Monday, May 19, 2014

Just one of those days...

Friday was one of those days. The kind that looks like it's going to be great and then suddenly falls apart. And there's nothing you can do but watch it fall.

I was really looking forward to it, actually. It's one of my favorite days of the school year. I had a guest speaker--a young college student from Afghanistan. We're in the middle of reading The Kite Runner, and my students have been doing research on topics related to Afghanistan. I love watching their faces as our speaker talks--as they make connections between what they've been reading and what he's saying. Or as they realize the disparity between the two. The fact that no news source can really give you a picture of what life is like in Afghanistan for a woman or a member of a minority ethnic group.

That part of the day went really well. Sure, I was crazy busy, running around trying to get everything done, but I had two 80 minute blocks where I listened to him speak and watched my students really learn something. It was good.

Then I had to rush out to get to my doctor's appointment. Eric and I decided the night before that I would drive down to the hospital and try to get in and out, so that I could pick up Cade. For my last appointment, he and the kids had gone off to the park for lunch with friends and then my appointment lasted no more than twenty minutes. Literally. I was in and out. But here's where things fell apart on Friday.

I did my best. I arrived early, managed to park (double parking about six cars and immediately being double parked myself), and headed to the doctor's office. It turns out that one perk to taking a taxi to the hospital is not having to walk by quite as many people walking around outside with their IVs and cigarettes while in their hospital gowns. Usually, I go in the front and only see a couple of those.

I checked in and was weighed and had my blood pressure taken. Then I sat. Nearly alone in the waiting room. I sat some more. People started filling in all around me. I heard one of the nurses say my name (which they awkwardly pronounce Che-shee), so I got a little excited, but she only came over to tell me that there were five people ahead of me. Lovely. I'd shown up early, it was now past my appointment time, and there somehow there were now five people ahead of me. Perfect.

I had already texted Eric letting him know that it wasn't looking like I was going to be able to pick up Cade. Now, I knew that I wasn't going to make it. I had already been waiting longer than my entire appointment last time. I called him. He didn't pick up. I texted him. He didn't respond. I called again. He didn't pick up. I called his classroom. He didn't pick up. I texted him again.

The doctor called me in and let me know that there was a test she wanted to do. I told her (again) I wasn't interested. She asked me if I'd had my ultrasound yet. I said no. She sent me back out to wait for it. Great. At all of my appointments I have had an ultrasound, and typically I have it before I go in to see the doctor, so I was really confused this time. And really unhappy that I had to wait again. I texted Eric again. He still didn't respond.

Moments later, Cade's school called. It was now 10 minutes past his normal bus stop time. I'd had no choice but to assume that Eric had gotten my texts and was just too busy (or angry with this upset to his schedule) to respond to me. But no, now the school was calling, and I knew that couldn't be good news. They were at the bus stop and there was no one to pick him up. I had failed. Big time.

I told her that Eric was supposed to be on his way and that I would call him again. This time, he answered the phone. We've had this conversation before (though thankfully never as a result of anyone not picking up our son!
Me: Where are you?!? (sounding completely panicked, trying to whisper because, as it turns out, there are actually English speakers around me, and trying desperately not to cry because I already know the answer)
Him: At school. Where else would I be?
Me: YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO BE PICKING UP OUR SON!!!! Haven't you gotten my texts? Or my phone calls? Where have you been? (now, definitely crying, but still kind of trying to whisper while I scream)
Him: I assumed you were getting him because I hadn't heard anything from you. (trying to pretend like it's the phone's fault, like none of my text messages or phone calls went through)
Me: What do you mean you hadn't heard anything from me?????? The school bus is there, and there's no one to pick him up! I'm still waiting for my ultrasound! I haven't even seen the doctor! I can't leave now!!!
Him: Okay, I'm leaving right now. I'll go pick him up. He hangs up.
I'm still talking. Me: Okay. I'll call the school. I don't know if they're going to wait for you.

I call the school. Tell her Eric is 15 minutes away still (if he finds a cab right away). She says they can't wait. I'll have to pick him up at the school. I hang up and get called in for my ultrasound. I try to breathe and remember this is big. I'm watching my baby move inside me. It's a wiggler and keeps waving at us with its hand in the air. She asks if I want to know the gender, and of course, I do. But, instead of focusing on this miracle, all I can think is: we can barely take care of the two we have! How are we going to juggle three?? Someone is always going to be left at the bus stop now!!

I try calling Eric again. He doesn't pick up. I get called in to see the doctor. I'm trying to text Eric as I walk and talk to her. I'm fine, the baby's fine. I schedule my next appointment; I'm running out of the office and down the stairs.

I call Eric again, and he picks up. I tell him that the bus won't be there (seriously! the time spent with dr. and ultrasound tech were so fast!) when he gets there. We have to drive to the school to pick him up, but I still don't know the way and I won't be able to park and I don't know what to do. He says I should just pick up him and Kennedy at home and we'll all go. Okay. That will work.

I manage to get my double-parked car out and get on the road, still shaking. I call him again. Tell him it will take me forever to get back home to pick him up, he needs to meet me outside the school and we can go from there. He has just gotten out of the taxi that turns around in our parking lot and then they get right back in it. And go right back where they'd come from. That was 8 bucks we'll never see again.

I'm still a little stressed, but we eventually meet and head to the school. Things go fairly smoothly. It always takes awhile to get there, though. By the time we arrive, Cade should've been off the bus and at home for more than an hour, but I try not to think about that. Eric runs up to get him, and he's in a great mood when he gets in the car. He got to play Go Fish with his teacher. Man, I love that kid.

I had already made plans with friends to go see the movie "Moms' Night Out" and boy, did I need it after that day. Cade chose to have pizza for dinner and go see the 5th grade musical at school as our way of making it up to him. The day ended on a high note for all of us. The kids enjoyed the musical, I loved the movie, and I was reassured that I'm not the only mom who hasn't picked up her child. All is well that ends well. (And yes, I am fully aware that this is, in no way, Korea's fault!)

These pictures are from Cade's "football training" this spring. I brought my camera the first time, so that I wouldn't feel pressure to take pictures every time. He was the first kid to arrive, and he was right at home running around and getting some one-on-one time with his new coach. He really enjoyed it, and it was so nice to see him get involved in a team sport--with kids his own age, rather than middle school or high school girls!

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