Thursday, I had an appointment with my OB. I had decided earlier this week (when I remembered my appointment) that since it was spring break, I would not dump my three children on someone else who already had all their children home for the week. I mean, the appointments are under five minutes long, right? And my kids are relatively well-behaved, right? And it just seems ridiculous to drop my kids off at a friend's house just to pick them up 10 minutes later after a weigh-in and heartbeat-check. I'm going to go ahead and admit now that this line of reasoning was a huge mistake.
First, we got behind a little this morning. I realized at 9:00 that we needed to leave in 15 minutes, but I was still getting Bella dressed, Naomi's hair was not yet done, and I was in my pajamas. When I am heading out the door with all three of my children, I usually like to make sure we are all well-groomed, since I like to appear to be a mother that is capable of handling her brood. And especially at the doctor's office, I need to look like three children is not a big deal, since I will soon be caring for four. I made some quick decisions, foregoing a shower, applying extra deodorant, mascara, and bronzer,
We were called back to the examination room, and the nurse raised her eyebrows at my entourage. I apologized, explaining again about spring break, and we did our weigh-in (lovely, isn't it?) and blood pressure. Bella is crying now, because she is now very clear on the association of doctor's offices and shots. VERY CLEAR. She keeps covering her mouth and saying "I scared" between sobs. After the nurse leaves, however, my little monster decides that she will probably escape this horrible situation unscathed and begins to investigate the room. I decide that I need to get everyone arranged before the doctor arrives, so I set her on my chair, with her favorite baby doll, and I talk to the big girls about the fort in the corner of the room. (It's a small dressing area with a curtain.) I am getting Olivia and Mimi set up in the fort with their Barbies (a 5-second procedure) when I hear a drawer slam open and I turn around to find Annabel, one hand in the speculum-SPECULUM!-drawer of the examination table and one hand around a bottle of clear solution which she is guzzling as fast as she can. I gasp and run to figure out what she is drinking. The bottle is unlabeled. It smells of nothing, but it looks suspiciously like a specimen jar. And I'm faced with a dilemma. Do I assume it's innocuous and simply return it to the drawer? Or do I have to face the nurse and 'fess up because that bottle could be anything? I decide I have to tell, so I shamefacedly slink out of the room. I babble that I really was watching the baby, but she got in a drawer and she drank some of . .. whatever it is and I'm sorry and is it a problem? She informs me that it's only water, "warm water for the speculums" and that it's not a big deal, and she walks back into the room with me and replaces the bottle in the drawer and shuts it. (If I'd only known. I can put a bottle back in a drawer and I could have saved myself the humiliation.) Then she says, (kindly, but firmly) "We really can't have the kids playing in the drawers."
At this point, I think, "Do you really think I didn't know that? Do you really think that prior to coming here, I told my children that we were going to a fun room full of little drawers and they could have at it? Obviously, I know that my kids shouldn't be in the drawers. It was a five-second mistake, and I've already apologized." But before my righteous indignation got the better of me, I remembered that I had let my one-and-a-half-year old drink SPECULUM water (I'm pretty sure it was unused), and I needed to get back down off that high horse. If Bella develops trichomonas of the mouth, I'll know the hygiene of my doctor's office is not up to snuff.