Lesson 1) Be careful when you bite your cheek.
Lesson 2) Always carry a dollar.
This week, our Princess decided to add a chapter to our family’s stories of medical drama. Each of her brothers contributed something at least before their first birthday, so she figured she’d add something before her second, I’m sure. On Sunday she was bounding through the house, red ringlets streaming behind her, and then she tripped and fell. To add injury to insult, she bit the inside of her cheek as she did so. Blood and screams ensued. We cleaned her up and ascertained that she would not need stitches, comforted her, hugged her, tylenol-ed her, and she went back to life as normal.
The next morning I noticed she had a bit of a fat lip and throughout the day kept an eye on it, but it wasn’t going away. In fact, her cheek was starting to look a little red. Haus Meister got a good look at the inside of her mouth when he came home from work, and sure enough it wasn’t looking good. “Call the doc in the morning,” was the order, and it was duly obeyed. We arranged for our babysitter to come and then Princess and I headed off to the doctor.
Let me just say that there is a WORLD of difference between taking my daughter to the doctor over any of my sons. She skipped along next to me as I walked down the hallway (the boys would have been racing down the empty halls); she waited quietly beside me while I signed her in (the boys would be trying to keep going through the opposite door to the exam room/watching the ever-running television/enthusiastically diving into the waiting room toys). A little boy was playing with blocks on the floor, which he left all around when he was called in for his exam. I put one away just out of habit, and then Princess proceeded to clean up every block on the floor. I was amazed. She didn’t fuss at the lengthy wait for her exam, but stayed near me and happily chatted about anything that came into her head. No comment on how the boys would have behaved at this point. She shares her brothers’ dislike of standing-on-weight-scales and of doctors-who-have-to-look-at-you.
To make a long story shorter, Princess had developed an abscess that mercifully responded to antibiotic. It could have been incredibly bad, spreading bacteria to her brain, and requiring hospitalization. We are oh so thankful that wasn’t the case. Still, our doctor made an appointment for us today to a second doctor’s office–this one at the downtown hospital with a pediatric surgeon–to make sure everything was getting better.
Again, the world of difference between boys and girls. While I filled out a small ream of paperwork, Princess sat next to me and played happily with two Schleich horses. We were in the registration lobby at this point, and she was only impatient during the last five minutes of the process when she noticed the waiting room area had a fish tank and toys. We were in the waiting room for less time than we were in registration. Princess happily chatted about the fish to the nurse who called us (only Rascal would have done that), and when we got to the exam room she never tried to escape, open drawers, or tear the paper off the bed. It helped that (for once) we were in an exam room with interesting magazines. She sat in one chair with Pottery Barn Kids while I sat in the other chair with Chasing Fireflies. She pointed out familiar objects like balls and flowers and airplanes. I got sewing ideas (as I’m too cheap to spend $44 on a tulle skirt). I was thrilled and amazed that we had so much quiet time together.
The doctor came in and reaffirmed that Princess’ condition was improving. She told us to call her if the swelling returned (it had significantly reduced since the medicine), but thought we’d be fine. She gave Princess a prize, thus ensuring our daughter’s lifetime devotion, and randomly told me that she looked in Chasing Fireflies for sewing ideas for her daughters, thus ensuring mine. Just kidding. Anyway, we turned in our paperwork and headed down to the lobby where I splurged a little at Starbucks.
The Starbucks was a necessary consolation. The hospital has one of the worst parking garages in history. We loathe going to this hospital because we know we have to face parking there. I’ve never had to take the 12-passenger Beast in there, so I’m grateful that we were able to get in and park without causing a 30 car pileup. Getting out, though….
No, I didn’t cause property damage to myself or others. But I did omit to bring a dollar for parking. Grr. I had thought for sure I had a dollar. So I pull up to the window and hold out my ticket. Being in the Beast, I’m right on the same level with drive-through windows and so I could see the guy was busy texting. He paused a moment to punch the ticket and mumble to me “One dollar.”
I opened my wallet. No dollar. I sat there in shock, staring at my bookstore credit slip and thirteen receipts, but no dollar.
“Do you take VISA?” I ask sheepishly, knowing that every other parking place in the city does.
He looks up from his texting. “No ma’am, cash or check.”
Blast. And I didn’t have my checkbook because I had needed to replace the pad of checks. I frantically dump out my purse, scavenge the coin deck in the van, pull up any and all pockets and came up with 80cents. I glanced in the side mirror and noticed there were about six SUVs in line behind me now, all probably cursing me into dark oblivion for keeping them in this wretched garage so long. I steeled myself for the thought of going to any of them and begging for 20cents.
I held out my handful of change. “I have 80 cents, sir, let me…”
He put down his phone and slumped to attention, his face a picture of bored exasperation. “We don’t take change here. You don’t got a check?”
“I didn’t bring my checkbook.” You don’t take change?! People can’t pay four quarters for parking here?!
He asked for my license and proceeded to fill out a form. He handed me the bottom half of it and told me to remit payment within seven days. I was too mortified to say anything more than a humble apology and assure him that I would do so. He then pushed the button to raise the gate and out we went.
I went home and mailed off my $1 check.
Fortunately, Princess continues to mend. =)