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December, the Link Sausage of Light

I took Thing Two to her four-month checkup last week and the wait was terrible. My appointment was at 10:20 and I didn’t get into see the doctor until 11:15. The waiting room was a hovel of medieval contagion. A fourth-grade girl was hacking up what sounded like a militant herd of tuberculoic yaks. One mother rushed up to the receptionist’s desk to ask for some sort of receptacle into which her son could vomit because somebody was locked in the restroom. Presumably vomiting.

They called out “Madeline” at about 10:50 and I did a little end zone dance, only to be turned away because our last name wasn’t “Cruz.” It wasn’t until about 11:05 that they called “Madeline” again but before being led away for another embarrassing slap down, I asked if they meant the particular Madeline I had conceived and birthed. No. No they didn’t. Strike two.

When my name was finally called, a sweet little cheer went up from the four other mommies who had been sitting nearby watching me rocking Maddie back and forth in her infant carrier like a milkmaid swinging her big tin bucket. “Good luck to all of you,” I said, as if floating away on a magic pink bubble.

(And I have never seen a girl flirt with a boy the way my daughter flirted with our doctor; she was holding court with him like Scarlett O’Hara and the Tarleton Twins. My doctor incidentally also has red hair; no pantaloons, sadly. Thing Two may have my nose but she has Gordon’s flirty gene, which makes me worry she will kiss a boy the first day they meet in an empty hotel conference room somewhere in the wasteland of Amarillo. Wait. Getting a little specific.)

Then the weekend was upon us and it has been crazy ever since.

(And I really need to clean my house. My house is literally dirt-y — there is a big dry clump of sod from a potted plant on the bathroom floor. Don’t know how it got there, but I am pretty sure a Thing or Two was involved.)

Yes, this weekend was just crazy, with no time for banalities like hygiene or vacuuming. We didn’t even have time to go to Target and visit the vacuums, much to Drew’s dismay. I sang in our church’s Christmas Cantata, which is basically an extravaganza of choir and orchestra, and I don’t use the word “extravaganza” lightly.

I timed my nursing in between the performances. Drew came to sit with me in the Nursing Room after the 9:15 service and whimpered the whole time, having been traumatized from seeing me up on the “church TV.” I asked Drew what he had done with Daddy earlier that morning and he said, “I in time out.” Just the kind of child every Sunday school teacher wants to inherit.

Later that afternoon I went and auditioned for a show here in Fort Worth. Yes. You think I jest, but jest I do not. I showed up in my kicky little gray suede boots and Christmas red tunic thinking that a power color would really make me stand out. Except that every other brunette 29-year-old in the city showed up rocking the color red like a legion of sunburned Rockettes eating Hot Tamales.  I should say, every other infinitely-more-talented Rockette. That was at 3:45. Then back up to church for Cantata at 5. (I did not get a call back.)

Later that evening, after 3 Cantata performances, one audition, four toddler temper tantrums, and a partridge pooping on our heads from a pear tree, Gordon and I stole away for a nice dinner to celebrate our sixth anniversary of marriage.

(Woa, you might be thinking to yourself right about now. This day isn’t done? Will this blog ever end? No. No it will not.)

I cut my shrimp remoulade into five individual bites before realizing Drew wasn’t with us. We toasted the day, Gordon with his whiskey sour and me with my Kir Royale, and reminisced a little over the years and what has changed and where our lives are going. Then we left the restaurant, ran a marathon and organized the Tupperware drawer, all before solving the whole pesky unemployment debacle. Just kidding. We didn’t organize the Tupperware.

And once the weekend was over, is it any surprise to you that my milk supply was low and Thing Two practically incited a street riot to build the arsenal back up? Ever since, I’ve been living the life of a feedbag with a baby as hungry as a Clydesdale.

I don’t know why I insist on packing as much as possible into my December. Last time I checked, December is not an empty casing to be stuffed with appointments like link sausage. From a distance, all these commitments and obligations look totally doable and fun, but up close they kind of look how Drew looks up close – with a little more dried snot than you would have guessed. I don’t know what the answer is because it’s not like I can’t take my kid to the doctor and I certainly can’t NOT wear gray kicky boots when the opportunity presents itself.

If you’ve got a solution, let me know. But not until January.