It was totally Downton’s fault. In my last post I mentioned that I watch Downton Abbey when I’m on the treadmill (no commercials= happy). I am finishing up Season 3 and had just a few episodes left. So I decided that I had just enough time to get an early workout in before Darrin left for work and before I had to take T to the neurologist. So, I hopped on my frien-emy, the treadmill. But it was that episode. If you’re a Downton watcher, you know the one. The one about an early delivery, complications. The one that hits close to home. I was done with my running but still had 10 minutes left in the episode. And I couldn’t turn it off.
And so started the downward spiral that would become my morning.
I finished the episode, rushed upstairs and started the getting ready process. Passing my husband along the way.
Husband: “Have you been crying?”
Me: “Downton Abbey”
Darrin: “That weird British show?”
Me: “Yep, but I’m good now.”
Darrin: “Ok-call me after T’s appointment”
Me: “got it.”
I will insert here that the pediatric neurologist that we see is great. Love her. Their office, though, has a policy that if you are more than 15 minutes late for your appointment, you forfeit the appointment and must re-schedule. At this point, we would be exactly on time if there was no traffic and as long as nothing else got us behind schedule. Smirk.
I jumped out of the shower and heard Tucker-bug in the crib, awake and ready to go. Quick time check- I was about 10 minutes behind, but nothing I couldn’t make up . The neurologist would just get my “organic” look today. No time to blow dry my hair. I got T up and changed, got myself dressed and we were ready to go. It wasn’t until I was packing the diaper bag that I realized I hadn’t fed my kid. Shoot. Ok, no time for pears, it would have to be a bottle- straight to the face.
We’re pushing it now. Traffic would need to cooperate. Grab the diaper bag, T’s shoes, my purse and Tucker-head to the car. As I’m strapping him in, I smell it. I look at him-“Really?” He smiles back at me. At this point, I am facing a dilemma known to moms and dads all across this great land. Change him and be late? Or wait it out, with the stench for the 45 minute drive. Sigh. I unstrap him. Take him back inside, change him, re-clothe him and head for the car. Again. Sweating.
We hit the road. Mercifully traffic was kind and we pull in the parking deck only 4 minutes late for the appointment. As I wind up the levels of the parking deck I mentally try and remember which floor the doctor is on so I won’t have to waste time looking at the directory when we get inside. On the highest floor possible, we finally find a parking spot. Grab the diaper bag, pop the trunk, Tucker in stroller, and we’re off. Still sweating. North Carolina humidity is no joke.
The parking deck is far removed from the actual doctor’s office building, so we have to take the Skywalk, navigate around a few corners and finally arrive at the elevators. I can’t remember the floor so I find the directory and start scanning. Neurology…Neurology…Neurology. Nothing. I scan again. Hmm. There’s his cardiologist-3rd floor, there’s my maternal fetal specialist-7th floor. No Dr. Wallace. I pull out my phone and check the suite number for Dr. Wallace-10th floor. Well, that’s odd, this building only goes to the 9th floor. I finally come out of my hazy confusion and understand completely.
I am at the wrong office.
And I have 6 minutes to get to the right office before our appointment is canceled. Panic sets in. It is then, that off the elevator, steps our former NICU social worker.
Her: “Hi! Oh my goodness, how are you? Is this Tucker? He’s so big!”
Me: “WHERE IS DR WALLACE’S OFFICE??!!”
Her: “Oh, it’s just across the street, just take a right out of the parking deck and-
Me: “CAN I WALK THERE?”
Her: “Yes, just-”
Me: (as I am running away from her) “Thanks!” (almost 30 feet away from her) “Oh, and good to see you!”
Run across the Skywalk as items bounce out of my diaper bag left and right-they would be casualties of the morning. Down to the street level. Run across the street. Find elevators (“oh yeah, this looks familiar”). Make it to 10th floor. We are two minutes away from cancellation zone. Tucker is missing a shoe. Undoubtedly left in the middle of the street or Skywalk. The amount of sweating is hard to even describe at this point. But. We get signed in and the sometimes-nice-but-not-always receptionist takes pity on me and does not mention that we are 14 minutes late for our appointment. Thank you.
Appointment goes wonderfully. Tucker does some of his tricks for Dr. Wallace. She is happy with his development. We are going to keep an eye on his feeding-he is still not able to tolerate table foods. Preemies who spend an extended time in the NICU often have various feeding issues. Some issues are sensory related, some are physiological. Tucker had some sort of tube down his throat for over 3 months, so his gag reflex (like many micro preemies) is pretty sensitive. We’ll continue to work, but no feeding therapy yet. Dr Wallace liked where he is tracking and we don’t have to go back for 6 months-yay!
So we head out of her office, back across the street and into the parking deck (the one for his cardiologist). It dawns on me that I have a parking ticket to get out of the garage, but it’s not validated because we didn’t go to the doctor for which this parking deck is attached. No worries-I’ll just pay to park this time. I walk up to the attendant-“do you take debit cards?”. You know the answer. “Is there an ATM close?” Same answer. But, she says, I can go inside, go up to the 3rd floor and tell the receptionist and they will stamp my ticket so I can get out. Great. Except that the ticket? Is in the car.
And so it goes down like this: Parking elevator 7th floor. Car. Get Ticket. Parking elevator 1st floor. Skywalk. Elevator 3rd floor. Receptionist. Explanation. Get ticket validated. Skywalk (for the 4th time that day). Parking elevator 7th floor. Car. Stroller in back. Tucker in car seat. Mama finally in driver seat. Air conditioner on High.
We wind down the parking deck and I get to the window for the parking attendant. I reach down to my cupholder for the validated ticket. It. Is. Gone. How I lost the ticket from the time I got everything in the car until the time I got down to the bottom of the garage is still a mystery to me. Attendant asks me to pull over, which is reasonable since there is a line of traffic behind me waiting to exit. She tells me to take my time as I look for the lost ticket.
During the 7 minutes it takes for me to find the ticket, I finally flip the switch from frazzled mama to crazy lady who audibly berates herself because she can’t find her parking ticket- “was it really that important to watch the last 10 minutes, Heather?” (slam car door) and “who doesn’t check the address before they go to the doctor?” (dump entire contents of purse into seat) and “how do you lose your parking ticket in less than 4 minutes of getting it stamped?” (opening trunk). Finally ticket is retrieved from the back floorboard and I hand it, with sunglasses askew on my head, to the attendant.
I get back in the car. Take off my sweaty shoes. And curse Downton Abbey all the way home.
Please tell me you’ve had mornings like this.