It’s been a tough week. Probably the toughest I’ve had since commencing this SAHD journey. Focker #2 has been sick since Monday. A hacking cough that keeps us all awake at night. A sore throat that has put her off all food. A steady flow of snot that quickly gets wiped across her face and into her hair if you’re not sharp enough with the tissues. The occasional projectile vomit that leaves you wondering, “how could such a little person have so much smelly horrible stuff inside of them?” This has coincided with Mrs D-E-D being seriously under the pump at work and having to pull some long hours and late evenings, meaning that I’ve been flying solo for large chunks of the time. Yep, it’s been one of those weeks.
But as we all know, or at least, as all of those cheesy internet motivational posters would have us believe, it is in times of adversity where we go through the steepest periods of learning and personal growth. I know I’ve certainly done some growing and learning this week.
For starters, I now know all of the words to Frozen. By virtue of her illness, Focker #2 and I have had a lot of couch time this week, with Frozen being the exclusive viewing of choice. So now I not only know the lyrics to the “Let It Go” song, along with a few choice one-liners from the sexually ambiguous snowman. I now know Every. Single. Word.
This adversity has also taught me that when you put paracetamol in a bottle of milk, it will curdle inside the child’s stomach. The net result of this is that it won’t stay in the child’s stomach for very long. And here I was thinking that at two years old, the milk vomit days were well behind us. Through this experience I also learned that I can wear litres of curdled milk vomit in my face and on my clothes without actually vomiting myself – albeit it’s now four days later and I still can’t get the smell out of my nostrils. Or the carpet.
I’ve discovered that the only thing more contrary than a two year old, is a sick two year old. Seriously, that kid changes her mind more often than the Australian Government changes prime ministers (politics gag – just to prove that I’m up with my current affairs). I had never appreciated that in a choice between jam on toast or honey on toast, it is possible for a toddler to change her mind more than twenty times. For the record, she ended up going with neither, and just ate butter straight from the tub with her fingers instead.
I’ve learned that it is important for SAH parents – both mums and dads – to have some balance, and that without that balance, it’s easy to unravel. This week, due to the additional neediness brought on by Focker #2’s illness and Mrs D-E-D’s busy schedule, I had to skip my one office day to be at home instead. This is usually my one day where I get to put on some big boy pants, go to my workplace, drink coffee, engage in adult conversation, and not hear a little voice whining “Daaaad deeee” for a whole day. I really missed this day of playing grown ups this week.
Likewise, because of the constant coughing, Focker #2’s day sleeps were much shorter and more interrupted than usual this week. Her daytime sleep time is usually my time to hit the garage gym, tidy up around the house, and write this blog. I missed big chunks of this time this week, and it left me feeling more than a little bit unhinged. As a result, I’ve found myself snapping at the kids (which I normally try to avoid unless I absolutely have to, or I’m at the self checkout at the supermarket), swearing a lot more in general, and hiding under the bed in the hope that the kids will think that I’ve finally left home.
In between these moments of frustration there has been one or two major positives. I’ve had lots and lots of cuddles. Focker #2 isn’t usually much of a cuddler. While her brother is affectionate like a labrador, she is more like a cat, and cuddles are awarded strictly on her own terms. This week however I’ve been inundated with long periods of those head-on-shoulder, arms-around-neck, tight squeezey cuddles that warm your heart. And I’ve been happy for her to stay there for as long as she likes – even though I know she’s secretly wiping snot on my shoulder.
The other huge positive is that, despite being up to my elbows in snot and having vomit on my face, so far I seem to have managed to avoid catching this nasty bug myself. But then again, a cold never bothered me anyway…..