Soon after we got the kids, it became clear to me that #3 had full-on middle child syndrome.

When she wasn’t posing, she always had something that needed medical attention. She would say things like, “My bellybutton hurts!” or ask for a bandaid for a pinprick that could not be seen with the naked eye.

At first, when the kids were coughing or sneezing or had a tummy ache, I’d take them to the doctor right away. Every time. Then I learned: I hate our pediatrician.

We ended up with this pediatrician because when CC was married before, they lived in the area with #1 and took her there. It’s a network of doctors with a large practice that has won all sorts of awards despite the fact that the experience of going to see them is akin to sticking needles in your eyes, then blinking. Rapidly, several times in succession.

You can never actually reach anyone in the office by phone- everything is done through answering services and messages. I’ve never seen the same doctor twice. It takes forever to get an appointment. It’s far away. Everytime you go in they make you fill out all the paperwork again. “Just to make sure nothing’s changed,” they say. I’m talking health history, people, from infancy. In other words, all the stuff I wasn’t there for and know nothing about. I always hand it back to them blank and say CC will fill it out the next time.

#3 had been complaining of a cough for some time. Let’s say two weeks. If you knew her like I did, and heard the pathetic little cough coming out of her, you might also be inclined to think, like I did, that she was faking. Nobody coughs like that in real life.

Then I got a cough. Which I ignored until I could no longer speak. I went to a clinic, because it’s easy. Bronchitis, they said. So I figured I should finally take #3 to the pediatrician.

I informed her doctor of my bronchitis. As she was listening to #3’s lungs, she said “Oh, mommy shared,” meaning me, and I didn’t correct her, because I couldn’t speak without coughing. “Pneumonia,” she said of #3.

Jesus. How did anybody ever think it was okay for me to be entrusted with these children?

We left and I went to fill her prescriptions. There was something the doctor needed to tell me, so they called. Her mom. Thinking they were calling me. Believing that we were one in the same. Which set off a whole other chain of events I’d rather not think about.

You can’t escape Karma. We both had antibiotics and #3 bounced back in about five days. Mine proved to be some vile, resistant bacteria which laid me up for four solid weeks, fever every day between 101-104 degrees, and the cough lingered for six months. I still believe to this day that it served me right.


$13 Salvation

My sub at work has been out of town for nearly two weeks. Normally that’s not a big deal. It means I do all the shows just like most stagehands have to do. But the week before he left was a brand new circle of hell for me.

It included a trip to the vet, major infractions committed by #5 and #3 that warranted well-thought-out responses (read: punishments), a trip  to the emergency room in an ambulance from school for #1 & dealing with the fallout from that, and an ice storm resulting in three solid inches of ice over everything, including my sloped driveway, in my town where everyone is sold out of ice melt and rock salt.

Then I got the flu.

Then I got bronchitis.

Then my sub went out of town.

Did I mention CC is in production on a new show? For the uninitiated, that means that if he does come home, he’s home for exactly six hours before he has to leave again, but more often he’s staying in the city. Yeah, like that. As #1-3 would say, FML.

I haven’t been this sick in four years, since the first summer we had the kids and I got bronchitis. Four weeks. Cough for six months. I am not making this up. That was also the time that #3, our resident drama queen and hypochondriac was complaining of a cough. I thought she was faking, or at least being dramatic. When I finally took her in to the doctor, she had pneumonia. I am not making that up, either. But that’s another post, and I digress.

Six pounds down. Five prescriptions. Two bags of cough drops. I slept every possible moment because each morning I had to get up with the kids to get them to school and each night I had to go into the city and do my show, and mostly I just wanted to die. I’m honestly not sure what they ate. Or wore.

All this led up to Saturday night, aka The Day My Sub Came Back. I took Saturday night’s show off.

I was feeling much better and decided to wait for CC to finish tech at midnight and went to see a movie. By myself. How amazingly awesome is that? I can’t adequately express it. I saw The King’s Speech on 42nd street and paid $13 for my ticket, which seemed like kind of a lot. I got a small popcorn, a bottle of water, and a bag of sour patch kids, none of which I had to share, or buy ahead of time and smuggle inside in a large handbag.

It was the first movie I’ve seen since we got the kids that did not contain a single talking animal, light saber, vampire, or wizard. By that virtue alone, I feel it should sweep the Oscars.

Seriously, a really great flick. I highly recommend it. Don’t get used to me talking about movies on here. It’s a rarity.