“Who are we seeing today?” asks the receptionist. I feel question anxiety already. “Maam….who are we seeing today?” she asks again.
Standing to my right are Alpha and Bravo. Bravo is holding his bandaged hand, Alpha is picking his nose. “Bravo,” I answer.
“How do you spell his name?” she asks.
“B…r…a…v…o” I answer. That was easy.
“What is his date of birth?” she asks.
“Um, 3-17……” I partially answer, my face heating up. The year, the year, what is the year?
“How old are you Bravo?” I ask.
“Mommmm, I am eight,” he sighs.
If the year is 2011, and the month is January and his birthday is in March, how old would he be? I am having story problem flashbacks. 11 minus 8 is 3; however, his birthday hasn’t happened yet. So that would be 2. “March-17-2002,” I answer. My second grade teacher would be proud.
“Has your insurance changed?” she asks. My mind spins with different answers. She means health insurance, not car or life insurance. I think for bit and answer, “No.”
“Any changes in contact information?” she inquires. I just stare at her. My mind is having visions of a slot machine. Every time a question is asked my mind pulls the lever and images of what I need to regurgitate pop up. I think – home phone, address, cell phone, work phone, husband’s work phone, husband’s cell phone…
“No. I don’t think so,” I answer. She looks at me with one eyebrow raised in doubt. I begin to feel delayed.
We all walk over to the row of germ filled chairs and sit down. I pick up a magazine and began reading an article on, “How to Win an Argument with Your 10 Year Old”. I need to remember this one. My mind begins to file away the critical information…and…
“Bravo? Is there a Bravo?” asks the nurse. We all get up and follow her down the cartooned hallway. I will be losing that argument with my 10 year old later because the information from that article wasn’t filed in my brain soon enough.
“Are there any allergies?” she asks.
“Well, let’s see. Um…Alpha is allergic to grass, the dog seems to be allergic to latex, and um…I think I am allergic to dust…” I ramble on. The nurse is not pleased. “Bravo, I think he is the only one not allergic to anything. So no, no allergies,” I respond.
“Any medications Bravo is taking?” she calmly asks, with the pencil standing in anticipation of my answer.
I look at her and then her pencil. The slot machine starts whirling. Clunk, clunk, clunk. A few moments pass, the pencil starts to tap, my cheeks are turning pink. “No…um….nope!” I answer.
“Ok, Bravo, how did you hurt your hand?” she asks him.
Ah, relief. He can answer that one. The appointment finishes with Bravo happily waving his new football stamped bandage in his brother’s face on the way to the car.
“Mom, can we go out to dinner?” Alpha asks.
“No, not tonight,” I answer.
“We haven’t eaten out in like forever.”
“We have food at home.”
“But Billy’s going out tonight.”
“That’s nice. We are eating at home.”
“How about if we eat out tonight and we’ll never eat out again?”
“We never get to do what I want to do.”
Silence, however, a lot of loud yelling is going on in my head.
Slot machine starts whirling…and keeps whirling. Somehow I have an inkling I should know how to win the argument with my 10 year old.