Thursday, March 28, 2013

Raw fish and roses

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I’m typing here with flowers beside my computer, sent by My Guy who’s in D.C. for work this week. With it came a card that read, “I’ll be home soon.”

Comforting words. Gorgeous flowers.

All because of an ailing toddler. Who woke at 4 a.m. and wouldn’t let me leave her side. Who woke her sister up so I had no choice but to move Little Miss to my bed instead. Who then proceeded to inconsolably cry. And cry. And cry.

She had a hoarse voice, a snotty nose, and a heavy cough. But she didn’t have a temperature. She was out of sorts, and she couldn’t fathom not being attached to me. “Cah-yee me” she implored, over and over.

After half an hour of just walking aimlessly with her in my arms, the extra thirty pounds started to tax my back and shoulders. I had to put her down. But when I did, there was that screaming again.

She was so angry. So, so angry.

And this was not like my sweet girl at all.

She wouldn’t let me prepare her sister breakfast, or help her get ready for school. She didn’t want anything to do with food either. She just wanted to be “cah-yeed”.

After Little Miss left for school with our neighbor, Thumper continued to demand, scream, and cry. I was exhausted. She was exhausted. And yet she didn’t want to lay with me, but if I wasn’t next to her, she would have a fit. She wanted the blanket; she didn’t want the blanket. She wanted tissues; she didn’t want tissues. She wanted to be on my chest; she didn’t want to be on me. Nothing felt right to her.

My Guy was away on business, and I hated texting him about this situation at home, but I was running out of steam and just needed to vent. He then called me, and during our call, Thumper was finally quiet, knowing it was daddy.

Without prompt, our 21-month-old took the phone, and with such sadness in her voice said, “I miss you daddy, I miss you.”

And just like that, my floodgates opened, and I cried. Maybe she just misses her daddy.

She’s not sick-sick. She’s just out of sorts. What if what’s troubling her is that her daddy, who’s almost always home to tuck her in and comfort her when she cries in the middle of the as night, isn’t there as expected. Too young to understand business travel, maybe she is just especially clingy with me because she is missing one parent and is afraid of letting go of the other?

I don’t know. I only have conjectures. As my tears fell, she wiped them away with the tissue in her hand. There’s that sweet girl of mine.

She’s at hour four of her much-needed nap. I’m battling a headache, but glad to finally able to work on my tasks for my freelance project. While awaiting feedback, I’m vomiting my days’ exhaustion onto this post, hoping that perhaps talking about it would help me out of being utterly confounded by this day.

Or this week, really.

Thumper has been unwell with a heavy-duty cold since the weekend, and while both parents were home, she was happy to just lay on us. Little Miss was invited by one of our lovely neighbors and her boys to visit a nearby Maple Festival on Saturday. While she sawed tree trunks and made a necklace from it, and learned about tapping maple trees and how the syrup is made, Thumper just leaned her head on her daddy’s shoulder, when I was at yoga, and mine, when I was home.

She showed signs of recovery the next day, but when we introduced a new sitter on Tuesday - the same time My Guy left for D.C. - she didn’t want any of it. This, from a girl who’s not often shy with a caregiver, was indeed strange behavior. So upset was she that I couldn’t even stay home to work; I had to leave and sit at a local coffee shop while I hoped she would quiet down for the sitter.

She eventually did, but the tearful parting pained me. She’s normally so eager to say, “Bye Mommy!” in the company of friends or sitters who promised her hours of playtime.

On the other hand, in the midst of a cranky, angry toddler was a four-year-old who saw and understood my struggle. She, who’s normally so contentious herself, has been such a joy this week, doing as she was asked, and cheerfully helping where she could. I was surprised, yet grateful, that she came through for me like that.

And because of that, I wanted to make sure she wasn’t short-changed from the attention she deserved. I set aside time so we could make Easter cards that she wanted to give to her teachers. Then I spent some time in the evening, when the girls were in bed, to put Easter treats together for Little Miss’ preschool party the next day.


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I also got her running shoes because it’s supposed to be 50 degrees and sunny this weekend. And because she’s shown a lot of interest in running with me. As someone who just recently discovered this new passion, I would be crazy not to jump at the chance to share this with my little girl. For someone who didn’t think I could run, or ever inspire my girls to be active, this is a good thing. A great thing.

She loved her new shoes, and I heaved a sigh of relief. I was afraid they weren’t pink enough for her, but apparently, they were. Surprises make her happy.

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They make me happy too. On an extremely trying day like today, it was My Guy who, in spite of a busy day with clients, reached into his bag of tricks. At first, he sent me a lunch delivery after I told him over the phone that neither Thumper nor I had eaten all morning because she wouldn’t allow me a second away from her.

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Sushi - my favorite - and Thai, which I assumed was for the ailing tot, except she refused it. When she doesn’t eat is when you know for sure that something is wrong. So I almost had all of it. That’s what happens when I’m stressed – I eat. And maybe he knew that and ordered all of that for me.

Then came the second surprise: the flowers. Gorgeous, colorful, and full of life.

How could I not cheer up? And how did I deserve this man?

I don’t know.

This week was desperately forcing me to fail. And I think I almost did. Without My Guy by my side, I sometimes feel like I could easily be lost. But then I hear his voice or get a text, and I’m fortified.

Throw in some raw fish and a spring bouquet, and my day is starting to look up. It didn’t begin well, but now, thanks to this one amazing guy, it’s looking like lilies and roses. By the end of the day, it’s going to be perfect.

Because he will be home.

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