I had big plans for this, the first preschool free day of Thanksgiving "Break". Friends were coming over to play! I was going to make breakfast tacos! But then James woke up howling and screeching from his crib with the diaper rash to end all diaper rashes. I dosed him up with all of his various creams for the high-maintenance baby that we've accumulated in the last several months, then stuck him in his high chair for some breakfast.
He was really losing his mind when I came down from taking a shower. Ryan had him on the floor to change his diaper, which he hates, so he was screaming and writhing around and I was flustered and snappy with the other kids who were hopping around me, half dressed, and yelling over the screaming "I WANT SOME HOT CHOCOLATE, MAMA!" on repeat as I picked my way around the kitchen stepping over toys and pajama pieces and tiny pairs of underpants, trying to straighten up a little bit for the friends who would be coming over.
Then, over the screaming and the whining I heard Ryan say "Oh my gosh, you poor, poor thing. BEC COME LOOK AT THIS."
There was blood. The rash was bleeding. It was bleeding so bad that when Ryan wiped some away more took its place almost immediately. James wrested himself from Ryan's grasp and rolled away. Blood got all over the carpet.
I calmly reported that I would be taking him to the emergency room and WOULD EVERYONE PLEASE FIND THEIR DAMN SHOES AND PUT THEM ON RIGHTNOW.
Ryan got him cleaned up and put a nice soft cloth diaper on him (the best one we have, he said, even though we don't use cloth anymore) while I dialed the pediatrician. Of course because it's the Monday morning before a holiday I was on hold for what felt like seven hours, listening to advertisements for the Med Spa and their new website where you can make appointments online, which, HOW CONVENIENT. Maybe there is a box you can check for "My baby's ass is bleeding, must come in ASAP."
Ryan took the phone from me when he noticed my eyes threatening to pop out of my skull. I get the other kids dressed while he waited on hold.
He made the earliest possible appointment and then we got everyone in the car and I headed out.
The doctor diagnosed him with a strep infection and prescribed an antibiotic, some more fancy creams, and some formula that costs more than the down payment on a new car. He checked his ears and gums and throat and we were on our way.
Or so I thought.
After I schlepped everyone back down the elevator, through the lobby, and out to the car I found the doors to the van locked.
"Who locked the doors?" I wondered aloud.
"I DID!" Charlie was so proud of himself. Which is why he was so confused when I sighed loudly and said "WHY?!"
I rifled through my purse with one hand, holding James in the other arm, and reminded Wes to get out of the street approximately every five seconds. There were no keys.
I squatted down in the empty parking space beside my car, put James on the ground, and started taking things out of my bag. The huge formula samples, the prescription, the books I took to entertain the kids, the extra diaper, the headphones, and my wallet. There were no keys. I retrieved James, who had crawled halfway under the car, reminded Wes to stay close, then said out loud to no one in particular,
"SHIT. YOU KIDS NEVER SAY THAT WORD. SHIT!!"
I gathered everything back together, James, the diaper bag, my purse, the other two kids, and we moved out of the parking lot and onto the entrance of the office building where I could complete a more thorough search. Still no keys.
I hoisted James onto my hip, let Charlie carry the diaper bag, and put Wes in charge of James's lovey and paci. We went back through the lobby, up the elevator, down the hall, into the pediatrician's office, down the hall, around the corner, and back into the exam room.
Where I found not only my keys, which were on top of the doctor's stool underneath the table, but also James's pants.
The four of us trooped back down the hall, out of the office, down the other hall, down the elevator, through the lobby, down the stairs, across the parking lot, and into the (now unlocked!) car.
And then we headed straight for Dunkin Donuts.