She came to town last Friday night to help celebrate my 40th and she stuck around to help take care of me, the kids and the house after the operation. All week she has reminded me to take my meds, prepared meals, cleaned up and (most exhaustingly) taken care of the increasingly cranky toddler that lives at my house. (He could go to daycare but she loves having this time with him so she has kept him home with us while the boys were at school.) Gabe is adorable but having me down-for-the-count is really hard on him. I am not the same Mom and he just doesn't dig it. He is prone to full blown freak outs pretty easily and no amount of rationalization, time outs, hugs, snacks, drinks, toys... will knock him out of it.
Today was The Day of Days and as I write this I honestly can't believe she (we!) survived it. Scott's theater kids were hosting a day-long festival at his school so he left the house before 6AM. Tom had a long-ago-scheduled follow up appointment with a specialist across the state from us that we just couldn't miss. Because I can't drive yet (and because "They" frown on leaving 7- and not-quite-2-year-olds at home alone all day long) the journey involved Tom, Mom, Me, Elliott and Senor Cranky Pants Himself. The day looked like this:
|If I'm ever half as good as she is, I'll be twice as good as I deserve.|
5AM - Up, shower, dress, pack up.
5:45 - Get kids up and into car.
6AM - Leave
6:20 - Dunkin Donuts stop (had to have SOMETHING sweet to promise the kids for the ridiculous wake up hour! Yeah. For "the kids".)
8:20 - Arrive at appointment (25 minutes early! Woo hoo!)
8:21 - Gabe has meltdown #1. Does not want to get out of the car. I, on crutches, cannot lift him nor carry him. He will not walk. Gungah carries him in.
8:25 - I check Tom in. Gabe begins relentless racing around medical facility. I hobble helplessly after him because, well, this is not a playground after all. Gungah's on it.
8:35 - Tom and I get called in. Gabe continues his assault on humanity.
9:00 - Appointment over, but a same-day follow up is scheduled for 1:30. (In other words, we now need to kill time in a part of the state unknown to us)... Gabe is lying on floor of waiting room in full blown toddler epic freak out mode. We try "Bye, Gabe, we're going" and start to walk out the door without him but he's not buying it. Poor Gungah has to pick him up and carry him as he battles against her to the car.
9:03 - World Wrestling Entertainment signs Gungah as a new act after watching her pin the insanely-strong-limbed Gabe into his carseat.
9:15 - We arrive at "A Mall" as defined by Siri... but it's a plaza, not an inside mall where it would be easy to kill a couple of hours. Instead, we wander through a Party City (minor meltdowns but nothing serious) and Game Stop (he was mostly okay here, too, though my knee was killing me so I headed to the car a few minutes before the rest of the crowd).
10:15 - Round 2 of Wrestlemania, Carseat Edition. Gungah wins, but it's starting to wear her out.
10:25 - Siri told me about a book store nearby. We head there and Gungah discovers the solution to all of our Toddler Problems: Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. She finds a stuffed Daniel, a trolley and a few of the other characters that can ride in the trolley and decides, immediately, that it's time for Gabe to get his 2nd birthday present from her. Ta da!
11:15 - Gabe holds Daniel Tiger and fairly happily gets into the carseat.
11:20 - Applebees for lunch. The birthday gifts are the perfect solution. He eats his lunch and we all get to relax a little. Yay, Daniel Tiger!
12:30 - Back to the car. Not the flawless execution of the last entrance, but he does okay.
12:50 - Parking garage of second appointment. Gabe has fallen asleep on the ride. He is DONE. He wants NO MORE of this ridiculous outing. Will not walk. Will not cooperate in any way at all. We have two seperate elevator rides to get to the correct floor. Pooor Gungah!
1:00 - Blessedly, the waiting area of this doctor's office is made for kids. There are no other patients there so Gabe and his brothers have their run of the place and plenty rocking horses and other cool things to play on and look at. And of course, he has the Trolley and Daniel Tiger & Friends. He's mostly happy here... but SO very tired!
1:15 - Tom goes in for some testing.
1:40 - Tom comes out and I go into talk to the doctor.
2:00 - I come out. Gabe is whiney and then realizes we are going somewhere - AGAIN - and he's just done. Fit of fits. Scream of screams. And, again, absolutely nothing I can do for him. Once again, my 71-year-old mother has to take this violent beast and get his NO NO NO-self into the car. It's just awful. And there's nothing I can do about it.
2:05 - The long drive home. He freaks out for the first part. Calms down. Then the boys and Gungah get out to get a snack and he freaks out again. And then he eats a couple of pretzle sticks. Screams a bit. And finally goes to sleep. Then I canNOT hold it so we have to stop about 30 minutes from home and he wakes up in order to scream all.the.way.home.
5PM - We arrive home. I collapse on the couch, take a pain pill, and Gungah, against all reason, manages to pick up after us, heat up dinner, and get Gabe into his PJs for bed.
5:15 - Gabe spends the evening snuggled up on my chest, flirting lovingly with Gungah, and being a complete angel. He is not the same boy. He is perfection.
7:30PM - Gungah and Gabe go to bed.
I cannot believe we survived the day. I am feeling very lucky, if tired. I don't know what I would do without my mom. But, ummm, yeah, I'm still not cleared for work and so that darling Gabe? He's TOTALLY going to daycare next week!
P.S. I'm sure you are like, "Uh, what about this doctor's appointment? On a Saturday? That's weird." Yep. It is kind of weird. It's more a data-gathering mission than anything. More about it at some point if sharing seems like the right call. For now, rest assured, we are all fit as fiddles and healthy as horses.