Happy Halloween, 2016

Baguette has never been that into trick-or-treating. From her perspective, Halloween is when you knock on your neighbor’s door, and they answer it–but then they don’t let you in. What’s the point of that?

It’s always been a struggle. Not because it particularly matters to us whether she wants to, but because we want her to understand what it is, and see if she can find a way to make it fun for herself. There would be a parade at her day care that she had to be wrangled through–the teachers made those costumes–and then in the evening we’d try to get her out into the neighborhood.

Each year, it was harder than you’d think. There was the time she refused to wear layers (shirt and tights were fine, but not the elephant part of the costume). After many tears, she decided to wear all of her Elmo clothing. It worked. The next year, she rejected the costume we’d bought her AND the one from day care, finally settling on my shirt worn backward. The year after that, we laid out every costume and clothing item we could think of, and she chose soccer ball fleece PJs–although once she was done with her abbreviated neighborhood circuit, she added Anna’s ball gown from Frozen.

This year, we looked at the restrictions required by the school and settled on gray leggings, gray t-shirt, and elephant headgear (we bought two headbands with ears and a hat). But yesterday I pointed out that she’d spent the week saying “I am a fire fighter” and “I am a doctor,” following a LOT of viewings of Elmo’s World DVDs. And I remembered that at some point, someone had given her a doctor costume. So I unwrapped it, and she instantly fell in love with the idea. She wore it all afternoon, and tried to sleep in it, and put it back on enthusiastically for this morning’s parade at school.

Small girl in scrubs costume running
Paging Dr. Baguette

She was still wearing it when Mr. Sandwich picked her up, and didn’t take it off until they were in the store looking at fire fighter costumes. They brought one home, but its velcro fasteners proved unacceptable. Out of all of the costumes we’d spread across the couch, which one did she pick?

The elephant-ear headband.

So we headed out with our elephant for trick-or-treating, but it turned out that Baguette had no interest in that–she just wanted to go for a walk around the block.

The whole point is to have fun, and for the first time, Halloween was really fun for her.

I couldn’t be happier.

Kindness

We took Baguette to the doctor yesterday, to check on a minor concern. While we were there, we decided to get her flu shot–none of us has gotten it so far, because we’ve all been sick through the fall and into the winter, but she’s pretty healthy at the moment.

As always, Baguette screamed a lot about the shot. And this year’s shot is a doozy, so it had an even more extreme effect than usual. She and I waited outside the pharmacy while Mr. Sandwich went in to pick up her prescription. It took about 20 minutes. She was still in pain, and screaming.

People moved in and out of the courtyard where we were waiting. I tried to calm her, offering her distractions, singing to her (that definitely didn’t help), and walking around while holding her. After a while, I noticed a young boy looking at us and smiling.

He said, “Hi. Is it okay if I come over and talk to her?”

I said, “Yes, but she may not talk in return. She doesn’t talk much sometimes.”

He said, “That’s okay,” and came over.

He never lost the smile. He talked to her, and suggested games they could play, and put “pixie dust” on her arm, and let her play with his tablet.

After a couple of minutes, I said, “Do you have a brother or sister with autism? Because you really seem to know what you’re doing.” He answered, “Oh, I just really like little kids.”

Eventually his mother came up, and I introduced myself and told her how helpful her son was being. She said he was in a peer support program at his school, where he helps kids with ADHD and autism. I told her that it showed, because he was really good at it. She said, “I heard your husband mention it in the pharmacy, and my son asked me if he could go talk to your daughter. I said I didn’t know, but apparently he did anyhow.” I smiled and said, “He did ask first!”

Apparently Mr. Sandwich had to endure a long stretch of snarky, irritated, and exaggerated comments from the other adults in the pharmacy, several of whom seemed to feel that 15 minutes is the same as an hour, and that no one was doing anything about the upset child in the courtyard.

But let me tell you, that 12-year-old was a real grown-up.

An Apple A Day

A week ago, I took the day off work and went to lots of doctors. Well, several doctors. Well, three.

Nothing alarming is happening, but I like to stay on top of my regular checkups. Plus I need new glasses. I’ve been wearing these for four years, and the lenses are still fine, but the color on the frame has started to chip. Let’s face it, at some point my nail polish touch-up is going to become obvious. Fortunately, I found some frames that I really like, and am getting new glasses. I’m also getting new contacts, which I gave up wearing over four years ago, when I was pregnant with Baguette and did not have the energy to put in contacts.

Apparently I have a little more energy now, not that I can tell most days. Then again, I have started wearing makeup at least 60% of the time.

Mind you, I came out of the appointments with a few referrals (apparently that pain in the ball of my foot is not going away, no matter how many years I wait), and I still have to visit the find a dentist.

Being in your 40s is hard, y’all.

Best-Laid Plans

So here’s the schedule: arrive at the surgical center at noon. Surgery at 1:15, lasting about 90 minutes. Recovery time, etc., figure we’ll be home late afternoon.

Here’s what happened:

12:00 Arrive at surgical center. Told the doctor is running about 30 minutes behind.

12:45 Told the doctor is running an hour behind.

1:30 Mr. Sandwich is taken back to prep for his surgery. I go to move the car.

1:40 I return to the waiting room to find Mr. Sandwich, who has been sent back due to the delay.

2:00 Mr. Sandwich is taken back again.

3:25 The doctor comes out to tell me that he will start in about 5 minutes. (I immediately–and, as it turns out, correctly–surmise that Mr. Sandwich has sent him.)

4:10 I tell the only remaining member of the office staff that I, the only remaining person in the waiting room, am about to cross the street so that I can buy another book at Barnes & Noble.

4:30 I return to find myself locked out of the waiting room. Eventually, someone lets me back in.

5:55 A nurse tells me that Mr. Sandwich’s surgery is almost done, and he should be going to recovery soon.

6:30 The doctor comes out and tells me about how the surgery went (generally well) and what Mr. Sandwich will need to do–and not do–over the next 10 days as he recovers. I know that none of this news is going to make Mr. Sandwich happy.

6:45 A nurse comes to get me so that I can sit with Mr. Sandwich as he is in recovery.

8:00 We finally leave.

Of course, then I had to get him settled at home, call family members, figure out what each of us was going to eat (I’d had lunch before we left, but he’d had nothing since the previous midnight), and go back out to get his prescriptions filled. So it wound up being a very long day, which started with Mr. Sandwich in a dressing and bandage that covered his finger, and ended with him in a cast from above his elbow to beyond his fingertips. He’s got a sling for when he’s walking around, and he’s supposed to keep it elevated as much as possible.

If You’re Squeamish, Stop Reading Now

So I’m sitting on the couch while Mr. Sandwich and one of his friends are working in the garage. All of a sudden, Mr. Sandwich walks in briskly and says, “We’re going to the emergency room.”

I follow him into the bathroom to learn what’s going on, where he shows me that his left index finger is now missing a chunk of flesh.

What? I warned you.

While he ran water over his finger, I handed him a washcloth and went into the garage to find the piece of his fingertip. There it was, on the workbench. I put it in a baggie, which I wrapped in paper towels and then put in a bag of ice (you want to keep it cold, but not wet or directly on the ice).

That’s when we realized that we had no idea where the nearest ER might be. Fortunately, the 911 operator was able to give me the address and cross street, and away we went. The friend was kind enough to lock up the garage on our behalf.

After an X-ray, some lidocaine, and a lot of forms, the doctor sewed the finger back together. Apparently there’s only about a 25% chance it will heal properly, and there are going to be a number of visits to a specialist to monitor it.

But, hey, at least now we know how to get to that hospital. And guess who plans to wear gloves during future projects!