I'm just glad I put a bra on yesterday when I got out of bed. I've been known to sit through two drop off lines in the morning "unsupported". Not that I need much support, but one must always be wary of coverage.
Later that day, Dr. Gooch would have the opportunity to be a patient. Always a beneficial experience for a physician. That was the only unusual thing about this particular Monday--an endoscopy--just to check things out in there, you know? Otherwise, I was on the fast track to a normal, shower-by-1pm day.
Like I said, I'm glad I put a bra on yesterday. I rolled out of bed to begin the morning rush. I started Seth's two fried eggs, poured cereal, milk and sugar in bowls for Hazel and Lucy, packed the lunches, and quickly sifted through the folders. Dr. Gooch biked them over to their respective schools. Upon his return, Hazel was anxiously awaiting her go in the bike trailer with Dad (she is "home schooled", aka watches movies and eats 10 snacks a day and follows me around the yard).
So far, so normal. Avery down for a nap. Me doing breakfast dishes from Sunday (and lunch and dinner...) and staying in my lounge garb. The Doctor soaking hinges in paint stripper and touching up his moulding job, and generally playing around with household hardware.
Around 1pm (when I should have been showering) the girls and I left their Dad to his handymanness and went to pick up the older sister at preschool. When we got home, we all piled in the car to drop him off at the clinic for his procedure. While he was being sedated and swallowing cameras, I planned to nap the youngins, set Lucy up with some watercolor paints and take a deluxe shower (this means I'm the only one in the facility) and have a nice quiet lunch. Then, after picking Seth up from school (looking at least decent) we would swing by to drive home our drugged up Dad.
Then, my day came to a shrieking halt. "Ms. Mangum, you must stay on the premises the entire time your husband is having this procedure." O---kay. Of course, I was happy to do this for the love of my life. I just wish Hazel had actually gotten dressed. She was barefoot in a golden princess dress. Lucy was dressed since she had just come from school, but somehow, she had flip flops on over her socks--this was okay but not ideal. Avery was also barefoot but I could stroller her. This is when I realized, I'm so glad I put a bra on. As for the face, I could leave my sunglasses on. The bangs? Well, there was nothing I could do about those. They looked like they were trying to be ignored, which they were, but there was no headband or bandanna in sight to contain the unsightliness.
We waited. Avery screamed in spurts. Luckily, I had the van stocked with mags (for the drop-off line). At about 3 o'clock they called me in. We unloaded ourselves and made our way to the curtain behind which a long, bald, loopy patient lay. While I signed paperwork, the children tried to rouse their father who could barely raise an arm. Then we pulled the car around and a nice nurse and I helped the man out to the car. After a short while, Dr. Gooch seemed to be coming to, so we decided to return the crate full of milk bottles--that had been rattling in the cargo space for days now--to Maple View Farms and grab some pre-dinner ice cream cones. Why not? I had already exposed my putrid morning self to a whole clinic of professionals--a few ice cream parlor employees will not make a difference at this point. So we picked up the brother just in time and made our way to the farm.
On our way Dr. Gooch talked about how this was still one of his favorite drives--out to the farm. It IS gorgeous. The rolling farmland, the apiary in one guy's yard, the tree lined street, that farmhouse up on the hill that is perfectly symmetrical.
When we arrived, the kids piled out quickly to make their flavor selection. I noticed Dr. Gooch never made it inside, as I was ordering kiddie cones, he was sitting in a rocker on the porch, Avery running wild. I brought Avery inside with me, just in case. I poked my head out to take the doctor's order, he was indifferent so Chocolate Chip Cookie dough it was. During this time, he had changed Avery's diaper in the car and retrieved a napping now waking Hazel from her seat. He also ate the entire ice cream cone and pointed out the fig tree on the property, wondering aloud if they would mind if we stole a branch to start our own at Cicade Cottage. Probably not, I mused, plus it doesn't look that healthy. We lingered to let Hazel finish up her standard vanilla.
We made a few detours on our way home--a peek at some real estate for the grandparents moving nearby next Spring and dinner at our favorite pizza joint. Mondays the balloon animal guy is there.
Later that evening it became apparent that Dr. Gooch was not as lucid that day as we had thought. We sat on the couch with the Mac, the three of us winding down our day together, and I pointed out an ice cream drip on his shirt.
It's true. He doesn't even remember changing Avery's diaper. What was I thinking trusting him with the care of our baby? Getting out of the car, helping Hazel out, having a chat with his wife about foliage options for the home--none of this could be recalled in his mind.
In the end, I was grateful for two things that day. Of course, that I had applied pertinent undergarments and, that my mind, our minds work well for the most part uninhibited by any substance. And--for the most part--my time with Dr. Gooch is usually memorable.
He slurs, as we head into bed, "What flavor was it?"