A few weeks ago, a friend complimented me as “having it all together.” (Stop laughing, Adam.) She went on to ask how I kept everything organized. Less than 7 days later, I missed a meeting with the same friend because I completely forgot about it. Whoops!
I don’t have ANYTHING “all together” is what I’m saying. Our family calendar is overpacked, Adam and I hardly ever see each other, and we spend our weeks passing the kids to each other as we run out the door for one obligation or another.
It is really important, therefore, that I get all of my sleep at night to keep my wits about me. Such as they are. Imagine the hot mess this will all become if I am NOT 100% alert!
Well, you needn’t imagine – the day is here.
A bit of background: Lulu is a puker. She throws up with almost every illness she gets – even if it’s mostly presenting as a chest cold. She throws up when she eats too much, coughs too hard, or runs too long. You should just perpetually imagine a splash zone around her; Cole certainly knows to vacate her immediate vicinity if she so much as hiccups! (She threw up on him ONE time, and that was enough for him to never want to be anywhere near a gagging Lu ever again.) Luckily, throwing up doesn’t seem to faze her – 2 seconds later, she’s finishing her meal or running away to play.
Last night, Lulu’s tummy made familiar grumbling noises and I woke Adam who leapt into action and threw her into the bathroom just in time… mostly. A quick sheet and pajama change and we were all back in bed. Lather, rinse, repeat several times until Adam defected into the living room to attempt to get some better rest by sleeping on the couch. Lulu and I were up a few more times between 4AM and my wake up alarm at 7:30. Lulu went into the living room to say good morning to Cole, but then came back and crawled back into bed – atypical for her, and indicative of a rough night. I called Coach to come and stay with her so I wouldn’t have to bundle her into the cold to drop off Cole at school. I let Helene and Nicole know I wouldn’t be able to attend our yearbook meeting and was home in less than half an hour, by which time Lulu was happily playing.
She went on to eat a normal breakfast, dump out all of the toys in the house, request to go outside and have a snowball fight, and enthusiastically accompany me to pick up Cole from school. By all indications, she was completely recovered, and I figured it had just been something she ate disagreeing with her – or possibly some mucus aggravating her stomach; she’s had a touch of a cough lately.
It has been a beast of a winter (in case no one on your Facebook or Twitter feed has complained about the weather and let you know), and we have been trapped inside far too much. This afternoon I have work obligations from 4 to 7, so I wanted to get the kids out a little bit before dropping them with Adam and sprinting out the door. I decided that I would offer Cole his choice of lunch options before heading home. Lulu actually fell asleep in the car on the way to Cole’s school and I thought there was a chance she’d nap in her stroller and Cole and I could have a little date.
Cole requested McDonald’s which was perfect because he could play in the play space and get some of his energy out before heading home again. At this point, I completely FORGOT that Lulu had been up puking half the night. I was not TRYING to take a plague-ridden child to the play space to infect the community, I swear.
Cole invited a friend to meet us, and we all happily headed off to the golden arches. We arrived, Cole and Henry ran into the playspace, and Helene and I ordered our food at the counter.
And then Lulu threw up in her stroller. And then kept throwing up, All over her shirt, all over her jacket – EVERYWHERE – until she was sitting in a fetid, stinking puddle of yuck.
I changed our order to “to go,” and Helene went to get Cole from the play area. A VERY unhappy Cole, who had been promised a lunch playdate and who had gotten within sight of the slide only to have to turn around and leave. He was…upset. Loudly upset. I told him that if he could calm his body down and take a breath than I would get him ice cream that he could have in the car. I was then inspired to generously offer him a McFlurry as an extra special treat; he’s never had one before, but he loves both ice cream AND m&m’s so I had no inkling that this would be The Worst Idea Ever.
Apparently? He did not want a McFlurry. He wanted a kiddie cone like he usually has – but by this time he was tantrumming so hard that there was no way I could give in and reward this behavior so I dragged him – red faced and sobbing – the disgusting, dripping stroller, and our bags of food and navigated through the 2 steps of doors out to the parking lot.
I improvised and lined Lu’s car seat with hand me down sweat pants (thanks, Helene!), said a quick prayer that there was no further puking in the car, and got the heck out of there.
Cole cried the whole way home, Lulu – having completely recovered by this point – screamed for her nuggets – and I kept my Calm Voice the whole way home. Managed to carry Lulu in her drenched pants, my pocketbook, and the food all the way up 3 flights of stairs (after convincing Cole that I could not carry him as well), before one of the bags burst and french fries spilled out everywhere.
It is now an hour later. I changed and cleaned Princess Pukey, both children ate their Happy Meals (for better or for worse, Lulu was hungry, I had already paid for it, and that’s what she wanted), and I popped in Tangled to get a moment of peace. Adam will be home in a little while and then I will run off to work. He will be lucky if I come back.