Thursday, November 11, 2010

Not Just a Litany of Complaints. Although There is That Too.

So it's been nine days now that I've been sick with my latest version of Miserable Respiratory Infection. I've got antibiotics, I'm getting better, but I've literally gotten up for the day at 4:30 a.m. or earlier for five days straight, due to uncontrollable coughing. This morning it was actually 3:45. Those alert-looking smiles in my post photos yesterday? I have no idea how I pulled those off.

My daughters are sick too, although in recent days their two-weeks-long colds have faded to mere occasional runny noses and night-time coughs. Until Julia got off the bus yesterday afternoon with obvious pinkeye. In both eyes. With goopy discharge (sorry), which means she's not allowed at school right now. (Side note: I get pinkeye in both eyes almost every time I get really sick. So I am just waiting for it now.)

You have to understand, in hearing all this, that my husband is currently traveling for work and I am on my own, parenting-wise. I seem to get deathly ill quite often when my husband travels for work. Usually I start getting sick before he goes, and then he's off, and there I am, shuffling around with Kleenexes in both hands, groaning and coughing like a tuberucular literary heroine while I run children's baths and make grilled cheeses and supervise homework. But especially, keep in mind that, when your spouse is traveling and you're on your own and sick and severely sleep-deprived, you really need your children to go to school when they're supposed to go to school. Damn pinkeye.

Did I mention that Genevieve fell down at the playground on Tuesday before dinner, and banged up her chin just in time for preschool Picture Day yesterday morning? And that all day yesterday she complained of her "teeth hurting just a wittle bit when I pwess down." Uh.... let's just not press down, then, OK? Here, have some more applesauce.

OK, but listen, you all---here's what's interesting. Back in the day--you know, back when that one time I got so sick while Christopher was traveling that I visited the clinic three times, availed myself of the emergency help of the doctor husband of a friend to procure a prescription for antibiotics on a Sunday night when my babies were in bed asleep and I had no way to go anywhere to get any help--oh, and get this: this friend's husband was actually in a hotel in California at the time--and eventually I ended up in the ER on a Saturday night due to an adverse reaction to a tetanus shot caused by my antitbiotics--well, back during those times, dealing with protracted illness and sick kids and injuries and Picture Day and double pinkeye and not sleeping past 4 a.m. for five days straight would have practically killed me. I mean, it did practically kill me. But that's because my daughters were two and four, or one and three, or not even one and not even three. And parenting two babies, or two toddlers, by yourself for days on end with no help and with sickness to boot, is much, much harder than parenting two young-but-slightly-older children under those circumstances. Which is a revelation, to some degree.

This time around, despite all these challenges, and the fact that even as I type this I feel as if my head is going to explode--seriously, antibiotics, can't you do better than that?--this week I've still written three freelance articles a day for my part-time writing job, for example. Whereas in years past all I would have been capable of doing after kid-bedtime at night is sack myself out in front of some mindless TV.

Don't think I haven't been doing that too, though.

Also, I'm not promising there have been daily showers going on.

But at least I don't have pinkeye, you all. Yet!


Joanna said...

I'm in that earlier stage of parenting right now (2-year-old and 9-month-old), so I love these posts where you tell us that it gets better...even if better isn't all that great at times.

Mnmom said...

It DOES get better in that particular department. Now when I get sick I can stay in bed most of the time. . . . MOST of the time.