This morning I woke up without a splitting, pounding, sinus headache for the first time in a while. I’ve been sick, in varying degrees, since December 21. In my last post I wrote about the positives about having sick kids over the holidays. Well, as time wore on and the viruses continued their playdate in our house, my sunshiny attitude became replaced by that of an irritable, mangy dog.
Boring, isn’t it? I mean, isn’t everyone sick right now? It seems like no matter where you are in this country, the majority of people are either sick or just over it. Anyway, we are on the mend over here, the kids are eating to make up for the disturbing illness-related weight loss (my children, never overly stout, now have countable ribs and stick arms and legs), our life is pretty much back to normal.
Jake was the sickest of us all, then he improved, and then he…didn’t. The thing is, I didn’t really notice that he started to backslide until days later. Nothing says “bad mother” like not correctly identifying your children’s symptoms. By the time I took him to the revolting, germ-encrusted walk-in clinic, I hadn’t slept much for days and was in an exhaustion- and medication-induced fog. As I stood in line at the Co-Op to fill his prescription, I started crying and couldn’t stop, the kind of crying that has people looking at you and then quickly looking away. “Are you all right?” the pharmacist asked kindly as I left clutching the little paper bag of antibiotics.
I was remembering the night before, when I was up for the eighteenth, nineteenth, twentieth time with Jake; Jake who was restless and sobbing. Don’t get me wrong, externally I comforted, I cuddled, I administered Tylenol. Internally, I was seething with frustration and impatience, it practically vibrated through me. At four in the morning, after not having more than 30 minutes of consecutive sleep, I said to Rob “YOU deal with him, I just can’t anymore”. Like instead of being sick and in pain, Jake was just trying to irritate or inconvenience me. It wasn’t until the next morning that I realized how sick he had gotten; I started beating myself up and haven’t really stopped since.
I’m not really a New Year’s person. This year my “celebration” consisted of me, by myself, eating a plate of nachos, drinking an entire bottle of wine, watching “Anne of Green Gables – The Sequel” on Access, and passing out before 10:00. But maybe this year I will make a resolution. My resolution is not to win the Bad Mother Award again – I think one such trophy is enough for me.