Whenever my husband tells me he’s going out of town on business, my stomach sinks. I feel pressure under my tongue like I’m going to vomit. I expect it’s similar to how I would feel if I were to find out I was expecting a third child.
Ok, maybe not that bad… but close.
I know it means I will inevitably be late for work, arriving frazzled, in border-line meltdown mode. That’s how I feel when I am 5 to 10 minutes late, even if I work through lunch. You can imagine how I feel when I’m actually out sick. I was racked with guilt when I was in the hospital with MRSA.
I am not normal.
My life is planned down the second.
Alma demanded braids this morning. That’s all it took to ensure I was 5 minutes late. Hard to believe? I frequently have to decide whether to pee before work or arrive on time.
My “lunch breaks” are spent buying milk to store in the work fridge and canceling all of the appointments I can’t make because I can’t even use a vacation day to see a Doctor. I’m just so valuable.
So valuable that I could create a daily list of criticisms longer than my grocery list. We have two kids. It’s a long-ass list.
I see the sunrise on the way to work. I watch it set on the drive home. I know, I know… there are people who would say, “Be grateful you have a job.” Oh, I am.
It’s so awesome to be able to afford to enjoy absolutely NO time with my children or husband.
Well, I do have my weekends. This past weekend was a blast. We had a party to celebrate our son’s 2nd birthday. I ate too much, drank too much wine and had to delete all pictures where you could see my arms. (Not a fan of my arms right now. I have “drink too much” arms. Not even lugging around a 30 pound kid can cure that.)
Birthday parties are a blur. Afterward you question whether you were rude to anyone, did the food taste good and WHAT HAVE WE DONE BY GIVING OUR TODDLERS CAKE AND CHOCOLATE??
Nothing compares to post-birthday party meltdowns.
Sunday, we took the kids to a state park to enjoy the great outdoors. Nothing great about my daughter demanding I carry her for miles through snake-infested woods, sweating my ass off and constantly having to stop so she could throw sticks in the river.
My son had a blast. He’s a future hiker.
Alma… she’s a future shopper.
She spent an hour before leaving crying hysterically because we wouldn’t let her wear a white lace skirt and light pink church shoes to go hiking.
I knew we made a mistake when after just a couple of minutes of walking she started saying, “I’m sweating. My knees hurt. I’m hungry.” Her “knees” hurt?
Yeah, that’s a new thing. “I can’t walk up the stairs because my knees hurt. My feet hurt and my arms and my toes.” She’s a classic bullshitter.
The day at the park started out with us saying, “Maybe the kids will be ready soon to try out camping.”
It ended with us saying, “Let’s never leave the house again.”
We’re terrified to even go out to eat anymore.
HELP, we’re being held hostage by two very small people with astonishing strength and an inability to communicate effectively!!
You’d think all of the action of the busy weekend would wipe the kids out and they would sleep like logs.
My daughter slept like a log, if you picture a little blonde log rolling out of a bed at 2 a.m. and screaming incoherently, “I don’t want i! I don’t want it!” (I have no idea why she was saying that)
Throw in the fact that this weekend one of the dogs snatched away a piece of bread packed with the other dog’s medication and then proceeded to projectile vomit around the house for an hour and you might begin to understand why I have “drink too much” arms.
Everybody knows that when you have children, they’re going to spend the vast majority of their youngest years infecting you with various germs and parasites. We’ve had several stomach viruses, the flu, RSV and of course lice. The day I had to put mayonnaise on my daughter’s hair and cover it with a shower cap was a goodie. We played together with our stinking Mayo heads and shower caps until her nap time. She woke up screaming when the warm mayo started to drip down her neck.
What nobody warns you about is the possibility your kid could give you a potentially deadly virus. My daughter came home from daycare with MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) on her arm. Then she came home with it on her butt … then it came back on her butt again and again and again.
Eventually, it cleared up with antibiotics. But, then I got it again on my thigh. Any working parent knows how this story goes: I ignore it because I can’t call out sick, because I already call out sick way too much and I don’t want to get canned, so it festers and grows and suddenly I am waking up in the middle of the night with a dangerous fever, chills and an infection that has spread from my groin to my knee cap.
I went to the ER, assuming I would be sent home that night. When the doctor pulled my dress up over the wounds, he was taken aback. I spent two days in the hospital alone.
They kept me in “quarantine” and used words like “decolonized” and “carrier.” They once neglected to bring me my dinner because the nurse didn’t want to come in because I was CONTAGIOUS. People at my work were freaked out. The boss had to hold a special meeting to alert everyone about an anonymous employee with MRSA. Like there was any doubt about which employee that was. For several days after I returned, people would joke around and tell me to stay away. It wasn’t Leprosy for God sake!
The best part should’ve been leaving the hospital, but it was sweltering outside. A young, inexperienced nurse was tasked with wheeling me all the way to my car. The older nurse told her emphatically not to let me get up and walk. Lil’ nurse got lost and ended up wheeling me around in the heat, sweating, with my hairy hospital legs exposed in the cut-off shorts my husband brought me to change into.
I finally just got up and told her, “I won’t tell if you don’t.”
I was supposed to be convalescing at home. Instead, I came home to about a week’s worth of laundry. If you have a family of four or more, then you know what that means. A pile of clothes so high, climbing it could make someone’s bucket list. No rest for the weary. No rest for a working parent, not even one with MRSA.