Well, it was bound to happen sooner or later. My first day as "under-the-weather Mom" and all four children were in my care. Mary and Paul do not have school on Fridays. I had originally planned to enroll Paul, Mary, and Sam in gymnastics today (enrollment started today and it fills up fast) as well as get Mary and Paul to school anywhere between 8-10 for pictures.
Well, the past two afternoons I had run a fever that responded fairly easily to Tylenol. I canceled plans to visit with Mike and Diane (and tribe) earlier this week for fear that I may be contagious. It is harvest time around here and I've been sniffing but it could be simply more residue in the air, especially as there is a field abutting our property.
I woke this morning at 1 a.m. and knew immediately the source for the fever. I had an ear infection. It hurt to place my head on the left side. If I moved my jaw in a certain manner I would gasp and grimace and try NOT to cry. Ugh!
So I head to the living room and try not to wake the boys (they are still on "light" sleep mode and feel entitled to waken anyone if they emerge during our sleep cycle). I tried various comfort measures, watched some programs I had TiVo'd, researched when the urgent care opened, and planned the logistics for attending the clinic and pharmacy with the kids.
I was on the road by 8. And I was tickled pink by how few times I had to verbally "corral" the kids. The waiting room had a large fish tank. I've been attempting to explain the concept of carving a pumpkin to the boys and there were enough "fake" examples at the clinic to detail. Sam did attempt (semi-successfully) to shuck a scarecrow decoration before I could curtail. That was our only time out.
We drew attention, my crew and I. The children held hands and were quiet and orderly in the halls. If anyone approached then Mary would launch into a diatribe . . .
"My name is Mary and I'm five years old. This is my sister Julia. These are my brothers Paul and Samuel. I'm five and Paul is five. Sam is three and Julia is two. Julia is from China and Paul and Sam are from Ethiopia. I'm from her!" while jutting a thumb in my direction.
My immediate reaction was to laugh which evoked more pain and sent me into a spasm which caused my nose to run. The staff winked and smiled in return. The children beamed.
We were led down the hallway and my vitals were obtained. Paul discovered the "sticker" bin and each child was able to claim one. We went to the largest examination room they had. Paul hesitated upon entering the room but I assured him that we were there for ME, not for him. He immediately began to relax (and explore).
I began to attempt to prepare him for having his blood drawn in the near future to obtain his titers for vaccinations and he explained to me that he had his blood drawn four times previously and had NOT cried. Even Samuel did not cry.
I told him that I didn't cry either, Mary did cry but would hold still, and Julia would fight like a tiger and require three adults to attempt to locate a suitable target. He laughed.
When the doctor arrived she confirmed my infection. Before we exited she asked how I coped. I told her senility played a factor. (Actually, I do remember calling my friend Coni in Memphis when I first learned we were expecting and telling her she'd have to prepare to travel frequently to Wisconsin to help me remember where I put the baby). I assured her that I was very human and subject to "grumpy Mama" mode as well as "angry Mama" to which my children laughed but confirmed.
We now headed to the pharmacy . . . Walgreens. Now I have gone on limited outings with the children since we arrived home with the boys. We've gone to McDonalds once, WalMart fairly frequently, church once, school, and that is it. I knew that Walgreens would not have large enough carts to assemble the little ones without fussing over who was in front/back so we were going on foot power alone.
And they were remarkable - really. I was told it would be 15 minutes (which was 25) and all of the six seats to wait were empty. I directed the kids to the four in a row and took mine facing them. I was still very uncomfortable but insistent on bottoms on the chair seats and no sliding, changing seats, and no being able to sit next to me (just another thing to cause a ruckus).
They chatted and sang - Mary in English and Paul in Amharic. Paul asked once to "go, go, go" and I found it hard to convey that we were waiting for a prescription. But our name was called and three of the staff came to the counter to comment on how marvelous they thought the children were. I was caught between being proud, being afraid to jinx the situation, and simply wanting pain relief.
Either way, I stopped at the cooler section for each child to choose a Propel with a twist-cap (clear liquid and lower possibility of spilling). I also bought a small tub of gummy worms (more like caterpillars as they were short).
When we got to the van I distributed the liquid refreshment as well as five gummies apiece. We drove home in contentment. Once home I admit that I utilized the DVD player for quiet time and went to our room to lie on my side with ear drops instilled.
No outbursts. No drama (well, except for a protest or two concerning who was picking the DVD. We rotate turns for choosing in descending age order. My children guard that right to pick closely and any monitoring or especially touching of the current selection available upstairs is cause for protest).
I am now pain-free, maybe uncomfortable but good. Marty is home. Our friend Marla came by for a visit and to catch up on how life goes in this early post-adoptive phase.
The girls wanted her to witness their bath. Julia didn't want me to brush her teeth or even tried to brush off my goodnight kiss for a request from Marla.
Good thing that I'm not more sensitive with age (and don't tell Marty I typed that - he doesn't read the blog). I survived my first not-feeling-so-hot day and mainly resorted to sugar and DVDs. Not bad I think.