Monday, May 17, 2010

Mama Bear Goes to Zumba

This afternoon I had to wake Becca up to take her to therapy, and (like her mother) she did NOT want to get up. It had taken her a while to fall asleep because she was still coughing like crazy when I put her down, so she really hadn't come close to finishing her nap. I waited until the very last minute (while I was on the phone with our pediatrician) and poked and prodded until Sleepy Beauty arose. She had crazy bedhead and super sleepy eyes, which was pretty adorable. Only after I had put her in her carseat (again, at the last minute and with the doc on the phone - really, when she is kind enough to ask, "Is this a good time?" perhaps I should think before responding) did I realize that the crazy bedhead was due to crusty puke all over her hair, neck, and shoulder. Ew. She had coughed so much that she threw up (which is not an unusual occurrence lately.) Of course, I was pushing it time-wise, so I decided just to change her into her spare outfit when we got to therapy. (We never leave home without a spare when travelling with a kid with reflux and a super-sensitive gag reflex!) Great, fine, not feeling like a stellar mom, but whatever. We hit the road and, 30 minutes later, got there right on time. Or so I thought.

I knew that we wouldn't see our regular feeding therapist, Caroline, because she is in Zambia for 5 weeks doing speech therapy with a mission team from her alma mater - wow! I thought that we had arranged to see another therapist at the same time slot, but, well, apparently we hadn't. I was told by the receptionist (not the regular one) that we didn't have an appointment and, actually, we only have one feeding session on the calendar - until we move. Um, no. This is not okay. Especially since once we do move, we will probably be sitting on the waiting list at Vandy's rehab center for at least several more weeks. And we're finally making progress with this eating thing! To have only one more session for the next few montha - n.o.t. o.k.a.y.

Enter SuperMom-turned-grumpy-(yet hopefully polite)-Mama Bear. I inform the pseudo-receptionist that, well, this is not okay. She tells me not to worry because they are getting more help in June and maybe they will schedule her for more sessions then. Maybe. But she's not on the schedule and other kids are scheduled in her time slots. So maybe not. I inform her that this is really not okay. We've been coming to therapy of one kind or another at this center for a year. We show up to appointments (albeit 10 minutes late), we cancel when we are sick to protect the other patients, we follow through with the work at home, and doggoneit, we raise a stink when necessary in order to get our kid the services she needs. (And by "we", of course, I mean me. John is far too polite for such behavior.) So I did. After a few minutes of this, another therapist (not pediatric) that had been present for the conversation pulled our substitute therapist (who is great, by the way) out of her session so that she could talk to me about it. Turns out she will see Becca on Fridays, but we won't have our Monday sessions for the rest of the month. Grrr. But okay. Would have like to have known that before, but whatever. When the temporary help comes in June, they are going to find two times a week that work for us for the 3 weeks that we are here. Okay, fine. But I can tell you the two times that work for us: Monday afternoons and Friday mornings, like we've been doing for 5 months now! (Realistically, we do have several other times that work, but obviously, those two times do work for us, even though they sometimes involve waking the princess from her slumber. How should they know they work for us? Because we've been coming at those times for over 20 weeks.)

Moral of the story? We are going to work out a definite schedule on Friday for the six weeks that we've got left. We've got a couple of Mondays off, one of which is Memorial Day, which we would miss anyway (since the office is closed). After that, we'll go back to two times a week. It will all be fine. But, wow, I was not happy because I a) woke up a throw-up-y daughter early from a nap; b) rushed to therapy, driving for 20 miles and 30 minutes; c) got there to find out we didn't have a session scheduled; d) was told that we would basically be discontinuing therapy unless somebody cancelled; e) was told there was nothing that could be done about it (i.e. the receptionist, who handles the calendar, couldn't schedule anything else); f) had to be pushy about the whole thing in public (seriously, I don't like doing this - I do it when I have to, but I don't enjoy it, hard as that may be for some of you to believe); and g) was only temporarily mollified in the end. But it is what it is, and I proud of Caroline for putting her life on hold to help folks in Zambia. And I guess a little more time on my hands isn't a bad thing.

At the moment, though, I was not happy with the time on my hands. I had to do something to make the trip (and the waking and the changing and the crying) worthwhile. I got to thinking. ("A dangerous pastime, I know." Name that movie!) Our therapy clinic is housed in the same building as the hospital's fitness facility. (I think that some of the PT patients actually use the equipment in their therapy.) I thought I'd ask if, by chance, the fitness center did a free trial pass or anything like that...and they do! I had actually already been dressed to work out because I was hoping to go to the park after therapy (unless the rain came, which it did). I happily paid my $2.50 to put Becca in the nursery for two hours (only kid in there!) and shelled out another dollar for a bottle of water. I was a little too excited about the prospect of having two hours child-free (remember, at this age, I'm still in her therapy sessions, so this was a surprise break), and I was really tempted to (what is it with the lists tonight?) a) spend the entire two hours watching t.v. in the locker room; b) jump into the hot tub fully clothed; c) sit in the steam room fully clothed (though, now that I think about it, I guess there are people who would sit in the steam room without, ahem, a bathing suit); or d) take a long, luxurious, and completely unnecessary shower (I showered right before leaving for therapy) without having to listen to a monitor or wonder if I had time to shave my legs before she woke up. Alas, I was a good girl and rode a bike for 25 minutes and then attended my first-ever Zumba class.

Those of you who know me personally are likely laughing out loud now. Just imagine these 200 pounds of fluffy and wholly uncoordinated white girl goodness attempting Latin dance moves in blue (Target) Umbros and a glaringly yellow t-shirt. I mean, earlier in the day I literally walked into the wall trying to get through an open and uncluttered doorway. Not even kidding. I think John is tempted to pull Becca's helmet back out simply because the chance that I will trip on my feet and drop her on her head is pretty high. Speaking of high, I think I am actually mistaken for being high or drunk half the time because I can't naturally walk in a straight line. Seriously. Uncoordinated.

Thankfully, this was a basic class, and in addition to the one other first-timer, there were a few women who must of been in their seventies, so I hung out with this crowd and attempted to mimic their jerky movements as best I could. Because I definitely was not going to be able to move my derrière the was our instructor was. Suffice it to say, I've never seen a toosh move like that. And certainly not mine. Not ever. But I had fun and definitely worked up a sweat!

When an employee came in the room 30 minutes into the class, I silently prayed that he was coming for me. My arms were about to fall off. I'm going to be in serious pain tomorrow. He was, in fact, coming to get me because apparently Becca was going ballistic in the childcare room. By the time I got down there, though, she was perfectly fine. Apparently the gal working in there just wasn't used to Becca's, um, insistent ways (i.e. it looks very odd and concerning when you see a baby-sized person throwing an advanced 2-year-old-sized fit). I think Becca had seen a stuffed Elmo on a high shelf and oh-so-politely (uh-huh, right) started screaming, "MoMo! MoMo! MoMo!" and signing more-please-yes-more-please-yes, which got translated as "I need my mommy right now." As I said, though, I was happy to oblige and exit the class and the center early and gracefully.

At least I did something gracefully today.

p.s. We stopped at Publix to pick up a sub (yum!) and a few BOGO's on the way home, and I think that I might go back there every day, just to get spoiled. Everyone working there asked if I needed help, and Becca drew a crowd at the check-out. The guys were fawning over her. After I insisted that I didn't need help out and stepped out into the rain, the cashier ran out with an umbrella since he "didn't realize it was raining, so please let me help you," which he did. Man, I love that place.


  1. Yay for zumba! And Publix! And Beauty and the Beast. :-)

  2. Gaston! That's one of our favorites from B&B.

    I tried Zumba once and felt like a complete fool. Isn't it amazing that we marched from point A to point B on a football field while simultaneously playing an instrument, watching a drum major, and avoided crashing into our peers? I have trouble just walking around, too. Maybe we used up our lifetime allotment of coordination on marching band...

    I'm glad you got Becca's therapies worked out. Being Mama Bear is no fun, but that's our jobs and you're great at it! :)

  3. I love Zumba! Maybe that's why I was in Color Guard and can't play any musical intrument to save my life. Or even really read music. And it is amazing that we all marched and survived. :) I think I need to own Beauty and the Beast. Truly one of the best Disney movies. At least my faves.

    Way to be Becca's advocate. Such an important mommy job. I can relate, as a patient advocate, anyway. (I spent much of my time last night, in fact, straightening out a problem for my patient.) Love watching her progress. :)