Midnight Drives and Intuition

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Star darkness.

“Look honey, up there, at the stars,” I said. I could hear the Puget Sound lapping less than 50 feet away from the cabin, as I loaded the wheelbarrow full of my haphazardly packed items. Did I really need to bring home this pillow? Could it be sacrificed the Gods of State Parks and Midnight Ear Infections?

I knocked on the cabin next to me, “Dad? Dad? He’s sick, can you help.”

The mismatched trio. One headlamp. One wheelbarrow. A purse, and some extra bags, holding hands up the long steep and winding hill to the car.

“I’ll text when I get home. I might stop at a hospital along the way if he doesn’t go to sleep. I was afraid this was going to happen.”

Four days earlier I had taken Potamus in for a chest cold checkup. Doc said that it’d clear up on its own in the next few days, and if it didn’t, come back in. I had gone because this was exactly what I was worried about: the midnight drive home from camping. I guess no amount of interventions can influence karma, the Universe, or the way things are supposed to be?

I pulled out of the state park into the island darkness. No GPS to guide me. No daylight to illuminate landmarks. A wing and a prayer. The evening too far gone for even Coast to Coast radio.

Everything smelled like garlic, and puke, and dribbles of urine. There was coughing, and choking, and my panicked “are you okay? tell me you’re okay,” as I hurtled 70 miles per hour down the freeway, coming to a screeching halt at the fortuitous rest area. New change of clothes. The thought: in nine months this will be my new normal. The zombie-like decision making, where I’m so tired I’m not even mad (which says a lot, because I’m often awoken like a bear), and all I can think is “please be okay.”

Where did this motherhood strength come from? Was it always there? Was it bestowed when he was born, like a gift from the Good Fairies?

I admire Boof, who didn’t freak out, when I unexpectedly barged into the bedroom at 6am and said, “I’ve been driving since 4. I need a shower and to sleep. Can you sit in the car with him. He finally fell asleep after puking.”

Eventually we dozed together, the babe and I. And now we’re heading to the doctor…

Up. Down. Round and round.

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Yogurt cracker snot barf does not make the car smell good. In case you’re wondering.

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Oh hai Target!

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we’re a badass mom and baby team

There are weeks where motherhood feels like it might kill me. I have been up at 4am this week with a fussy kiddo, and it turns out that it wasn’t just teething. Mother’s intuition wins again as I had to go round and round with Boof to convince him that Potamus was sick and it wasn’t just teething and that I wasn’t just trying to take a day off from work because of anxiety. Turns out he has a double ear infection and some sort of trouble breathing requiring a 1 dose steroid and an albuterol inhaler at night. And, because he’s had so many ear infections in his short life, we’re having him on a stronger antibiotic. Awesome.

Friday rolls around and I decide to get Mr. Fussy-pants out of the house, because I was going insane and he is way better when he can be distracted by shiny things. So we headed off to our rainy-day playground KidsQuest, and  I thought nothing of him occassionally coughing and sneezing in the backseat.

But yeah, let’s talk about how fun it is to clean up yogurt cracker snot barf…especially when it is pouring and I’m bent over the carseat with my buttcrack hanging out for all the world to see. Thankfully I had packed some extra pj’s, otherwise we’d have to have run naked baby into Target to get some replacement clothes. And I just didn’t want to deal with THAT humiliation. And yes I am the terrible mom who still brought her kid to the playground because he was feeling much better after the whole barfing incident. And, turns out, amoxicillian used to give me bouts of vomiting and diarrhea, too, so my parents think that he’s not sick…though he barfed and crapped through his jammies later in the day, and my hands and hair cannot quite get the smell of barf out.

So there were ups and downs and he went down for bed at 5:30pm and slept solidly until 11…not a norm for this week, so I’m hoping that he’s on the mend. And thankfully my parents are in town, so I get to sleep in…otherwise I might have spent the weekend crying into a bottle of wine…

Why we chose a daycare 5 minutes from my work

Today, mid evaluations with students, I receive a phone call. I declined to answer because I didn’t immediately recognize the number. Fifteen minutes later I get another call, from a very similar number and it clicks in my head, that it’s the daycare calling. I excuse myself from the evaluations, letting my co-teacher know that it was the daycare, and I stepped out.

“Monk-Monk, Potamus has had 3 loose bowel movements in the past hour. We have to send him home. It’s policy. He doesn’t have a fever, but we do know that a bug has been going around.”

I hope on the phone with my mother-in-law and she said she could arrange some things to pick him up, but I decided that I would do it. A sick toddler, but not THAT sick, and to save my emergency card for a later date when I knew I would REALLY need her to pick him up. Stepping out, leaving my co-teacher to cover for me, I headed to the daycare.

And five minutes later he was in my arms.

According to his favorite teacher, Miss Sarah, Potamus had started whining/crying as soon as I left (something he never does with her) and then had proceeded to have such explosive diarhea that she had to change his clothes and take the garbage out because it was stinking up the joint. While he seems okay to me, no explosions since we’ve been home, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

And so, mid-week, I’m finding myself working on my resume while my little smooch is sleeping peacefully (well, after bouncing him over 900 times on the exercise ball). It’s why we chose a place so close to my work. Because he needed me, and I could be there without delay. The peace of mind is totally worth it.

To-Do=Ta Da!

You too could wear these beauts!

You too could wear these beauts!

Just when I thought I was going to turn into the world’s slackeriest professor, I got my buns in gear and made a few to-do lists. And, to put things in perspective, I made a few to-done lists of things that I have already been doing, which just shows that I haven’t been on Pinterest as much as I thought (though too much for work hours, perhaps?). Working hard actually feels good, and I want to contribute to the general well-being of my students. I’m floating on cloud 9, today, after getting the opportunity to help one student get signed up for GED classes and for another student to begin processing some life experiences hindering their school performance. Being in the presence of such strong, motivated, beautiful people really is why I do this job! And much better than pushing paperwork around on my desk!

While I’m flying high in some respects, though, I am feeling a major caffeine/life-crash, which is probably due to Potamus’ new daycare germs in my mouth and hands and face from all his love-pats through the evening and night. His arms are getting longer and longer and it’s harder for me to squirm away (on our twin size mattress on the floor) when he wants to comfort himself by sticking his grubby little mitts in my mouth. My immune system is lagging, which I blame on daycare and the horrible Seattle January weather. Could it be any darker and rainier this week? I think not. The radio announcers said “sunrise will be at 7:55 this morning” on my commute and I almost groaned. 7:55? I will have been up for 3 hours+ by then, and when they say “sun up” they mean in California, because I’ve looked outside all day today and there has been no sun in sight. And if you respond to this with “yeah, but you live in Seattle,” you’ve clearly not visited us in the summer, when the birds are singing and the tourists are sweating through cheese-making tutorials at Pike’s Market.

Despite feeling less than 100%, which I’m scared to admit might become my new 100% as weariness begins settling into my bones, I have managed to keep at my Couch-5k running plan. I haven’t yet blogged about my running adventures because I’m always afraid to jinx things like this. But I am proud to say that I am halfway week 3 of the plan and so far it seems to be working at getting me in shape AND keeping me motivated to run. Because my go-to in the past went something like this: a) get the bright idea to run a 5k race, b) put on my running shoes, c) attempt to run a 5k TODAY, d) get to my mailbox, get winded, OR run for about 60 seconds down the road, get winded, walk home, e) feel like a tool for failing at something so “easy” as running a 5k (or even 1/4 of a mile), f) wake up the next morning sore and totally unmotivated to try again. Sound familiar? I’ve done silly things like that all the time, but this time it’s different. This time I’m motivated to run, but am only allowed to do it for 60 seconds, and then walk for 90. What?! The little carrot in front of me is getting closer and closer, and now I am up to 3 minutes in a row. WOO! I look ahead at week 5 or 6 and start to crap my pants (run for 28 minutes, wha?!!!), but know that it will happen in time. And the worst case is walking the 5k. It’s about DOING it, not running it faster than those Olympic runners.

In other news, Potamus is settling in to the daycare routine pretty nicely. He hasn’t been 100% himself, and it’s taking a little to adjust, though the adjustment AT daycare is going pretty well, it’s the adjustment to also going back to grandma’s that’s a little harder (more on her, than on him actually!). I’ve had Boof call and check on him at daycare, which helps me focus on work (because if I hear him crying in the background, I can’t focus and just want to run to him and snuggle him). I was expecting him to be more tired at night after a long day at daycare, but so far he’s been energetic when we get home (which is somewhat tiring for this mama!), and he’s been napping okay there, too (which I was worried that he’d nap TOO long out of overwhelm or not enough). His new favorite thing is dancing to the opening and closing credits of the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Yes, I’m a terrible mom who lets my kiddo watch some TV. He LOVES the music. He dances and waves his hands in the air bollywood style and it is so stinking cute that I don’t care if it causes ADHD. He is just so happy, even when he’s been sick he still half-heartedly raises his hand and does this little shimmy when he hears his song.

Which has also led to his first word being hotdog. Because they do the “hotdog dance” and when we said hot dog, he said something like “hawtdg,” which wasn’t quite full-fledged hotdog, but so damn close we’re gonna have to count it as first real word (beside mama and dada). My baby is clearly a genius.

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