The girls and I took First Son to his well-child check-up today. He's very healthy, in the 80s for weight percentile and 90s for height percentile. The PA did suggest we take him for a real eye exam, but we were expecting that eventually. Then, right at the end, he asked us to stop in the lab for a quick blood draw, just a few drops from his finger. First Son wasn't excited about it, but down we went and they took us right in.
So there I am, with a nervous 6 year old, holding the toddler while the 3 year old hovers. The four winter coats and bag of books are still piled in the cramped waiting area. I feel very disorganized. The phlebotomist is great, gentle and quick, but First Son is shivering by the time she's putting drops of blood in the vial. I think she only needs about seven drops, but he's getting more upset. First Daughter starts to pale, then sway a little. I hustle her out to sit on a chair in the waiting room and turn back to First Son as he starts to whimper while she's putting on the bandage. The whole thing took about three minutes, but he's still working himself up.
In the waiting room, I'm trying to keep control of three kids, two of whom are upset. First Daughter is now complaining that her finger hurts. First Son is crying and saying he can't use a fork or eat pretzels in the car or turn the pages of his book while I'm trying to get his winter coat on. Second Daughter keeps trying to wander back into the back room to see more blood. First Daughter looks a little green.
I finally get all three coats on and try to herd them toward the restroom. In the hallway, First Son suddenly yells (still crying) that he can't see. He hits the wall and then bumps into me with wide eyes, screaming "I can't see! Help me!" I have a moment of absolute fear before I catch my breath and remind myself losing a few drops of blood will not make a person blind. I have no doubt he really couldn't see for a few seconds there, but I calmed him down a bit and drew him into the bathroom where he could sit on the floor and rest.
He can see again, but now he says he needs to throw up. He refuses to go near anything in the bathroom he could be sick in, begging for a bowl, even as I'm trying to explain I don't have a bowl because we're not at home. Someone comes in and comments that he must be in trouble, as if I'd hit him or something. Not helping.
We finally get a semblance of control and I herd the kids back into the hallway and past the elevators again. First Daughter sits down right in front of the buttons and as I turn to find Second Daughter who is wandering toward the doors that lead into parking lot, she gets sick. That's right. Apparently, her sensitive gag reflex is accompanied by a weak stomach that can't handle seeing blood. I throw down my bags, in front of a crowd of people trying to get to the elevators, apologizing as I dig out some wipes to hold in front of her as she continues to get sick. Right into my hands. Nice.
So there I am, on the first floor of a medical building full of doctor's offices, pretty much blocking the elevator button that everyone needs as well as a good portion of the hallway itself. My toddler is wandering toward the exit. My six year old is crying. My three year old has thrown up, some of which I'm holding. I spend a few minutes waiting to make sure there isn't more coming and trying to call Second Daughter back. She comes to me, but has no interested in following her brother to the wall, out of the way, and wanders again toward the door.
Finally, a very kind woman offers her aid and I ask her to bring some paper towels. We get the floor and First Daughter cleaned up. She needs new pants, but those are in the van. We finally start out of the building again. Once in the van, everyone in clean pants and buckled, munching pretzels, I'm in the front seat thanking God I made it back to the van without getting sick myself. (First Daughter inherited her weak stomach and gag reflex from me.)
We make it home without further incident. Luckily, I didn't have a chance to put the sheets Second Daughter coughed up on in the wash this morning in the rush to get out the door, so I can throw the pants right in with them.
Half an hour to nap and quiet time...