As I walked back to my desk I could hear my cell phone ringing. I dug it out of my purse just in time to see the "missed call" alert flash on the screen.
My desk phone began ringing and I recognized the number...Clif.
Hey, it's me. Daycare just called. Freddie has a fever.
And just like that it happened. The thing I had been stressing over and worrying about was real and happening. Three weeks into a brand new job and I would need to leave early and take the following day off. I knew it was coming. Freddie's cough had started Sunday morning and had only gotten worse. Last night, in my semi conscious state, I thought he may have been warm.
This morning I had battled over what to do. Even without the fever, the cough and his clinginess were enough to keep him home...take him to a doctor. The fever only confirmed what I knew. And if I were in Richmond, I knew exactly what I should have done. I should have called into work and taken him to his pediatrician as soon as they opened. But we aren't in Richmond. Which means I haven't been at my new job long enough to accrue leave and we have no pediatrician. I haven't found one yet, partially because I've been too busy with other things and maybe mostly because I love our Richmond Pediatrician so much that I can't bear the thought of taking them somewhere else.
I gathered my things and apologized to my new boss. Getting out of DC to my sick child is not like leaving Richmond. In Richmond, I could be to the kids in less than 15 minutes. Not so here. We chose a daycare closer to my in-laws, mostly due to financial reasons. I wish that weren't what we had to base so many decisions on...where to live, where to work, where to send our kids. I wish money weren't such a deciding factor. So because the daycare is closer to the house and because I park 1/4 of a mile from my office (also a financial decision), it's almost an hour before I arrive.
It's 4:30 when I buckle the kids in and get back in the car, headed for...well, I'm not sure where. Clif and I had discussed just going to an urgent care. It could cost us a bundle, but how in the world could I possibly get in to see a pediatrician that I had never seen before so close to closing time? So I head for the closest urgent care.
I unload the kids and drag them inside. Freddie is miserable. They take one look at us and say "We don't see children under 5."
This is where I come dangerously close to loosing my mind and telling the woman behind the counter exactly what I think of her medical facility. My mind starts racing and I don't know what to do. There's a part of me that wants to get in the car and drive to Richmond and never come back.
I take a deep breath and ask them if they know of any pediatric facilities near by. They give me a number to a pediatrician's office...but now it's 4:50. So I strap the kids back in the car and call the insurance company. She was very nice, but she can't tell me if a place takes kids or not.
So I just start calling, because honestly, I haven't been to an urgent care facility since I was in high school and I have no idea if any of them take infants. Luckily, the first one I call does, and they're right around the corner from Kip and Denise's house.
So after a missed exit on the beltway, 5 o'clock traffic and my wallet forgotten in the car we are finally waiting to see a doctor. It's an ear infection. His first. Ainsley had had 4 or 5 by this age.
And that was that. We filled the prescription, got pizza and made it home by 9.
So the thing I had been stressing over and dreading happened and I made it through. I can't tell you how many times moving back to Richmond went through my head. I felt so completely lost and Richmond is just so comfortable. I know what to do, I know where to go. I don't have that confidence here. I'm always worried I'm doing something wrong...at my job, during my commute, with the kids...but I figured it out.
It kind of turned a bad day into a better day. So maybe this whole move will not beat me, maybe I'll still come out on top. For the last three weeks I have not felt that way, I've felt the exact opposite. I guess that's how it happens, little victory by little accomplishment until you forget that you were once the new girl. I just hate being the new girl.