Thursday, November 12, 2009

Even Murphy had better days...

Today has been one of those proverbial days where just about everything that could go wrong, has. In my experience, these days rarely come out of the blue when you are rested, healthy and well-able to cope with them. Instead, they cannily attack when you are already down. In our case, I haven't gotten more than three hours of sleep--none of them consecutive--any night this week. Add to that first-trimester-tiredness and I've been unspeakably exhausted.

The kidlets haven't gotten much more sleep than I, and were awake at 6:30 this morning despite being up most of the night. The toddler hasn't been feeling well at all, and has been screaming inconsolably every night. Her doc checked her out and couldn't find anything major. I'm guessing a combination of teething, minor virus and allergies. I have a hard time hearing her scream and not being able to comfort her, but it is terrible for my five year old, and she ultimately joins in because it hurts her so much to see her baby sister cry.

As my eldest and I were fixing breakfast, waves of nausea hit. Oh, no. Not good. Well, OK, I know that it actually *is* very good for the baby, but I was really hoping for another week or two before it hit. Guess not.

Aside from doing schoolwork with the eldest while simultaneously keeping an eye on my three year old and toddler, I had a bunch of tests that need to be graded before class this afternoon. Stomach rolling, I try to focus. I am overwhelmed as it is, and we're having another child?! I *know* that this baby is a gift from God, but today is making me wonder a bit about the timing.

Taking advantage of my preoccupation, my three year old started throwing some things that were not meant to be thrown. I placed the partially graded exams up out of reach and went to deal with him, and his older sister who was firmly on his side. A few seconds later, an ominous sound registers. Crinkling paper and the sound of pouring. I look up in a panic. It is worse than I imagined. Far worse.

During the split second when my attention was diverted, the toddler accomplished an amazing number of things. She climbed up and got ahold of the exams and threw them onto the floor so she could dance on them. OK, so they're a little rumpled; I can smooth them out...but. Wait. The pouring sound? Her diaper is off and she has peed on the exams!!! NO. No, no, no. How on earth do I explain this? Er, sorry. My daughter mistook your exam for kitty litter...

I dash over to try to rescue any unsoiled exams. The baby gives me her best crinkle-nosed grin and proudly announces, "Peepee, mami!" Why, yes, I see that. Maybe I'll look back on this in delight over her emerging potty-learning skills. Right now, I am horrified. Fortunately only one exam is wet. I'll tell the student it was simply misplaced. No need to specify that that misplacement involved body fluids...

I scoop up my toddler, make sure that she is securely diapered (yeah, a little late for that) then went to check on everybody else. All OK. Sigh of relief. Then the little one comes back up and I notice that her face is full of welts. Hives all over her face and neck. Oh, no. Not again. I remember our ER run from a previous reaction when neither Benedryl or prednisone helped with the hives. Trying not to panic, I grab the Benedryl, which she loathes, and try to gently force it down. Finally, I've got most of the dose in her mouth and only a small amount in her hair and clothes (how does she know to keep her mouth clamped shut from such an early age?).

She's whimpering and asking for leche, so I start to nurse her. Now, my decision to breastfeed throughout pregnancy is based on simple risk/benefit ratios. I think that it is much better for the kids, and I am too tired to wean, anyway. However, the breast tenderness from early pregnancy combined with her teething make it feel as if I'm being gnawed on by some type of sandpaper monster. Owwww! I know it gets better or I wouldn't stick it out--I'm no martyr--but this isn't making the day better right now.

Thank God, she falls asleep quickly. I watch her closely for signs of further allergic reaction, not daring to put her down lest she wake up or get into whatever it was that caused the reaction in the first place. While I am preoccupied (are you noticing a trend here?) the older two decide to go into the kitchen and cook.

After weighing the options, I decide I would rather them do that than get involved in something else. As I watch from a distance, flour, a scoop of salt, a hefty dash of baking powder and some cinnamon are poured into a bowl. "Let's taste it!" Horrified grimaces. "It needs vanilla, but I don't see it" That is because it is up on top of the refrigerator out of reach of junior chefs. "Ooooh, look! I found sprinkles!" Vigorous shaking. "Wow. It is purple now." "Let's add more!"

Two containers of sugar sprinkles later... Apparently, the sugar helped. Subsequent taste-tests are all smiles. My stomach is heaving from the mere thought, but at least there are no smells. All the dyes from the colored sprinkles can't be good for them, but I am reasonably sure that they aren't going to eat enough to be a big deal.

It isn't even noon yet. Dear God, please help. Once my husband arrives, I dash around madly to get ready for class (normally, I'm ready to walk out the door, but today...). Notice that the slacks that previously required a belt fit just right. Isn't it a little early to be gaining weight? Make to school with a few minutes to spare. As I walk towards the building, arms full of books and papers, I realize that I was mistaken about the fit of the pants. They are drooping perilously lower with each step. Of course, my parking spot isn't close at all, and my hands are too full to hitch up the pants. I grit my teeth and try to take giant steps (Mother, may I?) to keep from being indecent and pretend not to notice the bemused glances of the rest of the people walking into school.

Finally, I am able to set my things down and tug on the sagging pants. It could have been worse--my top was long enough to prevent any inadvertent plumber's crack. If I stay seated, maybe they won't droop any more... Except that today is their oral midterm, so I'll be walking around with each student while administering individual exams. Oh, joy.

Is it the weekend yet?


granny2five said...

Oh, my goodness, dear niece! Your blog ALMOST made me glad to be old and past child-bearing age. I'll never have your problem with the pants falling down, because my behind is W-A-Y too big for that! Know it was a rough day, but I loved your re-telling it.

Tracy said...

Oh no, you really deserve a nice rest. I so remember being pregnant and having little ones to look after, too but I didn't teach as well. I wish I were nearby so I could offer practical help.

I won't lie, four small ones is a big job, but there is so much joy, too. You are such a good mother, I think you will handle it well and in the end it will all be worth it.

Many hugs to you and the children and Carlos. I hope Elena is better soon. She is very smart, isn't she?

dulce de leche said...

Thanks so much Fortunately, the evening has been a dramatic improvement.

I appreciate the benefit of the doubt, but in all honesty, it isn't that my behind is small, it is that my hips and thighs are even larger...

Yes, Elena is definitely going to keep me on my toes! She has all of Joel's climbing skills and total fearlessness. I foresee a substantial investment in hair color to cover up all the grays from her alone. :)

Busy Momma said...

Oh my!!! I'm exhausted FOR you!!! And might I commend you for the use of "cannily?" I love that word!

Hope today is much, much better for you!