Last week was springbreak at school so my mom helped us out and babysat Gabby. She and my dad were on a trip to Montreal until Sunday, and my mom arrived bright and early Monday morning for Gabby duty. When she arrived at our house, she told me, as she does after every trip to Montreal, that my grandma (on my dad’s side) was very weak and wouldn’t have much time left. This is something I’ve heard for a good 4 years, my grandma has had enough health issues to kill her 20 times over. But she’s got nothing if not a will of iron and I was pretty convinced she was too stubborn to die. Who do you think I got that from?!
A nurse called my dad Monday to say my grandma was definitively on her last days. He booked the next flight to Montreal on Tuesday, but on Tuesday morning he got a call from the doctor to say she wouldn’t make it through the day. My mom passed the message to me before I left for work. I must be pregnant because I fell apart in the car on my way to work, fighting back tears, but then I just started craving my grandma’s “Black Forest” cake she used to make me when I was a kid. Go pregnancy hormones.
I received a text message not 3 hours later, she had passed away. I felt so ridiculous, sitting at work pretending nothing’s wrong. I wanted to jump on the very next plane to Montreal! But in the end, that wouldn’t do anyone any good. So I focused on work and waited patiently for my dad to schedule the funeral. It will be next week, so we’ll be doing an unexpected trip to Montreal for 6 days. And I’ve been craving St Hubert (Montreal restaurant with rotisserie chicken) ever since I bought the airplane tickets on Wednesday. Again, pregnancy hormones!
Unfortunately, I had my first doctor appointment scheduled next week. When I first heard the news about my grandma, I wasn’t sure yet if I’d be gone the day of the appointment. But I thought it would great to have the appointment before I go to Montreal, so I would have some happy news (like hearing the heartbeat, and the baby’s first picture) to share with my extended family on a sad day.
I called the doctor’s office and explained my grandma had just died and I wanted to move my appointment before my trip so I could announce my pregnancy to my extended family in Canada while I was with them. (My extended family already knows, but the receptionist didn’t have to know that! Most people wait until the first appointment before announcing their pregnancy to anyone, after all). The receptionist said “no, we don’t have any appointments available.” Oh my god, my grandma just died and you can’t manage to fit me in?! How rude!
On Wednesday after booking the flights, I knew for sure I’d have to reschedule my appointment so I called again. I know my friends had some early-pregnancy bleeding and they were seen by a doctor the very same day. So I figured, I already tried to ask nicely, now I’ll play dirty. I called the doctor’s office and said “my grandma died and I need to reschedule my appointment because I’ll be flying to Canada for the funeral.” After she took my information, I added nonchalantly “you know, I’m sure it’s just the stress of it all, but I had some BLEEDING last night. Should I be concerned?” She asked if I had a previous child. Yes. She asked if I had any history of miscarriage. No. She told me it was totally normal, and to call again if it got worse. I told her I was worried because of the flight and I’d be out of the country, so I couldn’t just call and come in if it got worse. She said I’d be fine.
!)@#$! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! Why are these people so mean!!! And for a second there, as I hung up the phone, I was genuinely worried. What if my bleeding got worse while I was away? I had to remind myself IT WAS A LIE. Oh right! Duh. I’ll be fine! In a way, it’s strangely comforting to know that due to my past history, there’s no real medical uncertainty with this kid. Not like there is with the first one, at least.
So after all that effort, my appointment is moved back one week, on April 10th. It’s a huge bummer because I could have used the comforting noise of Baby Zero’s heartbeat coming through the monitor for the first time. Alas, the receptionists have no heartstrings left to pull.
On Thursday, we had a parent-teacher conference scheduled. One more stress to add to our agenda! The teacher had talked to me previously about Gabby’s inability to follow rules (namely the one about keeping her shoes on, of course), so we were a little worried we’d basically get yelled at for doing such a terrible job as parents!
The results of the meeting were a litte mixed. Her teacher talked about how smart Gabby is and how much she loves loves loves having Gabby in her class. Hearing Gabby wait at the door and yell “HI MISS NICKI!” every morning just makes her day. She gave us a checklist of how Gabby grades on various activities in her age group, and she blows every category out of the water. Chris and I were giving each other mental high fives.
But then, Miss Nicki just had to go a little further. She started talking about how spirited kids with A.D.D. love her so much. About how most teachers had given up on these way-too-energetic kids, but how they loved Miss Nicki and Miss Nicki loved them. They listen to her, when they don’t listen to anyone else. I labeled Gabby as a spirited child since she was a little baby so what Miss Nicki said didn’t bother me, but it left a sour taste in Chris’s mouth. How dare she group Gabby with the A.D.D and the “broken” kids?!
I had to remind him, hello, our child isn’t NORMAL, now is she? She’s crazy smart, she’s amazingly kind, she’s lots of things. But no, I wouldn’t say “normal” is one of them! Ha! I’m really glad she has a teacher who knows how to deal with her. A teacher, who by the way, has seven older brothers… no wonder she can tolerate one little tiny rambunctious preschooler!
One interesting detail, the only thing Gabby scored badly on is imitation. I guess it’s normal for kids her age to imitate. Play kitchen, play house, play dress up, play with dolls. Gabby really doesn’t. On imitation, she scored “acts with purpose”, which is a lower development level than her forming her own pretend scenarios. For example, she’ll dig in the sand to find worms, not to pretend she’s planting a garden. The teacher said we really shouldn’t worry about it; Since Gabby scores highly on everything else, it’s obviously more of a personality thing than any kind of delay or disability. Still though, I found it hilarious. “Acts with purpose”… I couldn’t find a better way to describe Gabby in one sentence! Everyone says she’s going to be an engineer, she’s got that real world problem solving attitude. She doesn’t have time for this make believe stuff!