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Friday, October 31, 2014

Shots in the rain, again

Last Wednesday was shot day and so it rained.  The Wednesday before was also shot day and so it also rained.  As Brandon works for the Federal government, we have semi-socialized medicine (thank you, all of you faithful tax-payers!) and have to go to FSI, where Brandon has class, to get our pre-departure shots.  Kathleen's the only one who has had a full course of rabies shots, so we still have more round of shots before everything is finished up.  While we already in for rabies, we get some extra ones thrown in for good measure.  I'm not sure what they are, but it's always good to be efficient about getting poked.  I've already got my sleeves rolled up, so poke away.  The children don't mind because they get a lollipop for each poke.  More pokes means more lollipops!

Going anywhere with five children is always a circus, and going anywhere with five children in the rain is a monkey circus, but the goat-rope monkey circus award goes to going to FSI with five children in the rain.  Why is it that nobody else ever has any children at the same time I'm parading my five look-alikes through the hallway?  Brandon always walks fast, but it's never fast enough to evade the stares.

So last Wednesday it was raining, hard.  We owned two umbrellas before coming to Virginia, but Joseph pulled them out of the UAB pile when we were separating items to be sent here.  When we got to Virginia, our two umbrellas were in Belgium.  Now we own three umbrellas (all black), but only one is currently in Virginia.  Since I carry the baby (whose car seat shade-thingy is missing) I got the umbrella and the other children trailed behind me, ducky-style with their hoods pulled up.

I had been late for the last shot appointment, so I made extra sure to get everyone out of the house on time.  Well, almost on time.  We would have been pretty close to being on time if I hadn't missed the light, missed the turn, and had to pull a U in order to wait at the light again.  After showing the guard my ID and placing it on the seat next to me, I barreled down the road to visitor parking and almost ran into Brandon, waiting in the rain to tell me that visitor parking (all five spots) was full.

He hopped into the car and we circled the parking lots along with five or six other cars looking for open spots in the rain.  I could see that anything remotely close wouldn't be open, so I dropped by the entrance and ordered everyone out to wait inside while I trekked back alone, with the umbrella.  After ten minutes of circling (and now fifteen minutes late for our appointment), I finally gave up and parked illegally.  Everyone else was doing it, so I gave into peer pressure.  After all, who would be towing in the FSI parking lot?

I muttered curses against the trees and verdant lawns that hadn't been paved over for parking as I hiked the half-mile back to the entrance where Brandon and the five children were patiently waiting.  Brandon didn't say anything as I dug into my purse to retrieve my wallet.  That was sitting back in the car.  So then I took my turn patiently waiting while Brandon got to double my own trip, in the rain, with no umbrella.  He returned a few minutes later, panting, my red wallet in hand.  I reached for my license, which was still on the passenger's seat.

There are times in marriage where it's just better when both parties say nothing at all, so I waited again, patiently, while Brandon went back out in the rain, with no umbrella.

Thankfully nothing else was going on in the med clinic, so we all recovered from the soaking while watching old episodes of Friends.  I think that Beauty and Beast would have been more audience appropriate, but I don't think my children were interested enough to ask about various jokes.  I watched, fascinated that Jennifer Aniston and Courteney Cox's hairstyle and clothes were ever considered attractive - by me, no less.

Eight pokes and six lollipops later we were done.  The travel office is just down the hall from the med office so we stopped in to schedule our plane tickets.  Did you know that mileage plus members flying from Dulles to Dushanbe via Frankfurt and Istanbul can earn 7,134 miles?  Eleanor just joined mileage plus last week, that means that our family can earn 49,938 miles in one trip.  Not too shabby.

Brandon decided that taking all of the goat-rope monkey circus out in the rain to trek a half mile back to the car was a bad idea, so he dashed out for his third trip in the rain to our Golden Sienna-Van.  I waited patiently with the children, watching the clock and wondering, as the time ticked from five minutes to ten if maybe there were tow trucks prowling the FSI lots looking for foolish crowd-followers who park in white-stripey places.  I pulled out my phone to think about calling Brandon just as it started ringing.  Apologies on my tongue, ready to promise good behavior for the next month, I answered it.  "I'm just outside."

Relieved, I shepherded the goat-rope monkey circus outside and into various carseats.  As I finally climbed into my own seat and buckled in, I caught The Eye from Brandon.  I figured it couldn't be too bad, considering that he was driving the car, but I pretended nonchalance as I asked about his return trip.

"Everything okay?" I smiled, "You really could have taken the umbrella, you know."

"Welllllllll," he drew it out, focusing The Eye on me.  "It all ended well.  But you'd better be lucky that I run so fast and was able to beat the white truck that boots all of the cars that are foolish enough to park in illegal spaces."

And then he went back to driving.  I kept sitting.  And we stayed quiet for awhile.

Maybe next time we'll just take the Oakwood shuttle.


PaulaJean said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
PaulaJean said...

I can't proofread a comment to save my life. There are times when its better to say nothing at all. Kudos for know when that is. :-)

Just US said...

You have the best way of describing a 5 child circus as if it is every day - which it is - and then making real life seem like the circus. Yay for saving the van from the boot man! I hope the rest of this move gets less adventurous for you!

S said...

My husband and I would have yelling matches in public doing what you guys do. Good job to both of you for keeping your mouths shut!