When it Feels Like the World is Out to Get You, Remember Your Good Fortune

I had one of those days last week that makes you wish for a chance to call a time-out or conduct a complete do-over.

1. Woke up realizing I’d forgotten to pick something up from a client the previous day. The first time I’ve had a business-related mistake in a while. Called to apologize.

2. Gave Jonah a fried egg, his first time eating egg whites not baked into something. He got red spots around his mouth and puked a little. Called the doctor, who said as long as he was breathing fine all was well. He was breathing fine, so all was well. Figured it may not have been related to the egg.

3. I went to pick up Miles from school only to find Miles had gotten on the bus. His teacher failed to deliver the note for him to be picked up. Got back home just as the bus was dropping him off. Miles thought it was funny. Me? Not so much.

4. We were late to our outing at the apple orchard, leaving our friends waiting. Once at the apple orchard, my kids kept picking apples once our peck-sized bag was full and Grant was running all over across tree lines so I couldn’t see him. And we were eaten alive by mosquitoes. I had four bites on my forehead, always an attractive look for a woman with no bangs.

Grant also took this opportunity to become deathly afraid of mosquitoes. One alighted on his finger as I was putting the kids into the car and he screamed so loudly I’m pretty sure people within 400 miles of us could hear him. At the very least, everyone at the apple orchard sure did.

5. Took Jonah to previously-scheduled doctor’s appointment to discuss fussiness issues, make sure he didn’t have an ear infection. Grant and Miles were wild men, had promise of Happy Meal reward revoked before the visit was even over. (Yes, I was going to take the kids to McDonald’s, no hate mail, please, it’s an infrequent treat because they love the novelty of the toys and I’m a sucker for them loving the toys. Even though I can’t stand the toys and secretly throw them away within a few weeks.)

6. Went through drive through at McDonald’s. Didn’t get our fries. Went back through drive-through to get fries. Drove home. It’s now 6:30, I have four hungry, tired kids. Open Grant’s box of chicken nuggets to find, inexplicably, two plan “hamburger” patties. Grant cries, I call McDonald’s to complain and don’t shush Grant’s loud tears so manager can hear how she ruined his dinner. She promises to send coupon for free Happy Meal, which I have yet to get.

7. Wash baby’s highchair tray, feed him bread and vegetables. Get him ready for bed immediately after eating, turn him around after reading him his book to realize one eye is completely swollen and his ears are all red, and he’s furiously scratching at his face and ears. Then he has diarrhea. Think to myself, “Did I check to make sure there was no egg in his high chair seat??”

Change his diaper, make frantic call to Zachary (working late) who tells me to give Jonah some Zyrtec. Go get it, get back to baby’s room to find he’s had diarrhea again and his other eye is starting to swell. Call insurance nurse line to find out what to do, she says call 911 since I am alone and can’t take the gamble of driving to the ER by myself, in case something happens on the way. GREAT!  Jonah is breathing just fine, but is itchy. Send kids in their pjs to neighbor’s house across street. Police officer and paramedics come. They tell me I did the right thing. I’m glad Jonah is doing okay, but I’m embarrassed by the scene. They tell me I need to take him to the ER to get checked out, despite his swelling going down. Double great! Advise me not to take him alone. So we call yet another neighbor who takes the older three kids, and the first neighbor goes with me to the ER.

Jonah is given some Benadryl and is looked over and is determined to be perfectly fine. Still not 100% sure it was the egg, but until he is tested for allergies I’m just not giving him any.

So, that was my fun day. But even as I went to bed that night and was feeling quite sorry for myself, I realized my complaints are the things of a safe, suburban mom. I don’t have to worry about my house being condemned, I don’t have to worry about drive-by shootings. Miles may not have been at school when I went to get him but he was easily found, not all children and their families are so lucky. I may have fed my children food of questionable origin and had a bad customer service experience, but my children are fed every day (and do normally get completely wholesome, real food). Jonah may have had an allergic reaction to something, but it wasn’t serious or dangerous and he’s still here to give me another heart attack over something else another day.

We’ve got it good.



  1. I’m so glad you’re able to count your blessings and put these disaster-type days into perspective. Add to that list great neighbors and health insurance. Although seriously, WTF kind of day was that! Glad the little one is doing OK. Be careful with the flu shot. Isn’t that the one with the egg allergy warning? P.S. I secretly throw away those McDonald’s toys too.

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