When it was time for Flash Flood and me to check out of the hospital I was super excited. Not being able to spend time with my other four kiddos was starting to get to me. I enjoyed the first day of rest, but the next two were hard for me. Crazy, I know. But, I love those kids and I actually really enjoy being around them. They are fun little people to know, so I was missing them big time.
I did get to spend a few minutes with them the first night we were there. I had to leave Flash Flood behind in the nursery, and meet my Motley Crew down in the hospital lobby. It didn't go over so well. The kids could not understand why they weren't allowed upstairs to see their new baby. After a lot of tears were shed, I dismissed them to head on home for baths and bedtime.
You can see in this picture, the disappointment from Her Highness as she "Really, really, really wanted to go upstairs!!" She even said, "Dumb old swine flu! I already had my shot! And anyway, I will hold my breath the ENTIRE TIME I'm up there!" Poor things.
So, the next day I had an idea. This pedestrian bridge was the view from my 4 star hospital room. I told Bert to bring Her Highness back and I would hold Flash up in the window so she could at least catch a glimpse of him. I will never forget the look on her sweet face when she finally spotted us. Bert had to count for her several times, "See, they are one-two-three-fourth from the corner... See! Right there!" She finally locked eyes with me and began waving like a proud flag in the wind. I could read her lips, "I SEE THEM! I SEE THEM! THERE THEY ARE!!! HEY MOMMA!! HEY BABY!!!! AHHH! I SEE THEM!!! I LOVE YOU! I LOVE YOU!!!!" It still brings tears to my eyes to think about. She was so excited. If you look closely, you can see Bert holding Her Highness up and pointing at us.
So, by Sunday morning, I was more than ready to get back to my bigger babies. And my babies' Daddy too. I missed them tons. Check out time finally came. The nurse stopped by to cut off our security bracelets and say goodbye. She also told Bert to move our car to the pickup area, located behind the hospital. It was 10am when Bert walked out the door. At 10:05 I heard the transport staff member arrive in the hallway. Then, I heard the nurse tell her, "Oh, you need to pick up the other room first. They were on the list to check out first today." I then heard Miss Transport knock on the door next to mine. The new mom in that room spoke up, "Umm, can we have like five more minutes? I'm still not done packing up." I sighed loudly, to myself, thinking, "But I AM ready!" I decided not to run out in the hallway like a mad woman and to be patient. After all, it is a virtue.
The guests next door finally cleared out, ten minutes later, not five, so I sat back down with my sweet new baby and decided to rock him and enjoy our last few minutes of silence. I knew this would be one of the last times we would have total silence to ourselves, so I sat in that rocking chair and examined him, head to toe and prayed over him, thanking GOD for such an incredible gift. After a while though, I looked back at the clock. It was now 10:20. I knew Miss Transport should be back any second, so I began to gather my things and move them towards the door. At 10:30, I passive/aggressively waltzed to the nurses station and played what I like to call sweet-dumb. (AKA: dumb blond) "Hey! Am I waiting in the right place? We were told that transport was on their way at 10:00, and my husband left to go get the car and meet us down there, but no one has been back since. I was just wondering since it's now 10:30...." The nurse looked aggravated that I had taken her away from her People Magazine and just nodded back at me, then pointed to my room. I headed back in and waited for another ten minutes.
Finally, there was a knock on my door. I was so peeved by this point that I had to force a smile on my face. I knew it wasn't Miss Transports fault. But, I was tired of being stuck in that tiny room and I was dying to see my kids. I also think it is ridiculous that the hospital's policy forces me to ride out in a wheel chair, when I'm perfectly capable of WALKING out the door. Hello, if I wasn't, then I probably shouldn't be heading home to care for a newborn!! Anyway...
Miss Transport smiles nervously and says, "Ma'am, I'm so sorry about all of this. And I'm so sorry to have to tell you this, but ummm, well... I mean, if it were me, I would want a heads up. And I just think it's fair for you to know just in case... well, uhhh.... just in case your husband isn't down stairs yet when we get there."
"Okay, what is going on?" I asked, afraid to hear what she was going to tell me.
"Well, your husband was wearing black running pants and a blue visor, right? Okay, yeah, that's him then. Well, ummm, I really didn't think this was that big of a deal. But our hospital has a zero tolerance policy now, so security is super strict about things like this... Well, your husband didn't understand that the other room had to go first, because they were discharged before you, but since they weren't ready yet, it was taking a long time. Well, then even after that couple got downstairs, the husband realized he lost his keys, then he couldn't find his car, then his wife realized she lost her jacket, so it too FOREVER for them to leave. And the thing is, I have to stay there until the baby is in its car seat or I could lose my job, cause well, that's part of my job, right? So, while I'm standing there waiting forever for this couple to leave, your husband walks up and looks angry. And since I tend to laugh when I get nervous, I laughed first then tried to apologize and explain what was going on, but he just said, 'Oh, you think this is funny? You guys need to get your act together.' Well, I understood why he was upset, and I'm not the one who paged security, but a security guard showed up and was all, 'Sir, you gotta calm down, why don't you take a walk with me...' and that's when your husband LOST IT. He went ballistic and was all, 'I'm not the one who needs to calm down!!! I'm just ready for my wife to get down here so we can leave! This is CRAZY!' and he was screaming and waving his arms in the air. I seriously thought he might deck the security guard, and well, that's when they decided to detain him until he was calm. I'm so sorry to be the one to have to explain all of that to you."
Fighting tears, with a huge lump in my throat I said, "Okay, that does NOT sound like MY husband! What in the world?" was all I could say. My mind was racing. I didn't want to jump to conclusions until I heard HIS side of the story. But if it was true, I was going to beat Bert to a pulp when I got a hold of him. My thoughts continued, There's no way MY BERT would do something like that. Or did he just snap? Like I was about to? That was a long time to wait for a super dumb reason. I hate riding in this dumb old wheel chair anyway. I'm FINE. Why won't they just let folks WALK out. Oh, my.
As we got off the elevator she tried to reassure me, "Maybe it's all the stress of a new baby and not sleeping well and stuff. Who knows. But please don't be mad at me. Like I said, I'm not the one who paged security. Hopefully it will all get worked out quickly and you guys can go home."
We turned down the last hallway and I saw Bert, with his arms crossed leaning up against the wall. He had a mad look on his face then shrugged at me and said, "What?!"
"I'm just looking for the handcuffs." I said with a smart-alek tone.
Bert then cracked a smile and held his hand up for Miss Transport to give him a high-five. They both began laughing... hard.
"WHAT? What is going on??!!" I demanded to know.
"We got you!! We got you so good! Girl, you must have really put on a show, cause I could tell by the look on her face she believed everything you said! It was a joke, Holly. I put her up to that!"
Miss Transport began apologizing immediately, "Ma'am, I'm soooo sorry I did that to you! Your husband begged me to though. We've been waiting down here FOREVER cause all that stuff I told you about the couple next door was true. So, we got to talking and your husband was saying, 'Please, please help me play a joke on her. She can take it, I promise.' And at first I was all, 'No-way! She just had a baby!' But, then he convinced me that you had a good sense of humor and would laugh about it. Please don't be mad! He put me up to it!"
All I could say to that was, "Well, you are a great actress cause you didn't even crack a smile. And Mr. Hudson--- Revenge is best served COLD so you just wait! I'll get you back." Then I hopped in the car and slammed the door.
Leave it to Bert. The only man in the world who would use his idle time, waiting on his wife and new baby to take home from the hospital, to think up such a plot. Everyone of my friends and family I have told that story to have said the exact same thing, "How in the world did you not realize it was a joke? Bert would never act like that!" But, the thing is, I was the one who was that mad, because I didn't know what in the world was going on with the other couple. So, I guess in my mind, I was thinking how I almost came to that point myself, so perhaps my husband did too.
As Bert retold the couple's tale on the way home, I began to laugh. Then, I got mad again. "Why couldn't they get their act together? Didn't they realize others were waiting on them?" Bert said, "Well, cut that poor man some slack. While we were waiting, his wife told us that he was going to take them home, then have to come right back because his 19 year old daughter was in labor right then. So, I guess he was feeling a little stressed. Taking one baby home while the other was in labor. Poor guy. I wasn't mad at all, cause I could see what was happening. I knew you were about to come un-glued though, so that's when I thought up my joke and convinced that girl from transport to help me with it."
Again, I reminded Bert that revenge is best served cold. Ice cold. And it will come.
I was so happy to finally get home and reunite as a family of seven. SEVEN, wow. I still have a hard time believing they are all mine. I have five kids. Only... it seems like yesterday that I was a senior in high school. So, where did all that time go? When did I grow up? And why hasn't Bert?
I am no longer the senior in high school, though I still like to think of myself that way. I am a mother of five nutty children, and a wife to one extremely nutty man. And I couldn't be happier. Even with four boys who are just like their Daddy.
God is good, all the time.... And, all the time, God is good.