Lost

5 11 2008

Ethan had an appointment at Walter Reed this morning. We never made it there.

Actually, that’s not true. We WERE there, physically at Walter Reed, at one point. It was the road to the hospital, the getting there part, that got all… I think the word I want here is, whacked.

Today’s appointment was our second attempt- I’d had to reschedule for a time that Jeff could go, too. Only the appointment I was given was for a time that was still not good for Jeff, though he managed to get the time from work anyway. Last night, I changed our plans- I suggested to Jeff that I get myself, Ethan and Oliver all ready to leave by the time he leaves (7am) and we all just ride there together, rather than meeting him an hour later. The change in plans was due simply to the fact that I am the biggest baby you will EVER meet when it comes to driving in an unfamiliar place, especially when that place is a downtown-type setting, with one-way roads and roads that magically suddenly put you onto highways with names like 495 and 295 without warning, and suddenly you are headed into Maryland, and then, OMG, THEN WHAT? Doom, that’s what. Doom. And so, I do all I can to avoid this. Including getting up at 5am this morning so as to have us all ready, showered, fed, packed to go by 7, AND including sitting in the car in the parking lot with the baby and the boy while Jeff goes in to work for an hour and a half before it’s time to leave for the appointment. My irrationalities, they know NO BOUNDS.

So that’s exactly what I did. I made a list last night, while McCain graciously lost and Obama proudly and rightfully won, a list of things to pack (snacks, a lollipop and a Spiderman cuddle blanket for after-the-appointment comfort, crayons and paper, directions, DVD player and DVDs, extra outfits, OUR PASSPORTS AND TOOTHBRUSHES AND EVERYTHING ELSE IN THE WORLD), a list of things to be done before leaving. And by the time we left, ON TIME, thankyouverymuch, I was feeling pretty good. I hadn’t forgotten anything, and we were on time, did I mention that? For us, that is Extreme.

And from 7:38 until 9:00am, the boys and I sat the car in the parking lot of Jeff’s work; I fed Oliver his cereal and some Cheerios, gave Ethan a Nutrigrain bar (“Blueblerry!”) and put on Shrek for him. From our place in the lot we had a view of the Washington Monument, and even though it was kind of a gray, blechy day, we were all in good spirits (although I did kind of need to hit a bathroom, thanks to my entire Thermos of coffee, but I knew I’d be fine to wait till we got to W.R.). No one was overly fussy or attitude-y. Jeff came out of work, on schedule, and we left, giving ourselves one hour to travel the 6 miles up through DC to Walter’s.

Well. Turns out we should have allowed for something closer to 2.5 hours, not 1. Because, we missed our first exit. Or rather, we got off too soon. And went out of the way. And through some ghetto. Searching for a new route to put us back on track. On this, the day after Election Day, we had a lovely little impromptu tour of our nation’s capital. And… ugh. It’s sad, really- the poverty, the homelessness, the run-down conditions clearly visible in this, our nation’s capital. The city from which our nation’s leaders lead… is in a pitiful state. Yes, we had a lovely little tour, with our doors locked.

Anyway. By the time we made it to Walter Reed, we were 35 minutes late (we were supposed to have been there 20 minutes early). And then? Then we had to roam around the parking garage for 20 minutes searching for an empty spot, because apparently? Everyone else in the military world had an appointment there today, too! And they too, were all driving around and around and around this parking garage, stalking innocent patients and visitors who looked like they were on their way to their cars, about to vacate a space. I’m surprised they weren’t auctioning their spots off to the highest bidders, because there is mucho money to be made there. I would have paid $20 for a spot at that point.

We finally gave up, admitting defeat, since we were already late when we got there, and were sure to be turned away, as they’d no doubt moved on to the next patient long ago. And then we began our journey back, which, WHAT UP, Google Maps? Our directions were… again, gotta go with ‘whack.’ Our directions were whack. Frustrated- I’d rescheduled this appointment; worked out driving arrangements with Jeff; dealt with my irrational stress levels thanks to the driving-in-unknown-places, since I’d be driving back to Fort Belvoir alone; gotten up 5 freaking am; THEN missed the appointment altogether and gotten slightly lost again on our way back and- I broke down. Tears. TEARS. Over getting lost and missing an appointment. What was I, 3? I felt really dumb.

And also? I felt like I was going to BURST, because remember? Two hours ago, when I had to pee? Yeah, still had to pee, only the urge was slightly more pressing now. And when I say “slightly” I mean I was seriously considering swiping one of Oliver’s size 4’s for myself if we didn’t find our way out of the ghetto soon.

We did. We stopped. I peed. And then Jeff asked me if I could just drive myself home, rather than taking us. To which I responded by losing it again. More tears. Hormonal much? I think I scared him, what with my crazy stupid girl emotions, because he drove us home. Because he is way too nice to me; when he asked if I could drive myself home, we were AT his workplace. That’s where we’d stopped so I could pee. He drove us the 20ish minutes home, and then drove all the way back to work. I think I owe him one.

Ethan’s appointment has been rescheduled YET AGAIN, only this time we don’t have to go all the way to Walter Reed, YAY. There was more chaos when we got home, more tears, but I won’t go into that. Now, both boys are napping, miracle of miracles, AT THE SAME TIME. I’ve got a Grey’s Anatomy playing (much as I try, I just can’t quit you, you little prime time soap opera of medical dramatics, you), and I’m half watching it while I type, hoping I can finish this before children wake. With enough time left over to steal some Halloween candy, of course. And apparently I’m not finished crying, because Izzy and Korev just had a moment, and DUDE, WTF- I’m tearing up again. Seriously? I don’t know what’s wrong with me.

Perhaps I should schedule an appointment with the psych ward at Walter Reed. Because at least I know how to get there now.


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3 responses

5 11 2008
Meg

OK seriously…next time you guys get lost in the District, call me. Ethan doesn’t call it “Meg’s DC” for nothing, you know.

8 11 2008
Mae

OH MY GOSH, this is the kind of stuff that happens to me except you make it way more halarious!

18 11 2008
astarte

You poor, lost woman. If you think it’s easy to end up in the ghetto in DC, OMG, try Baltimore. That place is seriously effed up.

I actually like driving in cities. I know, that makes me a nutter, totally. But, I wish I could help you with your appointments!

And, how on EARTH did you hold it for that long?! You deserve some Peepee Medal of Valor or something.

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