Don Threeto is always worth reading. Tonight she was on her game.
It is no secret that we have had a stressful end of 2014 and start to 2015. Quick recap: Prima broke her arm, Lady Bug had a seizure and visited the children’s hospital a few days later, Supermom is dealing with some issues that are related to having four kids, Lady Bug had an ear infection, Supermom has surgery planned for tomorrow to correct an umbilical hernia.
Of course as we are getting the kids ready to go to the baby sitters (grandparents) we notice that Lady Bug is tugging at her ear again and has a slightly runny nose. We make a last minute call and carry Lady Bug to see the world’s finest physician. Sure enough the ear is infected again so we have to stop at Walgreens on the way to the grandparent’s house. Never mind that we have to report to the hospital at 6:00am.
That is where the interesting part of the story begins. I am stressed and tired from preparing for tomorrow and trying to make sure my work is complete. Kids are properly assigned. Normal anxiety stuff on top of worrying about a serious medical procedure for my wife.
We pull up to the pharmacy drive thru and there are six cars ahead of us. No problem. Kids are watching a DVD and I will just catch up on some Facebook. Mom tagged me in a Louis CK standup about four kids that is hilarious. The line creeps along because people don’t understand that drive through service is for pick up and drop off and waiting can be done somewhere else. McDonalds will ask you to pull up in a heartbeat but Walgreens is just too polite for that.
We get halfway through the line and I hear Don Threeto.
“I want nuggets and Lady Bug will take some fries.”
“This isn’t a restaurant.”
“What does that even mean? It wasn’t a question.”
She is back into the movie and I don’t know that she even remembers what she said.
Resume the Facebook scroll.
The cars in front of me move again and I am two cars from the window. I hear Threeto again.
“Daddy! I have to pee!”
“Of course you do.” *sigh*
Decision time. I can stay in line and risk an accident or take two kids into the store to an almost certainly filthy bathroom (all public bathrooms are filthy to a parent of a four year old). I do the right thing. I get out of line and park in a space. I only have Lady Bug and Threeto with me so it shouldn’t be too bad.
I am getting Lady Bug out of the carseat and Threeto chimes in again.
“Just unbuckle and get out of the car honey, we have to move tonight.”
“I’m trying to tell you something.”
“Okay what is it?”
“Someone peed in my seat.”
“Did they pee your pants too?”
“Awesome. Do you still have to pee?”
I don’t know about everyone else but during flu season I am wary of doctor’s offices, the hospital, and pharmacies because they are the exact route that really sick people take. Dripping droplets of tainted mucus off their noses and hands and into the air. I should never have watched Outbreak or any coverage of Ebola. Now let’s imagine the bathroom at one of these rest-stop cesspools and trying to get an eighteen month old and a four year old not to touch something.
I beg them to do anything but touch anything.
“Don’t touch anything.”
“Do you know what I mean by anything?”
“Then quit touching the toilet seat…”
“Just stand still right there.”
I time my next move. I need to set Lady Bug down, wipe the toilet seat, put Threeto on it, and pick Lady Bug back up before she touches anything. Success.
We wipe and head to the sink. So far touching surfaces is at a minimum. Then we get to the sink.
“Licking is a form of touching something. Lets not lick anything. Especially the edge of the sink.”
“Okay!” (Apparently my detailed explanation motivated her)
She then tries to point out a bathroom mistake.
“My pants are wet.”
“That is because you peed them in the car.”
“Oh right. They not warm.”
We wash our hands and manage to get out of the bathroom only touching the sink, wall, floor, bottom of a shoe, and the entire surface of the door pull handle. All after the hands washing which is a perfect storm because bacteria do much better on slightly wet hands. I don’t even care at this point. Lick the floor kid. Just make it quick because we need to get home.
The medicine was not ready because it hadn’t been noticed I think. They promise to work on it and we walk around the store. Lady Bug is giggling and enjoying running behind her big sister. I tell them to stay close because I don’t trust people in general and we are in a high crime location. Maybe not the candy aisle in Walgreens but the neighborhood has a good number of vagrants. Anyway, both children are running together slightly ahead of me when suddenly as they reach the end of the aisle it is like a silent alarm triggers a prison break. Don Threeto breaks right and Lady Bug breaks left. Both in a full run and I have to choose which one to chase. Shit.
I grab the slow one first plus she is nearest the front door and then Threeto comes back around the aisle laughing at her new game. We had a quick discussion and went back to the pharmacy to stare through the window and maybe inspire them to rush. It worked and we were on our way.
Normally, or should I say previously, I would have been done for the night as far as patience and nerves but I was pretty much unaffected. It was funny. My stress level has been reset and taking some time to realize it passes quickly really has helped me be a better parent. Even since starting writing this stuff down I can look back and see little things that are barely a memory in my mind. I encourage everyone to make notes, take a picture, or do something to capture the here and now. Tomorrow is an illusion and yesterday is too. All we have is right now.
And right now is factures, seizures, and pissing our pants but somehow that is fine with me. It will be better.
This post is for everyone. You’re welcome.
-Underdaddy to the rescue.