Day 2, 2013

I have trouble with even the simplest of Math but, really, I should have been able to compute that Mac was due back in school a mere 10 days after we returned from vacation. This would fall under the category of “hand-math” which is as pathetic as it sounds; literally math I can solve using my fingers. Please don’t judge me, the right side of my brain rocks.

 And I was going to need every ounce of those creative brain waves if I was going to get this kid prepared and out the door in a little over a week. First on the agenda was the sports physical.

 Having cancelled two annual physicals over the summer for totally lame reasons, I didn’t even attempt to call the pediatrician, I googled Right Time Clinic. These people make a living off procrastinating moms– like me– in branches all over the country.

 There is a handy form for appointments that you can complete on-line which The Minute Clinic should really investigate. Pick your location. Click. Pick your reason for visit. Click. Pick your time. Click. Hit submit. Click. I got my confirmation call before I could click on the little red “x” in the corner to close out the screen which was alarming and comforting all at the same time.

 A glance at the clock and more “hand-math” showed I had two hours until Mac’s appointment but only one hour until the cleaning crew was due. This crew only came once a month to clean so I carried a significant amount of shame about the lack of maintenance between visits. So, I spent an equally significant amount of time cleaning before each cleaning.

 Now, many would argue that this is a ridiculous exercise as the entire purpose of hiring cleaners is to save me time and effort. These people either have someone who comes in once a week reducing their clutter and shame or are just naturally neat. I am not remotely familiar with either of these scenarios.

 I contend that my “straightening” allows them to more effectively do their jobs so I actually get more for my money. And hopefully, it makes them judge me a little less. Like Elaine on Seinfeld was spot on about the manicurists talking and laughing about her, I am confident that disparaging chatter fills the van after each cleaning, if not while they are here in my house. I should have paid more attention through all those years of Spanish.

 I had just secured the first level when Murphy ran to the door. I followed him out of curiosity and gulped hard when I spied the tell-tale white van and the pole end of a mop through the side windows of the door. Seriously? The woman who owns this cleaning company is my former nanny—it’s complicated—so she is well aware of my math and organizational challenges. She is also well aware that sending a crew 45 minutes early is just cruel to someone with my handicaps.

 They have a key so it was not like I could just ignore them, so I opened the door. I didn’t have to pretend to look flustered, I was. I expressed my shock at the early arrival in faltering Spanglish and the ladies just brushed past me in a blur of buckets, vacuums and equipment; oblivious to my panic.

 I darted upstairs ahead of them and removed the as yet unpacked duffel bags from the hall, winced at the state of the boys’ bathroom and made a mental note to add lots of money to the cleaning check at Christmas. And maybe some homemade cookies.

 I ushered Drew and Reed into the basement and prepared to leave with Mac to run errands before our appointment. I reminded the boys that Murphy has an unnatural obsession with the feather duster and had been known to jump in the air like a circus dog in order to snatch it out of the hand of the cleaners. The ladies pretended to be entertained by this, but their laughter had a touch of hysteria that couldn’t be masked. I bade farewell to the crew, waved the check in the air and departed.

 A short time later Mac and I arrived at Right Time to a packed house. There was no room to even sit down on one of the pleather upholstered benches that were designed to look upbeat and modern but really were installed because of their washability.

 We checked in and were handed a clipboard with one million questions and accompanying little tiny check boxes. I handed it to Mac and pretended that knowing your own medical history was a rite of passage when, in reality, I had forgotten my reading glasses and had no hope of actually completing the form.

 We moved over to a separate counter to avoid the groups of patients being processed in and then released. At the desk was a woman who was requesting a note excusing her from her job. She was surrounded by four children who all looked to be under the age of 10. Each of them sucked on an Icee while they waited which I thought was the most unsanitary thing in the universe. Sort of like taking a scoop of water from the aquarium if you were thirsty.

 I wanted to grab her shoulders, look her in the eye and say, “Go to work.” Even without knowing what she did for a living, I knew it had to be more restful than staying home with four kids sugared up from multiple popsicles.

 The advantage of having an appointment became abundantly clear the minute we finished our paperwork. We were shown to a room immediately where we were treated to a screening of the movie “Antz” on a flat screen. On the opposite wall another flat screen displayed useful medical information on continuous loop.

 I found out fascinating facts like the right side of the lungs expand to take in more air because the left side has to compensate for the heart. Hmmm. Doctor’s offices have come a long way. As a child, my pediatrician had photos of all the babies he had delivered lining the wall and my fondest wish was to be placed in the room that contained my photo. That was our only entertainment, to stare at our newborn selves, as we swung our legs off the edge of the table and waited it out.

 Teenage boys are probably the worst patients ever. They are reserved enough without distraction but the low buzz emitting from Mac’s phone every five seconds was making it worse. I gave him the mom look that said, “Could you not have turned off your phone, really?” Eyebrows up, grimace, head tilted and all. He returned the favor by pretending ‘Antz’ was the most fascinating movie ever filmed.

 When we were cleared, given five sheets of forms and told to proceed to check out we noted that, if possible, the waiting room had gotten more crowded in our absence. Mac beat a hasty retreat while I was left to pay the bill. The physical was not eligible for insurance and cost $45 which was my punishment for not planning ahead and using our regular doctor and incurring only a co-pay.

 But, I don’t even have to stop to do the math to realize that it is worth the price to be able to cross one thing off the back to school list.

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Magnificence in the Mundane

Finding humor in kids and chaos

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Magnificence in the Mundane

Finding humor in kids and chaos

WordPress.com

WordPress.com is the best place for your personal blog or business site.

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