Yesterday morning I took my monsters to the pediatrician. T-Rex and Doodle needed some vaccinations, and I had to bring Kraken along because the authorities get all pissy when you leave children home locked in the dog kennel. No one was happy about it, least of all me. I don't happen to enjoy herding recalcitrant youngsters into clothes and cars and car seats, and finally into a doctor's waiting room that smells strongly of Play-Doh, all before 8:30 in the goddamned morning.
Kraken trailed behind us, lower lip scraping the ground, in a state of high dudgeon - oh, and let me stop here for a tangent. Why don't people say "high dudgeon" any more? In fact, I don't think I've ever heard anyone say it, I've only ever read it. This is a shame, because I love that phrase. It sounds more elegant than "pouty assholishness," no?
Anyway, Kraken was in high dudgeon and flung himself into a chair, full of complaints. He didn't want to be here, why did he have to come? It was boring. He wanted his Nintendo DS. It wasn't fair. Aren't you listening, Mom? You're not being fair. No, I wasn't listening, or at least I was trying not to, since I was talking to the office manager about our appointment. Plus, there was some noise competition, since T-Rex was bouncing manically in the stroller - lemme out Mama, lemme out Mama, I want out Mama, LEMME OUT! - and Doodle was whimpering fretfully, one level below outright wailing.
I offered Doodle a sippy cup, and this was rejected forcefully. As in it bounced off my cheekbone and rolled several feet away. I exclaimed, "shit!" and this was happily (and need I say loudly?) taken up by T-Rex who, freed from the stroller, had managed in a few seconds to strew books and toys in a mess all around him. "Shit, shit, shit!" he yelped, tossing a toy truck at his brother. "Moo-ooom!" whined Kraken. "AAAAAAAHHHH!" shrieked Doodle, going up a level.
At this point, I glanced up and saw a young pregnant woman staring in undisguised horror. Who could blame her? Three ill-behaved children, a woman obviously unable to corral them, a stained maternity tee stretched out over an obvious belly - Jesus, another one? - hair falling out of a messy ponytail into her face in the best brink-of-a-nervous-breakdown look, obviously frazzled and out of patience before the middle of the morning.
Obviously I couldn't study her expression further to see if she was judging or simply seeing her life flash before her eyes, but I felt the judgement anyway. Don't we all?