For the past few weeks, I've been saying how I am anxious for things to get back to normal. I crave routine. I thrive on a schedule. While I may enjoy the carefree, lazy days of summer, I function better when my life is regulated. Waking up at the same time, having a bedtime...it works for me.
The last week of our summer consisted of a family vacation. We traveled across the country and crossed through various time zones. I still don't think our sleep systems have regulated from all the change.
Then school started. The kids don't want to go to bed at 8:30 or 9:00 so they lie in bed awake for a while every night. Therefore, they're not ready to get up when the alarm goes off bright and early in the AM. I'm not quite used to the new schedule yet. Son #2 is still not in the right Math class.
Then, Hubby had two unexpected days off. It was so nice getting to spend time with him while three of the kids were in school. But that just meant that normalcy has still not returned. He went back to work today. I told him that I'm finally ready to get back to normal. Do you think that actually happened?
Panic began to set it. I looked at Baby Girl who was watching TV with no pants on. I was dressed, thankfully, but my hair was in curlers. "Do you want to come to the school?" the teacher asked. Uh, yeah! "I'll be right there," I said. I ripped the curlers out of my hair, threw it back into a messy bun, and shoved the baby in some pants that did not match. I called my father, who wasn't home, and jumped in the car.
About five other teachers were in the office, including the one who had called me. The humanity inside me wondered how bad they probably thought I looked since I got ready in about twelve seconds. Everyone started asking me questions all at the same time. Does she have any health problems? Has she had trouble breathing before? Does she have asthma? No. No. No. I glanced at the chair to find that Baby Girl was no longer there. I wondered what she was thinking of all this. Son #1's third grade teacher, whom I love, was carrying her around the office. She did look a tad panic-stricken though.
I was trying to be as calm and brave as possible, even though I felt like sitting on the floor and crying. It was so overwhelming. By this point, I was beginning to think that the situation was blown out of proportion. My daughter is a total drama queen. Whatever she states as truth needs to be dialed down by about half. I was gently trying to explain this to the swarms of people around me without sounding uncaring. I didn't want to look like I was shrugging off the situation. I explained that the circles under her eyes are normal. But they assured me that she did not look normal.
They checked her heart rate, pulse, blood pressure, and sugar with a finger prick. Everything came back normal but they still wanted to transport her to Children's Hospital. My eyes grew large as I thought about my baby riding in an ambulance. One of the medics said, "Mom knows best. What do you think?" I hated to say what I was really thinking- I think everyone is overreacting, I think she's fine, and this ambulance ride will cost me a fortune since she doesn't have health insurance. Yeah, I deserve the crappiest mom of the year award. I simply answered, "I will do whatever you advise. But I would like to take her myself." They were worried that she would pass out on the way to the hospital. I thought she looked fine, just a little scared. They called the hospital and shared the results of the tests. They said that if I was just going to take her home, they would insist on transporting her. But if I assured them I would take her to the doctor, they would release her. I agreed.
About an hour later, we scored an appointment at the doctor, who closes early on Wednesdays. Thank the Lord. He examined her thoroughly and found nothing wrong. He said we could continue to monitor her clinically. Or as an extra precaution, we could have an Echo done at the hospital. When he realized we didn't have insurance, he said that could totally wait. It wasn't necessary, just to be thorough.
We returned home with a Snow White sticker and a sense of peace. Hours have passed since and Big Sis is just as normal as she was yesterday. I am thankful for a staff of teachers who care that much about my daughter. The teacher holding the baby was even tearing up. They all asked to be updated as soon as possible. I am thankful that nothing is wrong. I am thankful that the doctor bill was only $50 and it gave me a kick in the rear to get health insurance as quickly as possible.
But no, things will not be returning back to normal. Not today.