By Mariah Mottley
8:11 AM Call the pediatrician to tell her about the worm your husband found in the baby’s diaper. Be sure and spell it out so you don’t have to actually say it. She will ask if it was alive, and how big it was.
“uh, the W-O-R-M was about as big, as I don’t know, a piece of linguine? Are you going to want it? Because we saved it. I have it right here. I’m happy to drop it off. I was going to be in town anyway and-” Stop talking because you sound insane. Baby worming appointment set for 10:15.
8:44 AM Confirm the address of the lady you found on craigslist to make a fleece coat for your goat, make a copy of the “Well Tempered Hoof” the academic paper you are going to mail to your old farrier along with $15 gift card at Dunkin’ Donuts along with the news that we won’t be needing his services anymore. Check to make sure that preschool daughter Billie is wearing an appropriate outfit and tell her it is time to get ready to go. Change the baby’s diaper, trying not to look at his anus, in case there is a large worm glaring back at you. Double bag wormy diaper in a second ziplock bag and add to the pile of outgoing mail and reusable grocery bags you will be taking to the car with you. Make sure everyone has coats, socks, and shoes on, with a hat and gloves for preschooler.
9:12 AM Drop Billie off at preschool but pretend to be on time and that circle time has not started. Drop eldest daughter, Bela, who slept in, off at elementary school. List ‘bad temper’ as reason for her late arrival.
Arm yourself for viewing of the W-O-R-M at doctor’s office with latte ala Dunkin Donuts. It won’t help.
10:34 AM Your baby, who is arguably no longer a baby but a little person who walks and talks and apparently, eats dirt, is diagnosed with roundworms. How disgusting. Try not to sound neurotic and self-involved. Fail. Ask panicked questions about life cycle and obsessively nibble your nails until the kindly nurse practitioner mentions twice that she has emailed the prescription to the pharmacy and stands up.
“He is a gem,” she says, about the wonderful baby, who, not a baby at all, is pushing around an oxygen tank and clonking it into things. He does not seem concerned at all about the army of worms he may have wriggling inside his bottom. You can barely finish your coffee for thinking about it, however. As the nurse is leaving, grab her sleeve.
“If we give him the pills, won’t more come out?”
“We do want them out,” she says, and gives a little wave.
11:22 AM Call your husband from car. Inform him that your baby has been diagnosed with roundworms, and that you are obese. You shouldn’t have, but you got on the scale at the office. There was a BMI chart in the bathroom. It seemed like a victimless crime at the time, but now it turns out that your husband is the victim. The baby has roundworms from eating dirt, or eating vegetables that were grown in the dirt, and his wife is obese.
11:29 AM Call the goat coat lady. Find her house, pick up the goat coat. It is lovely.
12:04 PM Pick Billie up at preschool, and by all means DO NOT squish her Christmas sculpture, or her Christmas tree with the glitter glue on it. Say no when she tells you to buy her gum at the pharmacy.
12:24 PM Try and act normal in front of the ridiculously hot pharmacist. Maybe he doesn’t know that the prescription is for worms. He totally knows. Ask if you should give the medication with food. Laugh inappropriately loudly and suggest you could always hide the tablet in peanut butter ‘like we do with the dogs’. Stare at the counter in horror. Back home, cross your fingers and change the baby’s diaper. Beg him to wait to poop until his father gets home.
2:45 Pick Bela up from elementary school. Do not shout at her first grade teacher that the baby has roundworms and that you are obese. Put everyone into the car and drive home, where you will serve Goldfish crackers and sliced apples with cheese before you try the coat on the goat. It will be too big.
Originally from Manhattan, Mariah Plumlee lives in the Finger Lakes Region of New York. She is author of The Great Burn, a memoir about modern marriage, rural living, and kid-having. She can be found @MissesPlum and at her blog, www.theplumlots.com.