Shelby skipped her usual ballet/tap class this week as she recovered from that evil cold virus circulating the preschools-and now my house. I informed her that she could attend a make-up class on Saturday if she felt up to it. "Oooh, I want to go to the make-up class, Mommy!" she gushed. Last night, we discussed our weekend plans over dinner. John asked Shelby what she had planned for the weekend and she was quick to reply, "I'm going to make-up class tomorrow, Daddy. Will you take me to my make-up class?" John was caught off guard and could do nothing but embrace her offer, "Um, would you like me to take you to your class?" Note that the 9:30 am class would cut John's Saturday morning surf ritual back by a few hours. Shelby couldn't have said it better, "Yes, Daddy, because you never take me to make up class!" He was hooked and he knew it. Later, when we discussed the new leotard and tights she could wear to her class Shelby adamantly proclaimed, "Mommy, we're not dancing in class! We're putting on make up."
I never in my life thought that being a parent constituted an "in crowd" or fashion sense. "Those people" drive mini vans, wear sweatpants and hair scrunchies for a living, right? No. The people who wander around the grocery store in their pajamas with yesterday's hairdo and a baby on their hip wore the same frazzled look on their face and flannel wardrobe ten years before, and maybe ten years before that. Minus the baby, mind you. There are mommies with style, parents with flawless hairdos, children who are groomed and decked with the latest in runway kiddie gear. It is a strange world in which we live, where the children are show pets and the parents wear Prada. Who carries a 25 lb. baby car seat in heals? She does. Who wears white linen on the day Baby has a monster green blowout? She does-and she doesn't get dirty. And she comes prepared. And no, her car is not overflowing with preschool paperwork, half the sandbox, six pairs of dress up shoes, and a few dirty diapers. I don't know who these mothers are or where they shop but I want to know their secret. I have a theory, though. Sleep. She doesn't sleep. Sleep would deter her from important agenda items like dusting her baseboards, whipping up a batch of chocolate chip cookies, applying lavish makeup, replenishing her gorgeous wardrobe and folding her husband's silk boxers. Must find her. Must learn her secrets.
We made it through the month of January completely congestion free. And then it started with a dry cough. One that woke Shelby up every three or four hours...which meant John was up every three or four hours...which meant that eventually, for some reason, he would wake me up every three to four hours. (I'm sure all of this can be explained through extensive therapy) I won't even begin to add Ana's interrupted sleep schedule to the mix. We've been the walking dead family for over two weeks! Just a few days ago, Shelby's cough produced a snotty nose, and an even snottier than usual attitude to go with it. What can I say, the kid has always been into accessories. After 3 days of a rattling chest, more coughing attacks, and an appetite exclusively reserved for sugar, we agreed it was time to see a doctor. I settled on the Walk In Clinic because of its location-I can't shop at any stores near the pediatrician's office. We were told it was a 40 minute wait so we signed in and then walked over to the ice cream store. Upon returning for the second time, the nurse instructed to have a seat and the doctor would be with us shortly. I sat there with my two kids and watched every college kid enrolled in the EMT paramedic program at the local college come in for a drug test. Conversations about parties, roommates and the latest class assignments were everything to keep me from remembering that I'd been kept waiting for over an hour now with TWO kids! Isn't there a law about that? We'd already used up all the dixie cups for the water cooler, the floor couldn't be any cleaner where Shelby decided to do tummy slides until the dust had cleared from the linoleum, Ana had spit up on all of us and the chairs we sat in. Come on people, patience can only last so long in this situation. "Shelby,we're ready for you." Oh, FINALLY, music to my ears. It took us a lifetime to pack up the kid toys, blankets, car seat, clothes Shelby had stripped out of while we waited, and the trash we'd accumulated while shredding paper and "crashing up" the dixie cups. When we made it to the waiting room, the nurse weighed Shelby and then asked a few questions. I don't know why they do this because inevitably, the doctor comes in and asks the same damned questions. And then, she says, "If you'll just return to the waiting room until we can find a space for you to see the doctor..." WHAT??? Go back out there? I had just started breast feeding Ana, so with my one free hand (and no help from the nurse, thank you very much) we once again loaded up all of our crap and awkardly lumbered back out to the waiting room...for another half an hour!!! Well, when we finally got in to see the doctor I had settled on letting Ana cry it out in hopes that her noise would speed up our progress through this hell hole. And after all this, you guessed it, the doctor gave Shelby a clean bill of health (aside from the common cold and equally common toddler tantrums she is suffering from). I was so frazzled by the end of this ordeal we came home and holed up in front of a movie for the rest of the afternoon. Mommy needs some quiet time.
I don't know about the rest of you, but I attempt to floss regularly out of fear for my future. That's right, I'm scared of what odors my mouth is capable of as I age. I had a Mechanical Drawing teacher in high school that was older than dirt and he had a cloud of stench that surrounded him. Rumors flew about how he still lived with his mother, and how his polyester slacks and sweater vests had never seen the inside of a washing machine. This guy smelled wrong. I cringed anytime he circled the classroom to observe progress and correct mistakes. I think I tried extra hard to do everything perfectly so he wouldn't lean over my desk and open his mouth to speak-NASTY! It smelled like he was rotting from the inside out. Somewhere between week old, summer road kill and the bottom of a dirty trash bin sprinkled with musty moth ball cologne. I learned much later in life, from a friend who worked as a dental hygienist, that regular flossing is the number one way to avoid bad breath. And she added that older generations who didn't have the opportunity to appreciate the power of the floss suffer from incurable rotten breath as the tarter between their teeth has been left for decades to compound the stench until the smell becomes so strong they don't even have to open their mouth to know that they're actually rotting from the inside out. Hence, my Mechanical Drawing teacher. So, for that long winded reason, I floss. Yesterday, I got up early to shower and donned a piece of mint floss as I stood under the warm water. I was curious to see if I came up with anything on the string because I had JUST brushed my teeth the night before and then fallen asleep. How much stuff could be left in there? Much to my horror, I found that nearly every crevice was filled with tarter and, you guessed it, stunk. I didn't even have to bring it to my nose to get an idea of my own morning breath. Disgusting. So, I guess I'll be flossing morning and night until I die. Wouldn't want to start rotting from the inside out anytime soon.