nope, not bitter at all

Me: What time are we meeting our friends at the Children’s museum? 9:00?

My Better Half: uh, not til 11:00…

Me: <raising one eyebrow>

My Better Half: I tried to get them to agree to meet around 9:00 but then they said “Why so early?!”

Me: Their kids must sleep in.

Me: F*ck them.

—-

I can at least take solace in the fact that last night the Yankees (their team) lost to the Red Sox (ours). While I drink my coffee and pray for an early nap.

Got Chuckle?

Does anyone have a recipe for homemade chloroform? I ask because I’m exhausted but I can’t sleep. Insomnia + exhaustion is a bad combination.

By the way, how do I know homemade chloroform even exists? Because I still remember a story My Better Half told me about a long time ago, where a friend of his figured out how to make it and called his homemade concoction “Chuckle” because the chemical makeup was something like CHCl or something. If you know how to score some, let me know. Til then I’ll be self medicating my insomnia with listening to the most boring podcasts I can find.

Last call

Three weeks ago we made plans with friends to go out tonight to hang out one last time before they move. Ah, academic life. Our friends are at the mercy of the job market, so they are moving from their one-year appointments at the local university to another one-year appointment at a different university out-of-state. Anyway, we had to plan far in advance due to us having family in town and our Dawdler Toddler’s third birthday, so we agreed upon Sunday June 22. We went ahead and booked a sitter. They have kids too, and they did the same. Only this morning their kids woke with fevers and vomiting. And for some bizarre reason, they’re deciding that this makes for an ideal evening to cancel on us in order to hang out with their kids. Something about how dumping them on a sitter & running for the hills would be irresponsible, blah blah blah. Sheesh.

So we – My Better Half and I – were left to our own devices as to what to do with our valuable and rare night out. We had planned a great night out on the town. Hit a couple high points, Phoenix places one really would miss out on if they had never been and seeing as this was one of their last chances, we figured we’d go one place for happy hour, another for dinner, and a third for dessert. But since it was going to be just us two, we opted for a movie instead. Rather than waste all our month’s income at shi shi (sp?) restaurants we can’t afford anyway while we stare at our phones, we decided on a movie we can’t afford either. So cliche but since WHEN do movies cost $20?! I know, we don’t get out much, clearly. The last time we got out was when My Better Half™’s parents kept the kids for a night in November. As in LAST YEAR. And we saw a movie then too but it just seemed way cheaper. Probably because we didn’t pay his parents for watching the kids. And because we went to the $3 theater to watch something that had probably originally come out over the summer.

But back to last night. After the movie, we still had an hour to kill. We could’ve just headed home but it was the dreaded bedtime hour. Getting Dawdler Toddler and Baby to go to bed is like trying to coax a particularly feisty raccoon into a cage. So we decided to let our well-compensated and rarely used sitter take that on for one night while we wandered into a bar to grab a snack and a beer before heading home. We were one of only 2 tables in the bar, and we ordered an appetizer and a beer and about 5 minutes after they brought us our order the server stopped by again to say “So, it’s last call, so are you guys going to want another?” No, we said. Then My Better Half™ high-fived me and said “OMG! It’s almost like we’re normal adults again! When was the last time we were out for last call?!” Now, granted, it being a Sunday night and a small neighborhood watering hole, this bar’s last call was at 9:00 p.m. But still! It really was like a brief return to being a member of adult society again for one tiny little moment. So our makeshift night out that cost us a fortune? Worth. Every. Penny.

Vacation recap

Yesterday was my last day of vacation staycation off. I just don’t know what to call it. It’s probably no secret that a vacation with two kids 3 and under is hardly restful, so while calling it a vacation is wrong, even the “-cation” part of staycation just rubs me the wrong way. Here are some handy reminders that I may need to review when planning our next trip to ensure sanity next time around:

  • If at all possible, avoid making the first day of your time off a 19 hour day of packing, travel with the two kids 3 & under, trying to coax the two kids to sleep in unfamiliar beds and surroundings, and picking up all members of the party.
  • When hiking, make sure none of the children goes too far ahead, potentially selecting the wrong trailhead. You know, that one that goes 600 miles to the Mexican border? Avoid that happening.
  • Keep in mind that all sightseeing road trips are for everyone else. You will be spending every stop feeding a child, calming a child, or helping a child use the bathroom.
  • But fear not! You will have plenty of time to sightsee blue skies and trees from inside while you man your station at the kitchen sink, where you will be stranded doing dishes for 9 people, 4 of whom graze throughout the day, requiring an endless supply of clean dishes.
  • Be sure and eat out as much as possible at restaurants you’ve been dying to try. Because restaurants are tons of fun with kids 3 & under, am I right?! You may not get to eat the food you ordered your Better Half selects for you (because you’re not given the chance to read a menu nor are you around when orders are taken) until hours later but you’ll be sure to enjoy the ambiance of the potties, on account of the parade of children who decide one after another, but never simultaneously, that a trip to the potty is necessary.
  • Bring a bottomless supply of coffee because you will get no naps. None.
  • And/Or bring benadryl for the children.
  • And/Or BYOB. So you can doctor up your coffee so you can prevent yourself from becoming a total witch to your family. You won’t be going anywhere most days anyway.
  • The day your time off ends, you will get to go to bed at 6:00 p.m., though and sleep a glorious 11 hours. And it will not be enough.

Judging drivers by cars

For the past week, my family has been here visiting. In order to accommodate everyone, we had to rent a vehicle, and when it came time to select what to rent, the only two vehicles that would fit everyone were a minivan and an SUV. I was not looking forward to driving a minivan but we thought it would be easier for my dad to get in & out of (he has physical difficulties) than the SUV, and probably more spacious for everyone crammed inside. So I reluctantly hit reserve.

Turns out it is awesome. With one notable exception of black leather seats – a bad idea anywhere in the summer but most especially so in Phoenix- it was undoubtedly the right choice. Comfy seats, enough room for everyone, cup holders galore, and…an entertainment system that allows us to play movies. Okay, yeah yeah, those have been around awhile, I guess, but not for those of us driving a 2001 vehicle. So we decided that Dawdler Toddler would get to ride in the “special vacation van” to take advantage of watching Cars…in a car. Her little mind was blown. The very first thing she said to me after getting in the van & me showing her that it played movies was “Mommy? How come our truck doesn’t play movies?!?” And she cried when we told her we had to take the van back last night.

I always knew our kids would eventually judge us for driving a piece of crap car. I just never thought that would happen before one was even 3 years old.

Curses

This morning walking out the front door, the strap on one of my shoes broke. “Oh shit,” I said.

“Oh shit!” a tiny voice right behind me immediately echoed.

Upon hearing this anecdote, My Better Half groaned “ohhhhh shit. Wonder what else our little sponge repeats.”

Hair don’t

Yesterday was my first haircut in ages. I generally have low-maintenance hair, and it doesn’t bother me if it’s longer than usual, but ever since I had kids, all I can see when I look in the mirror are the gray hairs sprouting here and there, so it drives me nuts if I don’t get in every 8 weeks. But it had been more like 11 weeks since my last appointment due to me having to reschedule, then my hairstylist having to reschedule and then forgetting that she had rescheduled me, which meant that she had to work me in among already-scheduled clients on a weekend. But I was just relieved to finally get in and address my gray hair problem at its roots.

When it came time for me to leave for my appointment, Dawdler Toddler insisted on coming along. I didn’t mind, though I did try to convince her going to the salon is not all that fun for her in that it’s loud, has strangers everywhere, and involves sitting and waiting a lot. In other words, her worst nightmare. But she wanted to come and who am I to say no to that cute little face? In the past, my stylist has said to bring her in with me to an appointment and she’d trim her hair & give her a cute little ‘do for no charge. I texted my stylist beforehand to check if it was okay if I brought her and she said of course! That’s one of the many reasons I like my stylist –  she’s got a daughter the same age and understands the rigamarole of hauling a toddler around.

So Dawdler Toddler sat patiently while I got my hair colored (or “painted” as she said) and waited for the color to set, she sat patiently while my hair got trimmed, dried, and flat ironed. And then the heartbreaking part: we got escorted to the desk to pay “Thanks for coming! Here’s your next appointment!” As I mentioned, my stylist had to work me in among standing appointments, and so she had 2 or 3 other women to attend to and didn’t want to fall behind. So I get it – not having time to do a cute little do, but Dawdler Toddler was in tears. “That was supposed to be MY turn! What about my haircut?!”

I felt terrible.  But, I told her, you’re getting older and with that comes some tough lessons. Like this is just the first of about a million times a stylist will disappoint the crap out of you, if my lifetime of experience is any predictor.

A case of the mondays

Two weeks ago, Baby got viral gastroenteritis for a couple of days and shared it with me for all of 8 hours while I was home from work with him, but we both recovered. Last Friday, as I was picking up Dawdler Toddler from daycare, she starts hurling. She had it all through the weekend, meaning we got nothing whatsoever done except tending to her. Side note: why is it that the weekends where I want to sit around on my arse and do nothing do not coincide with the weekends I get to do that? I had TONS of errands & stuff I desperately needed to get done, because I’d gotten nothing done being home from work with a sick Baby.

By Sunday, I was feeling very stressed – faced with missing even more work and still needing to get tons of stuff done outside of work, I texted every sitter as well as any contacts who could potentially serve as an emergency stand-in sitter, asking if by some random chance anyone could possibly watch her on Monday. I’ve been missing TONS of work with sick Baby. My Better Half doing fieldwork during the workweek means that I’m the only one ever available when daycare calls telling me Baby has a fever and has to leave, so I feel like I’m walking a fine line at work. I don’t know if I am. Maybe I’m just super sensitive to the rolling eyes one of my coworkers gives me (a childless jackass) whenever I’m dashing out to grab a sick Baby or Toddler. Maybe I’m just super sensitive because it’s performance review season and I’m paranoid that it might appear as if I’m not accomplishing much other than occasionally and unpredictably occupying a chair after returning from maternity leave this time around. Maybe I’m super sensitive because I have a new boss, who, while he has four children of his own, has never once experienced the “my kid has a fever above 100, so s/he has to be picked up from daycare within 30 minutes and can’t return for at least 24 hours” because his wife has always been a stay at home mom. I’d like to believe that my work worries are all in my imagination but I’m not quite convinced that’s true. But, alas, no sitters or would-be sitters were available.

So I crossed my fingers and held my breath and the next day, Dawdler Toddler seemed to be back to her normal self, and after being able to hold down her breakfast, I took her to daycare. And her Baby brother. Even though he had a fever. I didn’t have an alternative, given that I had no sitter available. And I HAD to make an 8:30-10:30 meeting, if nothing else. So I just prayed that he was just running a low-grade, teething? minor thing? fever and would be fine. After having to wait in the morning to make sure Dawdler Toddler was okay enough to go to daycare, I was super late to work – more than an hour late. Let’s just say the clock read 8:32 when I was getting ready to leave daycare for work. I got to work only to discover that my meeting was way far away in another building, so I was about 30 minutes late for that important must-not-miss meeting. And I was there about 25 minutes before daycare called and said Baby had a fever and was vomiting and had to leave.

So I excused myself with yet another quick missive of “sorry! gotta run! I’ll try to get in some work from home!” apology and dashed out. Got Baby, got him some Tylenol and he went down for his afternoon nap. That just dragged on and on and on. By late afternoon, after I’d picked up Dawdler Toddler from daycare, I was starting to get concerned. He seemed a little out of it, listless if you will. And his fever, rather than going down with Tylenol just kept going up. And he wasn’t the least bit interested in eating anything at all. By the time his breathing seemed to be getting strangely irregular, I left My Better Half, home from 10 hours of fieldwork in 111 degrees, to put Toddler to bed while I took Baby in to the children’s hospital, the only thing open at that hour. I get to the children’s hospital and have a text from My Better Half saying: I have the stomach flu now too, can’t stop throwing up, but keep me updated. I get us checked in and while we’re waiting in triage, I start hurling. Repeatedly.

They kept an eye on Baby, checking his vitals every 20 minutes, trying to coax him into taking pedialyte (unsuccessfully), giving him medicine for nausea first in order to then administer more Tylenol so he could keep that down and then waiting for him to demonstrate that he wanted and/or could eat. They kept him far longer than I would have expected. Which is why I was more miserable by the moment. I couldn’t stop throwing up, my stomach was doing somersaults, and I had nothing with me. Nothing. Not even a water bottle to go fill up, not a sweater to stave off the fever chills that were washing over me in waves. So every 20 minutes they came in to give him medicine and make sure he was improving and I’m getting worse by the second but they couldn’t even so much as bring me a goddamn apple juice because I’m “not the patient.” I get it on an intellectual level – liability of treating someone who’s not a patient in this letigious world of defensive medicine we find ourselves in – but at a visceral, physical level I was furious. Your whole purpose as nurses and doctors is to help people feel better, and if mom is doing this horribly, how can she be expected to take in all the information you’re giving about Baby’s condition and respond?

Why wouldn’t I just text My Better Half and say “for chrissakes, bring me some gatorade?” you ask? Because we have one vehicle. One. With both carseats in it. So even if he would have wanted to drag Toddler and himself out of bed and then out of the house at an ungodly hour to come bring ME medicine at the children’s hospital, he couldn’t have. Not to mention he was throwing up at home too.

So all in all, I’ve managed to make it to work one whole day this week. My Better Half seems to have improved, as have I. Although now that he’s back to working in 110 degrees, we’ll see. Baby still has a fever and is vomiting and was seen again yesterday and will be seen again Saturday. So I’m not counting on getting ANYTHING done this week or weekend either. Good thing my folks are coming in town Tuesday. Oh wait, that means I gotta somehow clean & disinfect this disastrous house. And take 48 hours vacation time. Right before my annual performance review. I’m beginning to think the rumors circulating yesterday that anyone who was getting a raise this year got notification yesterday is true. Like that asshole coworker who shoots me a dirty look every time I rush out, scrambling to go get a sick kid, just doing my best not to lose it.