My ass-backwards way of counting blessings

            I used to think I was a sweets girl, perhaps because of my proficiency with a spoon and a pint of Breyers.  I have been known to admonish J upon his return from an afternoon of errands, “You left me alone with the Nutella again.”  And, before we had kids, when we actually went to parties, we were known to meet one another’s eyes from across the room at 10:40 and rapidly make our way to the door so that we could get to Krispy Kreme while the “HOT” light was still on.

            Yes, I like my desserts.  This is why I began Tuesday morning with a chocolate doughnut.  I have fallen off the sweets wagon of late, and I did not think I could face the craziness of the day I was about to have without a little pick-me-up.  I munched it in the car on the way to our first engagement of the day, a meeting with an administrator at a school we are considering for Zachary when he starts kindergarten in two years. 

            Although private school would be a hell of a stretch for us, we are fortunate that we can even consider it as an option.

            Meeting over, we zoomed over to the house, where the sellers were supposed to be moving out at the same time we would be moving in.  Our agent met us there.  The other movers were gone, but the seller had left piles of trash in the bins and was slowly moving the last of his things out.  The family had, in fact, left a refrigerator full of condiments, complete with Hershey’s syrup, which I guess would come in handy were I a sweets girl. 

            Although the sellers’ behavior throughout was annoying and the house has a lot of maintenance items we need to address with contractors over the next few days, we are fortunate to be able to afford a place to live.

            I fielded a call from Zach’s preschool, telling me the afternoon enrichment courses we had signed him up for were not happening due to low enrollment and we needed to choose new ones.  Just the conversation I wanted to be having as I stood outside the new house, waiting for the seller to stop bitching to his agent that he didn’t know we would be there that morning (did he miss all the emails?).

            We are fortunate to have a lovely preschool that gives our son enrichment opportunities.

            I headed out again, leaving J to wait for the movers and deal with the clueless seller, as I had another appointment to make.  This was the only time that we could get me a slot to take the written test required to get a California license.  The test, I might add, was probably written by the guy who sold us our house, because it was about as clear as he seems to be.  Nonetheless, I fortunately managed to pass.

            Back at the new house, J was telling the movers where to put what. I called the babysitter to see how Benjamin was feeling.  The poor kid started oozing out of orifices on Saturday, and the resident who saw us that afternoon gave us eye drops.  Those drops seemed to be working on the conjunctivitis but are rather useless against the fever he started running Saturday evening, three hours after we left the urgent care clinic.  Fever reducers helped temporarily, but when the sitter told me he still is hot, I called the doctor.

            We are fortunate to have an excellent babysitter.

            Twenty minutes later, I was back in the car, headed out to meet Benjamin and the sitter at the doctor, whereupon I took one bleary-eyed, sticky child from her and sent her to collect the other one from school.  The doctor looked.  The doctor listened. The doctor poked and prodded.  Then, the doctor declared Benjamin had an ear infection in his right ear, which would explain why he had been getting progressively more miserable with every passing hour.

            “We’re supposed to fly to D.C. on Thursday,” I told her.

            “Well, that’s not ideal,” she replied.

            We are fortunate to have medical insurance, not to mention the prescription coverage I made use of a few minutes later.

            My first call was to J, who was appropriately aghast at the prospect of putting this child on a plane a day and a half after starting antibiotics for an ear infection.  My husband was the Ear Infection Kid, and as an adult survivor of that particular pleasure, he has memories of writhing about in pain.  “Maybe we could change the flight to next week?” he suggested, although we both knew it would prove prohibitively expensive. 

My second call was to my friend in Boston.  I cannot cancel the trip to see Grandma, Grandpa, and Great-Grandma, but I surely was not getting a kid with an ear infection on another flight two days later.  I told her I was not coming.   I am fortunate to have an understanding best friend.

Throughout the afternoon and evening, I kept stumbling upon my good fortune.  We were able to change the flight to go out on Tuesday, giving Benjamin almost a week to recover.  Let me tell you, it ain’t cheap to change a flight, but we were quite fortunate to find that this particular flight change was at least in the vicinity of our budget. 

            But, there was only one moment in the entire day during which I truly felt fortunate, and that was on the drive from the doctor’s office back to the new house, where J, the babysitter, and Zachary were entertaining themselves with Zach’s temper tantrum and the first load of stuff, from London (the Philly shipment came on the next day).  As I fought late afternoon L.A. traffic with a dripping, glazed-eyed child in the backseat, I was fortunate to pass a McDonald’s.  Whereupon, I felt the steering wheel turn of its own volition into the drive through line. 

            The vanilla milkshakes were fine, although Benjamin had no interest in his.  But that order of medium fries?  That rocked my world, especially with the extra salt I added.

            It is time to come to terms with the facts.  I like sweets, but when push comes to shove comes to ear infection, I am definitely a savory kind of chick.

19 responses to “My ass-backwards way of counting blessings

  1. McDonald’s French Fries ROCK.

    Your seller is an inconsiderate nitwit. But I know I’m preaching to the choir on that one. 😉

    Bean is an Ear Infection Kid too. We just got off 10 days of antibiotics after his eardrum actually ruptured due to the latest one. Oh joy. AND he has the tubes. Double joy! So I feel your (and Ben’s) pain. Hoping for a speedy recovery and a happy trip for all of you.

    Also, sometimes the only way to count your blessings is to kvetch away about them. It’s either that or scream until your head falls off, and that’s just so inconvenient.

    Sending you The Love from over here.

  2. You’re my kinad girl. Sweets are all well and good and I’m not one to turn up my nose but fries with extra salt? Dill pickle potato chips? Roasted peanuts?! YUM!

  3. Okay. So I’ve gone 3 days now w/out any sugar or carbs and this post leaves me drooling. lol. omg, french fries/ice cream/donuts?? All sounds good to me dude 🙂

  4. I guess if we can’t count our blessings, then we should count our french fries 🙂

    I am so impressed that your blessings are still showing through. Although sometimes, I would think it would be ok to be completely and totally overwhelmed with it all.

  5. You count blessings like I do.

  6. You are so awesome! You found fortune in situations that would have had me curled up in bed watching re-runs of Flavor of Love.

    A friend of mine loves nothing better than McDonalds fries dipped in a chocolate shake. Have you ever tried that?

  7. Oh Jen, Wendy’s fries dipped in a Frosty are really the way to go! 🙂 Emily, I love your blessings here – even in the midst of a super crazy day, you astound me.
    The McDonald’s here have Bag and Shake Fries – with every order you get your choice of special seasonings: Seaweed, Chili among others. Throw the fries and the seasoning in the bag, shake, and enjoy. You’d probably love it. 🙂
    Also, I literally scraped my Nutella jar clean with a chopstick tonight. hehe

  8. Savory. Savory, savory savory. Was totally sweets as a child and then I was introduced to Walker’s crisps and life changed.

    Your blessing counting sounds so familiar!

  9. I don’t think it’s ass-backwards at all… count ’em where you can! Even if you don’t feel it at the time. My expanding waistline shows I’m sweets AND savory… sometimes at the same time.

    Should I feel bad that your crazy day was very entertaining for me?

  10. This is the same internal conversation I have every day. Mine goes something like this: Toys are forever scattered in this house (but praise God I have my house, and that my child loves to play). If I have to bend my big-mama-pregnant body over one more time to pick up my solidly built toddler I might topple over (but how long did I wait for these babies? Also, praise God my toddler is so healthy and eats so well).

    I know this life. Thanks for writing it down.

  11. This so sums up the unpredictability of life with small ones. It should be required reading for all those folks who question, “So what is it you do all day?” sure that you are just lazing around the house, well-versed in daytime tv.

    I am bummed for you that you can’t visit your friend in Boston, not as bummed as I am sure YOU are, but I empathize. You need to work out some sort of voucher/raincheck thing with your husband: “Due to one unforeseen ear infection, this coupon entitles me to a trip out East to Boston sans children to visit my best friend” which has to be redeemed within a few months, airline prices be damned.

  12. I’ve heard you sing the saga of the Ear Infection at least once before, Emily, during a dressing-down of the UK health-care system. What a scourge it must be to your kids to be so prone to them! Are you altogether certain they’re not cocker spaniels?

  13. Hmmm. Neither of my kids have ever had an ear infection before (another way I am fortunate). The issue we had in the UK was that Zachary could not hear because his ears were clogged due to all the pollution in London. But I am amazed you can remember that, David!

  14. At least you are counting your blessing at all. It sounds like you have had quite a day!
    I hope it all gets better ASAP!

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  16. Poor little guy.

    Your way of counting blessings takes some effort and perspective, but I admire you for doing it. Of course, the blessings are all there and you identified them beautifully.

    And, of course, they include french fries, for sure. (I’m with you. Sweets are great, but savory beats them all.)

  17. I love this post.

    Ear infections do suck.

    And I personally, think I just like to eat, be it sweet or savory–both work for me! 🙂

  18. i should have warned you about the test. you can take practice ones online, and if you take them all you’ll get all the questions on the test. I got a 100%, and they said that NEVER happens. my hubby was one away from failing. i like to bring that up every now and again. 😉

  19. My son had an ear infection for every single tooth, so I am full of sympathy, and glad too that you could change your flight. But what a day! I would have been huddled sobbing under the duvet afterwards and really take my hat off to you for keeping up such a wonderful attitude. And all on a bag of fries! Although I agree, they are delicious.