This morning Max had an orthodontist appointment (or, as Max calls him, the orcadontist, the only sea creature known to straighten teeth. Max wishes to take a harpoon with him, but I think that's just the sore teeth talking). Since each monthly appointment seems to require one million hours of waiting, and today he was getting his bottom braces on, I decided to leave the other children home.
Once upon a time that would have made me nervous, but puh-leeze. Tre is nearly 16. He can be in charge of two siblings. There's really only one issue that had to be addressed. I took ahold of his shoulder, looked him in the eye, and addressed him in my best mom-means-it voice.
"Look. You're in charge here. You need to be aware...there might be poop." He shuddered. "And if your baby sister poops, you will have to deal with it. And by 'deal with it' I mean change her diaper, not spray air freshener in her direction."
He agreed manfully - as manfully as one can when he is nearly crying at the thought of poop. Tre is not exactly my most earthy child. Raphael boinged around in the background, joyfully insisting that he intended to be a really, truly, very well behaved little child. Sophia repeatedly hugged my knees and insisted I say many loving goodbyes to her brothers.
Finally we were off. And we even got there in time, which was a good thing, because if we had gotten there any later, we might have missed out on some of the half hour of sitting in the waiting room. So. That was...fortuitous.
Finally Max was called back, and I settled into the dubious joy of the waiting room. I mean, yeah, uncomfortable chairs, and ornry adolescents everywhere, shooting glares around. But on the other hand, I get to sit there. And read. Uninterrupted. Frankly, a foot rest and a cool beverage would have made it kind of like a vacation.
But then it got better, because Tre called. My initial spike of concern that something was wrong was quickly assuaged by his greeting - "Mom? Everything's okay...NOW."
Let me put your minds at ease right here. There was no poop. However...
"She was playing with play-dough? And she starts yelling! 'Tre! Tre! Play-dough in my NOSE! TRE! IN MY NOSE DA PLAY-DOUGH!' She had stuffed this nugget of it right up her nose. And she was pointing at it and sniffing. She said, 'I sniff da play-dough, Tre!' So I got a tissue, and I told her to blow. And she starts sniffing again, so I'm all NO, DON'T SNIFF, BLOW! and she blows...and then sniffs. And then blows...and then sniffs. Finally, finally, she blows and this...this wad of play-dough, completely covered with SNOT, slowly slides out of her nose. IT WAS THE GROSSEST THING EVER. I AM COMPLETELY TRAUMATIZED."
At this point he paused in the tale to hear my reaction. Sadly, I couldn't respond, because I was busy gasping for air and wiping tears from my eyes.
"Are you...are you LAUGHING AT ME?"
"Ohhh, yes. I am laughing at you," I managed. He was silent for a moment.
"Well. I guess my only real comfort here is that everyone in the waiting room thinks you're insane."
Oh, my son. That is such a small price to pay.