Public shame

When I got home last night with all my children, late enough that Matt actually beat us home, I looked at him as we piled in the door and said, “If ever an outing were worthy of a blog post . . .”

It was kind of like The Beverly Hillbillies Get a Check-up or Family Services Candidates Go to the Doctor or something like that.

Let me back up a little bit.  Natalie has a urinary tract infection.  Again.  On Sunday we took her to Urgent Care when her fever was 105 two hours after taking Motrin.  They put her on an antibiotic, but as of yesterday, she was still running a fever, so my doctor wanted me to bring her in last night.  I gathered up the kids and our overdue library books (to drop off on the way), changed out of my pajamas (yep, at 5:30 p.m.– Don’t judge, I got a lot of laundry done yesterday), and herded everyone to the van.  As I walked past the mirror I realized that I had no make-up on and still had a little bedhead.  Oh well.  Sigh.

We ran our quick errands and made it to the doctor’s office on time.  I obsessively tried to keep my kids from touching everything so they wouldn’t go home with H1N1.  Impossible.  I realized Natalie was wearing a pajama shirt stained with medicine from a previous dosage battle.  Oh well, at least she was wearing regular pants and shoes and jacket.  I zipped it up.

The boys sat in the hall while Natalie and I tried to collect a urine sample.  She peed all over my hand.  Lovely.

Clark has had a messy face since the day he was born. (I joke he’ll have a dirty face in his wedding pictures.)  Today was no execption.  The masterpiece of the day was an artistic blend of pizza and snot.

When we sat down in the exam room, the nurse asked a few questions and left.  It was then that Grant pointed out his shoes to me.  One was a navy blue lace-up tennis shoe and the other was a beige, suede slip-on.  “Grant, WHY do you have two different shoes on?”  “I couldn’t find one of them.”  (Silent eye rolling by me.)

The doctor came in and began to examine Natalie.  When she pulled her hair back to look into her ears, she revealed a large dark blue scribble all over Natalie’s forehead and temple.  “Oh, boy,”  I laughed nervously, “it looks like somebody played with markers today.”

She asked us to wait for a while so she could run some tests.  Grant and Clark both kept passing gas, which they thought was hilarious, but I was disgusted.  I made Clark open the door a little to air out the room because it was gross, and I didn’t want the doctor to have to walk back in to a wall of stench.  I kept getting a whiff of the nastiness and growling at my boys to “Stop it already,” and sometimes they would giggle and sometimes they’d swear it wasn’t them.

When the doctor returned, we discussed her findings, got a new prescription, made arrangements for follow up, and she left.  I helped the kids gather up their books and toys we brought along.  As I started to put on Natalie’s jacket, I had a sudden realization.  “Natalie!!  Did you poop in your underwear??”  She wouldn’t look me in the eye.  Oh.  sweet.  mercy.

We found a bathroom and I remedied things as much as I could.  I shoved a wad of toilet paper in her underwear to sit on in her car seat.  It was now past their bedtime, but we still had to go fill her prescription.

The kids ran back and forth between the massage chair in the pharmacy waiting area and the toy aisle.  I did my best to control them, but eventually gave in and let them chase each other with light-sabers as long as they were kind of quiet and didn’t hurt each other.  Finally I paid for the prescription– get this:  $240.00 after insurance — and we left.

The only redeeming thing about this story is that I called out the manager and asked him to cover up the nasty magazines that were at my children’s eye level.  He was kind and agreed, but I’m sure that deep down inside he wondered how a mother so “concerned” for her children could let them run around with mismatched shoes, markered faces and poop in their pants.  Whatever, man.  I just paid my entire grocery budget on one of your blasted prescriptions.

So that was my evening outing with my children.  How was your day?  Now if you’ll excuse me, I guess I’d better go put up some blinking pink flamingo Christmas lights in my yard or something just to keep our December on a roll.


36 thoughts on “Public shame

  1. Oh dear me… you poor thing! Been there, done that, absolutely had days JUST like that. So sorry for you, and so glad it’s the next day and you can move on! Hope Natalie gets to be feeling better soon. I have a daughter prone to urinary tract infections… they aren’t fun!

  2. I’m so sorry Steph, but I’m laughing out loud at this post. I’ve had days just like that. In a perverse kind of way, I’m so glad that I’m not the only one. Not that I’m glad you are dealing with it, but just that its not only my life that spirals out of control sometimes. Here’s to hoping you can spend some time today in bed with the covers over your head. And yikes on the medicine! Hope it does the trick.

  3. Wow. And I was pouting yesterday because I got peed on once and couldn’t find any clean pants that fit.

    Reading this makes me want to be your neighbour so I can say hey, leave the other kids with me. You deserve a break!

  4. Oh, dear, I really had to laugh at the opening lines–I think any mother who’s honest with herself has had days like yours was, but not all can render it in writing with as much wit and humor. And that prescription . . . oh my word. I can’t believe that! And I do hope Miss Natalie feels better because UTIs are nasty. And, apparently, expensive.

  5. What a tough outing! Kids get messy, hands get peed on, and you do your freaking best to look somewhat respectable. My heart goes out to you. I have had those days. In fact, my baby pooped all over me today. At least it got me in the shower early.

  6. Wow. I think that’s all I have to say. Oh, and that I’m sorry it was such an amazing spectacle of hillbilly life. But just think – your kids are already getting out of that age where such insane things happen! This is great and horrible all at the same time. Horrible because they have to grow up, great because they will soon understand how to behave better on some levels. 😉

    Man, I am just looking at my future, aren’t I. 🙂

  7. Oh, you dear, dear woman! For you to even write about this with any sort of comic relief at all means that you’re top-notch in the mom department.

    As for pajamas at 5:30pm, there is no shame. During the winters here, we put on pajamas when it gets dark outside. So, like, 4pm. It’s awesome!

  8. Dear Sweet Nellie Jehosophat……

    I couldn’t come up with a stronger epithet. And this is a rated G blog, so that’s the best I could do. I agree with Kim. Please, come move into the house across of street from me (it’s going cheap!) so I can realize the joys of having boys in the house. Roy would love the flatulence contest — he really misses having those with his brothers.

    Or better yet, box them up and leave them on Kristina P’s front door. That’ll teach her.

  9. $240!!!!!???? I’m so distracted by that, I can’t even come up with anything else to say. So sorry. Hope it does the trick. Yikes.
    I skipped a shower, and make-up yesterday and ran a few quick errands, and then ran into fifty million people I know. That always happens. I was wearing matching shoes, though, which hasn’t always happened. Maybe we could get a deal on 2-for-1 flamingos or something.

  10. The entire experience was over the top funny!! I was reading it at work and couldn’t stop laughing!
    Girl!! You’re the best!!!!
    One add on…..see you did learn something in church and took it into your daily life just as the closing prayer stated!! Good job! (the magazine thing that Sis. Naatjes shared)

    Also, wishing you and Natalie a swift recovery! Natalie for her infection and you for making it through that day!

    (still chuckling)

  11. I am still reeling from the price of that prescription. Do they have her taking liquid gold????
    Don’t worry, Ella will make sure he has a clean face for the wedding pictures.
    Sure hope she gets feeling better.

  12. Some days, my husband comes home from work and I actually look worse than I did when he handed me the baby 12 hours earlier — bed head, check; body odor, check, augmented by spit up and sour breast milk; bad breath, check; diner-smell, check, because maybe I didn’t shower, but at least I managed to cook something containing onions and ground beef for supper. (Secretly, I’m convinced he considers “eau de Waffle House” an aphrodisiac.) Those are also usually the days when I am called upon to mediate squabbles (post forthcoming, I promise — I live in Switzerland!) between the neighbor kids. Braless. With spinach in my teeth. And yesterday’s mascara (see? sometimes I do get it together!) smeared under my eyes like a raccoon’s mask.

    It’s not pretty, but at least I’m not the only one!

  13. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve arrived somewhere and then looked back to see I have hobo children. My 3-year-old has been to the school twice this week with McDonald Strawberry Shortcake stamps all over his body. Torn, mismatched clothes and sometimes no shoes at all. Today I was walking into the store with my cleaning clothes on, no make up, and hair not done with stamp boy and his brother, can’t see the face for the dirt hair standing straight up. Saw the primary president walking down the aisle and slipped away before she noticed me.

  14. I am often in my pj’s late in the day. Hey–if I get on a roll, I don’t want to risk losing it by stopping to change, right? And that’s why I own really cute pj’s! I also have a dirty-faced child. She is 9, and every piece of her clothing has always needed to be stain sprayed. Her triplet siblings get through most days unscathed, but she seems to collect the dirt for everyone. I call her my own Pig Pen.

    Sorry to hear about the pricey meds. That seems almost immoral for a child so small!

  15. Um, $240?!?!? That makes me want to support Obama-care.

    I’m all for letting my kids run around like maniacs. Are they destroying anything? No. Are they happy? Yes. Then what’s the big deal?

    Or so I tell myself every time I step foot in a pharmacy or post office.

  16. On the whole pajama thing, ummm, it is almost midnight and I am still in my pjs. From last night. And I could not tell you how many layers of spit up and leaked milk are on them. (TMI?)
    I had lots of fun trying to keep my kids from touching everything in the waiting room when I had to take my daughter in for stitches. Thankfully a nurse who saw me with a 1 month old baby they put me in an isolated waiting room. That helped.
    $240?? I hope we never need that prescription!

  17. Thought you’d like to know, it’s been years since I had a day like this. Your day will come. And the next time it happens, I expect the roles to be reversed. I’ll be an old lady, and I’m going to save up my worst gas for when my kids have to take me to the gerontologist to find out why I keep pooping in my pants.

    Oh, it will be SWEET!

  18. lol @ DeNae

    I’m sorry your day was wretched and you had to sell one of your children to pay for that prescription … my stars, drugs are expensive! Hope Natalie recovers quickly.

    I’m trying to learn from your example of finding the humor in it after being barfed on 7 or 8 times in the last 48 hours, once about 10 minutes after bathing the child who had *just* barfed on me, his bed, himself, and gotten it in his ears. And pooped on multiple times. It’s a good thing he’s not my first kid. I might have given up and given him to Kristina P., too.

    Ooo, and lately, I’ve only been changing out of my jammies if I’m going somewhere. PJs at 5:30 is fairly normal anyway, but it’s gotten worse with this pregnancy. It’s to the point that tonight, when I put on a dress that I only wear at home (it was cheap but it’s ugly), my husband asked where I was headed. To the living room. To clean up more barf, dear.

  19. Esther and DeNae you crack me up. I had my neighbour comment on how dressed up I was the other day. I was in jeans and a t-shirt with a bit of make-up on. Yep… you can guess how many times she’s seen me in sweat pants or pyjamas lucky to have a bra on. I replied with much tiredness in my voice “yes, sometimes I do try to look good”.

    I am so glad that it is not just me that worries about looking like white trash. I am so sorry about the $240… that would be my Christmas present to my daughter.

  20. This story hits me on many levels. Especially the passing gas & children laughing, the all-knowing parental terror.

    This morning my sweet six year old showed me a drawing she’d done of a Pet Shop toy dog. There was a strange loop coming out the back end of it. I asked innocently, “Sweetie, what’s this?” to my daughter’s reply, “Sorry, mom, but that’s poop!” and all the kids laughed their heads off.

    Thrills a minute being parents. Thrills, poop, & gas. 🙂

  21. Hang in there Stephanie.
    Thank you for sharing. It´s somehow comforting to know we moms go through the same things. I would share my day (and night) but it´s too painful to remember.
    $240 for a prescription??????????????????????? this is probably not a good moment to remind you it would have been FREE here, right?

    Love ya Steph.

  22. Your stories help me. I just shake my head slowly while I read and think, “We really do not get paid enough for this stuff.”

    So glad I checked your blog today. You’re great.

  23. Your post made me cry:) One minute I was laughing my head off and the next crying. Sound strange?- I guess. I just feel like most days I can not get my act together and surely, everyone out there seems to have their children all laced straight and in a row. So I suppose I was crying out of relief- That I’m not alone and for realizing that it’s probably hard for anyone who has more than one kid to keep her act together. Thanks Steph! (and all the others who commented!)

  24. Wow! My day suddenly looks a whole lot brighter. 🙂 Seriously though – I’ve been there. I’m relieved to know I’m not the only one still wearing pajamas at dinnertime some days. I hope Natalie is feeling better!

  25. Ugh, what a day. I feel your pain and feelings of shame. I think our kids will get along well.

    PJ’s at 5:30? You are my kind of woman. It is always easier to deal with a day when you are comfortable 🙂 !!

  26. Days like that make me want to cry, and I wouldn’t want to relive it by writing about it. I am fully impressed that you were able to see the humor in the situation, and live to tell us all about it (in hilarious detail).

  27. I may need to quit reading anything DeNae writes until I regain greater bladder capacity.

    Anyway, with an eight year spread between my two boys, we haven’t had days like this. Now that I’m going to have two with only two years between them, I fear my days are numbered.

    • Melanie, my daughter and son have a 9-year spread, and I’m also going to have two with only two years (or less) between them. I’m fearing days like this more and more and more, especially given how active and boy-ish my son is!

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