I’m just going to pick this one up right where I left off in Part 1. When I finished the first half of this one, it was about 5:40 on Tuesday morning, my phone was pissed on, I was pissed off, and I still had a long day ahead of me. Being sans communication device didn’t exonerate me from my parental duties, so I tried to convince myself that the day was going to get better and started on my normal routine.

I got my 11-year-old up, made her breakfast, packed her lunch, and enjoyed a few minutes of 1-on-1 time with her before she had to leave. These moments aren’t as prevalent as when she was the only child in the house, so I cherish them when they come. I had her safely on the school bus by 6:40 a.m. My wife left to work a long day at the hospital, so I was now on my own with three miniature versions of my most extreme personality traits.

I now began the arduous task of waking my three youngest children who are ages 4, 3, and 4 months respectively. It was about 7:20 at this point so I was on my second cup of coffee, and my second load of laundry for the day. By the way, did I mention that it was 19 freakin degrees out?!! I got them up, dressed them, and fed them one at a time starting with the 4-year-old. She prefers to start each day with a bowl of fresh fruit, but she would sell her soul and her produce in a heartbeat if she woke up smelling bacon, which is why I  try to limit the porcine flavored meat candy to just weekends now. Her 3-year-old sister is an oatmeal with raisins and honey girl, but she has the same policy as it pertains to pork bellies. Then came the 4-month-old. He’s on a pretty limited diet. He starts his day with a nice tall mug of Lacta-weiser. He prefers it on draft and straight from the tap, but we’re now serving it in bottles at Ye Ole Nichols Pub and Grill.

Upon my earlier trip to the end of my street to get my oldest daughter to the bus stop, I noticed that I was nearly out of gas. This is never good news, but today it meant that I could not start my car as far in advance as I wanted to in order to make it warm for my tribe of spawn. It would have defeated the purpose if I had a nice warm van in my driveway that was out of fuel. I got the car as warm as I could before starting to load in my kids who were bundled like Eskimos.

When I opened the sliding door on the driver’s side it stuck a little. I figured it was because of the cold and after a firm yank, it reluctantly opened. Once all three were safely strapped in, I backed out of my driveway and started down the street. I made it about three houses down when I heard the sound of the door at my 7:00 position sliding open. I pulled over immediately, jumped out,  and slammed it shut, assuming I had simply failed to do so on the first attempt. I hopped back in the driver’s seat, now running late true to form and started towards school again. About a mile down the road I felt a cool blast of air over my left shoulder. At that precise moment, from the second row, my 4-year-old pleaded; “Umm, Dad, little help here”. I looked back and was shocked to once again see the sliding door wide open. I promptly pulled over and jumped out. I tried several times to secure the door only to realize that the locking mechanism was frozen.

This is about when my morning really got fun. I soon came to the brutal realization that the only way I was getting my little girl to school in this vehicle was to drive there with me sitting at about a 45-degree angle, reaching behind me, and holding the sliding door closed for the duration of the ride. It seemed like a good idea at the time. I started off again, and was not to far down the road when I came to the harsh realization that I had grossly underestimated the whole physics of this process, and the toll it would take on my already seriously damaged upper left quadrant.

I got my little angel to school and miraculously did so on time. I pulled into the drop-off lane, stepped out of my car, opened her door, and let her out as if it were business as usual. I could already feel the numbness and stinging that was shooting from the base of my skull to the fingertips of my left hand. I pulled away with a 3-year-old and infant as cargo, hoping for an uneventful ride back home.

I was about half way through the five minute commute back to my house when I felt it happen. I’m not sure if it was a gust of wind or what, but something wanted that door open. I felt my left shoulder pop completely out of socket. I couldn’t let go of my grip on the door, nor did it seem appropriate to scream like a teenage girl in an 80’s horror flick. So I bit down hard on my own bottom lip and sucked it up for the duration of the trip.

When we got home, I got my two little ones safely inside the house and out of their cold weather gear using only my right arm . My left arm hung limp and useless by my side. It was at about this time that I was reminded of my article from last week in which I stated that one of my resolutions for the new year was to make way fewer visits to medical facilities. With that in mind, the fact that I could not possibly go to an emergency room with two little ones in tow, and the fact that I’ve dislocated this shoulder several times before, I was confident I could fix it myself. I was going to stick to my resolve despite the fact that in addition to my now ailing wing, I’ve also been walking with a very pronounced limp since the first week of the year. We have it narrowed down to a broken ankle, a torn ligament, or a blood clot, but so far I’ve refused to get it checked out. I told my wife that there’s no point in going to the hospital since I live with a nurse. She promptly diagnosed me with a terminal case of idiot. Don’t let my inflated vocabulary fool you, at heart I’m really a complete moron. Just ask anyone who loves me. I also have a pretty firm rule about not complaining about pain to a woman who has delivered four babies. One took over 20 hours, one came after a badly botched epidural, and one came with no pain relief at all. Ironically enough, the most laid back of my five children came strolling out of the womb whistling Disney tunes with a parasol on her shoulder and gave the doctor a fist bump and a wink as I cut the chord.

Well, this wasn’t the original plan, but I’ve run out of space again and this day is far from over. It’s a pretty fun story that as usual has me as the only victim. So I’ll pick up in Part 3 from right here. And I missed a couple of posts back around the holidays and I’ve been riddled with guilt ever since so I’ll make it up this week. I hope you’re enjoying it so far.

Thanks for playing along. Syd Nichols

Feel free to make fun of me at sydnichols@yahoo.com