How to: Be your own Pack Mule

yesterday I had to take Peanut and Bear to get yet another blood draw.  What an afternoon it turned out to be.

The girls are sleeping through the night now (thank. god.) but they still wake up a little early for our taste.  They’ll usually go down at 9, and wake up between 5:30-7, so Husband and I take turns waking up in the early morning to feed them.  Last night was my night so I went to bed at a decent time because lately I’ve become the worlds heaviest sleeper.  I’m so far gone I found a new level of sleep beyond REM.  It’s called, “I have three babies and no energy left to speak of, so I’m gonna sleep so bleeping hard and y’all can’t stop me.”  It’s heavenly.  So, I’m enjoying my wonderful IHTBANELTSOSIGSSBHAYCSM sleep, and suddenly I’m pulled out of my wonderful dream world by my husband.  He’s shaking me.  Apparently the girls were crying.  Oops.  I listen and hear a little whimper, but no crying.  Then they stop and it’s quiet again.  DAMN IT!  It’s now 6:30 and I’m wide awake.  I fell back asleep around 7, only to be woken up again by husband to the girls crying at 7:15.  NO!  I told him to prop their bottles up in the crib and I’d be up shortly.  It literally took me ten minutes.  This was one of those mornings where you wake up and your bed feels like rainbows, marshmallows and clouds all smooshed together into one pile of heaven.  You’re afraid to move because you don’t want to lose this feeling.  Fiiiinally I get up and head into the girls room, they’re back asleep and the milk is gone.  I have to wake them up and burp them.  I took a little satisfaction out of knowing I was going to take them from their comfy sleep this time instead of the other way around.  Five minutes later I’m regretting my smug satisfaction as the girls are screaming in my ear.  Oh well, it was inevitable either way.  Since I couldn’t get myself out of bed they ate and fell back asleep.  So they’d be crying if I woke them up, or crying from a gassy belly ache if I didn’t.

A few hours later I’m going over my plans for the day.  I had originally asked Husband to come home an hour or two earlier from work so I can make it to the clinic before they close.  The girls had yet another MMA blood draw from their arms.  (‘M’ethyl’M’alonic ‘A’cid.  It correlates with the whole B12 web of issues.  Don’t quote me on this, but I believe being told that when B12 levels are low, MMA levels are high.  They’re supposed to balance each other.  So they test their MMA levels through a blood sample to see how the treatments are going.)  This test was a week after starting B12 injections.  The nasal spray wasn’t getting the MMA levels where we wanted them, so the injections are (hopefully) a temporary fix to get them there faster, then we’ll go back to nasal sprays.  That’s the goal anyways.  So they wanted to see if the injections were making any difference where the nasal spray was lacking.  Make sense? Good.

I decided It’d just be stupid to have Husband come home early and have to take out of his busy work schedule because I couldn’t get a babysitter and I was too scared to take all three kids.  I had yet to bring all three kids anywhere by myself without a shopping cart handy.  I decided I’d give it a go this time.  I had NO idea how I’d manage all three at once though.  I had two hands and three babies.  It seems to be the story of my life lately.  I decide the easiest route would be to strap on a baby carrier to my chest and buckle Buddy in his favorite (also his only..) monkey backpack.  What he doesn’t realize is that it’s actually a restraining device.  It’s probably better that way.  The monkey’s tail has a leash handle at the end for me to hold on to so he can’t run off on me.  Then the last baby I can carry in the car seat.  I would still have two hands free this way.  One is strapped to me, the leash is around my wrist, and the car seat is resting in my elbow.

To save time I put the body strap on before leaving the house.  I get the girl’s two car seats in and plop Buddy in his seat.  I made sure to leave early because I know I’m going to spend a good five minutes figuring out the best carrying method in the parking lot.  I arived with plenty of time to spare, and hop out with my empty baby carrier.  A young woman walks past looking at me quizzically.  I open the side door of the van and start the loading.  *How on earth to triplet Moms DO this?!*  I get everyone situated and head in.  I’m quite proud of my carrying method because it’s actually pretty easy.

Then…

Buddy’s shoe falls off in the middle of the parking lot.  Ugh.  I just stood there staring at it.  I’m realizing the error in my design.  Once this caravan starts, it can’t stop without falling apart.  I’m seriously debating on just kicking his shoe to the front door and letting him walk in his sock.  I kick it to the side of the lot and put everything down.  Stupid shoe.  Buddy of course is beginning to realize the real design for his beloved backpack and is starting to get pissed off and pulls against it while thrashing.  I have to put Peanut down in her car seat and swing my diaper bag behind me.  I stand on the leash and pull a screaming Buddy back to me.  I can’t bend over too far without Bear’s head flopping backwards.  I’m trying to put on a thrashing toddler’s shoe blindly because Bear’s head is in my way.  It’s not like I can lean over and look around because she’s strapped to me!  During this whole process I can’t help but think of an abstinence billboard I used to always see in my hometown and just crack up laughing to myself.  This is the perfect image for that billboard.

I finally get everything back in place.  *I need a pack mule*  I head in and hear all the comments as I walk by.  “Oh, MY!”  “Well would you look at that!” “Boy, oh boy!  Her arms have got to be huge!”  I can only imagine what I look like.  I make it back to the lab, check in and drop my load in the three chairs surrounding me and take up a massive amount of floor space in front of me.  Thank god there were only two other people in the waiting room.  Buddy gets free rein and runs around checking out all the people and sights.  There was an ornery old man complaining about how long it was taking and started pacing around.  Buddy decides to follow him.  The man ignores Buddy, but he’s a persistent kid.  Normally I’d have called Buddy back, but this guy was really being a jerk to the receptionist, so I let Buddy continue to harass this guy.  Pretty soon the guy’s doing calf stretches.  He’s leaning against the wall with his hands, and his legs are in a lunging position.  I can see the light go off in Buddy’s head and I try not to laugh out loud.  He thinks this guy is a bridge and continues to run back and forth underneath him squealing in delight.  The guy finally smiles.  No one can resist Buddy long.

We get called in after about ten minutes to do the draw.  The lady’s eyes get big as she realizes the massive amount of space I’m gonna take up, and offers to take me to their “special” room.  I imagine that means the dirty back room out-of-the-way.  I laugh and accept her “offer”.  Do I have a choice?  We get all set up and Buddy gets a bag of pretzels and he settles into the corner of the room chomping away happily.  Since it’s a local lab, they don’t do babies regularly like they do at Children’s so I can tell she’s nervous to hurt my babies.  *Finally, someone who cares!*  I like her already.  She calls in one of the receptionists from the front to hold the girl’s arms so she doesn’t miss the vein.  She is absolutely determined to get it right the first time and not have to dig.  I hold the girl’s torso and wait for the poke.  Suddenly, it hits me.  The most pungent explosion of a stink hits me like a brick wall.  This can’t be the work of just one diaper.  Oh my GOD.  It was awful.  We had three adults, two babies and a toddler in a small 10×5 room.  I apologize profusely and offer to change the kids immediately.  The women, God bless them, tell me it’s no big deal.  I can’t imagine the gagging they’re holding back because I’m used to diaper smells and it’s even terrible for me.  We do the blood draw and the women are so upset by the crying they offer to hold both girls and comfort them so I can change them all in turns… quickly.  Good idea.  Half of a pack of wipes later I eventually get all three filled-to-the-max diapers changed.  The employees offer a Ziploc bag to put them in to hold the stink in.  Great idea.

Thanks to my good luck, the receptionist’s extreme kindness doesn’t end in the “special” backroom.  She offers to carry Buddy out to my car.  I eagerly accept her offer and we head out.  Oh my gosh.  It’s amazing how good fresh air smells after being in a tiny room with that kind of stink.  Wow.  We both laugh about how such a tiny being can create such a massive stink.  After thanking her, and offering her one of Buddy’s pretzels (Would you believe she actually accepted it happily?), I load the kids up and head for home.  I’m physically exhausted and ready to take a nap.  I take my time getting the van unloaded, pile everything in the living room and plop on the couch.  I look back on my day and smile.  It was such an event just going to a local clinic, but I honestly had fun doing it.  Something as stupid as a shoe almost gave me a headache, and watching Buddy harass a complete stranger was so funny.  The girls got compliments on top of compliments, and I did too.  I’m beginning to think I may be able to handle traveling with all three kids more often.  I am, however, looking forward to when they’re older and can carry their own weight… and stop pooping in their pants.

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