What do you do when you're a mom of more than one and one of your children has a doctor appointment? You psyche yourself up, put on your game face and just do it.
That's where I found myself today. Oliver had his 15 month well check up visit and I didn't plan ahead, so I prepared myself mentally and emotionally this morning, and last night for that matter, for what I knew would be a tiring morning.
An hour before we had to go, I gave Evan the pep talk.
"Evan, we're going to see Dr. X today for your brother. What are the rules?"
"No hitting and no pushing. Keep my hands to myself."
"Well, yes honey, those are some rules, but we're just going to the doctor, so I need you to stay by mommy and play with the iTouch and be a good listener."
Thank God we got that iTouch back, I thought to myself. So we schlepped off to see Dr. X, not before already having 4 timeouts for Evan that morning--I did not foresee good things in my future, so I promised Munchkins after if there was good behavior.
We made it through the parking lot, through the doors where Evan must push the handicap button to open the doors and to the elevator. We sign in and everything seems to be going wonderfully until Evan make his break-away for the hallway to look over the balcony to the first floor below. To which his younger brother had to follow while I'm trying to fill out some form they gave me.
I ran after the two, still not having the chance to unload the diaper bag in the waiting area. I get both of them back in, bribing Evan with "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse" on my Blackberry (the iTouch wasn't working its magic this time) and hoisting Oliver up and shoving Goldfish in his hands.
OK, we are going to make it. But no, Evan was not interested in "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse" today, he preceded to, instead, run around the office "cawing" like a bird. Whatever this "cawing" was, as he informed me, it sure didn't sound like a bird, but some sort of poor, unfortunate dying animal.
In a teeth gritting voice, "Evan, sweetie, we are INSIDE, please stop making that noise and watch the show."
"No, Mom! I'm a bird. Listen to this." The "cawing" got louder. And louder.
As I followed him around the waiting room, giving my apologetic look to the unwilling audience seated before us, Oliver made a beeline for the hallway, at the same time they called our name to come on back. Evan then decided to run the opposite direction into the exam room hallway and open the CLOSED exam door on some ill-fated patient who, I'm sure, wasn't expecting a 3-year-old cawing "bird" to enter and behold them in their paper gown ensemble.
I didn't even look as I yanked Evan out of the room and apologized.
Where was Oliver you ask? Thankfully, the nurse managed to "run" in her high heels out to the main area to grab him for me.
With sweat beginning to bead on my forehead, I grabbed both children and we made it into the doctor's exam room and waited. At least they were corralled now.
A little background on Dr. X. She's fabulous. She is a mom of 2 boys. Just like me. Her boys are 2 years apart. Just like mine. One of hers is a spirited child. Just like mine. She gets it. Totally gets it. And for that, I love her.
Once Dr. X entered and took a look at me, she asked me how I was holding up. I loved this question. Here I was at the doctor for Oliver, and she was seeing how I was doing. Do you know how refreshing that is?
With words of comfort and encouragement, she informed me that I was indeed in the midst of a trying time with the ages I was dealing with, and the fact that I had 2 boys; but then she added that there would be a light at the end of the tunnel...soon.
And with that, I was ready to be on my merry way. But alas, we were here for Oliver. Not me.
The appointment went great after that. I managed to get both boys back to the car, after only having to deal with Evan getting away from me once and a kind elderly lady saying how adorable he was and informing me to not be too hard on him. Yeah, thanks for that.
So, you may ask, "why share all of these "daily" stories of excursions with your child?"
The answer is simple, and albeit lengthy, because it's me who's writing here.
Moms need other moms. Sure, family is great when you live by them (which I do not), but moms need one another in the throes of motherhood. Without each other, I dare say that we'd all go crazy thinking that we were experiencing this alien lifestyle by ourselves.
It is an alien lifesyle.
When you don't have other people in your life who are going through the same daily "trials," you feel isolated and alone and feel like something is "wrong" with you. Not the case. There is always going to be another mom who can one up your story. And it makes you feel better.
I write and share to encourage, make you laugh, inspire and tell you that although you may have a day where you think, "What was I thinking?", we are all in this together.
Even if you say, "Wait, I know this mom and she has it all together. Surely it's achievable to not be a mom with muddles."
I say, you don't know what's going on inside their home, or what she has to go through to achieve that appearance of perfection.
Enjoy life. Enjoy your kids. Enjoy the muddles. We really will look back someday and laugh; and, hopefully, will be able to encourage that mom we see in the doctor's office who's child is "cawing" like a bird and opening up exam room doors.
There were no Munchkins after that.