Unbelievably, we didn't even make it through the first week of school.
Picked up the little guy on Wednesday and thought "Uh oh- this isn't allergies." Snotty, streaming nose, sneezing every five seconds, red eyes. Day three of Kindergarten! He lay on the sofa for the rest of the day telling me that he only wanted to be near me. Agh! Germs! If the momma goes down, it's all over isn't it? So Thursday morning he was still sniffling and well, full of cold. I hate it when parents send their sickly kids into school to infect everyone else, so I kept him off. Great! The older two can walk there by themselves, so I got to stay in the PJs for a while. I had just showered and dressed (about 9.10am) when the school nurse rang.
"Hello Mrs. H. It's not quite an emergency". She usually says not to worry it's NOT an emergency, so I immediately braced myself for upcoming drama. Apparently middle child had cut his thumb on his locker (lawsuit?) and it was such a deep cut she thought I should take him to the hospital to see if it should be glued or stitched.
Husband out of town (as usual, when there's an incident), sick kid at home and still in his PJs. Not the best scenario. I asked if injured boy could walk the two blocks home, but she said not on this occasion. She was very patient as I dithered on the phone, wondering what I could do with sick child. This is possibly the only time you wish you lived down the road from your mother or mother-in-law. You can't really hand over a sick child to anyone else to look after - not that I had any options. And then there was the challenge of getting him dressed and unglued from the TV.
Fortunately, since it's not winter and therefore not the real cold and flu season (are you listening little guy?), the ER waiting room was empty. (In the US, since so many people have no health insurance, they go to the Emergency Room with sore throats, ear infections and other things that would normally be classed as non-emergency). The docs (4 in total) decided that since the gash wasn't on his face they wouldn't stitch it, and there was no point in glueing it since it would open straight away. An hour and a half later we walked back to school having had the cut washed, creamed and band-aided. I will let you know when the bills start coming in; an eye-watering experience in itself and one that makes the NHS look like a viable alternative. I'm betting on at least $400.
I'm sure people (like family members) think I somehow manufacture a lot of the drama in my life - but I wasn't even on the scene. It happened at school. There are witnesses.
Like the time three years ago, - the queenager banged the back of her head on a faux rock while playing with little brother in a dinosaur dig. Tiny little cut but blood everywhere - in her hair, pouring down her back etc. Had to get a paramedic on a bike to the museum. Incident report. Less then a week later, middle son snapped his wrist completely, playing baseball. Husband out of town, me required to stay with middle child through orthopedic surgery till 11.30pm at night. Friend had to come over and collect other two kids, to be picked up by me and woozy patient, at midnight. Two days later, little guy (age 2 then) stepped off the bottom stair and landed very awkwardly. Cried at the time, then limped and complained enough that I took him in the following day. No damage, just bruised. I joked that Children's Hospital were going to get suspicious and report me as one of those Munchausen-by-proxy parents or something.
Next day I picked up the phone (swear to god) and a man introduced himself as being from DCFS (Department of Child and Family Services.) I went the teeniest bit woozy and had to fight to keep the old breakfast down. Surely not? I have witnesses for the first two incidents, and having spent the equivalent of about two days waiting around in hospitals, couldn't possibly be suspected of injuring my toddler just to visit the hospital cafeteria again. Fortunately he asked for a Mrs. Brown, which I'm not. He did ring back later and asked again when one of the kids answered. Hmmm.
Anyway, back to Thursday. Got middle child safely back to school, and went to get shelves for the garage in the afternoon. (There's so much piled up against the walls, we can barely get out of the car.) All going swimmingly, the store has everything I need and checkout is amazingly quick. Unfortunately, the guy loading up my car forgot that the cart had wheels; it slid off the curb and smashed into the side of my car. Now living in the city, my car is covered in scratches, so I wasn't too bothered. But no, he insisted on filling out an incident report and taking photos, making my quick trip longer than an excursion to the Arctic.
What a day.