Thursday, June 26, 2008

On Sick Kids And Overnight Shipping

After a shockingly good night of sleep with no one asking me for a drink in the middle of the night and no one else puking, I am ready to hit the floor running. Oh wait; I already did hit the floor and in not the literal sense of the word, I am running.

I love waking up not a moment sooner than it's time to get up and realize that I had a nice, long night of sleep. I was even asleep before midnight last night so go ahead and call me an "early to bed-er." I don't mind that title once in a while in my life. Especially since I've been working on obtaining that title for quite some time now but my kids just don't seem to cooperate with my lofty aspirations.

Today looms before me in a this-is-going-to-be-a-long-and-tiring-day-way. Janae has her "final" two cavities scheduled to be filled and she is not too excited about going back. I say "final" because at 3 years old and having a dental history of 4 cavities, I have this annoying hunch that she will probably have many more cavities to fill as her life goes on.

I thought about meeting up with a friend of ours and heading to the lake as an incentive for Janae and the dentist appointment she would rather avoid but the 98 degree forecast mixed with 157% humidity made us realize that it was probably not The Best Day Of The Year To Go To The Lake. So, I'm enticing her with that tempting "Prize Box" that the dentist has at his office, just for Janae. And the fact that she has to "help" the dentist today and that they'll put a band aid in her mouth (they really do that while they're filling the teeth) and that she'll get her teeth painted, etc. etc. It's not really working. She says she doesn't want to "help" the dentist today.

Topping the situation off is Alex and the worrisome symptoms he's been fighting the past 10 days. It started with a runny nose and fever. Very predictable teething symptoms so I didn't start worrying. But, now he's got a bad cough, low grade fever off and on and a pretty good size lump under his ear (presumably a swollen lymph node.) Plus, he's been puking every morning. Well, actually, it's been 2 mornings in a row so maybe "every" is a little extreme. Especially since he's not up yet this morning so today hasn't proven itself yet. He's also quite irritable too -- except when he climbed a slide at the park and went right up into the huge playground contraption and attempted to go down another slide. He seems to be sleeping more than usual as well.

Now, if you Google all those symptoms together, you may be tempted to just call an ambulance and rush him to the doctor ASAP and assume the worse. Or just skip a doctor and head right to an oncologist instead. But, if you happen to notice in your research, woven through out the dreadful diseases that are associated with his symptoms, you will find without looking very hard that he indeed has every symptom of "The Common Cold," a "Viral Infection" and "Teething." So yeah... I'm pretty much confused/worried/don't know what to do. I have a pretty good idea that I'll end up taking him in today or tomorrow. Or maybe I won't.

Since having my third baby, I don't worry hardly at all anymore. I almost worry about the fact that I don't worry anymore. Like this last week when Landon was sick... he had a 104.5 fever late one afternoon and normally (by normally I mean, back when I only had one baby) I would've ripped his clothes off, double checked the temperature rectally, sponge bathed him in a tub of lukewarm water, put cold rags on his forehead, called the doctor, researched his symptoms online and started wondering what life was going to be like without him. But now, I just say, "Oh, that's kinda high, Bud." And I give him his next dose of Motrin, take off his shirt and ask him if he wants a Popsicle. Then we all pile in the stroller and walk down to the park.

Toby has been having some long days at work lately and it never ceases to amaze me how usually on the first hottest day of the year, he is ALWAYS on a difficult job. (high, steep, large, roof with several layers of shingles needing to be removed and new sheeting put on the roof.) It's as if he purposely must decide to do those jobs on the day of the year that is predicted to be one of the worst. Of course it's all fate and he has nothing to do with planning but seriously, this happens all. the. time.

Tonight he has Bible study at the jail so he'll just head from his job to a pit stop (where he'll "clean up" and change) and then go to jail from there. It just dawned on me that I won't see him for about 15 hours today. These kinds of days make me think that maybe I should just take a road trip and visit my family for a weekend. But, then I remember that even though it will be all of 15 hours that we're apart today, we WILL sleep in the same place tonight and that's what makes these long, hard days only part of our life and not ALL of it. So, as long as he's coming home every night, I'm gonna be there waiting for him.

Yesterday proved to be one of those "Life Is Good" days where I felt like I had gotten out of bed for a reason. About 10 loads of laundry (several with puke on them--and I just don't do puke) and tons of dirty dishes and soiled bed sheets and dirty floors and a messy house gave me so many reasons to have purpose for the day. I am not one to ask for help and usually put off doing that because I hate making people feel obligated. Or responsible for my work. Or imposing on other's days. Maybe it's a pride thing or maybe I don't want to take advantage of people, but I just do not ask for help.

But it dawned on me in the last month or so that most (and when I say most, I mean about 98.9% of families) have someone to rely on for a helping hand. Or a babysitter. And usually grandparents fill that need and are a reliable source of strength and help. But, I've noticed that a lot of my friends have someone else to rely on as well... a family member, or a young girl that comes once a week, or a close friend.... you get my point. I realized that in each case, a relationship was established first and then the "we're here for each other" mode kicked in and just like that, every major task you faced is shared with this close person.

A young girl in our area has repeatedly offered to help me and I decided to just take her up on that offer. I mean really, she did offer several times. And I did have a house full of puke. When I called, I found out she had company for the day but was more than able to watch my kids at her house if that would help me out. I jumped on that and for 4 hours, I got ALL my work done. That hasn't happened in probably 3 months or so. And I'm talking about house jobs that most people do once a week.

Even though I only have 3 kids and the older two are becoming more responsible in doing tasks I give them, there is still the constant supervision that can become so distracting when you're trying to get something done yourself. Hanging your head over a toilet while you clean it out makes it hard to watch the kids across the house that are fighting over who gets to put the spoons away. Running downstairs to switch a load of laundry gives a three-year-old just enough time to run out the front door and hide in the van. Vacuuming in the living room also gives the said child ample time to find her vitamins in the fridge and run to her room with a mouthful of pills and the rest of the bottle heading to a place under her bed. Or the four-year-old will decide to wash his hands with a half-a-bottle of soap simply because you are in the kitchen sweeping and can't see him.

Needless to say, I really appreciated the effort made by the family that kept the kids for a few hours. And from the dirty faces and feet and happy smiles, I have a pretty good idea that Landon and Janae enjoyed digging in a sandbox, playing with bunnies and swinging in a tire swing that went higher than our roof. Landon's only concern was when he came home, found a clean house and a stray blanket laying haphazardly on the floor in his room... "What's that doing there Mom?"

Since this has turned into a "Family Update" post, I may as well top it off with the latest marvel in my life: Free Overnight Shipping! I can't seem to wrap my head around that magical phenomenon! It must be another marvel of the 21st century like the Internet is.

The Internet is one thing I never can quite understand... all these websites that have no tangible location where everything is headquartered at. It's like we connect with drifting planets that sweep back and forth through the atmosphere and through invisible and technical connections, we connect wirelessly. Have you ever thought that The Internet is the place where gazillions of websites are based in but there's no huge building any where in the world that is a physical location where the website sits? No monumental location of "The First Ebay Website." No parking at the building of "" where you can go to see the real-life permutations of the places you visit daily from your desk chair. There is no such thing. Are these all figments of our imaginations and we've all become equally disillusioned? Are we an entire society wrapped up in imaginary places? (I hope you're not taking me seriously.)

Back to Free Overnight Shipping... I ordered some sandals from a website late yesterday and according to my order sheet (and the guy who answered the phone when I called the company just to make sure this was all for real), my package is destined to arrive today. Like, sometime today. I placed my order late yesterday... as in, almost evening time. And they're supposed to come today. Now, I don't know where this company is located but I can guarantee I haven't seen this store title any where around here. But, just waiting for my order, an airplane sat parked on the runway in hopes that my credit card would send an instant signal for a pair of sandals to be put on that plane and when that happened, down the runway the jet sailed, all the way to an airport near me where the package was then put on a truck and sent directly to my doorstep.

In a matter of hours.

For free.

I just don't understand that. No wonder the economy is crashing -- the whole world is revolving around a stupid pair of sandals that set the course for a whole night's job for a huge chain of people and planes and trucks and companies for free.

I can promise you I'll enjoy those sandals. Unless they don't fit. Then they go back to the place they came from and I don't pay a cent for that either because it's called, "Free Return Shipping." I know... life just isn't fair, is it?

Well, that about sums up the gist of my blog moment for the day. Gotta get back to the grind and get the kids cleaned up and fed and out the door to the dentist office. I keep hearing a three-year-old make interesting noises on the floor above me and I have a pretty good idea she's looking for another dose of her vitamins while I'm not looking.


pat ve said...

It sounds like an interesting day. Did the rain get you this morning? Did J. change her mind and "help" the dentist? I suppose her brothers just sit in the waiting room chairs and look at books and magazines. Other patients waiting think "my, what well behaved children!" Or maybe you take the boys back and sit with J. as she gets her teeth worked on. The boys ask about every instrument in the room and keep the conversation going with a string of "whys".
Just don't remember much about those days.
I am happy for you that you utilized your helper and had a moment of quiet peace and reflection before the little ones returned. Someday your house will be as clean as you want it.
Have a great week. ~ Pat

Sarah said...

Sorry the lake didn't work out due to the weather. Sounds like life there is as interesting as life here with our kids. Like I have always said.. it only takes two to make life crazy. Whether it is 2 or 6, both are just busy, busy, busy. So when people ask me " how do you make it with SOOO many kids".. I just say " oh it is busy, but fun. AND I don't always make it!! In fact most days I don't!!" (Whatever "making it" is.. I don't think we have ever gotten there. :)

thanks for bring in the humor once again into what is often very frustrating circumstances. It is good to remember 1) I am not alone in all of this " mothering frustration" and 2) there is humor on the other side of the situation. 3) my kids really aren't the "worst kids out there"( as I sometimes wonder) they are just pretty normal.