By Shannon_Lell on December 03, 2011
8:50am: I think I hear her. Yep. She's crying. She's sick. Poor baby. I struggle to put my feet to the floor because my body is saying, if you move from this bed I will launch a revolt... try me sister... I dare you.
8:55am: I pick her up from her crib and cradle her tired body in my arms. I sit in the rocking chair until she stops crying. As I sit holding her, hunched over and to the side, I'm reminded how bad my back hurts. It feels like someone has stabbed me with serrated knife and as now twisting it in circles. For a second, I wish I could go to the chiropractor today, but there's no use in wishing, because I know I can't. However, I do have my yoga class tonight. I'll focus on that instead and be grateful.
9:10am: I think I hear him. Yep. He's crying. Poor baby didn't go to sleep last night until 4am. Neither did I for that matter. "Honey, do you want to watch Backyardigans on Mommy's bed?" I can't tell her that I need to get the baby because then she'll cling to me like a koala bear and start crying again.
"Uh-huh." She whimpers.
9:15am: As I hunch over feeding the baby I feel the knife.
9:30am: Why can't I ever find a burp cloth? Oh no, wait a second bud.... Oh shit. It's in my hair. Whatever.
9:50am: I pull my curdled milk-hair back into a pony-tail and go to the living room. I set the newly changed, fed and cooing baby down in his bouncer. Seeing that I'm paying attention to the baby, the toddler is on my heels. I make sure the velcro frog and snail are attached to the play bar above him to keep him occupied while I get the toddler some juice. She's sick, she needs fluids. This much I know. Two seconds after I turn my back she rips down the turtle and the snail before he can reach them. Whatever. I go into the kitchen. I see the coffee pot sitting on the warming burner on the stove. It automatically turns off after two hours and I think my husband left around 8:30am. That means I have until about 10:30am before it turns off and the coffee starts to get cold. Oh coffee, I can't wait to have you.
9:52am: I can't find the right sippy cup. There are dishes everywhere. Funny, that used to drive me crazy. It's a good thing I passed crazy weeks ago. Fuck it, she'll just have to use the leaky one.
9:55am: "Noooooo! No like that juice!" *Deep breathe* Remember, yoga tonight.
10:00am: Baby whines, move him to the next rotation: excersaucer. I can get a good 10 minutes out of that.
10:05am: She hasn't eaten anything for over 24 hours. She's still congested and can only squeak like a mouse getting out only every third syllable. Maybe I should call the pediatrician and see if I should take her in today? I wonder if I can get someone to watch the baby? Hopefully, when I call they'll just give me some helpful advice and reassure me that she'll be over this bug in a day or so.
10:10am: Damn! I knew they were going to tell me to bring her in. What? The only appointment you have is when all toddlers in this time zone should be napping? Perfect! See you then. Baby starts whining, move him to next rotation: the play yard. But who's going to watch the baby? I am capable of many things, but dealing with a needy, sick toddler and a grumpy, tired baby in public... by myself... this, I am not. I call my father-in-law. Oh good, he can watch the baby. Whew, I can at least be grateful for that. Oh coffee, here I come. OH NO, HONEY!
10:30am: After I washed, changed and soothed the toddler's tears after puking, the baby starts whining again. It's time for him to go back down. "Honey, you want to watch Backyardigans on Mommy's bed?"
10:40am: Baby down. Toddler bathing in the flashing, brain-eating glow of Nick Jr. Whatever. I want coffee.
"Mommy, I'm hungry." OH GOOD! She has an appetite! Maybe that means she's feeling better.
"What do you want sweetie?"
"How about some yogurt?"
10:50am: I spend 20 minutes trying to force-feed her yogurt and orange juice. It's now all over my bed. Whatever. Oh man I'm exhausted and it's not even noon. Oh wait, there's coffee!
11:00am: Microwaved coffee is better than no coffee. I walk slowly across the living room with warm coffee in hand to sit in my chair by the window. Maybe I can check my email while I drink this?
11:25am: Baby cries. But he's only been down for 45 minutes. I jot down the time for the sleep log I'm keeping for the professional we hired to help us with his sleep issues.
11:30am: He clearly does NOT want to be awake, so I decide to try to soothe him back to sleep. To do that, I have to shut the door and listen to my nearly voiceless toddler bark like a seal from the other side of the door as she tries to cry for my attention. C'mon buddy, go back down for momma....5 minutes later... Whew, it worked. Wait? What time is it? I have to remember to write that down.
11:45am: I just realize that I haven't eaten this morning and I'm starving. Maybe I should have something to eat before pumping myself full of caffeine? I stare wide-eyed and confused into the refrigerator. Hm. I guess I'll just have cereal... again.
12:30pm: Why is Grandpa here so early? Oh wait, it's already 12:30pm, how did that happen? Okay, let's get ready. I need to wash my face, brush my teeth, (all while avoiding the mirror because I can't even deal with that today), change my clothes, wrestler her into socks and shoes, find my keys and get out the door. But what about my coffee? Ah ha! I'll just dump it into a to-go cup and drink it on the way. "Mommy, I want chocowet milk." Oh good, maybe she'll finally get some fluids in her. "Okay, honey, coming right up."
1:00pm: By now the exhausted, viral toddler (that should be napping, but instead is on her way to get prodded by a pediatrician), has turned into a limp noodle of obstinace and tears. I am scrambling to get out the door tossing the full sippy cup of chocowet milk into my purse and struggling to keep a hold of her coatless body as she squirms in anger. Oh wait, is that the baby? What time is it? Shit. I better feed him. I guess I'm going to be late. "Okay honey, can you wait while I feed the baby?" *Total koala bear meltdown.*
1:20pm: I still have to get the toddler into the car. She is fighting everything, including her seatbelt. I have 10 minutes to get there and it's 15, glorious, quiet, can't-do-nothin'-but-drive, minutes away. I can at least be grateful for that. Man, I wish I remembered my coffee.
2:00pm: *Sitting in exam room waiting for the doctor.* "Here, play with this tongue depressor. Yes, it certainly does makes a good drumstick for my head. Oh wait, do you want some chocowet milk?" It's in my purse... motherfucker. WHY DO WE EVEN OWN A LEAKY SIPPY CUP!!! Okay, there's still a little bit left. Drink up honey.
2:15pm: If my daughter fought her socks, coat and seatbelt, she certainly isn't going to be okay with having a light stuck in her ear and down her throat and no amount of "blow out the light" games is going to make it any better. The doctor acts annoyed that I won't body slam my sick toddler to the table so she, "can get a better peek" into her left ear. Whatever.
2:20pm: "Yes, I'm sure she's got croup. She needs an oral steroid, lots of humidity and clear liquids. No milk products of any kind because it will increase the mucus." The doctor says as I look at my daughter holding her sippy of chocowet milk drinking it for the first time. Okey Dokie.
3:00pm: Babies sleeping when I get home (I wonder if Grandpa remembered to write the time down?) The toddler has far surpassed exhaustion and has moved into the scary territory of listlessness. I carry her inside (oh, my back) and as I shut the door on her bedroom I hear the baby. Deep breathe, you're going to yoga in t-minus four hours. At least this kid will sit still long enough for me to drink my coffee.
3:15pm: I mournfully watch the rancid coffee go down the drain. Whatever. I have to feed the baby. As I feed him, hunched over like a crooked, twisted vine I feel the knife being raked down my back and pushed into my sacrum. Breathe. I will feel better after yoga and a hot shower. All will be right with the world then.
4pm-5pm: Naps all around, except for me, because I have to wash my yoga clothes and do something about these dishes. Where is that sippy cup?
5:15pm: Toddler wakes up grumpier and seemingly sicker than before. Poor baby. She clings to me like snot. "Want to lay on Mommy's bed and watch Backyardigans?"
"How about some juice."
6:15pm: Baby is up, toddler is clinging, my hair smells like fermented cheese curds but I don't care, because I leave for yoga in 45 minutes. I have to make sure the baby is fed, the toddler is okay and all is relatively pacified for my husband before I leave.
6:45pm: Husband cuts finger with scissors opening a box and proceeds to act as though he just sliced his femoral artery. I let out a little, involuntary laugh. He gets mad and makes a remark on how I'm a bad nurturer. I laugh harder. He gets more mad. Whatever. I still have to feed the baby.
7:00pm: I have to leave right this second if I'm going to make it. Baby fed, check. Yoga clothes on, check. Water bottle, check. Mat, check. Screaming snotty, koala toddler on my leg begging me not to go. Check.
7:15pm: I'm sitting in her rocking chair, in my yoga clothes stroking her hair and singing a lullaby. She whimpers. I know she's in pain. My heart breaks for her.
8:00pm: Toddler finally asleep. Now baby.
9:00pm: Baby asleep *cross fingers* for the night.
9pm-11pm: Eat dinner, finally wash baby puke from my hair and then sit down to move fingers across the keys of my laptop in hopes of connecting to something.
11:00pm: Husband goes to bed in the basement because he's got to work tomorrow and needs sleep. Toddler starts crying. She's feverish. I give her the purple medicine and I pull her into my bed. This time there will be no Backyardigans, just her mommy and her orange blankie. I hold her as she squirms and cries and pulls my arms tighter. My heart breaks for her again.
12:00am: She's back in her crib. I lay down and melt into the mattress. I'm exhausted, but my back hurts. I squirm and pull the covers tighter.
1:15am. Just as I doze off the baby cries. I get up, I change him, I feed him and I rock him back to sleep. Then I lay back down. I have to remember to write that down.
2:00am: Baby is crying. I go back in, reswaddle him, rock him until he's quiet, go lay back down.
2:30am: Baby is crying. I let him.
2:40am: My nerves are fraying from his desperate cries and it's making me nauseous. I put in the earbuds of my iPod and play Braham's Lullaby. I can still hear him crying over the music. The irony is not lost on me that I'm listening to baby lullabies while my own baby cries, helplessly 10 feet away.
2:55am: I go in and unswaddle him. He's a sweaty mess. I blow on him to cool him off. I reswaddle him and rock him back to sleep. I creep back to bed.
3:15am: Baby's crying. I let him. Repeat Braham's Lullaby five times before I go back in and unswaddle him, cool him off, reswaddle, rock him to sleep and go back to bed.
3:45am: Baby's crying. My heart breaks for him... and me.
4:00am: Baby asleep. I have to remember to write that down.
9:00am: I think I hear her. She's crying. Poor baby.
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