Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Tough Choices and Child Abandonment

Several weeks ago my husband and I made plans to go away for a long weekend with friends up north. Sans children. We arranged for my parents to watch the girls and the dog, and we originally thought we'd bring them over Friday late afternoon and pick them up Sunday. Then we find out that we could technically leave sooner, like Friday morning. So I ask my mom if that works. It would. Then, one couple was so enthusiastic, they wanted to leave Thursday evening. I ask my mom again, and she was fine with it. I think I was more nervous about leaving than my mom was to watch them, but it was our first trip away since Lena was born, and she's not exactly the easiest baby on earth.

On Wednesday evening, I hear Lena cough a little bit over the baby monitor. Offfffff course she gets a cough before we're supposed to go away. Her cough was really loud and barky. She slept fine through the night but around 5:30 on Thursday morning, she wakes up and she has the most horrible wheeze I've ever heard.
She's pretty worked up, so as I'm trying to calm her down, I called the pediatrician's answering service. I'm waiting for like 10 minutes, and saw screw it, I'm taking her to the emergency room. I knew it sounded like croup, but it was taking so long for her to calm her breathing. I took her outside, but it wasn't cold enough to change her breathing. Marcus convinced not to take her to the ER, she was calming down, just give it a little more time. Her lips weren't blue, but her face was quite pale. As she coughed again, the whole routine started over again. Once she was calm again, I called the on call doctor again, got a hold of him right away this time, and he said I could either go to the ER or wait until the office opened in a couple of hours. Since Lena had fallen back asleep, I decided to just wait. I had taken a video to show her doctor in case her breathing was completely fine by the time she had her visit. Knowing that I had plans to go away, I wanted to find out how serious the thought it was and if it was still ok.

That's not crying, it's breathing. Scary sounding, no?

Of course when we went to the doctor's office, she was much better sounding. They did prescribe her a steroid and I don't know if they would have done it based on her current condition or based on what she sounded like, but I am SO glad they gave us something. The doctor encouraged me to go away for the weekend, and the croup is much scarier sounding than it is, and my mom would be able to handle it. 
So not only was like "hey mom, watch my kids. watch them sooner. wait now watch them even sooner. here's my sick kid! oh and my dog too!"

Turns out, everything was fine! My mom told me that Lena did great, slept all night was mostly chipper. 
She told me she wasn't lying either. I was able to get away for a nice long weekend without feeling *too* guilty about it.

So basically this is a PSA for new moms whose kids haven't been sick yet. This is what croup can sound like. Ask for a steroid and you won't be terrified. Because I know everything there is to know about all babies and all respiratory illnesses.

Would you still go away if your kid got sick in the last minute? Am I horrible mother?!

Monday, August 5, 2013

I am That Mom.

My kids are those kids.

We have arrived!

Today I needed to head to Target to pick up a couple of things and just get out of the house. Lena has been taking a super short morning nap the past two days, and if we don't fill up the time, we all start going a little crazy.
As I pulled into the parking lot, I saw a woman putting away a cart and told her I'd take it from her. She saw me loading up my kids and said "oh wow! you have your hands full!" I replied "Oh, I only have two! ...But I guess I only have two hands, so yes. My hands are full." But I was upbeat and positive, because my kids are just so doggone sweet and angelic and darling and polite.

We walked into the store, and Charlotte was bee bopping around, Prancercise style:

She pranced her way over to a Disney Princess shopping cart and was completely fascinated with it. Normally, she has no problem with putting a toy back at the store, but she wanted to push it around. Instead of dealing with a potential spazz attack now, I decided to let her push it around the store while we shopped and then we could put it back later. (I am an idiot.)

At this point, the only mischief she was getting into was bumping into my cart and saying "Cheers!"
Any time she sees two like-objects, she clinks them together does a small toast. It's especially great when she bumps shoulders with Lena in a matching outfit.

I found the items we needed, which included some giant storage containers for their outgrown clothes. The cart was pretty full, and I had the lids of the bins on the rack beneath the cart. It was time for us to check out, which meant it was time to put the beloved princess shopping cart away. 

As we turned down the aisle, Charlotte saw another toy shopping cart and needed to clink them together and shout "cheers!" and while she was putting the less-loved cart back, I secretly took the princess cart and put it back on a high shelf without her noticing. 

A look of panic washed over Charlotte's face as she saw her soul mate-toy went missing. She was calling out for the cart as if it would come wheeling around the corner like her trusty dog. When it didn't appear, she went back for cart #2 and decided that one would do. 

I explained to her that she already has a shopping cart at home. 
I asked her if she brought her money (like $1.25 in change), because she needs money to buy it.
<says no, sobs more>

I was holding Lena during this time since she was sick of sitting in the cart, and I had to put her back so I could reason with the terrorist. A strange lady approaches and actually helped by playing peek-a-boo with Lena while I attempted to talk Charlotte off the ledge.

And miracle of miracles, Charlotte got up off the floor (did I mention she was sitting on the floor? Her latest protest position) and we continued on. About 10 steps later, she decides she is not quite done mourning. She throws her body down onto the floor and starts crying some more. 
Lena continues to cry in the cart. 
I'm crouched down trying to get through to the toddler. "I remember when I was little...."
(This gets her attention EVERY time.) 
"...I would go to the store with my mom. You know, Grandma."
<stops crying>
"It was so hard seeing all of those fun toys at the store without taking them home. But Grandma told me about all of the fun things we could do at home with my toys....." and more lies and more lies and more lies.
<gets up and starts walking>
Ten steps later, she begins to wail again. A crabby old woman looks at me and I tell her that I'm just living the dream. She told me that she had two girls "10 and 3/4 months apart". Instead of getting into the nitty gritty of that, I just said "then you know how it goes." And she agreed and went on her way. 

At this point, Charlotte's face is blotchy and red, she's got drool on her shirt and snot dripping down her face. She shoved the cart so that all of the lids to the bins went flying out and scattered across the floor right near the checkout. I'm doing my best not to lose my shit, and I'm getting my items out of the cart to buy.
I was laughing to the cashier about how I just need to get out of there and as she totaled up my items, I realized I didn't have my debit card. The one that was in my pocket last night. The one that I held and said to a neighbor "I really need to stop putting this in my pocket. I'm just going to forget about it." The one that I put on the counter instead of in my purse "so I would remember it". 

Yes, people. This is my life. I asked if she could suspend the order or whatever so I could run home (thankful, once again, that I live a couple of short miles away). She was able to do so, and I got the whole thing figured out, but seriously.

I'm afraid that this is becoming the norm, as Charlotte has had meltdowns just about everywhere lately. 
So if you have any coping mechanisms, please do share! I could use all the help I can get.