Monday, September 26, 2011

the sick is back.

it's that glorious time of year again. the time of year that northwester's prepare for their 9 month hibernation by retreating into their homes clutching their bottles of vitamin d (and other drugs) their backs into the corner crouched on their hind legs in the fetal position, rocking back and forth waiting to live again. or wait, maybe that's just me. i am reminded that for those optimistic types this time of year brings that crisp cold air, crackling fires, beautiful fall foliage, homemade soups and fall tv premiers. for 'others' it brings sadness, a deep desire to sell all you own and buy a one way ticket to somewhere, silent fights over the thermostat and last but not least, it brings the sick.

each year, like clockwork as the kids return to school (which i'm not positive is really school but a giant, airless room where kids hold hands, cough in each others faces, and smear snot on every germ adhering surface) i wait 7-10 days for the symptoms to start.

and sure enough. they came.

september thru may we spend the weekends seeking indoor activity for the kids, we take them to children's museums, omsi (a hands on, snot science establishment), and any enclosed plastic padded jungle gym we can find. we travel to grocery stores with antibacterial wipes to swipe the shopping carts down in hopes of eliminating just half of the microscopic vermin waiting to pounce. then, monday thru friday we juggle sick kids and work and sit at our desks waiting for the phone to ring and wonder if fever, cold, flu, pink eye, or the swine will be the culprit this time.

i love this time of year.

last week, a co-worker PISSED at another co-worker decided to park her sick face at my desk and complain in between sneezes. i mean, how ignorant to come to work infecting those around you right? popping cough drops one by one, she bitched. and today, i thanked her personally for spreading the love and with the turn of my heal left her desk with her leftover bag of hall's mentho-lyptus. in cherry flavor.

to make matters worse, ian has been showing signs of what my grandmother (who wrote a book on parenting and teaches classes on the subject) calls 'indulgent behavior' by claiming he's sick, or his stomach hurts at the drop of a hat. it is usually following a request to brush his teeth, or pick up his toys where he will flail to the ground in a fit of pain and grab his legs and cry, 'MY LEGS'.

the kid knows his mother is a)deathly afraid of 'the sick' and b)is a self admitted (mild) hypochondriac. in other words, he get's attention for this behavior in the form of me kind of flailing to the ground in a fit of 'woe is me' claiming the world may be ending and how will i juggle life and work and the sick. all, while sick. people call me dramatic.

i need to work on that.

so, we deliver him to school each day with stomach aches, headaches, and feelings of near death and hope for the best. we've talked with his teachers and received permission to do so and i've gotten pretty good at driving to work and getting through my day, all with my fingers crossed.

this morning ian stumbled into our room rubbing his eyes and in the sweetest (i'm about to melt your heart) voice said he 'hates mondays and doesn't feel good'. he then crawls into my lap, the lap i just drug out of bed after wavering for 15 minutes between snoozes on whether my cough was bad enough to call in sick and says, 'can't you just stay home with me?'

i have never wanted to indulge him so bad in my life. so, here we go. andy williams sang it's the most miserable wonderful time of the year. we'll see about that. please feel free to disregard all posts until may unless you'd like to join in on what will surely be the diary of a crazed woman.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


whenever someone asks me how old my kids are I say, 4 & 6. not like, 'eh they are oh......4 and 6' all nonchalant as if it's old news. instead it's more like, '4 & 6!' while slightly yelling and followed by a million invisible exclamation points. i mean, can you believe it? i'm reminded of this monthly as one of my passwords (OK, it's for my water and sewer bill just go ahead and break in and pay the heck out of it if you want) is '2 and 4'. how did 2 and 4 become 4 and 6?

how did i get here?

yesterday, alex started first grade. and it still feels like just yesterday she was tugging on my pant leg in the kitchen signing 'more' with her itty bitty fingers and then saying 'dee doo' (thank you) after handing her a drink.

last year, i cried for days before school started. i dropped her off, walked her to her room and was quickly 'shoo'd' away with a, 'mom i got this'. i had bought her
several new school outfits, a new backpack and lunch box. her hair was freshly cut and i left her there with all her baby teeth still in tact. i mean, she couldn't even read! i walked quickly from the school swallowing my sobs until i made it safely to my car.

this year, i left for work before the bus came and sean saw her on. she walked herself to her new classroom in the 1 new dress we managed to snag at target while picking up laundry soap. like a pro, she braved a new teacher and new classmates. when i picked her up that afternoon and asked her how her day was she said, 'you know...good. it's school. i only had 1 recess' with a bit of a lisp as she has one big fat front tooth and another dangling. she waved to her friends, dropped a few steps behind me and that was that.

how quickly my life has transformed from diaper bags and bottles, strollers and burp clothes to school, and homework. and soccer practice. and summer journals. what? I am nowhere ready for this but when in the world are we ever truly ready for big change. i look at ian daily with a feeling of loss as i prepare myself to next year walk him to his classroom and have him wave me off as if to say, 'you can't do this for me mom. just go'.

i know it's coming, like a giant freight train. and no matter how many times i sneak into his room at night and wrap myself around his tiny body, it's never tiny enough.

i'm thankful for work this week, for deadlines and due dates. i'm thankful for our busy schedule of work and soccer practice, birthday parties and distractions to keep me feeling like life is 'normal' when deep inside i feel like it's anything but.

being a working mom, i'm used to turning my children over each day. i'm used to seeing them off, and spending hours away from them at a time. and you'd think that the 'dreadful' day i like to call it, when I first had to leaver her at 4 months old would have prepared me for these milestones but it didn't. before you glance below at a photo sean took just moments before i had the biggest emotional breakdown of my entire life, please take into consideration the following:

  • i was 25 pounds from pre baby weight
  • sleep deprived
  • owned a completely inadequate camera that used, wait for it....FILM.
  • i obviously (apparently) WAY over-did it on the concealer and look far more like a geisha than a financial analyst.
  • i'm lie smiling here because i was no kidding worried that i'd forever remember this day with horror, sadness and the 2 boxes of tissues i went through if i didn't smile

and now, i just see a fatty and a faker and so, with that...

and today?

it's pretty clear to me that alex was much more ready for first grade than she was for daycare that day. and here i am smiling for the camera yet again when all i want to do is cry, and steal my own child away forever.

i'm so proud of my girly. i hope that every year as we take these photos we are still smiling, that she still lets me hug and kiss her (eventually in private i assume) and that i always get to have a say in the first day of school outfit.