When Sir Monkeypants went back to work — jeez, was that only 22 days ago? It feels like a lifetime! — I thought I’d basically never leave the house again. Sure, I had to go out for school drop-offs and pick-ups. But other than that, the baby’s nap schedule was so restrictive, and the thought of leaving the house with all three kids was so incredibly daunting, I figured we’d just hole up here and live on canned goods and learn to knit our own clothes and we’d see the rest of the world in three years or so.
Then last week, I had to take the Wee One in for her four-month checkup. When I called to make the appointment, I asked for something early in the morning, so could just get to work a bit later than usual and I could take the baby to the doctor by myself.
They offered me 3:15 p.m. on a Thursday. I asked for anything, anything else. They said, “We have 3:15 p.m. on Thursday.”
So, all too soon, it looked as though the kids and I would be making an Expotition.
I packed for our trip like a Sherpa heading for Mount Everest. I’m actually pretty proud of my ability to keep my kids entertained during long waits in doctors’ waiting rooms. I was well trained by my OB — every time I took the two older kids to one of my prenatal appointments, it would mean at least a one hour wait. I guess it takes a really, really long time for pregnant ladies to waddle in and out of the office. Anyway, your Big Bag Of Waiting Fun must contain: snack boxes (I don’t know why putting food into little compartmentalized Tupperware suddenly turns it into a super fun activity, but I don’t question); many, many books for reading aloud to your kids and all the other kids in the waiting room, who will flock to you like it’s storytime at the library; colouring books and crayons; and a wide assortment of small cars and action figures.
I dare say my kids and their Big Bag Of Waiting Fun are the envy of all the other toddlers in the room. It’s like they’re presenters at the Oscars and have gotten a goodie bag full of thousand-dollar items, that causes the unwashed masses to drool enviously.
When we got to the doctor, we were ushered into a room right away and I thought I wouldn’t even need the Big Bag. I settled in the kids — removing coats and boots, resolving fights over who got to sit in the spinny chair, undressing the baby. I broke out the snack boxes and settled in. A few minutes later the nurse came by to tell us that we would probably have to change rooms, and I was like, “Lady, do you SEE the snack boxes? The enormous pile of coats? The three bags I had to bring just to carry all our supplies for this outing? We are NOT MOVING.” And so we got to stay.
And stay we did, in a really hot room, with a baby who was overtired, waiting for the doctor, for 45 full minutes. I can’t really complain too much, because I adore our doctor, and she is totally awesome about everything, and rarely late. But of course, the one time I’m out with the kids…she’s late.
Don’t panic, dear readers! We had the Big Bag! We snacked, then we coloured, then we read books, then we fed the baby, then we played Buzz and Fake Buzz. And we made it to the summit and returned enriched, emerging triumphant in our epic battle of Man Versus Doctor’s Office, cutting a new path for Mommies-Of-Three everywhere. I am Mommy Edmund Hillary!
The Wee One is in tip top shape, by the way, and took her two immunization needles like Rocky Balboa in the seventh round (“Adrian! I went the distance!”) And as for the older two — sometimes I forget how awesome our kids really are. They sat patiently and quietly and didn’t hardly whine at all. I’m a lucky mommy, indeed.