on tuesday, i had to go to the blood lab for some tests. it's about an hour's walk away, which was pretty appealing on a soft summer morning.
so i got up and didn't eat, since i had to fast before the bloodwork was done. this also included no coffee, which definitely made it harder to get sam ready because that involves some thinking.
i finally had myself dressed, sam fed and dressed, tucked into the stroller with bottles, back-up clothes, diapers, wipes and blankets - all of the things needed to tide him over for the morning :). feeling proud of myself for getting it all together, i wheeled the stroller out of the apartment door, and bumped it down the stairs (as gently as i could).
i was just settling my earbuds in when i realized i'd forgotten my requisition. agh.
so, i wheeled the stroller back to the building, set it in the stairwell (banking on the presumption that anyone who would steal it would still be in bed), grabbed sam, and dashed upstairs. got my requisition, back downstairs, popped sam into the (still there! yay!) stroller and started out again.
so far, so good.
the summer morning was quickly melting into a scorcher of a forenoon (i should know by now that theweathernetwork has some seriously faulty predictions for thunder bay), and i was beginning to regret my blouse with elbow-length sleeves. i should've opted for a t-shirt. and my hungry stomach was growling as i pushed the stroller up hill ... whew!
i was looking forward to being done the tests - i had packed some arrowroot cookies so i wouldn't have to do the walk back on an empty stomach as well. on the way to the lab, i scouted out a cute park to sit in while i fed sam and ate my cookies. the day was definitely looking up.
i found the lab okay (thank you googlemaps), and pushed the stroller into a really crowded tiny waiting room (like, zambia-crowded) and took a number. in spite of the cramped quarters and the stroller (which seemed to be growing in size with every person who entered the room), it was actually a nice wait.
oh sure, it was a long time, but sam was so happy and giggly and friendly with everyone. i got to chat with so many people, and sam smiled and drooled and giggled at them all.
when my number was finally called, the nurse scowled at me and told me i'd needed to be there at 745 for one specific test. she grudgingly decided that they could do the rest of the tests, but this one i would have to come back for ... in a month. yaaagh! i was so not looking forward to another early-morning hunger hike - but at least i'm able to get medical attention, and it's not costing me an arm and a leg. so, determined to look on the bright side, i wheeled my stroller through the rabbit-warren to a cubicle, and got a lot of blood drawn. by this time, i had walked a lot and waited so long that all i could think of was having something to eat!
relieved to know i had cookies in my bag, i re-packed sam into his stroller and pushed him through the clinic to the doors.
and we stopped.
it was pouring. the scorching sun of a few hours before had long disappeared behind a skyful of heavy grey clouds which were unleashing their fury all over the city.
i grabbed a few cookies - i really couldn't wait! - and bundled sam up as cozily as i could. i could see some dark clouds in the distance, and knew there was no point in trying to wait it out - this was as good as it would get for a long time.
resignedly, i set off. my walk home was miserable. i was wearing flipflops, and they continually sprayed muddy puddle water up my back. the stroller handle was slick and slimy with my melting sunblock, and the blanket i draped over the stroller kept blowing around. my blouse, which had seemed too heavy on my way there, was now woefully inadequate. i was drenched, freezing, and feeling like the worst mother in the world as i paraded the stroller down conspicuously empty sidewalks.
one group of people smiled sympathetically at me from a restaurant window. i know i looked like a windblown drowned rat.
i was about halfway home when the rain let up for a moment. i was thrilled! then all of a sudden, lightning forked out of the sky and thunder bay started living up to its name.
i'm not really a fearful person. when i lived in zambia, i teased my friends for being nervous in the fierce storms.
but when i saw that first lightning fork, my heart leaped up and cried, "Sam!" i wanted to wrap myself around the stroller and keep him safe. all i could do was keep walking - and pray!, which i did - all the way home.
i was so miserable and cranky. it was the worst day, and i'd have to do it again, and my poor little baby was probably suffering from the rain and cold. that hurt the most.
but when i finally hefted the stroller upstairs and unwrapped sam, i found him asleep - and warm - and dry! no tears, no red face from crying. just a happy cooing baby, glad to see his mama.
eventually i realized it wasn't as bad as it could've been. my way home, although drenching, was at least downhill. i had a clothespin that had been holding the arrowroot bag closed, which i used to keep the blanket on top of the stroller; so although it blew around, it didn't blow off. sam was (somehow!) warm and dry, and good as gold through all the thunder and lightning, even though his mealtime was long past. i was in flipflops, not sneakers, so at least they dried quickly when i got home.
it wasn't a positively awful day, but it definitely was a Very Bad Day.