Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Who's Trippin Down the Trails of the Catskills?

Tomorrow, Connor (“my baby…!” she wails, as he rolls his eyes in mock-horror) goes on the big, annual, BLOWOUT 5th grade trip to the Catskills for three fun-filled days of nature and games… and two endless nights filled with not a lot of sleep, I’m guessing. My condolences go out to the brave, dedicated teachers of these students and I sincerely hope Connor’s teacher finds the flask I hid in his briefcase early on…the sooner, the better I’m thinkin’.

So, four buses…filled with 240 assorted ten and eleven-year-olds…will travel the sixty miles (that somehow manages to take about an hour and 45 minutes to navigate…gives you an idea of the terrain)…one-way…to convene with nature, socialize with their peers and undoubtedly work in their free time on refining the delicate audio-technique of the underarm fart.

I’m going to miss my Connor…it’s a little scary to imagine three days of uninterrupted Taylor-time…maybe I should have fought harder to be a chaperone on this trip…but, I digress.

I stopped by the school today to drop off travel-medication for Connor, who’s been blessed with a rare food allergy to SESAME SEED (yes, you’ve read that correctly) and in the event of the errant ingestion of said SESAME SEED, he needs to be stuck with an EPI PEN and sent packing to the nearest emergency room. Welcome to my worry.

Upon my arrival at the school, the nurse (an absolute saint aptly named Mary) informs me that her EPI PEN expired in 2006 and “do I have a more recent one for the trip?”

I did not. Unfortunately, I was carrying around the mate to her EPI PEN, as it came in a handy-dandy two-pack…which I now realize is not necessarily a good thing. The good news is that we obviously haven't had a need to use it in quite a while.

This lead to one (okay, it was several) frantic phone calls to replace said expired EPI PEN. Nothing like waiting till the last minute. This is where being a writer can come in pretty handy, as my superior powers of persuasion can get things accomplished on a much more effective scale than for the average individual. Or, maybe it’s because I’ve become really, really good at begging. I think it’s 50-50.

Anyway, nothing is ever easy. I’m standing in the main office of the school, outside the door to the nurse’s office as I’ve been temporarily banished till I can produce said PEN as she’s got some serious achy-breaky-bellies and other assorted mystery illnesses to contend with. That, and surprise! I’m not the only parent to have left things till the last minute and the entire staff in the office is trying their best not to lose it all over the sorry bunch of us.

Lucky for ME, I’ve got an “IN”…I’ve taught at this school on occasion, so I’m technically, almost, sort-of, kind-of-like a teacher…in a way. For this, I receive only a small sigh as someone runs to grab me a phone book as (of course) I can’t remember the allergist’s name, much less his phone number.

Yes, sometimes I’m a less-than-perfect mom.

So, I find the number and I reach his office. After explaining that we’ve got a situation here, she reminds me that they’ve haven’t seen Connor in a while and he’ll be needing a spring appointment.

“Okay,” I say. “I don’t have my dayrunner with me. Can we just take care of the prescription for now and I’ll get back to you on the appointment?”

“Well…see…that’s the thing,” she informs me. “We can’t (or is it really WON’T?) call in a new script if you don’t have your follow-up appointment booked.”

“FINE. Just pick a day…pick ANY day,” I say. She rattles off a date and time, but I’ve no pen…and no paper…and I can tell I’ve already depleted any favors I might have had, as one of the ladies is giving me the look…(you know, the one that says “don’t even think about asking”), so my eyes dart from her to the counter…looking for a pen and paper. I spot the pen but it’s chained to the counter…not unlike the ones they have at my bank, which never seem to have enough chain to actually reach the paper I need to write on. I grab the chained-pen and do something I haven’t done since high school… I write on my own hand.

By this time, she’d given me the info for Connor’s next appointment and she’s asking me what pharmacy to call the ‘script into. I’ve been less than thrilled with the pharmacy I’ve been using lately, so I decide to go to a different one. It’s a big-name-chain and I’m not sure of the address.

“Uh. Do you know the phone number for the Walgreen’s next to Bed, Bath & Beyond?” I ask. All things being relative, I’ve always thought Bed, Bath & Beyond was a very good landmark for anything worth finding….but evidently not everyone agrees.

However, she did agree to let me call her back when I reached the pharmacy and she said she’d phone in the script then

When I reached Walgreen’s, I realized that I couldn’t read the nurse’s name (it’s written at the bottom…is that Madeline?...or is it Mary Alice…?) and that’d I’d completely forgotten to write down the phone number of the doctor’s office.

So now I’m asking the pharmacist for a phone book and I’m asking him if he’s got any clue what this info on my palm actually says….(is that May 8th or the 18th?)

End result is that by 2:30, I was in possession of an updated EPI PEN DOUBLE PACK and I was back at the school to drop it off. Nurse Mary is shaking her head in amazement, explaining that “usually you can’t get anyone to pull things together this quickly” and I’m just grateful to have not realized I was attempting something that was evidently next-to-impossible…all in one day, anyway. Sometimes, I swear it’s better to just NOT KNOW.

Connor’s teacher released him early, after I pressed my nose against the glass of the classroom door and defiantly stuck out my lower lip, all the while looking like a mother who’d lost her BABY…which in my mind, I already had. He told me I was the second mom to pull her kid early today.

That’s okay…by this time tomorrow, Connor’s teacher’ll be hitting that flask and wondering (not for the first time) what in the hell he was thinking…

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