I had a bad feeling about this morning, when daughter 4 took off her shoes for the orthopedic consultant, only to reveal, in addition to an extra bone and dreadful pronation, two large holes in her tights, with her pink socks bursting through.
From this point it was difficult to concentrate on anything he was saying, but the upshot seemed to be further insoles, built up shoes and if all else fails, plaster.
We were ushered to the splint room, where I administered more apologies for holed tights. We need her shoes, the orthotics lady told us, you can drop them in later if you like. No, I thought, I don’t like. This is my fourth visit to the hospital in as many weeks and we don’t live next door. We’ll manage, I said stoically, throwing daughter 4 a ‘don’t argue’ look. In fact, her look was more one of surprise. How? Orthotics lady and daughter 4 chorused. We’ll sort it, I said, as I bundled a bewildered daughter 4, shoeless, out of the room.
Outside the hospital the remains of the American storm Snowzilla was raging. Why can’t our storms have cool names like that and not Frank and Gertrude. I googled it once and discovered that the name for H is my ex’s name. I read the description of criteria for naming a storm: To be given a name, a storm must ….have the potential to cause either medium or high impact. Yes, I thought to myself.
Back to the slight logistical problem of driving rain, high winds, no shoes and a walk to the car. Wait here, I tell daughter 4, I’ll bring the car to you. Except in my haste to battle Snowzilla, I forget to pay for the ticket. I get to the barrier, cars backing up behind me. It tells me my free time has expired. I need to pay at a machine. I get out the car to explain to the four cars behind. They back up for me. I am faced with a dilemma, I can’t leave the car park, but there are no free spaces to park and the ticket machine is outside of the car park. I spot a disabled space and grab it. The lady in the space next door gives me a look. I run past shouting through the howling wind: I’m having a bad day, as she pulls her disabled child out of the back seat – I feel bad.
I pay for my ticket, screech out of the disabled bay and the car park to rescue daughter 4. It is lucky she is not yet a teenager – standing in a packed hospital entrance lobby for ten minutes with holed tights and pink socks would have killed her. I block the ambulance entrance to piggyback her to the car.
On the way to school she is trying to work out the least embarrassing way to reach her trainers. They are on the second floor, she moans, and I will have to walk into a classroom full of people in my tights. Holed tights, I correct her, just to remind her that this morning isn’t going well because of her tights.
With daughter 4 safely piggybacked into school, I am able to reflect on the morning. It is only now that it dawns on me that I am back at the hospital on Friday to see that charming consultant about my shoulders and I could have safely delivered the shoes. I think I am just hard wired for a challenge.