Tuesday, March 2, 2010
It Isn't Pretty
I am currently fresh out of the shower, skin moisturized, legs shaved, and wearing clean clothes. I smell good and feel like a new person, but trust me, this is the end of a long and sordid story that isn't pretty.
My saga begins at 11:49pm last night with Brooke crying. When I pick her up, she feels warm. More fever?! She's already on a second round of antibiotics. The fever feels too high to blame on teething. Hoping a little nursing, Tylenol, and a parent's favorite friend in the middle of the night--a pacifyer--will settle her down, I calmly sooth her.
Ten minutes later, "Waaahhh!!!" She comes into our bed. She settles down. Twelve minutes later, "Waaahhh!!" Plug the paci. Fifteen minutes later (ok, I'm making up these times, I'm so bleary eyed with the tease of real sleep I can't even see the clock), "Waaahhh!!" An hour into the banter, she's still warm. I decide to give my pitiful child half a dose of Motrin. "Please let her settle down and find relief," I pray, for partly selfish reasons. She does but an hour later she erupts again and Bob heads to the guest room to sleep. I feel guilty I hadn't made the bed yet since our last guests left. He improvises.
When Brooke and I emerge in the morning, I'm exhausted but she has no temperature. That's good. Unfortunately, I don't have time to shower and I'd forgotten to wash my favorite jeans yesterday. I throw them on for the third day--maybe the fourth, I don't know--scrape off dried play doh sticking to the calves, and don at least a clean shirt. I have just enough time to put on make-up or change Brooke's diaper and clothes; she wins out. I then race out the door to meet a fellow mom blogger for the first time. I'd planned to wear something trendy and bold, but with the sleeting rain, I fall back to my favorite zip-up fleece.
Heather Robinson of The Mommyhood is a pleasure. As a mom of two young kids, she understands my bringing Brooke along. I ply Brooke with bagel and graham crackers as we chat for an hour and a half. I try to wipe her snotty nose running like a faucet without missing a beat, but it's not long before I run out of the scratchy napkins supplied by the restaurant. Heather helps by offering her travel Kleenex. I'm thankful but the thought, "This is my third kid; shouldn't I be super prepared by now? Guess not" races through my head.
When Brooke has nearly begun picking food off the floor, I decide it's time to go. Where's my hand sanitizer? Must have fallen out of my bag. Two minutes into the car ride, I look back to see Brooke throwing up. Fearing the worst that my child will asphyxiate on her own vomit strapped in her car seat, I pull over as fast as possible. I hop out, wipe off the vomit with one of Devin's shirts in the diaper bags (do I have no spit rags anymore?), and think, "What now?"
Perhaps my former self (the one before birthing three kids and the one who got 8-10 hours of uninterrupted sleep a night) would have taken this as a cue that my poor sick baby has had enough; time to head home. If only I were my former self. Instead, I realize I'm parked right in front of the wine store. Hey, we ran out of wine last night. I could just run in really quickly. It would be a shame to waste this trip when I'm RIGHT HERE! And do I really want to face the end of THIS day without it?
So yes, I sling Brooke on my hip and head in to buy alcohol. And if you thought my saving money ended here, you'd be wrong. Though they don't take coupons, they often have sales. And if you're willing to buy a case, you'll save 10-15%. Today I save nearly $20.
At this point, do you think I got in my car, thankful that I've eeked out one errand with a sick toddler? I wish I could say yes. Maybe it's the lure of fresh organic pizza or the determination to not loose out on a good deal, but I can't help myself running next door to Earthfare. Today is the last day for the free pizza deal, saving me $7.16. I'll just run in, I promise.
Brooke willingly lets me strap her in and hardly makes a peep as I just look over here, and pick up just one more item there, and oh, while I'm here, I might as well....Before I know it, she's drifting, in dire need of a nap. I am the worst mommy in the world. I race to check out and hurry her to the car.
As I'm strapping her in, I smell it: ugh, a poopy diaper now?! I can't let her nap what could be two hours in a poopy diaper. I'm guessing the liquor store is not equipped with a changing table; so I'll just do it here in the van. She's tired, she feels crappy, and now I'm exposing her bare bum to 33 degree temperatures and sleeting rain. If she had a choice, I'm guessing she'd pick another mother about now.
To make matters even worse, yes it's possible, I haven't visited a bathroom in hours and I REALLY HAVE TO GO! I'm trying to ignore the sensations but the absurdity of all that has transpired the past 12 hours makes me erupt in laughter, which of course makes me pee myself a little. Guess it's time to wash those jeans!
At this point, yes, I finally head home to savor a much needed hot steaming shower. All the grotesque aspects of motherhood--fever, incessant night crying, snot, pee, poop, and vomit--all rolled into one day not even half over makes me question if I'm in the right profession. Surely someone else would be better at handling this sort of thing than I! But then I think: With the hugs, giggles, and cuddles comes the sticky, stinky, and draining. Welcome to motherhood territory. It ain't always pretty.