This past Sunday, it quickly became clear that Little Guy was not feeling well, and that we would therefore be home bound for the day. Knowing that I didn’t need to go anywhere, I grabbed the first “around the house” outfit I found in my closet (peachy orange Capri pants covered in big white flowers and a plain white tee shirt) and put it on. Once dressed, I promptly forgot that I was wearing.
When Little Guy woke from his late morning nap with a fever, I suggested we take him to the Urgent Care clinic, in hopes of getting his ailment identified as quickly as possible. We’ve both missed quite a bit of work this year with how sick Little Guy has been, and we wanted to nip this round (of whatever it was) in the bud.
We grabbed the diaper bag. I slipped my feet into old Birkenstocks (remember, I dress for comfort) and headed to the doctor’s office. We were almost there when Little Guy began to throw up the little bit of breakfast he’d eaten. We pulled over and I got in the back to make sure he didn’t choke. We continued on.
When we got to the clinic, the nurse said that there was only one doctor on duty and we were facing a wait time of an hour and a half. I settled into a chair and changed Will’s outfit. When I noticed it was the only spare in our bag, I asked Hubby to run home and get an extra change of clothes for Little Guy just in case he had another accident.
My little Sweetie was so miserable. He was curled up against me with his little face nuzzled into my neck. Mostly he slept while we waited, but after a little while he began to cough, and then to throw up again. This time, he didn’t get a lot on himself, but I was drenched. I cleaned us both up the best I could with wet wipes and I comforted him. He fell asleep fairly quickly, and I called Hubby. He was still at our house. “Could you bring me a tee shirt too? Just grab one from my closet, please?” He said sure and we disconnected.
It was at that moment that I remembered I was wearing floral Capri pants – instead of my usual blue jeans. I debated calling Hubby back to ask him to rummage for a plain white tee shirt, but decided that wouldn’t work. He’s not one to be matchy-matchy anyway and it might fluster him if he thought he had to choose something specific. I sighed, and reminded myself that any shirt would be better than the wet and smelly one I was currently wearing.
The doctor called our name just as Hubby came through the doors – my water bottle in one hand, a fabric bag full of clean clothes in the other. Yay! We went into the exam room, and were told the doctor would be “right with us”. Knowing that could mean anything, I quickly traded our sleepy toddler for the bag of clothes. I rummaged through tiny boy clothes until I found a tee shirt. And then I reached deeper, because surely that wasn’t the only one he’d brought?
Though it had indeed been hanging in my closet, the shirt he grabbed for me that day was one I’d only ever worn around the house. It was comfy (a size too big), and had a little more graphics than I typically prefer. In enormous letters on the front of the shirt, it said “HEARST FOOTBALL”. Below those letters was the image of a menacing skull and crossbones (all in black and yellow). On the back it said, “Kill them ALL!”
I helplessly looked down at my floral Capri pants… my orange-peach floral Capri pants… and then I looked at the skull and crossbones tee shirt. And even I (who has no fashion sense whatsoever) knew this was going to look bad. The new shirt didn’t smell like throw up though, so I pulled it on.
As the doctor came in moments later, I envisioned my photo in the back page of a fashion magazine, a big black box covering my face and the word “Don’t” typed below in bold letters.
I quickly pushed such thoughts to the back of my mind, because I’m a Mom and Moms will do whatever is necessary to help their children. If it means getting thrown up on in a public waiting room – so be it. If it means wearing a wildly mis-matched outfit – so be it.
We asked and answered all the right questions. The doctor examined Little Guy, and diagnosed him with (yet another) ear infection and a cold. We were given a prescription, and off we went.
As we left through the waiting room, I held my head high. In a way, my weird uniform felt like a visual metaphor for being a Mom. There’s some soft flowery aspect to the way we each love and nurture our children, but there’s also a fierce protective mama bear in all of us… a mama bear who doesn’t mind wearing a skull and crossbones shirt if it means she can give her Little One a warm, dry shoulder to snuggle into.
After a few doses of his new antibiotic, Little Guy is already feeling much better. In fact, one dose brought him out of his funk and we are once again chasing around our funny little firecracker. We didn’t have to miss any work, thanks to the fast acting antibiotic and life is back to normal in our house. Back to normal, with one exception – I am now packing a plain white tee shirt (for myself) in Little Guy’s diaper bag, just in case.