Monday, February 28, 2011

Rough couple of weeks

I know that my blog tends to be very sunshiney. Either I talk about how awesome my life is, or I talk about abstract things. And there's a reason for it -- my life is awesome, awesome enough that I don't feel like I can really complain about the less-nice parts because they're so far outweighed by the wonderful parts. Reason #2 is that when things are horrible, there's no way I'm going to have a chance to write a blog post about it.

But, just for the sake of 1) reminding you that I am not the Uber-Mother and 2) making you laugh and feel grateful you are not me, here's the story of what I've been doing lately.

Things were going great until Thursday -- not this past Thursday but the one before. I woke up with the baby, felt his forehead, and knew there was no way we were going to work. He was snotty, feverish, clingy, and whiny all day. Finally I managed to convince him to sit in his high chair -- my first chance to put him down since I'd gotten up. (I was still in my pajamas at 10 a.m. or so, and had had to do the unenviable task of going to the bathroom while holding a baby.) He started demanding food but snubbing everything I had available. What he wanted was the potato on the counter -- but it wasn't cooked. So I put it in a pot to cook it. I had a Pyrex filled with rolls on the front burner, so I put it on the back burner, too worn out and lazy to actually move the Pyrex.

You can see where this is going, can't you? I put the potato on the back burner -- but I turned on the front burner. The one with the Pyrex on it. I had turned on the burner and stepped away when it exploded. Literally. It sprayed hot glass shrapnel all over the kitchen. The baby instantly started screaming. The rolls fell onto the burner and started to smoke. I stepped quickly -- in my bare feet -- to the stove and turned the burner off, burning my foot on a bit of hot glass (but luckily not cutting it). Then I checked myself for glass quickly, grabbed the baby, and sailed out of the kitchen.

After a great deal of careful checking, quite a bit of screaming, and some playing with the light switch, I determined that Marko was not hurt. Later I found that the high chair was the only thing in the whole kitchen not dusted with shards of glass. Thank you, guardian angel! I think I was between him and the stove. I shudder to think of my boy getting hit by the hot glass. I was, though it didn't cut me, and it stung!

Trying to clean out the kitchen while taking care of a sick baby proved very difficult. A couple times he did calm down enough to be put down, only to want to follow me into the (very dangerous) kitchen as soon as I disappeared into it. I made a blockade, put on my clogs, and swept up what I could. Then I wiped everything with damp paper towels to get the last little bits. But I'm still picking shards out of the crevices in the stove and the counters.

Friday was worse. Baby just cried and cried. Miserable. Again, I didn't get dressed all day. No shower. No tooth brushing. Nothing but baby bouncing. I was desperate for a nap -- it wasn't like he was sleeping well at night -- but he would only sleep upright in my arms. He was terribly congested. At one point, when nothing I did would comfort him, I laid him down and took a video of him screaming and wailing. Now I have to delete the file, because even seeing it on my computer makes me feel like a horrible mom. How could I get so callous as to just let him scream while I taped him? And what kind of sadist would ever want to watch that? I guess I just wanted proof for anyone who said I had it easy of how horrible it had been.

The weekend was a bit better because John was there. While he was sick, the baby got even more attached to Daddy, to the point that I was little better than a nanny. Only Daddy would do. When John would leave the apartment, the second the door closed behind him he would begin to wail.

On President's Day, I had work while John didn't, so I left the baby with him and went to work. Marko wasn't feverish, but was still as congested and cranky as could be. Afterward, John had to go down to Christendom to use the library, and I begged to go along. First, because that way I wouldn't have to get through the whole day without Daddy's magic powers, and second, because at least I could get out of the house. I ended up pushing the baby all over campus in the stroller, and getting caught on the wrong end of it in a cold rain, so that I had to push him back while he got drizzled on. Bad Mommy Moment # ... gosh, I don't even know what we're on anymore. Especially as I haven't even mentioned everything!

The rest of the week was sort of better but sort of not. John and I both caught the baby's bug, though more mildly, and felt crummy all the time. The baby spent most of the time medium-cranky, with a few moments of relatively-okay and some moments of wailing. There were a couple nights where the baby would not sleep lying down and we had to take turns sitting up with him. There was a point where I dozed on the couch with him in the sling because that was the closest I could get to "real" sleep.

Finally, on Saturday, he was better. But I wasn't. I was running a light fever and felt horrible. Yes, a second bug has been running through! This one I got the worst and John and the baby had mildly. We had promised to help a friend move, so I took some ibuprofen and went. I know that wasn't all that smart, but I was just dying to get out of the house. And all of our friends were going to be there. We get together only every month or so, so I hate to miss a chance. By the time we got back, the chills were overtaking me again, and all I could do was wrap myself in blankets and feel sorry for myself. I ached all over from sheer frozenness, but John and the baby felt the temperature of cool water. I didn't take my temperature again, but I think it was pretty high.

John rose to the occasion and helped me get the baby to bed (where he slept quite well for awhile, thank God!) and then tucked me in with a hot water bottle and a drinking-water bottle and three comforters. By three a.m. I knew the fever had broken, and by six a.m. I felt great. But John and the baby were gone. He came back into the room and asked if I could please take the baby: "I've been up with him for the past two hours." What a saint! I got up and held the baby upright, whereupon he slept fitfully for two more hours. I don't know what was troubling him, but something definitely was. I could blame the remnants of the cold, stuff he'd eaten the previous day, or teething.

Because, yes, this morning I discovered he had cut a new tooth! All the tooth fussing was so mixed in with sick fussing, we didn't suspect a thing.

That wasn't the only new development. Last night, after his bath, he was feeling a lot more cheerful. John held him up to let him stand on his own (something he's done for awhile now). He stood there a second and then walked right over to me! About four steps! On his own!

So, that was a gratifying moment to help balance out the yuckiness of the past week and more. He's been rather demanding today, but nothing like he was. It's funny; despite how miserable it is when he's unwell, those times seem to bond us all the most. Now that he's feeling a little better, the smallest smile is just a ray of sunshine!

But I'm a little sad, too. My kid is walking. Toddling. If he doesn't count as a toddler yet, he will very soon. Babyhood is coming to a close. I like babyhood. I know babyhood. I don't know anything about toddlers. I'm afraid I'll make quite the hash of it. I like snuggling and nursing; I'm not much into playing really. And already the baby (toddler?!) is getting bored. This morning he emptied out the bathroom cabinet, one kitchen cabinet, and one bookshelf before getting grumpy and wanting to be played with. So I stacked his cups and let him knock them down, but he quickly got bored with that and I was stuck.

I just miss my easy-to-please, teeny-tiny, cuddly baaaaaaby!

Can you believe he was ever this small?


Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Tiffany said...

Oh Shelia! I'm so glad you're ok. When I first had my son, I too was worried about any stage that wasn't the snuggly baby stage. Toddler-hood can be tough, but they're so, SO cute at that stage! And their increasing interaction is just amazing. And when they get older - it's even better!

Enbrethiliel said...


The first thing that came to mind was this great tip for picking up small shards of broken glass:

Use a piece of white bread to wipe down all the surfaces. It picks all the glass up like a dream!

I don't have any toddler advice, though. =P

Sheila said...

Wow, that anonymous comment really stings. I guess that's another reason why I might be less than honest about the negative moments. But really, I did not say one negative word about my husband or child in the post. So maybe they didn't read it.

On the bright side, I believe this is the first really insulting comment I have ever received. I know people who get tons of them. So I should thank my lucky stars that the jerks tend to avoid my blog!

Tiffany, thanks. My mom just sent me a HUGE email full of ways to play with a toddler! I feel much encouraged. This stage is going to be fun too.

...though time sure does fly ...

Enbrethiel, I had never heard the white bread trick! Definitely going to try that next time!

Sarah Faith said...

Oh he was such a cute newborn!! Look at that bright little face.

I found the anonymous commenter's comment quite strange. :??

Amazing guardian angel story!

Odd coincidence. I've been up the entire night with my 7 month old four nights in a row since she will only sleep while nursing and/or upright. I'm about over it. I'm also getting sick too (but just a cold i think). And husband's had to work late last 2 nights... grr.

Hang in there. Toddlers are a lot of work but they are sooo funny it's totally worth it. I'm on my 5th toddler. Gets better every time.

some guy on the street said...

Did not read was my guess, too; I mean, "putting down"? Quite the opposite!

I don't remember much of my own toddlerhood, nor of my younger brother's. Hide-and-seek comes to mind, but ... yeah, I dunno. You'll figure something out between the three or four of you. I seem to recall there was a cat ...

Enbrethiliel said...


Sheila, I ignored the anonymous comment when I first read it (although my blood boiled on your behalf!) just in case you planned to delete it. It has become quite fashionable in some parts of the Internet to put Mommy blogs down, and I think the commenter was just riding that wave. I have a feeling she is leaving similar comments on all the Mommy blogs she can find, maybe even using the linky of a popular hop to find her targets. There is probably some mental imbalance at work here, too, so I hope you don't lose too much sleep over opinions like hers.

Sheila said...

Yes, I have noticed it seems to be a trend -- nasty anonymous comments from people who don't seem actually familiar with the blog. John says I shouldn't allow anonymous comments for that reason, but the vast majority of anonymous comments I get are kind, so I still allow them. It kind of stung, but I know it has nothing to do with ME.

Sarah, he was the cutest newborn EVER. At four days old (in that picture) his eyes were wide open and he was so alert!

There seems to be a wave of sickness going on. I blame the weather -- looking like summer for a few days, then getting cold again. Luckily we seem to be kicking the last of it, and the weather's warming up again, too.

S.g.o.t.s. -- there IS a cat, and he has been chasing her all over! She has been taking refuge on the back of the couch, because it's the only place she's safe. ;)

Meredith said...

Oh, Sheila, I'm sorry you've been having such a miserable time! Marko looks like he's back to high spirits. Look at those teeth!

I think you should delete the anon. comment. It's like some drunk guy walking up and barfing on you on a public bus.

Anyway, I'm glad to hear that no one was hurt by the pyrex. My mom has incinerated dish towels and tea kettles and yes, once cracked a pyrex dish in half by putting it on a cold surface. ^_^ Apparently I'm absent-minded too, so I'm sure I will be doing more of this sort of thing.

Sheila said...

"It's like some drunk guy walking up and barfing on you on a public bus." LOL!

Yes, I take after my mom in this respect. When I told her about the Pyrex, she started telling me about the time she shattered a jar of molasses! How in the world do you clean THAT up?

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