact with the lady behind the counter.

She helpfully says, "There's too much dangerous stuff by our bathroom. You'll need to take him to Safeway."

Damn. "Okay! Thanks a lot!" I say, leaving the full cart in the middle of the store, dragging Owen by one hand, swigging coffee with the other, Joel hanging limply from the Bjorn throughout it all. We make it back to Safeway, as Owen lets the baggers, managers, fellow shoppers, and deli employees know that not only does he need to go poo-poo, but it's a poo of epic proportions.

We make it, Owen does his thing, there is much rejoicing, and we all race to the car. I screech up to the doctor's office, and use the valet service because, as usual, there is no parking AND we're ten minutes late. We arrive, panting, to the office.

And proceed to wait twenty minutes.

After sitting for ten minutes, a twitchy dad (who, incidentally, came in after me), lumbers up to the receptionist and asks, "How much longer will I have to wait?" The nurse explains that there are two patients ahead of his daughter. He proceeds to announce, "I'm gonna order a pizza, since I have to wait so long. Anybody else want anything?" So. Calvert. County. I mean, really? You need nourishment to sustain yourself during a twenty minute wait? You would rather scarf down a pizza in the waiting room of a pediatrician's office than just...wait?

I couldn't restrain myself, "You're having it delivered here?"

He said, "Damn straight. You'll wish you ordered some, too."

I never had the chance to. Joel's name was called next, and we went back and learned that he is growing well (75% percentile for height, weight, and head), that he has an ear infection, and despite my suspicions, does NOT have an extra nipple. He also got three shots, and cried like, well, a baby.

We left, Rx in hand. Joel was done. I was soooo done. Owen? He was still talking about the size of his poo.

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