Thursday, August 14, 2008

A Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad Day.....That Might Be Stretching It, But You Be The Judge

What a day. [Please note Hayessl is in her pajamas-yeah it was like that]. So it all starts out pretty normally. Get up get the girls ready for school, on the bus, and back home I come to get back in my warm cozy bed for a wee bit more rest. However this morning it really was only a wee bit. You see the oldest and the youngest had doctors appointments today. No big deal right? Hmmm... generally no, yet today we entered the "Twilight Zone".
I picked up my oldest daughter from school, and we head to the office. Nothing better for the child to do than cast out all manners I've taught her, and say"hello" or even "how are you", but she jumps straight to "do I have to get a shot today?" To which our very lovely pediatrician says, "I don't know yet, I'll have to look at your chart." That did not save us. When the nurses checked her hemoglobin, it was as if she had never had her finger pricked. She squirmed in the chair, and had it not been for the brick wall, I'm sure she would have gone straight through. The "baby" on the other hand, got her finger pricked and her response, a simple "Ow." No crying, no squirming, no fidgeting what-so-ever.

We move on down the hall to the room the doctor will see us in. The check-ups go well, although the oldest hemoglobin is low (hmm... which one hides her vitamins). At any rate, it is determined that shots are on the agenda. Now just so you know, I am accustomed to dramatics from my 4 year old, but the 7 year old is generally very calm, cool, know all the alliteration in the world would describe her, but not today. My child, my firstborn, my "Cool Hand Luke" water off a ducks back child, had a panic attack. First it was upsetting to me because I thought it was a bit irrational, she'd never behaved this way before with regard to immunizations so I totally was not expecting this display. She totally threw her baby sister under the bus by declaring that she could go first. (That was mildly humorous). Baby girl took hers like a pro, she cried for all of 15 seconds and she was up and walking. But then it was Bear's turn and the uncontrollable sobbing began. She cried her eyes red, and swollen, oh yeah she also breaks out in hives when she's nervous, so not so much fun right now. I call her dad to talk her down. He gives her good advice: look the other way, take a deep breath, and remember you can have ice cream when you get home. How can I say...NONE of that worked. Then we go to holding, which got me a knee in...well thank goodness I'm not a man. So FINALLY (what took me so long) I begin to pray, more for me than her, but then I ask her if she wants to pray with me, and she says she does, so we start praying together. After a struggle the shot was done. At which point I had to step aside for a moment and catch my breath.

It was terrible. Why, why did I do all that to my child? She trusts me not to let anything or anyone hurt her; and that is exactly why I did it. She was crying and scared and vulnerable, and I'm telling her to face her fears...she's seven. Sometimes I think I sound more like a coach than a mom--so not my goal in life. Well she's over it, and its time to leave, so I give her the option to go home, or to return to school. She chooses school, and I am relieved, although not with her reason (she misses her teacher-who granted looks like a slightly younger version of my Mother-in-Law). We part company and I come home, to veg out in front of the computer ( I was emotionally spent, so NO, no knitting was done).

Time to pick up the girls from the bus stop. Baby sister and I head out, she on her scooter, wearing her beautiful butterfly helmet. I also had my knitting bag on my shoulder at this time, but became preoccupied with trying to get B to "push the pedal again". Then the bus arrived. As we are walking to our house, which is 4 houses down from the bus stop, two children (a boy and a girl) emerge from between our neighbors houses. The brother is saying "can you give us a ride home?"
"Where do you live?"
"Around here."
"Do you know your address?"
(Okay) silently.
"Do you know your phone number?"
"No." then a minute later "I know my mom's cell phone". He gives it, and I call, I get voice mail. The children are running down the street as I leave a message. I tell them to get on the side of the road as I am leaving the message. -Mind you I'm still pushing B on her scooter, in the direction of our house. My older girls are already in the driveway, so I tell them to keep an eye out to see where the kids go. They comply. When I make it to the driveway, I see the children's house is one I've noticed often, but never realized that children lived there. (That's common in our neighborhood, there are very few children in the community, especially my kids age).

The little boy has knocked or rang the doorbell at his house, but no one answered. Then he goes to another of our neighbors houses, but he's not home, his car isn't in the drive, and I tell the children I don't think he's home. Then I tell them to come home with me. The little girl - a smart cookie, says "we're not supposed to go home with strangers". True, true, but you shouldn't be home alone either. She is five, she tells her brother to check under the mat for a key; there is none. It's final, I call and leave a message with the mother telling her, that the kids are coming home with me. I leave my address and descriptive markers. We all get inside, and I offer the kids something to drink. Mine set off to cleaning their room. I ask if I can look in their bags for any contact information and I come up empty. Again I ask the kids what they know, where mom works, dad's number, home number anything. Nada. Finally the little boy remembers his dad's CELL PHONE NUMBER. I get an answer on the first ring. I explain the situation. He's on his way he'll be here in ten minutes. I take this time to gently remind the kids, that when someone is supposed to pick you up, don't leave until they get there. If they don't show, at least the people in the office have all your parents information and can contact them. The kids continue to try to "play" chess, I explain the basics to the sister, the brother has the rudimentary guidelines. I AM SICK with worry, and these aren't even my children, nonetheless the thoughts races through my mind like a herd of buffalo--"what if they were yours". My kids know our address, and our home number, but not our CELL NUMBERS. That is what saved me, that I could contact those parents immediately and let them know their children were okay.

The dad called back and said someone was at the house and would be coming to pick them up. I told him to drop by anyway, so they would get to see me, and I let him know that I am home, if they needed someone to watch the kids. His wife picked up the kids shortly there after, but I still felt ill. I went to lie down after that, and couldn't really rest, I just kept thinking, "what if those were my kids?" I went and put our numbers on the chalkboard for the girls to learn- this is critical information.

Then there was the information I received shortly after the kids left. One of my daughters friends is moving. It's just sad. That's why I'm tired and Hayessl's back in her pj's. It's been an emotionally draining day, and I need to rest. Hope your day was better than mine, although really I can't complain. I've got my health, and my family, a roof over my head and food to eat. Oh yeah, and a Rubbermaid tote full of yarn.

Be Safe.


geeky Heather said... much drama, and all in one day!! I'm glad the praying finally calmed her down and she was volunteering to join you. It sounds like she is figuring out how to control must be doing a good job teaching her! And, now they will know the cell phone can check one more worry off your list.

Shanta Hayes said...

Thanks Heather. I don't know what is was, but that day just took so much out of me. On top of that this week has been super full with all the meetings I've had. I'm exhausted. Thanks for checking in on me though, I appreciate it.

Janet Richards said...

I have so been there - my son has had his share of medical trials. And has a healthy and active fear of all things needle related. And we turn to prayer to get through those times. I was with you in spirit reading your story! I know you were tired, but thanks for sharing your day.