It was Thursday, June 2, 2016
A Mid-Day Adventure:
I am very familiar with Hope’s bus schedule and pick-up / drop-off locations, but I’ve only ever actually taken her to school once. Maybe it was on the next street down. Nope. I have a dumb phone, no GPS, so I decided to run back by the house which was just a few streets down. I ran inside and looked up her school’s location while simultaneously using the bathroom. The school was just past where I’d been looking. I grabbed the babies’ shoes and a box of cereal for the kids’ snack (there were juice boxes in the car), and off we went again.
When we finally arrived at Hope’s school, we saw stairs, many stairs, so I nixed the stroller idea and quickly put their little shoes on them. I asked the only person I saw, a maintenance worker, where the office was. He pointed me toward a doubtful direction, “I think you can get there through here.” Holding a tiny hand in each of mine, the twins, Mica and I traversed the stairway and sure enough, the doors were locked. So we walked around to another stairwell. This one had a doorbell. Thank goodness, we’d made it to the office. “I’m here to pick up my niece, Hope.” “Oh, I should have told you on the phone, we have two offices. She’s at the other one on the other end of the campus. If you get back in your car…” I stopped her there. I wasn’t about to go strap everyone back in just to drive to the other side of the building, especially since Bella’s been showing increasing independence, pitching a fit if she can’t strap herself in (and bless her heart, and all our hearts, she just can’t do it yet). “Can we walk through here?” I knew there were End Of Grade tests being taken but at this point, we were all pretty exhausted and I figured the chances of us bothering the test-takers were small, since I saw a group of students walking down the hall. “Okay” the lady replied and pulled a child from the line of students and instructed her to show us the way.
After walking three sets of halls we came to yet another stairwell and this time had to go down. Brooks decided it would be fun to jump the steps two-by-two while Bella’s dainty little steps kept her high as I tried to balance the two. It was a good thing I had Mica with me to help hold their hands or we probably would have tumbled down the three flights! (In reality, I would have had to carry them.) We rounded the last corner to the office to find Hope waking up from a nap. She smiled. I explained the mix-up to the attendance officer who scolded me for picking Mica up early from her school despite her not being sick. “Ugh. First of all, lady, you don’t know what kind of day I’ve had, and it’s only 11:30am. Second of all, I didn’t know Mica wasn’t sick until after she was checked out and in the car. Third, If I didn’t take her with me then, I may not be able to pick her up later, in case I have to give Hope and Tia a ride to her doctor, who is in the next town over. And fourth, and finally, she’s helping me with the babies while I pick Hope up, so stay out of my business and stop judging me!” Ok, I didn’t say that out loud, but it was what I was thinking as I took a good brow-beating.
Getting back to the car was a little easier. We went out the doors and around the building to the parking lot. Hope and Mica helped me hold the twins’ hands in the parking lot. As predicted, Miss Bella wanted to buckle herself in, so I let her try while I fastened Brooks’ seatbelt. I gave Hope some Tylenol and a drink and made sure everyone had a snack and juice. This calmed Bella enough to let me strap her in with little fuss.
On the way to pick up Tia, I had a feeling she wouldn’t be ready. I wondered if she’d even made an appointment yet. I told her a year ago to transfer Hope to a doctor here in town and she still hasn’t done it. Her doctor is 30 minutes away! So I called to check on her status. Sure enough, she hadn’t even showered and told me to take Hope to my house. Tia’s boyfriend gets off of work at 2pm, he’d pick her up then and they were going to try to take her to a new doctor here in town. I was relieved I wouldn’t have to drive to the next town with all four kids and wait at the doctors’ office with a bunch of sick kids…