Over the past three weeks, Andrew has gone to two out-of-town conferences: one in Denver and one in Chicago. The week before he left for Chicago, he had his special little operation, so the house was already falling apart by the time he left (I really can only hold things together for so long without his help; we literally have our hands full of children...and then some). It was a long four days.
This week he left for Denver and before he even made it onto the plane, Phoebe had spiked a fever of 104°F. When Alexander fell off the bench while eating breakfast (or lunch?) and gave himself a ginormous goose egg, I knew we were in for a long couple of days.
But somehow three days seemed so much more doable than four. I don't know why.
Phoebe was sick and miserable and gave up sleeping entirely. On Thursday night she didn't really get settled until around 8:30 in the morning on Friday—after a long night with a lot of screaming, a lot of coughing, a lot of mucus, a lot of frustration, a lot of nursing, and a little bit of Tylenol—when she finally passed out in the middle of crawling across my bedroom floor. I quietly rejoiced and then went to ask the kids to just, like, very quietly play down in the basement or something because I needed to catch a few zzzz's. They agreed to play nicely and I finally crawled into bed around 8:45 in the morning.
But somehow my instructions to play quietly in the basement got lost in translation and the kids ended up fighting at the bottom of the stairs (that lead right up to my bedroom door). So at 9:09 I texted Rachel to ask her to hush up the children and usher them into the basement. But then I remembered that I was forgetting something. What was it? What was it? What was it? Oh!
Two of my children had well-child appointments at 9:30!!
I made a hasty announcement over Alexa, "Zoë, Miriam! Get dressed! We have to leave for the doctor right now!"
Phoebe woke up screaming. I threw on some clothes and ran downstairs, handing that poor, upset baby to Rachel. The plan had been for me to take Phoebe to the doctor because she had been so miserable the last time I left her with the kids (cried the whole time I was gone), but I couldn't take a sick baby to a well-child visit. Not in this
economy pandemic. The doctor's office asks that you don't bring "extra" children, anyway, to cut down the number of people in the waiting room, etc. Bringing a sick "extra" child would be beyond the pale. Especially one too young to mask!
As I was explaining this to Rachel, Zoë, who was obediently pulling on her socks, asked, "Why do I have to go to the doctor again?"
"Again?" I muttered. "Oh, that's right! You already went. Who else hasn't had their well-child check yet? Miriam and who...? Benjamin."
He was no where in sight.
"BENJAMIN!" I hollered. "YOU NEED TO COME TO THE DOCTOR WITH ME, NOT ZOË! LET'S MOVE, MOVE, MOVE!"
He skidded around the corner of the upstairs hallway and thudded down the stairs somehow magically getting dressed in the process.
We were in the car by 9:14 and made it to the doctor's office by 9:28.
This is evidence that we can make it out the door in under an hour. If only we'd ever get ready that quickly. Well, perhaps not quite that quickly. But, you know. It would be nice to sometimes just say, "Let's go!" and then...go. It's just usually a circus getting everyone out the door. Takes forever!
Anyway, the doctor appointments went well. I need to write down their stats somewhere.
My kids are a bunch of nervous Nellies (I don't know where they got that from; perhaps I should just call them a bunch of nervous Nancys) and always have to have their blood pressure taken multiple times at the doctor's office. Miriam actually "passed" on her very first try. Benjamin had his taken sporadically throughout the visit—upon reception (high), when the nurse brought in the tray of vaccinations (high—duh!), and after the vaccinations on our way out the door.
"It's 112/68," the nurse told me. "Do you want me to write that down on your papers?"
"Nope, we're all good," I said, wanting to rush back home to relieve Rachel of Phoebe (or vise versa).
I never remember what a "good" blood pressure number is, anyway, so I really just let those numbers slide right off my brain. I have enough stuff to remember (like such as which kid has an appointment on any given day). I can't be bothered to remember blood pressure numbers.
Besides, I can just look them up on the online portal when we get home. I'm not going to take the time to make my brain remember such numbers.
Anyway, the kids are doing well, still growing despite all being long, lean, eating machines.
We made it through the rest of our Friday and Phoebe again had the most difficult time sleeping. I think the main problem was that she was just so ridiculously mucousy that she was choking on it, and then she'd cough, then she'd do these massive vomits, and then want more milk because she was miserable. She and I woke up on Saturday morning in a musty mess of towels and fever-sweat and spit-up. It was not pleasant. My poor sheets have been washed several times over the course of the past couple of days.
Anyway, Phoebe and I have been incredibly tired. And the best way we found for her to sleep was with me holding her somewhat upright in the chair. So neither of us got very much sleep while Andrew was gone.
I couldn't help thinking about how long she's been sleeping on my chest—almost a whole year. Alexander and Zoë are counting down the days while I'm just wondering how we went from this:
I'm going to miss the newborn stage so, so much. I do miss it so much. Snuggling newborns is my favourite thing in the world. And I'll never get to do it ever again (for real this time).
And Benjamin would burst in with, "Pasleeep!"
Zoë, Alex, Mom
Then he drew a box around that and wrote "do not erase ben," which was really cute because he wrote "do not err..." and then paused for a few seconds before writing an A over that second R and correctly spelling "erase." Not bad for pre-k!
Then I think part of the blue line above that got erased because he wrote, "or else I will teeze you," which wasn't really much of a threat since, well, he was already teasing Benjamin.
And then Benjamin said, "What if someone else erases the board, like Mom or Zoë?"
To which Alexander responded, "Mom or Zoë wood never."
They had a whole battle like this, with Benjamin sputtering out his defenses and Alexander responding letter by letter on the board.
Phoebe, on the other hand, is more than welcome to do as much pasleeping as she wants!