Saturday, October 11, 2008

If It's Friday Then It Must Be....

There's a mossy old joke that originated with the traveling tours that promised to visit X amount of countries in as many days as whatever the original X was. Of course such itineraries are bound to produce a little exhaustion-induced confusion, so it's no surprise that one woman turned to her traveling companion and asked just where the heck they were. Her friend consulted the guidebook and said, "It's Wednesday, so this must be France!"

I have days like that without ever leaving my own tiny geographical area. Heck, I have had days like that without ever leaving the house -- they were particularly plentiful when I had three children in diapers. We won't even go into that infamous Lost Weekend when everybody came down with a rotovirus, except to mention that the children were considerate enough to time their active bouts of illness with the exact schedule of the washing machine. At this hazy remove I can't remember if they got sick just before or after the dryer buzzer went off, but the timing was nothing short of uncanny. DBS and I didn't sleep for 48 hours. I didn't know I was capable of heroics like that before I had children.

This week we were catching up on immunization shots and physicals and I managed to schedule the children on the same day, although at two hour intervals. I figured we'd go in, get the first one done and over with, have lunch and then get the other two done. Everybody has "Go Bags" stocked with books, stuffed animals, and knitting so I can enforce some sort of recreation on a child the minute they mutter, moan, or wail "I'm bo-o-o-o-o-o-ored!" No, this isn't my first rodeo. Why do you ask? Anyway, I love my pediatrician. We get Banshee #1 in and she asks the nurse if it would be possible to get the preliminary requirements of the physical out of the way so our return trip would be that much quicker. That almost immediately morphed into: "Let's get them all out of the way at once!" Now imagine three wiggly, giggly children, one oversized Momma Bear (that's me!) and one petite pediatrician all stuffed into one itty bitty examining room.

Now, part of the reason we were doing physicals in the first place is because of some paperwork I have to keep in my homeschool files. Yes, I could do the waiver but what the heck -- I wanted to see if everybody was healthy enough to run around the front yard, and if there were any underlying issues I hadn't caught. As long as we're at the doctor's anyway we might as well get a couple of i's dotted and t's crossed, no? So the doctor asks what school the Banshees attend and I tell her the name of our private school, and EB pipes up (very proudly, I've taught that gal well) that we're homeschooled.

Okay, I'd be lying if I said that didn't curl my toes a little. We aren't doing anything illegal but a concerned medical practitioner can make a bit of trouble if they get the wrong idea, and a small room with three wiggly children isn't my idea of the best place to gently educate someone as to California private school law. Fortunately she took it all in stride, which is good, because wrangling Banshees in tight corners under deadlines tends to get me focused on just that -- which means I sound like an utter idiot on just about every other subject. We did clear up the misapprehension that I was filing the medical papers with the school district. She looked very confused when I said I didn't have to, but I gave her the short-hand version (I run a private school and the paperwork is something the state wants) and that cleared things up. Now, the state doesn't require that I file anything but the Private School Affidavit, but under the private school statutes there are a few things I do have to keep on hand in my own filing cabinets. Check one more of those thingies off after this week.

I took everybody out for lunch as a special treat, then we had to go back and do a little routine labwork. Note, the girls have turned into Screaming Meemies over shots and bloodwork, but the boy found it all very fascinating. I'm making DBS take them all the next time...mainly because I have a very twisted sense of humor and I'd really like to see how he'd handle it. (Probably very well, because he's a good father. But I'd likely need to serve him up a double-helping of one of my stronger homebrews when he got home.)

We finally get home from our odyssey and I make -- I do not request, I do not ask, I do not suggest, I make the Banshees run around in the front yard for a couple of hours. I don't quite lock the front door on them, but every time they come in I tell them to go back out unless they happened to be dying of dehydration in front of my very eyes. They had just spent about 7 hours either cooped up in the car, the doctor's office, the lab area, or a restaurant. That much coiled energy concentrated in three small bodies is going to trigger an event of some sort, usually of a Catastrophic Nature (go ahead, ask me how I know.) I curled up in a ball on the living room floor and tried to breathe deeply. Thank goodness we don't have to do this again for a few years.