This took me much, much longer than I thought it would to get up. I've been really busy with other things lately. The good news is that, after Tuesday, I should have plenty of time for updates. Look forward to those :)
Callie and Arizona's thoughts about the donor and his or her family continued, but they did realize that they couldn't know anything for a reason. Teddy wasn't going to tell them a thing and, even if they had the best of intentions, they were going to respect that. If they were in the opposite position, would they want the name of one of their girls to be known to a stranger? Even if that stranger was an organ recipient, they couldn't be sure. They chose to keep praying for and thinking about the tiny soul who had given their daughter such a huge gift, but they had to try to move on. This guilt was normal, but for the sake of their children they couldn't let it take over.
Two weeks later, Faith and Arizona were sitting in Dr. Brady's office waiting for Faith's first post-op appointment. The little lady got up and walked towards the door.
"Faith, stay here, please," she told her.
"Done," she said.
"We're not done yet," she told her. "Sorry. Come here. Want to read a book? We have a book in your bag."
"No," she said. "Pee."
Faith had taken an interest in using the bathroom like a big girl last week. For two days in a row, they found that she was spending a lot of time in there just trying to figure everything out. One of these times, Arizona simply asked her if she wanted to go to the store and choose a potty. When she said yes, they bought one and put it in the bathroom. They weren't pressuring her to use it just yet because they didn't want her to become resistant to the idea. Instead, they were just pulling her pants down and sitting her on it whenever she seemed to want to try. She had yet to actually use the potty, however. Therefore, this request - especially while out in public - took Mommy by surprise. Did she really have to pee?
"Let me check your diaper," she said, going over to her. "Are you wet?"
"Pee," she said again.
"Mommy doesn't have your potty," she replied. "You'll have to use the big, big toilet. Mommy will help, though."
Arizona doubted that this trip was going to be much of a success, but she wasn't about to discourage potty training at the same time. If Faith was saying she wanted to go to the bathroom, they were giving it a try.
Dr. Brady's office was in a building full of various different medicine-related practices. There wasn't a washroom in his particular space, so they had to go down the hall a little. Arizona let the receptionist know and then they headed out.
"We have to hurry a bit so that we don't keep Dr. Brady waiting," she told her. "C'mon."
Faith took off running past the bathroom. Arizona tried to stop her and point out that she had gone too far when she realized that her daughter had used her potty excuse as a way to attempt to skip out on her appointment. She giggled as she ran to the front doors and tried unsuccessfully to open them. Mommy couldn't help but be just a little impressed by this trick. Faith Evelyn was one smart cookie, that was for sure. They were in trouble now.
She walked over to her and sat her down in a chair by the doors. Getting down to her level, she calmly, yet sternly explained how the little stunt her child had just pulled was wrong.
"Faith, you just told Mommy a lie," she said.
"Yeah, Mama?" she asked.
"Do you really have to go potty?"
"Go home?" she asked.
"Thank you for being honest," she said. "That's the truth, right? It's not true that you had to pee."
"Telling lies isn't a very good thing, Faith."
While she did realize that Faith was still very, very young and this fib was pretty harmless, she didn't want Faith to think that these little tricks were okay. One day, the twenty-nine month old she was now would be three, and four, and five. Now was the time to start working on lessons like this, not later when it became habit to try to get out of things. She wasn't trying to be hard on Faith, but she didn't want it to be considered fine either.
"What do we say when we do something we shouldn't do?"
"And?" she asked. "Do we say 'sorry' sometimes?"
"Sowwy," she said, with a little pronunciation problem.
"I forgive you," she smiled, giving Faith a kiss.
At this age, they couldn't harp on things. Five minutes from now, the incident would be out of Faith's mind. Arizona had to let it go as well.
"I love that you're being honest and asking with such nice words," she smiled. "But we have to make sure your heart is good in there still. Can we do that? You're brave. You're going to do awesome today. I know it."
"When we're done seeing Dr. Brady, we can make Playdough that you can eat," she said, trying to compromise. "It's going to be pretty cool."
Now that Faith had some energy back, Arizona had been trying to come up with fun things for them to do while Madre and Sofia were at work and school. Edible Playdough was the plan for the afternoon, and maybe – just maybe – telling Faith now would help with getting through the appointment.
"Yep!" she nodded. "Are you ready to be super brave for me?"
"Yeah," she replied. "No pee," she as Arizona picked her up.
"You didn't have to pee," she agreed. "I know. When you do, you can tell me, though. I'd be happy to take you when you really want to try the big girl potty. That's a good thing!"
"Yeah!" she nodded. "Once you're potty trained, we don't have to change diapers anymore. Potty training's great!"
Mommy kissed her cheek and Faith giggled as they headed back into the waiting room of Dr. Brady's office.
"What colour Playdough should we make?" Arizona asked. "I asked Sister this morning and she said she wants to play with some pink and purple when she comes home. What about you? The same?"
"All," she decided.
"All of the colours?" she asked. "You want rainbow Playdough?"
Arizona knew that this meant that she would have to add various different colours to different batches of the dough and then, once it was made, roll it into a rainbow coloured mass for her girl. It wouldn't be that much extra work, though. Faith had to go through yet another appointment. This was the least Mommy could do.
"Yeah," she said.
"Okay," she replied. "We'll do that then."
The nurse who worked alongside Dr. Brady, Melissa, smiled as she walked up to the little girl. She knew that Faith, like many of the patients they saw, didn't like any of this very much. Therefore, she tried to really befriend the little lady all over again each time they saw each other.
"Hi, Faith," she said. "Would you like to come with me, please?"
"No," Faith answered.
"Well, don't hold back," she laughed.
"Let's just be brave and get this all done so we can make our Playdough, okay?" Arizona asked.
"Oh, Playdough's fun!" Melissa commented as Faith decided that she better follow her. "What's your favourite colour of Playdough?"
"All," she answered.
"All of them?" she asked.
"Hey, Faith," Dr. Brady smiled.
He wasn't quite ready to see Faith yet. He was actually going to head in to see another patient until Melissa was done the basic first part of the appointment.
"Say 'hi,'" Arizona encouraged.
"How's that new heart?"
"Say 'that's what I'm here to find out!'"
"Yeah," she agreed. "Go home."
"Then we can go home," Mommy agreed. "When we're done. We think your new heart is good, but we want to check it out."
Faith put her hand over her chest.
"Is that where your heart is?" Melissa asked.
"We've been learning body parts," Arizona said. "She can't quite point out 'toes,' but she knows 'heart,'" she smiled. "With the scar there, it's a nice hint."
Faith bent over and pointed to her toes. "Toe," she said.
"You know toes, don't you?" Dr. Brady smiled. "Mommy didn't think so!"
"You go with Melissa and I'll come see you and your new heart soon."
"And Mommy," Arizona said. "I'll come with you. I want to know all about that new heart, too!"
Faith's new heart was working great. At this point, Dr. Brady wasn't overly concerned about rejection and he was happy to see that she was doing so well these days. Of course, she wouldn't be considered fully recovered for some time, but so far, so good.
As they left the office, Mommy mentioned having to let Madre know how the appointment had gone. This caused Faith to start asking about Callie on the drive home, so Arizona figured that they'd stop by the hospital for a few minutes. Not only would Callie enjoy the visit, but so would everyone else that they were friends with – including the ones who had treated their girl.
As they pulled up to the hospital, a look of fear spread across the little one's face. She obviously didn't like the hospital, yet it was also her parents' workplace, so sometimes it wasn't scary. Today, she wasn't sure what she felt.
"We're just visiting," Arizona said, taking her out of her carseat. "It's okay. Do you want to visit still or should we just go home?"
"Maday?" she wondered.
"Madre's in there," Arizona said.
"Go in," she decided.
"Mama?" she asked.
"Nobody here has any medicine for Faith today," she promised.
Once they got inside and she realized that they really weren't there to admit her, Faith loved all of the attention she was receiving. All of the nurses were waving and smiling at her as she walked by the nurse's station and now Alex was letting her play with his stethoscope. Callie was in surgery, but she was expected to be finishing up soon, so they could hang around for a while now that Faith was happy.
"Madre was telling me that you had to go see Dr. Brady today," Alex told Faith.
"Yeah," she nodded.
"How'd it go?"
"Good," she said.
"Dr. Brady said you're new heart's doing its job, right?" Arizona smiled. "We're so happy."
"Good job," she said.
"Good job new heart," Arizona agreed. "And good job Faith for being the bravest kid ever."
"When are you back here?" Alex asked Arizona as Faith held his stethoscope to his leg, because it was the highest point she could reach on him.
"Next week," she said.
"Good," he replied. "I'm sure you don't exactly want to leave your kids, but we need you here. It's been far too long."
Callie came up to them a few minutes later when she was out of surgery. She had a panicked look on her face until she saw that Faith was just playing.
"Did you not get my text?" Arizona asked, kissing her wife. "I sent you a text saying that the appointment was great."
"I heard it go off and asked a nurse to check it, but then there was a complication and everyone sort of got side-tracked," she replied, checking it now. "And then someone tells me you're here and..."
"Everything's okay," she smiled. "Great even."
"Good," she said. "Faith, what's going on in Alex's leg?" she laughed.
"What is that one for?" Callie asked. "We use that to hear your...?"
"Heart," she said.
"Right," she nodded.
Alex's pager went off. He was being paged to the room of a patient whose mother he couldn't really stand, so he was less than enthusiastic.
"Can I have that back, please?" he asked Faith. "The kid with the crazy mom needs me."
Faith handed it over.
"There's no such thing as a 'crazy' mom to a sick kid," Arizona told him. "We're just determined to do what's best for our babies."
"No, this one's just crazy," he said. "Not vaccinating your kid and then wondering why he gets –"
"It's a parent's choice whether or not to vaccinate," she said. "I agree that it's more of a risk not to have it done, but be nice."
"Hey, can you take Sofia's cast off at some point today?" Callie asked him. "She was fine with me putting it on, but I just don't think any kid needs the memory of their mother holding a cast cutter to their arm."
"Probably not," Arizona agreed.
"Bring her in after school," he said.
"Will do," Arizona agreed.
Callie arrived home just before dinner, but Arizona was giving Faith a bath. After having her cast removed, Sofia could finally soak in the tub again, so it was one of the first things she did when they went home. She spent a good forty minutes in her bubble bath before she no longer wanted to sit in the cooling water. After that, her little sister decided that she needed a bath as well, even though she didn't have a reason for needing one earlier than usual.
"Madre, my arms all better," they could hear the seven-year-old telling her.
"Alex cut it off of my arm," she said. "It made Faith cry because she was scared of the noise."
"It was pretty loud, huh?"
"I was brave," she told her. "And then we played with Playdough that we could eat. Mommy says that's because she knows Faith's going to eat it anyway."
"Where are Mommy and Faith?"
"Faith wanted a bubble bath," she said. "Her heart check was good. Mommy told me."
"Everybody's better," she smiled.
Just then, Faith came running down the stairs, still wet and wearing nothing but her hooded towel. She had been getting out of the bath when she heard her madre come home and she had to go say hi as soon as possible.
"Did you escape while Mommy tried to dry you off?" she wondered.
Callie picked her up and gave her a kiss. Even moments like this meant so much more than they typically would. Faith would always be on medications and have health concerns, but she was doing well. They would never take that for granted. There had been a time where they seriously wondered if she would even make it to this age. Yet, here she was, being just as fun and silly as any other toddler almost as if nothing had ever held her back.
"Faith," she said.
"You're just Faith?" she laughed.
Arizona came down the stairs with pyjamas and a diaper for Faith in her hands. She kissed her wife..
"Let Mom get you dressed, okay?"
"That's your excuse for everything, huh?" Arizona asked. "Earlier you said you had to pee. Now you're saying you have to pee. Remember how I said I want you to tell me that only if you really need to go?"
Faith began peeing on Madre. Yes, she had used potty training as an excuse before, but this time she really meant it. That was pretty clear now.
"Ew!" Sofia exclaimed. "Faith's peeing everywhere!"
"Pee," Faith smiled.
"Yeah," Callie replied, taking the diaper from her wife and holding it under Faith . "All over me."
"Hey, she told us," Arizona smiled. "I just didn't think she meant it."
"That's gross," Sofia replied.
"It's okay," Callie said. "We'll just clean it up."
"Yeah," she agreed. "Mommy...?"
"Now that everybody's better, can we have our best party ever?"
"You ask that now?" she laughed. "As your sister pees in the living room?"
"She's a seven-year-old and we owe her a party," Callie said. "Until she gets it, she's going to have a one track mind."
"I want a party for me and for Faith."
"Sounds good," Arizona said.
"Do you think it's funny that you peed on me."
"Good job, Faith?" she asked. "Well, technically you didn't wet your diaper, did you?"