Fever x 6 days, multiply by 3.

Every year, without fail, my kids get sick around the holidays.  Last year was the worst, at least for me. I ended up with what was probably a Norwalk virus on New Year’s Eve. We were with friends, without kids and I ended up in the guest bedroom for the rest of the night while my friends rang in the New Year.

This year, the little one (4 years old), developed a high fever (39.5C or 104.5F) that lasted the better part of 6 days.  Eventually we took him to his doctor for a throat swab but it was negative for strep. Husband got a small dose of it for 2 days and I got a head cold that lasted 3 days.  After a week, the boy’s fever broke and he went back to school, none the worse for wear.

Then his older brother (6.5 years old) came down with a fever.  For another 6 days, my husband (the stay-at-home parent) had to deal with a sick kid who was home from school for a week.

Meanwhile, the eldest, was beside herself.

“How come the boys got to stay home from school?”

“It’s not fair!”

“When will I get sick?  I want to stay home for a week too!”

Well, my dear; be careful what you wish for.

The same day the 6.5 year old’s fever broke, his older sister started shivering and complained of a headache.  Honestly, I thought she was faking it.  But then I felt her forehead.

Here we go again.

On the bright side, she should be just fine for Christmas.  However, I have no idea how husband is going to finish our Christmas shopping with another sick kid at home.

 

What if?

What does a wife and mother to 3 children do when her husband (who stays home to look after the kids) is suddenly offered the opportunity of a lifetime but it means 2 years away from home while he tours Canada, the U.S., and Japan?

Gah!

So many scenarios run through my head…

Of course we could make it work.

I can parent three children on my own and still work 30 hours a week.

My job is relatively flexbile, I could change my hours to accommodate school pick up and drop offs.

I can’t let him pass up this amazing opportunity.

What if he resents me in 10 years because he didn’t go?  What if he resents me in 10 years because he did go?

I used to watch this television show called Fringe.  The main premise of the show was parallel universes.  I often wonder if there were a parallel universe or ten, what would it show me?  How would my husband leaving to go on tour for 2 years affect my children’s development? How would it affect them if he didn’t go?  Would it make me a more capable mother or would it make me worse?

I don’t think he’s going to go, but the exercise of thinking about it and wondering if I could handle running a household on my own really makes me realize how much I depend on him and need him. Sometimes I think I might take that for granted.

This also reminds me of my favorite poem:

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Robert Frost, “The Road Not Taken”

 

A Bad Week.

It’s Saturday night, I think. Honestly this week has been a blur. I feel terrible complaining because I know for a fact there are others struggling with a lot more this time of year (a few of them are my own patients), but I have to say this has been one of the crappiest weeks I can remember.

It started off with me getting some kid of flu/GI virus that decimated me for close to 36 hours, then I get the phone call that my dad is going to the ER and after spending 15 hours at the hospital he gets admitted. I missed seeing a theater performance of Cinderella with my daughter and my aunt that day. (I’m still really bummed about that).  When I got home that night, around 1am I found my husband in bed with shaking chills. He spent the vast majority of Wednesday in bed. Despite exhaustion, I took my older kids to an indoor play center to blow off some steam. Later that night my brother, wife, stepdaughter, and my best friend came over for an already-planned Christmas Eve-eve dinner. Husband and I were exhausted but it was wonderful to have family over and they helped out by wrapping all of our kids’ Christmas  presents.

Christmas eve saw husband going out for last minute gifts, still unwell.  I took one of the kids to see Pappou in the hospital. The kids watched Santa on Norad as he made his way from Morocco to Ireland, we set out milk and cookies for him and the kids went to bed with zero fuss.  Husband and I settled in to watch our annual holiday classic, “Die Hard”, and promptly went to bed around 10pm.

Christmas morning the kids were up early, as expected.  Christmas gifts were opened in a frenzy.  I had planned on taking all the kids to see Pappou in hospital, so after breakfast everyone got ready, except husband who was still not feeling great.  Over the course of the morning, my older son, the 4.5-year-old, started complaining of a tummy ache.  He barely touched the apple juice he got from my mom, nor the donut.  He looked pale and complained even more about his tummy so we left the hospital after a short visit.  The entire car ride home the little guy was moaning.   As soon as we arrived home, he was curled up on the couch with his new Star Wars blanket.  Ten minutes later, he’s running to the bathroom calling for me and threw up.

Merry f*&king Christmas.

We were expected at my brother-in-laws house for Christmas dinner later that evening.  I called my mother-in-law and told her everything. I wasn’t sure we should bring my son so I warned her that he and my husband may be staying home.

As it usually is with stomach flu, once you throw up you start feeling better.  My son seemed to make a pretty fast recovery and I spent the afternoon watching him build Star Wars Lego. The 7-year-0ld was happily entertained with her new Nintendo 2DS from Santa.

Later that afternoon, with the two boys (husband and son) feeling better we piled into the car and headed west to my brother-in-law’s house.  We were going to arrive about 2 hours late, but I had called my mother-in-law to explain.  When we were about 10 minutes away I suddenly remembered that we, well I, had forgotten the dessert.  Among the chaos of the week, I had gone out to buy two pies and ice cream as we were expected to bring dessert.  We found an open Shoppers Drug Mart and were saved.  Cheesecakes and eclairs to the rescue.  (Seriously though, could this week end already?)

Christmas dinner was lovely.  Husband and I ate but neither of us were particularly hungry.  For me it was likely due to the stress of the week, my appetite has been shot. For husband, well, he was still recovering from the illness.  An hour after dinner, my older son started turning pale again and complained of his tummy hurting.  With profound apologies, we piled back into the car and drove home.  Thankfully he wasn’t sick in the car but he did fall asleep and didn’t wake until almost 9am the following morning.

Boxing Day.   Another trip to the hospital to see my dad.  A relatively uneventful day and I was beginning to think the worst was over when the 2-year-old started screaming.  Husband went to see him and called out – “He threw up.”

OMFG.

That poor little boy emptied his stomach over the course of the next 5 hours.  I slept on a cushion on the floor of his room and he finally stopped dry heaving at 2am.  He was awake at 6:30am as if nothing happened.  Meanwhile husband is curled up in bed, moaning.

Stomach cramps.

What the actual f&#K?

I’m ready for this week, hell, this year, to be over.

Only one person has been spared so far … my daughter.

Pray for me.

 

About those kids… 

It’s two days before Christmas. We haven’t quite finished getting the kids’ presents and nothing has been wrapped. 

I had a fitful 4 hours of sleep last night while husband lay next to me with the chills. As if things couldn’t get worse he is sick with whatever flu-like illness I had a few days ago. 

The kids have been cooped up so this afternoon I took them to an indoor play center so they could run around and you know, be kids. 

On the way there, I told the older kids that their Pappou (grandfather) is sleeping at the hospital and that I was there very very late last night when they were sound asleep. Of course the older one asked why and I tried to explain. 

My 4.5-year-old son: “Mommy you should have told me you were home. We could have talked and I would have gone back to sleep.”

The 7-year-old daughter: “Wow, mommy that sounds like a long day.”

Sometimes I underestimate my kids. They understand a lot more than I give them credit for. 

Demands.

Day 7 – National Blog Posting Month

exhausted-tired-mom-kids

Kid 1 – “Mommy, we have to read my French book.”

Kid 2 – “Mommy, can you make pancakes?”

Kid 3 – “Mammma, mak pacake?”

Kid 2 – “Actually, mommy can I have eggs instead?”

Kid 3 – “Mammma, ook car!”

Kid 1 – “Mom come on! We have to read my book.”

Kid 2 – “Mommy, I’m hungry. Eggs please!”

Kid 1 – “Mom, can I watch TV?”

Kid 2 – “Mommy, I’m thirsty!”

Kid 3 – “Mama! Mama! Poo poo bum.”

Time  – 7:48am.

Rest. 

Ah summer. Late nights sipping wine on the deck. Kids sound asleep by 7pm.

Wait.  What?

Oh right. That was just a dream.

Sigh.

While I generally love summertime, since becoming a mother I quietly detest the longer daylight hours. Who in their right minds would willingly want to go to bed when the sun is still shining?  Certainly not my brood.

Certainly not.

Yet, the downside is a cranky child …er, children, who are completely unreasonable when tired. And loud. Oh my God, loud.

And the loudest is the baby. Not so much a baby anymore. He’ll be 2 in the fall and he might as well be 5. He screeches louder than the older two and for longer. He can reach pitches even the most well-trained operatic singers probably can’t reach.

I just want them all to rest. To sleep. And to shut.the.fuck.up.

Too much to ask?

The Longest Hour.

Daughter had her fracture clinic follow up this afternoon.  I had called this morning to book the appointment only to be told it was already booked and it was in a few hours.

Say again?  No one from the hospital called us, it’s only been 5 days since she was seen and yesterday was a holiday, so how can she be booked already?

Sigh.  Thank goodness her dad is at home.  I called my mom to see if she could come over to watch the baby and then called daughter’s school advising them that she was being picked up early.  Husband texted me from the clinic that it was busy and he would be late picking up our son from preschool.  I re-arranged my patient bookings so I could pick him up and take him home.

As I was about to leave to get my son, I received this text from husband.

photo(37)I hated that I wasn’t there for my daughter.  I called husband and told him my plan of getting our son, taking him home to my mom and then coming to the hospital. I was going to cancel the rest of my day.  I spoke with my little girl and she was obviously crying, “I don’t want surgery, Mommy.”  I tried to be as calm and upbeat as I could telling her that the doctors weren’t sure yet and we needed to wait to find out what the x-rays showed.  Hubby then took the phone away and said they were going for the x-rays and hung up.

I got home about thirty minutes later and anxiously waited for news.  I kept telling myself that its not a big deal if she needs surgery, after all husband had a similar fracture when he was 12, they would have matching scars!  But the thought of her being put under a general anesthetic and having her skin cut open and her bones screwed back together – ugh, it was awful.

Finally, I got service back on my phone and a flurry of texts came in.

“No surgery.”

“New cast for 2 weeks.”

And then … “Done and coming home.”

I gave her the biggest hug when I saw her and her fancy new cast.

Sigh … kids.

The mouths of babes

Husband is at a rehearsal for a show next week. A friend’s band is doing a covers night and they asked him to sing a song so I am home alone tonight with three kids.

Bedtime gets started early here. The baby was in his crib at 6pm with his bottle. The older boy was in the bath and the eldest was I her room writing something.

She came in to show me. “How to be good”.  I was very impressed!  She knows the rules!  Too bad she doesn’t actually follow them!

 

Listen. No talking back. Do something the firs time you are asked. Do as you are told. Focus your ears. Do not ignore. And all this information is good.

After bath, I read them a few of daddy’s old Smurfs and Ewoks comic books.  Then it was time to get into bed. I told them a make-up story all about Princess Rose and the good transformer who worked with the Prince to rescue her from the bad transformer.  But that story wasn’t enough, so I had to tell another one with Spiderman and how he became Spider-transformer after Optimus Prime injected him with nano-bots to assist the Autobots in taking down the bad transformer.  (Neither kids has seen the Transformer movies, or the cartoon, but their daddy tells them these make-up stories all the time.  I’m sure mine paled in comparison.)

Bedtime seemed to be going so well until it didn’t.  Suddenly neither of them were settling down and my voice started increasing in tone and pitch, and I may have tapped her on the back a little harder than I had intended in an attempt to get her attention and stop sitting up in bed. I’d gotten hit in the face at least three times by the Spiderman doll and clearly had enough and that’s when the waterworks from the girl started:

“You never spend any time with me.”

“I just don’t know what to say to you.”

“Why do you always have to work?”

“Why can’t you just spend all your time with us?”

Oy.  She’s a master manipulator.  At the age of six!

Needless to say, bedtime took about 3 hours.  It’s a little after 9pm, I haven’t had my dinner and I’m seriously considering opening a bottle of wine.

I swear I have no idea how my husband does this on a daily basis. He’s amazing.