Wednesday, January 02, 2008

1/2/08 The Sick Day

Oh brother, what a night. I haven't had one like that since Gabriel was a baby.

I thought Katrina would be the problem, though her temperature was gone by the time she went to bed. But it was Julian who kept getting up and saying his tummy hurt, and then he'd run to the toilet and prepare to throw up. Then he'd practically fall over from sleepiness, and then trot anxiously back to bed. I'd stay with him in the bathroom, then tuck him back into bed, and a few times stayed with him in his room until he settled down. Repeat this scenario about 15 times, resulting in less than an hours' consecutive sleep for me. At one point, he complained that his ear hurt too.

Then around 3:30am, Katrina woke up. She was making happy-chatty noises, but I was so on the alert for Julian that any sound had me springing out of bed. She woke up twice more, once crying at 5:30am. I checked her, found her blankie, and put her back to bed.

Since I'd already resigned myself to skip work today, I slept as late as Katrina would let me, which turned out to be until about 8am. But when Julian woke up after 9am, he seemed to have made a full recovery! After a hearty breakfast, he cheerfully went to preschool/daycare.

Gabriel, who slept through the whole thing, went to CDC Camp, which is childcare covering non-school days that are work days for most parents. Except those with sick babies.

What sick baby? Katrina had no temperature today, though she was grouchy. Then again, she's often grouchy anyway. I took her to a lovely park where two other mom friends were going today too, and was all set up to have a nice gabfest, but Katrina had other ideas. She kept crying and pulling on me, wanting to be picked up, then squirming out of my arms.

She had some fun though, showing new interest in her pal Dylan. Aren't they cute....Dylan happily climbed and crawled around this rock and the sand and play structures, being the sweet and happy and easygoing baby he is.

Well, that was the fantasy. This was the reality. I bailed and took Ms. Fuss-Fuss home, where she got a so-so lunch and a nice long nap.

(Indeed, Dylan is the third 3rd-baby I know who fits that 3rd-baby stereotype of being the easiest. I'm waiting for some of these patterns to hold true: "The second is more outgoing and confident and develops sooner because they have to be to keep up with the older sibling." Bzzt. "The third is the most easygoing, go with the flow, because of all the activity around them." Bzzt. "The first..."-- oh, god, never mind.)

But even with a relentlessly demanding baby today, I liked the variety in my day. I liked being outside on a beautiful day. I liked exchanging snippets with other moms between attempts at buoying Katrina's mood. I liked working on small projects a bit at a time, even if the most I actually accomplished was replacing a light bulb. I liked starting dinner early, being able to stop and start and not be on such a critical time path. Katrina's fussiness forbade any momentum-gathering, but the time pressure wasn't there. Dave's fighting a cold, so he came home early and picked up the boys, and we were all sitting to dinner at 6:15pm. And, dinner included a yummy stuffed chicken that took some time to prepare and an hour to roast. Just not possible on work days.

I don't know, grass is greener? Since when do I feel that I should relish every moment of babyhood? Doesn't being pulled in 100 directions and having to drop what I'm doing at any given time drive me crazy? Did I enjoy my full-time-Mom day so much because I know I'm going back to work tomorrow? Or have I really crossed over, truly put my career side behind me?

I mulled over these questions in the back of my head as I got Katrina ready for her bath. She was suddenly in a great mood, so I played with her on our bed for a while. She made up a game in which she puts her head on the bed and looks out between her legs, then sticks her hands out and wiggles her fingers. Then I'd tickle her behind her knees and she'd tumble over laughing. It was so fun to see her giggling and being silly, and I stretched it out as long as I could. Then she crawled onto me, I thought to start a fuss, and I'll be darned if she didn't put her arms on my neck and give me a kiss! If that isn't a big clue to the answer, I don't know what is.


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