Monday, March 22, 2010

What They Don't Tell You At the Baby Shower

I firmly believe that at the moment of conception, all women should immediately find a huge "S" appear on their chests.

Because becoming a mother is synonymous with being Superwoman. And no one at the baby shower is going to tell you that.

But they really should.

Mothers will be able to perform feats that no man could possibly fathom doing himself. He wouldn't even attempt it.

But as mothers, we have no choice. We either become Superwoman or our children would probably cease to exist.

Today my "S" was beaming. Even if I wasn't.

For a variety of reasons - namely 3 reasons: Rachel, Caleb & Noah - I have gotten very little sleep in the past couple of weeks. This past Wednesday I only snuck in about 3-4 hours of shut-eye as Noah was hurling the night away.

Why do we always get the stomach flu in the wee hours of the morning? Has anyone ever STARTED the flu around noon or even a more convenient 9am?? So by the time bedtime rolls around the worst is likely over?!?

Noah hasn't been sleeping well for awhile anyway, so he's interrupted my sleep often and I really like my sleep. When it is time for sleep, I want ALL of it. So as you can probably guess, I got wore out. That is, my immune system got wore out.

And guess who woke up Sunday morning with the flu? Yep. Superwoman just got zapped. Picture the big "POW" slamming into my face.

But we all know moms are not allowed to be sick. At least, they are still responsible to do everything they would normally do if they were in perfect condition.

That's when that "S" seems to shine a little brighter...

So it's Monday morning and I am still not anywhere near 100% yet, but I take one look at my two sons and realize it is going to be a LONNNNNNNNNG day. Noah is the epitome of misery and Caleb says he can't even chew his breakfast because it makes his head hurt.

Oh, joy.

I check their temps - fevers for both. So I send Caleb back to bed and call the school to let them know he won't be joining them this fine Monday.

Then I take a better look at Noah and I'm greatly concerned. He's a rashy fright and I either seek help or I'm in for a day of constant whimpering and whining.

Of course our pediatrician has no appointment opening, so I have to settle for some 5th string doctor who I'm pretty sure just got hired last week.

Once I meet her and we begin to dialogue about Noah, I'm convinced I was right. She has no clue what to do and soon she's running for my pediatrician.

Next thing I know, we're in a new exam room with our pediatrician, two medical students and the doctor I made the appointment with...I don't think she knew as much as the med students.


Anyway, turns out Noah is a wreck but no one really knows why. It's time for x-rays and lab work.

This is when it gets interesting.

First stop, the lab for a blood draw.

If you read my blog about Noah's surgery you'll know the nurses struggled to find a vein to put the IV...I would discover this to be an ongoing problem. Ugh.

As I clutched my little boy in my lap, the lab technician poked and prodded until she finally hit a vein. Meanwhile, Noah is screaming uncontrollably and I'm feeling so horrible about putting him through this while in a conscious state that I am now crying too!

I take several minutes to calm him (maybe, us) down as we make our way to x-ray. I have to manually turn him into a contortionist to get the pictures she yeah. You know what happens. He's bawling again.

I'm fighting back the tears only because I may be more irritated than sad at this point.

Once it is finally over we're ushered back to the exam room where we will sit for another half an hour waiting for some results. It is well into Noah's normal naptime by now, so he is crying incessantly.

The pediatrician pops her head in briefly (probably heard all the wailing and figured she better check in) to let me know they're still waiting on a few test results.

I'm so physically and emotionally exhausted all I want is to take my children and go home. But we wait and Noah refuses to settle down even slightly unless I am standing and rocking him.

So here I am: ON MY FEET as I still fight the flu myself, rocking a 28-pound fitful child. Considering in the past 24 hours I've had nothing but dry toast and Sprite as an energy source I am amazing even myself.

We're finally able to leave - of course at this point we're all ravenous so fortunately McDonald's is only a block away.

I suppose if I was truly Superwoman I'd have a healthy gourmet lunch simmering in the crockpot at home.

Get real.

On a side note, I was so proud of Caleb for sitting patiently all that time as his little brother went through continuous torture - he was such a trooper and he earned that Star Wars Happy Meal toy! Shoot, he earned the entire line of toys!

Instead of the crockpot - awaiting me when I got home were six voice mail messages.

I had a meeting at 10:30 that I missed.

My husband is wondering where in the world I am. Several times.

So I settle the boys in with their Happy Meals and start returning phone calls, desperately trying to reschedule my meeting that HAD to be done today...deadlines don't care if you're a mom.

Fortunately I salvage the meeting situation and I'm set-up for 2pm. Whew!

The meeting goes great, only I discover later in the day that I conducted the entire meeting with a Wonder Pets sticker on my shoulder blade. Thanks, Pediatrician's office. And thanks, Noah for snuggling me so much the sticker transferred itself from your chest to my back.

What can I say? I'm a Mom. It happens.

So I finish my meeting and drive over to the school to pick up Rachel. I'm early, so I enjoy the few minutes of solitude and quiet in the car.

I was actually starting to feel a lot better about the day.

So that's why when I stepped into the school hallway I had to laugh. It probably should have made me cry, but I think when your "S" is so wrinkled and worn you realize it's just another part of motherhood and you better get used to it.

Head lice. The hallways were lined with large black garbage bags full of each child's belongings in an attempt to stop the spread of the vicious bugs.

Some classrooms were checked for head lice and since some was found, parents are turning OCD. Bedding, stuffed animals, coats and carpets will be under Superwomen.

Personally, by that point in my day I was so done that I didn't even get worked up about it. So far, neither of my kids that attend that school have been checked and I have no reason to believe they have head lice yet.

After all, tomorrow is another day. And there will have to be something for this superhero to tackle.

I just wish it were a good book and a pillow.

Instead I'll probably be boiling that pillow. Oh, well. The steam will be good for my shriveled "S".