An Apple A Day

Tuesday is the day after Monday. Tuesday is the day before Wednesday. Tuesday was the day I decided to take both girls to the doctor at the same time for different ailments. Which fact about Tuesday seems bat a%$ crazy?

I don't know what I was thinking, either.

I had never taken two sick kids to the doctor before and I was totally unprepared. Just getting them out of the car was exhausting. With a fevered, wheezing, dripping child on each hip I felt like the CDC's worst case scenario. The receptionist was adorable. I know she was trying to be understanding when she told me I looked tired. The sweet lady of a certain age was trying to relate to me. "Look", her smart pantsuit said, "You too will reach a stage in your life when you can leave the house without baby food on your clothes." Despite the inspirational pantsuit, I knew she was right. I looked exhausted. I tried pinching my cheeks Scarlett O'Hara style to add some color to my face. And then Viola spit up on me. Again. I cleaned the mess off of my chest and thought maybe I was doomed to look tired for the rest of my ever lovin' life.

The nurse called us back to the exam room. She was so sweet to Margaret despite my daughters best efforts to kill with her eyes. Seriously, she was sour enough to pickle a cucumber. Or a beet. Or really anything that needs a good pickling. Thankfully, her attitude was restrained to a pouty lower lip and seriously furrowed brow. Really, my grumpy girl submitted to the poking and prodding with much more grace than I expected. She has been fascinated by and terrified of doctors since our ordeal in the emergency room a few months ago. One day, she is pretending to be Dr. Zuzu and the next she is helping her dolls hide from THE MEAN DOCTOR! GET DOWN! HE IS COMING! It is complicated. The pride spilled out of my heart and rushed all the way to my finger tips when she only pushed the stethoscope away once. (It doesn't take much.) Turns out the girl has herself a somewhat severe case of asthma. A diagnosis my mom has been insisting on since Margaret was thirteen months old. Do you hear that? It's her yelling "I told you so!" up and down Center Street.

On to the Viola Honey who did beautifully until the vaccine shots. Those gosh-darn-how-long-can-the-nurse-drag-out-the-torture,-oh-one-more-minute? shots. There is nothing like holding your nine month old down so that a stranger can stab her. (Although, I don't suppose it would be any better if the stabber were a close friend...) After the band aids were applied to her little thighs, I picked the girl up. My poor baby. Everything is alright, Sugar. Everything is...

And that is when the nurse's face went white.

I looked down. Blood was streaming out from under the star shaped bandages. Ribbons of the red stuff, coursing down her pudgy legs, slipping in between my fingers and splashing on the floor. We put her back down on the table and applied pressure. Viola screamed, and Margaret fell to the ground yelling, THE SHOTS! OH NO, THE SHOTS! VIOLA! NOT THE SHOTTTTSSSS! It was like a scene from Sesame Street as interpreted by Quentin Tarantino. Once the bleeding stopped the nurse held Honeygirl while I convinced Margaret that BABY SISTER THAT I LOVE SO MUCH was going to be just fine. She said she was still worried about her but insisted that making a cape out of her blankie would help her feel better. So I draped the now blood spattered blanket around her shoulders and tied a knot.

It was finally time to go home.

I saw our little group in the mirror on our way out of the exam room. Margaret marched ahead of me with her angry eyes and blankie cape. Viola sobbed into my shoulder wearing only her diaper and band aids. My hair had been pulled to one side and my shirt and arms were still smeared with blood.We had been to battle and lost. This was a full fledged retreat.The receptionist gave me a bewildered smile as we walked past her desk.

Tired was suddenly look pretty damn good.