My poor friend Sylvia got to hear the wrath of the irritated Prego-prego-Nikki this morning.
Let me enlighten you.
This morning I was supposed to go to a TMO (Travel Management Office) briefing about moving our household goods because my active-duty husband is in Alabama still and they require the briefing to be at least 10 days before the move. And they only have briefings on Tuesday. The briefing was to start at 9 a.m. and would only be 30 minutes. There was a note saying not to be late and to arrive 15 minutes early. grr!
I had planned on dropping the three younger kids off at Sylvia's house at 8:30 a.m. and sending Pookie off to school early to eat breakfast there since I wouldn't still be at home in time to put him on the bus.
But Gabbers and Ham are still sick. Ham had just started to get sick on the weekend. But Gabbers has had a fever of about 103- 104 since last Tuesday. I decided, evil hormone-influenced person I am, that if THEY were going to MAKE me go to their STUPID briefing and MAKE me be 15 minutes early, THEY would get the honor of having a sick 1 year old and 5 year old at the briefing as well. So there. Brilliant plan. Not very well thought through. AND I wasn't planning on the blizzard.
This morning I woke up at 5 minutes to 7 to make sure I could make an appointment for Gabbers as soon as the appointment line opened. I called approximately 97 times- I kid you not- before I got through at 7:45 a.m. Before I got through I kept getting messages saying that they do not open until 7:00 a.m.
I tried to make an appointment for Gabbers and Ham. The nice lady making the appointments offered me 9:30 a.m. I told her about the briefing and could I possibly come at 9:40 a.m. She said that 9:30 a.m. is the only time today she could get both kids in. And that's where I became the irate caller.
"What?! I have been calling since 7 a.m. when SUPPOSEDLY you are taking calls. I just got through JUST NOW and there are NO appointments left other than this one?! How is that possible?"
She said, "Well ma'am, the doctors are delayed because of the blizzard and we just started taking calls five minutes ago. We don't even have to be here until 8 a.m. ma'am."
I said, "So, if you just started taking calls, how are they all filled up already?"
She said, "I'm sorry ma'am, but this is the only time I can fit them both in together."
STOP CALLING ME MA'AM.
I said, "Okay, then can I just make an appointment for my daughter? She seems to be much worse than my son."
typing sound. click-clack-clacketty clack
She said, "I can get her in at 9:55 a.m. ma'am. Will that work?"
I said, "Yes that will work just fine. Thank you very much."
She said, "Please pick up her records across from the pharmacy and bring them to Family Practice. She'll be seeing the doctor there."
I asked, "How long does it take to pick up records?"
"Oh, no more than thirty-seconds," she replied.
I hung up the phone and decided to call the weather line to see if school was cancelled.
Blah, blah, blah, important personnel info about certain people reporting to work as normal and everyone else being delayed until 8 a.m. They listed the road conditions (which were not favorable) and then said that school buses were running on time.
I called Sylvia and blurted out my frustration about school not being cancelled, TMO briefing not being cancelled, and that I was taking Gabbers and Ham with me and only Bun would be coming over to play.
After I got off the phone with her I called the actual school to double check. Nope, school was still in for the day and buses would pick up the kids on time.
I quickly dressed in a maternity dress and sandals-- because seriously, the only snow boots I have look RIDICULOUS with a flowy maternity dress. And I'm not really interested in wearing running shoes and socks with a dress anyway. In retrospect, I should've stayed in my pajamas and worn the boots. That would've let TMO know even more my distaste for them forcing me to go to a briefing while my husband is TDY. Anyhow...
By the time I dropped off Pookie at school there was enough snow on the van that the door was a little too frozen for a 7 year old to close. I had to hop out run around the van in 4 inches of snow (in my sandals) and close it. I wished Pookie a happy day at school and told him I'd see him later.
I dropped off Bun next at Sylvia's house. The snow was really drifting in front of her house and was up to his knees. Good thing all the kids had boots on and were dressed sensibly. I thanked her profusely and hurried back to the van.
I blasted the heater in the van praying my feet would thaw and wondered that this must be how the pioneers felt when they crossed the plains in the dead of winter. They were probably more sensible too though and saved the sandals for summertime.
When we got to TMO there were so many vehicles there we had to park at the very end of the parking lot. I carried Ham in- for which I was very grateful because he kept me a little warmer as he buried his face into my neck squealing. But the squealing was muffled by the crazy blizzard. Gabbers tried desperately to walk in my steps. And right before the stairs to go into the building was a giant drift of snow that came past her knees. I struggled to get the three of us inside without frostbite. We stomped the snow off and then quickly found our way into the room for the briefing.
The person giving the briefing didn't arrive until 9 a.m. That ticked me off since we had to be there early. And there was no reason for us to be that early either. We didn't have to do paperwork or anything.
The briefing lasted 50 minutes. At one point during the briefing Ham became VERY upset that the man in the flight suit was NOT Daddy. He began smacking the wall with his magna doodle in one hand and a tightly closed bottle of Ensure in the other hand. I was only mildly embarrassed. The other people in the briefing didn't even seem to care. I think it kept one man awake during the very boring video that we had to watch.
After the briefing we were unpleasantly surprised to a few more inches of snow on the ground. A wonderful lady carried Gabbers to the van behind me and Ham. I could've hugged her or cried. I was so grateful for her act of kindness.
Going the speed limit, which was far too fast in this weather, we made it to the clinic a couple minutes late. We picked up the medical records for Gabbers and hurried over to Family Practice. The lady said my appointment had been cancelled due to being a no-show, but she'd check anyway with the doctor. The doctor said, "Tell her we'll see her. The weather is so bad, I'll see everybody today if they make it." He's a great doctor- almost as great as my OB.
While the nurse was taking Gabbers vitals and checking her oxygen level, I stepped out to use the restroom. When I came back, my phone had just stopped ringing. It was a strange phone number; everything except the area code was all zeroes. I dismissed it as a telemarketer and put it away in my coat.
The doctor listened to her lungs, checked her ears, nose and throat, and then asked, "Does she have any medications or anything she's on? Has she lost weight? Or is she always this tiny?"
I told him that she hasn't been interested in eating or drinking this past week and just wants to sleep all the time. And I also told him I think she's lost a few pounds. But yes, she's a bit on the tiny side.
He sent her down to Radiology for a chest x-ray.
Ham thought it was so fun running back and forth through the clinic. At Radiology the lady asked if Gabbers would be able to stand very still for the x-ray or if she needed me to come in with her. I described to the lady "my condition" and that I'd talk to Gabbers and she'd be fine.
When Gabbers came out of the x-ray she had two big stickers because she was so good for the lady. We went back to the waiting room to await the results of the x-ray.
We didn't have to wait long, the nurse called us back to a room and the doctor was there in less than a minute. The diagnosis: Gabbers has walking pneumonia. He sent us to the pharmacy for a prescription.
My phone buzzed indicating I had a voicemail. I called it to find out that school would be getting out early and the children would be send home on buses at 10:30. It was already 11 a.m. I called the school desperate to find out where my Pookie might be. Pookie's school was going to be loading kids onto the buses at 11:30 a.m. What a relief!
I hurried to Sylvia's house, picked up my Bun, and hurried home with just a few minutes to spare.