Thursday, February 2, 2017

Progress? Or Regress?

February 2, 2017

Do you ever feel like you grow hair on your head JUST so you have something to pull out because you are remodeling a house while homeschooling 3 children, while trying to keep an 8 month old alive because every time you blink, she's gargling another choking hazard? Oh.... Is that just me?

And here is another question. Is it inSANELY difficult to diagnose an ear infection? I'm just wondering. Squishy went to a wellness checkup- which is just code for more shots- about a month and a half ago.

"How's your baby?" the doctor asked.  

"She's great. Always happy."

"I can tell. Let's just check her out." Looks in her ears.

"She has a double ear infection."

SERIOUSLY? Mom award right here. NEVER would have guessed. And trust me, I KNOW kids with ear infections. I collect children, remember? Ear infections never "snuck up" with the other 3. It was happy baby, then blood curdling, inconsolable screaming baby. ALWAYS in the middle of the night when no doctors' offices were open.

Not a peep out of Squish, though, except her usual nightly freak-outs, but she's done that from day BORN until now- and she falls right back to sleep, so nothing unUSUAL about that.

She took a round of antibiotics. At the follow up visit a handsome little "almost doctor" flashed a grin and a ear wand around and told me proudly, "Well, her ears look GREAT."

Two seconds later, Dr. Stanford, the actual doctor came in, acknowledged his doctor shadow with a nod, looked in Squishy's ears, and, in front of poor other "not yet doctor" said, "Man, her ears are even worse. We'll have to try something stronger."

I didn't make eye contact with the kid that had JUST told me her ears were all better, because what do you say, "Sorry, sport. Kinda sucked that one up, eh?"  Poor thing, I thought, he's just new at this.

After a second round of antibiotics, I figured her ears were better, but then she broke out in a rash, that to the untrained eye, looked like a flesh eating disease. A tube of diaper cream later, and that is a LOOOT of diaper cream, she STILL had a rash. It had been like a MONTH. And she just wasn't her usual self anymore. She was whiney and feverish. She had snot and a cough. She was cutting her two top teeth so I didn't know if it was that or something else... I figured it was time to get the rash checked out and double check on those ears.

UGH.... I HATE taking my children to the doctor. I don't know why. The kids don't mind it. It's just SUCH a hassle. TWO HOURS of "Sit. Don't touch. Are you KIDDING me right now??? WHERE did you find that gum!?" And, "GET OFF the FLOOR. You're getting filthy!" And, "DON'T LICK the CHAIR! Do you know how many sick people have TOUCHED that CHAIR?!" If I have any WELL children, they come out with a bug, and my sick kid comes out with a NEW illness, usually something WORSE. Plus, with FOUR kids, it's a flipping CIRCUS. People's eyes forget they belong in their sockets and just sort of glue themselves to me and their mouths start talking before their brains have a chance to think about what they should or should NOT say. And my children, the lovely socialites of home school that they are, find great joy in telling each and every individual their life story (except Brighton, who literally tries to disappear into the floor) RATHER or not it's appropriate.

Boeing tells a random man in the waiting room, "Hey. We don't have a home." To which, I feel the need to defend myself, especially since my children have now covered themselves in whatever wasn't cleaned off the floor  of the waiting room and kind of DO look homeless.

At this point, I am forced to engage in a conversation with a man that is probably coughing flu on us with every breath, and looks like he'd rather go on and succumb to earthly death than continue listening to Boeing and me argue over rather or not we are homeless.

"We have a home. We just rented it out, Boeing." I smile at the man, "We are in the middle of moving. So we are half living at my mom's house and half living at one of our rental properties. Super fun, stuff!"

He half nods. Because he doesn't CARE.

"Well, yes. We are moving to Mexico. And we are going to go to Mega. Do you know Mega? Mega is my favorite place in Mexico. And we're going to the real Mexico. Not the New Mexico that we just went to that has snow. The real Mexico doesn't have snow. But I like snow. But I like Mega, too..."

"Boeing come do your math." Now a great grandma has heard our conversation. And unlike flu man, she is VERY interested in what Boeing has to say. So he adopts her as his, and that's that.

She wants to know all about Mexico.

Well, hmm... We were leaving two weeks after we rented our house. But we rented our house. And it's been two weeks. Well.... turns out remodeling two rentals takes longer than two weeks... But Home Depot is measuring for carpet tomorrow so hopefully carpet will be in the apartment and house we are remodeling sometime next week. THEN we just lack "finishing up." We just have to "get our ducks in a row." SUCH an awesome saying... get your ducks in a row. Apparently, like children and stray cats, I ALSO collect DUCKS. For every duck we get in a row, we find out another nest of ducklings have hatched. SO, naturally, we adopt them. Every last one. But we ARE getting SO MUCH CLOSER. If we can just refrain from starting any more projects.

It would have been AWESOME to know how OFF my time-line of departure was BEFORE I packed up everything we owned and stuck it in storage, though. I thought we were leaving in two weeks of moving out of our house so guess how many clothes I packed for us? No. Not two weeks worth, you crazy logical thinking person. ONE weeks worth. With plans to do a load of laundry in the middle. And do you know how long it takes my children to go through one week of clothing? Two days. Or less, if you consider that half of what I packed them to wear is blue jeans- and go figure- Brooklyn and Bry only like COZY PANTS, and Boeing refuses to wear "long sleeve shorts" period! Lucky for us winter feels like summer in Mississippi (except for the random "winter storm" that froze and busted half of our renters pipes and set us back a couple MORE days of repairs) so I've only had to have a few knock down drag outs with my four year old over wearing pants.

"Why does Boeing get to play and we have to do school?" Brighton whines.

"Because, technically Boeing isn't even school aged and I just make him do school to keep him occupied so I can teach YOU school. But now he's occupied with great grandma, so worry about your own self."

So Brighton goes to wallowing his face in the same chair someone's but sat in probably moments earlier. I tell him such. He gags.

"Belize Johnson," the lady calls.

Boeing thinks it's hilarious that someone called her Belize. "We call her Squishy," he tells the lady. She silently judges us all as kids KEEP filing in past her.

"Are these children all yours?"

"Yep. All four."

The doctor comes in.

"I'm worried about this rash that hasn't gone away in a month after stopping antibiotics.  Do you think maybe it's a yeast infection? And can you recheck her ears to be sure they aren't still infected?"

I barely open the diaper. "Yeah it's probably a yeast infection," the doctor declares.  

Two seconds in ears. "Nope ears look good."

"Okay... so...."

"I'll call her in some cream."


"NOT helping! The rash is getting worse, NOT better."

I go to a friend's house, show her the rash. "Here. She needs steroid cream."

Literally gone on FIRST application.

Squishy's little cough continued to get worse until her whole body rattled. Her cheeks were red and her eyes puffy. I finally decided to take her back to the doctor today after Starling gave me a guilt trip essentially diagnosing her with bronchitis (because he's a Google doctor plus hypochondriac- a perfect combination). But I would only take Squishy if Starling would stay with the other kids.  I started calling doctors' offices. Her doctor's office couldn't see her until next week. (Which would be fine- unless it wasn't bronchitis... it was RSV like tons of babies have right now and she could stop breathing and we're staying way out with my parents, twenty minutes from a hospital...) ONE didn't take kids that young. (A child clinic that doesn't take babies... OKAAAAY....), so finally the SAME clinic that I took her to only five days ago was my only option. AGAIN. "Just do a walk-in."

I took a book prepared to sit for two hours. WHICH I did. And it was nice, sitting reading my book, ALONE, with just Squishy sleeping on my shoulder. No talking to ANYONE. NO patrolling wayward tongues licking foreign objects. NO awkward explanations for why I have so many children, why I home school them, or why we are moving to Mexico when everyone else is moving to the United States.

I got a different doctor. THANK GOODNESS who looked in her ears and said, (you'll never guess), a DOUBLE ear infection. He gave me a shorter antibiotic that shouldn't cause her to have a side effect rash.

THANK GOODNESS. I just want this poor baby well.  

There is ONE MAJOR perk that I could KIND of (and by kind of- I mean- wish it would NEVER END) get used to, during this crazy.  Sharing custody of my children with my mom. Seriously. I have the kids all day; I home school them at the rent house, feed them breakfast and lunch, share life lessons- reassuring them that Legos coming apart is, in actuality, a normal part of life- not the end of the world, sentence them to hours of playtime anywhere Squishy isn't napping, then... like a descending angel, my mom shows up after she gets off work to pick them up and put them to bed at her house.

I don't even CARE that for the following 3 hours I have a sledge hammer in my hand and am ripping my fingers to pieces on flooring and probably aging my back by 10 years running up and down stairs with massive boxes of debris, painting walls (and my clothes)... something about being ALONE... or sort of alone (Starling is usually just a skil- saw away) is AMAZING... I can get done in ONE hour of no children the same amount it takes me to do the same task in SIX hours WITH children. And I don't lose my train of thought 45 times. It's like this overwhelming sense of PRODUCTIVITY that I am pretty sure I have not experienced since I started procreating.