Patience Eludes Me

photo-83

I’ve never had much talent for patience. Having children has brought this into blindingly sharp focus. I have some hope that patience can be built, in the way of muscle, but I don’t have much in the way of personal results to stand as evidence. The worst part of my patience problem is that I spend every last bit of what I’ve got on the boys. And…. I have a three year old and an almost two year old. So, yeah. There’s not going to be a surplus. Ever.

Where does that leave everyone else I encounter? In trouble. That’s where. I’m the worst on myself, although my wife runs a close second. It’s awful really.

The last two weeks have been an adventure. We’ve had some high-highs and some low-lows. Mostly highs really. Nana and Pops came to visit, followed by a quick trip from Grandpa and then our oldest, bestest friends came to town with their two girls. We have zoo-d and blown bubbles and kicked balls in the yard and had many of those (much needed) “you really get me” kinds of conversations. All of that has been lovely and affirming and just in time. Unfortunately an extremely disgusting stomach bug has been woven through every last bit of the good stuff. This means that there has also been oh.so.much vomit and laundry and scrubbing and pedialyte and applesauce and anticipatory nausea and even more actual nausea. Of the 11 people who have been in my house recently, only 4 have been spared.

I’m sharing all of this because it struck me that a more well-adjusted person might allow themselves a moment to recover. I am clearly not that person. All I could do yesterday was maniacally clean my house and berate myself for the too-much-mimosa-and-monkey-bread state I found myself in after a neighborhood egg hunt. That and a looping question related to how a person could have a stomach bug and not lose weight?  It’s obvious to me that a little self-gentleness is in order, but I can’t seem to find it. At least not for myself. It’s ridiculous really and I’m getting too old for this.

I do however have new glasses! Rose colored glasses. I probably need to put those on!

It’s Been a “No Third Kid” Kind of Week

My wife knows that things are getting dicey at home when she gets texts that say simply:

“No Third Kid. No way.”

It’s not so much a threat or a statement of intent as it is a release valve. A way of saying to the universe (and my wife) that I’ve had enough thankyouverymuch. I’m all full up and the very idea of even one extra thing makes me want to sit down and cry. Preferably with no one sitting  in my lap or trying to “brush” my hair.

So, it’s been that kind of week. The lowlights include:

  • Two trips to the pediatrician.
  • One night in the ER.
  • Cancelled date night.
  • Yogi’s first trip to the dentist.
  • A night of intermittent tornado sirens requiring wee hours family togetherness in our (creepy) basement

Yeah. My wife and I had both been sick the previous week, so this week began with an extended game of family charades. We had both lost our voices and since nobody else around here can read we were left with a sad, frustrated kind of gesturing as our sole means of communication. Think charades with people who don’t have any idea how to play charades. Clearly we were off to a great start.

The Monk took an early week dive into the yuck when he spent so much of one day and night coughing and his breathing was so labored we decided he needed to be checked out. This decision was made on Monday at dinner time with an early morning peds call planned for the next day. With about 10 minutes left until bedtime Mr. Sick Boy took a header into the CD player. With all of his (not insubstantial) body weight. This guy has managed to injure himself in so many varied ways without even seeming to notice that I barely looked his way at first. But then….there was the blood. A lot of blood. And my wife saying “He needs a stitch” and both of them heading off to the emergency room. Leaving Yogi and I home to stew.

To be truthful, Yogi didn’t seem too concerned. In fact, he was mostly just excited that he could shine his flashlight directly on Monkey’s crib while he read his post-bedtime books. I had no idea that “don’t shine light in your brothers face while he is trying to sleep” expectation had been so limiting for him. I, of course, was another matter. Not only was my baby in a hospital being sewn back together, but I was also mentally preparing for the morning when Yogi would be meeting the dentist. The dentist!!!! For a normal person I’m thinking this might be a 3-4 on the anxiety jangle-meter. For me, it was a solid 12.

Blood, hospitals, needles in my baby’s head, the dentist, blood, unfamiliar hands/tools in Yogi’s mouth, stitches!!!

I’m sure it comes as no surprise to you, but the boys were just fine. Both of them. The Monk was drunk on baby Versaid by the time he returned with his new non-bleeding, stitched with four stitches forehead. He was feeling no pain. Yogi at the dentist did this Mama heart good. He wasn’t thrilled to be there, but he tolerated the various indignities that came his way. He was cool as a cucumber actually which is very far from what I expected. I came very near to over-hugging the entire staff on our way out. We had survived and they had helped us! In a supreme act of “knowing your partner”, my wife got away from the hospital and met us at the office so we made it a family affair. No one was entering into that fray alone.

After all of that, we FINALLY made it in to see about Monkey’s original ailment. The verdict? RSV, double ear infections and bronchiolitis. In regular people-speak, the kid was a mess. According to the doctor, Yogi would be right behind him. This bug was sparing no one. By Friday it was apparent that the doctor was right. Yogi was coughing and hacking and refusing anything like nourishment. I could convince them only of popsicles and even that took some tap dancing.

And then last night we got to hang out together in the basement. In the dark. With very loud and very scary sirens screaming outside. And wind. And coughing that makes its way into gagging. And fever. And accumulated fatigue from a long, hard week. And the most unexpected sweep of gratitude. Gratitude that these snotty, clammy, fussy people were mine. That if I have to have another week like that one, I hope I get to have it with them. There’s no rush though. Let’s not do it anytime real soon.

The Great Room Sharing Experiment

This is either a stroke of genius or the worst idea my wife and I have ever had. We are four nights in and what this will ultimately look like is impossible to imagine. In this moment it looks like chaos. Some of that chaos is likely attributable to a few factors that we really should have considered.

1. Yogi is no longer among the napping. We had initially counted this among the pros as there would be no opportunity for mutual napping shenanigans with only one napper. This is true, but it introduces another wrinkle. Yogi is dropping his nap. Present tense. He hasn’t dropped it, he’s just in the process. This means that he’s mostly ok without those extra hours, but sometimes he’s not. Every minute after 5 o clock on those exceptional days life is miserable. For everyone. Which makes our new two-boy bedroom routine even dicier.

2. We’re creating a new bedtime routine. This involves getting things started a little earlier for Yogi and a little later for the Monk. It also involves reading stories as a family (previously we had paired off) and that isn’t so easy. Everyone wants to sit in the lap of the storyteller and no one wants to share their seat. Additionally Monkey doesn’t want to take the book at a standard pace and he’d really rather not move in a linear fashion at all. Yogi finds this deeply offensive. It’s not exactly the relaxing send off that we were going for.

3. We decided to take the plunge during the time change. This was just nuts and further evidence of my lack of attention to detail. I’m trying to convince myself that we’re saving ourselves future headache by shaking everything up all at once, but so far the argument lacks conviction. Mostly because everyone in this house was out of bed and going about their business by 5 this morning.

I should also mention that my chaos threshold is extremely low, so in reality all of this is going fine. So far the two things that we were the most concerned about are not happening. They aren’t keeping each other awake for hours after bedtime and when one of them wakes in the night it doesn’t seem to disturb the other. So clearly we had a rough night and an early morning and I’m catastrophizing. It’s what I do best actually. I think I need a nap….

A (partially) Superficial Break in the Silence

When things get loud on the inside, I have to get quiet on the outside. Balance, you know? It (mostly) works for me. So I ride these waves of outward, now inward, now outward again without ever really mastering the both-at-once. The little bit in, little bit out. Working on that one.

The awkward part of coming out of the inwardness is the how. What do you say when you’ve forgotten what your voice sounds like? Never knowing the answer to this one, I usually just keep quiet a bit longer. Well… not today. Today I’m using my voice to tell you two things that are very exciting.

The first is that my NOT having cancer is official! It’s so official that the doctor says my efforts are no longer needed. My body will go on NOT having cancer all by itself. No crazy person energy required!

The second is that my girlfriend (Abby Wambach) got married last weekend!!! May she and Sarah Huffman (lucky dog) have a long and lovely life together.

abby-wambach-sarah-huffman

How cute are they? And more importantly, when will they start having babies?!!

8bab9598cd0e86c9d23ee1ea4e028872

In my hunt for wedding pictures (no luck) I stumbled on this gem. Swoon.

On NOT Having Cancer

Since last time I have been mostly sure that some manner of gynecological cancer diagnosis is imminent. I say mostly bc there are sane moments in which the logical arguments of my wife (a physician), her father (a retired OB-GYN), my personal OB-GYN and the quite specialized radiologist who read my ultrasound drown out the crazy voice to remind me that an ovarian cyst is practically pedestrian. Sure, I’ve got a weird mass in there and lots of what people-in-the-know refer to as “irregular bleeding” (do NOT google that), but when they take a look again in 3 months that thing will almost certainly be smaller and as my quite wise and not-at-all-medically-trained friend explained to me, scary things never shrink. Scary things never shrink. I like that. Of course! THAT is true. The kind of true that calms me and makes sense. If only I could find a doctor that would communicate with me like that.

Instead I have a doctor who, while wonderful (she helped us welcome both Yogi and the Monk) is still a doctor. She does what she can to communicate in a way that I’m sure she believes to be straightforward and accessible, but my rational self still runs right out of my mind the moment she starts explaining anything. I’m capable of little more than nodding. Nodding is really quite an achievement. What I want (need?) to do is run. Fast. It’s impossible to focus when a very primal (and loud!) part of your brain is demanding that you GET.OUT.NOW!!! It’s probably the white coat. A simple matter of stimulus-response. Simple….right.

So, it’s hard to focus and write now that I’m so busy not.having.cancer. It’s a job. I’m more than ready to quit, but I’m on the job until I get this follow-up ultrasound behind me. The crazy doesn’t permit irresponsibility. In the meantime though I’ve neglected to keep you up to date on all the big stuff going on around here. What I’ve got now are bullets, but actual sentences will be coming soon.

IMG_1139

  • It’s back to school in our part of the world and TWO BOYS are attending!
  • Yogi and the Potty Saga continues.
  • We have a brand-new baby boy cousin!
  • I’m suddenly (unexpectedly) obsessed with the idea of donor siblings.
  • I’ve got crazy baby fever (maybe it’s the cousin?).