Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day?

Oh, this week. This week nearly did me in. But I'm in sight of Monday, and the start of a new week, a fresh start. Plus the kids are sleeping, my husband is folding mountains of laundry, and I have a (second) cosmo sitting next to me, perspiring and pink and very, very palatable.

So Mother's Day. A day to be celebrated, showered with love, etc, etc. Except I spent most of mine wishing I wasn't with the two little people that ushered me into this club. And I feel terrible about it.

To be fair, I don't think I was at 100%, phyically, this weekend. And not without good reason. Here is a play-by-play (major points only) of the past 7 days for me.

Monday - in the midst of a several-meeting day, I get a call that Finn has thrown up at daycare. It's just once, so the teacher doesn't say I need to come get him, but I know what's coming. This kid doesn't just "get an upset stomach." He's sick. The gross kind. Sure enough, as I'm driving to pick him up, I get another call about more vomit. I bring him home, pat his back as he pukes some more, and do some laundry. His pillow pet did not fare well, it is now irreversibly lumpy.

Tuesday - Finn must be kept home, even though he is done throwing up. M. takes the morning shift as I head off to an off-site meeting. I head for home at lunch time to spell M. so that he can tie up some loose ends as he prepares to leave for a business trip. We both wash hands as often as possible, and fret quite a bit about who might be next.

Wednesday - Finn has cleared the 24-hour mark and can return to daycare. We all leave the house around 7 am - the kids and me for school/work, and M. for the airport. M. and I can't believe that Lucy, our little stomach bug-magnet, hasn't gotten sick yet. M. arrives safely in Albequerque, I work all day, and manage to get myself and the kids fed and to bed.

Thursday - I wake up around 3:30 am, tossing and turning. I eventually realize what's coming. I'm going to be sick. And then I am sick. Repeatedly.So now I'm sick - the BAD kind of sick - and I'm alone. No one to run interference with the kids. This is not good. I drag myself out of bed when Finn wakes up, and get the kids dressed. I don't brush Lucy's hair, I don't brush their teeth. I tell them that I won't be able to come to the Mother's Day Tea scheduled for that day. The kids try to convince me that I can come and just throw up in the trash cans at school. I decline. I drop them off, and give my regrets for the tea. I go home and sleep for a few hours. I drag myself out of bed around noon, and as I sip some water, my phone rings.

Lucy is throwing up everywhere.

I go get Lucy. AND Finn, because fuck if I'm going to go back again around 5 pm to pick him up seperately.

Lucy is sick, but full of energy and asking for food. I do my best to NOT give her food. She is clearly nauseous, but not puking.

They both essentially run circles around me for the  next 6 hours.

I studiously ignore the plastic bags of soiled clothing that came home with Lucy, unable to contemplate washing it yet.

I give them cereal for dinner, as I can't face cooking.

I get them to bed, eventually (after a bath), I shower, and tuck myself in to bed by 9 pm or so.

Friday - We all sleep through the night, and wake up feeling better. Lucy and I drop Finn off at school, and then I play the game of "entertaining an energetic toddler while simultaneously trying to put in a full day of work." It is hard. I paint her toenails in the morning to put off turning on the TV, so I can wait and do it just before the start of an important contracting meeting I need to call in to. She resists the idea of me running her around outside to tire her out, and makes us go inside after just a few minutes. She still manages to nap for a couple of hours during the afternoon, which is nice because I have a call with a Rear Admiral from the Navy I need to be completely present for.

I find a package outside the front door. A mother's day gift from M. - a coffee mug, coffee, and shortbread cookies. I eat some cookies.

We pick up Finn, eventually, and I get them Burger King for dinner. I don't get any for myself, because my stomach still isn't totally back to normal. There are many short cuts.

They go to bed, and I scrub 4 toilets. I wonder why we have so many goddamn bathrooms. I also wash Lucy's puke clothes, including her sneakers. The sneakers don't fare too well, I think we're going to have to get new ones.

Then I work for a couple of hours to make up for my time lost during the day, and go to bed around midnight. M. crawls in to bed at 2 am, back from Albequerque. I welcome my relief by turning over and getting back to sleep as soon as possible.

Saturday - I wake up at 6:30 and can't get back to sleep. I'm up before the kids, but not for long. They are both up within about 5 minutes of each other, around 7 am. I hadn't even finished some more of my shortbread cookies and a cup of coffee. I entertain them until 8-ish so M. can sleep in, then we start a busy day of spending money. I am exhausted by breakfast. I vow, once we are finally home, that the bottle of Sauvignon Blanc that M. has purchased is MINE, but I don't make it all the way through. Tummy still not great, tired - it's all working against me. Why can't I bounce back the way these kids seem to?

Sunday - I sleep in, as is my right. M. mixes up some cookie dough, and he and Finn make a heart shaped "cookie" for us to split for breakfast. More than decadent - sinful! I am now at my fourth day straight with the kids, and it's starting to show. I have little patience for the din they produce at Lowe's. I can't stand the "help" they offer as we try to knock out lingering yard work. Lucy insists on "sweeping" up the sidewalk (before we're even done with our projects), and manages to drop a broom handle on my head. I cried a little - not so much because of the head, but because I feel like I'm doing it all wrong. I'm not enjoying these kids at all. They don't listen. They talk at me all the time. They are SO LOUD.

I send Lucy inside and sulk. I shower and take a short nap. We go out for frozen yogurt, and this happens:

4:20 - (we are leaving our car, headed toward the fro-yo place) I ask Lucy "Do you need to pee?" She says no.

4:30- we are sitting at an outdoor table down the street from the fro-yo shop, just starting in on our yogurts. Lucy decides she has to pee. We leave our yogurts with M. and Finn to melt, and trek back to the shop to use the bathroom.

4:38 - Lucy and I are back; I've eaten a couple of bites of yogurt. Finn declares he needs to pee. M. takes him.

5:00 - We head quickly to Kohls to find Lucy new sneakers (since her's are pukey). Finn declares, as we are parking, that he needs to use the bathroom again. To poop. He and M. spend 15+ minutes in the bathroom, while I search fruitlessly for sneakers that fit Lucy.

We leave without sneakers, and also with a little less poop.

Possibly one of our most frustrating outings ever.

Followed, eventually, by dinner. And anyone who has ever eaten with a 3-year-old knows that THAT wasn't exactly fun, either.

But we eventually go to bedtime. Clean kids listening raptly to the stories I read. Snuggles and kisses. Some "I love you to outer space" declarations.

I wish I had more patience. I wish I had more energy. I wish I had more kind words, and less yelling.

I love my babies, who aren't really babies anymore. I just wish I could appreciate my time with them more - in the moment, not in retrospect, not in the abstract. Not because I feel like I should. My heart is full of them, and that is a double-edged sword. Nothing makes me happier, and nothing makes me more upset. This is what it's like, loving two (crazy, volatile, wonderful) beings so much, I guess.


  1. God love you all!. . .and you are such an incredible author! Love, Mimi

  2. I totally empathize. Great post - don't we all wish we had more patience, energy, enthusiasm? I also got the sleep in and breakfast but that was followed by lots of tantrums and TV requests and no napping. Oh, and I swung by an open house after I walked to the gym (whaa??!!) to realize for sure we are never getting what we paid for our house. And at our dinner out they put us at a high top pub table when I said we needed a high chair - WTF but of course it was Husband handling that (I would have said hell to the no on that table assignment) since I took all three kids to the bathroom where a woman laughed (with I hope) me after she heard me say to the kids "Maybe this once for Mother's Day you'll let me pee with the stall door closed?" and then of course they took forever with the check so I had to bring all three kids to the car myself since my youngest refuses to let her dad do anything. Finally, while Jojo decided to use the toilet to poop after potty she then decided to poop anyway on Penny's bed linens. Husband said "see why I get her in a diaper right away"? I raised my eyebrow and made him do the laundry. Now I've had a couple of glasses of wine and heading to bed. I kind of love Mondays in the office. Is that so wrong?

  3. I know exactly how you feel mama. I had the kind of week last week (so busy, no patience, kids too crazy) where I really thought that maybe having two working parents was just too hard for us. It's the daily grind that is just exhausting sometimes.