It was a beautiful day yesterday. Blue sky, pleasant back-to-school fresh air. I’ve got to learn not to let that fool me, because yesterday kicked my ass.
I should probably begin with the $2.00 an hour parking, and the lot by the ferry terminal had this funky system that made you pay first, print the ticket and leave it on your dash. How the heck do I know how long I’m going to be? I just fed it all the coins I had, and it told me to come back at 2:01 pm. Allrighty. So I loaded all our stuff into the stroller, and marshalled the Boy into the building to meet mom and my sister.
Ferry crossing, no problem. Gorgeous. On the Halifax side we stopped to take a look at St. Pauls, the oldest church in Halifax. Beautiful. Then we went outside, and I felt something wet land on my arm.
Surely not. Surely it isn’t….yes, it is. Bird poop. Terrific. Well, that’s supposed to be good luck, isn’t it? I asked Mom as she Kleenexed me the best she could. Look on the bright side, and all that.
The thing about the Citadel is it’s a bloody big hill. With stairs. I mentioned the stroller, didn’t I? Mmhmm. And it’s a nice one, very sturdy and safe. So we’re carrying this thing up a bazillion stairs, and I’m remembering to be grateful for the little landings every so often. And then it happened. I picked up my end, and Mom wasn’t ready. Baby Girl slid right out onto the bricks. Mother of the year, that’s me. She was angry but intact, no scratches or bruises, thank you God. So I put her in the sling, wondering why I hadn’t done that in the first place, and upward we went, shook up but otherwise fine.
The 78th Highlanders, complete with drums and pipes, were going on a jaunt through the downtown. It was breathtaking, and as usual, I had to blink back tears as I watched them parade around the square and out through the gate. Pipes make me emotional.
We were eating sandwiches when my cell rang.
“Hi,” says DH, “How’s it going?”
“Well, I got pooped on by a bird, and then we dropped the baby. Now we’re sharing a tiny little $4.00 sandwich. How’s your day?”
“I think maybe you should go home now.”
I laughed. “Oh, I think we’re good now.”
“Ok. So anyway, I looked up that rash.” He’s talking about the one that’s on the back of Little Boy’s neck, behind his ears and slowly spreading across his cheeks. “It could be a lot of different things, allergic reaction or some fevers I won’t bother trying to pronounce.” Together we figured it was probably an allergic reaction, maybe to something in our new bottle of Looney Toones vitamins. Whatever.
So we had a quick boo around the museum and then figured we’d better hoof it back to the ferry, or else I’d have a parking ticket on top of everything. We were just in time, except we were about to board when Mom realized she didn’t have her purse. So her and Little Sister headed back up the hill, and I got on the ferry with my two kids and the stroller. (Halifax is the place to leave your purse in the bathroom, in case you're interested. Security had it.)
Good news, we got back to the car at precisely 2:01 pm.
Supper, chicken casserole. Mediocre. Afterwards, Little Boy gets up from the table and says to his Dad, “Look at this!” And pulls out the front of his pants. DH looks down there.
“Um, I think you maybe should go have this looked at. Show Mumma.”
The rash is spreading.
“Ok, I’ll take him in. They’re open until 9.” Oh, look. It’s Know-It-All-Mommy. Haven’t seen her since she slinked away after DROPPING HER BABY.
So of course the clinic closed at 5, and we were too late. We went to the Emergency Center, because by now I’m thinking of a certain McDonalds Birthday Party scheduled for the following morning and wondering if this maybe isn’t an allergic reaction after all.
The nurse looked at it, and she said,
“Well. That’s really different.” Which is, of course, just what I was hoping to hear. She told us we could wait, or we could scurry over to the after hours clinic Right Quick. So we tried to scurry, but the way out of the parking lot was blocked by a computerized arm-thing that wasn’t working. Eventually, we got there.
“You,” peered the doctor, a very kindly Middle Eastern man, “you got to be different, eh? What is this?” In the end, he decided on Hand-Foot-Mouth. Super contagious, if you haven’t had it at your house yet. Perfect for a new baby. “But this,” he waved a hand at the stuff on Boy’s neck, belly and waist, “This I don’t know. Another viral infection maybe. If it doesn’t go away in a week, see your doctor.”
“So, no birthday party?”
“No birthday party.” He ruffled Boy’s hair. “Next week, your friends come. No problem.”
I watched, I waited, certain that It was coming. But the tired, itchy boy with the cancelled birthday party handled it fine. He listened to me scrambling on my cell, calling parents at 9 pm the night before, postponing the festivities until next week. Then I explained to him we had to try not to spead it around. That’s when the tears came. All right, I thought, let’s talk about how sometimes we’re disappointed, and it can’t be helped. But that’s not why he was crying.
He was crying because he realized he wouldn’t be able to kiss his baby sister.
And this morning, when we gave him a present to offset the shitty deal he was getting, he gave the paper to the baby before he even looked to see what the present was.
We are blessed. We really are.