After the summer cards that we've been dealt, I thought that we were ready for a full house. Apparently, life's dealer wasn't quite done with his round of shuffles.
A few weeks ago, we found out that Tommy had a cyst in his throat that needed to be removed. I can't even type those words without shuddering. No parent wants to deal with such news, but we also realized that we could not let such things wait.
We booked the earliest surgery possible. Tommy was in goofy spirits on T-minus 1 as the head surgeon prepped him.
On the eve of T-minus 1, Peter and David finally picked up on the seriousness of Tommy's operation. They gave Tommy 'extra cuddles' and fought each other over who could sleep with Tommy in his bed; David won. Who knew?
Even the morning of, Tommy was being a brave trooper.
I had taken the week off from work to make sure Angie had someone's hand to squeeze. While we waited nervously, I came across this lovely gem.
This fun display of ancient medical torture devices is apparently the hospital's brain-gem meant to somehow comfort nervous families waiting outside the emergency room to hear news of their loved ones. Um, how do you say 'fail' in German?
The 'Little Shop of Horrors' cabinet did nothing for me as I impatiently paced the hallway waiting for news. When Tommy finally came through, the German version of customer friendliness kicked in.
'Only one parent is allowed in.'
'Because only one parent is allowed in.'
I gave up on trying to understand the hospital's asinine rule that was supposedly intended to avoid overcrowding the 'wake-up' room which, by the way, had enough space to accommodate Tommy's entire kindergarten class.
After a long visit with Mama, Tommy asked for me. At least the hospital allows the parents to rotate. Danke schön!
Tommy was groggy and kept asking why the doctor had two heads. I was so relieved, though, that I didn't even come up with a smart-ass answer.
After an hour in the wake-up room, Tommy was whisked off to his room via an underground tunnel that connected the surgery room and the children's clinic. Tommy was contently surprised to find that he had a TV and headphones in his room.
I left Angie and Tommy to watch cartoons and headed off to pick up Peter and David from school. We made it back to the hospital five minutes after he conked out. It was a long day for the poor guy, so we let him sleep. And, believe it or not, Peter and David whispered the entire time.
Seeing Tommy and all the hospital equipment made the boys nervous, so Angie gently explained what they did during the operation and that everything turned out just fine.
After Mama's reassurance, David's belly took over and he started picking at Angie's dinner.
It was hospital food, though, so he didn't eat much. Instead, we rallied together for a family hug and left on a search for food. Angie didn't specifically rule out any restaurants, so I went with my gut.
I didn't think we'd be setting up the manly-man room again this year, but as we were getting ready for bed, it seemed like it was needed.
I got the boys off to school the next morning and went to visit an impatient patient.
'Can we go, now? Huh, huh? Can we go?'
Angie rolled her eyes and something told me that he had asked that question already.
'No, and stop asking! I already told you that we have to wait for the doctor.'
After a few hours of sitting around waiting for a doctor that never showed up, we simply checked out.
Shortly after making it back to the ranch, Maren stopped by with Tommy's favorite cake from her bakery.
For a few seconds, things were absolutely still. Peter and David were in their rooms and Tom was simply smiling in anticipation. I was quite enjoying the silence when Tommy realized he had a whole cake to eat. This sweet epiphany unleashed an ear-piercing shout.
As Tommy tested his vocal cords, Peter raced into the room giggling like a villain, chased by David, who was swinging a plastic snake over his head and hollering like a madman. And don't even mention the rat on the table. Just don't.
Never a dull moment... fortunately.