Hey little man,
I'm sorry your birthday post is so late. I suppose just about every birthday post will begin that way from now on. That is the nature of managing a large family. Good intentions, never enough time.
Oh, son. My heart melts when I think of you. A sugar consumption negotiator, a master Lego builder, a scientist who captures grasshoppers in plastic soda bottles for observation, a sometimes boyfriend (to a very sweet little girl named Claire), a tenderhearted friend, a precious child of God, and beloved son of mine.
There are times when your feelings are hurt, and your mouth turns down at the corners, as you bravely will the tears to remain in your eyes, and there are times when your joy is so overwhelming you leap and bound around the room. There are days when you beg me to read just one more chapter of the Hardy Boys mystery and days when you your boundless energy sends you flying down the street on your sparking scooter. There are moments when you curl into my lap and lay your cheek against mine and moments when your strong will opposes mine and there is fire in your eyes.
When Grammy came in town for your birthday, I had to climb into the back seat and wedge myself between your booster seat and Maddie's. What I saw made my heart catch in my throat. Your feet barely dangled off the floor. If we removed the booster seat, you would most likely reach the floor. When did your legs grow so long, my boy? I laid my hand on your knee and turned away before you caught the tears in my eyes. I am oh-so-happy to see you growing and thriving. And I am oh-so-sad to be confronted with the physical evidence that you are growing up.
Up up and away…
So for now, I will snuggle in the chair cheek to cheek with you for as long as you'll allow. I will read you one more, two more, three more chapters in your book. I will pray for you every day. I will thank God for you every day.
Happy seventh birthday, my sweet Parker.
With three kids, I paid our babysitters anywhere from $12-$14 per hour. Plus tip. Now that there are four, let's just say, we don't get out much. Our date money tends to be eaten up by the babysitting fees.
So I hoard our babysitting dollars. I am loathe to use them on anything but a romantic evening away from the kids. Which is why I schedule my dental and doctor appointments when Aaron is available to meet me at the office. Generally, he rushes in just in time to make the trade-off, entertains the kids in the waiting room, and leaves the minute I exit the office. It's a decent system and has served us pretty well…until today.
I had scheduled my annual OBGYN appointment this afternoon. Aaron blocked out some time in his schedule and met me at the office a few minutes before my appointment. I was called back into the room, saw the nurse, and was told to strip down and don a glamorous Velcro gown and paper sheet. I listened closely but didn't hear any wailing from the wait room. So far so good.
My phone was nearly dead, so I switched it off to save the battery. I read a magazine. And then another. I laid back and closed my eyes. I fidgeted. I stuck my head into the hallway. The little light beside my door was still blinking. They hadn't forgotten me…
I'm thirty-six, so I've had my fair share of wham, bam, swab-ya-ma'am's. They usually take all of 5 minutes. Add 5 more minutes for the ever awkward breast exam, and you're done. This should have been a very short appointment. I had told Aaron as much. Now I was worried he may not have blocked off enough time.
Switching my phone back on, I realized I'd been waiting in the room for an hour. Yikes! I called Aaron and learned he was supposed to be in a meeting 5 minutes ago. Clutching the gown to my chest and the paper sheet around my derriere, I headed into the hallway in search of a nurse. I found one quickly, who seemed surprised I had exited my room in such a state. [After birthing four children in hospitals, some of which were at teaching universities, my sense of modesty is sadly lacking.] She ushered me back into the room, and I explained Aaron would need to return to work soon. She went in search of my doctor's nurse and returned with the verdict: another 20 minutes before I would be seen.
"Should I just reschedule then? I have to go..." I reached for my clothes.
"Well, could your husband bring your kids back here?" she asked tentatively. I don't think she realized I had quite so many.
I weighed the options. Schlep them all to another excruciatingly long appointment or suffer through the next half hour? I opted for the latter. In minutes, the nurse had fetched Aaron and the crew.
I wish you could have seen this exam room. It was so small, I literally didn't have enough room to turn the stroller around. There was just enough room for the table, counter, and a small bench (at the foot of the table). The three oldest kids piled onto the bench, barely fitting, while I wedged Caleb's stroller between the table and the wall, and it still stuck out. I was just lecturing the kids about privacy and how they would need to somehow crowd around my head during my exam ("But why, Mommy?"), when the doctor arrived.
"Oh no, they can stay on the bench. See how that curtain will pull around it?"
Now before I continue, may I say that I LOVE this doctor. I really, truly do. She is awesome. That is the reason her practice is so stinking busy. Also, she had just delivered a baby that afternoon, and was covering for two other doctors who were out sick that day. I get it. Babies don't exactly operate on our timetables, and her colleagues were sick. I wasn't mad at her. It was just a tough situation. Now back to the drama…
"I wanna see!" "What's she doing?" "Why can't we come out?"
You know how there always seems to be a nurse present whenever the doctor makes you drop your pants? I suppose it's for legal reasons, to ensure there's no monkey business, etc. Anyway, that nurse comes in, and my doctor sends her right behind the curtain to ensure no one escapes.
My doctor is lightening fast. It's almost over, and I am so relieved because the curtain is pulsating with curious children and a very busy nurse. I happen to glance over my toes at Caleb and notice he is not buckled into his car seat/stroller. He has begun to roll out. My right foot shoots out to stop him.
So there I am. On my back, left foot in the stirrup, lower half completely exposed, because, let's face it, who can be worried about keeping a flimsy paper sheet in place when you are trying to pin a rolling baby in a stroller with only your right big toe, and praying for this darned appointment to be OVER ALREADY.
It finally ends. I drag the kids to the van, buckle everyone in, and head toward the exit.
"Mom, I think I left my library book in there…."
Posted by Rausch family blog at 8:35 PM