Last weekend, I attended the annual Child Life Council conference in Washington, D.C. Based on how excited I was about seeing several girlfriends from my past “hospital life”, one would have thought I was heading off to some tropical island. A.J. took part of the day off to watch the munchkins and his mom came that first day to assist with the Bart-man who still prefers a boob to a bottle. I love my children with all my heart and then some, but was at a point of needing some “me” time even if I had to attend a conference to get it.
The other exciting luxury of the weekend was getting to drive A.J.’s car the whole weekend. I soaked in the clean crisp scent of the leather interior- a smell so foreign to me. Anyone who has had the lucky chance to catch a ride in the Gray Goose can pretty much confirm that my car has the scent of wet dog, dried spit up, and stale cheese, and that is on a good day. I also had to adjust my senses to just how easily the car accelerated unlike the Gray Goose that begins to shake when you reach about 60 miles an hour. Winding up Rock Creek Parkway was a blast in A.J.’s car. The teeny tiny spots in the hotel parking garage were not so fun especially since I actually cared about this car getting a ding. My car- well too many dings to notice.
Loaded up on way too much caffeine, I made my grand entrance into the conference during the lunch break and the minute I laid eyes upon my gaggle of gals from my past life, I leaped through the air, kicking one leg out in front of me and headed in their direction. In my head, the leap was as graceful as a gazelle. In reality, I am pretty positive, I may have looked like I was trying to jump over a hurdle and at the same time having a full on seizure. Add to this picture me screaming my head off and both arms flapping awkwardly to balance my large purse on one arm and the conference bag on the other arm. I lost all modesty once I became a parent so my reward of hugging some of my most favorite ladies anywhere was worth the spectacle.
The spectacle continued briefly as I had a moment of panic when I sat down in my first session next to one of my friends. I thought I had lost my phone. This was so not cool. Four kiddos at home with my husband and his mom. There is a past history of one of our children sustaining an E.R.-worthy injury when I was working and A.J. was watching the kids. The place I happened to be working that day, the actual E.R. where said child came to be treated. But that’s a story for another time…So I went on a search mission that led me back down to where the conference luncheon was. The waitstaff captain offered to let me use his phone to call my cell phone. Of course who answered my phone? My friend who I had been sitting next to in the session, the session that had started five minutes before. The phone was in my bag the entire time. Even without my four little interrupters, I still create an interruption. I did later apologize to the presenters of that session. The weekend of the conference was overall great, but exhausting. A.J. and I both gained a newfound respect for each other’s “jobs”.
Now back into the grind of the end of the school year and trying to launch my art studio and camps and finishing up my Wednesday art classes. I spent a nice chunk of time yesterday visiting the Loudoun County health department with the help of my three goonies. Contrary to popular belief, none of them have any sort of plague. We were there to get a special form because of our well. And because nothing is ever simple in my life, this form required both A.J.’s and my signatures and had to be notarized, taken back to the clerk of court, a fee had to be paid, and that receipt had to be brought back to the health department. With all three of my helpers along yesterday, I made it as far as getting the form. In the brief half hour we were at the health department, Sawyer and Jimmy managed to rummage through every possible pamphlet on lyme disease they could find and scatter the rest around the room. Jimmy is still quite excited to show his “tick book” off to anyone who gives him a moment of attention.
Bart and I took a nice hike back out to the Loudoun County courthouse in Leesburg and the health department this afternoon. We made not one, but two treks through the courthouse because I did not have any checks left in my checkbook and I was literally $7 short for the fee for having this form filed with the clerk of court. A little jaunt through the courthouse may sound simple if one does not know about the extra steps- locking your cell phone in a locker before entering the metal detectors. Emptying pockets and loading everything on the conveyor belt. The polite deputies allowed me to push Bart through the metal detector in his stroller and did not require me to unharness him, thankfully. But again, I really felt like a bit of a spectacle as I was doing my best to expedite this entire process and failing miserably. I pretty much held back tears upon getting all the way up to the clerk’s office on the second floor and finding out that I had to go all the way down and outside the courthouse a block down to the ATM to cover this fee. We took the elevator to go back downstairs, went one floor down too many and said hello to all the lawyers, defendants, and prosecutors outside the actual courtrooms. I quickly grabbed my cell phone from the locker and assured all my new deputy friends that I would be back in a few. Rushing with a stroller in downtown Leesburg is pretty much an oxymoron as the streets and many sidewalks are old brick. I did find an ATM. Cash in hand, I sprinted back up to the courthouse to repeat the process we’d just been through. Through the metal detectors once again and wand waved around me and Bart again. Up to the clerk’s office, form recorded, fee paid. Flew down and out of the courthouse to the government offices across the street to say hello to the ladies of the health department again and drop off my receipt. Looking at the time, I realized I would barely make it to get Josie at school. But the Gray Goose didn’t let me down, got there with a few minutes to spare which allowed me to feed my very hungry Bart. Now breathing a sigh of relief and praying that getting the rest of my ducks in a row for this barn goes a bit more swimmingly than my day today.