“What do you do all day?” I couldn’t help but laugh as I recalled the question someone asked me a few months ago. When she discovered I was a stay-at-home mother, my acquaintance thought this was an obvious question.
“What do I do?” My mind wandered to the previous day-the day my three children had checkups with our doctor.
Waking from my sleep, I yawned and stretched. I stopped suddenly as I realized that the house was still quiet.
“If I’m quiet I can get a shower before the kids wake up,” I thought excitedly. Being careful not to disturb my two-month-old daughter sleeping beside me, I rolled out of bed while holding my breath. With the stealth of an Indian, I tiptoed to the bathroom being careful to avoid the creaky spot in the hallway near my toddler boys’ room. I cringed as I turned on the shower that sounded like Niagara Falls with the house so quiet. Miraculously, I showered in peace and was even able to apply my make-up before hearing the first cry. I ran to my room and quickly nursed infant Kyla so that her whimpers wouldn’t wake the boys. If we were going to make it to the doctor’s office on time, I knew I would have to be ready to walk out the door before waking my toddler boys.
With Kyla dressed and fed, I decided it was time to get the boys ready. I threw Mason in the bathtub while I ran to the laundry room to find clothes for the boys to wear. (In our house that’s the first place we look for clean clothes as they rarely make it back into the drawers.) After both boys were clean and dressed, I was ready to load them into the van.
“I want some toast, Mom!” Hunter, my three-year-old, reminded me that growing boys DO need to eat. I threw four pieces of bread in the toaster, then buttered and jellied them as quickly as possible. Looking at the clock, I realized we needed to leave immediately if we were going to be on time.
“Bring it with you!” I huffed as I ran downstairs to put Kyla in her car seat. As Hunter and Mason appeared at the bottom of the stairs, I grabbed Mason and told Hunter to follow me to the van. Climbing in the back-seat, I buckled the boys in their car seats. As I ran back into the house to get Kyla, I noticed I was breathing as if I was running a marathon. “I might as well be running a marathon,” I thought to myself.
As I pulled into the doctor’s parking lot, my mind raced. Just getting all three kids in the door would be a huge task. Having successfully corralled the boys while carrying Kyla’s car seat into the office, I sank into one of those not-so-comfy waiting room chairs after signing us in.
When our name was called, I switched into Super-Mom mode.
“Follow me, Boys.” I said firmly as I threw my purse and diaper bag over my shoulder. I picked up Kyla’s car seat and we followed the nurse down the hall to get Hunter’s weight. As I took off Hunter’s shoes, Mason decided to explore.
“Come back here, Mason,” I scolded just as Hunter yelled, “I don’t want my shoes off!” Fortunately, Kyla was content in her car seat, but my head was already beginning to ache and we’d only been in the office for ten minutes. After putting his shoes back on, Hunter finally decided to cooperate and stand on the scale.
Heading down another hallway to get Hunter’s height, the nurse noticed my diaper bag slamming against the wall as I struggled to carry Kyla’s car seat and drag Mason by the arm.
“You can put your things in this room,” she said kindly. I dropped my load, left Kyla in the exam room and took Hunter to get measured.
“Put your feet against the wall, Hunter,” I said sweetly, hoping he wouldn’t embarrass me and throw a fit. As Hunter whimpered, Mason came running toward me yelling, “CANDY!” Which he had spotted on the counter. My head felt like a top spinning out of control. Somehow, the nurse and I managed to get Hunter to stand still and then I ran for the exam room. “These people will be so glad to see us go,” I thought. Mason and Kyla were a bit more cooperative as the nurse got their weight and height. Then we sat in the room waiting for the doctor. Having a minute to myself, I took a deep breath and let out a sigh. I only had a few minutes to rejuvenate and bounce back into Super-Mom mode.
“I don’t want my clothes off!” Hunter yelled as I tried to undress him. I knew the entire office could hear his screams. “The doctor’s just going to listen to your heart and check your ears,” I explained. I knew my desperate attempt to make this sound fun was failing. In the meantime, Mason was tearing books out of a basket and throwing them on the floor. Kyla was upset because her nap had been interrupted, so I had three little monsters on my hands. I calmed Kyla with a bottle and told Mason to look at one book. Hunter finally decided he could handle sitting in his underwear for a few minutes.
The doctor came in and asked me questions about each child. I could barely hear her over the noises and distractions my children were providing. With a brave smile I answered each question. When the time came for them to be examined, I could only pray. “Please, just don’t let them all get mad at the same time, Lord!” I can handle one crying child-maybe even two. But three screaming kids would send anyone to the asylum!
We made it through the exams and I even managed to get all three kids dressed again. I chased Mason down the hall and out the door with Hunter trailing behind us while Kyla’s car seat swung recklessly on my arm. After buckling them all back into their seats I sank into the driver’s seat and let out a huge sigh. We did it.
Back at home, I put Mason and Kyla down for naps and let Hunter watch some cartoons. I needed just a few minutes to myself to recover from the experiences of the day.
The next time someone dares ask me what I do all day, I think I’ll start with this story.
Trisha K. LaCoste [email protected]
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Copyright © 2004 by Trisha K. LaCoste, All Rights Reserved
Trisha lives in Roanoke, VA with her husband, Anthony. They are proud parents of Hunter (3), Mason (2), and Kyla (2 months). Trisha is an aspiring writer who has learned to see the humor in situations that would otherwise be considered stressful. She enjoys writing short stories and poems based on real-life situations.