The red eye(s)
I try not to complain. I really do. I find it counterproductive and I think, for me, it just adds to the anxiety.
But a few weeks ago, as you know, my kids were all sick. Audrey was at the ER, and the other three were all suffering from various colds and ear infections. I’ve dragged the kids to the doctors so many times now that when we show up, they smile at me and send us straight back to the room.
Each and every time we’ve gone, I’ve hoped that it was all in my head and I could get on with my day, but each time it was something. An ear infection, questionable strep throat, Audrey so congested she’s retracting while breathing and needed hour long nebulizer treatments…it just hasn’t stopped.
Sunday I made the mistake of patting myself on the back – that I got all the kids through their illnesses before Matt had to go to Seattle on business.
I was wrong.
Out of nowhere today Mae spiked a fever and had rather violent chills and refused to eat dinner. She cried as I made her go potty. She cried as I put her favorite nightgown on her. And she cried when I told her I couldn’t lay with her until she fell asleep because Claire was downstairs feeding Audrey dinner.
When I sang her “Twinkle, Twinkle” as I always do before bed, she didn’t even sing the final word ARE like she does every night. My heart broke.
I guess you could say I’m angry. For the past few weeks I have been beyond stressed and maybe it’s my stubborn pride, but I’ve asked for little help and I’ve hardly complained. And I’m paying for it now. I’m so tired. I’m frustrated. I’m drained. I’ve been fighting off this cold for a week now and I think I’m just refusing to believe that I, too, could end up sick.
Put yourself in my shoes for one minute if you could. Imagine packing up three sometimes four kids in this weather. Dragging them to the doctors. Explaining to them that they need to be on their best behavior. Having them wait to be seen. Holding a baby who wants to crawl all over the place. Trying to keep your face calm as your kid gets their throat swabbed. Getting them to put their coats back on while holding the baby. Answering the endless amounts of questions. Listening to Mae scream because she can’t zip her coat. Getting them back in the car. Listening to Mae scream as she fights her car seat belt. Trying not to yell. And then doing this again and again and again.
I haven’t been able to do simple things like grocery shop in weeks. Matt’s had to stop after work and I haven’t been cooking like I usually do. For me, that’s upsetting. Every single ounce of normalcy has gone so far out the window lately that I don’t even remember what it’s like to bake cookies. Or not serve up leftovers, or hell, eat sitting down. Someone’s always sad or snotty or sick and I just can’t.
I’ve seriously run myself so thin I don’t have anything left of me to give.
So for the first time in months, I cried. I threw one giant pitty party and didn’t feel regretful. If there’s one thing I’ve earned, it’s that.
And what I think is most upsetting is that tomorrow is Thursday. Mae’s favorite day of the week and she may have to miss dance class.
So Matt’s taking a red eye home and should be home in questionable zombie form by 9 am tomorrow. My mother in law will also be here to help. I’m hoping with wine. Because along with the tears, I earned that.