Monday, January 25, 2010

A week of single-motherhood

Last week, for the first time in over ten years, my husband had to travel for work.  He left on Monday and got home on Friday.  And, of course, something went wrong at home.  Not like burning embers or ambulance wrong. But we couldn’t just have a normal week.  Oh, no.  Never that.


Trystan got sick.  Not just a one-day feeling-a-little-off.  RSV.  My least favorite virus.  The one that takes a kid down for a week at a time with fever and leaves them coughing for a month.  He started just coughing on Sunday into Monday, and at first I hoped it would be no big deal.  After all, Char was off Monday for MLK day, so I was already taking a day off to be home with the kids.


Monday night, he ran the fever.  After two unsuccessful attempts at getting him to sleep in his own bed, I brought him into mine, and I was kicked and climbed on pretty much all night.  No daycare for him on Tuesday.  I dosed him with ibuprofen and stuck him in the car to drive Char to school.  The ibuprofen helped a lot.  Trystan and I then spent two hours at the doctors office (plus a 35 minute drive on either side of it), because they were running behind.  RSV tests require a q-tip up the nose, which Trystan did not appreciate in the least.  And both of his ears were infected as well.  He was, of course, sound asleep when we got home, which gave me just enough time to put air in one of the tires on the Highlander (the darned thing had been giving me tire pressure warnings all morning—think we have a leak), and then stuff him back into the car to go pick Charlotte up from school.


Tuesday night, Charlotte had dance class. Parents have to wait in the building while the girls are in class, so Trystan got to come along. Luckily for the other few children in the lobby, he pretty much wanted to snuggle.  And peek in the window to watch his sister.  And snuggle more.  Char decided to freak out about the class at first and tried to refuse to go.  When she finally calmed down, she realized that she knew several of the girls from other sessions, and ended up having a grand time.  Schedule changes and having Trystan sick and Daddy out of town are not good for her.


My in-laws came and sat with Trystan on Wednesday, thank goodness.  I really needed to get work done at work, and I’d postponed some meetings and reviews for my team already.  And, luckily, it was a longer day because Char has after-school piano lessons that day. So I got about eight hours in.  It would have been less than seven with me doing the normal drop-off/pick-up routine myself.


Thursday was the annoying day of his illness.  He was still feverish Wednesday night, so it wasn’t worth chancing taking him to school.  So I took yet another day off, and he was an absolute toddler terror.  He had high energy right up until lunch time when he crashed hard and I later had to put him, still sleeping, in the car to pick up his sister at 3.  He was fever-free all day. Of course.


Friday was “normal”.  Everyone left the house. I worked. The kids schooled. We picked my husband up from the airport around dinner time.


This weekend was about trying to catch up on life, although the house didn’t fall too far behind.  I had plenty of time for laundry and dishes all week. What I didn’t get was any quiet time for myself.  Even after getting the kids to bed every night, I was up packing lunches and starting the dishwasher, and setting out clothes so that we could get moving on time the next morning.  I missed my weekly writer’s group night, and skipped my aerobics class on Thursday (I might have worked out earlier in the day, but Trystan took that marathon nap).


I think on a truly “normal” week, my husband’s business trip would not have been a big deal.  Keep me from sleeping a couple of nights in a row, withhold exercise and adult conversation, and super-glue a fussy toddler to my hip, and I start getting pretty cranky.  I am glad that I’m not in this parenting-gig alone.  I think I’d go batty without my husband around.

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